Easy Slow Cooker Creamy Tomato Mussels are cooked in a tomato and white wine cream sauce and is the perfect recipe to serve with a crusty bread for dipping!
How to Cook Mussels in a Slow Cooker
My late friend Marcel loved fish and seafood and this Slow Cooker Creamy Tomato Mussels recipe of hers is fabulous. She loved cooking mussels in her slow cooker.
This recipe is super easy and will definitely show you how to cook mussels in your own slow cooker!
My friend Marcel used to put the sauce ingredients into her slow cooker on low and go to work. You don’t have to though, this sauce can be ready within an hour.
On her way home she would buy fresh mussels and a crusty loaf of bread.
When she arrived home she would turn her slow cooker up to high, clean and prepare her mussels, throw them into her slow cooker and within 20 minutes they were ready to eat and enjoy.
Now you don’t have to bring home a crusty loaf of bread too but it is a delicious way to soak up the mussels in tomato and white wine sauce.
We love using bread for dipping and scooping up this wonderful tomato cream sauce and I can’t remember a time when we made mussels and didn’t have it but the choice is up to you!
Simple Mussel Recipes
If you are looking for simple, then this recipe is for you. Cooking mussels in your slow cooker is not only super easy but incredibly tasty too!
Preparing this tomato cream sauce involves chopping up some vegetables, opening up some canned diced tomatoes, adding some seasoning and you are good to go!
Once your sauce is ready you add your mussels and within about 20 minutes they will open and be cooked!
Before you do enjoy your mussels recipe with cream you will have to add some to your slow cooker right before serving your cooked mussels!
Give the cream in your slow cooker a stir and now, you are ready to sit down to eat and enjoy your catch of the day! ?
Easy Mussel Recipes
Luckily, most mussel recipes are fairly easy, in my opinion, especially once you get used to preparing your mussels.
With this recipe I usually prepare the tomato cream sauce and turn my slow cooker on high.
At about the 40 to 45 minute mark I start to finish what I am doing and I head back to the kitchen with between 15 and 20 minutes to spare.
I get out my mussels and I stand at my sink and begin to check each one. This process takes me around 10 minutes because I have had practice, you will get faster too!
Once sorted, and dead mussels discarded, I open my slow cooker and add each mussel to it. Stirring once all are added and placing the lid back on top.
Quickly set the table and be prepared to start checking your mussels at the 15 minute mark and every 5 minutes after. You will know your mussels are cooked once their shells have opened.
Any mussels that haven’t opened within 30 minutes will likely not and need to be discarded.
Add cream, stir and serve this easy mussel recipe with slices of a crusty loaf of bread to dip and scoop up this amazing sauce.
This Slow Cooker Creamy Tomato Mussels is our goto mussel recipe and in our opinion is the best mussel recipe around! When we think of an amazing sauce to cook mussels in we think cream and tomato.
The flavors from the diced tomatoes, cream, dry white or red wine and tomato paste work together to create the perfect base sauce.
Then you add garlic, crushed red pepper fakes, onion, carrots, celery, sugar, salt, pepper the secret ingredient a fennel bulb! Together those flavors blend together to create the best mussel recipe in the world!
The Best Mussel Recipes in the World
Ok. I will admit it. This is the best recipe we have ever tried to make our mussels and even if I believe it is The Best Mussel Recipes in the World, it just might not be.
As a result, we are currently working on another mussel recipe, with a different kind of sauce that will be ready as soon as we get it right! If we ever do! lol
Mussels Recipe with Tomato
My husband loves everything from the ocean. He was raised beside it, enjoyed fresh seafood whenever he wanted it and they ate it often! Now we have certain foods and recipes in our rotation and this is one of them.
We have tried to reshoot this recipe on so many occasions and never ended up with decent photographs so I have given up and decided to post some of the best we have up.
At least you get the idea!
I have never had such difficulty getting decent pictures ever, but mussels just aren’t the easiest to photograph. So there you have it I am officially blaming the mussels! ?
This Mussels Recipe with Tomato sauce base is delicious and as you would expect, definitely worth a try or I wouldn’t include it on this site!
This mussels in tomato and white wine sauce is a recipe you will make over and over again!
Mussels Recipe with Cream
I figured that you can’t have mussels without a tomato based sauce and once we figured we had a simple but tasty mussels recipe with a tomato sauce we were proud of, we had to create a mussels recipe with cream as well.
Every mussels recipe has to include cream, at least a little bit of it, and it goes beautifully in this tomato, white wine sauce. Yes, you can always add a little more or a little less to suit your personal taste.
Regardless of how much cream you use you will love this creamy tomato based sauce too!
Cream Sauce for Mussels
We experimented with so many variations of my friends sauce and we couldn’t improve on it. This cream sauce for mussels meets all of our requirements for an amazing sauce to cook your mussels in!
We knew that our finished tomato white wine sauce had to include a cream sauce for mussels and this is it! For the record, if I had my way I would try and include cream in as many things as possible.
Terrible, I know, but I have loved cream ever since I first enjoyed it on my grandparents farm when I was young. Luckily mussels taste amazing in a cream sauce, especially a tomato cream sauce, so I am in heaven with every bite.
I love dipping and scooping up this sauce with crusty bread while eating these mussels in a white wine cream sauce. Our Slow Cooker Creamy Tomato Mussels are close to divine and a satisfying meal or even an appetizer for that matter.
How to Eat Mussels in Tomato and White Wine Sauce
There are so many ways to prepare and serve mussels but the most popular I believe is to steam the mussels, in their shell, inside a sauce or broth. This Mussels in Tomato and White Wine Sauce is just fabulous.
Usually, mussels are eaten with your fingers, a fork, and spoon and accompanied by a bowl to place all of your empty shells. Also you will need a bowl with a slice of lemon to clean your fingers or a pile of napkins!
How to Eat Mussels in Tomato Cream Sauce
Many people do not try certain foods because they aren’t sure exactly how best to eat them and mussels fall into that category. If this is you, you don’t know what you’ve been missing. Have a look below and I will show you how to eat mussels in a white wine cream sauce.
In one hand you pick up and hold the shell, widen shell opening if necessary using your thumbs, remove the mussel with your fork, dip it in your sauce, catching a few vegetables while you do and eat it all in one tasty bite.
You can also loosen the mussel in its shell with your fork, bring the shell to your mouth by your hand, pour the mussel with all of the juices from the shell into your mouth and enjoy!
Place empty shell in your designated bowl.
Using your fork, spoon or better yet a crusty slice of bread, dip and scoop your vegetables and enjoy your sauce until you have had enough!
How To Clean and Debeard Mussels
As of late, the majority of the mussels that are available for purchase in grocery stores are from farms where they are kept in containers where impurities can be easily monitored and removed.
As a result, generally, you only need to rinse your mussels off with water once you get them home.
It is easy enough to clarify, just ask where your mussels are from at the fish counter, at the time you purchase them. Then you will have all of the information you need!
Usually, the processing of farmed mussels will clean most of the shells for you but just in case a few are missed, here is how you check and prepare them before cooking, no matter which recipe you use.
After you have done all of this once or twice you should be able to get a few pounds of mussels totally ready in less than 20 minutes.
When you get your mussels home you will need to go through them all, one by one. First, you need to check to make sure that each shell is tightly closed and discard any that are cracked or broken.
You should also be looking for little things and strings that are hanging off of the mussel and remove them with a knife by scraping the outside of the shell, pull the strings and such off with your fingers or scrub them off with a scouring pad to remove as you possibly can.
Some of your mussels will be cleaner than others and that is totally normal.
Ultimately, you are trying to get the shells of your mussels to look as clean as possible.
This will sound strange but if any of your mussels are open, even ever so slightly, just tap the shell lightly on your sink or wherever you are sorting them and any mussels that do not close tightly within a couple minutes, discard them too.
If your mussel is alive the tapping of the shell should cause a reaction where the mussel closes its shell automatically, within a couple minutes. If the mussel doesn’t close its shell it is dead and needs to be discarded or risk you getting sick.
What is the Beard of the Mussel?
The area where the two shells meet will likely have the most strings hanging off of and around it. This is considered the “beard” of the mussel.
The beard of the mussel is actually technically called byssus threads, and it looks like fine brownish colored seaweed. These threads are used by the mussel to attach itself to rocks, and the like, in the inshore or coastal waters of the ocean.
These threads that are the beard of the mussel are not harmful to you in any way they just may affect the taste in a negative way.
How do you Store Fresh Mussels?
In an Uncovered Container with a Cloth
Ingredients in Mussels in White Wine Cream Sauce
- fresh mussels
- diced tomatoes
- heavy or whipping cream
- dry white or red wine
- tomato paste
- crushed red pepper fakes
- fennel bulb
What is a substitute for Fennel?
Fennel bulbs are part of the carrot family, originally from the Mediterranean, but are now widely available around the world.
Also known as sweet anise, the fennel bulb is growing in popularity.
Fennel bulbs are very aromatic and can enhance the taste of so many dishes. It can be used raw and cooked in soups, stews, salads, appetizers and so much more.
Raw fennel bulbs are crunchy, exactly like celery. The taste and smell reminds you of mild licorice.
If you’re unable to find fennel or aren’t a fan, there are some easy things you can do to still enjoy this amazing mussels recipe.
With this recipe, if I can’t find fennel or I’m not in the mood, I usually just leave it out and add extra celery. Usually the entire stalk, not just 3 ribs.
Such a simple substitute that won’t alter flavor or texture at all.
Just removes the hint of licorice to the overall taste of the dish.
If you aren’t interested in adding more celery, you can always try using some extra onion, or use leeks instead of onion or just bok choy.
Onion, Leeks or Bok Choy or White Cabbage.
Bok choy or white cabbage is common in savory Asian cuisine, has a mild, cabbage like flavor, looks similarly to celery and has the same texture.
Onion, either white, red or purple are also terrific substitutes for fennel bulbs. They are mildly sweet and aromatic, especially when grilled or sauteed but in cooked dishes can easily lose their flavor.
Leeks need to be purchased bright green, feel firm and crisp, without defects or flaws towards the base. Perfect in casseroles, soups and stews, leeks offer a sweet onion flavor.
How to make Slow Cooker Creamy Tomato Mussels
In your slow cooker add tomatoes, wine, tomato paste, broth, onions, celery, carrots, fennel bulb, garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, sugar, salt and pepper and stir to combine.
Cook on low for at least 2 hours or on high for 1 hour.
When you’re ready to prepare your mussels you first you have to clean and scrub them.
Next, you must remove their beards. You do this by pulling out the hair-like strands around the shell of each mussel, usually with a knife.
If you see any shells that are open, discard them. Discard any that are cracked or not sealed shut.
Add mussels, cover and cook on high until the mussels open, between 15 and 25 minutes.
Discard any mussels that do not open.
Any mussels that do not open while cooking may be dead and as the flesh deteriorates, the bacteria that is created can cause severe food poisoning amongst other things. You must discard these mussels.
Eat and enjoy!
To store your cooked mussels, place into an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to 3 days or freezer for up to 3 months.
What goes with Mussels for Dinner?
For myself and my family we always serve a fresh crusty bread with our mussels and that is it.
This sauce is packed full of vegetables and after eating a pile of mussels and dipping and scooping all of the sauce up with the crusty bread, you won’t have room for much else!
Mussels in Tomato Cream Sauce
This mussels recipe with cream and tomatoes is absolutely perfect to cook and then serve with your mussels, for any occasion. We have served mussels in cream sauce as an appetizer or a hearty meal.
Cooking mussels in your slow cooker make it super easy for clean up too with everything going into your slow cooker!
Mussels in Tomato and White Wine Sauce
Slow Cooker Creamy Tomato Mussels are perfect with white wine or red wine for that matter. There is just something about the flavor the wine brings that pairs perfectly with mussels and makes this dish to die for.
Mussels in White Wine Cream Sauce
This mussels in white wine cream sauce can also be prepared with red wine as well. Frankly, both red and white wine add a slightly different flavor and neither will disappoint.
Grab your favorite brand. I usually go for a dry wine for this recipe but feel free to grab whichever level of sweetness you desire.
Slow Cooker Creamy Tomato Mussels Video
Slow Cooker Creamy Tomato Mussels
- large slow cooker
- 2-3 pounds fresh mussels, depending on the size of your slow cooker
- 1 can (28 oz) canned tomatoes, diced, undrained depending on how much sauce you desire to eat with your mussels, I use 2 cans, one 28 oz and one 14 oz
- ⅓-1 cup heavy or whipping cream (35%) depending on how much tomato sauce I use or more or less to taste
- ½-1 cup dry white or red wine
- ½ cup vegetable broth
- 1 can (5.5-6 oz) tomato paste
- 1 bulb fennel, bulb, trimmed, cored, thinly sliced OR whole celery stalk SEE NOTES
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 1 cup carrots, sliced
- 3 ribs celery ribs, sliced
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 tblsp garlic, minced more or less to taste
- 1 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper flakes optional, more or less to taste
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- In your slow cooker add tomatoes, wine, broth, tomato paste, onions, celery, carrots, fennel bulb, garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, sugar, salt and pepper and stir to combine.
- I always use 2 cans of diced tomatoes. Sometimes one 28 oz and one 14 oz or two 28 oz cans because we are bread scoopers and dippers. We also love this sauce.
- Cook on low for at least 2 hours or on high for 1 hour. Vegetables must be tender.
- When you are ready to prepare your mussels you first you have to clean and scrub them. Next, you must remove their beards. You do this by pulling out the hair-like strands around the shell of each mussel, usually with a knife. If you see any shells that are open, discard them. Discard any that are cracked or not sealed shut.
- Add mussels, cover and cook on high until the mussels open, between 15 and 25 minutes. Discard any mussels that do not open. Add cream, stir and serve.
- Any mussels that do not open while cooking may be dead and as the flesh deteriorates, the bacteria that is created can cause severe food poisoning amongst other things. You must discard all of the mussels that did not open up.
Storing your cooked mussels
- After you prepare the mussels, they can be stored in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to 3 days or your freezer for up to 3 months.