Easy Entertaining: Mussels, Fennel and Chorizo

quick and delicious meal

easy entertaining

When entertaining at home, I often find that my favorite meals are the ones that are easy to pull together with just a few ingredients. The heart of this simple recipe is local shellfish (our Santa Barbara mussels are delicious), fennel from my garden and some tasty chorizo.

quick and delicious meal

This is a straightforward, beautiful and easy meal. It’s great for entertaining because the raw components can be prepped ahead of time, it comes together so quickly and is fresh and flavorful (did I mention it’s easy?). Serve it with some warm crusty bread to sop up all the delicious broth. Our local Von’s bakes ciabatta daily. I often buy a loaf when it’s still hot— I love it when that happens. Pair with a crisp white wine and enjoy a great evening with your guests. Cheers!

santa barbara mussels

seasonal entertaining

The fennel from my garden is so tender and delicious.

mussels, fennel, chorizo

easy entertaining mussels

winter vegetable

Fennel in my garden


Easy Entertaining: Mussels, Fennel and Chorizo

Fennel, Mussels & Chorizo

Total prep and cooking time: 30 minutes

Serves 4

3 lbs. mussels

2 tsp. olive oil

2 cloves garlic, sliced

2 small fennel bulbs, sliced into crescents, reserve some of the fronds for garnish

5 oz. diced chorizo

1 chopped dried chili de arbor

1/2 tsp. red chili flakes

1 1/2 cup white wine

1/2 cup water


To clean mussels, soak in water and then pull beard away from joint using an upward tugging motion to pull it out. Scrape off any barnacles with a knife and store in cool water until you are ready to cook.


Heat Dutch oven— I like my Lodge cast iron best for this dish. Over medium-high heat, add olive oil, garlic, fennel and chorizo, giving it a stir to incorporate flavors, put on the lid and cook for a few minutes. Next, add the dried chili or red chili flakes, mussels, white wine and water. Cover, give the pan a shake and cook for three minutes. Open-up and stir, you may need to cover and cook for a couple more minutes, until all the mussels open up.


In shallow bowls, divvy up the mussels, fennel and chorizo, strain the broth through a coffee filter to remove any sand that might be in the broth. Ladle the broth on top of the mussels and sprinkle with the reserved fennel fronds.