mussles in a white bowl on a gray table

mussels with apple and bacon

  • Author: Katie Webster
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Main Course
  • Method: Stove top
  • Cuisine: French


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. 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. 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. 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.


  • 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

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