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Red Chile Mussels with Cilantro Pesto Feature Image

Red Chile Mussels with Cilantro Pesto (New Mexico Style)

Tamara Andersen
A little kick from New Mexico red chile powder sets my Red Chile Mussels with Cilantro Pesto apart from all the rest... finished with a vibrant cilantro pesto, they're sure to be a new favorite for bivalve lovers!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Appetizer/Main Dish
Cuisine New Mexican
Servings 2
Calories 411 kcal


Red Chile Mussels

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium red or yellow onion 1
  • 1 teaspoon garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon Mexican oregano (leaves)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 cups seafood, fish, or shrimp stock
  • ¼ cup New Mexico ground red chile
  • sea salt/fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 1 ½ pounds mussels cleaned (see notes)

Cilantro Pesto

  • 1 bunch cilantro large stems removed (about 1 cup packed)
  • ¼ cup pepitas lightly toasted in a dry pan
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic
  • cup olive oil plus or minus
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan


Cilantro Pesto

  • Add cilantro, pepitas, and garlic to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until finely minced.
  • Slowly pour in the olive oil with the machine running until you reach the desired consistency. 
  • Add the parmesan and pulse briefly to combine. Set aside.

Red Chile Mussels

  • To a dutch oven or deep saucepan with a lid, add the olive oil, chopped onion, and garlic over medium-high heat.  Cook until the onion softens and is nearly transparent. Do not brown.
  • Add the cumin and Mexican oregano. Cook an additional 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
  • Stir the red chile into the stock (break up any lumps), and add to the pan. Cover and simmer until ready to add the mussels, but at least 5 minutes.
  • Add the prepared mussels, and replace the lid. Simmer 5 minutes until the mussels are open. Ladle the liquid over the mussels, and cover until ready to serve.
  • To Serve: Ladle the mussels and their broth into bowls, and spoon the cilantro pesto over top. Enjoy!


If you need a tutorial on cleaning mussels see How to Prepare Fresh Mussels Like a Boss
Macronutrients (approximation from MyFitnessPal.com): 411 calories; 47 g protein; carbohydrates 19 g; fat 16 g.


Calories: 411kcal
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