Instant Pot Mussels With Leeks and White Wine

America’s Test Kitchen recommends using a multicooker, such as an Instant Pot, to make mussels because the appliance surrounds the bivalves with steam, increasing your chances of turning out evenly cooked, tender morsels. The mussels cook while the pot comes up to pressure, which, on most pots should take about 8 minutes, so set the timer to zero. To prevent the mussels from overcooking, be sure to do a quick release as soon as the appliance reaches pressure.

Uncooked, fresh mussels can be placed in a colander set over a large bowl and refrigerated for up to 2 days. Top them with a bag of ice, if desired. Do not clean them until just before you are ready to cook. At that time, sort the mussels and discard any with cracked shells. The shells should be tightly closed. If not, give open mussels a gentle squeeze, if they close, keep them. If they do not react, discard. Rinse the mussels under cold water, scrubbing if necessary, and, if desired, pull off the byssus, or beard, by grasping it with your thumb and forefinger and giving a sharp pull, or cut them off the shell.

Total time: 30 mins

Storage Notes: Refrigerate leftovers for up to 1 day.



Tested size: 2 servings

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

  • 1 large shallot (about 4 ounces), minced

  • 1 medium leek (about 10 ounces), trimmed, thinly sliced and washed

  • 4 garlic cloves, minced or grated

  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

  • 2 pounds mussels, cleaned and debearded (see headnote)

  • 3/4 cup dry white wine, such as sauvignon blanc (see NOTES)

  • 1/4 cup water or vegetable stock

  • Juice of 1 large lemon (about 1/4 cup)

  • Fresh parsley leaves, for serving (optional)

  • Warm crusty bread, for serving (optional)


Set a programmable multicooker (such as an Instant Pot; see NOTES) to SAUTE. Let the pot heat for 2 minutes and then add the oil and heat until shimmering. Add the shallot and leek and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the mussels and pour the wine, water or stock and lemon juice over.

Cover the appliance with a lid and make sure the steam valve is sealed. Select PRESSURE (HIGH) and set the cook time to 0 minutes. (It should take 8 to 10 minutes for the appliance to come to pressure.) Once it reaches pressure, immediately release it manually by moving the pressure-release handle to “Venting,” covering your hand with a towel and making sure to keep your hand and face away from the vent when the steam releases.

Discard any mussels that have not opened. Transfer the mussels to individual serving bowls, and pour or ladle some of the sauce from the pot, sprinkle with the parsley, if using, and drizzle with extra oil, if desired.

Serve with warm bread for dipping, if desired.

NOTES: This recipe was tested using a 3-quart Instant Pot; the amount of liquid is enough to work in a 6-quart model, as well. For an 8-quart pot, you’ll need at least 2 cups of liquid.

If you prefer not to use wine, increase the stock to 1 cup.

Recipe Source

Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen.

Tested by Ann Maloney.

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