Horseradish is a popular condiment that can be found in most American kitchens. It has a spicy, sharp flavor that complements foods like roast beef and corned beef.
When horseradish root is not available for a recipe, there are many alternatives that can be used in its place.
This blog post will explore the different ways you can substitute horseradish when you’ve run out of it or you just simply want to avoid using it.
What to Substitute for Horseradish
1. Horseradish Sauce
The first item – horseradish sauce – on our list is an oddly obvious one, but it is the best substitute for plain horseradish.
By horseradish sauce, we mean prepared horseradish. Some recipes will call for fresh horseradish, which can be difficult to come by. Like other roots and vegetables, horseradish will go bad over time.
That being said, it’s always a good idea to keep a small jar of prepared horseradish sauce in your fridge.
Typically, you can substitute equal amounts of prepared horseradish for fresh horseradish.
Aside from the root itself and horseradish sauce, the closest match you can get to the infamous root is wasabi.
Wasabi comes in various forms: roots, powder, and paste. If you can, try to stick with the fresh wasabi root.
Wasabi and horseradish have very similar flavor profiles and textures. They have strong smells, a spicy taste, and both add a great kick to any recipe. It’s also a good substitute for mustard seed.
Replace horseradish with equal amounts of wasabi for a quick fix.
Ginger is another vegetable that falls in the root family, just like the horseradish root. Although the flavors have their differences, both roots are unique, earthy, and slightly bitter.
Ginger also has a peppery taste, which can help you achieve some of the kick you get from horseradish.
Because ginger can really impact the flavor of a dish, you should start by adding it in very small amounts and adjust as you go.
4. Spicy Brown Mustard
Does your dish require some spiciness? If so, try replacing your missing horseradish with spicy brown mustard.
This common condiment is easy to find and even easier to use. While it won’t be as spicy as horseradish, it can give you a distinctive, zesty flavor.
A 1:1 ratio might not be enough to replace the strong taste of horseradish, so start with an equal amount and continue to add more until you’re satisfied.
If you don’t have spicy brown mustard on hand, there’s a pretty good chance you have standard yellow mustard. This substitute is likely the most common one on the list, so listen up.
Mustards of all kinds have strong flavors and a touch of spiciness that will vary depending on the type (see: spicy brown mustard above). While plain mustard isn’t ideal when horseradish is the main ingredient, it works well as a horseradish substitute when it’s combined with a long list of other components.
Substitute horseradish with mustard in a 1:1 ratio.
6. Mustard Oil
Mustard oil is an excellent ingredient for a wide variety of sauces, soups, dips, and dressings. It has a very pungent flavor and a bit of spiciness that match the impact of horseradish fairly well.
You can’t find pure mustard oil in the United States due to its high levels of erucic acid, but you can buy mustard essential oil which is safe and flavorful in the kitchen.
There’s something about root vegetables that make them all seemingly interchangeable. That’s certainly the case when it comes to rutabaga and horseradish.
This root has not only a similar flavor, but a very close texture to horseradish, making it an ideal substitute.
Rutabaga isn’t quite as harsh as horseradish, so it’s great for anyone who prefers a milder flavor and perhaps would have cut down the horseradish in the recipe anyhow.
You can substitute with a 1:1 ratio and adjust the taste according to your preference.
8. Red Radish
Pretty much any radish will work as a decent substitute for horseradish, and you’ll notice there are a couple more on our list below.
But aside from both vegetables living in the root family, these two ingredients are not actually related.
However, red radishes do have very crisp, juicy, and slightly spicy flavors that can easily mimic the taste of horseradish in a recipe. They work best when they’re freshly cut and substitute well in salads and sandwiches.
Parsnips are too often forgotten in the world of root vegetables. We all have our favorites, from carrots to radishes, but no one seems to claim parsnips as a top choice.
But because parsnips are root vegetables, they make for a decent substitute for horseradish.
Parsnips have a sweeter flavor and a distinctive taste of their own, so they may not give you the same kick that horseradish does. Of course, if you’re not into spicy foods, parsnips may be an excellent choice even if you do have horseradish on hand.
Use a 1:1 ratio to swap these root veggies.
Further Reading: 11 Best Substitutes for Parsnips
10. Black Radish
Next, we have yet another radish. Hold on to that thought, because it’s not the last one on the list.
Black radishes look like beetroot, but they taste similar to horseradish. If you’re someone who enjoys horseradish for its kicking heat, then black radish will soon become a staple in your refrigerator.
This dark-colored root substitutes horseradish beautifully in equal amounts. You can use it on its own or combine it with ginger to ease up the spice.
11. Daikon Radish
The daikon is another root that is closely related to the horseradish root. It’s crisp, juicy, and flavorful much like horseradish is. In fact, it even has a similar smell and the same kick.
Many people love to use daikon in place of horseradish in soups and stews, but it would likely work well in just about any dish.
Swap out equal amounts of daikon for horseradish to give your dish some pizzazz.
As a common white pepper alternative, peppercorns can also be a good horseradish substitute.
Peppercorns are common kitchen ingredients, so if you’re really in a tight pinch, you can use them in place of horseradish in a recipe.
Peppercorns have bold, intense flavors much like horseradish. They can add just the right amount of kick that a recipe needs.
Fresh peppercorns work best. To use them in a recipe, add them little by little and taste as you go.
If you’re working with a savory dish that calls for horseradish, try using sauerkraut in its absence.
Sauerkraut is just cabbage that has been shredded and fermented. The fermentation process gives it a tart, unmistakable flavor, and its saltiness is ideal for replacing horseradish.
Sauerkraut has a strong flavor, so it’s important not to use too much and risk overpowering the dish. A 1:1 ratio should do fine.
14. Homemade Horseradish Sauce
If your recipe calls for horseradish sauce and you only have horseradish root, you can make your own sauce quickly and easily.
- 1 peeled horseradish root
- ½ teaspoon cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Place all the ingredients in a food processor and run until the sauce is creamy and smooth.
- Store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 10Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1068mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 0gSugar: 2gProtein: 0g
Recipes with Horseradish
Creamy Horseradish Sauce
Bacon-Horseradish Deviled eggs
FAQs About Horseradish
What can I substitute for horseradish in cocktail sauce?
The most common substitute for horseradish in cocktail sauce is chili powder. It will give your dish a similar spicy kick without the strong taste of horseradish.
If you don’t have chili powder on hand, try adding some hot peppers to get that same punchy flavor.
What’s a good substitute for horseradish in bloody mary?
Horseradish is a popular and spicy addition to bloody marys. If you can’t find any, try adding in some wasabi or wasabi paste instead. You’ll still get that horseradish flavor without the risk of an allergic reaction!
When substitute wasabi for horseradish in bloody mary, use ¼ tablespoon of wasabi per drink.
What’s a good horseradish substitute for prime rib?
The best horseradish substitute for prime rib is spicy mustard. It doesn’t have the same strong smell as horseradish. A 1:1 ration is enough for prime rib.
If you can’t find it, then try some wasabi, it’s also a good option for prime rib if don’t mind the color green.
What’s a good substitute for horseradish in barbecue sauce?
Horseradish is a spicy and tangy condiment that can be used to add flavor and bite to barbecue sauce.
If you want the taste of horseradish without all of its heat, try using mustard or wasabi paste instead. You’ll still get some zing from these substitutes, but they won’t burn your mouth!
There are many horseradish substitutes that can be used to create a spicy kick in your cooking, but not all of them will have the same flavor.
Just read the blog carefully and choose the one you prefer to make your meal more delicious!