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Mussels with Tomato and Garlic Recipe

Mussels with Tomato and Garlic

If you’re daunted by cooking mussels – YOU ARE IN THE RIGHT SPOT! I PROMISE these are so easy to make. This is the perfect recipe for a date night in. I quickly took this photo while sipping a glass of bubbles and celebrating our wedding anniversary. To keep things simple, ask your local fishmonger for a bag of live black mussels that have been expertly cleaned and are ready to cook. I like that these bags display an expiry date, so you know you’re getting fresh seafood. I recommend the small black mussel variety over the large green mussels from NZ  for this recipe. They are sweeter in taste and softer in texture.

  • Total Time: 25 mins
  • Yield: 2 1x


Units Scale
  • 1kg bag of black live mussels, scrubbed and bearded (see note 1)

Tomato sauce


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 long red chilli, sliced
  • Salt to season
  • To serve: crusty bread, chips and aioli


To make the tomato sauce:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat, and add the garlic. Cook, stirring for 1 minute until fragrant.
  2. Add the crushed tomato, place the lid on and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 15 minutes.

To cook mussels:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot on high heat. Add the garlic. Cook, stirring for 1 minute.
  2. Add the mussels, wine and chilli. Cook for 2 minutes so that the wine can reduce.
  3. Place the lid on and cook for a further 2 minutes. Once the mussels start to open, transfer them to the tomato sauce.
  4. Turn the heat off. Add a ladle of the mussel/wine broth to the tomato sauce. Season to taste (the salt may not be required at all).
  5. Serve with crusty bread, chips and aioli.


Note 1 – Prepare the mussels by rinsing them in cold water. Use a clean kitchen scourer to scrub the shells and remove any debris, if needed, gently. Remove the stringy beards hanging out of the mussels, and use your fingers to pull them out.

MAKE AHEAD – The tomato sauce can be prepared and refrigerated for up to 3 days. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw completely in the fridge overnight and reheat in the microwave or stovetop before using as per the recipe. 

LEFTOVERS – Mussels are best made and consumed immediately as they become chewy and unpleasant when reheated. Not suitable for reheating. 

  • Author: Nicole
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Category: seafood, muscles, tomato and garlic muscles
  • Method: pan sear, simmer
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: Mussels with Tomato and Garlic, Mussels with Tomato and Garlic recipe