10 Best Mustard Seeds Substitutes For You

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You are here because you are out of mustard seeds and wanted a list of the best mustard seed substitutes. You might have faced the repercussions when you ran out of this seed, a vital spice. Once, I decided to prepare Brussel sprouts, and to my horror, I found out that I was out of this important ingredient; mustard seeds! That prompted me to write this article.

Mustard Seeds

You know very well the significance mustard seeds hold when it comes to cooking. They are such amazing seasoning agents who can make your dishes totally delicious and flavorful. They come from the land of India but are now a popular condiment in most of the Western cuisines.

But when you are out of mustard seeds, you seek the help of a bunch of its substitutes. Got ideas? Some of the best mustard seed substitutes are other mustard seeds, turmeric, wasabi, horseradish, caraway seeds, and mustard powder.

Mustard seeds are indispensable in cooking, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be replaced. Take a look at mustard seeds and their substitutes through the following scribbles.

Quick Peek: Mustard Seeds

The following scribbles tell you what mustard seeds are, their flavor, texture, culinary uses, and health benefits.

What Are Mustard Seeds?

Mustard seeds are one of the useful spices in the world of seasoning or flavoring. These are small, round, dried seeds that are fried until they pop. There are many variants of mustard seeds, but the most commonly used are black mustard, yellow mustard, and brown mustard.

Describing Mustard Seeds: Flavor and Texture

Yellow mustard seeds are mildly spicy with an undertone of sweetness. Black and brown mustard seeds are spicier than yellow seeds. Black mustard seeds with a sharp flavor are commonly used in recipes. These have a crunchy texture which softens once they are soaked in liquid while cooking.

Uses of Mustard Seeds

Mustard seeds are often used as a seasoning or flavoring agent in curries or dishes. They also have other uses. They can be used in making sauces, spreads, or meat marinades. They render a nutty, aromatic, and intense flavor to your recipes. 

Mustard Seeds On The Health Radar | Looking Through The Wellness Telescope

As a good source of fiber, mustard seeds have amazing health benefits as well. They cease the growth of cancer cells and alleviate the pain associated with arthritis. Did you know that they are a natural scrub and help exfoliate dead skin?

Why Should We Substitute Mustard Seeds?

Mustard seeds are significant seasoning agents which can be easily spotted in local stores. Even then, nothing can help you go ahead with your recipe when you are out of them except for a bunch of best mustard seed substitutes. 

The knowledge of best substitutes for mustard seeds will come in handy if you have a friend who hates mustard but still wants it in the recipe. A couple of good substitutes will emulate the flavor of mustard seeds to a great extent. 

Though it is nearly impossible to miss this powerful ingredient in recipes, it is best to be aware of its best substitutes. Desperate times call for easy measures, I would say. Keep reading to find the best substitutes for mustard seeds.

Other Food Substitutes You Can Try

10 Best Mustard Seed Substitutes

Now that you know everything you need to know about mustard seeds, let us discuss the best mustard seed substitutes.

1. Other Mustard Seeds

Mustard Seeds

Mustard seeds come in three different colors – white, black and yellow. Depending on the nature of your recipe as well as preferences, these mustard seeds can be substituted with each other.

Black mustard seeds have the sharpest flavor among the three varieties. Brown mustard seeds have a less intense but bitter flavor, and white mustard seeds have a mild, sweet, and spicy flavor. 

2. Turmeric


Hailing from India, turmeric is a yellow spice with an earthy, musky flavor and a peppery touch. It is quite aromatic with scents of orange or ginger. Turmeric can replace mustard seeds when it comes to flavor but be mindful of its yellowish color.

If used excessively, it can ruin the appearance of your dishes. Thus, it can’t be used for pickling but in other recipes that call for mustard seeds.

3. Wasabi


Wasabi is a thick, green paste made from a Wasabi plant. It is often used alongside sushi and is incredibly spicy with an intense flavor. The taste of wasabi emulates the taste of mustard and thus can be used as a good substitute for mustard seeds.

Due to its high price, there have been versions of fake wasabi, which is nothing but a blend of horseradish powder, mustard powder, cornstarch, and green food coloring. So, how to differentiate between the two? Original wasabi paste has a grainy texture, while the fake wasabi has a thick and smooth texture.

4. Horseradish


Horseradish is a root plant used as a spice and a condiment. The word ‘horse’ describes the long, rough structure of the plant. Horseradish and mustard come from the same family of plants.

Horseradish has a stifling, peppery flavor when used in recipes. Horseradish can be used as a good alternative to mustard seeds in savory dishes due to the similar flavor profiles. 

5. Caraway Seeds

Caraway Seeds

Caraway seeds are moon-shaped with long ridges. These are also known as meridian fennel and Persian cumin. These are used to render flavor in rye bread, cakes, biscuits, stews, and pickles.

Caraway seeds have a warm, nutty flavor with subtle hints of spiciness, making them a considerable mustard seed substitute. They can be used in the same quantities as mustard seeds in your recipes. If you wish to perk up the flavor, you may add cumin.

6. Mustard Powder

Mustard Powder

When finely ground with turmeric or saffron, mustard seeds yield us mustard powder. Dry mustard powder has a fresh, flavorful aroma that adds a distinctive flavor to the recipes. If out of mustard seeds, the mustard powder is a suitable substitute due to its unique flavor. This might not be the best option if you are looking for seeds to replace. 

7. Prepared Mustard

Prepared Mustard

In case you’re wondering, prepared mustard is a mixture of ground mustard seeds with added vinegar, sugar, turmeric, and water. It has a rich, spicy and bitter flavor. It has a creamy texture and is available in bottles or containers.

Since prepared mustard is basically made of mustard seeds, you can effortlessly replace them and enjoy the unique, aromatic flavor in your dishes.

8. Cumin


Cumin is a seasoning spice that has a sweet, nutty aroma with undertones of savory flavor as well. It is one of the irreplaceable flavoring agents when it comes to Indian or other dishes in general. 

Cumin is yet another spice used as a last resort to replace mustard seeds. Cumin seeds do not exactly simulate mustard seeds when it comes to flavor, but they have a mild, citrusy flavor that can enhance the flavor of your dishes.

9. Mayonnaise


Mayonnaise is a condiment that is used as a base sauce for sandwiches, burgers, hamburgers, and French fries. It is made of oil, egg yolks, lemon juice or vinegar, and seasonings. It has a balanced flavor of sweetness and tartness with a slight overtone of mustard taste. It has a smooth, creamy, and dense texture.

Mayonnaise can replace only yellow mustard seeds in your recipes. This is because yellow mustard seeds carry a mild, light flavor and are used as thickening agents. While mayonnaise may help you achieve the mustard seeds’ consistency, it won’t have the same flavor. 

10. Pickling Spice

You might know what pickling spice is. It is a blend of various spices and seasonings. This blend is utilized to pickle and preserve fruits and vegetables. The most commonly used spices and seasonings are mustard seed, allspice, coriander seeds, cloves, ginger, red pepper flakes, a bay leaf, and a cinnamon stick.

Mustard seeds, pepper, and cinnamon are often deemed to be essential to prepare pickling spice. Pickling spice has a sweet and spicy flavor that renders a characteristic flavor and aroma to both sweet and savory dishes. Due to the flavor profile, pickling spice is a considerable best mustard seed substitute.

Short Recap

That must have been an exhaustive read on the best mustard seed substitutes, right? Let me make it easy for you to remember the details with the help of some points.

Flavor: The best mustard seed substitutes in terms of flavor are other mustard seeds, turmeric, wasabi, horseradish, caraway seeds, and mustard powder.

Texture: The best mustard seed substitutes in terms of texture are other mustard seeds, caraway seeds, and cumin seeds.

How To Use Mustard Seeds Substitutes In A Recipe

Mustard Seeds

Mustard Seeds Substitutes

Mustard seeds are such amazing seasoning agents who can make your dishes totally delicious and flavorful. They come from the land of India but are now a popular condiment in most of the Western cuisines. Thus, finding a substitute for mustard seeds is pretty important.
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  • Other Mustard Seeds
  • Turmeric
  • Wasabi
  • Horseradish
  • Caraway Seeds
  • Mustard Powder
  • Prepared Mustard
  • Cumin
  • Mayonnaise
  • Pickling Spice


  • Go through the substitutes and see which one seems fit for the recipe.
  • Collect your ingredients and use your preferred substitute.
  • Use the substitute in the required amount and proceed to make the dish according to the recipe.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Final Musings

Choosing the best substitute for mustard seeds is now on you. Think of the demands of your recipe and carefully proceed with the chosen substitute. A little experimentation is always welcome and harmless, right? Let me know the outcomes in the comments! I’ll see you next time.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What can I use instead of mustard seeds for pickling?

Turmeric, whole grain mustard, horseradish, wasabi and caraway seeds can be used instead of mustard seeds for pickling.

What can I substitute for black mustard seeds?

Black mustard seeds can be substituted with yellow mustard seeds, white mustard seeds, or dry mustard.

How should you substitute mustard powder for mustard seed?

A teaspoon of mustard powder can be used to substitute for a teaspoon of mustard seeds.

What does mustard seed do for pickles?

Mustard seeds render a crunchy texture and sweet, spicy flavor when used in pickles.

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