Air If you’re looking for an easy and delicious seafood dinner, look no further than air fryer mussels. These little guys are cooked in just a few minutes, and the air fryer gives them a crispy crust that takes them to the next level. Serve with some simple sides, and you’ll have a meal your family will love!

Air Fryer Mussels
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Air Fryer Mussels are amazing! They are so good, and can you believe that I cooked them right in the Air Fryer?

So, if you have cooked Mussels before, nothing is as easy as making them in the Air Fryer. They are so good; nothing is better than a hot plate of seafood for lunch or dinner!

While you can use any lemon or white wine sauce, I went with a simple garlic and butter mixture today, which was good! And cooked within minutes. What can be easier?

If you are looking for more Air Fryer Seafood Recipes, some of my favorites are AIR FRYER BACON WRAPPED SCALLOPS, EASY AIR FRYER CRAB CAKES, AIR FRYER SEAFOOD BOIL, and AIR FRYER CRISPY SHRIMP.

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Cooking Mussels In Air Fryer

Cooking mussels in an air fryer is a splendid way to enjoy this beloved seafood delicacy with a twist. The air fryer offers a unique method that combines the ease and convenience of modern cooking with the traditional flavors of mussels. This approach ensures that the mussels are cooked evenly, retaining their natural juiciness and tenderness while imbuing a slight crispness to their outer texture that you wouldn’t typically get from steaming or boiling. What’s remarkable about using an air fryer is the minimal prep and cooking time required, making it an ideal choice for quick, healthy, and delicious meals.

Moreover, the versatility of the air fryer allows for experimentation with various flavors and ingredients, enabling cooks to infuse the mussels with garlic, herbs, white wine, or even a hint of spice before cooking them to perfection. This method not only enhances the dining experience by offering a deeper flavor profile but also maintains the nutritional benefits of mussels, which are rich in protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and other essential nutrients. Whether you’re looking to prepare a simple appetizer or a main course, cooking mussels in an air fryer can transform your meal into a gourmet experience with little effort.

Air Fryer Mussels

Why You Will Love This Recipe!

You’ll find plenty to love about making mussels in an air fryer, from the simplicity of the process to the delightful results. Here’s why this recipe is bound to become a favorite:

  • Quick and Easy: One of the most compelling reasons to try this recipe is the sheer convenience. The air fryer significantly reduces cooking time compared to traditional methods, making it possible to enjoy gourmet-tasting mussels in just minutes.
  • Healthy Cooking Option: Cooking mussels in an air fryer requires little to no additional fat, making it a healthier alternative to frying. Mussels are also a great source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, offering a nutritious meal with minimal effort.
  • Enhanced Flavor and Texture: The air fryer does an excellent job of locking in the mussels’ natural moisture while achieving a slightly crispy exterior. This method can also intensify the flavors of any seasoning or marinade, providing a more decadent taste experience.
  • Versatility in Recipes: The air fryer can handle whether you favor a classic garlic and white wine sauce or seek something more adventurous, like a spicy tomato or curry-infused broth. This method is adaptable to various flavors, catering to various palates and preferences.
  • Perfect for Any Occasion: Air fryer mussels can serve as a quick weeknight dinner, a luxurious appetizer for entertaining, or a special treat for date night at home. They bring a touch of elegance to any meal, impressing guests with seemingly complex flavors achieved with ease.
  • Minimal Cleanup: Another advantage of using an air fryer is the reduced cleanup compared to traditional stovetop methods. The contained cooking space means less splatter and fewer utensils to wash, making post-meal cleanup a breeze.

Whether you’re a seasoned mussel enthusiast or new to cooking shellfish, this air fryer mussels recipe promises a delightful culinary experience, combining ease of preparation with delicious, sophisticated flavors.

Ingredients Needed For Air Fryer Mussels

Embrace the delightful simplicity and elegance of cooking with this air fryer mussels recipe. This method promises to deliver the succulent taste of the sea right to your plate with minimal fuss. Perfect for seafood lovers, this recipe utilizes a handful of ingredients to enhance the natural flavors of mussels, making it an easy yet impressive dish suitable for any occasion.

Air Fryer 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.

  • Fresh Mussels: Choose fresh, live mussels that are closed or closed when tapped. They are the dish’s star, offering a sweet, oceanic flavor.
  • Butter or Olive Oil: A drizzle of olive oil helps to keep the garlic from burning and adds a subtle richness to the dish.
  • Garlic: Minced garlic will infuse the mussels with aromatic depth, enhancing their natural sea-salted taste.
  • Chives, Basil, and Parsley: Adds a pop of color and introduces a fresh, herbal note to the finished dish.

How To Make Air Fryer Mussels

Making mussels in an air fryer is a straightforward and innovative way to enjoy this classic seafood dish. The air fryer offers a quick, hassle-free method that preserves the mussels’ natural juiciness while adding a delightful hint of crispness to the outer shell. Here’s a simple guide to preparing air fryer mussels, perfect for a quick gourmet meal or an impressive appetizer.

Air Fryer Mussels

Preparation: Start by thoroughly rinsing the mussels under cold water, scrubbing the shells to remove any debris, and removing the beards by pulling them towards the shell’s hinge. Discard any mussels that are open and do not close when tapped.

Seasoning: In a bowl, mix the minced garlic, butter, chives, basil, and parsley. Gently toss the cleaned mussels in this mixture until well-coated.

Air Fryer Mussels

Arranging: Place the seasoned mussels in the air fryer basket. It’s best to arrange them in a single layer to ensure even cooking. You may need to cook in batches depending on the size of your air fryer.

Cooking: Set your air fryer to 390°F (200°C) and cook the mussels for 5-6 minutes or until their shells have opened. Be careful not to overcook, as the mussels can become tough.

Serving: Once cooked–transfer the mussels to a serving dish, discarding any that did not open during cooking. Drizzle any leftover garlic and parsley oil from the bowl over the top. Serve immediately, perhaps with a side of crusty bread to sop up the flavorful juices.

Air Fryer Mussels

Pro Tips

Air frying mussels is a quick and delicious way to enjoy this seafood delicacy. Here are some pro tips to ensure your air-fried mussels turn out perfectly every time:

  • Choose Fresh Mussels: Freshness is crucial for the best taste and texture. Look for mussels that are closed or that close when lightly tapped. Fresh mussels should have a clean sea smell.

  • Clean Thoroughly: Rinse the mussels under cold water and scrub the shells with a brush to remove dirt or debris. Remove the “beard”—the fibrous tuft protruding from the shell.

  • Don’t Overcrowd: Arrange the mussels in a single layer in the air fryer basket to ensure even cooking. Overcrowding can lead to unevenly cooked mussels.

  • Check for Doneness: Mussels are cooked when their shells have opened. It typically takes 5-6 minutes at 400°F (200°C). Discard any mussels that haven’t opened after cooking, indicating they were not alive before cooking.

  • Minimal Moisture: While mussels release their juice when cooked, adding too much additional liquid to the air fryer can create steam and prevent the mussels from getting slightly crispy on the shell.

  • Pre-cook Seasonings: If you’re using garlic or other aromatics, consider sautéing them briefly before mixing with the mussels. This helps to release their flavors and ensures they don’t burn in the air fryer’s high heat.

  • Season Simply: Mussels have a natural saltiness, so be cautious when adding salt. After cooking, a squeeze of lemon, a dash of pepper, or a sprinkle of fresh herbs can enhance their flavor without overwhelming it.

  • Safety First: Always ensure your air fryer is clean and free from oil residue to avoid smoke during cooking. Clean the air fryer’s exterior and interior surfaces for optimal performance and safety.

  • Use Parchment Liners: If your air fryer model has larger holes in the basket, using a perforated parchment liner can prevent smaller mussels from falling through without blocking airflow.

  • Serve Immediately: Mussels are best enjoyed fresh out of the air fryer while hot and the shells are easy to open. Pair them with dipping sauces or a side of crusty bread to soak up the delicious juices.

These tips can help you master making delicious, perfectly cooked mussels in your air fryer, turning a simple seafood dish into a quick and easy gourmet meal.

Air Fryer Mussels

How do I know when the mussels are done cooking? Mussels are done when their shells have opened, usually within 5-6 minutes at 400°F (200°C) in an air fryer. Discard any mussels that haven’t opened after cooking, as this could indicate they were not alive before cooking and may not be safe to eat.

Do I need to add water or another liquid to the air fryer when cooking mussels? No, you don’t need to add water or other liquids. Mussels release their own juices as they cook, creating a natural broth that enhances their flavor.

Can I season the mussels before air frying them? Absolutely! Mussels can be seasoned before cooking. A simple seasoning of garlic, parsley, and lemon works well. Be cautious with salt, as mussels naturally have a salty flavor.

Is mussels necessary to be cleaned before air-frying? Yes, it’s crucial to clean mussels before cooking. Rinse them under cold water, scrub the shells to remove debris, and pull off the beards. This helps ensure they’re safe and pleasant to eat.

What should I serve with air-fried mussels? Air-fried mussels pair beautifully with crusty bread, perfect for soaking up the flavorful juices. They also go well with light salads, french fries, or a simple pasta dish.

How can I store leftover cooked mussels? Leftover cooked mussels can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat gently before serving, though be aware that reheating can affect their texture.

Can I reuse mussels that didn’t open during cooking? No, they should be discarded. They might have been dead before cooking, and consuming them could pose a health risk.

Is air-frying mussels healthier than traditional methods? Air-frying mussels can be considered healthier than frying because it requires less oil, reducing the overall fat content. The quick cooking method also helps preserve many of the mussels’ nutrients.

Can I make a sauce in the air fryer with the mussels? Due to the appliance’s design, you can’t exactly make a sauce in the air fryer alongside the mussels. However, you can prepare a simple sauce separately and add it to the mussels after cooking or use the juice released by the mussels during cooking as a natural sauce.

Air Fryer Mussels

Dipping Sauces

More Easy Air Fryer Recipes

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Air Fryer Mussels

Air Fryer Mussels

5 from 5 votes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
31 minutes
Total Time: 46 minutes
Servings: 4 Servings


This is such an easy recipe. You literally are air frying mussels, and they come out so good, and they make a quick and healthy meal.
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  • 1 pound mussels
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon chives
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1 teaspoon parsley


  • Start by preheating your air fryer to 390 degrees F, air fryer setting.
  • Then clean your mussels (soak for 30 minutes, as indicated in the instructions) and then use a brush and clean your mussels, and remove the “beard.”
  • Then in an air fryer safe pan, add the water, butter, garlic, chives, basil, parsley, and mussels.
  • Place your pan into the air fryer.
  • Set the time for 3 minutes, check, and see if the mussels are opened. If they are not opened, cook for another 2 minutes. Once all of the mussels are opened, they are ready for eating.
  • Plate, serve and enjoy!


  • Air Fryer
  • Cooking Spray
  • Parchment Paper, optional


Serving: 1ServingCalories: 82kcalCarbohydrates: 3gProtein: 7gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.5gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 24mgSodium: 203mgPotassium: 193mgFiber: 0.1gSugar: 0.1gVitamin A: 218IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 23mgIron: 2mg

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