Easy Mussels Cooked in Greek Saffron-Pepper-Tomato Sauce

Mussels are a classic Greek meze, super easy to cook, and a very popular seafood component of the Mediterranean diet. Did you know that mussels have been farmed in Greece since ancient times? There are a few varieties of Greek mussels, mostly cultivated off the coasts of Northern Greece, and typically a little slimmer and smaller than mussels from New Zealand and the Atlantic. In this Greek recipe for mussels, I marry these tasty bivalves with krokos Kozanis, aka Greek saffron.

10 min
15 min


  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin Greek olive oil
  • 1 cup sliced shallots
  • 3 garlic cloves chopped
  • 3/4 cup dry Greek rosé wine
  • 2 cups canned diced tomatoes in juice
  • 2 tablespoons spicy piperoktima or any red pepper paste
  • 3/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon Greek Krokos Kozanis saffron threads,
  • 3 dozen mussels scrubbed, debearded
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


  1. Heat oil in large pot over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic; sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the wine, tomatoes with juice, pepper sauce, paprika, and saffron; sprinkle with salt and generous amount of pepper. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium; simmer for 3 minutes to blend flavors.
  2. Add mussels and half of parsley; cover and cook until mussels open, about 3 minutes (discard any mussels that do not open).
  3. Stir in remaining parsley. Divide mussels and juices among bowls and serve.

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