Instant Pot Mussels Marinara

Learn how to cook Instant Pot mussels in a delicious marinara sauce of onions, garlic, tomatoes and a touch of chili. This nutritious mussels recipe can be made in 20 minutes and you can enjoy them with some crusty bread or a side of spaghetti or linguine for dinner or lunch. A glass of crispy white wine to complete that seaside Italian experience. This dish is gluten-free, Paleo, Whole30, low-carb friendly. 

When it comes to nutritious seafood meals, you can’t go past a steaming pot of mussels. Low in fat and calories, rich in protein, minerals, B12, potent antioxidants and even vitamin C, mussels are really a power food. They also taste fantastic with that mild, clean sea flavor and aroma. Plus, they can be prepared in a variety of ways taking on sauces and seasonings of different cuisines.

Many people avoid mussels because they’re not sure how to cook them or they simply haven’t tried them and are a little bit intimidated. Well, our fail-proof Instant Pot mussels method makes things super easy. The key is good quality, fresh mussels (as with any seafood) and just a handful of ingredients to complete this beautiful, Italian-inspired meal

For this recipe, we are making a super easy marinara sauce of onions, garlic and tomatoes. You can skip that step and use ready-made sauce from a jar; see notes in the recipe below for how much to use. 


Mussels Marinara In Instant Pot


For this recipe, you can use black, blue or green mussels. We used fresh mussels but you can also use frozen ones, which you will need to thaw out in the refrigerator overnight. In theory, you should be able to cook mussels from frozen using the pressure cooker but we haven’t tested this method so I am recommending thawing them out first. 

Preparing mussels for cooking

Make sure the mussels shell are well cleaned and any stringy ‘beard’ or barnacles are removed. Your fishmonger can do this for you and more often than not, the mussels are sold pre-cleaned and ready to be cooked. However, if you do harvest your own mussels, check out this video for how to clean mussels yourself.

Easy Mussels Marinara In Instant Pot Recipe

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Instant Pot Mussels Marinara

Instant Pot Mussels Marinara

  • Author: Instant Pot Eats
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 as a starter, 2 as a main 1x
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Gluten Free


Learn how to make delicious Italia-inspired Instant Pot mussels with marinara sauce. This dish is gluten-free, low-carb, paleo, Whole30 friendly. You can serve these mussels as they are with the broth or with a side of zucchini noodles, cooked spaghetti or linguine or some crusty bread on the side.



2lb / 1kg mussels

1 small onion, finely diced

1.5 tbsp olive oil

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

A little chili (optional)

3 garlic cloves, finely diced

1 cup diced tinned tomatoes

To finish: parsley or/and basil and 1/2 lemon, cut into wedges


  • Clean and rinse the mussels if needed. Prepare other ingredients.
  • Set the Instant Pot to Sauté and add the onions and olive oil. Sauté until fragrant and lightly browned, 2-3 minutes. Then add the salt, pepper, garlic and chili if using. Stir for 10-15 seconds to release the aromas and add the mussels and tinned tomatoes. Stir everything through.
  • Press Cancel. Secure the lid and set the top valve to Sealing. Press the Pressure Cook or Manual button and set the cooking time to 3 minutes at HIGH pressure. The Instant Pot will take about 5-8 minutes to come to pressure.
  • When the Instant Pot beeps, carefully switch the steam release valve to Venting to quick-release the pressure. When fully released, open the lid. Discard any mussels that did not open during cooking.
  • Squeeze the juice of about 1/2 lemon over the cooked mussels and sprinkle the parsley or basil. Toss through and transfer the mussels to a serving bowl; pour the broth over the top. Serve with bread or cooked pasta such as spaghetti or linguine.


If using pre-made marinara sauce, use about 1.5 cups and skip the Sauté step of the recipe. Simply add the mussels and the sauce to the pot and set to pressure cook.

Servings size depends on whether this is a starter or a main, hence we put Yield as 2-4 servings. The nutritional breakdown below is based on 4 servings, so simply double the numbers for bigger portions.


  • Serving Size: 0.5lb mussels and sauce (without bread or pasta)
  • Calories: 288
  • Sugar: 3.1 g
  • Sodium: 932.9 mg
  • Fat: 11.1 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.9 g
  • Carbohydrates: 16.1 g
  • Fiber: 1.7 g
  • Protein: 30.8 g
  • Cholesterol: 70 mg

Keywords: Seafood, Mussels, Whole30, Paleo


Once cooked, most of the mussel shells should open up allowing you get inside for those lovely meaty mussel bits. The sauce and the seasoning gets inside the shells flavoring the mussels just as they add a lot of aromas and that lovely sea saltiness to the cooking broth. If the mussels are partially open, you can force-open them with your hands but do discard any unopen shells. 

How to eat mussels

The best way to eat mussels is to break the shell in halves and use the side with the mussel as a scoop to ladle some of the sauce on top of the meat. You can then eat the mussel straight off the shell together with the sauce. Alternatively, you can use an empty, open mussel shell as kitchen tongs or tweezers to pinch the mussel from the shells and to put them in your mouth. Some of the mussel meat will fall out from the shells during cooking, so you can find those in the broth and scoop them out with a spoon at the end. 

Having a spoon handy allows you to eat some of the broth along with the mussels. You can dip some crusty bread or sliced bread into the sauce along the way. A side of spaghetti or linguine is often served with tomato mussels so they can soak in that beautiful broth. 




Instant Pot Mussels Marinara Recipe

Instant Pot Recipes
By Instant Pot Eats

About us: We are a team of Instant Pot enthusiasts, who love good food and cooking. Our blog is dedicated to delicious Instant Pot recipes you can make using your trusted pressure cooker.
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  1. Very quick and easy recipe!!! Highly recommended! Was my first Instant Pot recipe and worked perfectly! Two thumbs up!!

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