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Steamed Mussels In White Wine


Image of Steamed Mussels

Steamed Mussels

Photo © Molly Watson

Most people may not think of mussels when it comes to quick and easy weeknight meals, but some time living in France taught me to think otherwise. Chop and cook a few shallots, add some white wine, toss in the mussels, cover and cook them for about 10 minutes. While the mussels cook, toss a salad. Put a loaf of bread on the table, dish up the mussels, and dinner is served. Wild mussels need to be scrubbed and debearded before cooking, but most mussels for sale today are farmed and a simple vigorous rinse of water will do.

Many steamed mussels recipes call for entire bottles of wine. The mussels end up being more boiled than steamed and the broth never gets properly cooked. Here, a smaller amount of wine is cooked down before adding the mussels, creating a rich, flavorful broth with the liquid released by the mussels that is perfect for sopping up with bread.

Find more ways to cook mussels.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 4 servings


  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 large shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 4 pounds fresh mussels, scrubbed and debearded if needed
  • 1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Freshly ground pepper


  1. In a large pot over medium-high heat add butter and shallots until shallots are soft, about 2 minutes. Add wine, bring to a boil, and cook until liquid is reduced to about 1/2 cup.
  2. Add mussels, cover, and cook until all mussels are open, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley and pepper. Stir to combine and coat mussels with mixture on the bottom of the pot. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 generous servings.

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