Baked Mussels with Garlic Butter

3 mins read

These easy Baked Mussels with Garlic Butter are the perfect appetizer or light dinner entree. Enjoy them for the holidays or any day of the week.


This mussels recipe is perfect whether this is your first time cooking mussels or your 100th time cooking them. Cooking mussels is relatively easily.

For these baked mussels, you will steam mussels in a white wine broth before finishing in the oven with garlic butter and Parmesan cheese. The mussels carry the flavor of the lemon wine broth which is light and perfect.

A large pot of mussels yields a tasty appetizer or light dinner any day of the week. Serve them as a main dish with a garden salad, roasted potatoes and broccoli or asparagus.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Baked mussels with garlic butter are an easy yet impressive appetizer.
  • Mussels open on their own when steaming so no fancy knives or gloves required.
  • The entire recipe comes together in 30 minutes or less!
  • It’s naturally gluten free.

Ingredients You Need

You will need fresh mussels and a few other basic ingredients for the garlic butter.

  • Fresh Mussels: You can find fresh mussels at your local grocery store in the seafood department or at your local seafood market. The mussels should smell fresh, just like the ocean.
  • White Wine: This adds a delicious flavor to the mussels. If you don’t want to use white wine, you can substitute with clam juice, chicken broth or vegetable broth.
  • Lemon Juice: Use freshly squeezed lemon juice for the best flavor.
  • Butter: Use unsalted butter.
  • Garlic: Use freshly minced garlic.
  • Parmesan Cheese: Freshly grated parmesan cheese is best, although you can use freshly shredded parmesan cheese, if needed. You can substitute with mozzarella cheese or cheddar cheese.
  • Fresh Parsley: For garnish, color and flavor. You can omit, if desired.
  • Salt and Pepper

How to Bake Mussels in Garlic Butter

This baked mussels recipe includes precooking the mussels by steaming them before baking in the oven with the garlic butter and cheese. The mussels are steamed before baking to ensure that they are properly cooked.

  1. Rinse and clean the mussels – Scrub the mussels and rinse in cold water. Remove the beard of the mussel if it remains. The beard is a clump of hair-like fibers that grows on the shell. Discard any open mussels as these are bad.
  2. Steam the mussels – First, boil 4 cups of water in a large pot over high heat. Pour in the white wine and lemon juice and then bring back to a boil. Add the mussels to the water and cover and let them steam for about 3 minutes or until they have all opened. (The mussels are done when they open. Discard any mussels that do not open as these are bad.)
  3. Allow mussels to cool – Strain the mussels from the water and place them in a colander to cool but do not discard the water in the pot.
  1. Make the garlic butter – While the mussels are cooling, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat and then stir in the garlic and let cook for 30 seconds.
  2. Arrange the mussels on a baking sheet – Remove the empty top shells from the mussels then place the halves with the meat in them face up on a large baking pan, evenly spaced.
  1. Drizzle the mussels with the water mixture – Drizzle 3 to 4 tablespoons of the boiled water mixture evenly over the top of the mussels.
  2. Add the melted garlic butter, parmesan cheese and parsley – Drizzle the garlic butter over the tops of the mussels. Sprinkle the tops with the Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley.
  3. Bake in the oven – Bake the mussels in an oven preheated to 475 degrees Fahrenheit for 2 to 4 minutes or until the cheese is fully melted. You do NOT want to overcook the mussels. You only need to bake them long enough to melt the cheese. Serve baked mussels immediately with freshly minced parsley for garnish and lemon wedges, if desired.

Expert Tips

  • Double or triple the recipe to serve more. This baked mussels with garlic butter recipe serves one person as a main dish or two to four people as an appetizer.
  • Add red pepper flakes to the garlic butter for a kick of heat.
  • Add finely diced shallots or scallions to the garlic butter for more flavor.
  • Use steamer clams instead of mussels.
  • Add bread crumbs before baking for more texture and flavor.
  • How to tell when mussels are done cooking – When you are steaming the mussels, they are done cooking when they open. Do not eat any mussels that do not open up as they are no longer fresh and should be tossed. When baking, cook only until the cheese is melted. Do not cook any longer or you may overcook.

Baked Mussels with cheese are a relatively inexpensive, easy and delicious appetizer or light dinner. Impress your guests by serving these cheesy baked mussels with your favorite side of veggies, potatoes or other seafood.

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