Fish is the Dish: Scottish Mussels with Linguine, Garlic and Dill

Keeping up with our aim of eating more fish this year, I am very pleased to be part of the Fish is the Dish campaign, who have set out to show families how easy it is to select, prepare and eat fish. As well as trying some smoked haddock for a quick and easy Kedgeree, I was also sent some beautiful pre-cooked Scottish mussels to try from the Scottish Shellfish Marketing Group. I have since made exactly the same dish again, buying pre-cooked Scottish Mussels in Garlic Butter Sauce from the supermarket  for £2.99. I also bought a packet of linguine pasta (on offer, 98p) and a packet of dill (79p) and so I was able to feed all four of us for less than £4.76 (there was dill and pasta leftover). So, this is my new ‘frugal but fancy’ supper and it is on the table in less than ten minutes. If you don’t like dill, try fresh parsley instead.

I admit, that I have never cooked mussels for the family before and I don’t think I would have necessarily thought to. So, trying pre-cooked mussels was a great way forward for me and an easy way to introduce them to the family.

I would have put money on the fact that the kids wouldn’t touch this, but I was wrong! They loved eating the garlicky-flavoured linguine and had fun poking around trying to pull the mussels out. Since Valentine’s Day is not so far away, I also think this dish would make a lovely romantic first course.

Fishy Facts

Mussels are rich in Omega-3, Vitamin B12, Selenium and Iodine. They are a good source of Iron, Folic Acid, Zinc & Vitamin B2. They are also high in protein and low in fat.

Mussels are sustainable

Mussels contain over nine times more B12 than beef, and nearly five times more than salmon.

Mussels are available all year round but they are at their best from October through to March.

(Source: Fish is the Dish website – Mussels)

Scottish Mussels with Linguine and Dill
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Appetizer
Serves: 4
  • 500 g Scottish Mussels in Garlic Butter Sauce
  • 400 g Linguine Pasta
  • 1 heaped tablespoon Fresh Dill
  • 1 pinch Sea Salt
  1. Fill two pans with boiling water, a large pan for the pasta and a medium-sized pan for the packets of mussels. Add a large pinch of sea salt to the pasta pan.
  2. Put the linguine or other pasta in the pan to cook, make sure the pan is big enough so that there is plenty of room for the pasta to boil and so that it doesn't stick together. Stir a few times and cook until al dente (7-8 minues)
  3. Take the mussels out of the box and drop the sealed packet or packets into your medium-sized pan of boiling water. Check the instructions, but they will probably need to gently simmer/boil for five minutes. Once cooked, use tongues to carefully lift the packets out and snip open the top. Make sure they are piping hot. All the mussels should be opened (you should be able to see the mussel inside its shell)
  4. Before you drain the pasta, carefully take out half a cup of the pasta water to add to the sauce. Drain the pasta and then mix the mussles and sauce in the bag into the pasta, add some of your saved pasta water to help the sauce bind to the pasta. Add a tablespoon of chopped dill, or you can use fresh parsley if you prefer. Seve and eat!

Pop over to the Fish is the Dish website for more Fish ‘n’ Tips on buying, preparing, cooking and serving fish. You can also get more fishy facts and recipes by ‘Liking’ Fish is the Dish on Facebook or by following the Fish is the Dish team on Twitter.

 Fish is the Dish -Top fish tips for all the family

I’m also linking this up to Helen’s Frugal Food Fridays over at Fuss Free Flavours, since this would feed two people comfortably  for less than £2.50 a head, which I think is pretty good.

Frugal Food Fridays

Thank You to Fish is the Dish and The Scottish Shellfish Marketing Group for the mussels.

Have you ever cooked/eaten mussels? Would you try fresh mussels or have you enjoyed pre-cooked mussels before?



  1. says

    Beautiful, Ren! Mussels are also a local specialty on Nantes and we love them! My husband is the one who cooks them and to tell you the truth it has been far too long. Your garlicky mussels over linguine is so tantilizing…I will ask him to make it this week.

  2. says

    Ren they’re gorgeous. I’m ( frustratingly) allergic to mussels, but I think this would work well with clams, which thank goodness, I can eat!
    It was lovely to see you and I must investigate this fish site, it sounds great! Jude x

    • Ren says

      Oh no Jude, what a shame for you. A bit like my red pepper allergy!! Yes, this would be lovely with clams too. It was great to see you too, a lovely lunch, hope we can do it again soon x

  3. says

    I need to get my hand on some of these pre cooked mussels. For some reason mussels have scared me in the past…..but I love them. Must use them at home!

    • Ren says

      Thanks Beth! I’ve seen them at all the local supermarkets and although fresh is good too, these work on an easy level!

  4. says

    that’s great, i love mussels, they’re delicious, cheap, and sustainable, and healthy. ticks all the right boxes! you’ve inspired me to go get them on my next grocery trip. and good heads up on the campaign too, i’m very much into events which promote real foods like this!

    • Ren says

      Thank you so much Shu Han, I’m glad you are inspired and generally it’s good to get pointers on the best types of seafood and fish to eat. Their website is very well set out with lots of info, which I like too x

  5. says

    I always forget how easy mussels are and yes I think the only time I did them was for Valentine’s. Daft really as they are dead easy when you get them in those bags.

    • Ren says

      Really easy, I think it would be a great meal if you had friends coming over…just about to post my Nigella recipe for you x

  6. Magnolia Verandah says

    My husband is addicted to any type of seafood linguine – if it is on the menu anywhere he will order it and then sets about rating it!! should have been a food critic! I have cooked clams and mussels as part of seafood marinara and found the de-bearding and clean takes an age which puts me off. Must look out for some pre-cooked as this would make the dish a whole lot quicker and easier. Those Fishy Facts are amazing.

    • Ren says

      That’s so true Magnolia, I wouldn’t like de-bearding either! A did have a tweet from a Scottish fishmonger to say fresh mussels were also affordable and sustainable and have less packaging…but for ease I think I prefer these…

  7. says

    I don’t eat mussels so would give this a miss but I would substitute with prawns instead. The dish looks very appetising and I know a lot of people that would love this dish!

    • Ren says

      Ooh yes prawns would be lovely, a bit of garlic, a dash of white wine, a knob of butter and some fresh herbs…yummy!

  8. says

    Sorry but this dish would be a nightmare for me! I don’t eat any fish or seafood, and I hate Dill. Apart from those aspects, it’s a lovely dish :)

    • Ren says

      Oh Mark, what a brilliant comment. The dill is my Polish influence…I sneak it into a lot of things. I take it you don’t grow any in your garden?!