Skip to Content

Mussels in Cream Sauce

Sharing is caring!

Indulge in these mussels in cream sauce. Plump mussels are bathed in a velvety cream sauce infused with herbs—each bite gives a burst of oceanic goodness enveloped in creamy richness. Perfect for a cozy dinner or an elegant appetizer, this dish will leave your taste buds singing.



Mussels is one of those ingredients that can scare home cooks out of the kitchen. But if you have ever cooked mussels before, you know how easy and delicious they are to make.

All you need to cook mussels is a little bit of patience and a delicious sauce.

This mussels with leeks and cream sauce recipe gives you the perfect sauce; you just need to bring the ingredients and the patience.

It’s such an easy recipe, too. With just a handful of ingredients, you can create an elegant dish that dazzles the palate.

Whether you serve creamy garlic mussels as a starter or as a main course, this dish adapts effortlessly to any dining occasion.

You will be sure to impress your close friends and family with this seemingly elaborate dish that’s actually so easy to make.

Go ahead, grab a bag of fresh mussels and let’s get cooking this classic recipe!


All ingredients for Mussels in Cream Sauce laid out on counter


What Are Mussels?

Mussels are a kind of shellfish prized for their tender meat and briny flavor.

They thrive in saltwater environments, clinging to rocks or other surfaces with their strong threads.


butter, leeks and garlic added to pot


What Ingredients Are in Mussels in Cream Sauce?

  • Fresh Mussels: the star of the dish—succulent seafood morsels bursting with oceanic flavor.
  • Butter: Adds richness and depth to the sauce in this mussel recipe.
  • Leek and Garlic: Infuse the dish with aromatic notes and savory complexity.
  • Clam Juice: Provides a flavorful base for steaming the mussels.
  • Thyme: Enhances the leeks and mussels dish with earthy undertones and herbaceous freshness.
  • Heavy Cream: Forms the luscious, velvety cream sauce for mussels.
  • Fresh Parsley: Adds a pop of vibrant color and a hint of freshness to the finished mussels and leeks dish.
  • Salt and Black Pepper: Season mussels with leeks and cream to taste, balancing the flavors to perfection.

Pro Tip: Be sure to only use closed mussel shells. As you are cleaning, open mussels are dead and should be discarded. We want to cook with only live mussels to keep your dish safe to eat.


cold mussels added to pot with clam juice


How to Cook Mussels in Cream Sauce?

  1. Clean unopened mussels to make sure there is not grit in your meal.
  2. Melt butter and sauté leeks and garlic in a large pan over medium heat until softened, releasing their flavorful essence.
  3. Steam mussels in the broth until they open, ensuring tender perfection.
  4. Temper cream with warm clam broth to prevent curdling when adding to the pot.
  5. Combine remaining ingredients in the pot, marrying flavors into a cohesive symphony.
  6. Serve cooked mussels in white cream sauce with your favorite crusty or garlic bread!


Mussels, clam juice and thyme are added to leeks


How do you clean Mussel Shells?

Let’s get clean mussels. This is the longest part of this recipe. Everything else comes together pretty quickly. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Place mussels in the sink under running water and scrub with a brush to remove dirt and barnacles. 
  2. Debeard mussels by pulling towards the hinged end of the shell (rather than the front). 
  3. Discard any mussels that have already opened. If they’ve opened, they’ve died, and you do not want to eat dead mussels!  
  4. After they’re cleaned, keep them on ice until you are ready to start cooking this mussels recipe.


Fresh cooked mussels without cream


Are Mussels in Cream Sauce Healthy?

Yes, mussels with leeks are healthy!

Mussels are always a nutritious choice, packed with lean protein, vitamins, and minerals.

 But because they are covered in a creamy sauce, pay attention to your portion sizes to keep this Mussels leeks cream recipe very healthy.


tempering cream for mussels


Can You Make Mussels in Cream Sauce Ahead of Time?

Mussels and leeks are best enjoyed fresh.

But you can wash and chop the veggies and herbs in advance and assemble and cook the mussels just before serving to keep the best flavor and texture in your dish.


tempered cream sauce being added to mussels.


How to Store Mussels in Cream Sauce:

Store leftover leeks and mussels in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

They will stay fresh for up to two days.

Just be sure they are cooled promptly after cooking to maintain freshness.

How to Reheat Mussels in Cream Sauce:

Gently reheat steamed mussels in a saucepan over low heat.

Add a splash of clam broth or cold water to revive the sauce’s consistency if needed.


zoomed in image of mussels in cream sauce


Can You Freeze Mussels in Cream Sauce?

No, you should not freeze mussels with leeks and cream after it has been cooked.

The texture of the mussels and the sauce will change upon thawing.

Enjoy this dish fresh for the best culinary experience.

Are Mussels in Cream Sauce Gluten-Free?

Yes, this mussels in white cream sauce is naturally gluten-free.

It is a great dish to serve your friends with gluten sensitivities or a medically restrictive diet.


mussels scooped out into a bowl


What to Serve with Mussels in Cream Sauce?

Serve Creamy Mussels with crusty bread for soaking up the luscious sauce. We recommend Fennel Seed Bread, Four Cheese Garlic Bread, Mashed Potato Bread Recipe, and Homemade Sweet Cornbread Recipe

You can serve this with pasta like this Summer Pasta Salad, Lemon Cream Pasta, and Pasta with Heavy Cream.

Another option is to serve it with rice for a heartier meal. We recommend Rice Pilaf, Cheesy Rice Casserole, or Mexican Rice and Beans.

If you’re looking for something healthier, try one of these tasty salads: Power Greens Salad, Beet Arugula Goat Cheese Salad, Southwest Sweet Potato Salad and Red Quinoa Salad.

Whether you need a fancy date night meal at home or are just looking for a delicious and easy weeknight dinner, a large pot of this mussels in cream sauce recipe is perfect anytime you serve it. 


zoomed in image of mussels in cream sauce

Mussels in Cream Sauce

Yield: 4 Servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes

You will love the flavors of our mussels in cream sauce—a blend of tender seafood, herbs, and cream. Perfect for any occasion, this dish is sure to impress.


  1. Clean mussels. Scrub with a brush under running water to remove dirt and barnacles. If the mussel has the hairy "beard," remove it by pulling towards the hinged end of the shell.  
  2. Discard any mussels that have already opened, as this means the mussel is already dead.
  3. Keep mussels on ice until you are ready to start cooking.
  4. Melt the butter in a large pot, then stir in the leeks and garlic and cook until softened.
  5. Add the mussels, clam juice and thyme, cover the pot and steam the mussels for 6-10 minutes until they open.
  6. Remove the pot from heat. Temper the Hood Heavy Cream with several tablespoons of the warm clam broth before adding it to the pot of mussels, along with the parsley. Stir to combine. 
  7. Serve with crusty bread. 


As an appetizer, allow for 1/2 lb per person. If serving as a main dish, allow for 1 lb per person. 

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 533Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 172mgSodium: 1205mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 56g
Originally Posted: June 11, 2018

Photos & Text Updated: April 5, 2024


Easy to make, inexpensive, and delicious, these Steamed Mussels with Cream Sauce and Leeks are wonderful served with crusty bread. to mop all that delicious sauce up with! They work as both an appetizer and main dish..perfect for special occasions too! #Seafood | #Mussels | #PartyRecipes | #EasyRecipes | #FathersDay | #NewYears | #Christmas


Miz Helen

Tuesday 26th of June 2018

My husband is a big Mussels fan and he will love this recipe! Hope you are having a great week and thanks so much for sharing with us at Full Plate Thursday. Miz Helen

Sandra | A Dash of Sanity

Sunday 17th of June 2018

I love steamed mussels! This looks amazing!


Saturday 16th of June 2018

Mussels are my summer favorite food! So delicious!

Erin | Dinners,Dishes and Dessert

Saturday 16th of June 2018

I need to try this immediately, it looks so good!


Friday 15th of June 2018

I've never made Mussels at home before and that sauce looks like a MUST make! So yummy!

Skip to Recipe