The 5 Best Amazing Substitutes For Whole Grain Mustard

Unsurprisingly, due to whole grain mustard having a distinct and strong taste, it is not to everyone’s liking. 

If the dish you are preparing needs it and you are cooking for other people (or maybe you despise the flavor yourself), then you might need to find a suitable substitute. 

Or, perhaps your recipe or dish calls for whole grain mustard and it is nowhere to be found in your kitchen. Whatever the reason for your need for something other than whole grain mustard, we have got you covered.

The 5 Best Amazing Substitutes For Whole Grain Mustard

That is because there are other options out there, and we have 5 of them to show you. Whole grain mustard is often used in large quantities to flavor a meal, so you will need something that is similar.

For example, it is often used when marinating meat. It can help to bring out some of the flavors of the meat like chicken and beef. 

However, whole grain mustard does have quite a complex profile when it comes to both its taste and flavor. Even so, here are our top 5 best amazing substitutes for whole grain mustard (see also ‘The 5 Best Amazing Substitutes For Red Pepper Flakes‘).

1. Yellow Mustard

Yellow Mustard

Yellow mustard is one of the best substitutes for whole grain mustard. Not only does it add a wonderful brightness to sandwiches, fast food and salads, but it tastes delicious too without being too hot.

The reason it is called ‘yellow’ mustard is due to its color. This comes from the seeds, rather than a food coloring. However, you may find a cheaper variety at your local store which does use a food coloring to make it super bright.

Often yellow mustard is teamed up with water and vinegar instead of an oil. The vinegar helps to form it into a thicker texture, while the water helps to keep it on the thinner side.

Because there is no oil, it also means that the mustard itself lacks greasiness which a lot of people will prefer. It also has quite a strong flavor too. 

You may find this kind of mustard available in a squeezy bottle, rather than a jar. This makes it perfect for that summer BBQ. 

2. Honey Mustard

Honey Mustard

Honey mustard is a really great option if you do not want to use whole grain mustard. While you can buy this version of mustard, it is always so much nicer and flavorful to create your own.

All you will need is some dijon mustard, honey, lemon juice or white vinegar, mayonnaise, and a small pinch of cayenne pepper. Mix it all together and you will have some delicious homemade honey mustard.

Once you have some honey mustard to hand, you can use it in sandwiches to boost the flavor of the ham (see also ‘7 Substitutes For Capicola Ham You Should Try!‘), as a dressing for a salad, or even as a regular sauce or dipping sauce.

It is even delicious on a hotdog, especially because the base is dijon mustard – the kind which is often used with fast food. 

Honey mustard is also used in many, many recipes, so it is a type of mustard which is worth using on different dishes and snacks, even if just to see how the flavors work together. 

3. Tarragon Mustard

Tarragon Mustard

Tarragon mustard is not a straightforward like-for-like when it comes to a whole grain mustard substitute, though it is recommended for those who like a stronger flavor in their dishes.

Well, especially the tarragon flavor. It has a very distinct flavor which is bold that will add an oomph to many dishes.

However, unlike honey or dijon mustard, the overall flavor profile is creamy and quite smooth. However, it is still quite spicy and has an undertone note of licorice.

4. Dijon Mustard

Dijon Mustard

A great substitute for whole grain mustard, dijon mustard has a very similar texture but only adds a slight bit of spice to the dish. If you want a mustard that is very similar yet not as spicy, then dijon is it.

It is made from either black or brown seeds which are ground to create a paste. Once that has been done, flavorings and spices are added to create the dijon mustard that you recognize.

It is a little thicker compared to something like yellow mustard, but is still often used for the likes of hotdogs and to add flavor to sandwiches. 

Despite this type of mustard being very popular in areas like America, Canada, the UK and France, it can typically be difficult to find at your local grocery store. 

5. Brown Mustard Seeds

Brown Mustard Seeds

You can also use brown mustard seeds to create your own mustard. It will add a lot of flavor into your dish and is super easy to make.

Ground the brown mustard seeds along with vinegar to create a paste, and then add a squeeze of lemon juice or some honey to flavor.

You will find that it has quite a deep flavor that is rich and delicious, with a hint of spice. However, you may find that the brown mustard seeds can have quite a bit of heat to them, or appear to be mild.

While not as easy to find as mustard, it can be fun to create your own homemade mustard!

What Actually Is Whole Grain Mustard?

Mustard is a commonly used condiment which is easily found on the shelves at the local grocery store. It is often used to flavor a dish, or to add a distinctive taste to a sandwich or burger.

The seeds are either yellow or brown. They are ground and then water, vinegar, salt and a sweetener are often added to create the end product. 

With whole grain mustard, the seeds are often ground to form a paste and that is why they are more noticeable. This can then be used in a recipe for a bit of a spicy flavor without it being too hot. 

There are mustard condiments that have a hotter taste compared to whole grain mustard. More often than not, mustard is then added with vinegar to thicken the liquid. This can then be used in many recipes and dishes. 

Final Thoughts

Whether you hate the taste of whole grain mustard or you just cannot find any in your kitchen, there are substitutes available. While they may not have the exact complex flavor profile you are after, they are very similar.

You may also want to avoid whole grain mustard because you need a gluten free alternative. When this is the case, you will be happy to know that there are many options available. 

Whole grain mustard has some spice to it without it being too hot. If this is one of the reasons you do not like whole grain mustard, then there are lighter options you can substitute it with. 

From using the hotdog favorite dijon mustard, to creating your own honey mustard, there are easier mustards to eat.

However, if you are looking for a mustard with a striking flavor that will add some intense deliciousness to your dish, then try tarragon mustard. 

So long as you pair the right mustard up with the correct flavors, you will have a delicious dish in no time without the need for any whole grain mustard!

The 5 Best Amazing Substitutes For Whole Grain Mustard

The 5 Best Amazing Substitutes For Whole Grain Mustard

Recipe by Jenna

We take a look at the 5 best amazing substitutes to use in place of whole grain mustard for when you don’t have it to hand or don’t like the flavor

Course: Substitutes
5 from 1 vote


  • Yellow Mustard

  • Honey Mustard

  • Tarragon Mustard

  • Dijon Mustard

  • Brown Mustard Seeds


  • Decided on what substitute you need
  • Pick a substitute from the list above
  • Read what you need to substitute with
  • Create the recipe and enjoy

Recipe Video

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