Mussels are a fresh and versatile delicacy from the sea. The simplest way to cook them is by steaming them, but other recipes have them with various sauces. Meanwhile, other recipes incorporate these bivalves in other dishes, such as pasta or soups. Thus, you can have mussels as an appetizer, snack, or main entree.
A side dish is essential if you’re serving mussels as an entree. This seafood is often light and provided in small portions, so a well-chosen side completes the meal and makes it more filling. With that, you can find some ideas about what to serve with mussels in this article!
1. French Bread
Bread is a standard fare with mussels, especially steamed and saucy ones. Crusty bread is the best because the crisp skin provides an incredible crunch. Meanwhile, the soft interior is excellent for absorbing delectable sauces. French bread fits that description and while you can grab one from the bakery, nothing beats the quality of fresh and warm bread from the oven, like the one in this recipe!
Another crusty bread that’s terrific with mussels is sourdough, which has a distinctive tangy taste that would cut through rich sauces. Like French bread, its tender flesh is excellent for sopping up flavors and creaminess. Admittedly, sourdough takes so much time and effort to make: 13+ hours, to be precise. So, if you’re not up for the project, grab a fresh loaf from the bakery instead!
3. Garlic Toast
You can set aside some of your fresh bread slices and use them to make garlic toast! Toasting doesn’t just warm up the bread; it also makes it slightly firmer and crispier. Moreover, this recipe imbibes the bread with garlicky and herby flavors instead of leaving it plain and simple. But, unlike most garlic bread recipes, this one has no butter or cheese; thus, you won’t get a flavor overload.
Toasting bread is a classic move, but grilling it? Sounds quite novel! Grilled bread is highly recommended with mussels, so this is an excellent opportunity to try out such a new concept. This cooking method leaves fresh rustic bread slices crisp, charred, and smoky. Although you can grill bread plain or with olive oil only, add butter and garlic for more savory, rich flavors.
Although mussels are traditional with crusty bread, you can deviate with irresistibly soft and fluffy ones, like this rosemary focaccia. It’s tender, herby, and aromatic; thus, giving off a sophisticated feel that elevates your fancy mussels affair. Moreover, there’s also a lot of room for creativity with focaccia – you can add cheese, tomatoes, garlic, and even more herbs! Thus, it’s the perfect choice for those who want specific flavors.
Mussels work well with other carb-based dishes, not just bread, so serve it with rice! Instead of plain rice, though, you might prefer this Greek lemon rice recipe. It’s fresh, tart, and tangy – just what you need to brighten your seafood. Besides such zippy tastes from the lemon, other ingredients, such as herbs, white wine, broth, and feta cheese, contribute to a more complex flavor profile.
Another rice dish you can consider serving with mussels is risotto. Just imagine open bivalve shells with tasty seafood meat sitting on this creamy, delicious goodness! With that in mind, you surely can’t stop following this recipe. It’s simple yet incredible, and the ingredients are easy to find: arborio rice, olive oil, butter, stock, white wine, parmesan, and a few herbs and spices, for flavor.
Many mussels dishes include a sauce, which can be creamy, buttery, cheesy, or tomato-ey. Whichever type you’re having, a great pair would be pasta – as in plain, perfect, no-sauce pasta. You can put the mussels and their sauce on top then mix them together so the richness coats the strands. Some pasta types you might consider for this would be angel hair, fusilli, spaghetti, and linguini.
If you haven’t heard of moules frites, also known as moules et frites, it’s a famous dish in Belgium and French restaurants. It’s mussels served with French fries. While that sounds like a bizarre concept, the combination works so excellently that it’s even considered the national dish of Belgium. Thus, if your mussels are still uncooked and you have some potatoes, you should follow this wonderful recipe!
A heartwarming cream of mushroom soup is a surefire way to make your mussels feel and taste more satisfying. While many stores sell this soup in a can, you won’t want those with fresh and elegant mussels. Instead, make this homemade recipe so the flavors are deeper, better, and creamier. Once you’ve had authentic soup, you might never return to canned or powdered ones!
11. Pesto Sauce
This pesto sauce isn’t a side dish for the mussels; it’s a famous stuffing for these bivalves! Stuffing mussels means you open them, fill each with a sauce, and then bake them so the flavors are more intense and incorporated. This pesto sauce is made from basil, herbs, cheese, and nuts, so it provides your mussels with many flavor and texture layers.
12. Cream Sauce
Cream sauce is another popular choice for stuffing mussels. It’s rich and decadent, and you can combine it with some cheese, so your mussels taste even creamier. This recipe makes its cream sauce using only butter, flour, milk, and salt. It’s easy and simple; plus, you’ll need only 12 minutes to complete it.
13. Garlic Butter
You can top your mussels with garlic butter instead of a sauce! This recipe is quick and easy, like the cream sauce, as it calls only for butter, garlic, and parsley. Slather these inside the mussels’ shells so that when they bake, the butter melts into the seafood meat, making the mussels taste spectacular.