What’s A Good Honey Mustard Substitute?

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Honey mustard is a versatile accompaniment to almost any meat but is especially popular as an enhancement for pork and chicken. It also makes an excellent dressing for salads and other raw vegetable preparations. If you are out of this condiment and need an alternative right away, try one of these honey mustard substitutes:

Your best bet: Make honey mustard from scratch

At its simplest, honey mustard is a combination of two ingredients: honey and mustard. Classic honey mustard involves combining them in a 1:1 ratio. There are more complex versions as well, such as ones that include mayonnaise or oil. Both help to cut some of the mustard’s sharpness and give the blend a smoother, lighter texture.

You can use any prepared mustard to make honey mustard. One option is to make homemade mustard by mixing ground seeds with vinegar and water and then combine that with honey.

The traditional style of mustard used in most commercial honey mustard blends is Dijon mustard, but yellow mustard will work as well if you want a milder version. You can use spicy brown mustard if you prefer a truly hot mustard. Spicy brown mustard has a higher ratio of mustard seeds to the other ingredients.

A decent second choice: Barbecue sauce

Different types of barbecue sauce can each play the same role as honey mustard. The most obvious choice is a mustard-based barbecue sauce. Mustard-based barbecue sauces are similar to tomato-based sauces but with prepared mustard replacing some or all of the tomato element. Like honey mustard, mustard-based barbecue sauces are sweetened with sweeteners like sugar or honey.

You can use tomato-based barbecue sauce as well. Both mustard and tomato varieties can work in many of the applications that require honey mustard, including as a glaze for roasted meats and as a dipping sauce.

Unlike most honey mustard blends, a mustard barbecue sauce will usually have an assortment of herbs and spices along with extra vinegar. The result is more complex than the pure tangy sweetness of honey mustard. This can work in some dishes but may not be optimal for others.

In a pinch: Ketchup

Most of what honey mustard provides is a tangy note and an intense sweetness. Ketchup can provide both of those things. It has a sharp acidity from the tomatoes and vinegar that make up most of its volume, and it is typically sweetened with sugar or high fructose corn syrup. You will get the same main flavor notes that make up the honey mustard flavor profile.

Ketchup can work as a dipping sauce like honey mustard, and you can even use it as the base of a Rusian salad dressing. It is also the key ingredient in many homemade barbecue sauce recipes.

What you won’t get from ketchup is the taste of mustard and the distinctive yellow color associated with it. This makes it a great alternative if you find either of those two properties unappealing. However, you will need another substitute if your dish needs the yellow color or mustard flavor.

Other alternatives

Mayonnaise won’t give you the sweetness of honey mustard, but some versions do contain mustard and will provide a mild version of the tangy flavor. You can use it in some of the same applications, including as a coating for grilled and roasted meats and for making salad dressings. It even works as a dipping sauce for fries and some other finger foods.


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