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Steamed mussels in tomato sauce is an impressive restaurant-quality dish that is so quick and easy to make at home in less than 25 minutes. |

Steamed Mussels in Tomato Sauce

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5 from 2 reviews

  • Author: Sam Hu | Ahead of Thyme
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Diet: Gluten Free


Steamed mussels in tomato sauce is an impressive restaurant-quality dish that is so quick and easy to make at home in less than 25 minutes.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup onion, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
  • 2 lbs. fresh live mussels, scrubbed and debearded
  • 1/4 cup cooking wine (white or red)
  • 1 (16 oz.) can diced tomatoes (2 cups)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper (or to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped (for garnish)


  1. In a large pot or skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat for 2 minutes until the hot oil is sizzling and shimmering. Stir in onion and garlic and sauté until soft and fragrant, about 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add mussels and wine. Cover the lid and steam for 6-8 minutes until all the shells are wide open. If you don't have a lid to cover, you can stir occasionally to help evenly cook the mussels. Discard any mussels that don't open.
  3. Add diced tomatoes and stir well. Bring the sauce to a simmer, and let it simmer for 3-5 minutes until the tomato sauce is evenly dispersed into the mussels. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately with a side of crusty bread or over a plate of spaghetti.


How to store fresh mussels: It's best to cook mussels the day that you buy them. To store for up to 2 days, transfer the mussels to a bowl or unsealed container and covered with a clean damp cloth or paper towel. Drain any water that collects in the bottom of the bowl every day. Do not store the mussels in water as they will die from it.

How to tell if mussels are fresh: Fresh mussels should be alive with their shells closed. They should have a fresh salty ocean smell, and not a fishy smell. If they smell fishy, I would not suggest eating them. If your mussels are store in the refrigerator, give it a smell just before cooking to ensure freshness.

How to store cooked mussels: You can store cooked mussels for up to 2 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. To reheat, heat in a skillet over low heat until warmed through. You may have to add a little water if the sauce has thickened up too much in the refrigerator. I would not recommend freezing mussels.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Seafood
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian