Dry mustard, also known as powdered mustard, can be a surprisingly versatile spice. Made from finely ground yellow mustard seeds, it can be added to all kinds of savory dishes from mac and cheese to breakfast casseroles and coleslaw.
Despite how useful it is, dry mustard is not always the first thing we think of to add to the shopping list. If you’re halfway through a recipe and realize you’ve run out, here are some other pantry items you can substitute for dry mustard.
Best Substitutes for Dry Mustard
For the most successful substitute, think about what the dry mustard brings to the recipe. Is it the heat, the flavor, or are you just looking for that pop of color? This will help you decide which of these ingredients will make the best swap.
1. Dijon Mustard
This French mustard isn’t as common as the American yellow version, but it’s the best substitute for dry mustard in most dishes. This centuries-old recipe is made simply with mustard seeds, white wine, and salt, to retain a true mustard flavor.
Unlike dry mustard, Dijon is made with brown mustard seeds. These are spicier than yellow mustard, but the additional ingredients in the paste will help to dilute the heat.
Be aware that using Dijon mustard will also add some extra liquid to the dish, so you may need to adjust the other ingredients in your recipe. If you are making something like a dry rub, try one of the powdered substitutes below.
1 tbsp Dijon mustard = 1 tsp dry mustard
2. Mustard Seeds
If you have mustard seeds to hand, you’re actually halfway there – dry mustard is simply the powdered version of this whole spice. A spice grinder is the easiest way to grind your seeds if you want to get a similar texture for a particular recipe. Using a mortar and pestle is another option, but the texture will be a little chunkier.
You might even want to consider this method as an alternative to buying dry mustard, as whole spices stay fresh longer than ground ones.
This substitution works best when using yellow mustard seeds, which are the mildest. Brown or black seeds are spicier, so you may want to use a little less of these.
1 tsp ground mustard seeds = 1 tsp dry mustard
3. Turmeric Powder
Ground turmeric is a popular ingredient in Asian cooking, particularly in curries. It has many of the same characteristics as dry mustard, including an earthy taste, a little spice, and of course that bright yellow color. In fact, the color you see in standard yellow mustard actually comes from turmeric.
This makes a great substitute for dry mustard in any recipes that need dry ingredients, such as a rub for meats or a seasoning powder to sprinkle over roast vegetables.
Turmeric has a more pronounced bitterness than dry mustard. Depending on the dish, you can balance this out with a little salt, sugar, or lemon juice. On the bright side, turmeric is known for having many health benefits.
While turmeric powder does have little kick to it, it won’t bring the same level of heat as dry mustard. If this is what your dish needs, try horseradish or wasabi powder instead.
1 tsp turmeric = 1 tsp dry mustard
4. Horseradish or Wasabi Powder
Horseradish and wasabi powder aren’t really pantry staples, but you never know what you can find at the back of your cupboard. The horseradish plant is closely related to mustard, so it has a similar earthy, spicy flavor.
Wasabi is also part of this family of plants, but true Japanese wasabi can be hard to find, and very expensive. If you buy wasabi powder from the supermarket, what you’re most likely getting is horseradish.
Both of these powders are considerably spicier than dry mustard, so start by using half the amount that the recipe calls for and then adjust to your taste.
½ tsp horseradish/wasabi powder = 1 tsp dry mustard
5. Yellow Mustard
If you’re really in a pinch and don’t have any of the options we’ve listed above, you can substitute regular yellow mustard. The reason it isn’t the preferred swap is that the flavor differs considerably from dry mustard.
Yellow mustard is made with dry mustard but also contains vinegar, salt, and other spices. So rather than spicy and earthy, the main characteristic of yellow mustard is acidity. Of course, you can increase the amounts you use to intensify the flavor, but you’ll also be adding more acidity and liquid to the recipe.
Yellow mustard would work well as a substitute when you’re trying to reduce the heat of a dish but keep the same look. For example, if you’re making deviled eggs for children.
1 tbsp yellow mustard = 1 tsp dry mustard
Can you substitute dry mustard for prepared mustard?
So you can swap prepared mustard for dried mustard, but what about the other way around? If you’ve run out of yellow mustard, you can actually make your own with just three ingredients, mix together equal parts dry mustard, vinegar, and water, and leave to sit for 15 minutes.
Is dry mustard gluten-free?
Yes, dry mustard is gluten-free as long as it only contains mustard seeds. Just be sure to check the label for any extra ingredients like anti-caking agents, as these occasionally containing gluten.
Does dry mustard go bad?
Dry mustard won’t spoil, but it will lose its strength and flavor over time. To maintain freshness for as long as possible, dry mustard should be stored in an airtight container away from direct light and heat.