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Feb 19, 2021

Mussels with Leeks and Chilies

Leeks, chilies, tomatoes, wine, and garlic help create a delicious bowl of steaming hot delicious mussels. 

Mussels with Leeks and Chilies in a bowl

Be sure you have a lot of crusty bread at the table to sop up all of the delicious juices. 

The combination of leeks, shallots, tomatoes, and chilies add amazing flavor to steamed mussels. 

Tips for making mussels with leeks and chilies:

Be sure to use your largest skillet that has a lid. It's best to cook the mussels in a single layer so that they cook evenly. If your pan has a glass lid, even better, so you can watch for the mussels to open while they cook. 

Use wine that you enjoy drinking. I uses a sauvignon blanc, but any dry white wine that you enjoy will be delicious. 

For the chilies, I used a combination of jalapeño and Fresno chilies because I liked the combination of green and red, plus they add just the right amount of heat for me. These chilies also get milder during the cooking process. If you want more heat, you can add a serrano chili or two. 

Mussels with Leeks and Chilies ingredients

For the tomatoes, I used Campari tomatoes. They are my new favorite supermarket tomatoes. You could also use Roma tomatoes. 

The mussels you buy should be completely closed before cooking them. If they are partially open, you can test them by tapping them lightly against the sink and see if they close on their own. You can also shock them under cold running water to see if they close. If they remain open, discard them. 

Mussels cook very quickly, in about four minutes. Have a large bowl ready with a colander inside for parking the cooked mussels while you finish cooking the sauce. Be sure to cover the the mussels with a towel to keep them warm. 

Note: You can substitute clams for the mussels if you prefer. Just keep in mind that the cooking time will be longer, about 7 to 10 minutes, depending on their size. 

For a more traditionally prepared steamed mussels dish, be sure to try Mussels in White Wine and Garlic too

Mussels with Leeks and Chilies in a pan

Buy about 1/2 pound of mussels per person if you are serving this for dinner. I served these with toasted cheesy garlic bread, which was excellent dipped in the juices or piled with the leek and chili mixture. 

In fact, I had some leftover vegetables and sauce, which I saved. The next day I made more garlic cheese bread and topped the slices with the reheated leek and chili sauce for an amazing lunch. 

Just toast some crusty bread and then top it with garlic butter and sprinkle it with cheese (I used provolone), and broil it until the cheese is bubbly. 

Mussels with Leeks and Chilies with garlic cheese bread

To serve these mussels, divide them and the sauce among four bowls and place a big empty bowl in the center of the table for the empty shells. If you have them, provide small cocktail forks for fishing the meat out of the shells. Otherwise, salad forks are fine. 

Be sure to have plenty of crusty bread to share, along with a big green salad. 

If you want a side dish, you can always serve these with rice, but I really love these with crispy home fries or even French fries. 

Leftovers can be easily reheated in the microwave or on the stovetop. 

Mussels with Leeks, Garlic and Chilies

Welcome to this month's Fish Friday Foodies created by Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm! Our host this month is Stacy of Food Lust People Love, and our theme is bivalves and gastropods. 

What are bivalves and gastropods? 

Bivalves include clams, oysters, cockles, mussels, and scallops. Gastropods include sea snails, limpets, winkles, whelks, abalone and conch. 

Be sure to check out everyone's delicious dishes: 

Mussels with Leeks and Chilies

Mussels with Leeks and Chilies
Yield: 4 servings
Author: Karen's Kitchen Stories
Leeks, chilies, tomatoes, wine, and garlic help create a delicious bowl of steaming mussels.


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 4 medium leeks, white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise and thoroughly washed and dried
  • 2 jalapeños, thinly sliced, seeds removed
  • 2 Fresno chilies, thinly sliced, seeds removed
  • 1/2 cup minced shallots
  • 2 tablepoons minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more if needed
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper, plus more if needed
  • 1/8 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 2 pounds mussels, scrubbed and debearded
  • 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
  • 4 Campari or plum tomatoes, small dice


  1. Heat a very large skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil, butter, and fennel seeds. Cook for 1 minute.
  2. Add the leeks and chilies and cook for 2 minutes. 
  3. Add the shallots, garlic, salt, and pepper, and cook over medium high heat for 1 to 2 minutes. 
  4. Add the paprika and dried parsley and stir. 
  5. Add the mussels and wine and cover the pan tightly with the lid and shake the pan to distribute the mussels. 
  6. Cook until all of the mussels have opened, about 4 minutes. Quickly remove the mussels with a spider or slotted spoon into colander set over a bowl. Cover them with a towel to keep them warm. 
  7. Lower the heat to medium and cook the leeks and chilies for 5 minutes.  Add the tomatoes to the pan, along with any juices that have accumulated under the mussels. Cook for an additional 5 minutes. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed. 
  8. Add the mussels back to the pan, stir, and then cook, covered, for 1 minute to reheat the mussels. 
  9. Divide the mussels among four bowls and and the divide the sauce among the bowls. Serve immediately. 
American, French
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Would you like to comment?

  1. Back in the days when we could still travel, mussels were our go-to seaside restaurant dish order. Your wonderful potful conjures up good memories for me, Karen. Thank you. Now I need to make it myself!

    1. Mussels are always a favorite for me! Do make these!

  2. Oh my goodness you crammed a whole lot of flavor into that gorgeous dish!

  3. The colors are vibrant and inviting. This is very flavorful one!

  4. I love muscles and the colors in this dish are fantastic!

  5. I haven't had mussels in ages and these look so flavorful and really good!


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