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Mussels in Creamy Tomato Sauce Are a Summer Vacation in a One-Pot Meal

published Jul 24, 2020
Mussels in Creamy Tomato Sauce
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Credit: Claire Matern

Digging into a pot of mussels might conjure up images of sitting at a tiny table at your favorite French bistro. If you’ve never tried making them at home, though, consider this light and easy recipe permission. It’s incredibly simple to make a pot of mussels that rivals any you’ve enjoyed out at restaurants. The secret is to cook them in a deeply flavored sauce, and this recipe has a surprising way to make that easy: Campbells® Condensed Tomato Soup. There’s so much tangy, rich goodness packed in one can that you hardly need much else to build the sauce for a meal you’ll crave all summer long.

Credit: Claire Matern

A Fast and Fancy Dinner That Doesn’t Skimp on Flavor

Food writer Claire Matern is the brains behind this special recipe. “Sharing a big pot of mussels is one of my favorite summer dinners — it really epitomizes the season for me and my family,” she says. “I particularly love the gorgeous broth that’s always left at the bottom of the pot and perfect for sopping up with crusty bread or slurping up in an empty mussel shell. I knew immediately that Campbells® Condensed Tomato Soup would add so much flavor.” The soup adds vibrancy to the broth, resulting in a luscious, elevated summer dish you’ll want to eat al fresco.

Credit: Courtesy of Claire Matern

These mussels show off how versatile the condensed soup is. Claire adds: “I love this recipe because it’s so easy — it doesn’t take a long time, but it looks impressive and transports you. It’s a summer vacation in a one-pot meal. You feel like you’re away even though you’re at home. It’s a meal that makes me want to throw on a summer dress, pour a glass of cold rosé, and pretend I’m on vacation.” We couldn’t agree more.

Credit: Claire Matern

Mussels in Creamy Tomato Sauce

Serves 4

Nutritional Info


  • 2 pounds


  • 1

    small yellow or white onion

  • 1/2

    fennel bulb, or substitute 2 celery stalks

  • 3 tablespoons

    olive oil

  • 6

    fresh basil leaves

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/3 cup

    dry white wine (optional)

  • 1

    (10.75-ounce) can Campbells® Condensed Tomato Soup

  • Heavy cream to rinse out the can (about 1/2 cup)


  1. Start by cleaning the mussels well: Soak them in cold water for about 10 minutes, and repeat the process, changing the water at least 3 or 4 times, until you no longer see grit at the bottom of the bowl. Then sort through them, discarding any with broken shells or that are already wide open. And using a paper towel, firmly grip and pull away any fibrous beards. Then set aside until they are needed.

  2. Finely chop the onion. Trim the bottom of the fennel, and finally chop the white bulb part as you would your onion. With the green stalks, slice down the middle, and then chop finely, along with most of the fronds. Reserve a small handful of fronds for garnish when serving. Otherwise, if using celery, finely chop the stalks.

  3. Place a large, deep pot over medium heat and add the olive oil and allow to heat up. Hover your hand over the olive oil and when your palm feels warm, add the onion and fennel in to begin to sweat. You don’t want to brown them, do reduce the heat if color starts to appear or add a small splash of water. Allow to cook for about 10 minutes until very soft and the onions are translucent. While the onion and fennel are cooking finely chop the basil and set aside for later.

  4. Turn the heat up to medium-high and add the wine, stir well, and then reduce the heat and allow it to cook down until the liquid amount is about half, about 3 to 5 minutes.

  5. Add the can of Campbells® Condensed Tomato Soup, and then fill the can about 1/2 way up with heavy cream, swirl and add that to the pot too. Use a small spatula or spoon to scrap out the can into the pot.

  6. Add the basil and freshly ground black pepper to taste, stir well, and bring to a boil. Add the mussels, turn the heat down to medium-low, place the lid on top, and allow the mussels to steam undisturbed for 8 minutes. Uncover and check to see if any mussels have opened, transferring them to serving bowls if they have. Cover and continue checking every 2 to 3 minutes until they are fully open, 8 to 15 minutes total. Ladle the creamy tomato sauce over the mussels and serve with crusty bread, such as a baguette or ciabatta.