Smoky Mussels over Chili

"Mussels in tomato broth is a combination that will never get old. The frequent inclusion of sausage is not random either: by mixing together the amino acids that contribute to the taste of umami in meat-based foods with those found in sea-based foods and vegetables, this dish layers together many of the flavors we find pleasurable to become more than the sum of its parts. Finishing the mussels on the grill with wood chips also infuses a gorgeous smokiness that adds a special oomph to the chili."

Prep Time

1 hour

Cook Time

1 hour

Paired With

Main Protein



Mussels, cleaned 1 lb, 1 Tbsp, 1/2 medium, 6 cloves, 2 links, 8 sprigs, 3 sprigs, 2 sprigs, 8 each, 4 each, 2 each, 1 16oz can, drained, 2 cups, 1 tsp, plus more to taste, 2 tsp, 1 tsp, 1/4 tsp, plus more to taste, 1 cup, 2 Tbsp, 2 Tbsp
Neutral oil
Yellow onion, peeled, diced
Garlic, peeled
Pork sausage links of choice
Oregano, fresh, leaves only
Rosemary, fresh, leaves only
Bay leaf
Sundried tomatoes, sliced
Roma tomatoes, chopped
Tomatillos, grilled, chopped
Kidney beans
Unsalted chicken stock
Kosher salt, Morton's brand
Soy sauce
Red pepper flakes
Ground black pepper
Dry white wine
Parsley, leaves only
Italian basil, chiffonade



1 Tbsp neutral oil

½ medium yellow onion, diced

6 cloves garlic, sliced

2 pork sausage links of choice, halved lengthwise, chopped

8 sprigs minced fresh oregano, leaves only

3 sprigs minced rosemary, leaves only

2 bay leaves

8 sundried tomatoes, sliced

4 roma tomatoes, chopped

2 tomatillos, grilled, chopped*

(*Halve tomatillos and grill, cut side down, for 5 minutes)

1 16oz can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

½ tsp kosher salt

2 tsp soy sauce

1 tsp red pepper flake

¼ tsp ground black pepper

1 cup dry white wine

2 cups unsalted chicken stock

1 lb live mussels, cleaned

2 Tbsp chopped parsley, leaves only

2 Tbsp sliced Italian basil



  1. Heat oil in a large and deep cast iron skillet over medium heat until slick and shiny.
  2. Add onion and garlic with a dash of salt. Let the onion cook until it is lightly caramelized, roughly 10 minutes.
  3. Add sausage, oregano, rosemary, bay leaves, and sundried tomatoes with another dash of salt. Continue to cook 5 minutes.
  4. Add roma tomatoes, tomatillos, and kidney beans. Let cook 15 minutes, or until half of the tomatoes’ natural juices remain in the skillet.
  5. Add salt, soy sauce, red pepper flake, and black pepper. Stir to combine.
  6. Add white wine and remove from heat.
  7. Preheat grill to 400F. Add wood chips (mesquite preferred).
  8. Transfer cast iron skillet to grill, cover and let cook 20 minutes.
  9. Add chicken stock.
  10. Pour mussels on top of tomato mixture, cover grill another 10-15 minutes or until all mussels have opened up. (Discard any unopened mussels.)
  11. Remove from heat and top with parsley and basil.