This is a no-recipe recipe, a recipe without a hard and fast ingredients list or a lot of hard to remember steps. It invites you to improvise in the kitchen. Simplicity itself, if you can find a bag of mussels at the store.–Sam Sifton


In the rare event that you have leftover mussels, just shuck them and save them, along with the rest of the sauce. Add to a pasta dish, a risotto, or just devour them with a piece of garlic bread.

2 white plates with mussels in sauce, with tomatoes, chorizo, and parsley. A piece of buttery toasted bread to the side.

Steamed Mussels with Chorizo and Tomatoes

5 / 2 votes
Steamed mussels with chorizo and tomatoes is not only simple, it's open to some interpretation. Find some mussels, maybe some chorizo, white wine, and a few flavorful additions. Add chile flakes, different spices, a dab of tomato paste. You do you–that's the whole point here.
David Leite
Servings4 servings
Calories610 kcal
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time30 minutes


  • 4 pounds mussels
  • 10 ounces Spanish or Portuguese chorizo, cut into 1/2-inch (12-mm) cubes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 to 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, for serving
  • 4 thick slices bread, toasted, for serving


  • Scrub and debeard the mussel shells as necessary.
  • In a large wide pot over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Toss in the chorizo and sauté until it starts to crisp, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the halved cherry tomatoes and garlic.
  • Cook until the tomatoes begin to blister, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the mussels and white wine. Cover the pot and allow the mussels to steam until they open, 4 to 6 minutes. (If you have mussels that haven’t opened, ditch them.)
  • Garnish the mussels with chopped parsley and serve with the broth and toasted bread for sopping up the juices.

Adapted From

The NY Times Cooking No-Recipe Recipes

Buy On Amazon


Serving: 1 servingCalories: 610 kcalCarbohydrates: 29 gProtein: 43 gFat: 30 gSaturated Fat: 9 gMonounsaturated Fat: 6 gTrans Fat: 1 gCholesterol: 109 mgSodium: 1672 mgFiber: 2 gSugar: 5 g

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

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2021 Sam Sifton. Photo © 2021 David Malosh. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

I recognized this recipe for steamed mussels with chorizo and tomatoes right away, as I’m a long-time fan of Sam Sifton and his no-recipe articles in the NY Times.

A blue and terracotta bowl full of mussels, tomatoes, chunks of chorizo, all sprinkled with loads of parsley

I normally make my mussels with some fresh chopped fennel or with added fennel seed, as well as an ounce or two of Pernod to kick it up a bit. But this version is quite tasty just the way it’s prepared. A solid dish that comes together very quickly with minimal prep. I served the mussels with a few slices of toasted homemade sourdough and chickpea orzo salad.

Seafood and chorizo recipes are my favorite kind of surf and turf. Oddly enough, I’ve paired chorizo with all the usual suspects except for mussels. I was really quite impressed with these steamed mussels with chorizo and tomatoes; briny yet sweet, with a hint of the ocean broth. Oh, and the joy associated with mopping up that savory broth with toasted bread drizzled with olive oil…priceless!

A white dish with a slice of crusty bread beside a white bowl filled with mussels, chorizo, peppers, and parsley.

For me, the only refining requirement for this recipe is in the “logistics”. The recipe called for a big pot. My big pot is also a tall pot. Luckily, it has a glass lid and I could see, as I had anticipated, that the top layer of mussels were closed while the bottom ones were quite open.

My total steaming time was 6 minutes but I did have to interrupt the steaming to stir the mussels and prevent the bottom ones from overcooking and becoming tough. I’d suggest using a large but shallow pot or wok and slicing the chorizo into thin rounds before crisping. Then, indulge in the finger-licking goodness and sip on the rest of the chilled Pinot or whichever wine graced your pan.

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.

Hungry For More?

Garlic Butter Steak Bites

These juicy bites of sirloin, smothered in garlic and herb butter, will satisfy any steakhouse craving for a fraction of the price.

25 mins

Chocolate Muffins

Those of us who prefer a restrained sweetness and a more pronounced cocoa taste will adore these muffins. Nothing overtly sweet here. And we’re okay with that.

1 hr

Seared Skirt Steak with Salsa

Hungry for something flavorful and good-for-you? This seared skirt steak is jam-packed with everything you need.

50 mins

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating