Garlic Butter Mussels with White Wine

steamed mussel in pot

Garlic Butter Mussels with White Wine

All the best things in one pot. Steamed mussels are wondering with bread, fries, potatoes, pasta…this list goes on. You can also experiment with the flavor by adding your favorite seasonings and spices. Some ideas:

  • Thai steamed mussels – with lemon grass and Thai chili
  • Spicy coconut mussels – with jalapeño, cilantro, ginger, scallions, coconut milk
  • Italian steamed mussels – with garlic, red wine, tomato sauce
  • Amatriciana mussels – with pancetta, tomatoes, white wine, chili flakes, parmesan
steamed mussel in pot

Butter or Olive Oil?

I used half butter and half olive oil to give it the fragrance while saving a tiny bit on my guilt. In the end it doesn’t make too much difference which you use, the important thing is to have some fat to bring out the flavor of the garlic.

steamed garlic mussels with bread

How to clean mussels

Rinse the mussels in cold water and pull out the beard sticking out from the shell. The mussels use this to hang on to rocks in the water, and it is scratchy and not fun to eat. Scrub each mussels with your fingers or a brush to get rid of debris on the shell. Throw away any mussels that are open – these are the rotten eggs, and you don’t want to eat them!

close up of cooked mussels

Can I use frozen mussels?

Wellllll. Technically you could, but they won’t be very tasty. The flesh of the mussel is so small already, it doesn’t really stand up well to freezing and then defrosting. Frozen mussel is usually dry and rubbery and not fun to eat. I have tried vacuum sealed and refrigerated mussels before, and they are passable, but I would not recommend frozen mussels.

steamed mussels in pot
steamed mussels in pot

Steamed Garlic Butter Mussels with White Wine

Simple and delicious recipe for steamed mussels with fresh garlic, parsley, and white wine. Goes perfectly with toasted bread or pasta.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine Italian, Mediterranean
Servings 4


  • 1 kg Fresh mussels, clean and remove the beard
  • 6 cloves Garlic, peeled and smashed or chopped
  • 150 g Butter , can substitute with olive oil
  • 1 cup Dry white wine
  • 1 bunch Parsley, flat or curly are both okay. Flat will have stronger flavor.
  • 1 Lemon, optional


  • Clean mussels by rinsing it in cold water and pulling out the beard (the fuzzy thing sticking out)
  • Heat butter or oil in a large pot. Add garlic and fry on medium heat until fragrant – don't burn it!
  • Add mussels and toss around to coat with butter or oil
  • Add white wine and cover. Steam for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • When the mussels are all open, they're done! Turn off the heat and mix in parsley. Optional to squeeze in lemon juice based on your preference.
  • Serve with fresh bread or fries. Don't eat any mussels that didn't open.

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Keyword mussels, seafood, shellfish

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