Muscle Mussels

Muscle Mussels

I’m a massive fan of mussels and discovered my love for them fairly late in life.

There are many ways to cook and serve these beauties, but here’s a lovely light simple recipe.

his is one of the many lean recipes that I’ve created where flavour and simplicity are key. There are hundreds of lean recipes in my app The Lean Cook with adjustable calories and macros.

Ingredients for 2 servings

1000 g live mussels
100 g onions, chopped
15 g olive oil
1 garlic clove, chopped or crushed
0.5 lemon, juice only
20 g fresh parsley, chopped
75 ml white wine
salt and pepper


  • Place your live mussels into a bowl of clean cold water and remove any obvious debris.
  • Mussels will generally still have a ‘beard’ attached to them but these are easy to remove.
  • Hold it between your thumb and forefinger and pull it downwards towards the hinged-end of the mussel shell until it comes away.
  • Mussels if they are still live will be firmly shut but sometimes you’ll come across one that’s slightly open.
  • Give it a gentle tap and set it aside.
  • Discard any which are wide open or have broken shells.
  • Repeat this process until you have sorted through all your mussels – this shouldn’t take longer than 5 minutes generally.
  • As you sort through your mussels, place them into another bowl of cold clean water.
  • Go back to any that were open and the ones that have closed pop back in your water and any that you’re unsure of discard – better safe than sorry!
  • You’re going to need a rather large sauce pan with a lid.
  • Put this onto the heat and add your olive oil.
  • When this has warmed add your onions and garlic and take a few minutes to soften them without colouring them.
  • Add the mussels by hand, you don’t need the water they were in but it isn’t necessary to drain them.
  • When you have added all the mussels, give them a good stir to mix everything together, pour in the wine then stir again for a minute to burn off the alcohol and then cover with a lid.
  • The wine will come to a rapid boil and will steam the mussels open.
  • The mussels hold a little water and this combined with the wine is going to create the lightest broth full of flavour!
  • After a few minutes give the pan a shake without taking the lid off.
  • Leave the mussels for another minute or so before you take the lid off and see what’s happening in the pan.
  • When the mussels are ready they will have opened to expose the mussel within.
  • Add a little seasoning to the pan to taste along with the lemon juice and the chopped parsley.
  • Give everything a good stir before decanting them to the largest bowl you own.
  • If you come across any that haven’t opened, just discard them.
  • Take your time, enjoy the mussels and enjoy the broth too.

Recipe Notes

  • The general rule of thumb when using wine in a recipe is if you wouldn’t drink it why cook with it? It doesn’t have to be expensive.
  • After cooking don’t attempt to eat any mussels that haven’t opened.

Nella Foulds
Nella Foulds

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