Try this recipe for Spanish mussels, then check out our tarragon and vermouth mussels, ‘njuda mussels, miso mussels and more mussels recipes.

For more Catalan inspiration, try our Pa amp tomàquet de penjar, Escalivada (Catalan roast vegetables) and Crema Catalana.


  • 1kg mussels, cleaned and beards removed 
  • 100ml light olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
  • a pinch chilli flakes
  • a pinch  paprika
  • a pinch saffron
  • 125ml dry white wine
  • 2 x 400g tins  chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tsp sherry vinegar
  • to serve  crusty bread


  • 100g blanched almonds, toasted
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 large slice white bread, toasted and torn into pieces
  • a large bunch flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 100ml extra-virgin olive oil


  • STEP 1

    Throw away any mussels that are open and refuse to close when tapped hard. Heat the oil in a heavy based, medium sized saucepan (big enough to easily hold all of the mussels). Fry the shallot, garlic, chilli and spices over a low heat and season. After 3 minutes, or when the shallot is translucent, turn up the heat and add the white wine. Let this boil for 2 minutes, then add the chopped tomatoes and vinegar. Cover and gently simmer for 15 minutes.

  • STEP 2

    In the meantime, make the picada. Put all the ingredients except the oil in a food processor and pulse until well combined. Now slowly add the oil while pulsing until you have a thick pesto-like sauce.

  • STEP 3

    After 15 minutes, taste and season the tomato sauce and add the mussels. Stir once then cover with a lid. Simmer for 4 minutes, or until the mussels have opened. Discard any mussels that have not opened and stir in 1 large tbsp of the picada.

  • STEP 4

    Divide the mussels into bowls and spoon over some more picada. Serve with bread for mopping up the sauce.


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