Classic Moules Marinière – Mussels in White Wine

Classic Moules Marinière – Mussels in White Wine

Classic Moules Marinière – Mussels in White Wine


The Perfect Warm Weather Dish!

Moules Marinière is a divine French shellfish recipe of fresh mussels cooked in garlic, onion and white wine. It’s fresh, rich and moreish. The perfect meal for a warm sunny day! Grab some fresh crusty bread and dig in!

moules marinière

Celebrating French Food

This month we are celebrating a different cuisine every week at Chilli & Life. Last week we celebrated Nigerian Cuisine due to my heritage. This week it is all about French cuisine.

I’ve been living in France for nearly 6 months now and I have no regrets! Its a great country and the food is simply divine. It is favoured and eaten all over the world for good reason and even though little to no spice is used they make up for it in butter! 😀

Today is the third and final recipe for the week! I will post a Food for Thought post on Sunday!

What is Moules Marinière?

The title of the dish is French and probably the most internationally recognisable dish of mussles or Moules frites which is mussels and fries. It is the national dish of Belgium and the second most favourite dish in France losing to magret de canard by 20 %!

Moules Marinière reminds me of summer days in South West France. Fresh seafood in a gorgeous sauce with fresh bread or homemade fries to dunk in that rich boozy sauce!

In France on the coast you find many places serving mussels and there are always 3 options; Moules Marinière, a la creme and

I also love my Thai Style Mussels cooked in coconut milk, chilli and coriander! Find my simple and delicious recipe here!

moules marinière

How To Buy Mussels

When buying mussels the best place to go is your local fish monger. You want to be able to see them and give them a tap to check whether they are still alive.

Mussels need to be live when you cook them otherwise they can be quite poisonous. So make sure you buy them from somewhere you trust and make sure you can see the mussels you are buying.

It’s Easter weekend and loads of places are selling them. Check your local Costco, they usually sell Loch Fyne mussels for crazy prices!! Last year I got 2kg for just £3.59 !!! Insane price right? If you are not a Costco member already, what are you waiting for – SIGN UP!!

Live Mussels

How to Clean Mussels?

  1. Once you get home remove the mussels from their packaging and carefully pour into a sieve and rinse all over with cold water.
  2. Place the sieve over a bowl to collect the liquid that is produced and begin cleaning the individual mussels.
  3. Discard of any mussels with cracked shells. Open mussels should be gently tapped and will close if still alive. Any that do not close should also be discarded.
  4. Take each mussel one by one and de beard them. The beard is the line that is used to grow mussels. Most mussels are sold uncleaned and so will still have this attached. To de beard locate the line and firmly pull towards the top and away from the shell to remove it completely. This can be difficult but it will eventually come away.
  5. Use your nail to clean any dirt and debris from the surface of the shell – you can also use a bristled brush to assist with this part.
  6. Don’t worry about any barnacles stuck to the shell, some will come off but others wont. As long as you clean the mussels there is nothing to worry about.
  7. Once you have cleaned and de bearded all mussels, rinse once more under cold running water and place back over your bowl ready for cooking.
live mussels

What Do I Need?

  • Mussels – I never buy and cook less than 1 kilo of mussels as they are super quick and easy to cook but very time consuming and boring to clean. Ensure they are fresh and live.
  • Onion – I use on medium to large brown onion diced.
  • Garlic – The more the better right!
  • Celery – Fresh celery stalk adds some extra flavour to this very basic sauce.
  • White Wine – Use a dry white wine like chardonay or simple dry cooking wine will do.
  • Butter – Its not a french recipe if it doesn’t include butter! Be generous no need to measure.
  • Parsley – A generous amount of fresh cut parsley either flat or curly works well.
  • Salt & Pepper – Nothing more than this basic seasoning is needed. I sometimes add a pinch of cayenne but this is not traditional of course.
  • Cream – Another non traditional addition is single cream. The french recipe does not call for this but I like to add a splash of liquid cream at the end to bring the sauce together.

Tips & Tricks

  • Take your time to clean the mussels. Seeing and eating the beard or dirty mussels is very unappealing.
  • Buy the mussels from somewhere you know and trust.
  • Check the mussels are live before buying by gently tapping on the shell.
  • Prepare and chop all your ingredients before you start cooking, Mussels cook very quickly.
  • Do not remove the cover halfway to stir. Simply hold the pot and give it a toss or swirl to move the mussels around.
  • Mussels cook through steaming so you want a pot that retains heat well.
moules marinière

Moules Marinière Serving Suggestions –

Moules Marinière is best served with some fresh crusty bread or homemade chips! You will want to dunk whatever carb you can in the yummy sauce at the end!

Check out my Thai Style Moules Frites recipe for my homemade fries recipe or give it a go with some Fluffy Basmati Rice on the side!

Moules Marinière

Fresh Mussels cooked in white wine, onion, garlic and parsley!
Servings 2 people
Cook Time 10 minutes
Cleaning Mussels 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes


  • Cast iron pot
  • 2 Sieves
  • Chopping board
  • Sharp knife


  • 1 kg live mussels
  • 50 g unsalted butter be generous
  • 1 onion
  • 1 stalk celery optional
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 100 ml dry white wine
  • 2 tbsp liquid cream
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • salt


  • Wash the mussles in the sink using cold water. Remove the beard and scrub the shell with a bristle brush or your nails.
  • Chop the onion and parsley, mince the garlic, measure out the rest of the ingredients and set aside.
  • Heat a pan with olive oil then throw in the butter, onion and saute for 2 minutes, add the minced garlic fry for another minute or so then add the wine.
  • Stir and allow the wine to bubble and the alcohol to evaporate. Add the seasonings, cream and more butter if needed and whisk.
  • Throw in the mussels cover and turn the heat to low/medium. Keep the lid closed and allow to steam for 3 minutes before shaking/twirling the pot around to cook the mussels evenly.
  • Leave to steam for a further 3-5 minutes and serve out of the pot hot with some crusty bread or homemade fries.


  • Chop and prepare all ingredients prior to starting  to cook.
  • Use a good quality pot that retains steam well – like cast iron. 
  • Use less salt than you think you need – its easy to over salt.
  • Serve straightaway mussels get cold quickly.
Author: Daniel Devereux
Cost: £6
Course: Main Course, Starter
Cuisine: French
Keyword: Cheap, French Flavour, Quick & Easy, Shellfish, Summer, Wine

Did you try this Moules Marinière Recipe?

Got any questions? Ask away! I’m here to help! If you loved this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment and rating below! Let me know how it turned out for you and share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at @chilliandlife and hashtag it #chilliandlife ! I’ll be sure to share it!

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