Mussels In Creamy & Spicy Tomato Sauce [VIDEO]

by Tatiana
Published: Updated:
mussels with creamy tomato sauce

Mussels in creamy tomato sauce are easy to prepare, yet, the dish will know how to conquer everyone’s hearts. It is one of the most delicious recipes to prepare with mussels, tomatoes, and heavy cream. This combination will undoubtedly delight even the most demanding palates. 

When it comes to recipes based on fish and shellfish, there’s one strict rule one has to follow. That is: the seafood must be very fresh and of excellent quality. Keep reading to see how I managed to surprise my guest with an old Italian recipe of creamy mussels with tomato sauce. 

ingredients for mussels in tomato sauce

Ingredients for mussels in creamy tomato sauce

Please welcome the mussels, the main characters of this exquisite dish. I live in a part of the world where mussels are not an everyday treat. Also, there are only a couple of days a week you can find fresh mussels. If I’m lucky enough, I’ll find fresh mussels that haven’t been frozen and still carry that salty sea smell. 

The only way to get some delicious mussels is to have them cooked while still fresh. Always buy fresh or sterilized mussels, preferably ones that haven’t yet opened. 

sauteed mussels

The rest of the ingredients involved in this delicious recipe are very easy to find. Most probably you have them in your kitchen already. You will need a couple of tablespoons of butter, canned peeled tomatoes, heavy cream, and a glass of dry white wine. Don’t miss on the spices such as garlic, salt & pepper, paprika, some sugar, and parsley at your discretion.

These basic ingredients will turn out into a delicious dish with an outstanding appearance. The only challenging thing in this recipe is to find the freshest mussels possible.  

Wine tip: use white dry wine for the creamy sauce. For this recipe choose the wine you enjoy drinking. The fruity wine will add flavor and will enhance the taste of the rest of the ingredients. Alcohol brings out the delicate taste and texture of the mollusks. 

mussels in creamy sauce

How to clean mussels?

The first thing to do when cooking the mussels in creamy tomato sauce is to clean the mussels, properly. It is, in fact, a very delicate, also very important procedure you need to undergo in order to get an excellent result.

Mussels have debris such as seaweed and sand stuck on the shell, so it is important to wash them thoroughly to prevent the dirt from ending up inside the sauce. Therefore, wash the mussels under running cold water by rubbing them with a sponge to remove the debris. Once this is done, remove the filament that comes out of the shell. That filament is very similar to human hair, consecutively, no one likes hair in their dish.  Continue rubbing them until you have treated all the mussels. Now put the mussels in a bowl with cold water for about ten minutes and let them rest there. In the meantime get to the preparation of the most appetizing creamy tomato sauce for the mussels. 

mussels in tomato sauce

How to prepare the creamy tomato paste?

Now is the time to make that sauce that makes the sauteed mussel so loved all over the world. To start the preparation, first gather all the ingredients on your working desk. Peel the garlic and finely chop it. Then heat a pan and melt the butter in it. Do not brown it, once it has melted, add the chopped garlic to it and set heat to medium-low. The garlic should get translucent. The aroma is already inviting, I promise. In about 3 minutes the garlic will be done, so at this point add the canned peeled tomatoes and mix, they will crush and you will have just the perfect consistency. Once you’ve added the tomatoes, it’s time to season the sauce. 

YouTube video

My advice is to start with the wine, pour a small glass of dry white wine, and mix, let it evaporate the alcohol. The tomatoes plus the wine create an acidic taste, maybe too acidic to many, that is why it is a good idea to sweeten it a bit with a tablespoon of sugar. Any sugar will do just fine. Don’t stop here, add one teaspoon of salt, season with paprika and ground pepper, and mix. Don’t skip the pepper flakes for extra spiciness. Let the mixture simmer for about 10 minutes on medium-low heat. In the meantime, drain the mussels and lay them on a paper towel for the excess water to be absorbed. 

When the tomato sauce seems almost ready, take a sip of it to try the taste. Go ahead and add any spice you feel is missing. Now add the final ingredient that will make the sauce even more delicious. Pour the heavy cream to create a velvety texture for the mussels. Stir in the heavy cream to incorporate well. 

mussels in creamy tomato sauce

For how long to cook the mussels?

At this point add the cleaned mussels to the pan. Add them gradually, with care. Mix so that all the mussels are well coated in the sauce. Now cover the pan with a lid and let them simmer for about 7 minutes. During this time the mussels will open, will absorb the flavor and the taste of the delicious creamy sauce. Turn off the stove, your creamy mussels are done and ready to be served. 

how to serve mussels in tomato sauce

How to serve the mussels in creamy tomato sauce?

To finish the preparation, sprinkle a handful of finely chopped fresh parsley over the opened mussels stuffed with creamy sauce. The fresh aroma of the parsley pairs perfectly with the creaminess and consistency of the sauce. You may also top everything with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and serve the mussel with creamy tomato sauce next to a fresh crispy baguette. 

The sauteéd mussels should be consumed hot, once prepared. If you like seafood soups, you should definitely indulge yourself with Instant Pot Chowder With Clams & Shrimps and the Seafood Soup with Tomatoes. Have a wonderful gastronomic experience!

recipe of mussels in creamy tomato sauce

how to serve mussels in tomato sauce

Mussel In Creamy & Spicy Tomato Sauce Recipe

Mussel in creamy tomato sauce is a second course based on seafood, easy to prepare, and of a great positive impact. Prepared for dinner, the dish will know how to conquer everyone’s hearts.
4.53 from 17 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course, Soup
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6 people


  • 35 oz mussels fresh
  • 2 cans tomatoes peeled
  • 1 cup white wine dry
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 2-3 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic optional
  • 1 handful chopped parsley chopped


  • Thoroughly wash the mussels under running cold water, set aside to drain
  • Peel and finely chop the garlic. Use a pan to melt the butter over medium-low heat. Cook the garlic until translucent
  • Add the canned tomatoes and the wine. Mix to blend and crush the tomatoes. Cook for 5 minutes
  • Add the sugar, salt, paprika, pepper flakes, granulated garlic and let simmer to incorporate for 5-10 minutes on medium-low heat
  • Add the mussels, mix, and cover with a lid. Let simmer for 7-10 minutes or until all the mussels have opened
  • Pour the heavy cream and/or the sour cream and mix again. Let simmer for 1-2 minutes
  • Finally, sprinkle with chopped parsley
  • Serve while still hot, accompany the dish with a loaf of crispy baguette
Keyword mussels, mussels in tomato sauce, mussels recipe
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Other recipes you might love


Liam March 2, 2021 - 3:49 pm

At what point do you add the cream, seems it is omitted from the directions but not the ingredients…? Otherwise, sounds fabulous and I am just about to make it … I am guessing to add the cream after the mussels have simmered for up to 7 minutes ;-)

YourFoodBuddy March 3, 2021 - 1:15 pm

You are so Right Liam, it seems I have skipped mentioning this final step in the instructions section. Thank you for pointing that out! Will fix that immediately. Just like you have supposed, add the heavy cream and/or the sour cream at the end, when the tomato sauce is ready. Incorporate the heavy cream and turn off the stove. It is ready to be served:)
We’d be more than happy to know how this recipe turned out for you. Have a great one!

Craigy June 18, 2021 - 5:10 am


Your directions are contradictory. In the main text you say add the cream before adding the mussels but in the recipe directions you say add the cream after the mussels. Which is correct?

YourFoodBuddy June 22, 2021 - 4:30 pm

Hi Craigy, we have corrected the directions in the text, sorry for the confusion…
In addition, I’d like to let you know that adding the heavy cream before or after the mussels will not make a difference in taste nor texture. I promise they will come out delicious either way:) Hope you’ve enjoyed the recipe!
By the way, if you made a picture of your dish, we’d be so happy if you shared it with us!

Mrs. Adams December 31, 2021 - 5:52 am

I’ve been looking for a tomato cream recipe for mussles and can’t wait to try this. I just want to comment on your narrative. It seems like someone who isn’t a native English speaker wrote this (not that I mind). But, I’m an English teacher and suggest you ask someone to help you edit. “to get fresh mussles, there are (not there’s), “that your warranty of success” (too verbose), fix “probably;y”, “an outstanding aspect” is definitely NOT the way English is written or spoken, “them being fresh” should be “their being fresh”, not “correctly clean” but “to clean the mussles correctly”, “consecutively” is completely wrong in this sentence, no one would use it here. “Try in the taste” is incorrect, and mussles can’t be “stuffed with sauce”; the sauce is liquid and a liquid can’t be stuffed– it needs to be poured. Finally, the three little “moms” are a great cover, but they would not “imply” their skills, they would APPLY their skills! I missed a few things, but I’ll let you discover them while I try out your recipe.

Richard January 15, 2022 - 10:20 pm

Decided to cook for my wife after watching dinner date. She loved it before she even tasted it. Many thanks for the recipe, I big hit…😉

Richard January 15, 2022 - 10:23 pm

Btw @ Mrs Adams, Lmao! Lighten up!

Curtis January 29, 2022 - 9:43 pm

What size cans on the tomatoes

YourFoodBuddy February 2, 2022 - 12:35 pm

Hello Curtis, use regular-sized cans, the 14.5 oz is sufficient. Hope you enjoy the recipe!

Cam February 19, 2023 - 4:16 am

Tasty! I added a splash of Fish Sauce for that pop of Umami to complement the tang of tomatoes.

Cookie February 23, 2023 - 9:06 am

sounds nice

Destinie Armendariz April 27, 2023 - 6:37 pm

Could you use fresh tomatoes instead of canned?

Cookie April 27, 2023 - 8:45 pm

Sure, fresh ones will be a great option.

4.53 from 17 votes (17 ratings without comment)

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More

Send this to a friend