Dijon mustard is the version of mustard associated with the city of Dijon in France. It’s a versatile condiment that you can use in sandwiches or as the basis for complex sauces. Dijon mustard is useful enough that you should keep a jar on hand in your kitchen but if you run out unexpectedly, you do have some options. Consider the Dijon mustard substitutes below.
Your best bet: Make your own Dijon mustard
Dijon mustard — more accurately, Dijon-style mustard — is a simple condiment and the ingredients are easy to find. Dijon mustard is a paste of mustard seeds ground with vinegar or wine. Shallots or onions may be added to enhance the flavor. The key to successfully grinding your mustard seeds will be to soak them. Water is the preferred soaking liquid but mustard seeds may also be soaked in vinegar. If you soak them enough, they will be easy to grind. The grinding may be done in a food processor or you can use a mortar and pestle if you want to do things the traditional way.
Along with enhancing the flavor, the vinegar in mustard helps to keep some of the more volatile health-boosting compounds in it from evaporating. Some experts recommend that you keep your homemade Dijon mustard in the refrigerator for 24 hours before you serve it.
Making your own Dijon mustard is inexpensive, especially if your grocery store has a bulk spices section.
A decent second choice: Yellow mustard
Yellow mustard is the iconic condiment for hot dogs in the United States. It adds both flavor and color to everything it touches. While yellow mustard is not as complex or intensely sharp as Dijon mustard, it still has many of the same qualities. You will still get enough of the tangy flavor that you can use it in many of the recipes that require Dijon mustard.
Note that yellow mustard contains less salt than Dijon mustard, so you may want to add a small amount to yellow mustard to make it more flavorful.
The color of yellow mustard is striking and different from the more subdued Dijon mustard. It may not be a great option for paler dishes where the color is supposed to be subtle. You may want to reserve it for dishes where it won’t negatively affect the color.
In a pinch: Spicy brown mustard
While yellow mustard is on the mild end of the flavor spectrum, spicy brown mustard is on the other end with Dijon mustard in between. Spicy brown mustard has a higher proportion of brown mustard seed and you can tell from the flavor. You should be able to get a significant amount of peppery heat from this mustard. I
t has less vinegar than Dijon mustard, so you can expect to taste the spice and less of the tartness. Spicy brown mustard’s intensity makes it great for dishes that feature multiple spices or when you want the mustard flavor to dominate. It goes well in everything from Chinese food to spicy sausages.
Horseradish comes from the same family as mustard and has a peppery heat. Similar compounds are responsible for the flavor profiles of both mustard and horseradish. While it won’t provide exactly the same flavor, it can do a good job in any meal that will benefit from a tangy and mildly hot condiment.