This recipe for pressure cooker mussels with saffron is quicker than quick. Mussels, saffron, garlic, shallots, wine, and cream take a quick turn in your cooker or your Instant Pot and all of a sudden dinner’s ready.

This is where your pressure cooker or Instant Pot gets to flaunt its usefulness. With this sorta fancy but definitely not fussy recipe, you can sit down to the most perfectly plump and juicy mussels you’ve ever encountered in your life. And the mussels are done, conveniently enough, in even less time than they usually take. Seriously the most perfectly cooked mollusks we’ve encountered. And that’s to say nothing of the lovely white wine and saffron-infused broth that accompanies them.Angie Zoobkoff

A bowl of pressure cooker mussels with saffron sprinkled with chopped parsley and in a yellow broth set in another bowl on top of a napkin

Pressure Cooker Mussels with Saffron

5 / 4 votes
These pressure cooker mussels with saffron and creamy white wine sauce can easily be enjoyed on a weeknight, thanks to you pressure cooker or Instant Pot.
Servings4 servings
Calories274 kcal
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time5 minutes
Total Time25 minutes


  • A few saffron threads
  • 1 tablespoon boiling water
  • 2 1/4 pounds mussels in their shells
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 shallots finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 4 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • French bread for serving


  • Place the saffron in a small bowl, pour in the boiling water and let soak while you prepare the mussels.
  • Scrub the mussels, pull off all the beards, and discard any open mussels that do not close when tapped.
  • Set your oven to its lowest temperature and place 4 ovenproof serving bowls in there to warm.
  • Place the butter, shallots, and garlic in the pressure cooker and use the sauté or soup setting to cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the wine and the saffron with its soaking liquid and bring to a boil. Add all the closed mussels. If you’re using an electric pressure cooker: Close the lid and bring to high pressure using the Manual or Soup setting. Cook for 2 minutes. Release the pressure quickly, making sure the “keep warm” mode is switched off. If you’re using a stovetop cooker: Close the lid and bring to high pressure. Cook for 2 minutes. Release the pressure quickly.
  • Open the lid carefully. All the mussels should have opened. Discard any that have not.
  • Using a slotted spoon, transfer the mussels to your 4 warmed serving bowls. Stir the cream and parsley into the cooking liquid in the pressure cooker and season to taste. Pour the cooking liquid over the mussels and serve immediately with plenty of French bread to soak up that delicious sauce.
The New Complete Pressure Cooker Cookbook

Adapted From

The New Complete Pressure Cooker

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Serving: 1 servingCalories: 274 kcalCarbohydrates: 10 gProtein: 16 gFat: 14 gSaturated Fat: 8 gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1 gMonounsaturated Fat: 4 gTrans Fat: 0.2 gCholesterol: 68 mgSodium: 393 mgPotassium: 534 mgFiber: 0.5 gSugar: 2 gVitamin A: 773 IUVitamin C: 15 mgCalcium: 61 mgIron: 6 mg

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

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2018 Jennie Shapter. Photo © 2018 Jon Whitaker. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

I didn’t think that making shellfish could get any easier but this recipe for pressure cooker mussels with saffron proved me wrong! This is truly a one-pot wonder.

The cream, parsley, and saffron combination is a classic—rich and delicious. This will be my go-to mussel method from here on.

I used a 6-quart Instant Pot to make this. I started the shallots and garlic on the saute setting and then adjusted the heat to “high” to quickly bring the wine and saffron infusion to a boil. Once I added the cleaned mussels, it took very little time for the pressure cooker to come up to pressure and 2 minutes later every mussel had opened and was ready to plate up.

These pressure cooker mussels with saffron were absolutely delicious! We’ve eaten our share of mussels and these are by far the most tender we have had. They literally fell out of their shells after cooking in the Instant Pot. The broth was very flavorful. Midway through dinner, my husband retrieved 2 spoons for us to slurp the broth without the bread. A really nice balance of garlic, shallots, wine, and briny taste from the mussels. I would definitely make these again and use the Instant Pot.

We saved all of the shells to make seafood stock. To reduce the volume that we have to store until I get around to making the stock, we put the shells in a bag and pounded them with a mallet. This has the additional advantage of increasing surface area when making the stock.

Originally published September 29, 2018

About David Leite

David Leite has received three James Beard Awards for his writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. His work has 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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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    I made this tonight for my daughter’s birthday. This was so easy to make! Probably took longer to chop all the ingredients than to actually cook in the IP! We love mussels and they were cooked perfectly. I highly recommend this method of cooking mussels. Obrigada David for another great recipe!