9 Best Horseradish Substitutes

Posted on

Horseradish Substitutes



Prep time

Cooking time

Total time


This article may contain affiliate links and if you make a purchase after clicking on a link, we may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.

Horseradish is a beautiful condiment in many foods. Unfortunately, some people cannot have it because of their location or allergy.

But the good thing is that there are a lot of horseradish substitutes you can use instead, including wasabi, mustard, daikon, ginger, black redish, horseradish sauce, parsnip, sauerkraut, and rutabaga.

Some of these alternatives are just as strong, while others add their unique flavors. Regardless, they come close. More importantly, you can find it in the supermarket whenever you want to.

What Is Horseradish?

Horseradish is a vegetable that looks like a thick, white carrot and is related to mustard, wasabi, and cabbage. It has a highly spicy flavor that has been described as hot and biting.

The root has a fibrous texture with an almost-white hue, but when you slice or grate it, the root releases enzymes that interact with the air and create wasabi-like heat.

This heat can be toned down by combining horseradish with cream or other dairy products, which dilutes its intensity and adds a nice balance to the sharpness of its flavor.

Horseradish can be eaten raw or cooked, but it is most commonly grated or ground and made into a condiment known as prepared horseradish. This condiment is mixed with other foods, like mayonnaise, ketchup, or mustard.

Horseradish can also be found in prepared foods, such as cocktail sauce and tartar sauce.

Best Horseradish Substitutes

1. Horseradish Sauce

Horseradish sauce is horseradish mixed with mayo and ingredients for flavor. It is not the same thing as horseradish, but it does have the same flavor since horseradish is the primary ingredient.

So it is 100% ideal to horseradish sauce instead of horseradish if you’re looking to make a good dip or sauce. It’s less work, has more flavor, and tastes better than mixing horseradish with mayonnaise. Besides, you can control the spiciness a little bit more

Moreover, horseradish sauce is a little thicker, so it’s easier to work with on things like sandwiches. Some recipes use horseradish sauce: Horseradish Sauce Dip, Horseradish Sauce Pasta Salad, etc.

2. Wasabi

You can substitute wasabi for horseradish with a bit of extra work. Wasabi and horseradish are both members of the cabbage family and are cousins.

They are not, however, the same plant. They have similar flavors, but the flavors are not identical. Horseradish is typically the grated root of the horseradish plant. Spicy, peppery, and savory with a heat that builds slowly.

Horseradish is used in Bloody Marys and in cocktail sauce, where it adds an element of heat to the dish. It is also used on brisket and prime rib, where it adds a nice bite to this meat that is usually served rare to medium-rare.

Wasabi is harder to find in a pure form commercially, as it is expensive to grow, harvest, and prepare.

It’s typically found as a powder or paste made from horseradish root and mustard seed and green food coloring (which accounts for its bright green color). Wasabi has a much more subtle flavor than horseradish which tends to be earthier with hints of mustard.

But unlike horseradish, which can be stored for up to a year when refrigerated and covered with vinegar, wasabi begins to lose its flavor after just 15 minutes of being ground up and exposed to air.

3. Mustard

Yes! You can substitute mustard for horseradish, especially if you are trying to avoid the sinus-clearing qualities of horseradish.

Mustard is a popular condiment in many parts of the world and has been around since ancient times. As an alternative to horseradish, mustard makes an excellent choice because it also packs a bit of heat and spice into your meal.

In addition to the slight kick, mustard also has significant health benefits. Mustard contains turmerone and turmeric, which have anti-inflammatory properties and many more.

4. Ginger

Absolutely! We recommend substituting ginger for horseradish if you’re looking for a way to add a little more bite to your food. Horseradish and ginger both have an intense spiciness that can quickly overwhelm the taste of other ingredients.

However, horseradish is usually harder to find, which makes substituting ginger an easy choice.

Our substitution tips:

  • Use about half as much ginger as you would horseradish
  • Ginger has a slightly sweeter taste than horseradish, so feel free to add more sweetness when using ginger in place of horseradish

5. Black Radish

Wondering if black radish can be a substitute for horseradish?

The answer is simple: because it’s cheaper and tastes better. Black radishes have a lower sugar content than traditional horseradish, which means you can use less sugar to subdue their bite.

But the real kicker is this: when you boil black radishes, they lose that intense heat that makes horseradish so much fun to eat. I think it’s time we all dropped horseradish and started using black radishes instead because:

  • Black radish is a little more bitter and spicy than horseradish, so it’ll give your dish a more intense kick. It also has a more pungent smell, which some people love.
  • Unlike horseradish, black radish is not cultivated for its root, so you don’t have to peel the skin off.
  • It’s rich in vitamin C and antioxidants like polyphenols, so it’ll give your immune system a boost, too!

6. Daikon

While it’s true that daikon and horseradish are both in the same family of plants, they have several differences in flavor, texture, and overall usability. Daikon is generally sweeter than horseradish, while horseradish has a much spicier, “hotter” taste.

Even so, these two vegetables can be used interchangeably in certain dishes. You could easily swap out daikon for horseradish if you make a salad dressing.

Daikon is typically harvested earlier than other varieties because its white flesh stays tender longer than red radishes or horseradish roots.

The mild flavor makes it ideal for pickling or adding raw into salads and giving dishes like tataki sauce its signature bite!

7. Sauerkraut

Everyone wants to get the most bang for their buck when it comes to the best ingredients. If a recipe calls for one thing and you have something else in your kitchen, why not use that other thing instead?

It’s an easy way to save money and reduce food waste. I’m referring to sauerkraut, especially when making the perfect deviled eggs.

No doubt, horseradish is known to have a burn that comes on slow, and it’s not nearly as intense as sauerkraut.

Sauerkraut has a more immediate heat, and the taste is more complex, so it can be substituted for horseradish when you want a quick kick.

8. Parsnip

Horseradish may pack a punch, but it can’t compare with parsnip’s flavor and health benefits. Parsnips have a sweet, earthy flavor that’s delicious in soups and stews, mashed or roasted.

They’re also packed with vitamin C, antioxidants, and nutrients that help boost your immune system and regulate your blood sugar.

Horseradish is a root vegetable related to parsnips.

It’s got a spicy kick from glucosinolates and myrosinase, compounds in the plant that combine to form allyl isothiocyanate — a spicy chemical compound.

If you overeat horseradish, it can damage your digestive system.

Be safe with parsnip!

9. Rutabaga

Absolutely, you can!

Rutabaga is a vegetable that’s part turnip and part cabbage. It’s high in fiber, vitamin C, and potassium and low in calories.

Horseradish is a root vegetable that comes from the same family as mustard. It has a sharp flavor similar to wasabi, and it’s high in antioxidants.

It would be best to substitute rutabaga for horseradish because of the proportion of nutrients: Rutabaga has more fiber, vitamin C, and potassium than horseradish (and fewer calories).

Additionally, rutabaga tends to be easier to find in stores than horseradish, which can be difficult to find unless you go to specialty produce stores or the farmers’ market.

However, the taste will be different in your finished dish, so you may want to readjust the seasonings of your recipe if you make this substitution.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Store Horseradish?

Horseradish is best kept in a sealed container with some water at the bottom. Store it in the fridge if you want to keep it for longer than a week.

What’s Horseradish Good For?

Horseradish is excellent for improving your health: it’s a natural decongestant and can improve your immune system. It also has antibacterial properties and helps fight cancer.

Can I Cook With Horseradish?

Yes! Horseradish can be used in multiple ways to make delicious meals. Try using it as a rub on meat, as a sauce on sandwiches, or even as an ingredient in bread and desserts!

Why Can’t I Eat Raw Horseradish?

Raw horseradish is an acquired taste, and overeating can make you sick. You should definitely cook it before you eat it.

Why Is Horseradish So Hot?

The plant’s roots have allyl isothiocyanate compounds, which give them their spiciness. You might have noticed that the heat from horseradish doesn’t last very long — it only lasts about 10 minutes after ingestion — but the spice does affect your tongue and nasal passages for up to an hour or more.


The best horseradish substitute is the ones we just discussed above.

These substitute flavors are pretty similar to the original ingredient. It can be used in various recipes, from casseroles and sauces to fish dishes.

Some will find this substitute to taste milder than the real stuff. But, half bread is better than non.


You might also like these recipes