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Steamed Mussels with Tomato and Garlic Broth Recipe

Savor the classic combination of mussels, tomatoes, and garlic in this easy yet elegant dish. The mussels are cooked in a flavorful tomato and garlic broth, resulting in a mouth-watering meal that is simple to prepare but impressive to serve.

Steamed Mussels with Tomato and Garlic Broth Recipe
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Mussels are the key ingredient in this recipe and you might not usually have them in your kitchen. When purchasing them from the supermarket, make sure they are fresh and their shells are tightly closed. If they are open, give them a gentle tap; if they don't close, then they are not alive and should not be used. Also, choose ripe tomatoes in thick puree for a richer taste.

Ingredients for Steamed Mussels in Tomato and Garlic Broth

Olive oil: A great cooking base, adds richness to the broth.

Onion: Gives a sweet, savory depth to the dish.

Garlic: Adds a fragrant, spicy kick.

Parsley: Freshens up the dish and adds a pop of green color.

Tomatoes in thick puree: Gives body and tanginess to the broth.

Dried thyme: Adds a subtle, earthy flavor.

Dried red pepper flakes: Adds a hint of heat.

Mussels: The star of the dish, they bring a briny, sea flavor.

Black Pepper: Enhances the other flavors with a spicy note.

Salt: Brings out the flavors of the other ingredients.

Garlic toast: Perfect for sopping up the flavorful broth.

One reader, Edythe Schwab says:

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The steamed mussels in tomato and garlic broth recipe is a game-changer! The flavors are so rich and the mussels are perfectly tender. The broth is heavenly and pairs wonderfully with the garlic toast. It's a must-try for seafood lovers!

Edythe Schwab

Techniques Required for Steaming Mussels

How to prepare the mussels: Before cooking the mussels, scrub them under cold running water to remove any debris or sand. Remove the beards (the hairy fibers) by pulling them towards the hinge of the shell. Discard any mussels with broken shells or that do not close when tapped.

How to make garlic toast: Slice a baguette or Italian bread into 1/2-inch slices. Brush both sides of the bread with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic powder. Toast the bread in the oven at 375°F for 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy.

How to taste the broth: To taste the broth, use a clean spoon to carefully scoop up a small amount of the broth. Allow it to cool slightly, then taste it to check the seasoning. Adjust the salt if needed before serving with the mussels.

How To Make Steamed Mussels with Tomato and Garlic Broth

It’ll be hard to miss these piquant steamed mussels made flavorful brought by its broth made of tomato puree, garlic, thyme, parsley, and spices!

Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking: 35 minutes
Total: 50 minutes



  • ¼cupolive oil
  • 1onion
  • 6clovesgarlic
  • 3tbspfresh parsley,chopped
  • 2cupstomatoes in thick puree,canned, drained
  • ¼tspdried thyme
  • ¼tspdried red pepper flakes
  • 4lbsmussels
  • 1tspfresh ground black pepper
  • salt
  • garlic toast,optional


  1. In a large pot, heat the oil over moderately low heat.

  2. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes, until the onion is translucent.

  3. Stir in the parsley, tomatoes, thyme, and red pepper flakes

  4. Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  5. Discard any mussels that have broken shells or that don’t clamp shut when tapped.

  6. Add the mussels to the pot.

  7. Cover. Bring to a boil.

  8. Cook, shaking the pot occasionally for about 3 minutes, just until the mussels open.

  9. Remove the open mussels.

  10. Continue to boil, uncovering the pot as necessary, to remove the mussels as soon as their shells open.

  11. Discard any that do not open.

  12. Stir the black pepper into the broth.

  13. Taste the broth and, if needed, add salt.

  14. Ladle the broth over the mussels and serve with garlic toast.


Recipe Notes

Wine Recommendation: Every Mediterranean country has its version of shellfish in a tomato-based broth, and the wine of choice for each is an earthy, full-bodied pink wine. Seek out a Lacryma Christi Rosé.


  • Calories: 547.82kcal
  • Fat: 23.93g
  • Saturated Fat: 3.85g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 12.19g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 4.27g
  • Carbohydrates: 25.34g
  • Fiber: 1.87g
  • Sugar: 3.40g
  • Protein: 55.54g
  • Cholesterol: 127.01mg
  • Sodium: 1355.22mg
  • Calcium: 152.39mg
  • Potassium: 1725.70mg
  • Iron: 18.69mg
  • Vitamin A: 261.97µg
  • Vitamin C: 54.59mg

Crucial Technique for Perfectly Steamed Mussels

When preparing your mussels, ensure they are fresh by checking if the shells are tightly closed. If they are slightly open, give them a gentle tap. If they close, they are still alive and safe to cook. If they remain open, discard them as they are likely dead and could potentially make you sick. This is a crucial step in ensuring the quality and safety of your dish. Additionally, when serving, remember that mussels can continue to cook in the hot broth. To avoid overcooking, remove them from the heat as soon as their shells open.

Time-Saving Tips for Making Steamed Mussels in Tomato and Garlic Broth

Prep ahead: Chop the onions, garlic, and parsley in advance to save time during the cooking process.

Use canned tomatoes: Opt for canned tomatoes instead of fresh ones to skip the step of peeling and dicing, saving time without compromising flavor.

Clean mussels in advance: Clean and debeard the mussels ahead of time to streamline the cooking process and minimize prep work.

Simmer while prepping: While the broth simmers, use that time to clean and prepare the mussels, maximizing efficiency in the kitchen.

Serve with pre-made garlic toast: Use store-bought garlic toast to save time on preparing and toasting bread while ensuring a delicious accompaniment to the mussels.

Substitute Ingredients For Steamed Mussels with Tomato and Garlic Broth Recipe

  • olive oil - Substitute with avocado oil: Avocado oil has a similar high smoke point and mild flavor, making it a suitable replacement for olive oil in this recipe.

  • onion - Substitute with shallots: Shallots have a milder and sweeter flavor compared to onions, which can complement the mussels and garlic broth well.

  • garlic - Substitute with roasted garlic: Roasted garlic provides a deeper, slightly sweet flavor that can enhance the overall taste of the dish.

  • fresh parsley - Substitute with fresh cilantro: Cilantro can add a fresh and vibrant flavor to the dish, complementing the tomato and garlic broth.

  • tomatoes in thick puree - Substitute with canned diced tomatoes: Canned diced tomatoes can provide a similar texture and flavor to the thick puree, making them a convenient substitute.

  • dried thyme - Substitute with dried oregano: Oregano can add a slightly earthy and aromatic flavor that complements the other ingredients in the broth.

  • dried red pepper flakes - Substitute with paprika: Paprika can provide a mild heat and smoky flavor, enhancing the taste of the broth without overwhelming the mussels.

  • mussels - Substitute with clams: Clams can be a suitable alternative, offering a similar texture and flavor profile when cooked in the tomato and garlic broth.

  • fresh ground black pepper - Substitute with white pepper: White pepper can provide a slightly different flavor profile while still adding a subtle heat to the dish.

  • garlic toast - Substitute with sourdough bread slices: Sourdough bread slices can be toasted and rubbed with garlic for a similar flavor and texture to garlic toast.

Presentation Tips for Steamed Mussels in a Flavorful Broth

  1. Elevate the plating: When presenting the steamed mussels in tomato and garlic broth, focus on creating a visually appealing plate. Use a wide, shallow bowl to showcase the mussels and the vibrant broth. The bowl should be large enough to comfortably hold the mussels without overcrowding, allowing the vibrant colors of the dish to shine through.

  2. Garnish with fresh herbs: Add a pop of color and freshness to the dish by garnishing with a sprinkle of freshly chopped parsley. This will not only enhance the visual appeal but also add a hint of brightness to the overall presentation.

  3. Arrange the garlic toast artfully: Instead of simply placing the garlic toast on the side, consider arranging it in a visually appealing manner. You can lean the toast against the bowl or create a decorative stack on the side of the plate to add an element of height and interest to the presentation.

  4. Use elegant serving utensils: Opt for high-quality, elegant serving utensils to elevate the dining experience. Consider using polished stainless steel or silver-plated utensils that complement the sophistication of the dish and the dining environment.

  5. Focus on symmetry and balance: When plating the mussels, aim for symmetry and balance in the arrangement. Position the mussels evenly in the bowl, ensuring that the presentation is visually balanced and harmonious.

  6. Incorporate a touch of color contrast: Consider adding a subtle touch of color contrast to the presentation. This can be achieved by serving the mussels in a bowl with a contrasting interior color, such as a deep blue or vibrant red, to make the dish visually striking.

  7. Highlight the vibrant broth: Showcase the rich, flavorful broth by ensuring that it is generously ladled over the mussels. The broth should be the star of the dish, so pay attention to its distribution and ensure that it envelops the mussels beautifully.

  8. Emphasize cleanliness and precision: Prior to serving, carefully wipe the rim of the bowl to remove any drips or spills, ensuring a clean and polished presentation. Attention to detail and precision is key in presenting a dish of this caliber.

Essential Kitchen Tools for Making Steamed Mussels

  • Large pot: A large pot is essential for steaming the mussels and preparing the flavorful broth.
  • Wooden spoon: A wooden spoon is perfect for stirring the ingredients in the pot without damaging the pot's surface.
  • Ladle: A ladle is used for serving the mussels and the delicious tomato and garlic broth.
  • Garlic press: A garlic press can be used to easily crush the garlic cloves for the broth, releasing their flavors.
  • Tongs: Tongs are useful for removing the mussels from the pot as they open during the cooking process.
  • Knife: A sharp knife is necessary for chopping the onion and parsley, as well as preparing the garlic toast.
  • Cutting board: A cutting board provides a safe and stable surface for chopping and preparing the ingredients.
  • Serving bowl: A serving bowl is needed for presenting the steamed mussels and the delicious tomato and garlic broth.
  • Garlic toast: Garlic toast is a delicious accompaniment to the steamed mussels and can be prepared using a toaster or oven.

How To Reheat Leftover Steamed Mussels

  • Reheat the mussels and broth together in a covered pot over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the mussels are heated through and the broth is steaming. This method helps to retain the moisture and flavor of the mussels and broth. Be careful not to overcook the mussels, as they can become tough and rubbery.

  • If you prefer your mussels slightly crispy, you can remove them from the broth and place them on a baking sheet. Broil them in the oven for 1-2 minutes until they are lightly browned and crispy on top. Meanwhile, reheat the broth in a pot on the stovetop until it is steaming. Serve the crispy mussels in bowls and ladle the hot broth over them.

  • For a quick and easy reheating method, place the mussels and broth in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover the bowl with a damp paper towel to prevent the mussels from drying out. Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, stirring halfway through, until the mussels are heated through and the broth is steaming. Be careful not to microwave the mussels for too long, as they can become tough and rubbery.

  • If you have a lot of leftover broth, you can strain out the mussels and reheat the broth separately. Bring the broth to a simmer in a pot on the stovetop, then add the mussels and cook for 1-2 minutes until they are heated through. This method allows you to control the consistency of the broth and ensures that the mussels are not overcooked.

  • For a flavorful twist, sauté some garlic and red pepper flakes in a pot with a little olive oil before adding the leftover mussels and broth. Simmer the mixture for a few minutes until the mussels are heated through and the flavors have melded together. This method adds an extra kick of flavor to the already delicious mussels and broth.

Interesting Fact About Steamed Mussels

The tomato and garlic broth in this recipe is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, making it not only delicious but also nutritious. The combination of tomatoes and garlic provides a flavorful and healthy base for the mussels. Tomatoes are a great source of vitamin C, potassium, and lycopene, while garlic is known for its immune-boosting and heart-healthy benefits. Enjoying this dish not only satisfies your taste buds but also provides a dose of essential nutrients.

Is Making Steamed Mussels at Home Cost-Effective?

The cost-effectiveness of this steamed mussels in tomato and garlic broth recipe largely depends on the availability of fresh mussels. While mussels can be relatively affordable, the addition of olive oil, fresh parsley, and tomatoes may increase the overall cost. However, considering the generous serving size and the flavorful broth, this dish offers a satisfying dining experience. On a scale of 1-10, the overall verdict for this recipe is 8. The approximate cost for a household of 4 people is around $25-$30, making it a reasonable option for a special seafood dinner.

Is This Seafood Dish Healthy or Unhealthy?

The steamed mussels in tomato and garlic broth recipe is a relatively healthy dish, offering a good balance of protein, vegetables, and healthy fats. Here's a breakdown of the nutritional aspects:

  • Mussels are an excellent source of lean protein, vitamin B12, iron, and zinc
  • Olive oil provides healthy monounsaturated fats
  • Onion and garlic offer antioxidants and immune-boosting properties
  • Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, vitamin C, and potassium
  • Parsley adds a fresh flavor and is a good source of vitamin K

However, there are a few areas where the recipe could be improved to make it even healthier:

  • The recipe calls for a significant amount of olive oil, which could increase the calorie and fat content. Reducing the oil to 2 tablespoons would still provide the necessary healthy fats without going overboard.
  • To boost the vegetable content and add more fiber, consider incorporating diced bell peppers or zucchini into the tomato broth.
  • While garlic toast is a tasty accompaniment, opting for whole-grain bread would increase the fiber and nutrient content. Alternatively, serving the mussels with a side salad or roasted vegetables would provide a more balanced meal.
  • For those watching their sodium intake, be mindful of the added salt and consider using low-sodium tomatoes in puree.

Editor's Opinion on This Steamed Mussels Recipe

The recipe for steamed mussels in tomato and garlic broth is a delightful combination of flavors. The use of fresh parsley, garlic, and tomatoes creates a rich and aromatic broth that perfectly complements the briny sweetness of the mussels. The addition of thyme and red pepper flakes adds a subtle depth of flavor, while the garlic toast provides a perfect vehicle for sopping up the delicious broth. This dish is a wonderful showcase of simple, fresh ingredients and is sure to impress any seafood lover.

Enhance Your Steamed Mussels with Tomato and Garlic Broth Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Roasted Asparagus: Toss asparagus with olive oil, salt, and pepper, then roast until tender and slightly crispy.
Grilled Pineapple: Grill pineapple slices until they have beautiful grill marks and are caramelized, then serve as a sweet and tangy side dish.
Creamy Polenta: Cook polenta until creamy and smooth, then top with a pat of butter and freshly grated parmesan cheese for a comforting and rich side dish.

Similar Seafood Dishes to Try

Creamy Mushroom Risotto: Use a variety of mushrooms to add depth of flavor to this creamy and comforting risotto dish. Serve with a sprinkle of fresh parsley on top.
Honey Glazed Carrots: Roast carrots in the oven with a honey glaze for a sweet and savory side dish that pairs perfectly with any main course. Top with a sprinkle of sea salt before serving.
Grilled Pineapple with Cinnamon: Slice pineapple into rings and grill until caramelized. Sprinkle with cinnamon for a warm and sweet dessert that's perfect for summer cookouts.
Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup: Simmer chicken, orzo, and vegetables in a flavorful lemon-infused broth for a light and refreshing soup that's perfect for any time of year. Serve with a slice of crusty bread on the side.
Chocolate Lava Cake: Indulge in a rich and decadent chocolate lava cake with a gooey center that oozes out when you cut into it. Top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for the ultimate dessert experience.

Appetizer and Dessert Ideas to Serve with Steamed Mussels

Stuffed Mushrooms: Delight your guests with savory stuffed mushrooms filled with a flavorful mixture of herbs, cheese, and breadcrumbs. These bite-sized appetizers are perfect for any gathering and are sure to impress even the pickiest eaters.
Caprese Skewers: Create a colorful and refreshing appetizer with Caprese skewers featuring juicy cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and fragrant basil leaves. Drizzle with balsamic glaze for an extra burst of flavor that will leave your guests wanting more.
Chocolate Mousse: Indulge in a rich and velvety chocolate mousse, topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder. The smooth texture and intense chocolate flavor will satisfy any sweet tooth.
Strawberry Cheesecake: Delight in a creamy and luscious strawberry cheesecake, featuring a buttery graham cracker crust and a vibrant strawberry topping. Each bite is a perfect balance of tangy and sweet flavors.

Why trust this Steamed Mussels with Tomato and Garlic Broth Recipe:

This recipe guarantees a delightful dining experience with its use of fresh, high-quality ingredients. The mussels are sourced from trusted suppliers, ensuring their freshness and superior taste. The flavorful broth, enriched with tomatoes in thick puree and aromatic garlic, infuses the mussels with a rich and savory essence. The addition of fresh parsley and a hint of dried thyme elevates the dish, while the olive oil imparts a luscious texture. This recipe's attention to detail and balance of flavors makes it a reliable choice for seafood enthusiasts.

If you tried this Steamed Mussels with Tomato and Garlic Broth recipe, we'd love to hear your feedback! Share your thoughts and experiences with this dish in the Recipe Sharing forum.
How can I tell if the mussels are fresh?
Fresh mussels should have tightly closed shells. If any of the shells are open, tap them gently. If they don't close, discard them. Also, check for any cracks or chips on the shells, and avoid mussels with these imperfections.
Can I use frozen mussels for this recipe?
While fresh mussels are recommended for the best flavor and texture, you can use frozen mussels as a substitute. Just be sure to thaw them completely before using in the recipe.
What can I serve with steamed mussels in tomato and garlic broth?
Steamed mussels in tomato and garlic broth are delicious on their own, but they can also be served with crusty bread or garlic toast to soak up the flavorful broth. A side salad or a simple pasta dish can also complement the mussels nicely.
How do I store and reheat leftover mussels?
Store any leftover mussels in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. To reheat, place the mussels and broth in a pot and gently warm over low heat until heated through. Be careful not to overcook the mussels during reheating.
Can I use a different type of seafood with this broth?
Yes, you can certainly use a different type of seafood with this flavorful broth. Clams, shrimp, or even chunks of firm fish like cod or halibut can be cooked in the tomato and garlic broth for a delicious variation. Adjust the cooking time based on the type of seafood you choose.

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