White Wine Butter Mussels
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Mussels are always such an impressive plate of food when served up at the dinner table. Beautiful, juicy Mussels with that meaty goodness inside, topped with a delicious Sauce and some amazing aromatics are simply irresistible. One of the most classic preparations is this White Wine Butter Mussels with Garlic and Chili recipe, which you can find in many traditional European restaurants

The combination of flavors is phenomenal! The natural richness of the Mussels is heightened by the Butter which has been flavored with Garlic and Chili. A generous splash (or three) of White Wine adds a lovely acidic balance to the sauce. Finally, some fresh Parsley is sprinkled over the top to add some lovely vibrancy

Eat them as is or serve them alongside some crusty bread to mop up all that wonderful sauce. No matter how you eat them, we guarantee you’ll love our White Wine Butter Mussels!

White Wine and Butter Sauce with Mussels
The White Wine and Butter Sauce is simply irresistible in this dish. Get some bread to soak it all up!

How to make White Wine Butter Mussels

Making these delicious White Wine Butter Mussels is easy. There’s only a few steps and the cooking process takes just minutes! The most important step is to make sure your Mussels are cleaned, and washed to remove any seawater and other gunk they’ve carried with them from the Ocean

We then cook a beautiful White Wine and Butter Sauce which is flavored with Shallots, Chili, and Garlic. The Mussels then go into the pot filled with this wonderful sauce. The lid goes on, and the Mussels are steamed until they’re cooked. You can then finish the dish by adding some garnish of Parsley and some more Chili before serving in a bowl with that lovely broth!

Cleaning the Mussels is the most critical step

We once made the mistake of not cleaning the Mussels before cooking them. Big mistake! The dish was ruined unfortunately, and it couldn’t be eaten. Cleaning Mussels before cooking them is a critical step in the process, as you want to remove as much of the saltiness from them as possible. If you just dump the Mussels straight into the pot, chances are the Salt water that is inside the Mussels is going to go straight into your broth, completely ruining it

Cleaning Mussels in cold water
Make sure you give the Mussels a thorough clean before cooking them

Cleaning the Mussels is relatively easy, albeit it a little bit time consuming. The first step is to give them a good rinse under cold water. Just place them into a colander or sieve and rinse them for a couple of minutes to try and get as much Salt water out of them as possible

The next step is to let them soak in a large pot of water for about 1 hour. The soaking process will help to further remove any saltiness and gunk they’ve picked up from the Ocean. An optional step is to add about 1 tsp. of Flour to the Water. Legend has it that the Mussels will essentially ‘eat’ the flour, and it helps to remove some of the sand inside them

Not sure how accurate this is, but every time we’ve done it – the Mussels haven’t had Sand in them, so there may be some truth to this step. It doesn’t do any harm, so why not?

You must remove the beards from the Mussels before cooking them

The final step, and most annoying step I’m sure everyone will agree on is to remove the beads from the Mussels. The beards are basically bits of seaweed that the Mussels have clung to in the Ocean. When they are harvested, most of the time a portion of that seaweed (the beard) remains attached to the Mussel

It’s got a terrible texture, so you want to remove it from the Mussel before cooking. Just rip it away with your hands but be careful not to rip too hard to potentially damage the shell. This is the most time-consuming manual process when cooking Mussels. Unfortunately, it’s a mandatory step

Broth to cook fresh Mussels in
The simple Sauce consists of White Wine, Butter, Garlic, Shallots and Chili. This combination of flavors is perfect with beautiful Mussels

This recipe makes a generous amount of Sauce, so you can easily double the quantity of Mussels to 2 lbs. if you’re feeding a larger group

The broth we make for this Mussel recipe is phenomenal. A beautiful combination of flavors that is balanced perfectly by the Butter and White Wine. The good news is this recipe will produce an abundance of this liquid gold. Our recipe requires about 1 lb. of Mussels, which will easily feed 2 people

However, if you are cooking for a larger group, you can simply double the quantity of Mussels without needing to adjust the quantities of the other ingredients in the recipe. The dish produces an ample amount of this amazing sauce, so the flavor profile of the Mussels won’t change if you add more

Unfortunately, this is not the kind of sauce that you can keep. Really, anything that has been cooked in seafood should be eaten immediately so we recommend eating as much of the Sauce on the day you’ve made it. If you have leftovers you can always get creative and poach some vegetables in there! Try this Roast Mushrooms with Butter and White Wine recipe, it’s delicious!

White Wine Butter Mussels with garnish
Once cooked, the White Wine Butter Mussels will open up to reveal the most delicious meat

Once cooked, discard any Mussels that haven’t opened

The cooking process won’t take long at all, after about 3 minutes of steaming, the Mussels will be cooked. You will be able to tell when they are cooked as the Mussels shells will open up. Remove the cooked Mussels once they open up from the pan and place immediately in your serving bowls

If there are Mussels that have yet to open, place the lid back on the Pot and cook for another minute. If they still have not opened, there Mussels is more than likely not good to eat. So, just discard that Mussel and only eat those that have opened up

In our journeys cooking Mussels, we’ve never had an entire batch open, so you’re more than likely going to have to throw a couple away. It’s just part of doing business when making White Wine Butter Mussels. Don’t worry, you’ll still have more than enough to eat!

Be wary of Salt when cooking Mussels, as they are naturally salty from the ocean

For most of our recipes we’re recommending adding a generous amount Salt to season. We like our dishes quite aggressively seasoned, so the more Salt the better. In most cases! You need to be very wary with Salt when cooking shellfish, especially Mussels

Most Mussels will likely have some levels of Sea water still enclosed in them, even after washing. The last thing you want to do is to have a well-seasoned White Wine and Butter Sauce, only for it to be further salted by the inclusion of Mussels

White Wine Butter Mussels with Lemon
The White Wine Butter Mussels will naturally be seasoned from the Sea. A little Lemon Juice is all you need for seasoning and they’ll taste amazing

Our recommendation when cooking Mussels is to only season the Sauce right before serving, and after the Mussels have been cooked in it. That way you will be able to tell if the Mussels have seasoned the sauce enough. It’s a much safer method, as it’s always easier to add seasoning than to try and remove it after the fact!

Recipe Details


2 – 4 people

Prep time

1 hour

Cooking time

3 – 4 minutes

Total time

1 hour

White Wine Butter Mussels Recipe


  • 1 lb. Fresh Mussels
  • 2 cups White Wine
  • 120g / 8 tbsp. Butter
  • 2 Shallots, finely chopped
  • 4 Garlic Cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 Red Chili, finely sliced
  • ¼ cup Fresh Parsley
  • Juice of ½ a Lemon


  1. Clean the Mussels before cooking them. First, place them in a colander or sieve and wash them under cold water for 2 minutes. Then place them in a large pot of cold water for about 1 hour to soak
  2. Remove the beards from the Mussels right before cooking. It’s easier to remove them after they’ve soaked. Simply pick the Mussel up and carefully tear away the beard, trying to not break the shell in the process
  3. Melt half the Butter in a large pot or Dutch Oven over medium heat. Once melted, add the Shallots, and cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the Garlic and Chili and cook for 1 more minute
  4. Pour in the White Wine and increase the heat to medium / high. Cook for about 5 minutes to burn off the Alcohol, then add the remaining Butter. Mix through well to melt all the Butter, then add the Mussels
  5. Cover the Pot to steam the Mussels. Check after 3 minutes. Once the Mussels are cooked their shells will open up. Remove the cooked Mussels and place in serving bowls. Cover again and cook for a further 1 – 2 minutes. Remove all cooked Mussels and discard any that did not open
  6. Squeeze the Lemon Juice into the Broth and taste for seasoning. You may add a little Salt if the broth is not already salted by the Mussels
  7. Finish by pouring a generous amount of the Broth over the Mussels. Garnish with a sprinkle of Parsley and serve immediately

Recipe Notes

  • When soaking the Mussels, an optional step is to add 1 tsp. of Flour. The rumor is that the Mussels will eat the Flour and it will help to remove any sand or silt trapped inside them. It’s an optional step, but it seems to work so why not!?
  • For a hearty meal, serve the White Wine Butter Mussels along with some crusty bread. The bread is great for dipping into the wonderful broth

This wonderful White Wine Butter Mussels dish is great for a fulfilling lunch, or light dinner. We guarantee you’ll love the rich, robust flavor they bring to the table

Check out our Seafood Recipes here for more yummy meals such as this. Here are a few of our favorites we’d recommend you try out:

Happy Cooking!

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