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Mussels with red sauce and corn in a pan

Spicy Succotash Mussels

This spicy mussels recipe borrows ingredients from succotash to make a fresh red sauce with summer vegetables. The tomatoes add the perfect acidity that allows you to skip the white wine if you don’t want any. And the corn offers a lovely sweetness. Ground turmeric gives it a slight yellow hue, smoked paprika adds depth, and red pepper flakes bring the heat. Don’t skimp on the fresh herbs at the end!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings 2
Author Phoebe Lapine


  • 1 ½ pounds mussels
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 small red onion diced
  • 1 bunch scallions white and green parts separated, finely diced
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 vine tomatoes finely diced
  • 2 ears sweet corn kernels removed
  • ¼ cup chopped basil leaves


  1. Rinse the mussels under cold water, scrubbing off any barnacles and removing the beards (the hairy bits peaking through the shells). Place the cleaned mussels in a large bowl and cover with cold water. Set aside while you begin the succotash sauce.
  2. In a large lidded saucepan, heat the olive oil over a medium-high flame. Add the onion and white scallions. Sauté until translucent, 5 minutes. Stir in the turmeric, smoked paprika, red pepper and salt. When fragrant, about 1 minute, carefully add the tomatoes. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have released some of their juices and softened, 3 minutes. Fold in the corn kernels and cook for 1 minute more.
  3. Lift the mussels out of the water one handful at a time, leaving behind any sand and grit, and add them to the pan. Toss them once so they are coated in the sauce, then cover with the lid and simmer on medium-high for 3-5 minutes, until all the shells have opened.
  4. Remove from the heat and add the green scallions and basil to garnish. Serve immediately with baked French fries or good bread on the side for dipping.