Garlicky Steamed Mussels with Leeks & White Wine

Garlicky Steamed Mussels II

You know those big bowls of steamed mussels on many a restaurant menu – where after you have polished them off, you just want to lift that bowl of garlicky brothy goodness to your lips and drink it? (Looks a little crazy, so I generally refrain from that practice in public).  More likely, every last bit of scrumptious liquid is lapped up with crusty bread (delicious and highly recommended).

Well, beautiful people, mussels steamed with an aromatic, garlic infused wine broth are so easy to make at home that you won’t have to deny yourself the pleasure and wait until you dine out again!

Not much effort is needed to set this up, especially if you have access to good quality mussels that are very clean and de-bearded to start with (this is when living in Maine is extremely convenient).  I’ve been really pleased with the quality and cleanliness of Moosabec Mussels from Jonesport, Maine which I buy at Whole Foods in Portland.  A rinse in the sink was all that was needed, as the mussels were already de-bearded.  A huge boon to the time pressed cook!

Garlicky Steamed Mussels II

I make these year round when the mood strikes, which lately has been rather often. What I love about this recipe, is that the flavors can be adjusted depending on your own preferences.  I like a garlicky broth (I’m sure you figured that out by now!), and sometimes add up to a scant ¼ cup chopped garlic (about 10 cloves).  And since I am the world’s biggest fan of Aleppo pepper (which I also use here and here), I tend to err on the full teaspoon side which gives a gentle heat, but you can certainly add more or less. Or if you can’t get your hands on some Aleppo pepper, substitute crushed red pepper flakes. Not my favorite, but it will do.  If you will follow my blog (thank you!), let me just say that I use Aleppo pepper All.The.Time.  So invest in a jar. It will be worth it.  Pinky swear.

While this is not a make ahead recipe, you can get much of the prepping done ahead of time and then about 10 minutes before you want to eat, start cooking so that the steamed mussels are served hot.  Boom.  Done.

I hope you try it soon!



Opinions and endorsements are my own and I received no compensation.

Garlicky Steamed Mussels with Leeks & White Wine
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Steamed mussels are easy and flavorful to make at home to begin a meal, or just because.
Serves: 4 to 6 as an appetizer
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 ½ cups thinly sliced leeks (white part only, cut leek in half lengthwise first, then slice thinly)
  • 6 to 10 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ - 1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper, (substitute crushed red pepper flakes if desired)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 to 5 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves stripped, and chopped
  • ½ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 4 pounds fresh cultivated mussels, cleaned and beards removed
  • 1 ½ cups dry white wine or French vermouth
  • For serving: Crusty bread or baguette, sliced
  1. In a large pot with a tight fitting lid, heat butter and olive oil over medium heat, until butter is melted. Add leeks, garlic, Aleppo pepper, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  2. Cook gently for 5 minutes until softened and tender, adjusting heat if necessary so that leeks do not brown.
  3. Add rosemary and parsley, stir to combine. Bring heat to high, add mussels and wine, combine gently, cover pot.
  4. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, then stir to check if mussels have opened. If so, they are ready to serve. If not, cover pot and cook for another minute, until the mussels have just opened.
  5. Dump into a deep serving bowl or individual bowls and pour broth over.
  6. Serve at once, with crusty bread for mopping up all that deliciousness.


Published on November 16, 2014
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.


  1. These look delicious. My husband loves mussels, so this is definitely going in my recipe file. Thanks!

  2. Mussels are definitely a fav in our house along with clams and oysters. We can’t get enough!

  3. Barbara, We adore mussels in our house and I’m drooling over the quality of yours. I once vacationed near Portland and got to pick mussels off the rocks (yes, we checked to make sure there was no red tide alert) and cook them up super fresh. I’m not as much a garlic lover as you are, but I could definitely see using this recipe as a template. Yum!

  4. I have a weak spot for mussels and am LOVING the addition of Aleppo pepper. Can’t wait to try these!

  5. Mussels are a favorite in our house! We have a summer house in Maine and it’s my totally the best place in the world for mussels. So yum!

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