Mussels in cream sauce

This is a very simple recipe and it’s absolutely perfect if you’ve got an open fire outside to throw the shells onto when you’re finished. It serves two people with generous portions.


  • 1kg debearded mussels
  • 250ml cream
  • 2 glasses of dry white wine (one for the pan and one for the chef)
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • A good bunch of chopped parsley

You will also need a big saucepan with a lid.


  • Add the oil, bay leaf, onion and garlic to the saucepan and put on a medium heat.
  • Sweat the onion and garlic in the oil until soft but not coloured.
  • Add the mussels and turn the heat up.
  • Chuck in the glass of wine.
  • Put the lid on and cook.
  • When all the mussels have opened up, remove the pan from the heat.
  • The time needed to reach this stage will depend on the temperature, size of the pan and the mussels themselves but it is usually around 3-5 minutes, so check it every now and then to see progress, but try to avoid checking too often or you will lose the steam (which is needed to cook the mussels).
  • When ready, pour in the cream and sprinkle over the parsley
  • Put the lid back on the pan and give it a good shake to distribute the cream, but not so hard that you break the mussel shells.
  • Serve with crusty bread to mop up the creamy, delicious sauce.

When you’re eating, watch out for the bayleaf. This dish also goes really well with chips or potato wedges on the side, maybe with a garlic mayo dip.

Instead of cutlery, use an empty mussel to prise the flesh out of the others – a tip I learnt from my Cornish aunty.

Don’t eat any of the mussels which haven’t opened.


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