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mussles in a white bowl on a gray table

Steamed Mussels with Apples and Bacon

  • Author: Katie Webster
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


If you’re wondering how to cook mussels, then you’re in the right place. Maybe you’ve heard the term “de-beard” but have no idea what that means. Good news: Today I have a complete primer on the easiest way to cook fresh mussels. Plus how to store them, de-bearding and cleaning plus an easy and tasty recipe for Mussels with Apples and Bacon.


  • 2 to 2 1/2 pounds fresh live mussels
  • 3 slices bacon, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 large apple, diced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper, preferably white
  • 1 8-ounce bottle clam juice, see ingredient note*
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley


  1. Rinse and scrub mussels under cold running water. Pull off any “beards” with fingers and a pairing knife. If a mussel shell is open, gently tap it on the counter. Discard any mussels that do not close up after tapping. Set aside in a colander.
  2. Cook Bacon: Place bacon in a large heavy-bottomed Dutch Oven over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally until crisp, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a paper-towel lined plate and pour off any bacon fat.
  3. Cook Vegetables: Return the Dutch oven to medium heat and add oil. Add garlic, celery, onion, apple, salt, thyme and pepper and cook, stirring often until the apple and vegetables are starting to soften and brown slightly, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add Broth and Mussels: Stir in clam juice and cider vinegar, increase heat to high, cover and bring to a boil. Stir in the mussels, cover and cook, stirring once or twice until the mussel shells are opened 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the cooked bacon and parsley. Discard any mussels that didn’t open.


ingredient note* Clam juice and Clam broth can vary greatly depending on the brand. I like the Bar Harbor brand because it only has 480 mg of sodium per bottle. If you can’t find one of the lower sodium brands, simply reduce the amount of added salt in step 3.

Whole30: To make this recipe compliant, check the ingredients on your clam juice and bacon to make sure they are compliant.

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Category: Main Course
  • Method: Stove top
  • Cuisine: French


  • Serving Size: 3 1/2 cup
  • Calories: 284
  • Sodium: 2 g
  • Fat: 10 g
  • Saturated Fat: 2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 18 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Protein: 30 g

Keywords: mussels,bacon,apples,healthy,glutenfree,seafood,fish,lent,New Years Eve,Christmas Eve,Christmas,healthy

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