Mussels with Fennel, Peppers and Spanish Paprika Recipe

Mussels with Fennel, Peppers and Spanish Paprika

Hands down, one of my favorite recipes, a hearty mussels stew with Spanish flavors. I use frozen Green-Lipped Half Shell Mussels from New Zealand, available at Publix and other supermarkets in the US. They are plump, delicious, versatile and above all a great time saver. They come blanched and frozen in half shells ready to use.

Yield: 4 servings

Time: 30 minutes


  • 2 lbs (900 g) package of green-lipped mussels from New Zealand, thawed and shells removed, about 12 mussels left on half-shell for garnish; you can use other types of fresh or frozen mussels (see Note)
  • 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cup (210 g) onions, sliced
  • 1 fennel bulb, cored, stalks and fronds removed, thinly sliced, about 2 cups (180 g)
  • 1 cup (140 g) red pepper, sliced
  • 1 cup (100 g) carrot, julienned
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) dry white wine
  • 2 1/2 cups (590 ml) fish stock
  • 2 cups (300 g) canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • 1/4 tsp smoked Spanish paprika
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup (10 g) cilantro (Coriander leaves) or flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • toasted bread for serving (optional)

Note: Most mussels you buy nowadays are already purged. All you might want to do is cleaning the shells a bit. If you happen to buy fresh mussels you should purge them first as a precaution, just to make sure that to get any sand out of their digestive tracks. It’s an easy procedure – you find it here.


Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, fennel and red pepper. Cook until vegetables are just tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and carrots and continue cooking for about 2 minutes longer. Add wine and bring to an energic simmer until wine is reduced by half. Add seafood stock, chickpeas, thyme, smoked paprika and bay leaf. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover the saucepan. Cook for about 20 minutes or until the stew has thickened a bit. Season with salt and pepper. Add mussels and heat them up 3-5 minutes. Adjust seasoning if necessary.

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