These mussels disappear faster than Barry Bonds after retirement. We’re not sure why mussels haven’t become a tailgating staple yet—especially considering how they are so inexpensive, so easy and quick to make and how they’re so downright delicious. This recipe for these bite-sized morsels is a one pot recipe, it’s a favorite and it’s 2 ingredients: mussels and pesto.


  • 3 pounds mussels, cleaned


  • 1 bunch basil leaves
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 2 tbsp toasted pine nuts or walnuts
  • 2 oz shredded parmesan cheese 
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup olive oil


To clean the mussels, place your haul in a colander and then place under cold water. Scrub the outside of their shells with a wire brush or with steel wool. Discard any mussels that have opened up.


To Make the Pesto

  1. Add all the ingredients—except for the olive oil—into a blender. Pulse 7 times.
  2. Slowly add in the olive oil while the blender is on low. Continue blending until the oil is fully mixed in. Remove from the blender.

To Make the Mussels

  1. Fill a large pot or Dutch oven (big enough to hold all of your mussels) with water, 1 inch deep. Bring to a boil.
  2. Place in the lot of the mussels.
  3. Cook until mussels open their shells (7-10 minutes).
  4. Turn the heat off and drain the water our of the pot or Dutch oven. Then pour the pesto atop the hot mussels. Toss gently and serve immediately.

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