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11 Black/Yellow/Brown Mustard Seed Substitutes for Cooking

Mustard seed is a spice that has been used for centuries to add flavor and kick in various dishes.

So you’re in the middle of making a recipe and realize you don’t have any mustard seeds?

Have no fear, this post is to provide a list of substitutes for mustard seeds that you can use in your cooking if you cannot find the seeds locally or online.

What Is Mustard Seed

Mustard seed is a type of spice that comes from the mustard plant.

It has been used for centuries in different cultures to flavor food, and it can be found on many grocery store shelves today.

The seeds come in various colors including black, brown or yellow, but they all have a peppery taste.

Some people use them as an ingredient in their cooking while others may just enjoy eating them with salt and pepper after cooking their meal.

What Can You Substitute for Mustard Seed

1. Wasabi


Wasabi is an excellent mustard seeds substitute because they are in the same plant family.

If you are making a spicy recipe, wasabi is the perfect option for a substitute since wasabi is spicier than mustard.

Be sure to add in less wasabi than mustard seeds because you will overpower your dish with spice. Wasabi is best used in small amounts to achieve that slight peppery and spicy flavor that you would get from mustard seeds.

2. Cumin


Cumin is popular in Indian cuisine. Though it does not taste exactly like a mustard seed, it has a similar citrus-like flavor profile.

If you’d like to intensify the flavor of your dish, substitute mustard seeds with cumin and another option like wasabi or horseradish.

Cumin is not a spicy spice. It works as a replacement for the color and texture. If you require more heat in your recipe, add other spices and substitutes to your mixture.

Wasabi or horseradish are good ideas to add for spice. Remember to use these sparingly so as not to overpower your taste buds.

3. Horseradish


Horseradish is also from the same plant family as mustard seeds. Use this replacement for a similar flavor profile to the mustard seeds.

Sometimes, the raw form of horseradish is not readily available on the market, but you can use prepared horseradish as a substitute just as well.

Horseradish should be used in a lower amount than mustard seeds, but not quite as low as wasabi.

You do not need much horseradish to get the flavor in your dish. If you add too much, it will be too spicy or simply overpowering to your palette.

You May Like: 14 Amazing Horseradish Substitutes

4. Different Colored Mustard Seeds

types of mustards

If your recipe calls for yellow mustard seeds, but you only have black mustard seeds, they are perfect as a substitute.

All mustard seeds have a different taste, so be sure to prepare the correct ratio. For instance, black mustard seeds are the spiciest, so you need to use a lower amount of these.

Black mustard seeds are not very easy to find. You might need to use brown mustard seeds instead. Like black mustard seeds, brown mustard seeds are spicier than yellow mustard seeds. Use a lower ratio when cooking with brown mustard seeds.

If you have a recipe that requires black or brown mustard seeds and you need a replacement, you can use a lighter-colored mustard seed. You will need to add more into the recipe as it is a lighter flavor.

5. Ground Mustard Powder

ground mustard

The ground mustard powder will provide the same taste as a mustard seed, and it will last longer in your pantry.

In most cases, the ground mustard powder will work. If you attempt to use it as a substitute for a recipe that calls for whole mustard seeds, it will not work.

How much ground mustard equals mustard seed?

The mustard powder as a substitute works best for recipes that do not require whole spices. When substitute ground mustard for mustard seed, use a 1:1 ratio.

Be sure to thoroughly read and study your recipe before choosing ground mustard powder as your replacement.

6. Turmeric

turmeric powder

Turmeric is a lovely spice used in many cuisines worldwide. It is a good substitute for mustard seed because it has a similar earthy and peppery flavor, but it is not as strong.

If you choose this as your substitute, be sure to add other spices or flavors to achieve a similar effect in your dish.

With its vibrant hue, it is suitable for replacing the color of mustard seeds as well. You can use it in a 1:1 ratio since it is milder.

This replacement works well with horseradish if you need to combine the two for a more spicy effect in your recipe.

Except for mustard seeds, turmetric can also be a good white pepper substitute.

7. Caraway Seeds

caraway seeds

Caraway seeds, or seeds of caraway, have a similar spicy yet peppery taste to mustard seeds. They are slightly more mild in flavor. Apart from this, it can also be used to replace celeary seeds.

If your recipe calls for whole spices, caraway seeds are a suitable replacement for mustard seeds.

Replace the mustard seeds with caraway seeds in a 1:1 ratio.

You can add other spices to create a more mustard-like flavor or add intensity. Horseradish would be an excellent option to achieve a more intense flavor profile.

8. Prepared Mustard

prepared mustard

Prepared mustard is a quality substitute for mustard seeds especially in dressing, although it is not the first choice for many cooks. It works best as a substitute for snacks or vinaigrettes due to its liquid property.

Substitute one scoop of prepared mustard for one spoon of mustard seeds. If you need more spice in your recipe, add some horseradish or wasabi to the mix.

In a pinch, you can make prepared mustard at home if you require a more liquid substitute or you are making a sauce or dressing. Add ground mustard powder, water, and vinegar together to make your prepared mustard.

9. Pickling Spice

pickling spice

Pickling spice is a great substitute for mustard seeds in pickling.

As the name suggests, pickling spice is a mix of spices mainly used for pickling vegetables and meats. If you need mustard for a pickling recipe, you can use pickling spice instead.

Pickling spice is not only a good substitute for pickling. If you are making a recipe like a stew or a casserole, pickling spice is a wonderful mustard seeds substitute as well.

10. Mayonnaise


Though it sounds strange, mayonnaise can be used as a substitute for mustard seeds. However, it only works for recipes requiring yellow mustard seeds.

Do not use a lot of mayonnaise, as it will ruin the flavor of your dish. Only add about a tablespoon. It works as a replacement of texture but not quite a replacement of flavor.

Be sure to add in other spices or mixtures to get a similar flavor. Some of the spices on this list that add the same flavor profile of mustard seed would be a good addition.

11. Whole Grain Mustard

whole grain mustard

Whole grain mustard is the most similar to mustard seeds. It is the best choice as a substitute.

If you have whole grain mustard on hand, use half the amount you would use regular mustard seeds in your recipe.

Whole grain mustard has vinegar in it, so be sure to balance out the flavor. You can add a pinch of sugar to achieve this.

Further reading: What Can I Substitute for Whole Grain Mustard?

Recipes that Call for Mustard Seed

Easy Homemade Honey Brown Mustard Recipe

Easy Homemade Fermented Mustard

Pickled Mustard Seed

Mustard Seeds Chicken

FAQs About Mustard Seed Replacement

Can you substitute dry mustard for mustard seed?

Of course you can! Dry mustard and mustard seed have the similar taste. Here is how you can substitute dry mustard for mustard seed:

1 tsp mustard seeds = 1½ tsps dry mustard.

What can I substitute for mustard seed in soup?

Turmeric power can be a good mustard seed alternative in a soup. Its taste is refreshing, hot, and hot and peppery which makes it a great ingredient for seasoning soups.

Make sure use a 1:1 ratio.

When making pickles can you substitute ground mustard for mustard seed?

Yes you can! But it will alter the flavor since ground mustard can make the brine cloudier. So, you’d better use a little of it.

How much mustard seed to i substitute for 1 tbs regular mustard?

It all depends. But in most recipes, a 1:1 ratio is enough.

Final Words

There are many mustard seed substitutes available, but some of them may not be the best option if you’re looking to get the same flavors as what would naturally come from a mustard seed.

When choosing your substitute, consider how it will affect taste, texture, cost-effectiveness, availability, and healthiness before using it.

We recommend experimenting with different types until you find one that tastes just right!

I’m Jennifer Schlette, a Registered Dietitian and Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. I love cooking, reading, and my kids! Here you’ll find the healthiest recipes & substitutions for your cooking. Enjoy, and be well, friends!

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