Steamed Mussels in Garlic Fennel Broth

Steamed Mussels in a flavorful garlic fennel broth is a delicious seafood dish that will exceed everyone’s expectations. Serve with a side of crusty bread for dipping, and you will fall in LOVE this easy recipe!

Make steamed mussels special…

Entertaining guests? Maybe a date night? Or just want a seafood dinner that’s economical and easy to pull off. Well, here’s a great recipe for Steamed Mussels!

The secret to its flavorful broth is the underlining smokiness that comes from the cooked prosciutto, along with the garlic, sweet fennel, white wine, lemon zest, and crushed red pepper flakes for some heat.

Steamed Mussels with garlic fennel broth in a large deep skillet.

Quick Overview of Ingredients for Steamed Mussels:

For this easy recipe, you will only need these ingredients:

  • Olive Oil: always start with a good quality olive oil to sauté the vegetables before the mussels are tossed in.
  • Prosciutto: you only need 2 slices of prosciutto, but if you prefer you can add in a few more and cook until crispy.
  • Fennel: the fennel bulb which looks like a cross of an onion and celery mixed together offers a sweet, and subtle anise-like flavor. Italians love to eat it raw in salads, or by itself as an appetizer or snack. But when it’s cooked, it mellows and becomes sweet and tender.
  • Onion: the onion offers a sweet flavor to the broth.
  • Garlic: garlic, of course, is essential when it comes to seafood dishes, especially with mussels. So don’t leave it out.
  • Crusted Red Pepper: offers some heat to this dish.
  • White Wine: white wine helps create a flavorful broth with the mussels.
  • Fresh Mussels: make sure the shells are all closed when you buy them at your local seafood market. This recipe calls for 2 pounds of mussels and will yield 4 servings.
  • Parsley: fresh Italian parsley adds some aromatic scent to these mussels, giving them a fresh flavor to the broth.
  • Butter: butter adds a little richness to the broth, making it more delicious for dipping some crusty bread into it.
  • Lemon Zest: goes without saying, that some lemon zest always adds a fresh taste to the broth, infusing for the finishing touch!

How to Make Steamed Mussels?

Steamed mussels are always cooked and ready to serve in about 15 minutes. This is a very easy recipe. Once the ingredients are sautéed in the skillet, the mussels are added and steamed in the flavorful broth until the shells open. Then serve with some crusty bread to dip in its delicious-flavorful broth.

Directions to make Steamed Mussels in Garlic Fennel Broth: (Step-by-Step!)

1. First, gather all the ingredients.

2. Then place the fresh mussels into a large mixing bowl and run cold water over them. QUICK TIP! If you notice any mussels slightly opened, pinch the shell to close it, and toss them back into cold water.

Ingredients for Steamed Mussels recipe are laid on a white cutting board, and mussels in a silver bowl under running water. by

3. Prep and chop all the ingredients required. Then start to saute the veggies (before the mussels go in).

a.) In a large deep skillet, heat olive oil on moderate heat. Toss in chopped pieces of prosciutto. Cook for about 1 minute or so until they crisp up.

b.) Toss in diced onions, garlic, and crushed red pepper flakes. Cook until they soften, about 1 to 2 minutes.

c.) Add the sliced fennel and stir to combine.

d.) Then the freshly chopped parsley. Cook for an additional 2 minutes.

4 steps to cooking the vegetables in a large deep skillet. by

4. Next, drain the mussels in a colander. Then add the mussels to the skillet and cover with a lid.

5. When you see “the steam” coming up from the pot, open the lid and pour in the white wine. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Cook the mussels for 4 to 6 minutes until they open.

A large skillet with cover over the mussels.  And a photo of white wine poured into the skillet over the mussels.  by

6. Open the cover, and toss in the lemon zest and butter. Plus, a pinch of sea salt. Stir the mussels to combine. Cover again for another minute or so. Turn off the heat.

3 photos of mussels cooking in skillet. by

7. Finally, transfer to a serving platter or serve in individual dishes, spoon the flavorful broth over them, and serve immediately. Best to serve with a small fork and crusty bread for dipping. Yields: 4 servings.

To Store Leftovers…

We almost never have leftover steamed mussels in our house. But if we do, we remove the mussels from their shells, place them into an airtight container along with the remaining broth, and store them in the refrigerator for the next day. Then use the leftovers to make a seafood risotto, or toss them with some spaghetti for another dinner.

Steamed Mussels in Garlic Fennel Broth will make a delicious appetizer or the main dinner.

Serve them with a light, crisp white wine like a Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay, and enjoy!

Steamed Mussels in Garlic Fennel Broth by

Additional seafood recipes…

Yield: 4 servings

Steamed Mussels in Garlic Fennel Broth

Steamed Mussels in Garlic Fennel Broth by

Steamed Mussels in Garlic Fennel Broth will exceed everyone's expectations. A simple seafood recipe that's amazingly flavorful and fun to eat. Serve it as an appetizer or the main course, it's so good, everyone will ask for more!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 thin slices of prosciutto - rolled up and chopped
  • 1/2 of an onion - diced
  • 2 or 3 garlic cloves - minced
  • 1 medium fennel bulb - thinly sliced
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/3 cup freshly chopped Italian parsley, plus extra
  • 2 pounds Fresh Mussels
  • 1 cup (good quality) white wine
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon zest
  • 2 to 3 Tbsp. butter
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 French baguette, sliced and toasted, for serving
  • lemon wedges, for serving


  1. In a large pot or bowl, add the mussels and submerge them under cold water to soak for a few minutes, until you are ready to cook them.
  2. Next, heat olive oil on moderate heat in a large deep skillet or saucepan. Toss in chopped prosciutto and cook for about 1 minute, until prosciutto is almost crisp.
  3. Add in the onions, and garlic and cook for about 2 minutes until softened. Add the fennel, and crushed red pepper flakes. Toss in chopped parsley. Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring the mixture.
  4. Next, drain the mussels, then add them to the skillet and cover with a lid.
  5. When you see "the steam" coming up from the pot, open the lid and pour in the white wine. Cover and reduce heat to medium. Cook the mussels for 4 to 6 minutes until they open.
  6. Open the cover, and toss in the lemon zest, butter, and a pinch of sea salt. Stir the mussels to combine. Cover again for another minute or so. Turn off the heat.
  7. Transfer the mussels to a serving bowl using a slotted spoon. Discard any mussels that do not open.
  8. Spoon the remaining broth over the mussels. Slice a baguette; toast or grill slices. Sprinkle with additional parsley on top, as garnish along with some lemon wedges at the table. Serve with crusty bread for dipping into the broth. It is divine!
  9. Yields: 4 servings


Fresh Mussels are best and need to be cooked and served the day you buy them.

Discard, and throw out any mussel that did not open.

For any Leftovers? Remove the mussels from their shells and store them in an airtight container along with the remaining broth. Then use them to serve with spaghetti or rice the next day.

Nutrition Information:


4 servings

Serving Size:

1 serving

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 248Total Fat: 24.3gCarbohydrates: 12.1gFiber: 1gProtein: 29.2g

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