Drunken Mussels


I adore mussels. They are simply scrumptious. Some people tend to shy away from Mussels, because they’re not quite sure what to do with them. But, they really couldn’t be easier to fix and they’re quite a chameleon when it comes to absorbing flavors.

If you’re squeamish about cleaning them, feel free to ask your fishmonger to do it for you (they’re quite happy to). Otherwise, it just entails placing your mussels into a colander, running cold water over them, and removing the “beard” – the greyish little hair attached to them. Voila.

They take minutes to cook, depending on the size, and they’ll turn this beautiful shade of orange. Careful not to overcook them; as with most seafood, they will become tough & chewy. Not something you want to associate with your mussels.

*Please note that if you’re mussels are OPEN prior to cooking or CLOSED after cooking them they are bad. Discard them (best not to chance it)!

It’s a wonderfully colorful dish & is chock full of flavor! I like to serve mine with a baguette (or another loaf of toasted bread) to sop up the sinful deliciousness of the “sauce!” Serve with the remaining white wine you’ve used during cooking! As always, please don’t cook with any wine that you wouldn’t drink! The food wouldn’t appreciate it!

This is a great spring/summer crowd pleaser. Perfect as an appetizer or a full-on meal. If you’re using it as a meal, a good rule of thumb is 1 lb of Mussels per person (at least in my seafood loving house). Simply increase the other ingredients accordingly!

How do you like to cook your Mussels?


Print This Recipe

Drunken Mussels

What you’ll need:
2 lbs of Mussels – Cleaned and debearded
4-6 Roma Tomatoes – chopped
Dry White Wine
1/2 onion – diced
4 Cloves of fresh garlic – minced
handful of flat leaf Italian Parsley – roughly chopped (enough to garnish with)
2 tbsp unsalted butter

What to do:
Heat a large pan over medium-high heat. Add your butter & melt. Add your onions & saute’ until translucent. Add your minced garlic & cook for roughly another minute. Add your cleaned & debearded mussels & enough wine to steam the mussels. Place lid on top of pan. Cook for a few minutes until mussels turn a nice orange shade. Roughly 4-5 minutes depending on the size of your Mussels. Add your chopped tomatoes give a quick stir. Garnish with parsley & season with s/p to taste. Serve immediately.

Buon Appetito!


  1. 1


    Mussels are one of my favorite foods, so thank you for posting this mouthwatering recipe and picture. It looks amazing!! I also love mussels because they are a wonderful source of sustainable seafood. People don’t understand the integral role that mussels play in our ocean and ecosystem in terms of filtering surrounding water. Cultivating mussels does not cause habitat damage, and the supply is not being over harvested.

    I think I could eat mussels all day long!!!!

    • 1.1
      Paula /

      Thanks Andrew! I’m so happy that you liked the post. I too could eat bowls full of mussels @ a time πŸ™‚

  2. 2

    I love muscles. I usually have them in a soup or some kind or broth. This is fantastic.

    • 2.1
      Paula /

      Ciao Jenn! What a great idea! As a soup, that would be a perfect light first course – or warm up as I like to call them πŸ™‚

  3. 3

    oooooh, I love your site. all my fave foods, italian/mexican. i’ll be coming back, thank you!

  4. 4

    This is exactly how I like them! πŸ™‚ There is another recipe that I have been wanting to try from one of my regional Italian cookbooks.. they are filled and baked.. can’t wait to try those too! πŸ™‚ Ciao.. lmvengo

    • 4.1
      Paula /

      Ciao Laurie! Grazie mille! I love them stuffed & baked as well. Perhaps I should do a top 20 ways to prepare Mussels? πŸ™‚

  5. 5

    Oh man, I totally have to make mussels now. I love making them the way you do when I’m on vacation – they’re perfect for tossing in a pot over a campfire. At home I don’t make them like this as much (no idea why) but I do pop them into risotto and paella all the time.

    • 5.1
      Paula /

      Thanks Nate! Absolutely right about outdoors. It’s perfect & a great idea for the risotto add in as well. Will have to give that a whirl next time. I make risotto at least once a week, can’t be without it in my house – LOL!

  6. 6

    I love mussels, I usually cook it spicy…malaysian style…I really like the way you cooked drunken mussels. I want to try your way. I love your site, your pictures are as great as your food. Grazie!

    • 6.1
      Paula /

      Ciao Silvia! Ooh spicy mussels, sounds delish! Thanks so much for visiting! I have just as much taking the photos as I do coming up with the recipes!

  7. 7

    I love your site! So pretty!

  8. 8

    Hmm… mussels are something I haven’t cooked on my own yet!! Might need to try!

    • 8.1
      Paula /

      You def do! Let me know how they turn out. They’re really super easy peasy! Enjoy!

  9. 9
    wendy smith /

    Oh Yum muscles is one of my absolute favorites so tender and sweet , we used to eat them all the time a kids growing up just steamed and dipped in butter like clams, this recipe looks delicious I will have to try it!!

  10. 10
    lisa /

    I have been eating mussels since I was a kid. My Italian familia used to prepare them for a casual celebration, normally when we all met up in South Philly. Until today, I had never prepared them myself. I’ve even eaten them personally at Paula’s house. I’m feeling so happy that I took the leap to make them myself and more so that my son, the pickiest eater in the fam, ate an entire bowl of them. Again I say, Molto Bene (i don’t know any other suitable phrases, YET) and Grazie, Paula.

    • 10.1

      Ah, Mwah! Prego Lisa! I’m SO glad you made them & that everyone loved them too! You know how much I adore them!

  11. 11

    I love mussels but I’ve never had them like this. Nor have I ever made them at home, but you’ve tempted me to give it a go. Delicious recipe and nice appetizing photo:)

  12. 12

    Mmmm… I love, love, looove mussels! I make it at least once every two weeks.. a very similar recipe to yours, and it’s absolutely delicious! I can eat 2 lbs by myself, easy! lol

    • 12.1

      Thank you Leyla! Love some mussels & I could eat that much myself too ; )


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