Horseradish Substitute: 15 Best Options

Need a horseradish substitute? Whether you’re allergic to the pungent root vegetable, cooking for picky eaters or simply don’t have time to run to the store, we’ve got you covered! Below are our favorite replacements along with suggested amounts for substitution and serving ideas.

Horseradish is a root vegetable from the mustard family with a pungent taste and fiery bite. It’s typically harvested in fall and winter, which means it may not always be readily available. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of 15 substitutes for horseradish that can be used in its place, without sacrificing too much of the original flavor or heat.

Types of Horseradish

In addition to fresh horseradish root, the most commonly found horseradish products in US supermarkets are prepared horseradish and horseradish sauce. And either would make a great fresh horseradish substitute!

In the next section, we’ll delve into the differences between the types of horseradish products, how to substitute them for each other and explore what makes a good horseradish substitute.

horseradish root

Horseradish Substitutes

Finding the best horseradish substitute will depend on your recipe. Whether you’re looking for a bit of heat or a bold flavor boost, we’re sure one of these horseradish alternatives will work for you!

1. Prepared Horseradish

Prepared horseradish is made from grated horseradish root, vinegar, and salt, and is typically found in a jar. If you can’t find fresh horseradish, this is your best option. It has a sharp, pungent flavor and is often used as an ingredient in dishes like cocktail sauce. Some brands are more mild than others so you’ll want to adjust the amount to taste.

1 tablespoon freshly grated horseradish = 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish. Add more as desired.

2. Horseradish Sauce

Horseradish sauce, on the other hand, is a ready-to-use creamy condiment that is generally sour cream or mayo-based and flavored with horseradish. It has a milder taste than prepared horseradish and is commonly used as a dipping sauce or spread for sandwiches. You’ll love it as a horseradish substitute in creamy dishes such as mashed potatoes or aioli!

Using horseradish sauce to achieve a strong flavor may require a larger quantity compared to using fresh or prepared horseradish. Keep in mind that horseradish sauce contains additional ingredients that may affect the overall flavor and texture of your dish.

3. Wasabi Root or Powder

Wasabi root, also called Japanese horseradish, has a flavor profile similar to horseradish, although more delicate and nuanced. Unfortunately, wasabi root is difficult to grow and cultivate and the limited quantity available makes its price tag quite high. You can also use wasabi powder, but many brands have additional ingredients, so check the label to make sure it will work with your dish.

1 tablespoon freshly grated horseradish = 2 teaspoons wasabi powder mixed with 2 teaspoons cold water.
1 tablespoon freshly grated horseradish = 1.5 tablespoons freshly grated wasabi root.

4. Wasabi Paste

Want to know a secret? Because wasabi is difficult to grow and quite expensive, the wasabi paste served with sushi in the US is most commonly made with horseradish and food coloring. This makes it a great horseradish substitute! You’ll want to start with less wasabi paste, as it often has a more concentrated flavor than horseradish.

1 tablespoon freshly grated horseradish = 1/2 tablespoon wasabi paste.

5. Mustard Seeds or Powder

Mustard seeds can be used whole, crushed, or ground to add a sharp and pungent flavor to a wide range of dishes. There are several types of mustard seeds available, each with their own flavor profile.

Yellow mustard seeds and powder are the most common in the US, but quite mild. Hot mustard (also called brown or chinese mustard powder) is made with brown and black mustard seeds and packs more of a punch. Hot mustard powder will get you closest to the intensity of horseradish.

1 tablespoon freshly grated horseradish = 2 teaspoons hot mustard powder (mixed with cold water according to package instructions).

6. Spicy Brown Mustard

No mustard powder on hand? Reach into your fridge for this common condiment! Spicy brown mustard is a convenient and easy-to-find horseradish substitute. It has a strong and distinctive taste with earthy and pungent notes, which makes it a great ingredient in deviled eggs or dressings.

Keep in mind that you may need to use more mustard than horseradish to achieve a strong flavor, and the additional liquid from the mustard may impact the consistency of your dish.

1 tablespoon freshly grated horseradish = 1-2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard. Add more as desired.

7. Dijon Mustard

If you’re looking for a more mild mustard alternative, dijon provides a similar taste profile without the intensity. Because dijon contains an acidic element, it’s especially perfect as a replacement for prepared horseradish. We love dijon as a horseradish substitute in potato dishes, including potato salad and mashed potatoes!

As with spicy brown mustard, it’s important to be mindful of the amount of dijon you use, as it may impact the texture or consistency of the dish.

1 tablespoon freshly grated horseradish = 1-2 tablespoons dijon mustard. Add more as desired.

8. Fresh Ginger

Fresh ginger has a slightly sweet and almost floral taste with a milder heat than horseradish. While ginger may not be a suitable horseradish substitute in all dishes, it can really shine in certain recipes such as Bloody Mary cocktails and coleslaw. Start with less ginger, as it can really overpower other ingredients.

We recommend avoiding ground ginger as it lacks the bite needed to be a good substitute. 

1 tablespoon freshly grated horseradish = 1/2 tablespoon grated ginger.

9. Black Radish

Raw black radish has a sharper flavor than other radish varieties, which makes it a great horseradish substitute! It’s less overpowering than horseradish, but can still add a flavorful and unique kick to dishes such as sauces, dips, and dressings.

Black radish isn’t always readily available at grocery stores and can be difficult to find. But if you do come across this radish variety, definitely give it a try for an interesting twist!

1 tablespoon freshly grated horseradish = 1 tablespoon grated black radish.

10. Red Radish

Red radishes are easily found at most supermarkets, but can be quite mild in flavor. That being said, they’re an easy and convenient way to add a bit of flavor and texture to your dish.

Grated red radishes are particularly great in dressings where their peppery flavor adds a refreshing and crisp element!

1 tablespoon freshly grated horseradish = 2 tablespoons grated red radish.

11. Daikon Radish

Fresh daikon radish is milder and slightly sweet, but can work similarly to red radish as a horseradish substitute.

Pickled daikon, on the other hand, is a particularly good replacement for prepared horseradish. Its slight acidity and tanginess make it an excellent condiment for sandwiches.

1 tablespoon freshly grated horseradish = 1-2 tablespoons grated daikon radish.

12. Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut has a different flavor profile than horseradish, so it isn’t a direct replacement. It doesn’t have the heat of horseradish, but it does have a bite to it and can add a complex flavor to many dishes. Sauerkraut is an acceptable alternative to horseradish in many sausage and smoked meat recipes.

Because sauerkraut can overwhelm certain dishes, start with a small amount and add more as needed.

1 tablespoon freshly grated horseradish = 2-3 tablespoons sauerkraut.

13. Parsnips

Parsnips are a root vegetable with a slightly earthy aroma and sweet, almost nutty flavor. Pureed or mashed parsnips are a wonderful alternative to horseradish sauce, especially as a side dish or garnish. Parsnip puree has a creamy texture, but lacks the heat of horseradish so it’s a great option for picky eaters!

1 tablespoon freshly grated horseradish = 1-2 tablespoons grated parsnips.

14. Garlic

Garlic isn’t a direct substitute, as it has a distinct taste that differs significantly from horseradish. That being said, we find that many recipes that call for horseradish as the main flavoring are just as delicious with garlic.

If your prime rib or steak recipe includes a horseradish sauce, try switching it up by using garlic instead!

1 tablespoon freshly grated horseradish = 2-3 cloves minced garlic.

15. No Substitute

And the final substitute is simply no substitute! If your recipe calls for a small amount of horseradish or it doesn’t seem to be a defining flavor, you can most likely leave it out completely without significantly affecting the overall dish.

photos of ingredients that are substitutions for horseradish

Horseradish Substitutes: FAQs

Can I use horseradish sauce instead of prepared horseradish in a recipe?

Prepared horseradish is grated horseradish mixed with vinegar and salt, while horseradish sauce is a creamy condiment flavored with horseradish. If your recipe can handle mayonnaise or sour cream in the dish, it can be a viable substitute.

What is a non-spicy substitute for horseradish?

Red radishes, daikon radish and parsnips are a few non-spicy horseradish substitutes.

What is the best substitute for horseradish in bloody mary cocktails?

To get the spicy kick in a bloody mary without horseradish you can use tabasco sauce or fresh jalapenos. If you want to take the drink in another direction, fresh ginger also makes for a delicious cocktail!

What is a good substitute for horseradish in shrimp cocktail sauce?

Hot sauce and wasabi paste are our favorite easy horseradish substitutes in cocktail sauce.

What are some alternatives to horseradish in russian dressing?

Hot sauce (Sriracha is our go-to) is a great addition to russian dressing to get a small kick. Dijon mustard can add flavor without the heat.

And the next time you need a creative solution for a missing ingredient, make sure to check out these posts!

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