7 Best Mustard Substitutes

Mustard seeds are well-liked seeds from the mustard plant utilized in many different cuisines worldwide. It adds a different, slightly spicy flavor to various foods, including curries, soups, and sauces.

Mustard seeds come in a wide variety and have a wide range of applications. So in a situation when you are cooking and discover your mustard seed is finished, you can find substitutes to replace it in that whatever you are cooking.

There are many substitutes for mustard seed, and this is what we are going to discuss in this post. Continue reading if you want to know more about what you can use in replacing mustard seed.

What is Mustard Seed?

Mustard seeds are seeds of a mustard plant used to create a hot-tasting paste that can be yellow or brown. It is usually consumed with meat or used as a cooking component. There are three different categories of mustard seeds;

  • Yellow mustard seeds
  • Black mustard seeds
  • Brown mustard seeds

The art of putting mustard seeds in food lies in controlling flavor. The only hurdle is that it is hard to locate these tiny seeds, as a result, you might occasionally need to use anything else in place of mustard seed.

Read Also: Where to Find Mustard Seeds in Grocery Stores

Uses Of Mustard Seeds

In curries and other foods, mustard seeds are frequently used as a condiment or flavor. However, they can be used for other things too. For example, they can be used to prepare spreads, marinades, or sauces, for meat. They give your recipes a nutty, flavor, and powerful taste.

Best Mustard Seed Substitutes

In most recipes, the mustard seed alternatives listed below work well. So, scroll down, read more, and have the necessary knowledge.

  • Horseradish
  • Other mustard seeds
  • Turmeric
  • Caraway Seed
  • Cumin
  • Wasabi
  • Mayonnaise

1. Horseradish

mustard seed alternatives

The horseradish flavor is similar to a mustard seed because it is mildly acrid and peppery. However, horseradish is a terrific alternative to mustard seed for savory, hot foods, and a little bit goes a long way. Horseradish and mustard seeds have similar flavors because they belong to the same botanical family.

You can prepare horseradish or use fresh horseradish which is a little hotter. Depending on how much taste you want in your dish, you could need less horseradish if you buy premade horseradish.

2. Other Mustard Seeds

Different types of mustard seed
Mustard seed types

The mustard seeds come in three colors: brown, black, and yellow. Depending on your recipe and personal preferences, these mustard seeds can be swapped out for one another.

Among these three types;

  • Black mustard seeds have the strongest flavor. 
  • White mustard seeds have a light, sweet, and spicy flavor. 
  • Whereas brown mustard seeds have a more subdued but bitter taste.

3. Turmeric

Mustard Seed Substitutes

Turmeric is a yellow spice with a musky, earthy, and somewhat spicy flavor that originates from India. It has ginger or strong orange aromas and is highly fragrant. Regarding taste, turmeric can take the place of mustard seeds, but be aware of its yellowish hue.

If used too much, it will make your dishes seem bad. Due to this, it can only be used in other recipes that call for mustard seeds, and not for pickling.

4. Caraway Seed

Best Mustard Seed Alternatives
Caraway seeds

Caraway seeds give fantastic flavor to any dish and taste comparable to mustard seeds in that they are slightly warm, and spicy. These seeds can be used in place of mustard seeds in the same quantity, which will help the dish have a fantastic flavor.

It can also be added to the meal if you want a more robust flavor. This will enhance the flavor and make it more like a mustard seed flavor

5. Cumin

Best mustard seed alternatives
Cumin seeds

This is another excellent spice widely used in Indian cuisine, particularly in curries. Although cumin doesn’t taste exactly like a mustard seed, it can be used as a substitute because it still has a citrus flavor.

Unfortunately, cumin also has a strong flavor especially when you combine it with an ingredient like wasabi or horseradish to enhance the flavor. However, it will still give that fantastic flavor to any dish you prepare.

6. Wasabi

Mustard seed alternatives

Wasabi is a plant that produces a thick, spicy, green paste with a strong flavor frequently served with sushi. It can be used as a great substitute for mustard seeds because it closely resembles the taste of mustard.

There have been imitations of wasabi due to its exorbitant price, which is nothing more than a combination of horseradish powder, mustard powder, cornstarch, and green food coloring.

How do you distinguish between the two? 

  • The texture of natural wasabi paste is gritty.
  • Fake wasabi is thick and smooth.

7. Mayonnaise

Mayonnaise as mustard seed substitute

This is a condiment or basic sauce for burgers, sandwiches, and French fries. Mayonnaise contains egg yolk, vinegar or lemon juice, oil, and seasonings. It has a flavor that is well-balanced between sweetness and acidity, with a faint hint of mustard flavor. 

It has a texture that is smooth, creamy, and dense. Only yellow mustard seeds can be substituted for mayonnaise in your recipes. This is because yellow mustard seeds are thickening agents and have a faint, light flavor. So while mayonnaise might aid in achieving the consistency of mustard seeds, the flavor won’t be the same.

Why Should We Substitute Mustard Seed?

Mustard seeds are important spice ingredients that are readily available in nearby supermarkets but one of the reasons we substitute them is that it can be hard to find them sometimes. 

Also, some people despise mustard seeds, but still want that flavor in their food, in a situation like this, it’s best to use a substitute.  Another point why a substitute is used is; a particular dish might taste better with mustard seed substitutes. 

Knowing the best substitutions will be helpful because the flavor of mustard seeds can be closely imitated by a few suitable replacements.

There are several excellent replacements for mustard seeds that you may use in your recipe if you run out of the original ingredient or you prefer a substitute for the original.

Mustard Seeds Health Benefits

Apart from its flavor in dishes, there are also health benefits associated with mustard seed. They are as follows;

1. Cancer Treatment

Mustard Seeds have properties like myrosinase and glucosinolates which prevents the growth of Cancer cells. This is a major advantage of using a mustard seed.

2. Prevent Disease 

Some nutrients in mustard seeds hinder the occurrence of diseases. In other words, mustard seed helps keep us in good health condition.

3. Migraine

Mustard Seed has magnesium content present in it, this reduces the effect of migraine. Adding a little quantity of it to your fish can boost the omega-3 quality.

4. Dietary Fiber

Mustard Seed has good dietary fibers which help in digestion and improve bowel movement. This makes it good to add a little quantity of mustard seed to your diet.


Mustard seed is an important spice that enhances the flavors of many foods, and when it is unavailable, you shouldn’t skip that step in your recipe; instead, it is recommended to substitute another spice or ingredient in its place.

We’ve listed a few substitutes above, you must consider the ideal one for mustard seeds. Adjust the quantity and kind of mustard seed substitute you use depending on how hot you like your food.

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