Indulge Your Senses: Mussels in White Wine

Are you tired of the same old seafood meals? Bored with basic baked fish and grilled shrimp? Then it’s time to spice things up with my recipe for steamed mussels in white wine sauce!

Mussels are a delicious and underrated delicacy, often overshadowed by more popular seafood options such as lobster, crab, and shrimp. But don’t let their modest reputation fool you – mussels pack a flavor punch that cannot be beat! When paired with a fragrant white wine sauce, these little shellfish become an unforgettable dish.

Not only is this recipe impressive in taste, but it is also easy to prepare. With just a few simple ingredients and minimal prep time, you can create an elegant and impressive meal that will wow your family and friends.

So put down that boring fish fillet and give this steamed mussels recipe a try. Trust me, your taste buds will thank you.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Mussels in White Wine Sauce
Mussels in White Wine Sauce

Are you a lover of seafood? Do you crave for something that’s going to take your taste buds to the next level? Then, you’re going to fall in love with this recipe – mussels in white wine sauce!

This recipe is one of my all-time favorites because it’s incredibly flavorful, easy-to-make, and perfect for any occasion. The juicy mussels soaked in a delicate white wine sauce create a fantastic texture and an amazing taste that will make your taste buds dance with joy.

Not only does this dish look and taste impressive, but it’s also budget-friendly and ideal for feeding a large crowd. And because it’s so simple to prepare, you’ll have more time to enjoy with your guests rather than spending hours in the kitchen.

The garlic-fueled broth, enriched with extra virgin olive oil, white pepper, kosher salt, fresh lemon juice, Pernod, and fresh basil create an aromatic smell that’ll leave your guests drooling over their plates. This recipe is sure to win the hearts of even those who think they don’t like seafood!

So if you’re looking for a dish that’s perfect for date night or a fancy dinner party or just want to indulge yourself in some deliciousness without breaking the bank, then this fantastic recipe is definitely worth giving a try! Trust me; everyone will be begging for seconds!

Ingredient List

 A delectable feast for seafood enthusiasts!
A delectable feast for seafood enthusiasts!

Here are all the ingredients you’ll need to make this delectable dish of Mussels in White Wine Sauce Recipe:

  • 4 pounds mussels, cleaned and debearded
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups dry white wine, such as sauvignon blanc (use a good-quality wine for a tasty sauce too)
  • 1/4 cup Pernod (optional but adds an extra layer of flavor)
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (use as much or as little according to your preference for spiciness)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (or more to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Note: You can also add some heavy cream for a creamy garlic sauce or tomato sauce for some mussel pasta. If you can’t find fresh mussels, you can use frozen ones as a substitute. Make sure to thaw them completely before cooking.

The Recipe How-To

 Get your hands dirty with this delicious meal.
Get your hands dirty with this delicious meal.

Step 1: Preparing the Mussels

Before we get started with the recipe, it’s important to make sure the mussels are properly cleaned and debearded. It’s also important to only use mussels that are closed tightly or have closed again after tapping them lightly. Discard any that remain open or don’t close when tapped.

Step 2: Making the Garlic Sauce

To start with the sauce, we heat up 3 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil and 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter in a large pot over medium heat. Once melted, we add 4 large finely chopped shallots and 2 minced garlic cloves, sautéing until soft for around 3 minutes.

Step 3: Adding Wine and Broth

While stirring occasionally, we add 1½ cups of dry white wine, preferably sauvignon blanc, and let it simmer for around 2-3 minutes. Then, we pour in ⅔ cup of broth (from steaming the mussels) and keep stirring.

Step 4: Adding Mussels and Cream Sauce

When the sauce comes to a boil, we add in the cooked and drained mussels, continuing to cook for another minute or two until they’ve fully opened. After taking out the mussels, we stir in some heavy cream (cream sauce) until well mixed.

Step 5: Serving

The final step is serving! Pour the sauce over the mussels and garnish with some fresh basil leaves, along with some crusty bread or pommes frites (french fries) on the side. Enjoy your delicious bowl of moules marinières!

Substitutions and Variations

 A scrumptious way to savor the flavors of the sea.
A scrumptious way to savor the flavors of the sea.

Mussels in white wine sauce is a classic, but there’s always room to add your own personal touch to the dish. Here are some substitution and variation ideas that can help you make this dish your own.

– Wine: Dry white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay is often used for this recipe, but you can also use other types of white wine. Some people prefer to add a bit of red wine for a rich, deep flavor. If you prefer not to use alcohol, you can substitute the wine with broth or even tomato sauce.

– Garlic: Garlic is a key ingredient in this recipe, but if you’re not a big fan, you can adjust the quantity to suit your taste. You can also use garlic powder instead of fresh garlic for a milder flavor.

– Butter: The butter in this recipe adds richness and depth to the sauce, but you can also use olive oil instead. For a healthier twist, try using a blend of butter and olive oil or use non-dairy butter alternatives.

– Herbs: While fresh basil is traditionally used in this recipe, you can also add other herbs like parsley or thyme to give the dish a different flavor profile. Dried herbs work well too if fresh ones are unavailable.

– Pernod: Pernod is an optional ingredient that adds a sweet and licorice-like flavor to the dish. If you don’t have Pernod or prefer not to use it, just leave it out of the recipe.

– Spices: To add some extra kick to the dish, try adding some red pepper flakes or black pepper along with the white pepper. You could also experiment with other spices like cumin or paprika.

– Serving options: While pasta is a classic pairing for mussels in white wine sauce, there are plenty of other serving options too. You could serve the mussels with crusty bread for dipping into the sauce, or over rice or quinoa for a heartier meal.

Remember that cooking is all about experimentation and finding what works best for your taste. Don’t be afraid to try new things and make this recipe your own.

Serving and Pairing

 A taste of the ocean, right at home.
A taste of the ocean, right at home.

The beauty of mussels in white wine sauce lies not only in their taste, but also in their aesthetic appeal. The dish looks great on a plate and is perfect for company. I recommend garnishing with fresh basil leaves and serving with crusty bread to soak up the delicious juice.

When it comes to pairing, you can’t go wrong with a dry white wine like Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay. The subtle flavors of the wine make for a perfect pairing with the dish. If you’re feeling adventurous, try pairing with Pernod, an anise-flavored liquor native to France. The combination is delightful and will give you a true taste of Moules Marinières – a classic French recipe for steamed mussels in white wine broth.

For those who prefer red wine, choose something light like Pinot Noir. Its fruity tones complement the mussels without overwhelming them.

If you’re not big on alcohol, choose sparkling water or lemonade as a refreshing alternative that won’t mask the natural brininess of the mussels.

Overall, Mussels in White Wine Sauce is an easy dish that is versatile and perfect for any season. Whether it’s a warm summer evening or a cozy winter dinner party, this dish sure will impress your guests while satisfying cravings.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Dive into a bowl of succulent mussels in white wine sauce!
Dive into a bowl of succulent mussels in white wine sauce!

Mussels in White Wine Sauce is a delicious and simple dish that can be made in advance, perfect for busy weeknights or entertaining guests. If you are planning on making this dish ahead of time, be sure to clean and store the mussels properly. Scrub the shells with a brush under running water, and discard any mussels that do not open during cooking.

To make this dish ahead of time, simply cook the mussels and white wine garlic sauce according to the recipe instructions, and store them separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. When ready to serve, reheat the sauce over low heat until heated through, being careful not to overcook the mussels.

If you have leftovers, they can be stored for up to 2 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. To reheat, transfer the mussels and sauce to a saucepan and heat gently over low heat until heated through.

If you want to freeze this dish, it is best to freeze the sauce separately from the mussels. Simply ladle the cooled sauce into freezer-safe containers, leaving enough room at the top for expansion during freezing. Label and date the containers before placing them in the freezer for up to 3 months.

To reheat frozen mussels in white wine sauce, thaw overnight in the refrigerator or place the container in cold water for an hour. Reheat the sauce as directed above and add thawed mussels to it.

Overall, Mussels in White Wine Sauce is a dish that can be made ahead of time, stored properly, reheated with ease and still taste delicious. So go ahead and make your dinner preparations stress-free without compromising on flavour.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Perfect for an intimate dinner with friends and family.
Perfect for an intimate dinner with friends and family.

Preparing mussels in white wine sauce can be a delicate task. When it comes to cooking seafood, timing is everything, and it’s easy to overcook your mussels or end up with a bland sauce that doesn’t complement the briny taste of the shellfish. However, with these tips, you’ll get perfect results every time you make this classic dish.

1. Check the freshness of your mussels

Before starting the recipe, make sure the mussels are alive and fresh. Fresh mussels should have tightly closed shells when purchased and should open slightly when tapped or rinsed with cold water. If they don’t open at all or have an unpleasant odor, discard them.

2. Don’t overcook your mussels

Mussels only need to steam for a few minutes until they open. The key to perfectly steamed mussels is to cook them just long enough so they’re tender but not rubbery. When they start to open, remove them from heat immediately.

3. Keep an eye on the sauce

The sauce can make or break this recipe. Don’t let the garlic brown too much as it can give a bitter taste to the sauce. Also, make sure not to reduce the wine too much as it will become too strong and overpowering.

4. Use proper equipment

Having a large pot with a tight-fitting lid will help ensure even cooking and steam circulation around the mussels. Also, use a slotted spoon or tongs to remove the cooked mussels from the pot instead of pouring them into a colander to prevent losing any precious liquid and flavor.

5. Pair with crusty bread or pasta

Mussels in white wine sauce are traditionally served with a generous side of crusty bread for dipping in the sauce. A classic French option is “moules et frites,” which pairs steamed mussels with crisp fries on the side. Alternatively, serve them over spaghetti for a hearty dinner option.

By following these tips for perfect results, you’ll get tender and flavorful steamed mussels in a delicate garlic and white wine sauce – a perfect meal to impress your guests or to enjoy for a cozy night in.


Before we wrap up this recipe, let’s take a look at some of the most frequently asked questions about making mussels in white wine sauce. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a novice home cook, these answers will help ensure your dish is a success from start to finish. So, let’s dive right in!

What wine is best for mussels in white wine sauce?

When it comes to enjoying a delicious dish of baked mussels with garlic and breadcrumbs, there are a few different types of wine that can elevate the flavors. For instance, a crisp and dry Pinot Grigio, along with other Italian white wines, pair wonderfully. Additionally, you could try an unoaked Chardonnay or a fruity Sauvignon Blanc, like Sauvignon de Touraine, to complement the dish.

What to serve with mussels in white wine sauce?

If you happen to indulge in some moules marinières, or white wine mussels, a delicious pairing would be some crusty bread to soak up the savory sauce or crispy French fries. You could also add a touch of freshness with a zesty salad on the side.

How to make a white wine Sause?

To create a delicious sauce for your pasta or seafood, start by heating up some olive oil in a saucepan. Once it’s hot, add diced garlic and red pepper to the pan, and cook until they’re golden and fragrant.

Now it’s time to make the sauce. Season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste, then add in some wine and butter. Give it a quick stir and let it simmer for a couple of minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together.

After the sauce has simmered, it’s ready to be used. Pour it over your cooked pasta, chicken breasts, shrimp, or scallops for a delicious and flavorful meal.

What wine is best for steamed mussels?

If you’re planning to steam mussels with minimal seasoning and let the natural flavor of the mollusk stand out, go for a white wine that’s crisp and refreshing, yet with a distinct minerality that borders on salty. Specifically, French Muscadet or Chablis, a Chardonnay variety that boasts oyster shell-like notes, would be great options. These wines enhance the briny flavor of the mussels, making for a delightful seafood feast.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, mussels in white wine sauce is the perfect seafood dish for those looking for something quick, easy, and delicious. This recipe delivers a one-of-a-kind flavor that is hard to come by in other dishes. Using fresh and high-quality ingredients such as garlic, yellow onions, fresh basil, and dry white wine makes all the difference.

Mussels in white wine sauce are incredibly versatile and can be served with pasta, crusty bread, or even enjoyed on their own. It’s also an excellent pairing option for Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio wines.

Whether you’re planning a dinner party or just want to indulge in something special during the weeknight, this recipe is definitely worth trying. With some simple substitutions and variations, it is easy to make it your own.

So go ahead and give this recipe a try. You won’t regret it! Just remember to use high-quality ingredients, follow the instructions carefully, and have fun with it. Bon appetit!

Mussels in White Wine Sauce

Mussels in White Wine Sauce Recipe

Source: San Antonio Express News. The sauce is out of this world
No ratings yet
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Course Appetizer or Entree
Cuisine Fusion
Calories 638.4 kcal


  • 4 cups live mussels
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped yellow onions
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 2 tablespoons Pernod (licorice-flavored liqueur from France)
  • 1 -2 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 lemon, juice of
  • 3/4 cup lemon butter sauce

Lemon Butter Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons clarified butter (you'll need about ½ stick butter; directions follow)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped yellow onions
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
  • 6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons dry white wine
  • kosher salt
  • white pepper
  • 2 tablespoons cold butter


  • ----LemonButter Sauce----.
  • To clarify butter: melt ½ stick butter over low heat.
  • When melted, remove from heat and set aside for several minutes to allow the milk solids to settle to the bottom.
  • Skim the clear (clarified) butter from the top and discard sediment.
  • (This can be done ahead.) To make sauce: Heat clarified butter, add onion and garlic and sauté until transparent.
  • Add lemon juice and white wine and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Simmer 2 to 3 minutes to reduce liquid.
  • Remove from heat and swirl in cold butter until sauce is smooth and emulsified.
  • ----Mussels----.
  • Soak mussels in cold water for several minutes, then scrub with a stiff brush and remove"beard" (the little tuft of fibers protruding from the shell), either with a sharp knife or by pulling on it with a damp cloth.
  • Rinse mussels again in cold water.
  • Heat olive oil in a 10-inch skillet; add mussels.
  • Cover with another 10-inch skillet or lid and cook until shells begin to open, about 2 minutes.
  • Remove top and add onion and garlic and toss.
  • Cover pan again and cook for 1 minute.
  • Remove top and add Pernod, basil, lemon juice and lemon butter sauce.
  • Return to heat for 30 to 45 seconds with top off skillet.
  • Discard any mussels that did not open.
  • Serve in a deep bowl.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 450gCalories: 638.4kcalCarbohydrates: 22.8gProtein: 37.5gFat: 43.5gSaturated Fat: 17.8gCholesterol: 145.1mgSodium: 966.2mgFiber: 0.9gSugar: 2.6g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Fruit, Grains, Lunch, Mussels, Oven, Stove Top, Vegetable
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