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Portuguese-Style Mussels


This Portuguese-style mussels recipe is a pure seafood delicacy made with fresh ingredients and cooked in minutes.

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2 pounds (1 kg) mussels
1 sweet onion(s)
2 sprigs parsley
2 ounces white wine
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
to taste salt
1/2 lemon(s)
red and green (1/2 each) bell pepper(s)

And love - it is the main ingredient!


8 mussels
serving size
27.3 g
15.6 g
11.5 g
2.5 g
saturated fat
64 mg
0.6 g
690 mg
1.3 g
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Please note that I am not a nutritionist. The nutrition information is provided for reference only and is approximate. It is calculated using one of the online calculators, like this one.



      About the Recipe


      This Portuguese-style mussels recipe is a pure seafood delicacy made with fresh ingredients and cooked in minutes.

      Seafood takes a very important place in Portuguese cuisine. Portugal is surrounded by the ocean and has a huge variety of seafood products which lead to delicious recipes like this one.

      Portuguese Style mussels with salsa

      Mussels are always served fresh with salsa. It can be salsa verde or salsa with chopped and marinated peppers and onions. I love them both, but I think Portuguese Salsa Verde is definitely a winner. It gives so much flavor to the mussels.

      Salsa verde with fresh bread

      In Portuguese mussels are called “mexilhao”. This recipe is very traditional, and usually, mussels are served refrigerated.

      Mussels are usually prepared before lunch or dinner and then served as appetizers in restaurants. You can grab a few and enjoy with delicious torrada com manteiga, which means toasted bread with butter.

      One mussel with salsa verde on a white table

      If you want to serve them as the main dish, you need to grab two pounds of them (one kilo) for a company of two.

      Try this Wine Steamed Mussels recipe if you want to visit France this time. So good and super easy! 😉

      How do you buy mussels?

      Typically, mussels are sold in nets, or bags, so you can grab a fresh net and clean them at home.

      Fresh mussels in a bag

      How to choose mussels?

      When you buy mussels, ask your local seafood store if they have fresh mussels in stock. It is better to buy fresh mussels as they taste better and fresher. But of course, if you don’t have fresh, you can buy frozen mussels.

      What other ingredients do I need?

      You will also need sweet onion, white wine vinegar, red and green pepper optional, olive oil, lemon juice, and parsley.

      How to clean mussels?

      When you open the bag or in my case it is a net, place mussels in cold water. Leave mussels for 1 hour at least. Some of them will open, and others – not.

      You only need to choose the closed mussels.

      Washed mussels in a bowl

      If it is open or broken – throw them away. They are already spoiled.

      Spoiled mussel on a table

      You can clean the mussels under the running water and cut the “hair” with scissors (or tear off with your hands). I find this method is a little harder than scissors.

      Once you clean the mussels, you’re ready to move on to preparing the rest of your ingredients and cooking the mussels quickly. With clean, fresh mussels and the right preparation, you’ll create a delicious and satisfying Portuguese-style mussel dish that’s sure to impress.

      Can I add other flavors to these Portuguese-style mussels?

      Absolutely, you can add some spices or herbs, such as dill or green onion, fresh chopped basil, chopped tomatoes, or dry oregano, it will change the flavor of this dish.

      Mussels in a bowl with delicious salsa

      Is wine used in this recipe?

      Yes, I use simple table white wine. You can also use table red wine if you have it. You only need 2 ounces of wine. All alcohol will be evaporated during the cooking time. So, you can taste only delicious flavors. Wine is really optional for this Portuguese-style mussels recipe.

      If you plan to serve this Portuguese-style mussels recipe as the main dish for dinner or lunch serve them with these Simple Boiled Red Potatoes.

      You can also enjoy them with Sparkling Mango Raspberry Sangria.

      Ready mussels in a big bowl with salsa

      Made this recipe?

      Please share your thoughts about this recipe in the comments below. What did you like the most? Did you make any modifications?

      Share the recipe with your family & friends and tag @HelenaRecipes on social media if you’ve made it! 😉

      Want another recipe?

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      And check out these other yummy seafood recipes that you will love:


      Check out the recipe video below. And subscribe to my YT channel to stay tuned and enjoy other recipe ideas!

      And a a short 1-min version:

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      1 min

      Prepare ingredients

      Prepare all ingredients.

      1 h

      Soak & rinse mussels

      Grab a big bowl and place mussels in a cold water for an hour. Rinse mussels in cold water before cleaning.

      14 min

      Clean mussels

      Clean all mussels and get them ready for cooking.

      6 min

      Cook mussels

      Place a big pot on the stove. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and wine to a pot. Transfer the washed and cleaned mussels to a pot. Cover pan with a lid and leave covered for 3-4 minutes. Then, open the pot and give a good mix with a spoon. Continue mixing for another 3 minutes. After, you will see that mussels opened their shells.

      3 min

      Make salsa

      Chop pepper and onion. Place onion in a bowl and rinse onion thoroughly with water. Transfer them to a bowl, add vinegar, olive oil and a little bit of salt. Mix together.

      1 min

      Transfer & Combine

      Transfer the ready mussels to a serving bowl or plate and cover them generously with salsa.



      Your Portuguese-style Mussels are ready. Enjoy!



      Recipe creator and contributing writer to food-related publications.

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