Best mustard powder substitute | 10 alternatives that taste just as good

by Joost Nusselder | Updated:  September 17, 2022

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I don’t know if I’ve told you before, but I love whipping up cheesy dishes in my kitchen.

Their tangy, fulfilling taste and creamy texture make my comfort moments even more satisfying.

The last time I prepared macaroni and cheese, I faced a dilemma; I ran out of mustard powder and didn’t know what to replace it with.

Best mustard powder substitute | 10 alternatives that taste just as good
Favorite Asian Recipes
Favorite Asian Recipes

And believe me, when I tell you this, it was one of the hardest decisions I ever had to make.

Anyways, I took a leap of faith, picked up the little bit of Dijon mustard I had left in my fridge, and put it in!

Guess what? It turned out amazing!

Dijon had just the right amount of tangy goodness, a little spiciness, great consistency, and some serious sharpness comparable to mustard powder and makes a great replacement.  

There are some other good options though, if you are simply not a fan of mustard but still like to recreate the taste.

Based on my experience, I have piled up some of the best mustard powder substitutes I have conveniently used in many recipes.

Mustard powder replacement: what taste & texture are you looking for?

The most important part of picking up any substitute for mustard powder is the taste and texture you want.

As I mentioned in many of my “substitute” articles, every ingredient is unique, and perfectly filling its place with an alternative is impossible.

Hence, you will have to consider your options sometimes.

How does mustard powder taste?

If you’ve never tasted mustard powder before, you might be wondering how it tastes.

Mustard powder is made from ground mustard seeds, and it has a strong, pungent flavor.

It’s often used as a spice in cooking, and it can also be added to food as a condiment.

Most people would say that mustard powder tastes quite strong and sharp. This is because it is made up of mustard seeds that have been ground down into a powder form.

The flavor of mustard powder can be quite overwhelming, which is why it is often used as a spice rather than an ingredient.

When used in small quantities, mustard powder can add a nice depth of flavor to dishes. However, if too much is used, it can completely replace the flavor of the dish.

Mustard powder can be added to dishes at any stage of cooking, but is usually added towards the end so that its flavor is not too overwhelming.

When used sparingly, mustard powder can add a delicious depth of flavor to many different dishes.

How best to replace mustard powder

Mustard seeds are in the same family as horse radish, and both have the tangy, spicy family trait.

So replacing mustard powder, you would be looking to mimic a similar tangy, spicy, almost pungent flavor.

Hence, we would like to replace it with something that gives us the same flavor profile without being overwhelmingly pungent, something like Dijon or prepared mustard, since they perfectly fill up the criteria.

For example, we use mustard powder in a mac and cheese recipe to add a slight tanginess and much-needed heat.

I could also use turmeric powder, but it’s mild. To achieve the same spicy taste as the mustard, I would need to add a ridiculously excessive amount of turmeric to the dish.

Though it would add much-needed spiciness to the dish, I would also have to accept the overwhelmingly earthy and musky flavors that come with it.

The same thing stands for other alternatives as well. The reality is that there’s no perfect alternative for mustard powder.

It all depends upon in what way and how much you add the powder to a specific dish, and then decide what amount of an alternative could achieve the same flavor for you.

It sure will get some practice to get the ratio right. But once you learn the art of substitution, there’s nothing that cannot be replaced!

Now let’s get to the important stuff… the substitutes!

Best substitutes for mustard powder

With all the factors mentioned earlier, here are some of the best ground mustard powder substitutes that should be a part of your spice rack.

The list contains separate sections for both wet and dry alternatives. Pick the ones that work best for you!

If you’re more fond of using mustard powder in sauces, marinades, and dressings, perhaps you would like to use something a little more convenient and tasteful.

Since the mustard powder is, well, a powder, dry alternatives work best in other recipes.

Dijon mustard

If obtaining the perfect texture is on your checklist when making your favorite recipes with a substitute, then Dijon mustard can be an excellent alternative for mustard powder.

Best substitute for mustard powder is Dijon mustard

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Being mustard at its core, it has the same pungent flavor as mustard powder, having the same subtle spiciness and great taste to be used as a substitute.

You can use it to whip up your favorite casserole, make some awesome sandwiches, or simply side it with eggs, potatoes, and egg salad.

Not to mention how it complements basic recipes such as mac and cheese!

Arugula

There’s a common perception that a leafy vegetable can never be a perfect mustard powder substitute.

Turns out that’s not entirely true, not for arugula, at least.

Known as the rocket plant (I honestly love the name), arugula comes with a mix of flavors in which tartness and pepperiness are conspicuous, with subtle hints of bitterness.

To describe it more elaborately, it’s more like spinach or parsley, but just a more intense version.

Moreover, since it’s more of a leafy vegetable than a spice, you can also eat it raw in your favorite salads.

To use it as a substitute for dry mustard, take some fine leaves of arugula and chop them until they have a paste-like consistency.

Afterward, mix the paste in any dips or dressings of your liking, and enjoy.

You can buy arugula fresh at the supermarket or online, or grow it yourself from seed.

Or, if you really want to make it easy for yourself, buy arugula powder and use that to replace the mustard powder in your dish.

Classic yellow mustard

If you are vehement about using mustard-only products to substitute mustard powder, then classic yellow mustard is another great option for your utility, other than Dijon.

Having essentially the same qualities as a mustard powder along with some extra and often tart flavors, prepared mustard is a great-tasting yet mildly spicy substitute you would like to try out.

Classic yellow mustard as a substitute for mustard powder

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You can also prepare it at home by mixing water, vinegar, and dry mustard. In fact, it is your ideal choice for recipes like marinades, dipping, and dressings.

Preparing it on your own allows you to tweak the recipe for flavor enhancements. For example, would you like it to be more garlicky? Great! Add an extra clove.

Or perhaps a little paprika powder or red chili flakes if you like it to give it a spicy kick to make your marinade sauce a little more intense?

The amount of experimentation you can do with your recipe is unlimited.

Substitute it in an equal amount to dry mustard to enjoy it fully! I like French’s organic yellow mustard.

Prepared wasabi

A staple condiment and spice to add zest to raw fish dishes like sushi and sashimi and an essential component of dips, vinegarettes, and salad dressings, wasabi holds an important culinary position in Japanese cuisine.

It belongs to the horseradish family of spices and is similar to mustard powder in myriad different ways, just a little more intense when it comes to hotness…the thing will blow your head off if added unsparingly.

Though prepared wasabi might not be your best bet in most dishes due to its particular color, it is still one of the best dry mustard substitutes for marinades and dips.

Just like mustard, as well as wasabi powder, prepared wasabi has that extra spicy kick. However, what makes it a little different is its concentration.

Prepared wasabi as a substitute for mustard powder

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Therefore, you would like to add a relatively lower amount to your recipes.

Usually, it is used as a substitute for dry mustard in a 1:1 ratio, but you can lower or up the amount depending on whether you want it to give the dish a defined, spicy, and true wasabi flavor, or tone it down a bit.

I also have a recipe for a creamy homemade wasabi sauce here for inspiration

Wasabi powder

Besides prepared wasabi, you can also use wasabi powder as a substitute for mustard powder.

It might even be the easiest replacement, as it is also in powder form.

Wasabi powder as a substitute for mustard powder

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A good practice would be to use half a spoon of wasabi powder as a replacement for ground mustard or mustard powder.

This should add enough flavor to your favorite dishes without adding unnecessary heat.

Or, if you aren’t a huge fan of spices and tend to use minimal mustard powder, better avoid this option. The kick is real!

Especially when going for one of the most popular wasabi powders that you can find online, Dualspices extra hot wasabi powder.

Horseradish sauce (or prepared horse radish)

Unlike the liquid versions of mustard and wasabi, horse radish sauce might be a bit too much when it comes to the flavor intensity, but it’s amazing, to say the least.

It has a very strong and spicy taste compared to the powdered version, with a slight tartness that combines very well with the overall hot flavor of the sauce.

Horseradish sauce (or prepared horseradish) as a substitute for mustard powder

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To ensure you get the best out of it as a substitute, try using it in half the quantity of mustard powder in your dishes.

You can up the amount later if you want some extra flavor punch.

Find prepared horseradish online or in your specialty grocery store.

Horseradish powder

A mild version of wasabi, horseradish powder is an aromatic, flavorful, and less spicy alternative that can replace mustard powder in almost everything.

The best part is that you don’t have to worry about getting the ratio right!

Just use it in the same quantity as mustard powder, and enjoy the burst of flavors later. Just keep one thing in mind, it’s a little spicier.

Horseradish powder as a substitute for mustard powder

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It sits somewhere between wasabi powder and mustard powder on the hotness scale. However, based on overall taste, it most closely resembles mustard powder.

To describe it more accurately, it’s aromatic, hot, pungent, and a little acrid compared to mustard powder, but not so much as to be called off-putting.

You find can it ready ground in some grocery store or simply online.

Turmeric powder

While not the most similar in taste and perhaps the least spicy substitute for dry mustard on this list, turmeric powder is definitely one of the healthiest.

Also, because the color is so similar, it will keep the esthetics of your dish the same if you can’t use mustard powder.

In fact, it is often called a “super spice” due to its medical significance and numerous health benefits.

Turmeric powder is most commonly used in Southeast Asian, Central Asian, and South Asian cuisine. It is a common ingredient in most curries.

organic turmeric powder as a substitute for msutard powder

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Regarding the flavor profile, turmeric has a peppery flavor with subtle hints of bitterness, but not so much one would call overwhelming.

The smell is similar to red pepper but just a bit mild.

You would like to use it in a 1:1 ratio to substitute ground mustard.

However, keep in mind that it won’t add the same spiciness to your dish in equal amounts.

So if you want to add some extra turmeric powder, that would make complete sense. It is quite affordable and can be bought in bulk online.

Mustard seeds

What is dry mustard made? Yup, ground mustard seeds.

If you don’t have any mustard powder left, just get some mustard seeds and put them in your coffee grinder or spice grinder.

The powder prepared can be used in any dish as a substitute for mustard powder.

The taste and texture of the ground seeds are just the same; however, there’s one thing you need to remember as you buy your pack of mustard seeds; they come in varieties.

For example, bright yellow mustard seeds have a mild flavor, just like your favorite mustard powder.

Then there are brown mustard seeds with a medium-intense flavor and then black seeds, which are super-intense.

Mustard seeds as a substitute for mustard powder

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If you buy any varieties except the yellow ones, use them sparingly, perhaps half the amount of normal dry mustard powder.

Any amount higher than that can get unbearable.

The only problem might be that mustard seeds are not as easy to find. Find them in the spice section at the grocery store or order them online.

When to use which mustard powder substitute

As I mentioned at the start of this article, every substitute selected here might or might not be good enough, depending on the recipe you are preparing.

That said, you must be extra careful where to use which one.

Usually, most of the dry substitutes are well suited for culinary uses where the dish doesn’t exclusively require dry mustard, and you are just adding it to give a specific recipe an extra punch of flavors.

Those specifically include dry rubs for grilled meats, seasonings, as a spice for ground beef, salad dressings, and any other recipe where the mustard powder isn’t compulsory.

However, where necessary, you would like to go for alternatives closest to mustard in taste and texture, e.g., mustard seeds, etc.

There are two reasons for that. First, you won’t have to compromise on the dish’s overall taste.

Second, since the mustard powder is originally prepared from ground mustard seeds, you get the same spicy goodness with the same texture and color.

You can also choose the flavor intensity of your mustard powder by choosing between different varieties. Isn’t that awesome?

Wet alternatives for mustard powder are best suited for recipes where obtaining creamy texture is an absolute must or simply in recipes where you make the mustard powder into a paste.

For example, if you are making a dipping sauce and are out of mustard powder, you can put prepared mustard in it instead. You can do the same with recipes like macaroni, cheese, and almost all dressings.

However, there are exceptions to this! You cannot just put “any” wet substitute in every recipe that requires mustard powder paste.

Though the taste of each mentioned substitute is unique and will work awesome with almost every recipe with mustard powder, you have to be careful with the texture and color they add.

For example, you cannot put prepared wasabi or arugula in mac and cheese. Still, they will taste and look awesome in dressings and dips.

Ultimately, it’s all about what you want to make of your recipes. If you don’t mind breaking the norms nor care about the texture, you can substitute yellow mustard powder with anything you see fit.

Conclusion

There you have it, folks! All the substitutes you need for mustard powder, whether you are out of it or just want to try something new.

I hope this article helped you in one way or another. If so, don’t forget to share it with your friends and family who might need help with the same.

Use any of these substitutes in this Secret Japanese Steakhouse Hibachi Mustard Sauce Recipe!

Check out our new cookbook

Bitemybun's family recipes with complete meal planner and recipe guide.

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Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.