Mussels in white wine sauce is a dish that combines fresh mussels, garlic, white wine, parsley, and a touch of butter.  This is a wonderful appetizer to any main course and is especially good with crusty bread to mop up the sauce!

Mussels with white wine sauce in white plate.

 

Mussels are a favorite appetizer in our home for a few reasons.

They’re inexpensive, easy to make, and go well with so many different types of sauces.

Mussels steamed in white wine is a wonderful dish to make in the summer, but we also love it for Christmas Eve’s Feast of the Seven Fishes along with shrimp oreganata and baccala Napoletana.

Be sure to serve it with plenty of crusty bread to mop up the delicious white wine sauce!

Ingredients shown: white wine, garlic, butter, olive oil, chili flakes, mussels, and parsley.

How to make it

Each number corresponds to the numbered written steps below.

  1. Clean 2 pounds of mussels by scrubbing with a scrub brush to remove any loose debris.  Look over the mussels for any beards that weren’t removed in the processing facility.  Beards can be removed by grabbing with a cloth and pulling toward the hinge of the mussel.  Mince a 1/4 cup of flat-leaf Italian parsley and 6 cloves of garlic.

Mussels in white wine sauce recipe process shot collage group number one.

  1. In a large pan over medium-low heat, saute the garlic in 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil until golden, about 2 minutes.  Add a 1/4 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes and cook for another 30 seconds.
  2. Add 1 cup of dry white wine and bring to a boil for 2 minutes. 

Recipe process shot collage group number two.

  1. Turn the heat down to medium-high and add the mussels to the pan. 
  2. Cover the pan and allow the mussels to cook for about 3-5 minutes.

Recipe process shot collage group number three.

  1. Once the mussels have opened, remove the lid.
  2. Turn the heat down to low and add 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter and parsley.

Recipe process shot collage group number four.

  1. Stir together to get all of the garlic and parsley into the mussel shells.  After 1 minute, remove the pan from the heat.  Taste test the sauce and add salt and pepper to taste.  Serve with crusty bread to mop up the sauce.  Enjoy!

Mussels in white wine sauce in white bowl with tiny fork.

Top tips for awesome mussels in white wine sauce

  • Mussels. We used PEI (Prince Edward Island) mussels for this recipe. Mussels are often sold already cleaned but you should 100% look them over regardless.  Discard any broken mussels and give them a good scrub with a scrub brush and check for any beards (furry threads that protrude from the shells) before cooking them.  Beards can be removed by grabbing them with a clean towel (to avoid slipping) and pulling them out.  Use some force in a back and forth motion or just pull toward the hinge of the mussel.  
  • Garlic. We used garlic in this recipe, but shallots would also be amazing here if you prefer.
  • Wine. We used a sauvignon blanc for this white wine sauce recipe but any dry white wine will work well here.
  • Cooking the mussels. For the most part, live mussels will open within 3-5 minutes of cooking.  Any mussels that do not open after bout 5-7 minutes were likely dead prior to cooking and should be discarded.  
  • When to eat.  Most dishes that involve mussels, clams, or other seafood are best served right away.  If you have to reheat the mussels, we recommend doing so over low heat in the saucepan. The microwave should be avoided.

Overhead shot of steamed white wine mussels with slices of bread and parsley.

More seafood recipes

If you’re looking for some wonderful seafood recipes, we’ve got you covered.  Here are a few of our favorites!

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Mussels in White Wine Sauce

5 from 5 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 4
Mussels in white wine sauce is a wonderful seafood dish that combines fresh mussels with a garlicky white wine and butter sauce tossed with fresh parsley. Best served with crusty bread to mop up the sauce!

Ingredients 

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes optional
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 pounds mussels scrubbed and cleaned
  • 1/4 cup Italian flat-leaf parsley minced
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • salt to taste

Instructions 

  • Saute the minced garlic in the olive oil over medium-low heat until golden (about 2 minutes).
  • Add in the hot red pepper flakes and cook for another 30 seconds. Add the white wine and bring to a boil for 2 minutes.
  • Turn the heat to medium-high and add the mussels to the pan and cover.
  • Once the mussels open (about 3-5 minutes) remove the lid.
  • Turn the heat down to low and add in the butter and parsley and stir it all together to get all of the garlic and parsley into the shells. After 1 minute remove the pan from the heat. Taste test the sauce and season with salt and pepper. Serve with crusty bread to mop up all of the sauce. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Thoroughly clean and scrub the mussels.  Look them over and remove any beards with a kitchen towel.
  • Any mussels that do not open after 5-7 minutes of cooking time should be discarded as they are most likely dead.
  • This dish is best eaten right away.  Reheating leftover seafood in the microwave is not recommended.  If you must reheat mussels do so in a saucepan on low heat. 

Nutrition

Calories: 387kcal | Carbohydrates: 7.9g | Protein: 20.4g | Fat: 25.8g | Saturated Fat: 9.5g | Cholesterol: 78mg | Sodium: 571mg | Potassium: 606mg | Sugar: 0.5g | Calcium: 52mg | Iron: 7mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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14 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I made this last night and it was delicious! The only thing I did differently is I added a sliced onion with the garlic. I will definitely be making this again. Happy New Year! 🙂

  2. Great recipe, I’m just curious as I seen in 2 areas to use unsalted better and also seen salted butter, which is best to use, thank you

  3. Jim,
    This is such a delicious and easy dish to make and I also add a few capers in it as well and some times I also add them to a pasta dish. Thanks Jim for another great recipe for the 7 fish dinner delicious ! I love your videos

  4. I can’t wait to try this! I order mussels out, but never made them. The best part for me is the sauce. Does this make a lot to dip into?

  5. Second recipe I’ve made, again incredible. This is going into the rotation. Thanks Jim for another great one!

  6. 5 stars
    Such a delicious dish to make and so easy. I love watching your videos, they are very straightforward and fun to watch.