Mejillones en Escabeche

Bowl of mussels

Monty Rakusen/Getty Images

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 30 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
642 Calories
19g Fat
37g Carbs
57g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 642
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 19g 25%
Saturated Fat 3g 16%
Cholesterol 127mg 42%
Sodium 928mg 40%
Total Carbohydrate 37g 13%
Dietary Fiber 3g 9%
Protein 57g
Calcium 165mg 13%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Mussels are very common in Spain as a tapa and are often served both hot and cold. Spanish mussels recipes are very simple: usually, only a couple of ingredients combine to season the extremely fresh Spanish mussels. 

These deliciously marinated mussels (called mejillones en escabeche in Spanish) are available in small tin cans and just about any supermarket. The quality (and therefore the price) varies greatly. But making them from scratch tastes even better, and it is very easy! All you need are some fresh mussels and a bit of seasoning, and you will enjoy homemade marinated mussels in no time.

These mussels have an intensely flavored sauce of onion, wine, garlic and Spanish paprika that only gets better with time. We like to make this dish a day ahead and store it in the refrigerator for at least twenty-four hours. We serve it the following day with fresh rustic-style bread, either as an appetizer (a Spanish tapa) or a first course.


  • 2 pounds of raw mussels in their shells
  • 1/2 large yellow or white onion
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons smoked Spanish paprika
  • 2 cups (16 ounces) of dry white wine
  • 6 tablespoons vinegar​

Steps to Make It

  1. Clean the mussels with a stiff brush, removing any debris on the outside. Rinse thoroughly under cold running water.

  2. Put all the mussels into a large pot with about 1-inch of water in the bottom. Cover and place over high heat and cook until the shells open.

  3. Remove from stove and place mussels in a colander.

  4. Rinse under cold water. Set aside and allow to cool.

  5. While mussels are cooling, peel and chop the onion and the garlic cloves. Pour 2-3 tablespoons of Spanish olive oil into a large, heavy-bottomed frying pan and heat oil over medium heat. Once the oil is hot enough, sauté the onion and garlic until golden in color.

  6. Remove pan from heat and add salt, paprika, white wine, and vinegar. Stir all ingredients until salt and paprika are dissolved.

  7. Remove shells from meat. Discard any shells that did not open.

  8. Return frying pan to burner with onion and wine mixture and turn the heat on low. Add mussels to pan and stir. Simmer on low to medium-low for 3-4 minutes, then allow them to cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.

  9. Serve with toothpicks and slices of French-style bread.

Although these mussels are tasty as soon as they are cooked, they are more flavorful when refrigerated and eaten the next day.