Mussels in white wine sauce is a classic, one that is simple to make and great for entertaining.
But what are the best side dishes to serve with it?
I’ve gathered 10 sides in this post, so you won’t have to wonder anymore!
What to Serve with Mussels in White Wine Sauce: 10 Best Sides
As I was growing up, my dad would make mussels in white wine sauce as a special treat.
The tender mussels are perfect for dipping into the sauce or soaking up with crusty bread.
Today, I still make this dish when I want to give my family a treat. But what do you serve with mussels in white wine sauce?
Here are 10 great side dishes to consider.
There’s something here for everyone!
The creamy texture and buttery flavor of risotto makes it an excellent side to mussels in white wine sauce.
For a traditional pairing, try this recipe for Risotto alla Milanese, which incorporates the zest of saffron into the rice.
You could also try a more contemporary take on this classic Italian dish by mixing in other ingredients such as caramelized onions or mushrooms.
If you choose to add mushrooms, we suggest using a variety of mushrooms to create complexity in your dish.
We like the earthiness of chanterelle, maitake and shiitake mushrooms combined with the nutty flavor and firm texture of cremini and oyster mushrooms.
For another twist on risotto, try making a creamy parmesan risotto and topping it with sautéed asparagus.
The strong flavors from the cheese and asparagus will complement your mussels nicely.
Once your mussels are cooked, remove them from their shells and mix them directly into your risotto so that all of the flavors can blend together.
A creamy polenta makes a great side for mussels. Polenta is made from ground cornmeal and can be served in many ways, but one of the best is to make it into a creamy side dish that’s similar to grits.
The polenta (or grits) will soak up all that wonderful white wine sauce and you’ll want to mop up every last drop with some toasted bread.
Although you can buy instant polenta, I suggest that you take the extra time to make it from scratch. It’s much better tasting, plus it’s not difficult to make.
Just keep an eye on it while it cooks because you’ll need to stir the pot at regular intervals.
3. Garlic Bread
Garlic bread is perfect with any seafood dish, such as mussels, shrimp or calamari, and it is one of the easiest sides to prepare.
It has a crunchy crust on the outside and soft and buttery on the inside. I used baguette for this side because it is easy to cut into slices and spread the garlic topping over each slice.
If you prefer a softer bread, use ciabatta or focaccia. If you like a stronger garlic flavor, sprinkle some garlic powder over the bread slices after spreading the garlic butter mixture.
To make this side easier to prepare, you can make the garlic butter mixture ahead of time and store it in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to use.
4. Green Salad
Green salad is a great option to serve with mussels in white wine sauce because it gives a little crunch and freshness to the meal.
You could go with just a simple green salad, or you could make something fancier like a Caesar salad, Greek salad or spinach salad.
Here are some of our favorite green salads to make:
- Green Salad with Simple Lemon Vinaigrette
- Greek Salad
- Baby Arugula with Parmesan, Pine Nuts and Lemon Dressing
- Mediterranean Salad with Feta Cheese
- Spinach Salad with Hot Bacon Dressing
5. Mashed Potatoes
Mashed potatoes are the perfect side dish for mussels in white wine sauce.
The creaminess and mellow flavor of the dish will pair well with a lean protein like mussels.
The richness of Mashed Potatoes helps to balance out the acidity from the white wine.
It’s easy to make mashed potatoes.
They cook relatively quickly, but be aware that you should start boiling your potatoes before you start boiling your mussels or they won’t finish cooking at the same time.
6. Steamed Vegetables
Add a colorful medley of steamed vegetables to your mussels in white wine sauce to create a well-rounded meal.
Steamed seasonal veggies, like carrots, asparagus and peas, are cooked until tender crisp and then arranged around the mussels.
For a healthy yet elegant side dish, serve steamed asparagus with a touch of butter.
Or for more texture and color, serve the mussels with stir-fried rice and vegetables.
For an easy vegetable side dish, try steaming broccoli florets over boiling water in a covered pot to preserve the bright green color. Season with salt and pepper for simple yet flavorful broccoli.
To use up any leftover vegetables you may have on hand, combine them into a simple vegetable soup or stew that’s perfect for soaking up the broth from your mussels in white wine sauce.
7. French Fries or Chips
French fries are the perfect addition to mussels in white wine sauce. French fries from scratch are easy to make and pair beautifully with seafood. If you don’t have time, simply buy frozen french fries and cook according to package directions.
Chips are another great side dish for mussels in white wine sauce. Chips can be made at home or purchased in a bag at the grocery store. Chips are often seasoned to taste, so choose your favorite flavor and enjoy!
8. Simple Steamed Asparagus
When you’re serving steamed or boiled asparagus, keep the flavors simple and let the natural flavor of the asparagus shine through.
You can steam asparagus all year long, but it’s best in spring when the stalks are slender and have a little bit of bite.
This is one of those easy sides that pairs well with just about any main dish.
The only seasonings needed for these steamed asparagus spears are a little salt and pepper. You can also drizzle them with melted butter or olive oil if you want to add a little more flavor.
The cooking time will vary depending on how thick your asparagus spears are, so keep an eye on them and don’t allow them to overcook, especially if you like them to have a bit of crunch.
They should be bright green when they’re done, not dull-looking.
9. Fennel and Leek Salad
Here is a fennel and leek salad recipe that is super perfect to serve with mussels in white wine sauce.
This fresh and light side will cut the richness of the mussels and bring a lovely refreshing note to the meal.
Fennel and leek are cooked briefly in boiling water, then tossed with fresh dill, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. It is an easy side dish that you can make while the mussels are cooking.
It can also be prepared in advance and stored in the fridge for 2 days.
The great thing about this salad is that it can be served warm or cold, depending on what you prefer.
For cold salads, I always recommend using extra virgin olive oil as it tastes much better than regular olive oil when eaten raw.
10. Creamed spinach
Creamed spinach is a rich, creamy side dish that complements many seafood dishes.
The creaminess, combined with the rich flavor of the spinach and the light taste of seafood, makes the two a perfect match.
If you are serving creamed spinach as a side with mussels in white wine sauce, consider adding a little bit of the mussel broth to your creamed spinach before serving.
It will add even more flavor to the dish and make it even more delicious!
3 Tips For Serving Sides For Mussels in White Wine Sauce
A quick way to jazz up any dish is to serve it with a side that adds freshness and crunch. Think of French fries, or onion rings, or a nice salad.
Mussels in white wine sauce is one of those dishes that can benefit from a nice complement of flavors and textures.
The fragrant wine sauce gives the mussels a rich, buttery flavor, and the lemon juice adds a touch of acidity.
So, you need something that will balance the richness and add some zestiness to the dish.
We have put together 3 great tips that you can use when serving side dishes for Mussels in White Wine Sauce.
Check them out:
1. Consider Your Guests
If you are serving guests, then consider their dietary restrictions and preferences.
If you have a guest who does not eat shellfish, then you may want to make a second option that does not include the mussels and serve them together.
Make sure to ask your guests if they are allergic to shellfish or ingredients in the recipe ahead of time.
If you have people over regularly, it would be considerate to ask your guests upon their arrival in case they forget to mention it before dinner.
2. Seasonal Ingredients
Mussels are found all year round, but they taste especially good in the summer. If you want to use seasonal vegetables, then choose vegetables that are also in season during the summer months for a summery flavor profile.
3. Keep It Simple
You don’t need any fancy side dishes to go along with mussels in white wine sauce. In fact, adding too many side dishes to the mix can actually detract from the meal.
Keep the flavors simple, and don’t go overboard with the ingredients or spices. You don’t want your side dish to take away from the main course!