Mussels Fra Diavolo

March 04, 2021

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How to Cook Mussels Fra Diavolo

Mussels Fra Diavolo is an elegant, delicious dish that goes from stovetop to table in less than 30 minutes. Italian for “brother devil,” and also known as spicy mussels, this fiery seafood dish plates as a gourmet dish but only takes a few steps to complete.

The tender mussels soak up the spicy, robust Arrabbiata Sauce for a complex combination of taste and texture. Made with organic tomato puree and a blend of organic spices like basil and oregano, Arrabbiata Sauce is flavorful enough to stand alone with succulent mussels.

Spicy mussels in arrabbiata sauce in a white dish with fresh parsley and lemon.

A quick note on cooking mussels: You’ll want your mussels to be alive when cooking them. If you’re preparing them a few days after purchase, keep them in a bowl covered with a damp washcloth. This method will keep them alive for a few days, ensuring a fresh mussel when cooking.

Before cleaning your mussels, check to ensure that they are alive: If they don’t gradually close when you open them, that’s a good sign they have died.

For more tips on cleaning and preparing mussels, scroll down to the bottom of the post to cook alongside Brian as he makes his Mussels Fra Diavolo with step-by-step instructions.

Primal Kitchen Arrabbiata Sauce is placed next to red pepper flakes and a bowl of mussels fra daivolo.

How to Clean Mussels

The first step in learning how to prepare mussels is learning how to debeard mussels. The “beard” on mussels is what allows them to cling to other surfaces while alive in the ocean. If your mussels came with a beard, you’d want to yank or use a knife to remove the beard before cleaning. After removing the beard, scrub them in clean water with a firm brush.

Mussels Fra Diavolo Recipe


Servings: 2

Time: 20 minutes


  • Heat a shallow pan on medium heat, and then add Avocado Oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes.
  • Stir for 30 seconds.
  • Add 1 cup of white wine and 2 cups of Primal Kitchen Arrabbiata Marinara Sauce, continuing to stir.
  • Turn up the heat on the shallow pan, cover, and bring to a boil.
  • Add cleaned, de-bearded mussels to the mixture, cover with a lid, and cook on high for 3 minutes.
  • Remove the lid, stir, and check to make sure the mussels are beginning to open up. Cover and cook for another 4 minutes.
  • Using a ladle, transfer the mussels to a bowl, then continue to boil the remaining sauce for a few more minutes to thicken.
  • Add the thickened sauce to the bowl with the mussels, and top with parsley.

A white dish of Mussels Fra Diavolo with a fork, lemon wedge and buttered bread nearby.

Mussels FAQ

If you’re new to cooking with this versatile seafood favorite, here are a few answers to commonly asked questions.

How long does it take to cook mussels?

The cook time of mussels will vary depending on the recipe and the heat of the pan, but for Mussels Fra Diavolo, or spicy mussels in Arrabbiata Marinara sauce, expect overall cook time to take anywhere from six to 10 minutes.

How to steam mussels

For a more straightforward recipe for steaming mussels: Add a cup of water and a cup of white wine to a pot and bring to a boil. Add your mussels and lower the heat to medium, and cook for up to seven minutes.

How to make grilled mussels

Grilling mussels is simple. Once cleaned and debearded, place your mussels in a hot, covered grill either on their own or in a grill-safe cast iron skillet, and cook them until they open up. Similar to steaming mussels, you’ll want to check on them periodically after three to four minutes.

Are mussels good for you?

According to Cronometer, half a pound of mussels is about 200 calories, with 6g of fat, 8g of carbohydrates, and around 30g of protein. If you’re on the keto diet with a relatively low carb count, mussels make a great seafood dish, especially when paired with a Keto Certified sauce.

What do mussels taste like?

Mussels are known for their toothsome, fleshy texture and a salty, subtle taste. Some people compare mussels’ taste to mushrooms, but with a versatility for sauce and ingredient pairings that rivals chicken. You might notice an “ocean” quality to the flavor of your mussels, as well.

More Seafood Recipes

Hearts of Palm Pasta with Pink Primavera

Seared Scallops with Avocado Oil and Lemon

Shrimp Tacos 

Summer Shrimp Salad with Mayo 

Penne with Pink Sauce and Shrimp 

Whole30 Spicy Shrimp Salad 

Zoodle Primavera with Shrimp 



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