The first time I made this dish was on a hot plate and in a toaster oven. My sister and I threw a party when we lived in a raw TriBeCa loft that didn’t have a proper kitchen. We made hundreds of these stuffed mussels that we bought in Chinatown for $.99 a pound. You can stuff clams and oysters the same way. After boiling the mussels, strain the broth and save it.–Eugenia Bone

Several opened mussels on a baking sheet, some filled with stuffing and a bowl of extra stuffing on the side.

Stuffed Broiled Mussels

5 / 3 votes
These stuffed broiled mussels are made with steamed mussels that are topped with a mixture of breadcrumbs, parsley, garlic, and olive oil.
David Leite
Servings4 servings
Calories428 kcal
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time40 minutes


  • 2 cups white wine
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 1 small onion, peeled
  • 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, stems only
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 pounds mussels, scrubbed
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon minced flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon


  • In a large pot, combine the wine, water, onion, parsley stems, and bay leaf. Cover and bring to a boil over medium heat. Add the mussels and steam until they open, 2 to 6 minutes. As the mussels open, transfer them to a large dish with a slotted spoon or tongs. Discard any mussels that don't open.
  • When the mussels are cool enough to handle, open each mussel and remove the upper shell. Using the tip of the shell, loosen the meat meat but leave it on the lower shell. Place the mussels in the lower shell on a rimmed baking sheet. Reserve the upper shells. Preheat the broiler.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the bread crumbs, minced parsley leaves, garlic, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture over the mussel meat in each shell. Drizzle the lemon juice over the mussels.
  • Broil until the bread crumbs brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Don’t walk away! The bread crumbs burn easily. Serve immediately, either with tiny forks or with the reserved mussel shells to use as a scooping device.


Stuffed Broiled Clams Or Oysters

You can easily substitute clams or oysters for the mussels.
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Serving: 1 servingCalories: 428 kcalCarbohydrates: 25 gProtein: 30 gFat: 13 gSaturated Fat: 2 gMonounsaturated Fat: 6 gCholesterol: 65 mgSodium: 782 mgFiber: 2 gSugar: 3 g

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

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2014 Eugenia Bone. Photo © 2014 Eugenia Bone. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

My tasters loved these mussels. They absorb a tremendous amount of flavor from the court bouillon. I originally thought that 4 pounds of mussels for 4 people as an appetizer was a bit much, but I can assure you that my six tasters (which included a seven-year-old and a 91-year-old) would have gladly eaten more had there been more. Each mussel is a small, highly flavorful bite, so eating 15 or more mussels is no problem.

The amount of stuffing should be just enough to barely cover the mussel. If you use any more stuffing, you’ll run out and, more importantly, the beauty of the mussels will be overshadowed. (Be sure to strain the broth through a piece of cheesecloth and save it, either in the refrigerator for a day or two or in the freezer for longer. Fortunately, we were making cioppino for our main course and were able to use some of the mussel cooking broth instead of water for it.)

If you’re a fan of stuffed clams, then you’ll love these stuffed broiled mussels. The garlicky bread stuffing definitely complements the briny meat of the mussel. They (almost) fed 4 hungry adults as an appetizer!

I found the topping to be a little scant. I would double the topping next time.

I’ve had stuffed mussels in other parts of the world and the top shell is usually left on, you break it off and it is used as a scoop to eat the mussel along with its stuffing. I served mine with tiny forks. We served them with a cold sauvignon blanc.

This is a simple and tasty way to prepare mussels. I love weekday suppers you can prepare mostly ahead and finish quickly. This is one of those.

We had the mussels as a main course with orzo and steamed asparagus.

Since there were only 2 of us, I used 2 pounds mussels and 1 cup each water and wine. Everything else stayed the same. But having said that, the given amount of stuffing was perfect for the 2 dozen mussels—I will double it for the full 4 pounds of mussels.

These were good but I think if the crumbs were bound together it would be more juicier and flavorful. To achieve this I would reduce the cooking liquid to 1/4 cup and then add 1 tablespoon heavy cream to the liquid. Next time I’ll use 1 cup Ritz cracker crumbs combined with the other ingredients and the liquid and drizzle the broiled mussels with lemon juice and serve.

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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  1. Hello, those breadcrumbs look like they are a big part of the success of this recipe, large, irregular making a very light topping. I am assuming these are fresh, maybe from ciabatta bread? They don’t appear to be panko. I recall Mario Batalio would call his fresh italian bread crumbs “big boy”, these remind me of that.

    1. Den, you can definitely use homemade breadcrumbs for this. It doesn’t have to be just ciabatta. Any kind of loaf bread would work–baguette, boule, etc.