Saganaki translates as "little frying pan" and also refers to many dishes cooked in Greece. In this recipe, mussels are bathed in a rich, ouzo-scented tomato sauce with fresh herbs and feta. These mussels speak for themselves, but you could eat them with crusty bread to soak up the leftover sauce.






Skill level

Average: 3.3 (60 votes)


  • 1 kg mussels, cleaned
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 400 g crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tsp hot paprika
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped spring onions
  • 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) ouzo (see Note)
  • ¼ cup finely chopped parsley
  • ¼ cup finely chopped dill
  • salt and pepper
  • 100 g Greek feta, crumbled

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


The following recipe has been tested and edited by SBS Food and may differ slightly from the podcast.

Bring 250 ml (1 cup) water to the boil in a large, deep frying pan over high heat. Add the mussels, cover and cook for 3–4 minutes, giving the pan a shake a few times, until the mussels just begin to open. Lift the lid and using tongs, remove all the mussels that have opened. Continue to cook the remaining mussels until they open then remove to the pile, reserve cooking liquid.

Dissolve the tomato paste in 125 ml (½ cup) mussel cooking liquid then combine with the crushed tomatoes and paprika.

Place a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the oil, spring onions and garlic and cook for 1–2 minutes until the spring onion softens and the garlic turns golden. Pour in the ouzo and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 1 minute. Add tomato mixture, season to taste and mix to combine. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Add the mussels and toss to combine and simmer for a further minute.

Remove from the heat, add the herbs and mix though. Garnish with the feta and serve in the frying pan. Gently mix the feta through just before serving.

© 2013 Maria Benardis. All rights reserved.


• Ouzo is an anise-flavoured liqueur available in most liquor stores.


Photography by Alan Benson