Saffron, tomato and a touch of cream yields a flavorful sauce for these simple steamed mussels. Soak up the sauce with plenty of crusty whole-grain baguette.


Recipe Summary test

45 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, celery and garlic and cook, stirring often, until just starting to brown, 30 seconds to 4 minutes.

  • Add tomatoes, stock (or clam juice), saffron, salt and pepper; bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in mussels. Cover and cook just until the mussels have opened, 4 to 6 minutes. Remove from the heat (discard any unopened mussels). Stir in cream and sprinkle with parsley, if using. Serve with the sauce from the pan.


Bottled clam juice can be very high in sodium. We like Bar Harbor brand, which has 120 mg sodium per 2-ounce serving. Look for it in the canned-fish section or the seafood department of your supermarket.

When shopping for mussels, look for ones that are closed--or those open only a fraction of an inch. When you get them home, store them in a large bowl with a few damp paper towels on top for up to 1 day. To clean them, discard mussels with broken shells or whose shell remains open after you tap it. Hold mussels under running water and use a stiff brush to remove any barnacles; pull off any black fibrous “beards”. (Some mussels may not have a beard.) Mussels should be “debearded” no more than 30 minutes before cooking.

Note: The dried stigma from Crocus sativus, saffron adds flavor and golden color to a variety of Middle Eastern, African and European foods. Soak it in a little water, wine or broth for about 30 minutes before adding to a dish to help release its delicious flavor. Find it in the spice section of supermarkets, gourmet shops or at It will keep in an airtight container for several years.

Nutrition Facts

278 calories; protein 18g; carbohydrates 11g; dietary fiber 1.4g; sugars 3.7g; fat 18.1g; saturated fat 8.1g; cholesterol 77mg; vitamin a iu 1303.3IU; vitamin c 21.2mg; folate 68.6mcg; calcium 61.2mg; iron 4.6mg; magnesium 41.6mg; potassium 514.3mg; sodium 493.3mg; thiamin 0.3mg.

1 vegetable, 2 lean meat, 3 fat