Spice up your dinner with white wine mussels

Welcome, wine lovers! I’m here to introduce you to a delicious recipe for spicy mussels in white wine sauce. This dish is perfect for seafood enthusiasts and spice lovers alike. The combination of the succulent mussels, the delicate white wine sauce with a kick of spiciness is simply irresistible.

Preparing this dish with dry white wine, garlic, onion, red pepper flakes, and San Marzano tomatoes elevates its flavor to whole new heights. And let’s not forget about the fennel seeds that add a sweet and fragrant aroma to the dish. Trust me; you don’t want to miss out on this experience.

As a sommelier, my job is not only to suggest pairings for different types of wine, but it’s also about telling stories that can enhance your culinary experience. That’s why I believe this recipe deserves your attention!

So grab your apron and let’s get cooking! With this recipe, you can impress your friends or loved ones with a restaurant-quality meal that is quick and easy to make but full of flavors that will linger in their memories long after the meal has ended.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

spicy mussels in white wine sauce
spicy mussels in white wine sauce

Mussels are considered to be one of the most delectable seafood delicacies. When prepared correctly, they can make you feel like you’re at a seaside restaurant in Italy. Spicy mussels in white wine sauce are the perfect way to enjoy these tasty shellfish with a little bit of kick.

This recipe is an absolute delight for seafood lovers, especially those who enjoy a spicy twist to their meals. The dish comes together beautifully due to the dry crushed red pepper and fennel seeds that lend their distinct flavor profile to the dish. The aroma and flavors of this dish will take you on an exotic journey from the very first bite.

The white wine sauce is silky smooth and creamy, giving it the right amount of tanginess and depth. A dry white wine like Sauvignon Blanc complements the flavors of the mussels without overwhelming them. The wine is absorbed by the mussels, creating a sweet and spicy broth that is simply irresistible.

This is a perfect recipe for entertaining guests or if you’re looking for something special for date night. It’s also versatile and can be plated in various ways. For instance, try serving it over spaghetti or as a starter with crusty bread. You could even pair it with a salad to make it more wholesome.

In short, spicy mussels in white wine sauce are simply exceptional – they offer a combination of tantalizing flavors that make every taste bud dance with excitement. If you are looking for something delicious, unique, and impressive, then you’ll absolutely love this recipe!

Ingredient List

 Dive into the delicious flavors of spicy mussels in white wine sauce!
Dive into the delicious flavors of spicy mussels in white wine sauce!

Below is the list of ingredients you’ll need to make this delicious Spicy Mussels in White Wine Sauce recipe:

Main Ingredients

  • 2 pounds fresh mussels, scrubbed and debearded
  • 2 cups dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry crushed red pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
  • Salt, to taste

Flavor Enhancers

  • 1 can tomato sauce (14 oz)
  • Lemon slices 1/4 inch thick, for garnish
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves

Make sure to have all the ingredients before starting with the recipe. It’s better to have everything prepared beforehand as it might get challenging to look for something at the last moment.

The Recipe How-To

 The perfect combination of oceanic and spiciness notes in one dish.
The perfect combination of oceanic and spiciness notes in one dish.

1. Scrub and debeard 2 pounds of fresh mussels.
2. In a large pot over medium-high heat, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

Sautéing the Aromatics
1. Add 1 chopped onion, 3 cloves of minced garlic, and 1 tablespoon of crushed fennel seeds to the pot.
2. Season with 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and crushed red pepper and sauté until the onion is light brown, about 3 minutes.

Adding Wine and Tomatoes to Make Sauce
1. Add 2 cups of dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc, to the pot.
2. Add a can of tomato sauce (14 oz) and a few slices of lemon.
3. Bring the mixture to a boil and lower the heat to simmer for another 5 minutes until slightly thickened.

Cooking Mussels
1. Add the prepared mussels to the pot.
2. Turn up the heat to high and cover the pan.
3. Cook for about 5-6 minutes or until all mussels have opened.
4. Discard any unopened mussels.

Garnish and Serve
1. Remove from heat and garnish with freshly chopped parsley leaves and slices of lemon.
2. Pour spicy mussels in white wine sauce in a bowl or over pasta and serve immediately.

Enjoy this delicious seafood dish that has just the right amount of spice!

Substitutions and Variations

 One pot, many flavors! Get ready to enjoy a delightful feast of mussels in sauce.
One pot, many flavors! Get ready to enjoy a delightful feast of mussels in sauce.


One of the best things about this recipe is how versatile it is. There are countless ways to customize and make it your own. Here are a few substitutions and variations you can try:

1. Wine Type: Although the recipe calls for Sauvignon Blanc, you can use any dry white wine that you have on hand. A Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, or even a dry Riesling would work well.

2. Tomatoes: Instead of using tomato sauce, try adding fresh tomatoes to the dish. You could even use canned diced tomatoes if that’s all you have available.

3. Spiciness: If you prefer your mussels less spicy, reduce the amount of crushed red pepper in the recipe or leave it out entirely. If you want them spicier, add some additional red pepper flakes or even some chopped jalapeños.

4. Cream Sauce: If you’re not a fan of tomato-based sauces, try making a cream sauce instead. Start by cooking some chopped bacon in olive oil until crispy. Remove the bacon from the pan and set aside. Add minced garlic to the pan and sauté for 1-2 minutes, then stir in 1/4 cup of white wine and cook for another minute. Add 1 cup of heavy cream and simmer for 3-4 minutes, then stir in a pinch of smoked paprika and black pepper. Return the cooked bacon to the pan and toss with cooked mussels.

5. Pasta: Turn this dish into a pasta by cooking some spaghetti according to package instructions and tossing it with the spicy tomato sauce and steamed mussels. You could also add some cooked chorizo to the dish for extra flavor.

6. Frozen Mussels: If fresh mussels aren’t available, you can use frozen mussels instead. Just be sure to thaw them completely before using in the dish.

No matter how you choose to switch up this recipe, it will undoubtedly be delicious. Play around with different ingredients and cooking techniques until you find your perfect version of spicy mussels in white wine sauce.

Serving and Pairing

 Fresh, plump mussels bathing in a fragrant white wine sauce will definitely awaken your senses.
Fresh, plump mussels bathing in a fragrant white wine sauce will definitely awaken your senses.

The spicy mussels in white wine sauce is best served with a crusty baguette, which can be used to mop up the delicious and flavorful sauce. This classic French bread pairs perfectly with the white wine in the mussels, as well as the hint of spices from the crushed red pepper and fennel seeds.

In addition to baguette, you may also serve the spicy mussels over a bed of spaghetti or linguine pasta for a more substantial meal. The pasta works great with the spicy tomato sauce and adds an extra dimension of texture to the dish.

As for wine pairing, I recommend serving this dish with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc. This dry white wine pairs well with seafood and has just enough acidity to balance out the spice in the mussels. A perfect complement to this recipe would be a chilled glass of 2019 Joel Gott Sauvignon Blanc from California or a 2018 Domaine de la Pierre Sèche Sauvignon Blanc from Loire Valley.

If you don’t like Sauvignon Blanc, then you can opt for Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio or Albariño but it’s important to maintain some minerality and citrus notes so that your wine doesn’t overpower the delicate flavors of the mussels.

Overall, this is a perfect dinner party recipe that pairs well with refreshing whites but everyone has their own tastes and preferences when it comes to pairing up food and wine so don’t be shy to experiment with wines you might already have in your cellars. Cheers!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Seafood lovers, gather around. Spicy mussels in white wine sauce is the dish to try!
Seafood lovers, gather around. Spicy mussels in white wine sauce is the dish to try!

Our spicy mussels in white wine sauce is an incredibly versatile dish that can be enjoyed both fresh or as a leftover. In fact, it’s best to make them ahead so that the flavors have time to meld together, making it even more delicious! When storing and reheating them, keep the following tips in mind for perfectly cooked mussels every time.

To make ahead, simply prepare and cook the mussels as per the recipe instructions. Once they’ve cooled down to room temperature, store them in an airtight container and refrigerate. You can keep them in the refrigerator for up to two days.

When reheating, it’s important to not overcook them as this will result in tough and rubbery mussels. To heat them up, transfer your mussels into a saucepan with a few tablespoons of water and a little bit of white wine over medium heat. Cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid and let it steam for a few minutes until heated through – around 3-5 minutes should do it!

If you’re planning on re-heating them in the microwave, then you’ll need to gently reheat on low power settings. Be sure to stir the mussels regularly to ensure that they heat evenly. The re-heating time will depend on your microwave wattage.

When serving leftover mussels, always be sure to discard any with remaining shells tightly closed. It’s also crucial to keep the remaining broth in which they were cooked as this is packed full of flavor – perfect for dipping bread!

Whether you’re enjoying fresh or reheated spicy mussels in white wine sauce recipe itself or adding them to pastas or dishes like spicy tomato sauce or garlicky buttered noodles alongside chorizo, smoked paprika or bacon, our storage tips will ensure that they remain succulent and flavorful every time!

Tips for Perfect Results

 A tantalizing aroma from the herbs and spices will make you want to dig in.
A tantalizing aroma from the herbs and spices will make you want to dig in.

To get the best results out of this spicy mussels in white wine sauce recipe, keep in mind the following tips:

1. Cook the mussels just until they open: Overcooking can ruin the flavor and texture of the mussels. It’s important to keep a close eye on them and remove them from the heat as soon as they open.

2. Use high-quality dry white wine: Since wine is a crucial ingredient in this dish, choosing a good quality wine can make all the difference. Sauvignon Blanc is a great option for this recipe because it has fruity notes and adds a crisp acidity to the sauce.

3. Don’t skimp on garlic and onion: These two ingredients add depth and aroma to the sauce, so be generous with them!

4. Season the sauce well: The combination of crushed red pepper, fennel seeds, and salt will give this dish its signature spicy kick. However, feel free to adjust the level of spiciness to your liking.

5. Garnish with fresh herbs: A sprinkle of chopped fresh parsley can add freshness to the dish and balance out the bold flavors.

By following these tips, you’ll be sure to impress your guests with perfectly cooked mussels in a delicious, spicy white wine sauce.


Before we conclude, let me address some of the frequently asked questions regarding this spicy mussels in white wine sauce recipe. Whether you are an experienced cook or a novice in the kitchen, it’s always helpful to have some additional guidance. Here are some of the burning questions and concerns that people often encounter when making this dish.

What is the best white wine to cook mussels in?

A delicious dish of baked mussels coated with garlicky breadcrumbs pairs wonderfully with a crisp and dry Pinot Grigio, an Italian white wine. However, one may also opt for a fruity Sauvignon Blanc, like the Sauvignon de Touraine or an unoaked Chardonnay, and still enjoy a perfect pairing with the dish.

What wine is best for steaming mussels?

When it comes to Steamed Mussels, it’s important to find a wine that won’t hide the delicate taste of the shellfish. That’s why I recommend pairing this dish with crisp and steely wines such as Muscadet, Chablis, Vermentino or Sauvignon Blanc. These wines have neutral flavors that will harmonize well with the natural sweetness and saltiness of the mussels without stealing the show.

What to serve with white wine mussels?

As a sommelier, part of my job is to suggest food pairings that bring out the best qualities in each wine I recommend. Some dishes that work particularly well with certain types of wine include classic French fries, saffron-infused rice, and aromatic garlic bread. For those who enjoy a bit of sweetness with their meal, sweet potato fries are a perfect match, as are garlic parmesan potato wedges – truly the best of both worlds. Another option is to accompany your wine with a toasty baguette, which goes well with a range of toppings, from tomato sauce to cheese and cured meats. Whatever pairing you choose, my goal is to help you elevate your dining experience with some expert wine recommendations.

What wine goes with mussels in tomato sauce?

In this article, I will be diving into three distinct wine types: a Chilean Sauvignon Blanc, a German Riesling, and an Australian Shiraz. The Sauvignon Blanc is a dry white wine, while the Riesling is a wine type from Germany. The Shiraz, hailing from Langhorne Creek in Australia, is a dry and oaked red wine. Join me as I share interesting stories and suggest perfect pairing dishes for each type.

Bottom Line

As a sommelier, I can confidently recommend the perfect wine pairing for this delicious recipe: a dry white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc. The wine’s light and crisp acidity cuts through the richness and spice of the sauce, perfectly complementing the flavors of the mussels.

The spicy mussels in white wine sauce recipe is not only incredibly tasty but also easy to make, making it a great weekday dinner option or a party pleaser. So, if you’re in the mood for something satisfying and flavorful, give this recipe a go!

Just remember to experiment with some substitutions and variations to find your perfect combination. Add in some smoked paprika, shallots or even chopped chorizo for extra flavour. Cook up spaghetti and toss it into that delicious sauce for another variant. And don’t forget to pour into a glass of chilled Sauvignon Blanc to fully appreciate the dish.

In conclusion, this recipe is an absolute winner for seafood enthusiasts or anyone looking for a flavourful meal. So don’t hesitate to give it a try and start exploring new spices, herbs and cooking styles for your next culinary adventure!

spicy mussels in white wine sauce

spicy mussels in white wine sauce Recipe

this recipe is from an old gourmet magazine. i made it last night and just loved it, quick, easy and the heat can be adjusted to taste. serve this with crusty french bread to get all the broth. this can be an appetizer for 6, but i can almost eat it all myself!
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Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 8 mins
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Fusion
Calories 945.3 kcal


  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon dry crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 slices lemons, 1/4 inch thick
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 1/2 lbs fresh mussels, scrubbed,debearded
  • 1/2 cup chopped seeded tomatoes


  • Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat.
  • Add onion, garlic, fennel seeds, crushed red pepper and salt; sauté until onion is light brown, about 4 minutes.
  • Add wine, lemon slices and 1/4 cup parsley; bring to boil.
  • Add mussels.
  • Cover pot and cook until mussel shells open, stirring once to rearrange mussels, about 6 minutes; discard any mussels that do not open.
  • Using slotted spoon, transfer mussels to large shallow bowl.
  • Boil broth in pot until reduced to 1 cup, about 3 minutes; season to taste with pepper.
  • Pour broth over mussels.
  • Sprinkle tomatoes and remaining parsley over.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 275gCalories: 945.3kcalCarbohydrates: 32.8gProtein: 69.4gFat: 49.2gSaturated Fat: 7.4gCholesterol: 158.8mgSodium: 2224.2mgFiber: 2.5gSugar: 3.8g
Keyword < 30 Mins, Mussels, Stove Top
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