Slow Cooker Mussels in Lemongrass Tomato Broth

Slow cookers create delicious and warm meals for the winter months. Growing up, as soon as December rolled around my mother would break out the slow cooker. By the time I got home from school, the house would be filled with the smell of whatever amazing meal had been stewing all day. Convenient and delicious, I never realized how many different kinds of meals could be created with just a slow cooker until Judith Finlayson’s 175 Essential Slow Cooker Classics. We’re sharing a few of these perfect recipes with you throughout the month to help you celebrate the season with something yummy and warm for the whole family. 

This is a variation of a recipe that appeared in New World Noodles by Bill Jones and Stephen Wong. I particularly enjoy the unusual and slightly Indonesian flavors of the delicious broth. This works equally well as the centerpiece of a light meal or as a dramatic first course.

Make Ahead

This dish can be partially prepared before it is cooked. Complete Step 1. Cover and refrigerate broth for up to 2 days. When you’re ready to cook, continue with the recipe.

slow cooker mussels recipe

Serves 4 as a main course or 6 as a starter

  • Works in slow cookers from 3 1⁄2 to 6 quarts


  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp gingerroot, minced
  • 1 tsp whole coriander seeds
  • 1 cinnamon stick piece (2 inches/5 cm)
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, coarsely chopped
  • 1⁄2 tsp salt
  • 1⁄2 tsp whole black peppercorns
  • 1 can (28 oz/796 mL) tomatoes, including  juice, chopped
  • 2 cups vegetable stock, or 1 cup (250 mL) bottled clam juice mixed with 1 cup (250 mL) water
  • 3 lbs  mussels, cleaned (see Tip, below)
  • Finely chopped cilantro
  • Hot pepper sauce, optional


  1. In a skillet, heat oil over medium heat for 30 seconds. Add onion and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic, gingerroot, coriander seeds, cinnamon stick, lemongrass, salt and peppercorns and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add tomatoes with juice and vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Transfer to slow cooker stoneware.
  2. Cover and cook on Low for 8 to 10 hours or on High for 4 to 5 hours, until broth is flavorful. Strain broth through a fine-mesh strainer into a large saucepan, pressing out liquid with a wooden spoon. Discard solids.
  3. Bring broth to a boil. Add mussels, cover and cook until mussels open. Discard any that do not open. Ladle mussels and broth into bowls, garnish with cilantro and serve. Pass hot pepper sauce, if desired.


  • Farmed mussels are very clean and only need to be thoroughly rinsed under water before use in this recipe. If the mussels are not farmed, they will need to be carefully scrubbed with a wire brush under cold running water. Any fibrous beard should be trimmed with a sharp knife. The mussels should be tightly closed, or they should close when you tap them. If not, discard before cooking. Discard any that do not open after they are cooked.


slow cooker mussels

Courtesy of 175 Essential Slow Cooker Recipes by Judith Finlayson © 2015 Reprinted with publisher permission. Available where books are sold. Image credit: Colin Erricson & Mark T. Shapiro

For more delicious recipes check out our Food & Drink section.


What’s your favorite healthy seafood dish to make for family and friends?

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35 Responses

  1. vianetia jimenez

    my favorite seafood dish is shrimp cocktail. veggies and tomatoe juice… thats healthy, right?

  2. Jairo Garcia

    My favorite healthy seafood dish to make for family and friends is seared Cod fish in a tomato-based sauce (with kaffir lime/herbs/garlic), served over wild rice and topped with fresh chopped ginger and parsley.

  3. deborah b

    Unfortunately I am the only one in my house who digs seafood-so more for me! I love some hot delicious steamed King crab legs – all the work is worth it!

  4. Kimberly D

    I just love salmon. I don’t think I ever make it exactly the same way twice, but it’s always yummy.

  5. Jennifer Essad

    I make a dish that’s from our local riverside restaurant, Shrimp and Artichoke Linguine. We make the sauce and keep in a big jar so it’s ready when we’re needing a quick meal. I use refrigerated linguine that cooks in under 5 min so along with shrimp we have a great meal in under 20 minutes.

  6. Susan P.

    My favorite healthy seafood meal to make is grilled salmon and quinoa/faro with Brussels sprouts.

  7. Kaylin Bruce

    My favorite healthy seafood dish to make for family and friends would have to be garlic shrimp.

  8. Colleen

    I have a fantastic fish recipe. It’s light, crunchie & simple to prepare. Its a crunchy baked whitefish. Loaded with flavour & leftovers become po boys the next day. Yum!!

  9. Angie W

    I don’t have a seafood recipe either – I’m also a vegetarian 🙂 Although I did see a recipe for vegan tuna nigiri where roasted watermelon served as the ‘tuna’…could be interesting!

  10. Kay

    I love all types of fish and like to try new recipes but we do love mussels and oysters the best 🙂

  11. Amy Bielawski

    There are a couple of great dishes such as scallops, spinach and parmesan saute. And grilled shrimp with garlic butter is always yummy.

  12. Dana Morin

    It’s an Avocado and Shrimp dip with cucumber and Tomato served with crackers!

  13. Stephanie V.

    wild Alaskan salmon and balsamic steamed veggies!
    tvollowitz at aol dot com


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