Best Mustard Seed Substitutes You’ll Want To Try

Mustard Seed Substitutes

The small but incredibly popular mustard seed finds plenty of use in cuisines around the world. It’s sometimes used as a spice for preparing food, while a lot of times it is the key to making condiments like English mustard, dry mustard, and a lot more.

Condiments aside, what do you do if you need good mustard seed substitutes? Thankfully, there are quite a few options available. Let’s see what these are and what makes for the best replacement of mustard seeds.

Top Substitutes For Mustard Seeds

1. Horseradish

Mustard and horseradish come from the same family of plants. Another popular member of the same family is wasabi. While there are a few differences between these three plants, they do share something common with their basic flavors. 

Horseradish offers that same slightly pungent and spicy flavor you’d expect from mustard. Though it’s not as sharp as many mustard seeds, it does a fairly good job as a substitute. 

You can choose fresh horseradish or prepared horseradish for the job. If you choose the latter, remember prepared horseradish is usually more pungent and spicier since it’s usually stored in vinegar.

2. Caraway Seeds

Caraway Seeds

Caraway seeds offer a touch of heat along with spicy flavors to a recipe. While the flavor isn’t exactly the same, it does go along with mustard pretty well.

What it misses is the hints of pungency, but it’s possible to get them by adding some cumin seeds to the mix. 

For most substitutions, you can use caraway seeds in the same quantity as mustard seeds. If you prefer, you can add a touch of cumin seeds to go along with this substitution. 

3. Wasabi

As we know, wasabi comes from the same plant family as horseradish and mustard. As such, it carries some similar flavors to mustard and thus can be a suitable substitute when necessary.

However, wasabi is usually sharper and with a much more intense flavor compared to mustard seeds, so it’s a good idea to use only a small amount.

It’s usually not a wise choice to use wasabi as a substitute. It is a very expensive ingredient, with a price far higher than mustard. I have included this here as it is a viable substitute, though I wouldn’t recommend using it as a generic alternative.

Save it for recipes that really need wasabi!

4. Prepared Mustard

Using prepared mustard is a good way to replace mustard seeds. Since mustard seeds are the key ingredient for prepared mustard, its flavor is quite similar and promises to be a viable alternative.

Something like dijon mustard will be a good pick, but conventional and milder American mustard will do too. 

5. Turmeric

Using turmeric as a mustard seed alternative is an interesting choice, though not an ideal one. Turmeric has a distinct yellow-orange color and adds a hint of pungency and some flavor to various recipes. 

That said, its flavor isn’t all that similar to mustard. Although, it will fulfill the color requirements and will give most recipes the yellow color that mustard often brings to the food.

6. Mustard Condiments And Other Types Of Mustard

We have already spoken of prepared mustard, but there are other mustard condiments and types that could be used as a replacement for mustard seeds in a recipe.

These include English mustard, dry mustard, and whole grain mustard, among others. 

It’s also worthwhile to look into other types of mustard seeds. The seeds are usually available in three colors. Yellow seeds have the mildest flavor, but a stronger color.

Brown seeds are a bit more intense and pack some spiciness and heat. Black mustard seeds are the spiciest of them all and pack some heat. 

7. Cumin

Cumin is a decent substitute for mustard seeds. It adds some pungent flavor and a touch of citrus flavor to the recipe, though it doesn’t quite mimic the flavor of mustard. As noted earlier, it’s possible to mix cumin seeds with caraway seeds to get a decent mustard substitute. 

This spice is quite popular in Indian cuisine and finds its way into several Indian recipes and popular spice mixes like garam masala. Although it’s not an impressive substitute for mustard seeds, it can come in handy in a pinch.

8. Mayonnaise

Here’s another unlikely, but somewhat useful alternative to mustard seeds. Mayonnaise doesn’t taste anything like mustard and its mild flavors might even go against the grain and purpose of using mustard seeds in a recipe. 

Yet, it can be useful in specific applications. It’s a good replacement for yellow mustard seeds when their primary purpose in the recipe is to add thickness.

Mayonnaise will add the same thickness and consistency to the recipe. It’s not an ideal option, but it can be a useful option.

It definitely won’t work as a black mustard seed alternative or even brown seeds, so limit it to yellow seeds.

9. Spices To Top It Up

Don’t have a viable substitute for mustard? It’s possible to use spices to hide the absence of mustard. If the recipe is using some spices, add some more to cover for the mustard. You could mix the spices to get a nice flavor profile or just use other spices to get the flavor going.


What Is The Flavor Of Mustard Seeds?

Mustard seeds originally come from Indian cuisine and have since gained popularity globally. The seeds are used widely in Indian recipes for curries, soups, and sauces, though their uses are quite wide.

The seeds add texture as well as flavor to recipes. They bring a slightly crunchy texture, while also adding a spicy, peppery, and hot flavor to the recipe. Mustard seeds vary in intensity depending on their color.

Yellow mustard seeds are the mildest, brown is relatively hotter, and black mustard seeds are the hottest and spiciest. 

Can I Substitute Mustard Seeds With Mustard Powder?

As far as flavor is concerned, it’s okay to substitute mustard seeds with mustard powder, which is also known as dry mustard. It adds the same flavor profile to the recipe, while also maintaining the color.

You might miss the slight crunch that mustard seeds add to a dish, but it’s usually not that big of a problem as the texture of the recipe doesn’t change significantly.

Can you substitute mustard seed for ground mustard?

Yes, mustard seed can be substituted for ground mustard. The ratio is generally one-to-one, so if a recipe calls for one teaspoon of ground mustard, you would use one teaspoon of mustard seed.

Where to buy mustard seeds?

There are a few different options for where to buy mustard seeds. You can usually find them at your local grocery store in the spice aisle.

Another option is to purchase them online, like amazon. Finally, you can also find mustard seeds at specialty stores that sell spices and herbs.

What are the best substitutes for black mustard seeds?

  1. Brown mustard seeds
  2. White mustard seeds
  3. Mustard Powder
  4. Wasabi Powder
  5. Horseradish


Mustard seeds are like tiny beads that pack a good amount of flavor and heat for a recipe. Given their unique flavor and texture, it can be tough to find suitable mustard seed substitutes.

Yet, they’re popular enough that several options exist to replace mustard seeds in recipes. The article here lists a few of the options that can come in handy to save your recipe.

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