Whole Grain Mustard Substitutes to Maintain the Heat of the Dish

Whole Grain Mustard Substitute

Whole grain mustard is a pungent and spicy condiment. It comes from North Africa and parts of Europe and Asia and has become one of the most popular spices for savory dishes, sauces, sandwiches and salads. 

If your recipe calls for it but you don’t have it, then you are in the right place to find out the most suitable whole grain mustard substitutes in cooking. 

Whole grain mustard is usually mixed with other spices and ingredients, and it is seldom used 

as a separate condiment for cooked dishes. 

This means that there are several good alternatives to this spice to mix with other seasonings and maintain that bitter, pungent and hot taste. On the other hand, you can sprinkle it over sandwiches to add a bit of heat. 

Best Whole Grain Mustard Substitutes

1. Yellow or Brown Mustard Seeds

If you have yellow or brown mustard seeds then you can use them instead of whole grain mustard in the same recipes, sauces and pastes with the same seasonings. They come with the same flavor only with a milder taste. Overall, whole grain mustard pastes and sauces contain yellow and brown mustard seeds. 

2. Dijon Mustard

Dijon mustard is another type of mustard coming from French cuisine. It is a prepared mustard with a similar taste to whole grain mustard and they are often used interchangeably. 

Perhaps the only difference between these two seasonings is the texture. While whole grain mustard is made of brown and yellow seeds, Dijon mustard is made of powdered brown mustard seeds which add thickness to its paste and make it different in color. 

3. Tarragon Mustard

Tarragon mustard is a mixture of dried tarragon, yellow mustard seeds, salt, orange juice and apple cider vinegar which provide it with a rich taste. You can even make it at home if you have all the ingredients in hand. 

Tarragon mustard has a rather creamy texture than crunchy and it ideally goes with sandwiches and roasted or grilled chicken. It has a pungent and bittersweet taste. 

4. Ground Mustard

The only difference between ground mustard and whole-grain mustard is the texture. They have the same taste and you can use them interchangeably in sauces and as a dressing. Just check the ratio before using this substitute especially if you are going to add water, apple cider or any other liquid in it. 

5. Grated Horseradish or Horseradish Powder

Horseradish is a totally different food but it offers similar heat and pungent taste as whole grain mustard. Just like mustard, horseradish is also mixed with other seasonings before being served. 

You can mix with the spices you have in your recipe and replace mustard with grated horseradish or its powder. Keep in mind that it is spicier. 

This substitute is great for those who want to avoid using mustard but still need to have a similar taste in the dish. 

6. Caraway Seeds

If you are both after texture and taste then caraway seeds can be a great substitute for whole grain mustard. They offer bittersweet and peppery flavors which stand close enough to mustard taste. 

It’s another good way to skip mustard if you don’t want to use it in the dish. You can use caraway seeds in a 1:1 ratio. 

7. Wasabi Powder or Wasabi Sauce

While pure wasabi powder or wasabi sauce are not easy-to-find alternatives to whole grain mustard, they can be great substitutes if you find one of them.

They are actually spicier than mustard, but since you are supposed to mix them with other seasonings you can reach the desired taste in appropriate ratios. You may also find wasabi sauce that contains dry mustard. 

8. Celery Seeds

Celery seeds look like whole grain mustard and they taste bitter. Well, they don’t have the same spiciness as mustard but they can provide a similar texture in sauces. As for the heat, just use other spicy ingredients to balance the taste and get the desired result. 

FAQs on Whole Grain Mustard

What kind of mustard is whole grain?

Between the many varieties of mustard, whole grain mustard (also called grains) is the whole seeds of mustard usually mixed with cider vinegar and brown sugar. It has a kind of sauce-like and crunchy texture.

Where can I use whole grain mustard?

You can use it with vinaigrettes, sandwiches, sauces, salads, cheese plates, sausages, roasted and grilled meats and vegetables as well as a dressing for side dishes. 


When choosing one of these whole grain mustard alternatives try to check the list of the other ingredients that may be paired with it. Depending on what you need, the substitutes you choose can vary from texture to taste and from flavor to appearance. 

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