6+ Amazing Mustard Seed Substitute Ideas

All around the world, mustard seeds are a staple ingredient in a wide range of cuisines, thanks to their unique flavor. Mustard seed is excellent for pickling, creating mustard, and adding a mild, spicy flavor to stews, soups, and sauces. However, if you can’t find this spice, you’ll need a mustard seed substitute from our list below. 

Mustard seeds come in a plethora of kinds and can be prepared in a slew of different ways. Adding mustard seed to meals like pickles, curries, and more can enhance their flavor.

There are alternatives for mustard seed if you don’t have any on hand, so you may still prepare the recipe you had in mind.

What is Mustard Seed?

Mustard seeds are tiny, dried seeds collected from specific mustard plants. Many mustard plants exist worldwide, but only three types are used to produce mustard seeds. If you spill a few of these round balls of seed on your work surface, you’ll be sifting through them for months.

Mustard seeds are a favorite of chefs and cooks because of their distinct flavor. They impart a robust and smoky flavor and aroma to a wide range of foods.

Many cuisines throughout the world use mustard seeds as an ingredient. Mustard seeds aren’t a new innovation; they’ve been grown for food since the Romans.

Substitutes for Mustard Seed

So, what happens when you can’t find mustard seed or you feel like trying something new? Although the mustard seed is unique, a few other ingredients could fill in to complete your dish. They might not give the exact same results, but you’ll be surprised at how well they complement your dish.

1. Turmeric

You can use turmeric instead of mustard seeds if you seek a more delicate flavor. Turmeric can be substituted for mustard seeds in Indian and Asian cuisine because of its spicy flavor.

Due to its milder flavor than mustard seeds, turmeric may necessitate the addition of other seasonings.

Also, this substitute will render your cuisine a bright yellow color because turmeric is a bright yellow color. You can use turmeric in place of the specified number of mustard seeds.

2. Wholegrain Mustard

The flavor of wholegrain mustard is nearly equal to that of mustard seed, making it an excellent substitute.

This alternative for mustard seeds is suitable for use in a wide variety of dishes, including pickles and salad dressings.

To compensate for the vinegary flavor of whole grain mustard, you may need to add a tiny bit of sugar. For wholegrain mustard, use half the amount of mustard seeds compared to wholegrain mustard.

3. Horseradish

Horseradish and mustard seeds share a shared botanical ancestry. While horseradish might not be the obvious choice if you’re looking for a substitute for mustard seeds, this creamy vegetable is the best option for a fiery, peppery flavor.

Half the amount of horseradish can be used as a mustard seed alternative. Keep in mind that horseradish is spicy and fiery, so be careful.

Fresh horseradish or horseradish sauce combined with vinegar can be used.

4. Caraway Seeds

Caraway seeds taste a lot like mustard seeds when it comes to their toasty, slightly spicy flavor. They are an excellent replacement for dishes requiring real spice, such as curries and pickles.

Caraway seeds can be used as a substitute for mustard seeds in the same proportions as the original ingredient.

To draw out the flavors of your food, you may want to add cumin or garam masala, which is milder than mustard seeds.

5. Mustard Powder

Mustard powder, often also called crushed mustard, is a fine powder made by grinding mustard seeds. To manufacture yellow mustard, which is smooth mustard, we utilize this powder.

Yellow or brown mustard seeds are used to make mustard powder, which has a softer flavor than black mustard seeds.

6. Pickling Spice

People worldwide use pickling spices because they combine all of the best flavors into a single blend that is ready to make your pickles taste incredible.

In addition to bay leaves, coriander seeds, and mustard seeds, this blend of whole spices often includes chiles, peppercorns, and ginger. To preserve the flavor, these are usually left whole or finely powdered.

When it comes to these kinds of meals, pickling spice is a perfect substitute for mustard seeds.


When it comes to food flavoring, mustard seed is an essential element. If you can’t get mustard seed, don’t skip that step; instead, use another spice or ingredient to replace it. We’ve outlined a few options above, but you’ll need to choose the finest mustard seed substitute for your needs.