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Nov 18, 2022

Mussels with White Wine and Garlic

These mussels with white wine and garlic are a classic French dish with a huge "wow" factor that is suprisingly easy to prepare. 

French Mussels with White Wine and Garlic in a bowl.

Serve these French-style mussels, or Moules Marinières, as a first course with crusty garlic cheese bread, or as a main course over pasta or French fries, for a wonderful dinner for two. 

If I go to a seafood restaurant and spy mussels on the menu, I will always order them, sometimes as a shared appetizer, and sometimes as my dinner. My favorite place serves them with crusty baguettes toasted with garlic and cheese. 

I can't wait to dip the bread into the delicious broth between bites of the amazing mussels. 

Mussels with White Wine and Garlic in a bowl.

If you love mussels, you will love the simplicity of this dish. 

Ingredient Notes:

For the mussels, you can usually find them already cleaned from better fish mongers or food stores. If they they are not cleaned, just scrub them under cool running water. Remove the beards, which are hanging from a seam, and discard any mussels that won't close if you gently tap them. Do not keep them in fresh water and do not let them freeze. 

In fact, if your fish monger has sealed the bag, unseal it immediately in the car so that the mussels can breath (same with clams). 

In addtion, after cooking, discard any mussels that haven't opened during the steaming process. 

I'm always nervous about keeping both clams and mussels alive before I cook them, so I like to prep everything, go buy them, and cook them right away. Definitely do not store them in a closed container, or they won't be able to breath. Instead, cover them in a shallow bowl with a damp cloth in the refrigerator. 

Mussels with White Wine and Garlic in a shallow bowl.

Or be like me and run to the store and come home and cook them right away!


You can also use frozen cooked mussels. Follow the recipe instructions, adding the frozen mussels when you would add the live mussels, and cook until the mussels open, about 8 to 12 minutes. Pre-cooked mussels that don't open can safely be pried open. 

For the wine:

I used sauvignon blanc, but any good dry white wine will work. 

For the broth:

You can use chicken broth, clam juice, or if you have some available, homemade shrimp stock that you've made from shrimp shells. I also love using Better Than Bouillon flavors when adding a bit of stock or broth to a dish. The jars keep for a long time in your fridge and you only need to use as much as the recipe calls for. 

Mussels with White Wine and Garlic in a bowl over noodles.

I have several jars and use them all of the time. 

What to Serve With these Mussels:

You can cook some fetuccine, spaghetti, or other pasta and top it with these mussels and the sauce. You can also serve them with a big batch of shoestring fries. 

My favorite way to serve these mussels is with lots of crusty bread, either grilled or toasted with cheese and garlic. 

To make the grilled bread, split some baguettes or ciabatta, brush them with some olive oil and place them on a grill pan or hot grill until the bread is toasty and has grill marks. 

To make the cheesy garlic bread, brush the cut bread with olive oil and toast it in a 375 degree oven until crispy. In the meantime, mash together some grated cheese, minced garlic, and granulated or powdered garlic, and spread it over the crisped bread and then broil it until the cheese is bubbly. You could also top it with extra Parmesan for even more cheesiness. 

You'll thank me for this later. 

You May Also Like these Recipes with Mussels:

Mussels with Leeks and Chiles

Greek Seafood Rice

Paella with Shrimp, Chicken, Chorizo, and Mussels

Italian Seafood Salad

Viet-Cajun Seafood Boil

Mussels with White Wine and Garlic with garlic cheese bread.

Welcome to this month's Fish Friday Foodies. Our host, Palatable Pastime has chosen Mussels as the theme. 

Fish Friday Foodies Mussels Recipes:

Mussels with White Wine and Garlic in a bowl with garlic bread on the side.

Be sure to use a big wide pot or skillet, preferably with a see-through lid, so you can watch to see if when the mussels open. You don't want to overcook them or they will become rubbery. 

If you like, you can add a bit of cream or more butter at the end. 

Mussels with White Wine and Garlic (Moules Marinières)

Mussels with White Wine and Garlic (Moules Marinières)
Yield: 4 appetizer or 2 main course servings
Author: Karen's Kitchen Stories
Prep time: 15 MinCook time: 15 MinTotal time: 30 Min
These mussels with white wine and garlic are a classic French dish with a huge "wow" factor that is suprisingly easy to prepare.


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 white onion, finely chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Roma or Campari tomato, cut into 1/4 inch dice
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken or seafood broth or stock
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 pounds cleaned mussels
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream or butter (optional)
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


  1. In a 12-inch wide, deep skillet, preferably with a glass lid, melt the butter and olive oil. Add the chopped onion and cook over medium low heat for about 8 minutes, until softened and lightly browned.
  2. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoe, and cook for 2 minutes more.
  3. Add the wine and broth and bring to a boil over medium heat. Add the lemon juice and the mussels, cover the pot, and lower the heat to medium low and cook the mussels until the majority of them open, about 3 to 6 minutes.
  4. Remove the lid and sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Remove any unopened mussels and discard.
  5. Off heat, optionally, add the cream or additional butter and stir.
  6. Pour the mussels and the juices/broth into a shallow bowl and sprinkle with the chopped parsley.
  7. Serve immediately.

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mussels, seafood
appetizer, main dish
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  1. Great tips about storing the mussels. I usually bury them in crushed ice and put them in the refrigerator until ready to use them but if not using the same day, you have to drain them so I put them in a colander over a bowl, drain the bowl and keep adding ice.

  2. I love mussels--and great tips. I was afraid to buy at Costco last week becuase they were sealed in plastic wrap and I didn't know how long they'd been like that.


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