Home / Recipes / Appetizers & Drinks / Mussels with Sausage, Fennel and Pernod

Mussels with Sausage, Fennel and Pernod

Mussels with Sausage, Fennel and Pernod

This week I was on Breakfast Television Toronto cooking up delicious mussels in a Pernod cream sauce.    Mussels are easy to cook, inexpensive, and perfect for a Friday night.  Did you know that in Belgium, the Netherlands, and France, mussels are consumed with french fries and beer! Sounds like the perfect Friday night to me.

If you’re nervous about cooking with mussels, don’t be. This video will show you everything you need to know about cooking with mollusks, along with this post about how to shop, store, and cook live mussels.

The best part about mussels is that they take on whatever flavour you give them. This sauce is a cream based sauce that’s flavoured with smoked sausage, fennel, shallots, and garlic along with Pernod, which is an anise flavoured liqueur adding a subtle sweetness to the cream sauce. If you don’t have Pernod on hand, use Sambuca or Ricard Pastis.

Mussel with Sausage, Fennel and Pernod

Mussel with Sausage, Fennel and Pernod


2 tablespoons butter
225 grams smoked sausage (andouille, Hungarian, or kielbasa), thinly sliced
1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced, fronds reserved
2 small shallots, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
½ cup Pernod
2 pounds mussels, scrubbed and debearded
½ cup half & half


  1. Heat butter in a large pot over medium heat.
  2. Add sausage; cook, stirring occasionally, until the sausage begins to brown. Add fennel, shallots, garlic, and a pinch of salt; cook, stirring occasionally until fennel and shallots soften and begin to brown.
  3. Deglaze the pan with Pernod, stir while scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Simmer until Pernod has almost evaporated, about 1 minute. Add mussels, cover pot, and cook for 5 minutes, shaking the pan a few times until mussels open.
  4. Stir in half & half and a pinch of salt. Cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  5. Sprinkle mussels with reserved fronds and pour into a large bowl. Serve immediately with crusty bread.

psssss……this video may take a second to load

Mussels with Sausage, Fennel and Pernod Tips:

  • I totally forgot to deglaze the pan with Pernod on BT, so make sure you follow the recipe.
  • Clean and debeard the mussels just before you’re ready to cook them.
  • Fennel that is raw has a distinct mild liquorice flavour, but when it’s cooked the liquorice flavour mellows out.  Fennel at the grocery store is sometimes labeled as Anise.