Oven-Steamed Mussels with Garlic and White Wine
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Mussels in a buttery, garlicky white wine broth make a simple and elegant supper.
Easy to make and inexpensive to buy, mussels make a simple, elegant dinner. Here, they’re steamed in a briny, garlicky, buttery wine broth that begs to be sopped up with crusty bread. The recipe is modestly adapted from Foolproof Fish: Modern Recipes for Everyone, Everywhere by America’s Test Kitchen, a beautiful and practical new cookbook filled with pro tips and seafood recipes galore.
This is a classic recipe, but the cooking method is unique. Because mussels come in a range of sizes, it can be a challenge to cook them evenly. Rather than cramming the mussels into a Dutch oven on the stovetop, the authors steam them in a roomy roasting pan in a blazing-hot oven. After 15 minutes, all of the mussels – big and small – gently yawn open, their juices mingling with the cooking liquid to create a delicious sauce.
What You’ll Need To Make Oven-Steamed Mussels
When you purchase mussels, they’re still alive. After bringing them home from the store, they will stay fresh in the refrigerator for several days. Because they’re alive, avoid storing them in an airtight container. Instead, place them in a bowl covered with a wet paper towel.
When a recipe calls for dry white wine, the best options are Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, or unoaked Chardonnay. Select a bottle that is inexpensive but still good enough to drink.
Most markets sell farm-raised mussels, which are easy to clean — in fact, they are usually already scrubbed and debearded. However, it’s still a good idea to clean them prior to cooking. Simply put them in a colander and run them under cold running water, using your hands or a scrubbing brush to remove any sand or debris. If beards (the little tuft of fibers the mussel uses to connect to rocks or pilings) are present, cut or scrape them off with a paring knife, or use your fingers to pull them sharply down toward the hinged point of the shells.
The mussels should be tightly closed. If you see a mussel that is open, tap it gently against the counter; in a live mussel, this will trigger a reaction to close its shell. If the mussel doesn’t slowly close, it has died and should be discarded. Discard any mussels with cracked shells as well.
Set a large roasting pan on the stovetop over medium heat. Add the oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 30 to 60 seconds. Do not brown.
Add the wine, thyme, and bay leaves and boil until slightly reduced, about 1 minute.
Stir in the salt and mussels.
Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil (remember the edges of the pan will be hot) and transfer to the oven.
Roast until the majority of the mussels have opened, about 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, and place a dishtowel over the handle to remind yourself that it’s hot. Discard any unopened mussels.
Using a wooden spoon, push the mussels to the edges of the pan. Add the butter to the center and stir until melted.
Discard the thyme sprigs and bay leaves and stir in the parsley.
Spoon the mussels and wine broth into bowls and serve with bread.
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Oven-Steamed Mussels with Garlic and White Wine
Mussels in a buttery, garlicky white wine broth make a simple and elegant supper.
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 large garlic cloves, minced
- Pinch red pepper flakes
- 1½ cups dry white wine (see note)
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- Brimming ¼ teaspoon salt
- 4 pounds mussels, scrubbed and debearded (see note)
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 5 pieces
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
- Crusty bread, for serving
- Set an oven rack in the lowest position and preheat the oven to 500°F.
- Set a large roasting pan on the stovetop over medium heat. Add the oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 30 to 60 seconds. Do not brown. Add the wine, thyme, and bay leaves and boil until slightly reduced, about 1 minute.
- Stir in the salt and mussels. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil (remember the edges of the pan will be hot) and transfer to the oven. Roast until the majority of the mussels have opened, about 15 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the oven, and place a dishtowel over the handle to remind yourself that it's hot. Discard any unopened mussels. Using a wooden spoon, push the mussels to the edges of the pan. Add the butter to the center and stir until melted. Discard the thyme sprigs and bay leaves and stir in the parsley. Spoon the mussels and wine broth into bowls and serve with bread.
- Note: When a recipe calls for dry white wine, the best options are Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, or unoaked Chardonnay. Select a bottle that is inexpensive but still good enough to drink.
- Note: Most markets sell farm-raised mussels, which are easy to clean — in fact, they are usually already scrubbed and debearded. However, it’s still a good idea to clean them prior to cooking. Simply put them in a colander and run them under cold running water, using your hands or a scrubbing brush to remove any sand or debris. If beards (the little tuft of fibers the mussel uses to connect to rocks or pilings) are present, cut or scrape them off with a paring knife, or use your fingers to pull them sharply down toward the hinged point of the shells. The mussels should be tightly closed. If you see a mussel that is open, tap it gently against the counter; in a live mussel, this will trigger a reaction to close its shell. If the mussel doesn’t slowly close, it has died and should be discarded. Discard any mussels with cracked shells as well.
- Per serving (2 servings)
- Calories: 693
- Fat: 35 g
- Saturated fat: 12 g
- Carbohydrates: 22 g
- Sugar: 1 g
- Fiber: 1 g
- Protein: 55 g
- Sodium: 1,351 mg
- Cholesterol: 165 mg
This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.
Hi Jenn, I made these recently and it didn’t go so well. I followed the recipe to the letter. I baked the baked them 15 minutes and checked on them only about a third of them had opened. I baked them for another 5 minutes and most of them had opened but only slightly. I thought maybe it was a different kind of mussel than I had never used so I went ahead and served them. Trying to get them out of the shells was very difficult and made the meal kind of a chore. We now have over half of them in the freezer. Not sure if that’s going to work but, couldn’t throw them out right away. :/ The sauce with the bread was excellent. Any ideas of what the problem could have been?
Hi Sharon, I’m sorry you had a problem with them! It really just sounds like you had a stubborn batch of mussels and they needed to be cooked a bit longer. Hope you have a better experience if you make them again!
I made these to go with the Marlyland Crab Cake recipe (another 5*) and Jenn’s roasted baby potatoes. These were fabulous—truly restaurant worthy! And so easy! Mussels are a bit intimidating to me, but the steps were clear and the results delicious.
The mussels turned out perfectly and we loved that delicious broth! This was my first time making mussels and the information in your recipe really helped me. Thanks Jenn!
So good! I will try 14 minutes cook time, maybe one more garlic, and one less butter, but was really good. Reminds me of Paris!
I can’t wait to try these. Would it be OK to double the sauce? We like a lot of broth or would that be too much liquid to cook the mussels? Thank you.
Hi Mary, it would be fine to double the sauce. Hope you enjoy!
Easy and so delicious! The broth is perfect for dipping bread, the mussels tender and flavorful. Wonderful recipe, thank you!
Hi Jenn, I’d like to try this recipe however I don’t have a large roasting pan. Instead, I was thinking of using a large Le Creuset dutch oven (7.25 Quarts/6.7 L) and cooking on the stove top. Would this work? Would I have to prolong the cooking time?
Thanks for tips and advice.
Hi Caroline, I’m not 100 percent sure if that pot will be big enough, but if it is, it should work. And cooking them on the stove should be doable. The cooking time may be a little longer so keep an eye on them. Please LMK how they turn out if you try it!
I am really looking forward to trying this recipe this weekend! My question is can you add cream with/instead of the butter?
Sure, I think that should work. Please LMK how they turn out!
I didnt have white wine so I had to substitute for some chicken stock and apple cider vinegar but they still turned out delicious.
Our family likes these mussels a lot, but the mussels that get the most raves are in Jenn’s cookbook, Mussels with Thai Green Curry Broth. Super easy, super quick, super tasty! Make sure you have a baguette handy for the broth! Even my 4-yr old granddaughter digs in!
Where is this green Thai curry recipe?? Cannot find it in the search tool.
Hi Karen, If you have my first cookbook, it’s on page 124. If you don’t have the cookbook and would like the recipe, just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I love this recipe. I find it helpful to strain the broth at the end to remove any sedimemnt that may have been released from the mussels. As soon as mussels are opened, I remove them and strain the broth. Return to the pan and reduce a little before adding butter and parsley. Broth is rich and silky and you’ll want to drink what’s left!
If the mussels were cleaned properly there should be little or no sediment.Why strain out all that wonderful flavor? If you are worried about sediment I would suggest leaving that last little bit of broth in the pan as the sediment will have fallen to the bottom.Hope this helps.
Great recipe! Makes me feel like I am in a coastal town on vacation.
I love to order mussels at a restaurant, but I’ve never made them. I so appreciated the description of how to tell if the mussels were good or not. The preparation was so much easier than I imagined. The sauce is flavorful and the dish came out perfect. I will definitely make it again.
Yummy, easy and tasted like I ordered from a restaurant. Another five star recipe.
Delicious per usual! Felt like I could order off a highly regarded restaurant menu. I halved the recipes for two of us. Made some bread with this and it was the perfect Saturday night dinner with a good bottle of wine. Thank you again!
This was so easy and delicious. I worked all day and put it together easily when I got home.We had a restaurant quality meal without leaving our home on a cold rainy night. Served it with a salad and toasted homemade bread I had in the freezer. I will make this again and again.
Hi.. if I half the number of mussels, would I also have to half the other ingredients? Also, if I use a creuset pot, can I just use the lid I instead of aluminum foil? Thanks
Yes and yes – hope you enjoy!
I’ve made this recipe twice using local Penn Cove Mussels. It is sooooo good. I’ve shared the recipe with several friends and I describe it as restaurant quality mussels. The first time I made the recipe, I was worried that it might have too strong of wine flavor but I was wrong. This recipe makes a delicious buttery garlic broth and my 11-year-old son who previously wasn’t a fan of mussels ate two servings!
This recipe was adjusted for cooking frozen mussels. I ensured I followed the directions on the packaging for cooking the mussels and used the recipe for all the other ingredients. I did not cook in the oven due to the directions on my frozen mussel packaging but used all the ingredients otherwise and made for a very tasty and quick meal! I covered my mussels with foil while cooking on the cook top.
I have some bags of frozen Patagonia mussels. How can I adjust if mussels frozen
Hi Rhonda, Unfortunately, I don’t think frozen mussels would work here — sorry!
What size is your all-clad roaster please? I see they come in two sizes:
Large Roaster: 16 3/4″ x 13 3/4″ x 2 1/2″ high overall; 5 lb. 4 oz.; holds up to a 20-lb. turkey.
Extra-large Roaster: 18 3/4″ x 14 3/4″ x 2 1/2″ high overall; 7 lb.; holds up to a 25-lb. turkey.
Hi Michele, It’s the large one.
My apologies, that it took so long to rate this recipe. It was delicious. I had 8lbs of mussels and it worked a treat. It did of course take a little bit longer in the oven. As recommended by you I made steak frites and caprise salad and of course lovely bread. It was simple and quite easy for six adults. Oh, and our mussels were from Salt Spring Island 🇨🇦🇨🇦🇨🇦🇨🇦 From the north
I was very skeptical about using the oven for mussels. I have only made them on the stovetop. These were delicious and not overcooked after 15 minutes as the recipe indicated. In fact, they were the juiciest most succulent mussels I have ever had. We loved them! Definitely will make again! Easy, simple, fantastic! It probably helps that we live near the south shore of Nova Scotia and bought our mussels directly from a mussel farm. So fresh! Thanks for yet another keeper Jenn! ❤️
Made this for dinner to celebrate my social distancing birthday and it was SO good and unbelievably quick and easy to whip up. I used an oblong shaped Le Creuset since my roaster is not stovetop compatible. I cut the recipe in half to reduce the serving size. I cannot wait to make this for others (it may be be just the recipe to make people think I can cook!). Jenn—you are not kidding when you say “tested and perfected recipes”.
We tried this recipe for for dinner this week, and it was good, but not great. The sauce was thin and lacked a robust flavor. I followed the recipe to a “t” – wondering what went wrong. I generally love your recipes, and although the final result sure looked pretty, I probably won’t make this one again.
I’m planning to make this for myself (1 serving but this girl can eat)—can I cut the ingredients in half and use either a large skillet with tall sides or a large Dutch oven? My roaster isn’t the type that can be used on the stovetop. Thank you!
Sure, Ling – that will work.
Dutch oven is what I used.
Made this tonight! So simple, flavorful and absolutely delicious! Cut the recipe in half and ate the whole thing by myself with crusty bread for dinner. I also cut way back on the olive oil (1 tsp) and it worked perfectly. This is a keeper per usual Jenn!
I intend making this on the weekend for five or six adults. Can you suggest something to serve as a starter and/or alongside. I will have bread, just don’t want folks to be hungry
Hi Marjory, I would serve them with roasted potatoes (the ones from my cookbook would be delicious) or french fries and maybe a simple green salad or a tomato (or caprese) salad.
I planned to serve this Mussel recipe for my husbands birthday today. His family is from the east coast of Canada and when I heard my husband utter the word “AWESOME” I knew I had a winning recipe. I will be making again and again.
I made the recipe as is and would NOT adjust at all.
Thank you very much!
I only have a large non stick roasting pan. Do you think that would be fine? Thank you!
Hi Janet, as long as it’s oven-safe it will work. Hope you enjoy!
I know this is going to be terrific, like everything else you’ve given us. My question: can I use a bottle that I opened last week? It’s a bit not on the delicious drinkable side anymore but I hear that wines like that are ok for cooking. Is that so? Thanks!
Hi Sandra, I think you can get away with it. Hope you enjoy!
Can clams be used instead of mussels?
Sure, Gerry — enjoy!
Depends on the clams. Hard shell clams (Mercenaria mercenaria) may be too tough cooked like this unless they’re very small, but soft shell clams (Mya arenaria) would be good.
In Barcelona, one of my favorite seafood places cooks their clams on an cast iron plate upon a woodfire grill. The clams cook quickly and are delicious. When I read this recipe, I thought of using clams first.
Looks delicious. I have done a similar mussel dish like this on the grill instead of the oven. I have never gone 15 minutes on the grill. Is there a reason for so long? Perhaps the amount of mussels? I usually do two pounds. P.S. I have tried many of your recipes. They were all excellent. Thank you!
Hi Lois, Yes I believe it is because there are so many. Feel free to peek a little earlier to see if they open up. Glad you enjoy the recipes!
This looks amazing. Love your roasting pan too.
What if you want to use frozen mussels. Could you and would recipe remain the same?
Thanks again fir all your wonderful recipes.
Hi Sunny, I wouldn’t recommend frozen mussels here- sorry!
Thanks. Good to know.