Garlicky Beer + Tarragon Steamed Mussels
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Garlicky Beer + Tarragon Steamed Mussels

Fire up the grill and crack open a cold one – we’re celebrating #BeerMonth in style with seafood, kielbasa and craft beer!

My buddy Sophia over at NY Foodgasm is at it again showcasing all things beer for the month of April. You may remember the group bloggers that posted together last year, including my Iron Skillet Chicken + Carrots with Toasted Lager Mustard Sauce.

Well, we’re at it again, and this time, I’m taking it up a notch by grilling outside by myself in the freezing cold with seafood!

Garlicky Beer + Tarragon Steamed Mussels

To be honest, the reason I decided to fire up the grill for this recipe is because I wanted to dip grilled bread into the juices from this dish.

And I needed those gorgeous grill marks – my electric range just doesn’t cut it.

And then I got to thinking – grilling the sausage alongside would also add lots of flavor. And hey, why not just throw the Dutch oven right on the grill and cook the whole meal outside? I’m all for not dirtying up my tiny kitchen!

It ended up being a very good decision!

Garlicky Beer + Tarragon Steamed Mussels

The beer I chose for this recipe from Old Chub was a new one for me, and me and my husband really enjoyed it! I got a kick out of the name when I spotted it at the store and was also intrigued by “Scotch Ale” since I had never tried that type of beer before.

Plus, the can said “It’s like Sputnik”. Pure marketing genius – I was sold!

I (obviously) had to crack one open while cooking to assess the flavor profile. It was malty and smoky with a bit of coffee flavor, and it was bitter in a pleasing way. I’m not always a fan of bitter beers, but this one was incredibly well-balanced.

Garlicky Beer + Tarragon Steamed Mussels

The bitterness worked well in the dish but may be a bit much for some people, so feel free to use your favorite beer. A light beer or ale would work here. But really, anything you enjoy should do just fine.

One of my favorite ways to add extra flavor to a dish is to rub a garlic clove onto piping hot toasted or grilled bread. This garlicky goodness was the perfect thing to sop up all of the delicious juices from the mussels.

This meal was a huge hit with my family. My husband said that it needs to go in my cookbook (whenever that happens), and my 4-year-old gobbled it up. He may have even eaten more of these mussels than we did!

Garlicky Beer + Tarragon Steamed Mussels

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Overhead view of cooked mussels in bowls with grilled bread and cans of bear alongside.

Garlicky Beer + Tarragon Steamed Mussels

  • Author: Big Flavors from a Tiny Kitchen - Ashley Covelli
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Grill
  • Cuisine: American


Fire up the grill and crack open a cold one – we’re celebrating beer month in style with seafood, kielbasa and craft beer!


Units Scale
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • 1 1/2 pounds mussels, cleaned and debearded
  • 4 cloves garlic, 3 smashed and 1 left whole
  • 2 shallots, sliced (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1 1/2 cups roughly chopped tomatoes
  • 23 sprigs fresh tarragon (about 1 tablespoon of leaves), plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 7 ounces kielbasa sausage, split in half lengthwise
  • 12 ounces beer (I used 1 can of Old Chub Scotch Ale)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 baguette, sliced on the bias into 3/4-inch thick pieces


  1. Place a large, flame-proof Dutch oven (preferably cast iron) on an outdoor grill and preheat to medium-high.
  2. While the grill is preheating, place the mussels in a colander and rinse under cold, running water. You can use a vegetable brush to scrub away any mud/debris. There’s a great tutorial on how to clean and debeard mussels over on Serious Eats if yours still have beards attached.
  3. Once grill is hot, add 2 tablespoons oil to the Dutch oven along with the 3 smashed cloves of garlic and shallots. Cook for 1 minute. Add tomatoes, tarragon, salt and pepper flakes and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have softened, about 5 minutes.
  4. While the veggies are cooking, brush sausage with oil and place cut-side down directly on the grill. Cook until it gets nicely charred, flip, and continue to cook until the other side is charred as well. Remove from heat to a cutting board and let cool slightly before slicing into half-moons.
  5. Once the tomatoes are soft, pour beer into the Dutch oven. Bring to a simmer, then add mussels, stir well, and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Let the mussels cook, covered, stirring once or twice, until they have all popped open, about 7-15 minutes.
  6. While the mussels are cooking, brush both sides of the slices of baguette with oil. Place directly on the grill until nicely charred on both sides. Cut the tip off of the whole clove of garlic. After the bread comes off the grill, rub the cut side of the garlic clove on one side of each piece of baguette. Set aside.
  7. When the mussels have all opened, add the grilled kielbasa slices and butter to the Dutch oven. Stir until the butter melts and the sausage is incorporated.
  8. Divide the mussels and juices between 4 bowls, discarding any that didn’t open up while cooking. Serve with garlic bread alongside for sopping up the juices. Garnish with additional tarragon, if desired. Enjoy!


  • Serving Size: 4
  • Calories: 712
  • Sugar: 11.1 g
  • Sodium: 2242.9 mg
  • Fat: 35.3 g
  • Saturated Fat: 11.7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 56.6 g
  • Fiber: 2.7 g
  • Protein: 41.6 g
  • Cholesterol: 131.5 mg

Keywords: mussels, beer, ale, grilling, tarragon, kielbasa, smoked sausage

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Wanna see what everyone else cooked up this year for Beer Month? Check out the roundup below!

NYF Beer Month 2016

Heather from All Roads Lead to the Kitchen made Mahi Mahi Burgers Glazed with IPA-Hoisin Barbecue Sauce
Julie from Bread Booze Bacon made Chorizo Queso Fundido
Matt from Nomageddon made Hush Puppies With A Smoked Cheddar Stout Dip
Sophia from NY Foodgasm made Dale’s Super Juicy Beer Can Chicken

Ashley Covelli is a food photographer, recipe developer, and culinary instructor based in Ossining, New York. She loves helping people become enthusiastic and adventurous in the kitchen so that they can build skills and confidence to cook for themselves and their loved ones. She can almost always be found with at least 3 different beverages within arm's reach.


  • Heather |

    There’s not a single thing about these mussels that I don’t adore. All of the flavors are driving me mad (LOOOOVE tarragon and garlic) – and I need to get my hands on that beer…if only for the name. 😉 And yeah, the best part would totally be mopping up the juices with some grilled bread!

  • Sophia Del Gigante

    OMG I loooooove what you did with these and you KNOW I love Old Chub! I used Dale’s for my recipe, same brewery, love their beer.

    Wish I was eating these NOW! Thanks sooooo much for joining into Beer Month!

  • Allie R Taylor

    Wow and wow!!! This RI girl is loving this mussels dish… can’t believe you did it all at the grill. You rock, girl.

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