Mussels au Gratin Recipe

This is an old-time Legal Sea Foods recipe, popular in the restaurants for many years. Be sure to use mussels that are at least two inches in diameter. If you have extra garlic butter, either freeze it or dot the mussels with extra butter before placing in the oven.

Mussels au Gratin Ingredients:

Mussels au Gratin Recipe
  • 4 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 5 lbs cleaned mussels
  • 3/4 - 1 cups freshly grated Monterey Jack cheese
  • 2 cups Cracker Crumb Mixture (below recipe)
  •  lemon wedges
  •  French bread

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 5 minutes.
Cook Time: 20 minutes.
Total Time: 25 minutes.

Mussels au Gratin Cooking Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Cream together 2 tablespoons of the garlic, the butter, and the parsley in a small bowl. Set aside.

Put the wine, the remaining 2 tablespoons garlic, and the onions in a large nonreactive pot. Bring the mixture to a boil, then add the mussels. Reduce the heat to medium, cover the pot, and steam the mussels until they open, about 6 minutes. Stir them occasionally to redistribute in the pot. Remove the mussels with a slotted spoon the moment their shells open, because they loose flavor if overcooked. Break off the top shell. Center each mussel in its shell, and place on a jelly-roll pan or in a large baking dish.

Reduce the mussel broth over high heat until the flavor is concentrated and pour it around the mussels in the pan. Put 1 teaspoon of the garlic butter in each mussel shell. Sprinkle with the cheese, and pat the crumb mixture over the cheese. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until the crumb topping is lightly browned. Serve the mussels immediately, garnished with lemon wedges and accompanied by French bread to mop up the pan juices.

Cracker Crumb Mixture (Makes about 2 cups)
This rich crumb topping keeps for weeks in the refrigerator.
  • 1/4 lb oyster crackers or saltines
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves


  • Whirl the crackers in a food processor or blender until they are evenly ground but retain some texture. Saute the onion until softened in 1 tablespoon of the butter, and then add to the crumb mixture in a bowl along with the remaining butter, parsley, and thyme. Mix thoroughly. If the mixture hardens in the refrigerator, place it in a microwave oven for 5 to 10 seconds before using.



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