Mussels Saganaki With Mustard

Spread the love

In the town near to our summer home in Greece, is a “psaro taverna” or seafood tavern that’s been a favourite of our family & friends for years. The taverna’s name is Kapetan Giakoumis and the proprietor is this portly fellow with long curly dark brown hair. Think rolly-polly Diego Maradona.

Our summer home is located near Thessaloniki, in northern Greece in a resort area called Halkidiki. We vacation near the town of Nea Kallikratia. It (Halkidiki) is not as well known as the Greek Islands but you’ll find some of the best beaches in Greece and most of the beaches offer warm waters to bathe in.

Mussels are a specialty of northern Greece as three rivers empty into the Thermaic Gulf and mussels thrive in waters where fresh & sea water meet. There are a multitude of recipes for mussels saganaki but with the most well-known being the tomato & Feta-based one. The other mussels saganaki is a tangy offering with mustard and Feta and I’m often in a conundrum with which version I like best. Let’s say I’ll let my mood decide and perhaps I’ll wait for the summer to return with ripe, sweet tomatoes before I tackle the tomato-based mussels saganaki.

It seems that the Winter Blues have arrived and I always grow sentimental, thinking of last summer in Greece and I often drift away and think about any one of the prior 21 visits to Greece. Below is a slide show with some pics of Thessaloniki and neighboring summer vacation region of Halkidiki. After your done viewing these pics, you may want to go one step further and try this local meze (appetizer), Mussels Saganaki with Mustard.

WordPress plugin

Powered by Cincopa Media Platform for your website and Cincopa MediaSend for file transfer.
Mussels Saganaki With Mustard (Μυδια Σαγανακι με Μουσταρδα)

(appetizer for 4)

2 lbs. of fresh mussels, scrubbed, de-bearded, rinsed

1/4 cup olive oil

1 small onion, diced

3 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced

1 sweet Cubanele (or Anaheim) pepper, halved and sliced

juice of 1/2 lemon

1 whole dried chilli

2 Tbsp. of plain mustard

1 shot of Ouzo

1/2 cup dry white wine

1 cup of crumbled Greek feta

splash of heavy cream

chili flakes for garnish

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

2 tsp. dried Greek oregano

Additional chilli flakes (for those that like it hot)

  1. Place a large pot on your stove-top over medium heat with the  olive oil, onions, peppers and garlic and sweat for 5-6 minutes.
  2. Add the mussels, mustard, wine, Ouzo, lemon juice and turn the heat to high and cover. Steam until the mussels have opened up (about 5-6 minutes). Pour the mussels through a strainer (to remove any sediment) and reserve the mussels (and any vegetables). Place the liquid back in the pot and add the cream, crumbled Feta and stir for a minute or two over low heat. Your sauce should just coat a wooden spoon (You may at this time remove the mussel meat from the shells if you wish).*
  3. Add the mussels back into the pot along with the dried Greek oregano and fresh parsley and stir to incorporate. Discard any un-opened mussels.
  4. Serve with crusty bread and pour some Ouzo on ice. Kali Orexi!

*Many tavernas in Thessaloniki  (and surrounding) areas will serve Mussels Saganaki without the shells – you may choose if you like to present the dish with the shells or without.

© 2011 – 2013,
Peter Minakis

. All rights reserved.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

34 Comments for “Mussels Saganaki With Mustard”



Yet another mouth-watering recipe! Get this: I can actually walk down to the beach (right now) and gather a bucket of mussels. I usually steam them in an Asian flavored brew but will be trying your recipe this winter.
I’m really enjoying your photos and mini travel tour. :)

Peter M


Christine, now you’re killing me! I want to be able to get mussels from my back yard. I’ll I have is snow and pine cones. :(



Peter, we envy you because we rarely see snow. Anyway, I love any kind of saganaki and if I may add to your nice description, saganaki is the name of the frying pan used, the one with two handles, and anything fried in there is called saganaki.



Once upon a time… I was in Mykonos for a summer holiday, I just loved the blue transparent waters, the narrow streets and the blue doors… and the food!!!!!!!!!
I’ll get some mussels next tuesday, try to copy your recipe, close my eyes, and I’ll be there!



An interesting combination we don’t see here. Tomatoes, curry, white wine and cream but not mustard. I think it would complement the mussels very nicely… be as messy as the curry to eat from the shells, though, as everyone does here..



That looks great! Muscles are yet another food that I want to try but haven’t gotten around to yet. Bookmarked.

Laurie Constantino


I love mussels, and this looks like a terrific treatment. So glad you got the recipe!



Peter! That’s breathtakingly beautiful. Of course, it’s delicious–anyone with functioning tastebuds can see that! :):) But, the way you plated it, in such a gorgeous photo–that’s real food porn!


Oh maaaan! You’re killing me now! My beloved Thessaloniki… I miss it so much, with the little roads of Ano Poli, the students’ cafes around Kamara, the Kastra, an early Greek coffee with the view of Thermaikos… And of course the best food in Greece! I totally love this recipe! But I prefer to use thyme rather than oregano in this particular one. Probably will be cooking it soon!


Oooh yummy yum yum!
Ps: Peter are you sure you don’t mean halloumi instead of feta lol……
*Just a joke between us two if anyone’s thinking I’ve gone mad!


That dash of cream and the cheese thickens the sauce very nicely. Delicious blend of ingredients that definitely calls for a slice of bread (or a loaf).


Peter φεύγω, γιατί αν μείνω κι άλλο, θα πάρω το ψωμάκι από την πρώτη φωτογραφία και θα το βουτήξω όλο στην υπέροχη σάλτσα σου!!!


I am a a firm believer that even for foods you don’t really enjoy, if they are prepared in the right way, you will eat a bowl full. Seafood doesn’t agree with me in large quantities but this sauce would be sopped up with bread in large quantities with a small portion of mussles thrown in for good measure. I would head to your hometown just for this.


Mussels don’t make me jump with joy but that sauce does! Never thought of combining mustard and feta! What a splendid idea! Thanks for the quick escape into paradise!


These look fantastic. As a seafaring nation we don’t do justice to any seafood, which is a real shame. The UK sells most of their catch to Europe. But this is a recipe to try and – from the photos – enjoy. Thank you for the recipes. I have never been to Greece (although we have been to Cyprus) so must go and see some of these places you mention.


Mussels with mustard–I’ve never had that combination before but I like it. Something I could make at home but even better would be to enjoy it in Greece. Still on my top 3 places to visit and I haven’t been.


Ooooh…. now THIS I want now! LOVE mussels and the flavors in this have my mouth watering. And it looks so good, thick and creamy. Oh yes, please….