Mussels in White Wine

Total Time:
1 hr
10 min
30 min
20 min

2 servings

  • 3 pounds cultivated mussels
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped shallots (5 to 7 shallots)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic (5 to 6 cloves)
  • 1/2 cup chopped canned plum tomatoes, drained (4 ounces)
  • 1/2 teaspoon good saffron threads
  • 1/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 cup good white wine
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

To clean the mussels, put them in a large bowl with 2 quarts of water and the flour and soak for 30 minutes, or until the mussels disgorge any sand. Drain the mussels, then remove the "beard" from each with your fingers. If they're dirty, scrub the mussels with a brush under running water. Discard any mussels whose shells aren't tightly shut.

In a large non-aluminum stockpot, heat the butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook for 5 minutes; then add the garlic and cook for 3 more minutes, or until the shallots are translucent. Add the tomatoes, saffron, parsley, thyme, wine, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil.

Add the mussels, stir well, then cover the pot, and cook over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes, until all the mussels are opened (discard any that do not open). With the lid on, shake the pot once or twice to be sure the mussels don't burn on the bottom. Pour the mussels and the sauce into a large bowl and serve hot.

Contains Shellfish: Consumption of raw or undercooked shellfish may substantially increase the risk of foodborne illness.

View All

Pairs Well With
Sauvignon Blanc

Acidic, refreshing white wine

  • Find easy pairings for your favorite recipes, Bobby's perfect picks and party ideas.
Cooking Tips
Loading review filters...

    137 Reviews
    0/1000 characters
    Your Rating:
    Sort by: 
    This was delicious!
    Fabulous!! This is the best mussel recipe I have ever made. My husband raved about it for days. I didn't have shallots so I substituted sweet onion and it still came out perfect. Was a little skeptical of the saffron, but it is a MUST, don't leave it out!!!
    OMG! Delicious recipe ! Made this for a dinner party everyone raved. I will be making this again.
    OMG!! Two people and the mussels were gone in less than ten minutes!!. We dropped the utensils and went with fingers!!
    If you have a Trader Joe's, they sell saffron thread very reasonable. If not, order them over the internet. They help make this dish and are good to have on hand.
    it was a hit. next time I will put the full amount of pepper she asks for but a little less salt. I didn't have saffron nor fresh thyme but added the dry thyme at the beginning of cooking to bring out the flavor more and it worked out well.
    I made this just to night.For the first time. I used more sauce and plated it with spaghetti squash. The mussels needed a little more spice to make up for the sweet of squash. But over all it is a nice recipe..
    Delicious and easy, and fast to make. This was my first attempt at making mussels, and I can't have been more pleased with the results. I doubled the sauce per the other reviewers suggestions,and served over a bed of linguine with butter and garlic. Didn't need to go to the effort with adding butter and garlic to the linguine, since there was plenty of juices. This definitely is a keeper.
    This is my go-to mussel recipe. Saffron is expensive but it is so worth it, in my opinion. I make the sauce exactly as she says, but I only ever use 2 lbs of mussels. Makes extra sauce for dipping garlic bread in. I've tried this recipe with Chardonnay but I like the Sauvignon blanc better.
    Amazingly easy and great tasting! Big hit
    My go-to mussel recipe. I love most of Ina's recipes because they are so simple and delicious. Remember to always serve this with bread to soak up that wonderful broth! I also love to serve this over pasta after thickening the broth a little bit.  
    Oh and by the way, I always omit the saffron because, well I just can't afford it. So I can't tell you if it makes this great recipe even better but I can tell you it's still amazing without it!
    Enjoyed this traditional version, a flavorful easy meal--one of our favorites for umpteen years. I've never purged and have never had a problem. As someone else suggested, try Costco's mussels, fresh and clean. I serve this dish with small baguettes quartered lengthwise, long triangles of bread. Butter, flavor, toast, and stick down into the center of the mussels.
    Fantastic! We made 6 lbs for three people, served with roasted potato "fries", and garlic mayo for a Belgian inspired dinner. Had some crusty bread for dunking. Shelled the leftover mussels, put some red pepper flakes in the broth, brought broth to a boil, removed from heat, added the mussels. Served over pasta. Mmmmmm! We all loved this even though my picky husband had his doubts at first.
    Amazing!Followed it to the letter...the cost of Saffron competes w gas prices ; but well worth the purchase. My family raved and it was so easy to prepare
    This is the best recipe that I have ever tried and tasted for mussels. My family and I all thought that it was better than any we have had in a restaurant! It is incredibly easy yet company will be very impressed! My new "go to" recipe!!
    I made this recipe today with a few tweaks. I'm from Puerto Rico therefore I added some of our spices and it was to die for. My honey ate 2 pounds of it by HIMSELF. A keeper in my book. This recipe needs more stars.
    Absolutely fabulous! Ina you have a real winner here. It's the first time I made mussels and it could not have been any easier or more delicious. We often judge a restaurant by how good the mussels are and your recipe is right up there with the best of them. My husband and I so enjoy your shows and together have made some wonderful meals. You inspired us to take a trip to Long Island years ago when you still had that amazing store "The Barefoot Contessa" We fell in love with your simple elegance and easy to prepare fabulous recipes. Thank you from Bucks County Pa.
    Best mussels! So easy! I make them for parties and everyone always loves them! Make sure to have some toasted French bread too, you will want to soak up even drop off the sauce!
    This is our go to mussels recipe. We always say its as good as eating out. Make sure to use fresh herb, it makes a big difference. I didnt have fresh thyme when I made it once and you could tell.
    I made this recipe last Saturday. Yummy and very good. My family loved it. I served salad along with mussels for lunch. My daughters friend was there she loved it too. Only thing I did not have thyme so I substituted basil. Thank you. Happy Cooking.
    I made this last night 4 my Hubby and I and it was so so good... I served it with French Parmesan Garlic Bread 4 dinner mmmm mmmm good!!!
    Yum! I prepared this as appetizer on New Years eve for my hubby and me. Once we got past the "duh" moment of suffocating the mussels by keeping them in a plastic bag all day all was tasty. It turns out that the mussels will open if kept in a closed plastic bag because they need to breathe. I called the seafood guys at Central Market here in Austin about all the open mussels and they told me to bring them back. Even though it was my fault they were so gracious and gave me another sack. Yay! And this recipe made them that much better. Easy, fast and so tasty. It will be my "go to" mussel recipe from now on. 
    Made mussels for the first time last night and this was fantastic! I leveraged between this recipe and Emiril Lagasse's 'Linguine with Seafood'. I skipped the saffron, since I did not have it. Not sure if it took away any of the flavor, but this turned out spectacular!
    Most excellent. The saffron was difficult to find but added so much to the flavor. Wonderful dish. We served it over spaghetti. Very nice.
    Love this easy and delicious recipe! I've made this before,but never cleaned the mussels with the flour mixture. It worked! I put this over pasta and WOW!
    We bought the mussels from Costco. They are from Prince Edward Island and already had the beards removed. Put 1/3 c. flour onto the garlic/shallot after it was done. Added the red pepper flakes. Let it cook down. Doubled the amount of wine. Added two cups of pasta water as the mussels were cooking. Have a lot of bread.
    First time making mussels, and it was easy and delicious. I did cut the salt by 1/2 teaspoon and added some red pepper flakes. Only had to steam the mussels for 8 minutes. Super easy and the broth was outstanding.
    Added a little bit of crushed red pepper flakes to the recipe for a little kick and it was awesome! It brought just the right fire and flavor to the dish. My wife's not a big mussels fan but this dish could change her mind. We used pre-cooked mussels and dried herbs, and red onions instead of shallots (what we had at home and it still was delicious. Pinot grigio worked wonderfully. ....Thanks to Ina Garten again. She never disappoints.
    I'm a first time mussels cook and this recipe was so easy and so delicious and literally the best mussels I've ever had (not to toot my own horn. I didn't do the saffron/tomatoes BUT the recipe without it is amazing. Try this. Savory, delicious, easy, and refreshing. Serve with a loaf of bread.  
    My mussels took 8 minutes and I made sure there were plenty of shallots in the pot. I've never had a miss with an Ina Garten recipe- thanks so much!
    This is a really great recipe! Unlike the other reviews, I thought the salt amount was fine for the dish. One thing I would cut back on would be the shallots. There just seemed to be too many for my liking. For wine we used a $12 bottle of Chardonnay and it was fine. A modification we have tried is adding one cup of homemade marinara sauce and a 1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper. It adds a delicious element of heat to the dish.
    Flag as inappropriate

    Thank you! your flag was submitted.

    This recipe is featured in:

    Warm-Weather Wines