Mussels



Mussels are cheap, delicious and so easy to make. You don't even have to guess when they're done: they'll tell you by opening right up. They're usually steamed in a flavorful sauce and served with a big hunk of crusty bread or a helping of fries. If you plan to cook up a big pot of mussels for some friends (or just yourself), turn to Food & Wine's guide to discover unexpected flavor ideas, perfect drink pairings and tips from expert chefs like Alain Ducasse and José Andrés.

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Mussels Avgolemono

Like many a northern Midwesterner, my need for seafood hits its fever pitch now, after the solstice, when temperatures dip below zero and a sloshed cup of coffee freezes on my boots like toffee-colored ice—when our world is covered in a quilt of snow and is as far removed from rushing water as it will ever be. I like to cook in time with the seasons as much as anyone, but the frozen landscape makes the whole seasonal eating thing seem almost quaint—as if it’s an ethic for other, less desperate people to follow. In a way, the lack of fresh produce in winter feels creatively freeing. Winter cooking makes you dig for better search material; it’s a blank tape that I can shove into my kitchen VCR. I may cook in a snow-buried bunker stocked with nuts and potatoes and unusual ramen noodles, but I still have greedy, irrational cravings. If I squint just right into the sun glare hitting the snow drifts, I see a beach. When the arctic air cuts through my nose, swift and hygienic, I immediately think of mussels, soft herbs, and a cleansing lemon sauce. But the whipping Minnesota winds demand warming, comforting food, like avgolemono, the classic lemony Greek soup gently thickened with egg. Mussels cooked like avgolemono, is that a thing? Well, it is now—a dish that represents everything I want but can’t have. So when my brother Marc proposes that we order some West Coast oysters for the Christmas feast, I swiftly add mussels to the online cart. The day they’re set to arrive, two feet of snow falls, making our driveway impassable to even the most hardcore of northern UPS trucks. After calling friends and pulling favors, I get our driver’s personal cell number and agree to meet him at the country store five miles down the road. In my kitchen, I dump the clattering mussels into the sink and pull on their wiry little beards; they free with satisfying pops. I sweat sliced shallots and a dangerous amount of garlic in butter, add the mussels, and then thicken the winey sauce with egg yolks and the juice of one too many lemons. Against the backdrop of the blizzard, the bright yellow marine sauce tastes thrillingly improper. I’m so glad I saved the UPS driver’s number, because I’m definitely doing this again.
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Grill-Steamed Mussels


These tasty steamed mussels get cooked in a foil pack right on the grill, which is ideal for summer when you want to be cooking outdoors. Food & Wine’s Justin Chapple adds a smoky and spicy hit of chipotle in adobo sauce to the mussels, but if you like less heat, feel free to cut back or omit that altogether. Slideshow: More Mussels Recipes
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Moules à la Crème

Chef Ludo Lefebvre shares his easy and delicious recipe for the Moules à la crème. For a step-by-step guide on how to make this classic French dish, watch this video.
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Penn Cove Mussels 
in Hard Cider


Seattle chef Renee Erickson grew up eating supersimple steamed mussels, but a trip to Normandy inspired this dish, where the mussels are cooked with cider and crème fraîche. Slideshow: Mussels
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11 Ways to Use Steamed Mussels

Sure, you can just serve steamed mussels with crusty bread but you can also transform them into brand new dishes.
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11 Ways to Upgrade Steamed Mussels

Mussels are inexpensive, sustainable and easy to cook. It’s no wonder chefs love to play around with the flavors they use when steaming them.
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More Mussel

Mussels

These fantastic recipes for briny mussels include Tuscan tomato bread soup, creamy cavatelli and the classic Italian American fish stew, cioppino.
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Steamed Mussels with Tomato-and-Garlic Broth

Mussels have three things going for them: They're cheap, quick to cook, and delicious. Using clean farmed mussels negates their one big drawback—the tedious chore of scrubbing and debearding.    More Amazing Seafood Recipes  
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