Keto Mussels in Basil Cream Sauce

Keto Mussels in Basil Cream Sauce is a creamy, flavorful, Italian take on a classic Northern European recipe. Some will automatically think of Belgian fries, mayonnaise, and a buttery garlic sauce when you say “Mussels.” But mussels are enjoyed by many different cultures and in many uniques recipes. Delicious sauces come from French, Italian, Thai, and Indian cuisines. Mussels are one of our favorite dishes. Joanie’s Basil Cream Sauce creation is just so flavorful! We know you will enjoy our Mussels in Basil Cream Sauce regardless of your locale.

Previously, we wrote about one of our favorite restaurants for mussels (Eat Bertha’s Mussels). Located in Fells point (near Baltimore), it is famous for mussels and seafood. They offer various mussel sauces and “top notch” crab cakes. They were, in fact, the inspiration for our Keto Crab Cake recipe. We have not been there in years, but we can still close our eyes and taste their delicious mussel sauces.

We now live across the country from this wonderful restaurant and have had to find new restaurants featuring mussels. One of our favorite restaurants locally is The Green House. It is a California style restaurant that features garlic butter sauce mussels with cooked chorizo. We love this appetizer! It is, of course, the Southwest, here, so chorizo is used often!


Mussels are the key ingredient! There are many different varieties, some natural, and some farmed. The ones Joanie used for this recipe were actually farmed in Washington State. We buy them in 5 pound bags from Costco. They are low in calories, Keto friendly, inexpensive, and plentiful. Mussels are also one of the easiest seafoods to cook. They can be steamed, baked, broiled, fried, and even barbecued. We liked them steamed with a flavorful sauce.

Basil, parmesan, oil – yes, it sounds like a pesto sauce. But, this sauce has a WOW taste! Joanie cooked the mussels in the classic manner – steamed in butter, garlic, and wine. Then she added heavy cream for a wonderful Keto touch. The basil mixture follows and adds that sweet basil flavor that melds perfectly with the buttery garlic cream sauce. This will quickly become one of your favorite seafood appetizers or even a main dinner creation.

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Preparation Tips

First, look for mussels that close when you touch them. That means they are still alive. Some will discard ones that are closed, but they may spring open given a slight squeeze. Most importantly, if you do not plan to eat your mussels immediately, make sure you store them properly. Place them in a glass or stainless bowl and store the bowl in the refrigerator – NO LID! You can also cover them with a clean damp cloth, but do not cover them in water.

Start with a medium heat for your stock pot when you are sautéing the shallot and garlic. You do not want the garlic to burn and a slower cooking time will fuse the flavors better. Turn the heat up to high to cook off the alcohol from the white wine and to provide enough steam to cook and open the mussels. About 7 minutes with a lid will do it – but the time may vary with the size of your pot and the amount of mussels you steam.

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For the final step, you will need to remove the steamed mussels to a large bowl. Turn your heat down to medium before adding the cream. Stir to thicken, adding the blended basil mixture to make a delicious sauce. You can also use an emersion blender. Pour over the mussels, toss in some chopped parsley and serve. We also prepare a side dish of the sauce for dipping. If you enjoy this recipe you will want to try our Mussels in Creamy Garlic Sauce!

Low Carb Mussels in Basil Cream Sauce – A Tasty Appetizer or Seafood Dinner

Keto Mussels in Basil Cream Sauce is a tasty appetizer or classic seafood dinner. How can you beat a buttery garlic cream sauce flavored with parmesan and basil? Every time Joanie makes this recipe we feel like we are at Bertha’s enjoying their delicious mussels! Why not, the recipe is definitely Tasty Low Carb!

Keto Mussels in Basil Cream Sauce

Recipe by Joanie and Chris
5.0 from 13 votes
Course: Fish and Seafood, Small PlatesCuisine: Italian


Prep time


Cooking time




Net Carbs


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Keto Mussels in Basil Cream Sauce is a buttery garlic cream sauce flavored with basil and parmesan – a perfect low carb appetizer or seafood dinner! You will enjoy a creamy pesto-style sauce with deliciously plump mussels.

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  • 3 tablespoons 3 tablespoons Butter

  • 2 2 Shallots minced

  • 6 cloves 6 cloves Garlic chopped

  • 1/2 cup 118 ml White wine

  • 2 pounds 2 pounds Mussels in shell

  • 1 1/4 cups 296 ml Heavy cream

  • 1/2 cup 118 g Basil fresh

  • 1/4 cup 59 g Parmesan cheese grated

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons 1 1/2 tablespoons Olive oil extra virgin

  • 1 teaspoon 1 teaspoon Sea salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon 1/2 teaspoon Pepper

  • 1/2 cup 30 g Parsley rough chopped


  • Scrub and de-beard mussels in running cold water. Discard mussels with cracked shells.
  • Melt butter in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add the shallots and 1/2 of the chopped garlic and sauté for about 3 minutes, stir often so garlic does not burn.
  • Add wine, turn heat up to high and bring to a boil for 3 minutes.
  • Add mussels and cover. Steam for about 7 minutes until mussels are open. Scoop out mussels into a bowl. Cut heat to medium, pour in 1/2 cup cream, cook for 2 minutes while stirring.
  • While stock is cooking, in a blender or food processor, puree the basil, parmesan, olive oil, 3/4 cup of cream, and remaining garlic. If you have difficulty with the basil puree add some of the stock to your blender.
  • Add the basil puree to the stock, season with salt and pepper and simmer for 3 minutes.
  • Pour over mussels, garnish with parsley, and serve hot.


Chef’s Notes

  • As an alternative method, you can skip the blender instruction and simply add the basil puree ingredients to your stock pot and puree with an emersion blender. The recipe will yield a chunky sauce, the emersion blender will make the sauce more of a soup-like consistency.

Nutrition Facts

  • Calories: 443.4kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 7.4g
  • Protein: 5.4g
  • Fat: 42.4g
  • Saturated Fat: 24.3g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Cholesterol: 110.9mg
  • Sodium: 777.3mg
  • Potassium: 213.9mg
  • Fiber: 0.9g
  • Sugar: 3.6g
  • Vitamin A: 1854.85IU
  • Vitamin C: 22.44mg
  • Calcium: 158.3mg
  • Iron: 5.49mg
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  • Our Sherpa Pink Himalayan Salt is Kosher Certified, Non-GMO, and does not contain any MSG, Soy, Gluten, Dairy, or anti-caking agents. We import ONLY the highest quality food grade Himalayan salts and package in our U.S.A., SQF Food Safety and Quality Code certified, Organic compliant facility.
  • This Sherpa Himalayan pink salt is in our best selling Extra-Fine Grain.

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  1. Sounds so yummy.

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