Mussels in Savory White Wine and Tomato Broth

Before I begin, let me apologize for my absence the past few days. We had two different friends come stay with us in the past two weeks, so I was busy enjoying the city and doing things that I normally don’t go out and do unless I have motivation (i.e. showing our friends around New York). We went to the Upright Citizen’s Brigade a number of times (the one thing that we actually do on a regular basis), The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Coney Island (where we got hot dogs from Nathan’s, of course), the Bronx Zoo (that’s our friend Clarisa and Kramer), Central Park, Battery Park…all of the city’s most beautiful sights, or at least a good number of them. I hadn’t gotten the chance to see the zoo or Battery Park yet, so I was really excited to do both of those things. We went to Coney Island for Memorial Day and I finally got to ride The Cyclone; it was insane! We sat in the last car, thinking it would give us the best experience, and my neck is still sore from being whipped around. It was probably the best roller coaster I’ve ever been on; nothing is as terrifying or as exhilarating as The Cyclone! We also went on the Wonder Wheel and had a great view of the crowds from the top. Perhaps the best part about having guests in town, though, is having an excuse to go out and eat lots of good food. Other than enjoying hot dogs and corn dogs from Nathan’s at Coney Island, we had some fantastic pizza at John’s Pizzeria in Greenwich Village, Wo Hop in Chinatown, brunch at Egg and Le Barricou and dinner at Pies and Thighs in Williamsburg, Burger Joint in Midtown, one of our favorite little bar/restaurants in Long Island City, The Creek and The Cave, and more that I can’t remember right now. I hope that Ty and Clarisa had a good time here with us!

One night while our friend Clarisa was here and we were going to a late comedy show, we decided to pick up some mussels while we were in Manhattan and make a simple, but delicious meal at home (the only night I actually cooked at home while we had company). I had never made mussels on my own before, but we had some delicious ones a few weeks ago at Le Barricou (linked above) and I wanted to try to make some similar ones on my own. I adapted an Ina Garten recipe (and followed her mussel-cleaning instructions because they were extremely helpful) and everyone seemed to really enjoy them! I bought four pounds of mussels for 3 people, but we ended up only eating half of what I bought because the broth and mussels, along with some crusty bread on the side, was surprisingly filling. I was mostly concerned with making a flavorful broth, and I was very pleased with the result. It tasted slightly rich, but not too rich for seafood, and the tomato paired wonderfully with the white wine, along with the amazingly fragrant shallots, garlic, and onion. I added a few sprigs of thyme and allowed everything to steam together with the mussels for no more than 10 minutes. I can’t wait to make mussels again and again! If you’ve never cooked seafood before, this is a great way to start, and they’re not that expensive! I went to Whole Foods (which I consider to be the most expensive grocery store) and they were still only $3 a pound (2 pounds fed the three of us). The mussels themselves were tender and steamed to the perfect consistency. I hope you’ll enjoy this laid back summer meal!

Mussels in Savory White Wine and Tomato Broth
Your ingredients.

Mussels in Savory White Wine and Tomato Broth
Combine the flour and water in your largest bowl and whisk together, then add in the mussels. Allow to soak for 30 minutes or so.

Mussels in Savory White Wine and Tomato Broth
Place the butter and olive oil in your pot and heat until melted. Dice your shallots and onions and saute for a few minutes until softened over medium heat. Add in the garlic and saute for another few minutes.

Mussels in Savory White Wine and Tomato Broth
Add in the tomatoes, sprigs of thyme, white wine, sriracha or red pepper flakes (whatever you prefer), salt, and pepper. Stir to combine and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.

Mussels in Savory White Wine and Tomato Broth
Lower the heat to medium and add the rinsed and cleaned mussels, stir to combine, and cover. Cook for 8-10 minutes, until most of the mussels have opened up. Shake the pot a bit every few minutes with the lid on to be sure that the mussels don’t burn.

Mussels in Savory White Wine and Tomato Broth
Spoon into a big bowl with lots of broth and serve with some crusty bread to sop up all of the juices.

Mussels in Savory White Wine and Tomato Broth
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 5-6
  • 4 pounds cultivated mussels
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1 large onion or 6 shallots, diced (I used 3 shallots and ½ a large onion)
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1⅓ cup white wine
  • 1 14 oz. low-sodium can diced tomatoes, with juices
  • 4 or 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • ½ teaspoon Sriracha or ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 10-12 slices of crusty bread, for serving
  1. To clean the mussels, put them in a large bowl with 10 cups of cold water and the flour, whisked together, and then soak them for 30 minutes, or until the mussels disgorge any sand. Drain the mussels, then remove the "beard" from each with your fingers or a knife, if you're adventurous, but your fingers will work just fine. If they're dirty, scrub the mussels with a brush or rough sponge under running water. Discard any mussels whose shells aren't tightly shut (I only had to throw away about 8 of mine). It might take you up to 20 minutes or so to clean your mussels if they're dirty, so be prepared time-wise.
  2. In a large non-aluminum stockpot, heat the butter and olive oil over medium heat until melted. Add the onion or shallots and saute for 5 minutes, until softened, then add in the garlic and saute for 3 more minutes, or until the garlic is fragrant and the onion or shallots are translucent. Add in the white wine, tomatoes, thyme, sriracha or red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  3. Add in the cleaned mussels, stir well, then cover the pot, and cook over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes, until all the mussels are opened (again, throw away any that do not open). With the lid on, shake the pot once or twice to be sure the mussels don't burn on the bottom. Pour the mussels and the sauce into a big bowl and serve piping hot with some crusty bread for sopping up broth. Serves 5-6.
Adapted From


29 Responses

  1. Mom says:

    I have made mussels dozens of times and have never used this cleaning method, we just keep the mussels very cold until ready to cook, scrub with a scrubber and throw in a large pot. I will try this next time. They look fantastic with the tomatoes. You should see our tomatoes on our Topsy turvey tomato grower….it works great. We have about 24 tomatoes growing.

  2. Ben says:

    I know you like to cook, but if you go to UCB a lot, you may be interested in checking out Pars Grill House right across 8th Ave. IIRC, there are like 3 places in the city to get Persian food, and Pars is quite good. I’ve been plotting to steal their recipe for Kashkeh Bademjan. =)

  3. Emily says:

    I used to work as a lifeguard on Coney Island. There is nothing like riding the Cyclone and having a Nathan’s to make it a complete day at C.I.

  4. Susi says:

    This looks incredible. I’m so jealous, fresh good mussels are so hard to come by in AZ. But, if I do find some I will try out this dish, it’s really making my mouth water!

    • Sydney says:

      Susi: I know how hard it is to get good seafood in AZ! I used to buy frozen when I was really craving something and couldn’t find it good enough fresh. I’ve never had frozen mussels, though.

  5. Susi says:

    I might have to go to AJ’s or Costco. They might have it. I’ve been thinking about your dish all day LOL

  6. Sherry says:

    This looks amazing! However, my boyfriend doesn’t eat mussels, but loooves clams! Do you think this would work well with clams instead? Would you still go about the same cleaning method? Thanks girl!

    • Sydney says:

      Sherry: I’ve actually never made clams and only had them a few times, so I’m not quite sure, but I think it would work well! I would just Google a cleaning method for clams.

  7. Mom says:

    Susi, Costco when they have their seafood roadshow, which is probably once a month. They are pretty, pretttty darn good and cheap! Just call Costco and they will let you know.

  8. Jennifer says:

    This looks absolutely amazing. Glad to have you back Syndey! ๐Ÿ˜€

  9. Nhiro says:

    I absolutely love mussels, but have never made them at home because I’m too lazy to de-beard all those suckers, haha.

  10. Sara says:

    I’ve never had mussels before, but I would be willing to try this!! Do you just scoop the mussels out of the shell when eating them? >>total seafood n00b.

  11. Deanna says:

    I love mussels. The favorite way to make them in my house is in a Thai Green Curry and Coconut milk sauce. Its amazing. Now I might have to make them today. I do make them in a way similar to this sometimes because I love dunking a good piece of crusty bread in the sauce (oddly enough it usually gets slathered with homemade mayo first).

    Oh, and before you debeard the mussels (which kills them), if you have any that are slightly open, either flick the shell a few times, or press it together then release. If they stay closed, the mussels are still alive, but too lazy to stay completely closed.

    • Sydney says:

      Deanna: I wanted to make my mussels in a green curry but my husband vetoed it! How sad, right? Thanks for the mussel tip! I’ll be sure to utilize it next time!

  12. Susi says:

    Thank you for the mussel tip :o) I will place a call to Costco!

  13. Chef Dennis says:

    gorgeous mussels!!! I love them with bits of tomato, we have been having them spicy white , my wife is just getting into mussels

    thanks so much for sharing your recipe!

  14. Joanne says:

    No apologies! So long as you had fun with your friends.

    It’s so funny to me how the time when I most see the city is when I have guests. It’s like I get to be a tourist myself!

    This mussels dish looks delicious!

  15. Clarisa says:

    Everyone be jealous..I actually ate this meal and it was fantastic!

  16. Dana says:

    Quite possibly the best way to eat mussels. My favorite for sure!

  17. […] make on our own…mussels! I found a delicious white wine, garlic and tomato mussel recipe here. We soaked, scrubbed and de-bearded the mussels โ€“ itโ€™s actually a very fitting recipe for the […]

  18. Samara says:

    Just made these for dinner. They were a huge hit with everyone, and surprisingly easy to make. Great recipe!

Leave a Reply

©2022 The Crepes of Wrath