Mussels Au Gratin: the original recipe for a flavorful seafood appetizer

Total time: 45 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 6 people
By Cookist
1 kg
3 cloves
Grated parmesan cheese
50 g
White wine
1/2 glass
Lemon peel
Black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
red chili

Mussels au gratin are a delicious seafood appetizer, perfect to serve during special occasions or holidays. It is basically mussels with their shells stuffed with a mixture made of breadcrumbs, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, parsley and a spoonful of grated parmesan cheese, which will give to the mussels au gratin that typical crust that incorporates the seafood.

The secret for a perfect mussels au gratin dish is to choose quality mussels. Don't use mussels if they are already open, or with cracked shells, because they could be unhealthy. It is also important to clean the mussels properly. It is best to use fresh mussels, but if you can't find them you can also use frozen mussels, making sure to thaw them completely.

Also pay attention to the texture of the filling. It must be soft and compact, not watery. If it is too liquid the gratin will fail – if necessary, add a pinch of breadcrumbs. Depending on the type of mussel chosen, you will get a different dish, but in any case the final result will not disappoint you.


You can also leave out the garlic, mussels will still have their own peculiar flavor.

If you don't like the spicy flavor, you can omit the red chili.

If you prefer to cook the mussels in a pan, use a large non-stick pan and sprinkle it with oil and butter. Pour the mixture of breadcrumbs and grated cheese until it covers the entire bottom of the pan. Let toast for a few seconds and then put the mussels in the same pan with the pulp facing down. After about 7/8 minutes, turn the mussels and serve them to your guests

If, on the other hand, you want to cook the mussels au gratin in the microwave oven, cook them for eight minutes on medium power. Let them rest for a couple of minutes in the oven and then sprinkle them with a couple of tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.

What wine to pair with Mussels au Gratin?

The mussels au gratin should be paired with a dry, light and fresh white wine like spumante or Italian Franciacorta Brut to enhance the flavor of the sea.

How to store Mussels au Gratin

Mussels au gratin should be served still warm. Alternatively, you can store them in the refrigerator for up to one day in an airtight container.

The mussels au gratin should not be made in advance. Anyway, if you want to reheat the mussels the next day or a few hours after preparation, put them back in the oven, grease them with a little oil and cook, with the grill function, for 4/5 minutes in order to give a good gratin again.

How to make Mussels au Gratin

Start with the most important step. Cleaning the mussels by discarding any open mussels. Rinse them under water, remove the beard on the shells.

Pull it outwards.

Once cleaned, move on to preparing the dish. Put the shellfish in a pan with a clove of garlic, the chopped parsley, the seeded red chili and half a glass of white wine. Cook over high heat for 5 minutes and cover with a lid.

When the mussels have opened, it means that they are ready. Don’t try to open the closed mussels, maybe they’re gone bad. Drain the mussels and strain the cooking liquid through a colander and set aside.

In the meantime, start preparing the mixture for the gratin; in a bowl add the breadcrumbs, grated parmesan cheese (pecorino cheese will also be fine), crushed garlic and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

Chop the parsley and add it to the gratin. Add a little of the cooking water from the mussels and mix well until you have a fairly consistent mixture.

Remove the part of the shell where there isn’t the mussel and place the full half in a baking tray lined with baking paper. Stuff the mussels with the mixture you have prepared, taking care to fill them well. 7

Place the mussels in a preheated oven at 350° F for 15 minutes. Then move on to the grill function for 3 minutes, essential for gratinating, which will give them a warm and orange color.

The seafood will be ready to be served, soft on the inside and crunchy on the outside. 9 Mussels au gratin are good also when served cold, remember to accompany them with a side dish based on peppers, tomatoes or onions and with a glass of slightly sparkling white wine.

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