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12 BEST Horseradish Substitutes + 3 To Avoid

I’ve personally taste-tested a variety of horseradish substitutes to find the best one for every cooking occasion.

Whether you’re on the hunt for the closest flavor match, in need of a last-minute pantry substitute, or seeking an alternative tailored to your specific dietary requirements, rest assured I’ve got you covered.

Prepared mustard and wasabi paste are easy to find substitutes for prepared horseradish. Ginger has a different type of heat, but it’s a good replacement in a pinch. Or you can use hot sauce. Want something less intense? Try sauerkraut or radish instead.

Ready? Let’s jump right in.

The experiment

I invited friends over and made small batches of deviled eggs to test various horseradish substitutes.

Related: how to thicken deviled eggs

There are a few different types of horseradish, but the most common are fresh horseradish and prepared horseradish. For this article focused prepared horseradish because it’s the most popular type.

But I also mention replacements for the fresh stuff too.

Prepared horseradish is made of grated horseradish mixed with vinegar and salt. These additions mellow the potent flavor of horseradish, but you can still expect a fiery kick.

It’s used as a condiment for steak or fish, in sauces, in bloody Marys, and to liven up salads.

Here are the substitutes I tested and my verdicts:

SubstitutesHow to SubstituteVerdict
MustardReplace in a 1:1 ratio 10/10
WasabiUse 1/4 of the amount, add more to taste10/10
GingerUse 1/4 of the amount, add more to taste9/10
Hot SauceReplace with a few drops to taste6/10
SauerkrautReplace with double the amount6/10
Horseradish PowderUse half the amount and adjust to taste9/10
Fresh Horseradish RootUse half the amount and adjust to taste9/10

Common uses of prepared horseradish

Here are some popular ways to use prepared horseradish and the best substitutes for those situations:

  • As a stand-alone condiment: Try using prepared mustard, wasabi paste, or hot sauce. Sauerkraut also works if you prefer not to add heat to your food. 
  • For sauces and dressings: Try using prepared mustard, wasabi paste, ginger, or horseradish powder. 
  • For salads: Try using freshly grated ginger, fresh horseradish root, or sauerkraut.
  • In a bloody Mary: try using mustard or wasabi. Or go for ginger if you don’t mind a little twist.


Mustard is an easy substitute for horseradish that’s you might already have in your fridge or pantry. 

Fun fact: mustard belongs to the same plant family as horseradish (Brassicaceae), so it’s no surprise it delivers a similar pungent kick. And the prepared stuff is also mixed with vinegar!

But the best part about mustard is the wide selection.

Opt for whole-grain mustard if you prefer a milder spice.

But if the goal is replicating the fiery punch of prepared horseradish, spicy brown mustard is the way to go. 

Psst… mustard powder or ground mustard seeds can also work if you blend them with water.

How to substitute: replace horseradish in a 1:1 ratio with your chosen mustard.

Wasabi paste

Real wasabi is a rarity outside Japan.

The wasabi paste you get in sushi restaurants is actually blend of horseradish and mustard (yes really!!) – which makes it a fantastic substitute!

The only catch if you might end up with a green tinge to your dish. Although it didn’t make a difference to my deviled eggs though because I wasn’t using very much!

Be aware that wasabi paste is much more concentrated than regular horseradish, so use it sparingly.

And you can always mix the wasabi with a splash of vinegar to tone down its harshness. 

Wasabi oil or fresh wasabi root are also options, but they’re not so easy to find!

How to substitute: replace horseradish with 1/4 the amount of wasabi paste and add more to taste.


Want something milder than horseradish? Try ginger instead.

Freshly grated ginger offers more of a warm heat with lemony notes instead of a fiery sensation like horseradish.

It also has a subtle sweetness that’ll brighten up your dish. 

And if you can’t find a fresh root, consider dried ginger or ginger powder. Ginger paste is a good replacement for prepared horseradish.

These will have a more concentrated flavor than fresh ginger though!

Because the flavor of ginger is so different to horseradish, I recommend adding a small amount to being with and then adjusting from there.

Psst… this is also a really budget-friendly option.

How to substitute: replace 1 tbsp of horseradish with ¼ tbsp freshly grated ginger. Add more to taste. 

Hot sauce

Hot sauce is a very different condiment from horseradish, but it’s a solid substitute if you’re allergic to horseradish and the rest of the brassicaceae plant family.

Or in you need something quickly and it’s the only thing you have to hand!

It brings heat and a hint of tang that will remind you of horseradish’s punchy bite. 

There’s a whole world of hot sauces, but I highly recommend a classic Louisiana-style hot sauce because it’s vinegar-based.

Try to avoid the sweeter hot sauces like sriracha.

How to substitute: replace prepared horseradish with a few drops of hot sauce and then add more to taste.


This might seem strange, but sauerkraut is a decent swap for horseradish in certain recipes.

This classic fermented cabbage condiment is all about bringing a tangy twist that can cut through robust, savory flavors (just like horseradish). Although the flavor is much more mild.

You can’t use sauerkraut to replace horseradish in a bloody Mary or use it as an ingredient in a sauce. But it’s great as a steak condiment or mixed into a salad.

Pro tip: mix your sauerkraut with chili flakes to add some spice.

How to substitute: replace horseradish with double the amount of sauerkraut.

Fresh horseradish root (or vice versa)

If you have a recipe that calls for fresh horseradish and you only have prepared horseradish or the other way round, don’t worry!

You can substitute one for the other.

Just remember that fresh horseradish is a lot more potent than the prepared stuff.

To replace prepared horseradish with fresh horseradish, you can either grate a small amount straight into your dish. Or you can try making your own prepared horseradish. 

My go-to recipe is from Chef John of Food Wishes.

There’s zero hands-on cooking involved and a batch can last up to a month in the fridge.

Pro tip: be careful of the fumes when your blitzing the horseradish root in your food processor. They will make you cry!

To swap fresh horseradish with the prepared stuff, try adding a few drops of hot sauce or mustard to up the intensity.

How to substitute: replace 2 tbsp of prepared horseradish with 1 tbsp of freshly grated horseradish root or 2 tbsp of homemade prepared horseradish. 

Other type of horseradish

Did you know you can also get horseradish powder?

It’s dried and ground horseradish root, and it’s great for quickly adding some horseradish flavor to dishes. It was perfect for my devilled eggs.

Heads up – cooking the powder will bring the spiciness down a notch or two. So use more if you want an intense flavor.

Or you can use ready-made horseradish sauce. The flavor will be milder and creamier but you’ll still get some of the classic horseradish heat.

How to substitute: replace 1 tbsp of prepared horseradish with 1 tsp of horseradish powder, or in a 1:1 ratio with horseradish sauce.

Other substitutes to consider

The list above features my top substitutes for prepared horseradish, but here are other options that you can also use if you happen to have them on hand: 

  • Chili powder – similar to hot sauce, this will bring heat to your dish but none of the sourness horseradish has. It also has a deep red color, which can alter your dish’s final appearance. 
  • Black radish – this root crop isn’t as potent as horseradish but has spicy, peppery notes that can jazz up your dish. It worked nicely with my deviled eggs and will shine in salads! It’s not a very common ingredient though.

Substitutes to avoid

I came across lots of suggestions for horseradish substitutes, but not all of them worked.

Options like rutabaga, parsnip, and daikon are all root crops like horseradish. 

But they taste nothing like horseradish – parsnips and rutabaga are mildly sweet and are more related to carrots and potatoes. While daikon has a mildly peppery bite, but not enough to give you a burning sensation like horseradish. 

What to substitute horseradish for in seder plates? 

Horseradish is a staple in the seder plate, an important part of the celebration of Passover. It symbolizes the “bitterness” ancient Hebrews experienced in Egypt. 

You can use bitter greens like chicory, endive, and arugula if you don’t have horseradish. They will also bring a pop of green to brighten up the plate.

10 Best Prepared Horseradish Substitutes + 3 To Avoid

I tested loads of prepared horseradish substitutes to find the best one. I also provided a DIY version if you want to make it.
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Ingredient
Cuisine: European
Keyword: horseradish substitutes, substitutes for horseradish
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Additional time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 48 servings
Calories: 6kcal


  • 1 lb horseradish root, peeled, ends trimmed, cut into ¼-inch dice
  • ¾ cup water, or as needed
  • cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1 ½ tsp kosher salt


  • Add your diced horseradish into the food processor with a splash of cold water. Pulse everything until the mixture begins to blend. Scrape down the sides of the food processor.
  • Continue blending until the horseradish is finely ground. Add a bit more water if the mixture seems too dry. Wait for about 2 minutes before adding the vinegar and salt. Continue processing until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Transfer into airtight storage containers and refrigerate.


other options: mustard, wasabi paste, ginger, hot sauce, sauerkraut, fresh horseradish root, horseradish powder, chili powder, black radish


Serving: 1tbsp | Calories: 6kcal

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