Lemony Mussel Linguine with Garlic & Parsley

One of my food goals for 2020 is to cook with more sustainable seafood to a) get out of my comfort zone in the kitchen and b) eat a more sustainable diet  (because the planet is burning, you guys!) This Mussel Linguine is a direct result of that goal, and I’m *so* happy with how it turned out! Cooking with shellfish has always intimidated me, but turns out it’s actually so easy, and mussels are actually super affordable (I got my 2lb bag of organic PEI mussels from Farm Boy for just $4).

I’m a bit of a hypochondriac and really wanted to make sure the mussels I got were fresh, so I took a few extra precautions with them. Here are a few tips that I found really helpful:

  • Never store mussels in water, it will kill them (the best way to store in the fridge is in a bowl with damp paper towel sheets on top
  • They should smell fresh, like the ocean
  • When you squeeze a fresh mussel shut, it should slowly close. If it doesn’t close, throw it out (it means it’s dead!)
  • Throw away any mussels that are chipped or cracked
  • Throw away any mussels that don’t open after cooking them

This recipe is super versatile – if you prefer, you can make it without the pasta and serve it on its own or with crusty french bread and a chilled glass of white wine. Basically, you can’t go wrong.


  • 1 package linguine (or pasta of your choosing)
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 red onion, finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 2 lbs fresh, scrubbed mussels
  • 1 cup parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 lemon


  1. Set a large pot of water to boil and cook pasta until al dente.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large pan or skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add red onion, garlic, and red pepper flakes and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the garlic is fragrant and onions have slightly softened.
  3. Add wine and chicken broth, and bring to a simmer.
  4. Add mussels, cover with a lid, and let the mussels steam for 5-7 minutes or until they have opened up.
  5. Discard any mussels that are still closed, and then add pasta, parsley, and juice from lemon, stirring until thoroughly combined. Continue to cook for 1-2 minutes longer, uncovered so that pasta can soak up some of your delicious mussel brine. 
  6. Serve immediately, adding salt and pepper to taste.

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