Baked Mussels

Here’s a very simple recipe for baked mussels on half-shell with mayonnaise, pasta sauce (tomato), spinach and cheese. I chanced upon this somewhat unusual combination, as I was experimenting on the same day two batches of baked mussels – one with mayonnaise, and the other with instant pasta sauce. Just for fun, I combined both sauces for the last few mussels, and to my surprise it is quite yummy!

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Top the mussels with some chopped spinach and cheese before baking. I used only a little cheese, but if you like, you can cover the entire mussels with a thick layer of cheese. You can also reduce or omit the pasta sauce if you don’t like the sauce to be too sweet.

Frozen Half-Shell Mussels

This is the box of frozen mussels I used. I found these frozen half shells as good as the fresh ones. You can get those from New Zealand too (common for blue shell mussels). Thaw them before use – one easy way is to transfer them (not the whole box, but only what you need) from the freezer to the fridge the night before.

Baked Mussels Recipe

Baked Mussels Recipe

Use as much or as little pasta sauce and cheese, according to your liking.


  • 10 half-shell frozen mussels thawed, scrubbed & debearded
  • 70 grams frozen chopped spinach
  • 30 grams unsalted butter cubed
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 3 1/2 tbsp instant pasta sauce (tomato)
  • 30 to 50 grams shredded mozzarella cheese
  • a small pinch of salt to taste; omit if using salted butter
  • freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • lemon wedges to serve


  1. Thaw frozen spinach in the microwave on medium, for about 3 minutes (varies according to your microwave; stir through halfway for even cooking). The spinach need not be warmed; just thawing it (still cold) will suffice. Squeeze out excess water from thawed spinach either by wringing them in your hand, or using two spoons to squeeze out the water. Set aside.
  2. Microwave cubed butter in a small bowl at medium low for 40 seconds. Use a spoon to stir the butter vigorously to melt it. Add mayonnaise, salt and pepper; stir to form a smooth paste. Set aside mayonnaise mixture.
  3. Place mussels on foil or parchment-lined oven tray. Bake them in pre-heated oven of 200°C (392°F) for 5 minutes. Using kitchen tongs, carefully drain the mussels broth collected in the shells in a small bowl. You can use the broth for cooking (see tip below).
  4. Spoon the mayonnaise mixture on one half of each mussel. Then place about 1 tsp of pasta sauce on the other half. Top each mussel with a layer of spinach and cheese.
  5. Return mussels to the oven and bake until the cheese is melted, about 5 minutes. Serve with lemon.

Noob Cook Tip

Use the mussel broth in your cooking – such as in aglio olio (add the broth for a naturally sweet unami flavour).