Steamed Mussels in White Wine Sauce

Garlic and white wine add zip to this mussels recipe

Photo of mussel being cleaned with a brush /
Mussels with White Wine Sauce and Garlic served as a first course

Steamed Mussels in White Wine Sauce is the Italian version of the famous French steamed mussels dish, Moules Marinière.  It's equally easy and quick to make.

Lots of garlic, parsley, oregano, and olive oil give this recipe plenty of flavor, and make the perfect balance with sweet, plump mussels.

You can make these Steamed Mussels in White Wine Sauce for a first course.  However, we love this dish so much that a first courses portion never seems like enough, so we usually serve it as a main course.  Be sure to check out our serving suggestions after the recipe.

Steamed mussels in white wine sauce recipe

Serves 4 as main course.  To serve as a first course, just halve the recipe.

  • 8 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 shallots, chopped fine
  • 8 large garlic cloves, minced or crushed
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 4 pounds mussels, cleaned and de-bearded
  • Salt
  • 1/2 cup parsley

Put the olive oil, shallots, garlic, wine, and oregano in a large, wide-bottomed soup pot and bring to a boil over medium heat.  If you want a bit of extra zing, add the red pepper flakes.  Add the mussels, cover, and cook for 3 minutes, shaking the pot periodically so that they cook evenly.

Remove the top.  If no mussels have opened, put the top back on, and continue boiling.  Check at 1-minute intervals until they open.  Once some of them open, remove them with a slotted spoon.  As more open, remove them so they don't overcook.  Discard any mussels that remain closed.  (More about how to cook mussels perfectly.)

Divide the mussels among 4 bowls. Taste the sauce, and if you want, add salt.  Ladle the hot broth over the mussels and garnish with the chopped parsley.

Our serving suggestions

On hot summer nights, we serve this as a main course out on the deck under the stars.  Be sure to have plenty of crusty French or Italian bread on hand for dipping into the sauce.  Serve with slices of cold melon, and perhaps sorbet and biscotti for dessert.

On cold winter evenings, we also like to serve these mussels with white wine sauce and bread for dipping as a first course, followed by salmon, rice, a spinach salad with orange slices, and a slice of chocolate tart for dessert.

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