Why You Should Eat Mussels

Why You Should Eat Mussels

Why Mussels?

We often think of mussels as a holiday food when really, we should think about them as a delicious and healthy meal we can eat at home or when out for dinner. If you consider the ingredients of soft paella rice, bacon, prawns and mussels the nutritional value of this meal is perfect to have on a day that you have been active or need a super healthy recovery meal.


Mussels are a real little power house of nutrients! They are a good source of several vitamins and minerals needed for good health including protein, iron, zinc, selenium, iodine and some of the B group vitamins. Furthermore, they are a source of the beneficial omega 3 (n 3) fatty acids. They are so tasty and surprisingly easy to prep and cook. Not only that, they are excellent value for money and can work together with other seafood and fish in a range of delicious recipes. For athletes or anyone wanting a healthy option – they are a winner.

Check out Bord Bia’s ‘How to prepare mussels’ video and delicious recipe inspiration on www.bordbia.ie/fish

Here is a delicious absolute must make paella mussel recipe from Bord Bia that is so easy to make and combines delicious flavours like saffron, paprika, garlic, pepper and lemon juice. You can have it for lunch, dinner and it is ideal as a dinner party or buffet style meal.


The ultimate one pan dish!

– Serves 4

– Time: 45 minutes


20 mussels, scrubbed and de-bearded

12 uncooked large prawns, shells removed

100g bacon lardons

600ml seafood stock or water

5 saffron strands, soaked in 1 tablesp. boiling water

2-3 tablesp. rapeseed or olive oil

1 large onion, peeled and diced

1 red pepper, diced

2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped

1½ teasp. paprika

Pinch of cayenne pepper

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 large tomatoes, roughly chopped

300g paella rice

Lemon wedges, garnish


  1. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat, add the onion, chopped red pepper and garlic.
  2. Stir through the paprika and cayenne pepper and season with a little salt and black pepper. Cook for 5-6 minutes until the onions and peppers are softened.
  3. Then add another ½ tablespoon oil, add the bacon and cook until browned. Add the chopped tomato and cook for a couple of minutes. Drizzle in the remaining olive oil and add the rice to the frying pan. Stir to coat the rice in oil and allow to cook for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Pour in the stock and saffron. Bring to the boil. Stir for a few minutes then reduce the heat, cover with a lid or tin foil.
  5. Cook for 15-20 minutes, or until rice has absorbed most of the liquid, but the mixture is still soupy and the rice is soft.
  6. Add the mussels and prawns to the frying pan, cover and cook until the mussels have opened and prawns are pink. Discard any mussels that have not opened. Turn the heat off but keep covered for 5 minutes to let it rest.
  7. Garnish with lemon wedges and serve.


Energy: 498kcal

Protein: 18g

Fat: 26g

Iron: 2.7mg

Carbohydrate:   58g

(Saturated Fat: 6.3g)


Grienke, U., Silke, J. and Tasdemir, D., 2014. Bioactive compounds from marine mussels and their effects on human health. Food chemistry142, pp.48-60.

Nichols, P.D., McManus, A., Krail, K., Sinclair, A.J. and Miller, M., 2014. Recent advances in omega-3: Health benefits, Sources, Products and bioavailability. Nutrients6(9), pp.3727-3733.

Watanabe, F., Katsura, H., Takenaka, S., Enomoto, T., Miyamoto, E., Nakatsuka, T. and Nakano, Y., 2001. Characterization of vitamin B 12 compounds from edible shellfish, clam, oyster, and mussel. International journal of food sciences and nutrition52(3), pp.263-268.