Smokey Mussels with Chickpeas

During the week in Mallorca I ate mussels so often! Over there the restaurants served mussels in a simple white sauce with olive oil, wine and garlic. But I love a red sauce! So I combined my current obsession for smoked paprika with a simple dish of mussels. When I was over in Spain I bought this intense smoked paprika. I swear smoked paprika goes with nearly everything…it’s so incredible.

I often find that when eating out it’s great inspiration for home cooked meals. We are so lucky here in Australia to have amazing seafood too, so I went to a Sydney Fresh Seafood store in Manly and bought some delicious South Australian Mussels. I only used a few ingredients in this dish however you can throw in any additional spices. I just wanted the flavour of the mussels in a smokey red sauce so kept it simple. Try it out 🙂 I found this ratio was perfect.


1 kg mussels (cleaned)

1 bottle of passata (pure tomatoes with no additional herbs etc) or a can of diced tomatoes

2 thinly sliced cloves of garlic

1 diced red onion

2 large tsps smoked paprika

1 tsp sweet paprika

1 can of chickpeas or 1 cup of freshly cooked chickpeas

1/2 cup of roughly chopped parsley

1/2 cup of olive oil

1 cup of water

Salt & Pepper


  1. Heat a large pan and then add the olive oil, garlic and onion.  On a medium-high heat cook the ingredients for a minute, letting the garlic and onion soften and caramelise bringing out the sweetness of the onion.
  2. Add the chickpeas, the smoked paprika and the sweet paprika. Mix through well and stir every once in a while, until the whole mixture darkens slightly.
  3. Add the passata plus the cup of water and season with salt + pepper. Allow to cook for a good 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste the sauce and adjust any seasonings. (Note that the sauce will change flavour once you add the mussels).
  4. Add the mussels into the sauce and close with a lid for a good 3-4 minutes. Remove the lid and allow to cook for 1 minute more. You should see most mussels open up by now! Mix around gently covering the mussels in sauce and then sprinkle with parsley. Serve as is or some roasted potatoes/fresh bread to soak up the sauce!



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