If you’re wondering what to serve with your mussels, you’ve come to the right place.
In this article, I list 45 of the most popular side dishes for mussels.
In a rush? Here’s the short answer.
The best dishes to serve with mussels are angel hair pasta, garlic confit toast, French fries, and a frisée salad. You can also serve creamy polenta, marinated tomato and onion salad, seafood paella, blistered padron peppers, or lemon gremolata. For a surf-and-turf option, go with reverse sear steak.
Ready? Let’s get started!
Great flavor pairings for mussels
Mussels have a prominent briny flavor, with hints of umami and a subtle sweetness.
They pair well with:
- Tart flavors – bright, citrusy ingredients like lemon and lime have a fresh acidity that counters your mussels’ distinct brininess.
- Creamy flavors – most mussel recipes include a cream or butter sauce because their richness helps cut through the mussels’ natural saltiness.
- Herby flavors – fresh herbs like parsley, mint, and thyme enhances your mussels’ subtle sweetness. Try incorporating them in your side dishes or topping the mussels with a herby condiment like gremolata.
Starchy sides are a great way to make your mussels meal more filling.
Take inspiration from the Belgians and whip up a batch of crispy fries.
Or switch things up and go with a slice of crusty bread to soak up all the goodness from your mussel’s broth.
Oven-baked French fries
If you’re familiar with mussels, you’ve probably already thought of fries.
But moules frites (mussels and fries) is such a classic I couldn’t leave it out.
One of the tricks to achieve perfect homemade fries is soaking them in cold water before frying – this helps remove the excess starch and helps the fries crisp up better.
Why we love this recipe: it shares plenty of tips and tricks for making fries from scratch.
Creamy polenta with garlic and basil butter
Jazz up your usual shrimp and grits and serve polenta with mussels and garlic butter.
This elegant side dish is super rich and creamy, and the polenta base will soak up any sauce or broth from your mussels, so no flavor will go to waste.
Why we love this recipe: it looks and tastes like it came from a professional kitchen.
Angel hair pasta with garlic and herbs
This isn’t technically a side, but mixing your mussels into pasta makes for a fabulous meal.
The long thin noodles are coated with garlicky butter and then seasoned with parmesan cheese and fresh herbs – simple flavors that won’t overpower your delicate mussels.
Why we love this recipe: you can also use your steamed mussels’ broth as a pasta sauce – just add cream.
Garlic confit toast
Not a fan of fries?
What about bread instead?
This is similar to garlic bread, but so much tastier thanks to the garlic confit.
You get a sweet, garlicky flavor minus the bitterness that can come with fresh cloves.
Pro-tip: use these toasts to soak up your mussels’ broth.
Why we love this recipe: you can use garlic confit on almost anything – from spreads to pasta sauces and even mashed potatoes.
Pita chips are the ultimate crispy accompaniment for your mussels.
In terms of seasoning, you can keep it simple with a dash of salt…
Or you can follow The Kittchen’s lead and go with a garlic parmesan and basil combo.
Why we love this recipe: it’s better than store-bought chips.
Fresh herb focaccia bread
I love all kinds of bread, but I especially love focaccia.
Its soft, springy inside and golden, crispy crusts are simply irresistible – and it doesn’t need fancy flavoring, some simple herbs will do.
A small caveat: making focaccia from scratch takes a long time, but it’ll all be worth it once you take your first bite.
And it’s easy to store and freeze, so you can make extra an enjoy it for up to a month!
Why we love this recipe: it’s a delicious combination of simple ingredients.
Mussels and steak may not be a traditional surf-and-turf combo, but it’s a delicious, hearty pairing that you have to try out.
Want to stick with the seafood theme? Go all out with a classic seafood paella!
Reverse-sear steak with garlic and thyme
The reverse sear method involved slowly roasting your steak, before quickly finishing it in a hot pan.
It takes longer, but you’re guaranteed to get tender, juicy steaks with a perfect shade of pink throughout.
These are just what you need to pair with your mussels for an elegant surf-and-turf.
Why we love this recipe: it’s a detailed guide to help you make restaurant-quality steak in your home kitchen.
Mediterranean-style baked cod
To keep the seafood theme going, serve your mussels with this easy and delicious baked cod.
The fish is cooked alongside a medley of vegetables like artichokes, cherry tomatoes, and bell peppers resulting in a colorful and tasty dish without much effort.
Why we love this recipe: it will transport you straight to the seaside.
Just like fries, I couldn’t have a list about foods to pair with mussels without mentioning paella.
The iconic Spanish dish is great for dinner parties and you can load it with whatever seafood you want, mussels included.
If you want to be really adventurous, you could even try some lobster tails!
Why we love this recipe: it’s an Insta-worthy centerpiece for your meal.
Vegetables and salads
Veggies sides are the perfect accompaniment if you want to keep the meal light and healthy.
Leafy salads with citrus vinaigrettes are great options, but you can also switch it up and go with steamed veg tossed in a butter sauce.
Feeling adventurous? Try blistered padron peppers for an added smoky bite!
Frisee leaves have a natural bitterness that’s offset in this salad by a umami-loaded bacon fat dressing.
Usually, extra bacon bits are tossed in with the salad for added crunch, but you can swap these for fried mussels instead.
Or serve this salad alongside a steaming hot bowl of steamed mussels. YUM!
Why we love this recipe: it’s a healthy dish with a touch of indulgence.
Butter braised asparagus and peas
This isn’t any old green vegetable side. The peas and asparagus are cooked in butter, garlic, and anchovies.
Not the biggest anchovy fan?
Don’t worry – they’re so small that they eventually melt into the butter, leaving behind only an addictive umami flavor.
Or you can use one of these anchovy substitutes.
Why we love this recipe: it adds a refreshing splash of color to any dinner spread.
Marinated tomato and onion salad
This marinated tomato and onion salad is an excellent alternative to your usual leafy green salads.
It boasts a sweet, herby flavor with a sharp bite, courtesy of the vinegar dressing.
Psst… this salad is best when made in advance. It needs at least four hours for the flavors to fully develop.
Why we love this recipe: it requires zero cooking time, just a bit of chopping.
Blistered padron peppers
These padron peppers are a must-try – they’re classic Spanish tapas that take 10 minutes and three ingredients to make.
90% of the time these peppers aren’t spicy, but every so often you’ll come across one that has some serious heat!
Great alongside some breaded mussels.
Why we love this recipe: it’s the perfect snack for hanging out with friends.
Green salad with parmesan dressing
You can’t really go wrong with a simple, light side salad.
This one is made of crisp lettuce leaves and crunchy English cucumbers, all tossed in a citrusy and nutty lemon-parmesan vinaigrette.
Why we love this recipe: it will only take you a few minutes to throw together.
Preserved lemon gremolata
Instead of just lemon zest, this recipe goes the extra mile and utilizes preserved lemons – they bring an intense, bright flavor like no other.
Drizzle this upgraded gremolata over your mussels to add a zesty flavor to contrast their subtle sweetness.
Why we love this recipe: it’s super vibrant.
The best side dishes to serve with mussels
- Oven-baked French fries
- Creamy polenta with garlic and basil butter
- Angel hair pasta with garlic and herbs
- Garlic confit toast
- Pita chips
- Fresh herb focaccia bread
- Reverse-sear steak with garlic and thyme
- Mediterranean-style baked cod
- Seafood paella
- Frisee salad
- Butter braised asparagus and peas
- Marinated tomato and onion salad
- Blistered padron peppers
- Green salad with parmesan dressing
- Preserved lemon gremolata
What To Serve With Mussels (45 Ideas)
- 1 portion french fries
- 1 portion seafood paella
- 1 portion frisee salad
- 1 portion angel hair pasta
- 1 portion butter braised asparagus and peas
- 1 portion reverse-sear steak with garlic and thyme … and more
- Prepare your mussels according to your favorite recipe.
- In the meantime, choose one of the following sides to serve alongside it.
- Side dishes include: oven-baked french fries, creamy polenta with garlic and basil butter, angel hair pasta with garlic and herbs, garlic confit toast, pita chips, fresh herb focaccia bread, reverse-sear steak with garlic and thyme, mediterranean-style baked cod, seafood paella, frisee salad, butter braised asparagus and peas, marinated tomato and onion salad, blistered padron peppers, green salad with parmesan dressing, preserved lemon gremolata.
- Serve immediately and enjoy!