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Dry Mustard Substitute

Below, you’ll find a dry mustard substitute list for when you can’t locate your spice bottle or you’ve used the last bit the previous day. This versatile seasoning creates delicious salad dressings, mac and cheese, it is used to pickle vegetables and makes delicious recipes with meat.

small glass bottle with label "ground mustard" and small wooden spoon filled with yellow powdered spice

What Is Dry Mustard?

Powder made from crushing and mixing the seeds of the mustard plant is called dry mustard. Dry mustard is known by many names, including dried mustard, mustard powder, and ground mustard seed powder.

This spice is commonly used to add flavor or heat (spiciness) to food, sauces, salad dressings, and condiments. The seeds contain ground yellow and brownish-black mustards which provide a spicy taste in recipes. With its pungent taste and bright color, this flavoring agent is a must-have in the kitchen. It is used as a condiment to add flavor to dishes. This spice is also used as a preservative and colorant in food products.

The mustard powder has been used for years as a flavoring agent dating back to the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans. Besides using dry mustard, Romans would create a mustard paste combined with wine for a tangier flavor. Initially, it was used mainly to flavor fish and meat. It has many uses now as it has expanded to Chinese and Indian recipes.

Dry Mustard Varieties

Multiple mustard seeds types are available and offer slightly different flavors when ground. These include yellow, black, brown, and white. Yellow and white mustard seeds produce the most subtle flavor when ground. Black and brown mustard seeds both offer more pungent tastes in recipes.

Another available variety is dry mustard called Chinese yellow mustard, which offers a hotter flavor than the other mustard seeds. Standard yellow mustard seeds are typically used to create ground mustard in the US. Black and brown mustard seeds are more prevalent in other countries.

Dry Mustard Substitutes and Alternatives

1. Yellow Mustard Seeds

Yellow mustard seeds are excellent to use as a dry mustard substitute as they are the sole ingredient of mustard powder. You will find the same flavor present in dry mustard with this option.


Use ground mustard seeds for any recipe that calls for dry mustard.


Using these seeds will require extra work if you want a similar consistency. You will need to either crush or grind the seeds before use in recipes. If you proceed with whole mustard seeds, there will be a difference in texture which may not bode well with all dishes.

Cooking Tip:

Use ¾ teaspoon of seeds for every teaspoon of dry mustard.

2. Brown Mustard Seeds

Brown mustard seeds are another great substitute for dry mustard. They have a more pungent taste compared to mustard powder, so you will want to use a smaller quantity to avoid an overpowering flavor.


You can use this substitute in any recipe that calls for dry mustard. Leave them whole for pickling and brines.


As this option is less common in the US, it can be more challenging to find in grocery stores. To use brown mustard seeds, you will also want to grind or crush them before including them in most recipes.

Cooking Tip:

Start with ½ the required amount and adjust as needed.

3. Ground Mustard Seeds

If you can get your hands on white, Chinese yellow, or black ground mustard seed powder, you can use this as a mustard powder substitute. Keep in mind that Chinese yellow mustard powder and black mustard powder with be hotter than standard dry mustard.


The primary flavors of dry mustard are present. This dry mustard powder substitute will work the best in recipes like mac and cheese, brines, and salad dressings.


The pricing for these options is much higher than standard dry mustard. It may not be budget-friendly for all.

Cooking Tip:

Use a 1:1 ratio to replace white mustard seed powder with dry mustard. Start with ½ the required amount for Chinese yellow and black mustard seed powder, increase if needed.

4. Dijon Mustard

Dijon mustard is another good substitute for dry mustard. It is made from brown mustard seeds. However, the addition of vinegar creates a heat level slightly under that of ground mustard powder. Also, the texture consistency is different as Dijon is more thick and grainy.


This replacement for dry mustard is easily found on grocery store shelves and is affordable.


This ground mustard substitute does not work well with all recipes. However, it’s an excellent option for dipping sauces, marinades, and dressings. Dijon’s color is also different from dry mustard, so it will change the appearance in recipes that count on the bright yellow color.

Cooking Tip:

Start with 1 ½ the required amount to account for the sweetness present in this alternative.

5. Yellow Mustard

Yellow mustard provides a similar color in recipes just like dry mustard. The level of heat is about the same. However, it has a high vinegar content, so tartness will be present in recipes.


This mustard is another readily available substitution in stores and is very affordable.


This mustard swap has a more liquid consistency, so other additional liquids present in the recipe will need to be altered. This option is not an ideal swap in recipes that require a drier texture.

Cooking Tip:

Start with a 1:1 ratio, then increase if needed for a more pungent taste.

6. Whole Grain Mustard

Whole grain mustard is another substitute that you can use for ground mustard.


This option is also readily available in grocery stores. The flavor of whole-grain mustard is very mild, making it an excellent substitute for dry mustard for those who don’t enjoy spiciness. Use this replacement for dressings, dips, and spreads.


This mustard option uses whole-grain seeds instead of ground seeds, creating a chunky texture in recipes. Because of this texture, whole grain mustard is not a suitable replacement in all recipes.

Cooking Tip:

Use a 1:1 ratio when replacing dry mustard with whole grain mustard.

7. English Mustard

English mustard is an excellent choice as a replacement for those looking for additional heat in recipes. Like Dijon mustard, this option has a thicker consistency.


Use English mustard for flavoring sandwiches, meats, and poultry.


This option is not a good swap for every recipe. It is also might be challenging to find in local US grocery stores.

Cooking Tip:

Start with half of the amount and increase if needed.

8. Prepared Mustard

This option refers to any additional mustard options you may have on hand, like honey mustard, horseradish mustard, and hot mustard. These alternatives will work in a pinch to provide the intense, dry mustard flavor to recipes.


These mustard varieties are another budget-friendly option. Use prepared mustard options to replace dry mustard in most recipes.


Specific prepared mustard options will work better for recipes. It’s important to taste test the available mustards with your dish before using them as a replacement.

Cooking Tip:

Start with ½ the required amount and adjust to your taste preference.

9. DIY Spice Blend

Making your own dry mustard blend is a great way to replace dried mustard if you don’t have mustard seeds or premade mustard in your spice cabinet. You can replicate the heat by using black pepper. The color can be mimicked with turmeric. Otherwise, you can customize it to fit the recipe.


You can create this blend using common spices already in your kitchen.


The flavor will be much different than dry mustard. However, you can mimic the heat and bright yellow color.

Cooking Tip:

Start with ½ the required amount and adjust as needed to create the desired flavor.

10. Wasabi Powder

Wasabi powder is an excellent way to add intense heat to dishes. As it’s a ground form, you can use this replacement in recipes requiring drier consistency without issue. Authentic Japanese wasabi offers a light-yellow color, and American wasabi powder has a bright green color. Both will alter the appearance of dishes.


This replacement is affordable and relatively easy to find in stores in the Asian aisle. Use this sub for dry mustard when a recipe calls for powdered spice.


The spice level is much higher with this replacement. Those with a sensitive palate may want to avoid this swap or use a minimal amount. Like dry mustard, you will need to incorporate water with this option to bring out the flavor.

Cooking Tip:

Start with ¼ the required amount and adjust as needed.

11. Wasabi Paste

Wasabi paste provides a similar flavor as wasabi powder and a similar color. Like the powder version, there is an authentic Japanese option with a light-yellow hue and an American version that is bright green.


The consistency of wasabi paste is excellent for dressings or sauces.


This paste presents a heat that lasts for about 15 minutes. It’s not ideal for use in recipes that require a drier consistency.

Cooking Tip:

Start with ½ the required amount and adjust as needed.

12. Horseradish Powder

This ground mustard replacement provides a similar flavor, though it is much spicier. Expect an intense flavor when using horseradish powder in recipes.


The texture of this substitute matches that of dry mustard. Use as a substitute for any recipe that calls for ground mustard powder.


The color of this alternative is much different than that of dry mustard. Depending on your location, it can be challenging to find in stores.

Cooking Tip:

Start with a 1:1 ratio and increase slowly until the desired level of heat and flavor is achieved.

13. Turmeric Powder

Turmeric powder is a good substitute for dry mustard that works well for recipes that require a yellow color. Though, the flavor is much milder than dry mustard, so you will need to use a larger quantity to mimic the taste better.


You can easily find this swap in stores, and it’s also budget-friendly. Use ground turmeric in any recipe that requires dry mustard.


This substitute offers a slightly bitter, bold, and earthy taste in recipes. Be wary of using too much turmeric as it can become bitter and unappealing.

Cooking Tip:

Start with a 1:1 ratio when replacing turmeric with dry mustard and adjust as needed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Mustard Powder the Same as Ground Mustard?

While the ingredients are the same for mustard powder and ground mustard, there is one difference between the two seasoning agents. Mustard powder is more finely ground. Otherwise, both options are made from mustard seeds pulverized into powder form.

What is the best substitute for mustard powder?

Depending on the recipe you want to create, there are quite a few options to replace dry mustard, including whole mustard seeds, horseradish powder, and Dijon mustard. If you’re only looking to recreate the heat from mustard, other alternatives such as wasabi powder or paste are great options.

Can You Use Mustard Seed in Place of Dry Mustard?

Yes, you can use mustard seeds in place of dry mustard. If you keep them as whole seeds, the consistency will differ in dishes. If possible, it’s best to grind the seeds using a mortar and pestle or coffee grinder to create a similar texture. This process will make measuring the amount easier.

What Is a Good Substitution for Dry Mustard in Mac and Cheese?

You can use mustard seeds or Dijon mustard for a similar flavor in mac and cheese. Dijon mustard is a top option as it’s more likely this condiment is already in your fridge. Plus, the consistency meshes well with the melted cheese in the dish.

How to Make Dry Mustard?

You can make dry mustard easily by grinding whole mustard seeds into powder. Make sure to keep the ground seeds in an airtight jar to maintain freshness. Or, grind the seeds as needed for the best flavor.


Next time you can’t find your jar of dry mustard, try using the above options for dry mustard substitutes. These options will provide a similar heat and flavor to your dishes.

Opt for horseradish powder, whole mustard seeds, and ground white mustard powder as the best substitutes with the closest flavor profiles.

Prepared mustard is a good swap if you’re struggling to find mustard powder or seeds. As some options have a higher heat level than others, it’s essential to start with smaller quantities and increase as needed.

More Ingredient Substitutes

Natalia | Flavorful home
Natalia is a recipe developer, food photographer, and home cook. She started Flavorful Home to document her recipes and share home cooking tips. She loves creating flavorful and nutritious meals while keeping the cooking process simple and joyful!
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