Traditional Moules Marinières: Mussels In Wine Sauce

Moules marinières are a delicious, affordable & easy meal for a casual dinner party with friends or a tasty starter for two and this traditional recipe will leave your taste buds wanting more.

Moules Marinières (mussels in white wine sauce) is an iconic dishes from the north of France and Belgium. Although it can seem intimidating at first, cooking mussels is surprisingly simple which makes this a popular quick & easy meal especially on the coast in France.

“A la mariniere” is not only the traditional way to open mussels but also the best method because it preserves the delicious briny flavors of the mussels. Look for mussels in season between June to October.

To cook your mussels using the classic recipe, only use white wine and shallots. For a twist on the classic, add some fresh herbs and bit of garlic to your taste. Add a fresh French baguette to soak up the sauce.

Want to try it Belgium style? Serve your moules marinières with homemade fries and a cold bottle of Belgium beer like Triplel Karmeliet or Chimay Blue.


1.200 kg mussels
250 ml white wine
2 medium shallots
5 g parsley optional
1 clove garlic optional
10 g butter
2 g black pepper
2 sprig thyme


  1. Debeard your mussels by grabbing the beard of the mussels and firmly pull off to remove it. As you debeard, make sure each shell is closed and uncracked. If you find cracked shells or fully open mussels, discard them because they are no longer alive and could make you sick. If they are slightly open, tap on the shell and they will close if they are still alive.
  2. Clean the mussels in a large bowl or clean sink. Fill the bowl or the sink with just enough water to cover the mussels.
  3. Then, add the mussels to the water and clean the batch by gently rubbing with your hand for about 20 seconds. Then remove the mussels from water and put them in a large container. (Don’t keep the mussels submerged in water too long or they will start to open, and you will loose the flavor.)
  4. Discard the water and repeat the operation (1-3 times) until the water is clear to remove all the dirt.
  5. When the mussels are clean, reserve in the refrigerator.
  6. Peel the shallots, and finely dice. Set aside.
  7. Wash the parsley and finely chop. Set aside.
  8. In a large pot, sweat the diced shallots with butter and sprig of thyme on medium heat for 30 seconds. In the meantime, (optional) gently crush whole garlic clove with the palm of your hand and add into the pot.
  9. Add the white wine into the pot with a large pinch of pepper and bring to a hot heat. When the white wine simmers (almost immediately when pouring), add the mussels to the pot and put the lid on top.
  10. Cook approx. 2 to 5 minutes until the mussels open. When cooking the mussels, shake the pot to move them with the liquid to circulate the steam and also to move the mussels on top to the bottom of the pot.
  11. When the mussels are open, add the parsley (optional) and serve immediately. Bon appétit!



  1. I recommend eating your mussels the day that you buy them or within 24 hours because they are at their freshest and will taste the best.