Recipe: Mussels Saganaki

This iconic meze from Thessaloniki packs oodles of flavor and is surprisingly easy to make.

Chef: Nena Ismyrnoglou

Preparation & Cooking time: 50 minutes

Serves: 4

A bold dish with many star ingredients, this meze will grab the attention of the most difficult-to-charm guest at your next dinner party. Think feta cheese, chili flakes, mustard, and a generous splash of ouzo (or wine if you’re out). Serve with white wine and a nice, crusty bread for dipping.


Heat half of the olive oil in a large pan or wide shallow pot with a lid. Once hot, add the garlic, mussels and ouzo or wine.

Cover with a lid and cook for 2-3 minutes, until the mussels have opened.


Discard any mussels that don’t open.

Transfer the mussels to a bowl using a slotted spoon. Strain the liquid into another bowl, and set aside.

Pat your pan or pot dry, and return it to the heat.

Sauté your peppers in the rest of the olive oil, until softened. Then add the liquid from the mussels, cover, and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Add the mustard, oregano, pepper, and chili flakes to taste. Cook, over high heat, for another 3-4 minutes.

Add the feta cheese and stir, making the cheese slightly melt. Then add the mussels, and stir.

Serve with some nice, freshly baked bread.

This recipe was previously published in Greek at


1 kg mussels (scrubbed clean)

250 g feta cheese, roughly crumbled


100 ml olive oil

40 ml ouzo or dry white wine

2 tbsp. of your favorite mustard

2 green peppers, sliced

1 clove of garlic, finely chopped

1 tbsp. fresh, finely chopped (or 1/2 tsp. dried) oregano

1 tsp. chili flakes

salt and freshly ground pepper

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