Mustard Seed Substitute – What Can You Use?

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Mustard Seed Substitute

Mustard seeds are a spice used to kick up the flavor of many bland ingredients, such as potatoes, legumes, seafood, and chicken. These small, round seeds vary in flavor depending on their type. 

White mustard seeds have a mild, nutty flavor, brown mustard seeds have an earthy and pungent aroma, while black mustard seeds have a distinctively pungent and spicy flavor. Whether you’re out of mustard seed or can’t find any at the supermarket there are many ingredients you can use instead to increase the flavor of your favorite dishes.

So, what is the best mustard seed substitute? The best mustard seed substitute is ground mustard. Ground mustard is made by grinding mustard seeds and has the same nutty and pungent aroma as mustard seeds. Other good substitutes for mustard seeds are horseradish, caraway seeds, wasabi, prepared mustard, wholegrain mustard, and turmeric. 

This article will explain what are mustard seeds and tell you everything you need to know about mustard seed substitutes and how to use them in recipes.

What Is a Mustard Seed?

Mustard seeds are small round seeds that can come from one of three different mustard plants – white mustard, brown mustard, or black mustard. These tiny seeds range in color from yellowish-white to black. 

Mustard seeds are used as a spice and are a common ingredient in many recipes. Depending on the type, mustard seeds vary in flavor from mild and nutty to pungent and peppery.

Mustard seeds are available whole or ground. Grinding and mixing the mustard seeds with water, vinegar, lime juice, wine, other liquids, salt, and sometimes other spices creates the yellow paste, known as prepared mustard.

If you decide to use mustard seeds while cooking, you’ll need to toast the seeds to round up their flavor and aroma. 

Where Do You use Mustard Seed?

Mustard seeds are used as a spice to increase the flavor profile of bland ingredients. Use mustard seeds in dressings for potato, chicken, or cucumber salads. 

Mustard seeds will increase the flavor of rubs, marinades, and sauces and can also be used in curries, masalas, and bean dishes. 

These aromatic seeds are also essential when making anything pickled. Adding mustard seeds to pickles, green tomato relish, corn relish, or pickled cauliflower ensures that sharp zingy flavor.

5 Best Mustard Seed Substitutes

Mustard seeds have many uses and are readily available at most supermarkets. But if you’ve run out of mustard seeds, there are many ingredients you can use instead.

1. Ground Mustard

Ground mustard, also called dry mustard or mustard powder is the best mustard seed substitute. This popular spice is made by grinding mustard seeds. 

The mustard powder has a sharp, tangy, earthy, and spicy flavor and lends yellow color to any dish you stir it into. Its flavor profile is ideal for many savory dishes and you can use mustard powder to substitute mustard seed in soups, stews, and marinades for meat. 

2. Horseradish

Horseradish is another readily available ingredient you can use to substitute mustard seeds. This root vegetable is typically used as a condiment and has a pungent taste similar to mustard seeds. 

Most grocery stores carry either fresh or prepared horseradish, which is usually spicier because it’s stored in vinegar. Horseradish is a great mustard seed substitute for meat and vegetable dishes and can be eaten as a condiment or added to salads.  

3. Caraway Seed

Caraway seeds are a staple in European cuisine and are a suitable substitute for mustard seeds when you’re in a pinch. These seeds have a mostly nutty, but also bittersweet and citrusy flavor that pairs well with various cabbage dishes and stews. 

Caraway seeds can also be used as a replacement for mustard seeds in various sauces and marinades. Use caraway seeds as a 1:1 substitute for mustard seeds in recipes. 

4. Prepared Mustard

Prepared mustard is a commonly used condiment that is sold in supermarkets in a bottle or a jar. It is made from mustard powder and has the same flavor profile as mustard seeds, making it an ideal substitute if you’re in a pinch.

There are several types of prepared mustard, including dijon, wholegrain mustard, yellow mustard, honey mustard, brown mustard, English mustard, and German mustard. Use prepared mustard as a replacement for mustard seeds when making sauces, stews, and marinades. 

5. Wasabi

Wasabi is a Japanese plant with a green root that tastes a lot like horseradish. It’s a common ingredient in cooking and often comes in the form of a powder or a paste, served alongside sushi or other Japanese dishes. 

Wasabi powder and paste have a sharp and pungent flavor that can be very intense if you’re not used to it. Use wasabi as a substitute for mustard seeds in dishes that call for a lot of spice. 

Can I use Ground Mustard instead of Mustard Seed?

Yes, you can use ground mustard instead of mustard seeds in recipes. Ground mustard is made from ground mustard seeds and is the best substitute for mustard seeds in various recipes.

The mustard powder has the same earthy and pungent flavor as mustard seeds and is readily available at grocery stores. However, if you’re preparing pickles or another recipe that calls for whole mustard seeds, the mustard powder won’t work. In this case, you’ll need to look for another substitute.


Mustard seeds are commonly used as a spice and lend a nutty and pungent flavor to recipes. These tiny seeds are a common ingredient in Indian cuisine and are also used for pickling. Mustard seeds are also added to dishes and used to make mustard condiments.

Ground mustard or mustard powder is the best substitute for mustard seeds. It’s readily available at most grocery stores in the spice aisle and has the same flavor profile as mustard seeds. If you can’t find mustard powder, use wasabi, horseradish, caraway seeds, turmeric, cumin, prepared mustard, or other types of mustard seeds as a substitute in recipes. 

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