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Mussels dress up any holiday table, and they are easy to prepare. A quick steam in garlic wine sauce brings out the best in these low-calorie seafood favorites. A good source of vitamin B12, protein, iron and zinc, fresh mussels should have a light ocean scent, not a strong fishy smell. Live mussels should be closed. If the shells are open, lightly tap them to see if they close. If they remain open, you should discard them along with any mussels that have broken shells. Clean the mussels just before you are ready to cook them.


  • 1 1/2 lbs mussels
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 chili peppers, chopped (optional)
  • 2 plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 Tbsp lemon zest
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup minced scallions
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges




Wash the mussels under cool running water. Scrub the outside and debeard the mussels (pull fibrous beard toward the hinge of the shell to remove and discard).

In a stockpot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and chilies, if using, and sauté until fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, stir and cook, about 2 minutes.

Add the white wine, lemon zest and 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice. Stir to combine.

Add the mussels, cover and steam for 3 minutes. Stir the mussels, cover and steam until the mussels are opened up and cooked, about 2 to 3 minutes. Discard any unopened mussels.

Remove from heat. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice, scallions, salt and black pepper to taste. Garnish with the parsley and lemon wedges.

Nutrition Facts

Serving size:

About 8 mussels

Per Serving:

Calories: 198 Fat: 10g Saturated Fat: 0g Cholesterol: 47mg Sodium: 561mg Carbohydrates: 7g Fiber: 0g Protein: 20g

Serves 4

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Date Last Reviewed: August 6, 2020

Editorial Review: Judy Capodanno, Health eCooking Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor

Dietary Review: Jane Schwartz, RD

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