Mussels Fra Diavolo

Living in Seattle has many, many perks. One of the best is access to the best quality fish & shellfish around. My personal favorites are Mussels, Oysters and Wild Salmon – easy to find, sustainable harvested or caught and usually pretty affordable.

Since I let you in on my little Costco addiction the other day, I have to tell you that if you live in the Seattle area, Costco has (roughly) 5-pound bags of Taylor Shellfish Farms Mussels for less than $3 per pound. I have seen these same Mussels for about $5 per pound at Pike Place and $6 per pound at Whole Foods Market so if you need a large quantity, this is beyond a great deal!

It’s no secret that I like food with a kick and as a general rule tend to favor spicy dishes and dishes with intense flavor. When I set out to make these Mussels Fra Diavolo, I was thinking I would make them spicy but not so hot that kids wouldn’t be able to eat it. When all is said and done, this sauce is much hotter on it’s on then it is after the Mussels are cooked in it and served. On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being Spicy, I would say this is a 4. That is, of course, coming from someone who loves spice so if you are spice-adverse, maybe a 6?

Regardless, this is so good and a fun dish to serve at a dinner party, family dinner or special weekend meal. Enjoy!


  • If you are not familiar with How to Debeard, Clean and Store Mussels, here is a great (short!) video by Becky Selengut of the amazing seafood book Good Fish: Sustainable Seafood Recipes from the Pacific Coast
  • There are a lot of options when it comes to San Marzano tomatoes out there. This site has an excellent breakdown of brands and quality.
  • You could easily make this sauce ahead of time and freeze it in a glass container until ready to use to save time!
  • You could also easily make this sauce, freeze half and cut the mussels in half!
  • I served this family style as a meal for six adults without any side dishes so everyone had a huge bowl of mussels with sauce. If you want to serve it as an appetizer or just smaller portions or alongside some vegetables or salad, here are some additional Weight Watchers Points Plus breakdowns (source: Weight Watchers eTools Recipe Builder Calculator).
    • 9 Points Plus Per Serving Based on 8 Servings
    • 7 Points Plus Per Serving Based on 10 Servings
    • 6 Points Plus Per Serving Based on 12 Servings

Inspired By: Mussels in Spicy Red Sauce from Emeril Live on the Food Network

5.0 from 4 reviews
Mussels Fra Diavolo
11 Points Plus Per Serving -- Based on 6 (very large) Servings
Serves: 6
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 head garlic, cloves peeleed, smashed and minced
  • 2 large yellow onions, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1½ teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1½ teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 dried red chiles
  • 2 cans San Marzano whole peeled plum tomatoes, crushed by hand
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 8-ounce bottle clam juice
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon coconut palm sugar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 4 pounds Mussels, de-bearded and cleaned
  • large handful flat-leaf parsley chopped for serving
  1. See "How to Debeard, Store & Clean Mussels by Becky Selengut" for how to properly prepare the Mussels for cooking.
  2. Chop garlic, onion and carrot. I used the food processor and just pulsed each item separately until the desired consistency. About ¼" chop but it doesn't have to be perfect. Measure tomato paste and set aside. Pull out spices, olive oil, tomatoes, clam juice, wine and palm sugar.
  3. Pour whole, peeled tomatoes and their juices into a large bowl. Use your hands to gently squeeze each tomato and "crush" them by hand. Try to get all the really big pieces crushed but don't make yourself crazy about it.
  4. Peel and finely chop shallots. Grab a large handful of parsley and roughly chop. Measure 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 cup of white wine. Set aside shallots, parsley, 1 T olive oil and 1 Cup wine for later when cooking the Mussels.
  5. Heat a large dutch oven or heavy bottom pot over medium heat. Once hot, add 2 tablespoons olive oil and then bay leaves. Cook for 30 seconds until sizzling.
  6. Add chopped garlic and cook for 1 minute until fragrant, stirring constantly.
  7. Next, add in chopped carrot, onions, dried oregano, crushed red pepper flakes and dried red chiles. Stir to coat and cook for 15 minutes until onions are browned and look like this.
  8. Now, add in hand crushed tomatoes and their juices, tomato paste, clam juice, ½ cup white wine, salt, pepper and sugar. Raise heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling, partially cover and lower light to a simmer. Cook for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
  9. Remove from heat and discard dried chiles and bay leaves. Set aside and begin cooking the Mussels.
  10. Heat a very large pan with high sides over medium heat. Add remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Once hot, add chopped shallots and cook for 1 minute, stirring.
  11. Pour in remaining 1 cup white wine and Fra Diavolo Sauce. Bring to a boil.
  12. Once boiling, gently add Mussels, stir to coat, cover and cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until most of the shells are opened.
  13. Remove lid, serve hot with chopped parsley and Enjoy!

Mussels Fra Diavolo by

Mussels Fra Diavolo Submitted to Spicie Foodie’s YBR for March 2013

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    • EverydayMaven says

      I was pretty excited when I discovered the Mussels there too. My usual spot was either Whole Foods or Taylor Shellfish in Cap Hill prior!

  1. says

    Just to let you know we are making this right now for dinner. Subbing clam juice for fish stock (thought I had all ingredients, without reading the recipe again). I’m sure it will be delicious! Re my comment re this being a change from cream sauces: just to clarify that what I normally see on the web are creamy sauces, NOT what I tend to eat! Well I can’t say never….
    kellie@foodtoglow recently posted..Golden Apple Pie Pancakes (gf/df) with Salted Caramel Sauce (easily veganised)My Profile

    • EverydayMaven says

      I bet Heather – I have always lived on the Coasts so I think I have taken for granted having access to fresh seafood and fish.

  2. Eha says

    What a fabulous recipe! Used to mostly Asian cooking a certain depth in taste is important to me too . . . this sounds great but I am peagreen with envy at your low prices. No wonder four out of the ten most expensive cities in the world are Australian!!!!!

      • Eha says

        Do remember we went metric in the 1960s or 70s methinks! Makes quick maths incorrect at times! Just looked up the Sydney Fishmarket prices for Easter – not bad compared to your Costco [we have two in the country!!] actually – about $8-10/Kg for ordinary ones . . . that would be much higher in local shops. have to look at the Seattle Fishmarket video I found in the same spot . . . .great to be food blogging and learning . . .

        • EverydayMaven says

          It’s still so hard to believe that the US is only one of 3 countries left that use Imperial. crazy!

          • Eha says

            Would you believe this is the third time in two days I have had ‘this’ conversation! OMG [to be pedestrian] using 100s does make life SO much easier! We stopped complaining within a week methinks :) !! And a hugely happy Easter to you!!!!!!

    • EverydayMaven says

      I very rarely eat cream based Mussels. My go-to’s (besides this) are usually classic white wine, garlic, shallot and clam juice with fresh herbs or some type of thai infusion with coconut milk and curry!

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