This Linguine With Mussels Recipe Is Your New Go-To for a Dinner Party on the Cheap

Are you low on cash but still want to party like a baller? Well, we’re here to help. Welcome to $30 Dinner Party, Thrillist’s brand-new series created to help people just like you throw killer dinner parties for very little money. Join host Lee Kalpakis as she creates special recipes for you to wow your friends and family on the cheap with new episodes every Monday at 2pm ET on Thrillist’s YouTube channel.

When your apartment feels like it's roughly the size of a shoe box, cooking a big meal -- let alone throwing a dinner party for your friends -- can feel like a daunting, if not impossible, task. But it turns out that entertaining in your tiny patch of real estate is easier than you'd think, thanks to a delicious linguine with mussels dinner party plan that's easy enough to make in any kitchen and won't break the bank.

In a new episode of Thrillist's brand-new series, $30 Dinner Party, host Lee Kalpakis teams up with her guest, Sacha Noelle, to prove to her friends that just because she has a smaller apartment than before doesn't mean she can't be a great host. Sacha loves pasta, seafood, and spicy food. With Lee's help, they whip up a dinner party menu featuring a super-fresh winter citrus salad, savory and spicy linguine with mussels, and some crisp Caribbean sangria

Watch as Lee and Sacha plan the meal, head to the grocery store to pick up the ingredients, cook, and serve up a spectacular dinner party meal to rave reviews from her guests. And, yes, all for less than 30 bucks. The whole shebang cost a mere $29.93, to be exact. So, not only do Lee and Sacha prove you can still be a great entertainer with limited space, they also prove that you can pull it off on the cheap.

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Grocery list with prices

  • 1 pound linguine - $1.69
  • 2 pounds mussels - $7
  • 1 bottle white wine (dry and light, like vinho verde or pinot grigio) - $9.99
  • 2 heads radicchio - $2.50
  • 2 oranges - $1
  • 2 grapefruit - $2.58
  • 2 lemon - $.98
  • 1 mango - $1.50
  • 1 bunch parsley - $1.69
  • 1 liter lime flavored seltzer - $1

TOTAL: $29.93

Pantry staples

  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Oils
  • Vinegars
  • Garlic
  • Cayenne
  • Garlic powder
  • Oregano
  • Ketchup
  • Hot sauce
  • Flour
  • Sugar
  • Butter
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Vanilla
  • Cinnamon
  • Red pepper flakes

Caribbean sangria

  • 1 orange, ½ cut into half moons, ½ juiced
  • 1 grapefruit, ½ cut into half moons, ½ juiced
  • 1 mango, peeled and diced
  • 1 bottle white wine (dry and light, like Vinho Verde or pinot grigio)
  • 1 liter lime-flavored seltzer
  • Add fruit to a large pitcher.
  • Pour white wine into the pitcher.
  • Give a stir and cover with plastic wrap.
  • Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or up to overnight.
  • When ready to serve, add seltzer to the pitcher.
  • Pour sangria into glasses; scoop some fruit into each glass and then fill with sangria.

Winter citrus salad

  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • A pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 orange, peeled and sliced into rounds with peels reserved
  • 1 grapefruit, peeled and sliced into rounds with peels reserved
  • 1 lemon, peeled and sliced into rounds with peels reserved
  • 1 head radicchio, leaves separated
  • ¼ cup parsley leaves
  • In a large bowl, whisk together any juice from the peels and any juice from peeling/slicing the citrus with red wine vinegar, sugar, and olive oil.
  • Season with salt, cracked pepper and red pepper flakes.
  • Add 3 tablespoons parsley and radicchio to the bowl and toss.
  • Arrange the citrus and dressed radicchio on a platter.
  • Garnish with remaining 1 tablespoon parsley.

Linguine with mussels

  • 1 pound linguine
  • 2 pound mussels
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Salt and cracked pepper
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • 1 lemon, juiced and zested
  • ¼ cup parsley
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  • Add pasta and cook for 2 minutes less than the package suggests.
  • Take out 1 cup pasta water. Drain pasta and set aside.
  • In a large skillet over low, heat olive oil and melt butter. Add garlic, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes and cook until the garlic begins to soften, but not crisp. Pour in ½ cup of pasta water, white wine, and lemon zest. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer, add mussels, stir and cover until they begin to open, about 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Once the mussels open, toss the pasta with the mussels, lemon juice, and 3 tablespoons parsley. Garnish with remaining 1 tablespoon parsley and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes.
  • Serve immediately.

Do you live in the NYC area and want to throw a killer dinner party but don’t think you can afford it? Well, let us help you out! We’re looking for our next guest to be featured in $30 Dinner Party. Our host will create special recipes for you to wow your friends and family at an ultimate dinner party. If you’re interested in being a featured guest on the show, email with your story!

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Tony Merevick is Senior News Editor at Thrillist and needs an invite to these dinner parties, people. Send news tips to and follow him on Twitter @tonymerevick.