Air Fryer Classic French Mussels — I must tell you that you are truly missing out if you have not tried mussels in the air fryer. They are so easy, and the clean-up is minimal. Today, I made a twist on my regular mussels and tried Air Fryer Classic French Mussels.

Air Fryer Classic French Mussels
Save This Recipe Form

Want to save this recipe?

Enter your email below & I will send it straight to your inbox. Plus you’ll get more great recipes from me on occasion!

If you have never prepared seafood in your air fryer, you are missing out. The air fryer does a great job of air-frying or steaming seafood.

What Are French Mussels

French mussels, often referred to in culinary contexts by their French name, “moules,” are a popular seafood dish in France and around the world. They are particularly famous as part of the dish “moules marinières,” a classic French recipe where mussels are cooked with shallots, garlic, herbs, and white wine, creating a simple yet flavorful broth. The dish is traditionally served with crusty bread to sop up the delicious, aromatic broth. French mussels are also a key ingredient in “moules-frites,” where the mussels are served alongside fries, embodying a beloved pairing in Belgian and French bistro cuisine. The popularity of French mussels lies in their versatility, ease of cooking, and delightful taste that captures the essence of the sea, making them a staple in seafood dining and home cooking alike.

Air Fryer Classic French Mussels

Why You Will Love This Recipe!

This air fryer French mussels recipe is a game-changer for seafood lovers, combining the classic charm of French cuisine with the modern convenience of air frying. Here’s why this recipe is set to become a favorite in your culinary repertoire:

  • Quick and Effortless Preparation: The air fryer drastically reduces cooking time and simplifies the preparation process, making this luxurious dish accessible even on busy weeknights.
  • Healthy and Flavorful: Mussels are not only packed with high-quality proteins and omega-3 fatty acids but cooking them in an air fryer requires minimal oil, making this dish a healthier option without compromising on flavor.
  • Crispy Texture: Unlike traditional steaming methods, the air fryer introduces a delightful crispiness to the mussels’ exterior, enhancing the eating experience with a contrast to the tender, juicy meat inside.
  • Infused with Classic French Flavors: With ingredients like garlic, white wine, and fresh herbs, each mussel is a bite-sized dive into the heart of French cuisine, offering a rich and aromatic flavor profile.
  • Perfect for Entertaining: This recipe is easy to scale up for larger gatherings, and its elegance and unique presentation are sure to impress guests, making it a standout dish for any occasion.
  • Versatile and Customizable: While the recipe pays homage to traditional French flavors, it’s easily customizable to cater to your taste preferences or to experiment with different seasoning blends and broths.

Embracing the simplicity and efficiency of the air fryer to prepare French mussels brings a touch of gourmet to everyday dining, proving that sophisticated flavors need not be reserved for restaurants. Whether you’re a seasoned mussel enthusiast or new to cooking shellfish, this recipe promises a delightful culinary adventure.

Ingredients Needed For Air Fryer French Mussels

Creating French Mussels in your air fryer requires a few key ingredients, each contributing to the dish’s rich flavor and elegant presentation. Here’s what you’ll need:

Ingredients Needed For Air Fryer French Mussels

Remember the step-by-step directions and detailed ingredient list are below, in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post, as well as the nutritional information.

  • Mussels: The star of the dish, mussels bring a taste of the sea to your table, offering tender, juicy bites enveloped in a savory sauce. Ensure they’re fresh and properly cleaned before cooking.
  • Minced Garlic: Garlic adds a punch of aromatic flavor, infusing the mussels with a depth of taste that’s both sharp and comforting, enhancing the overall savoriness of the dish.
  • Unsalted Butter: Butter lends a luxurious richness to the sauce, creating a velvety texture that coats each mussel beautifully while allowing you to control the dish’s saltiness.
  • Dry White Wine: The acidity and fruitiness of dry white wine cut through the richness, adding complexity to the sauce and a subtle note that perfectly complements the seafood.
  • Heavy Cream: Heavy cream thickens the sauce, contributing a creamy texture and a smooth finish that rounds out the flavors, making each bite indulgent.

How To Make French Mussels In Air Fryer

Follow these simple steps for air-fried French Mussels.

Air Fryer Classic French Mussels

Start by pouring your Mussels into a large mixing bowl and mixing garlic, butter, white wine, and heavy cream. Pour the mussels onto the rack or into the basket.

Set the temperature to 400 degrees F for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, toss them or shake the basket, and set for another 5 minutes.

Air Fryer Classic French Mussels

Pro Tips

Cooking Classic French Mussels in an air fryer might not be traditional, but it’s an innovative way to enjoy this beloved seafood dish. Here are some pro tips to ensure your air fryer French mussels turn out perfectly:

  • Freshness is Key: Always start with fresh mussels. They should smell like the ocean and close their shells tightly. If any mussels are open, give them a gentle tap. If they don’t close, discard them.
  • Proper Cleaning: Clean the mussels under cold running water before cooking. Scrub the outside of the shells with a stiff brush and remove the beards (the fibrous tufts protruding from the shell) by pulling them toward the shell’s hinge until they come off.
  • Pre-cook Aromatics: Given the quick cooking time in an air fryer, sauté your minced garlic in melted butter until fragrant before combining it with the mussels. This ensures the garlic’s flavor is well-infused and eliminates any raw taste.
  • Add Liquids Carefully: When adding liquids like dry white wine and heavy cream, do so in a bowl with the mussels before transferring to the air fryer basket. Ensure the mussels are well-coated but not submerged to avoid making them soggy.
  • Correct Layering: Arrange the mussels in a single layer in the air fryer basket for even cooking. Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may need to cook them in batches.
  • Use Parchment Paper: If your air fryer basket has larger holes, consider lining it with perforated parchment paper designed for air fryers to prevent any smaller mussels from falling through.
  • Monitor Cooking Time: After a few minutes of cooking, start checking the mussels. They’re done as soon as their shells have opened. Overcooking can lead to tough, rubbery mussels.
  • Discard Unopened Mussels: After cooking, discard any mussels that haven’t opened. This is a safety measure to avoid consuming anything unsafe.
  • Serving: Serve the mussels immediately after cooking while they’re hot, alongside the sauce that’s formed in the bottom of the bowl or air fryer basket. The sauce is perfect for dipping crusty bread.
  • Enhance with Herbs: Finish the dish with a sprinkle of fresh herbs, such as parsley or tarragon, for a burst of color and freshness that complements the creamy, rich sauce.
Air Fryer Classic French Mussels


How do I know if mussels are fresh? Fresh mussels should smell like the ocean, have closed shells, or close their shells when lightly tapped. If they remain open or have a bad odor, they should be discarded.

Is it necessary to soak mussels before cooking? Soaking is not typically required, but rinsing and scrubbing under cold water is crucial. If you’re concerned about sand, you can soak it in cold water for a few minutes to help any sand expel.

Can I prepare the sauce in advance? Absolutely. The sauce can be prepared in advance and refrigerated. Reheat gently before combining with the mussels in the air fryer to ensure the flavors meld correctly.

How long should mussels be cooked in an air fryer? Mussels usually open after 5-7 minutes in an air fryer set around 350°F (175°C). Watch closely, as overcooking can make them challenging.

What if some mussels haven’t opened after cooking? Discard any mussels that haven’t opened after cooking. They might be unsafe to eat and potentially spoil your dish’s rest.

Can leftover cooked mussels be reheated? While you can reheat mussels, it’s not highly recommended as they can become inflexible and lose their flavor. If necessary, reheat them gently, just until warm.

What can I serve with French Mussels? Classic French Mussels pair wonderfully with crusty bread for dipping into the sauce, a simple side salad, or French fries for a “Moules Frites” experience.

Can I make this recipe with other types of shellfish? Yes, this recipe can be adapted for other shellfish like clams. However, cooking times may vary, so adjust and ensure the shellfish are fully cooked before serving.

How can I ensure my air fryer doesn’t become too messy when making mussels? Using parchment paper or aluminum foil at the bottom of the air fryer basket can help catch drips and make cleanup easier. Ensure any covering is perforated to allow air flow

Air Fryer Classic French Mussels

More Easy Air Fryer Recipes

Great Read!

The Essential Air Fryer Cookbook for Beginners: Easy, Foolproof Recipes for Your Air Fryer by [Laurie Fleming]

The Essential Air Fryer Cookbook for Beginners: Easy, Foolproof Recipes for Your Air Fryer

Share Your Creations! Are you active on Facebook? Join our Air Fryer Recipes Group, where hundreds of thousands of Air Fryer enthusiasts gather and share your photos! I’m always thrilled to see what you’ve made. For those on Instagram, don’t forget to tag me @forktospoon – I can’t wait to admire your culinary adventures!​

Air Fryer Classic French Mussels

Air Fryer Classic French Mussels

5 from 5 votes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Total Time: 12 minutes
Servings: 4 Servings


Classic French Mussels, they sound complicated but are really one of the easiest things you will make in your air fryer. Simply mix a few ingredients together set in your air fryer oven or basket, and within a few minutes, you will have a dinner fit for a king.


  • 1 pound mussels
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted and unsalted
  • 2 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream


  • Start by pouring your Mussels into a large mixing bowl, and mix in the garlic, butter, white wine, and heavy cream.
  • Pour the mussels onto the rack or into the basket.
  • Set the temperature to 400 degrees F, for 5 minutes, after 5 minutes toss them, or shake the basket. And set for another 2 to 5 minutes.
  • Plate, serve, and enjoy!


  • Air Fryer
  • Cooking Spray
  • Parchment Paper, optional


Serving: 1ServingCalories: 188kcalCarbohydrates: 4gProtein: 7gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.5gCholesterol: 55mgSodium: 259mgPotassium: 217mgFiber: 0.1gSugar: 0.3gVitamin A: 553IUVitamin C: 6mgCalcium: 31mgIron: 2mg

Share this recipe

We can’t wait to see what you’ve made! Mention @forktospoon or tag #forktospoon!