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Easy Mussels with Israeli Couscous and Tomato Broth Recipe

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Easy Mussels with Israeli Couscous and Tomato Broth is a delicious recipe that’s packed with flavor.

And surprisingly, it’s easier than you might think!

This Mediterranean recipe is much easier than you think. This one is great for a fancy-feeling date night in, or a great meal for impressing your friends!

Mussels with Israeli Couscous and Tomato in a pan with bread and wine

Recipe Inspiration

This recipe is inspired by one of my favorite restaurants in Columbus, The Market Italian Village.

The Market IV had a similar menu item on their menu a few years ago – and it blew me away! I love mussels, but before I had the dish on their menu, I had never had mussels in a tomato sauce.

It’s a fresh take on how they’re prepared that has so many delicious flavors.

I especially loved the addition of Israeli, or pearl, couscous. If you’ve never had Israeli couscous, it’s a bigger grain than regular couscous, shaped like a pearl.

It’s absolutely delicious and one of my favorite grains to cook with. Pearl couscous has great texture that is a great addition to any meal!

Lastly, my favorite part about the dish from The Market IV was the bread they served it with. What’s better than dipping a fresh baguette into delicious tomato sauce?!

About the Recipe – Mussels with Israeli Couscous and Tomato

This recipe is way easier than it sounds! You should first start off by buying fresh mussels the morning you’re going to cook this recipe.

Fresh mussels will increase the quality of your dish! Here are some tips when cooking with mussels.

Cooking with Mussels

When you buy mussels, buy as fresh as possible. I normally buy mine at Costco, but most high quality grocery stores will carry them in the seafood section.

After you purchase your mussels, transfer them from packaging to a large bowl filled with cold water. Add a little salt and let sit at least 20 minutes. This allows the mussels to purge any sand that’s inside of them.

After you’re done soaking them, transfer mussels to a colander and rinse very well.

As you move them to the colander, if there are any mussels that are cracked or wide open, discard them as they cannot be eaten.

Just before you start cooking, scrub your mussels with a brush and remove their beard. The beard is a bristly thread that will be discarded when you pull it off of the mussel.

Then, your mussels are ready to go!

Fresh Herbs and Lemon Slices

Cooking Tomato Broth and Israeli Couscous

After you’ve prepped your mussels, heat olive oil in a large pan, then sauté onion. Add garlic, salt, and seller, and your house will start to smell amazing!

Note: You want a very large pan as you will need the room to cook couscous and mussels!

Then, add white wine and couscous. Toast couscous for a few minutes, making sure to stir frequently so it doesn’t stick to the pan. Then, add water and tomatoes, and cover for 10 minutes, or until couscous is cooked.

Another note: if the couscous is almost cooked, that’s fine! It’ll keep cooking as you add the mussels to the pan.

Finally, add your cleaned and de-baearded mussels to the pan, cover, and steam for a few minutes on low heat. You will know the mussels done when they open completely. Make sure you discard unopened mussels, as these cannot be eaten.

Finally, top with fresh chopped Italian parsley and serve with a fresh baguette!

Frequently Asked Questions

Let’s look at some frequently asked questions about this mussels with couscous recipe:

How can you tell if mussels are bad?

Mussels have gone bad when they are open or cracked before they are cooked, or unopened after being cooked. This means they are not safe to eat, so make sure you discard them!

Do I need to clean mussels before cooking?

Yes! Cleaning your mussels by first soaking in water and salt and then scrubbing and de-bearding will ensure freshness and the best tasting mussel for your meal.

When should I buy mussels?

Be sure to buy mussels the day you will be cooking this recipe. This ensures freshness and increases value, as any mussels bought a few days before cooking may die.

More Seafood Recipes

If you’re looking for even more seafood recipes, check out these delicious and easy recipes perfect for dinnertime!

Healthy Seared Sesame Ahi Tuna – This seared tuna recipe is one of my favorites. It reminds me of my honeymoon in Hawaii! Delicious, seared tuna is topped with a delicious sesame sauce for an easy and healthy dinner.

Easy Spicy Grilled Shrimp with Coconut Rice – I love this recipe. Super easy grilled shrimp is topped on coconut rice for a simple, flavorful and healthy meal.

Steelhead Trout with Garlic Herb Butter – This easy steelhead trout recipe is a great recipe to have saved when you need a beautiful but super easy dinner! I make this at least a few times a month, and everyone loves the presentation of this beautiful dish.

Mussels with Israeli Couscous and Tomato in a bowl with bread, lemons, and wine

Easy Mussels with Israeli Couscous and Tomato Broth Recipe Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups Israeli couscous
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 28 oz cans crushed tomatoes
  • 2 lbs mussels, scrubbed and debearded
  • Chopped Italian parsley, for topping
  • Sliced baguette, for serving


  1. Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Then, add garlic, salt, and pepper, and cook for one minute.
  2. Add white wine and couscous. Toast couscous for 3 minutes, then add water and tomatoes to pan. Cover and simmer on low heat for 10 minutes, or until couscous is cooked.
  3. Add mussels evenly to the pan and cover. Cook and simmer on low heat until the mussels are open, about 3 minutes. Make sure you discard unopened mussels!
  4. Serve with fresh Italian parsley and baguette slices.

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