The Ultimate Guide to Cooking Mussels with Harissa and Basil

Are you craving a delightful seafood dish that bursts with flavors? Look no further! We present to you the ultimate recipe for cooking Mussels with Harissa and Basil, a mouthwatering dish that will leave you and your guests craving for more.


Mussels with Harissa and Basil is an exquisite Mediterranean-inspired seafood recipe that combines the succulent taste of fresh mussels with the bold and spicy flavors of harissa, complemented by the aromatic sweetness of basil leaves. This tantalizing fusion of tastes and textures creates a dish that is both comforting and exciting for your taste buds.


To create this culinary masterpiece, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 2 pounds of fresh, plump mussels
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 tablespoons of harissa paste (adjust according to your spice preference)
  • 1 can (14 oz) of diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup of vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup of white wine (optional)
  • 1/2 cup of fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Cleaning the Mussels
    • Start by cleaning the mussels thoroughly under cold running water. Remove any beards or debris attached to the shells and discard any mussels that are open and won’t close when lightly tapped.
  2. Preparation
    • In a large, heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and sauté until they become translucent and fragrant.
    • Stir in the minced garlic and diced red bell pepper, cooking until the pepper softens.
  3. Adding Harissa and Tomatoes
    • Add the harissa paste to the pot, stirring well to coat the vegetables. Allow the harissa to release its spicy aroma and infuse the mixture.
    • Pour in the diced tomatoes and vegetable broth, stirring to combine all the ingredients. Let the mixture simmer for about 5 minutes to meld the flavors.
  4. Cooking the Mussels
    • Now, carefully add the cleaned mussels to the pot, distributing them evenly. If you’re using white wine, pour it over the mussels.
    • Cover the pot with a lid and let the mussels steam for about 5-7 minutes, or until the shells open wide.
  5. Finishing Touches
    • Once the mussels have opened, remove the pot from the heat immediately. Overcooking may lead to rubbery mussels.
    • Sprinkle the freshly chopped basil leaves over the mussels, gently stirring them into the sauce to infuse the dish with their delightful aroma.
  6. Serving
    • Your Mussels with Harissa and Basil are now ready to be served! Ladle the mussels and the flavorful broth into individual serving bowls, ensuring each portion receives an equal amount of mussels and sauce.
    • Garnish with some additional basil leaves for a pop of color and an extra burst of freshness.


Congratulations! You have successfully prepared a delectable dish of Mussels with Harissa and Basil that is sure to impress even the most discerning seafood lovers. The harmonious blend of flavors from the harissa and basil, combined with the natural sweetness of the mussels, creates an unforgettable culinary experience.

Next time you’re looking to showcase your culinary skills or treat yourself to a gourmet meal, remember this recipe and relish the joy of savoring a plateful of divine Mussels with Harissa and Basil. Bon appétit!

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