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Mussels in white wine sauce in a pan.
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5 from 2 reviews

20-Minute Moules Marinières (Mussels in White Wine)

Mussels in white wine sauce (moules marinières) is a true 20 minute meal! Steam mussels in shallots, fennel, garlic, tarragon, dry white wine, and sherry (or vermouth). Finish with creme fraîche and cold butter, for a rich, creamy sauce. Serve with baguette or french fries (moules frites) for a flavorful, elevated weeknight dinner! Gluten-free.
Prep5 minutes
Cook20 minutes
Total25 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Dinner
Cuisine: American, French
Diet: Gluten Free
Keyword: baked french toast, moules marinieres, shellfish, steamed mussels, white wine cream sauce
Servings: 2 servings
Calories: 678kcal
Author: Ari Laing


  • 2 lbs fresh mussels cleaned, see note below
  • 5 Tbsp unsalted butter COLD, cubed, divided
  • 1 large shallot minced
  • 3 large garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 1 large (or 2 medium) fennel bulbs thinly sliced
  • ½ tsp Kosher salt
  • pinch of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 ¾ cup dry white wine
  • 2 Tbsp sherry vinegar or Vermouth
  • 4 sprigs fresh tarragon
  • 2 Tbsp creme fraiche or heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp chives thinly sliced
  • Baguette for serving


  • Sweat the shallots. Melt 1 Tbsp unsalted butter in a large skillet over medium heat (no higher). Add 1 minced shallot then cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Sauté the fennel. Raise the heat to medium-high, then add 3 cloves minced garlic and sliced fennel. Season with ½ teaspoon Kosher salt and a pinch of black pepper. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until fennel has softened.
  • Add the liquid. Increase the temperature to high, then add 1 ¾ cup dry white wine, 2 Tbsp sherry vinegar (or Vermouth), and fresh tarragon. Bring to a boil, then reduce by half. This will take about 3 minutes.
  • Steam the mussels. Add the cleaned, rinsed mussels directly to the pot, give them a quick stir, then place the lid on top. Cook for 5-7 minutes, undisturbed. When you remove the lid, discard any mussels that remain tightly sealed, as these were dead before cooking.
  • Finish the sauce. Remove the pan from the heat, transfer mussels to a bowl with a slotted spoon, then add the remaining 4 Tbsp cold, cubed butter and 2 Tbsp crème fraîche. Swirl the pan to emulsify them into the sauce. Taste and adjust seaosning, if needed. Return the cooked mussels to the pot, then garnish with fresh chives and serve with baguette!


  • To clean mussels: scrub under cool running water, then place in a large bowl of cold water. The grit will sink to the bottom. Let sit for 10-15 minutes before draining. Next, check for a beard (the little hairs hanging out of the hinge-end of the shell). To remove, grip the hairs and pull firmly away from the shell.
  • Don't have creme fraiche? Substitute with equal parts heavy cream. 
  • If you don't have sherry vinegar or Vermouth, 2 cups (total) white wine.
  • Served 2 as an entrée or 4 as an appetizer!


Calories: 678kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 140mg | Sodium: 1278mg | Potassium: 1095mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1545IU | Vitamin C: 25mg | Calcium: 150mg | Iron: 11mg
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