Mussels in a creamy white wine garlic sauce are so quick, you almost won’t believe that something so devastatingly delish is faster than takeout. Mussels, white wine, cream, lemon, and garlic are just about all it takes.
Make sure to eat these mussels with white wine cream sauce with a loaf of crusty bread, since the sauce is packed with flavor. Just a bit of butter and lemon, in addition to some shallots and garlic, infuses the white wine sauce. When combined with the mussel liquor and some cream, the result is decadent and absolutely moreish. This is one of those recipes where the whole is greater than just the sum of its parts.–Kirsty Scobie & Fenella Renwick
What are farmed-raised mussels?
Farm-raised mussels are significantly cleaner and just as flavorful as wild mussels. The most common type is the black-colored “blue mussel,” but green-shelled New Zealand mussels are popular, too. Ask your fishmonger for rope-grown mussels if you can find them since they tend to be even less gritty. Rope-growing mussels is a technique used by many mussel farmers. In late spring, when mussels begin to spawn and the sea temperatures rise, farmers drop old rope into the water, which is kept afloat by buoys. The larvae naturally settle onto the rope surface and grow. It normally takes one to two years for them to reach maturity.
How much mussels should I buy per person?
Buying 1 to 1 1/2 pounds of mussels per person for a main-course serving is perfect.
☞ Table of Contents
Mussels in a Creamy White Wine Garlic Sauce
- 3 tablespoons (1 1/2 oz) butter
- 1 (8 oz) white onion diced
- 2 garlic cloves chopped
- 1 vegetable bouillon cube
- Juice of 1/2 lemon (1 to 2 tablespoons)
- 4 pounds mussels scrubbed and debearded
- 1 1/4 cups dry white wine
- 1 generous cup heavy cream
- Small handful of fresh curly parsley chopped
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Lemon wedges for serving
- Crusty bread for serving
- Increase heat, toss in mussels and wine, and put the lid on the pot. The wine will make steam and start to cook the mussels. Cook until most of the mussels are open, about 3 minutes.
- Reduce temperature to low and add heavy cream, parsley, and black pepper. Slowly bring up the temperature until the sauce starts to bubble—be careful when adding the cream because if it’s too hot it can split.
- Gently simmer until all of the mussels are open, about 2 minutes more. Discard any that refuse to open.
- Serve with a wedge of lemon and lots of crusty bread.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
This recipe for mussels in a creamy white wine garlic sauce took me back to a time in Brussels when I had the most amazing plate of moules frites. The recipe produced pretty much the identical dish (minus the frites) with perfectly balanced flavors and a richness that comes from just a few simple ingredients.
Be sure to purchase the best mussels you can find from a reliable source. We were fortunate to find fresh mussels from Maine which were very clean with almost no beards. Plan on about a pound person with plenty of crusty baguette slices for dipping.
These mussels in a creamy white wine garlic sauce were a treat! They were easy to make and on the table within 30 minutes of starting. I didn’t have a bouillon cube, so I skipped that and seasoned well with salt instead.
Do take care to make sure the dish heat is very low before adding the cream as it can split easily. We served with plenty of crusty bread for sopping up the delicious sauce.
Originally published October 15, 2021