How to Make Rice with Mussels

by Editorial Team | May 25th, 2023 | Cooking Basics

Rice is a versatile grain that forms the foundation of numerous cuisines worldwide. Its ability to blend seamlessly with different ingredients makes it a popular choice for creating flavorful dishes. 
In the following lines, we will explore the enticing recipe for Rice with Mussels, a delightful seafood delicacy that combines the goodness of rice and the succulent taste of mussels.


1 pound fresh mussels
2 cups Carolina White Rice
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 can (14 ounces) diced tomatoes
1 cup vegetable or seafood broth
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
Chopped parsley for garnish


Step 1
Rinse the mussels thoroughly under cold water, removing any beards or debris. Discard any mussels that are open or do not close when tapped.
Step 2
Cook the Carolina White Rice according to the package instructions. Fluff with a fork and set aside.
Step 3
In a large skillet or pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion, minced garlic, and diced red bell pepper. Sauté until the vegetables are tender and fragrant.
Step 4
Add the diced tomatoes, vegetable or seafood broth, paprika, dried thyme, salt, and pepper to the skillet. Stir well to combine the flavors.
Step 5
Gently add the cleaned mussels to the skillet, cover, and simmer for about 5-7 minutes until the mussels open. Discard any mussels that remain closed after cooking.
Step 6
Once the mussels are cooked, remove them from the skillet and set aside. Keep the cooking liquid in the skillet.
Step 7
Add the cooked Carolina White Rice to the skillet with the cooking liquid, stirring gently to incorporate the flavors. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes until the rice is heated through.
Step 8
Serve the rice with mussels in a large serving dish, garnishing with chopped parsley for a pop of freshness.

History of Rice with Mussels

The combination of rice and mussels has been enjoyed for centuries in coastal regions around the world. Its origins can be traced back to Mediterranean cuisine, where it was first embraced for its simplicity and taste. Over time, this dish has gained popularity and evolved with regional variations, each adding its unique flair to the recipe.

Nutritional Benefits of Rice with Mussels

Rice with mussels is not only a delectable dish but also a nutritious one. The key ingredients provide a host of health benefits. Mussels are an excellent source of lean protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and essential minerals such as iron, zinc, and selenium. 
They are also low in fat and calories, making them a great choice for those seeking a balanced diet. The white rice used in this recipe, such as Carolina White Rice, offers a good source of energy, dietary fiber, and essential nutrients like thiamin and niacin.

Secrets and Variations

  • To enhance the flavor of the dish, consider adding a splash of white wine or a squeeze of lemon juice while cooking the mussels.
  • For a spicy kick, add a pinch of red pepper flakes or diced jalapeños to the skillet.
  • If you prefer a creamier texture, stir in a tablespoon of butter or heavy cream to the skillet before adding the cooked rice.
  • For an added depth of flavor, sauté the rice in a separate pan with a little oil or butter before adding it to the skillet with the mussels.
  • Experiment with different herbs and spices like fresh basil, cilantro, or smoked paprika to customize the taste according to your preferences.

Carolina  White Rice

Carolina White Rice is the perfect choice for this rice and mussels recipe. With its superior quality and consistent texture, it complements the flavors of the mussels beautifully
Carolina Rice is a trusted brand that has been providing high-quality rice products for over 100 years. Their commitment to quality ensures that you get the best rice for your culinary creations. 
You can find Carolina  White Rice and other varieties at leading grocery stores or visit their website at for more information and recipes.

Proper Storage and Serving Suggestions

To ensure the freshness and safety of your leftover rice with mussels, it is essential to store it properly. Transfer any remaining portion to an airtight container and refrigerate it within two hours of cooking. Consume the leftovers within 2-3 days and reheat them thoroughly before serving.
Rice with mussels can be enjoyed as a standalone dish or paired with complementary sides.
Here are some serving suggestions:

  • A side of steamed vegetables like broccoli or asparagus adds color and nutrition to the meal.
  • Crusty bread or garlic bread is perfect for sopping up the flavorful sauce.
  • A crisp green salad with a light vinaigrette dressing provides a refreshing contrast.
  • For a Mediterranean twist, serve the rice with mussels alongside a bowl of Greek tzatziki sauce and lemon wedges.

Accompaniments for Rice with Mussels

When it comes to serving Rice with Mussels, there are numerous accompaniments that can elevate the dish and add depth to its flavors. Here are a couple of ideas to consider:

Grilled Asparagus with Lemon Zest
Grilled asparagus with a hint of lemon zest provides a vibrant and refreshing companion to Rice with Mussels.
Garlic and Herb Bread
Garlic and herb bread is an excellent choice to serve alongside Rice with Mussels, as it offers a satisfying crunch and a burst of aromatic flavors
Rice with mussels is a delightful seafood dish that brings together the natural sweetness of mussels and the versatility of rice. It is a culinary journey that takes you to the coastal regions of the world, where this recipe has been enjoyed for generations. 
By using Carolina White Rice, you ensure a high-quality base for this dish, allowing the flavors to shine through. Whether you’re a seafood enthusiast or simply looking to expand your culinary repertoire, give this recipe a try and savor the taste of the sea in each forkful.

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