Easy white wine garlic mussels

This recipe for mussels cooked in the most delicious white wine garlic sauce is the easiest dinner recipe, perfect served with crusty bread for dipping. The perfect gluten free dinner or appetizer for a crowd.

White wine garlic mussels

If you’ve never tried cooking mussels before, now is the time to do it! Not only are they so easy to cook but this recipe will have you wanting to lick the plate to not miss a single drop of that delectable sauce. I also love that they are gluten free, low carb and filled with protein, zinc and iron. Healthy has never tasted this good!


  • Mussels. I used half shell mussels. If you use fresh, whole mussels, you will need to clean them and make sure they are alive before cooking. See instructions below.
  • Butter. Olive oil can be substituted. I used salted butter but unsalted butter can be used instead.
  • Garlic. 
  • White wine. I used Chenin Blanc but any dry white wine will work. If you would prefer to not use wine, use chicken broth or stock instead.
  • Lemon juice. 
  • Parley. Fresh flat-leaf parsley.
  • Fresh sliced chillies. (optional) Red pepper flakes or chilli flakes can be substituted.
  • Salt and pepper.
White wine garlic mussels

How to cook mussels

  1. Make the sauce: Melt butter in a deep pan or pot set over medium-high heat. Add garlic and chilli (if using). Allow to cook until the aromatics are fragrant then pour in the wine and add a tablespoon or two of lemon juice. Stir together then bring to a simmer, taste and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Prepare the mussels: I prefer to have my fishmonger prepare the mussels for me by debearding and scrubbing them. Add the mussels to the sauce then cover and allow to simmer for 5 minutes or until they are all open.  Scatter over the parsley, taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
  3. Serve: Serve with your choice of side dishes but I suggest crusty bread or fries to dip into the delicious white wine sauce.

How to clean fresh mussels

When you buy whole, fresh mussels from a fishmonger, they are usually still alive. To make sure they are all as fresh as can be, tap them on the counter. If they close, they are alive. If they don’t, discard them as they are not fresh. Similarly, when you’ve cooked whole live mussels, if any of them remain closed, discard as well as they aren’t safe for consumption. To clean the mussels (if they aren’t already), rinse them well with cold water then remove the beards. These are just the fibres that can be found in between the shells. Hold the mussel in one hand (use a dish towel if preferred) and gently but firmly pull off the beard. If the mussels are very sandy, give them a good scrub with a firm brush. I would suggest steaming whole mussels before adding to the white wine garlic sauce.

Can I use frozen mussels?

Yes, absolutely. I often use frozen. Allow to thaw completely then cook as directed. If using whole mussels, cook them until they are all open. Discard the ones that don’t.

Serving suggestions

White wine mussels or Moules Marinières is best served with crusty bread to mop up the sauce or with crispy French fries. A fresh, zesty salad is also a nice accompaniment.

White wine garlic mussels


Seafood recipes

  1. Grilled garlic butter prawns/shrimp
  2. Easy lemon butter baked fish
  3. Oysters with Tobasco Granita
Mussels in white wine garlic sauce

White wine garlic mussels

This recipe for mussels cooked in the most delicious white wine garlic sauce is the easiest dinner recipe, perfect served with crusty bread for dipping.
4.47 from 128 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Easy Dinner
Cuisine: American, Mediterranean
Keyword: How to cook mussels, Mussels, Mussels recipe
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Calories: 524kcal
Author: Alida Ryder
Servings: 4 (as a main)


  • kg (3lbs) mussels in shells / half-shell (cleaned)
  • ½ cup butter
  • 6 garlic cloves thinly sliced
  • 1 red chilli finely chopped
  • cups white wine
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp parsley finely chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Melt the butter in a deep pan with a lid.
  • Add the garlic and chilli and cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant.
  • Pour in the wine and lemon juice and bring to a simmer.
  • Add the mussels then cover with a lid and cook for 5 minutes or until they are all open. Discard any mussels that don't open (if using whole mussels)
  • Add parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Serve with crusty bread for dipping.


Calories: 524kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 46g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 105mg | Sodium: 1086mg | Potassium: 1329mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 867IU | Vitamin C: 50mg | Calcium: 123mg | Iron: 16mg

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