If you’re not able to find creole mustard, the next best thing you can do is make your own creole mustard.
However, Dijon, spicy brown, or stone-ground mustard can be reasonable creole mustard substitutes.
What is Creole Mustard Made Of?
Creole mustard is a sweet and spicy, flavorful mustard staple in New Orleans-style creole and cajun cuisine.
According to Emile Zatarain, a German settler named Mr. Wolff peddled the first creole mustard door to door. Ginard (or Guinard) was the first to produce the mustard commercially.
Creole mustard is similar to other mustard condiments, with some significant differences. Creole mustard makers marinate brown mustard seeds in white wine vinegar. Some makers also add horseradish for extra heat and spices for flavor. Molasses or brown sugar may give it a touch of sweetness.
Some of the top creole mustard brands include spices such as:
- Black pepper
- White pepper
- Onion powder
- Cayenne pepper
The addition of spices, heat and sometimes sweetness sets creole mustard apart from other mustards.
What is creole mustard used for? Authentic po’boy sandwiches use creole mustard as a condiment. You can also find it in creole and cajun sauces, dressings, and dips for vegetables or meats.
Recommended Creole Mustard Substitutes
1. Homemade Creole Mustard from Scratch
If you need a substitute for creole mustard, the most authentic-tasting creole mustard is one that you make from scratch. This recipe involves canning the mustard yourself, and you won’t be able to use it right away because it will need to marinate for a while to become more flavorful.
Another downside to making mustard from scratch is that homemade mustard will only last between a few weeks to six months in the refrigerator once you open it. If it begins to separate, there seems to be pressure in the bottle, or it has an off smell, it is no longer safe to consume.
Homemade Creole Mustard from Scratch Recipe
Use the following recipe to make your own Creole mustard at home:
- ½ cup white wine vinegar
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- ½ cup brown mustard seeds, slightly crushed
- 4 tbsp ground brown mustard powder
- 1 tbsp horseradish, freshly grated
- ¼ tsp paprika
- ⅛ tsp ground allspice
- ⅛ tsp turmeric
- Dash of cayenne pepper
- Dash of ground black pepper
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 2 tsp molasses or brown sugar
- 1 tsp tabasco sauce or other hot sauce (optional)
- 1 small canning jar and lid, sterilized
- Bring the white wine vinegar and chopped garlic cloves to a boil in a small saucepan.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and steep for 15-20 minutes.
- Remove the garlic.
- Bring the vinegar back to a boil and add the brown mustard seeds.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat again and steep the mustard seeds for another 30 minutes.
- Stir the vinegar and mustard seed mixture together with all the remaining ingredients.
- Pour the mixture into the sterilized canning jar, and close the lid.
- Process the jar of mustard in a hot water bath for 15 minutes.
- After removing the jar of mustard from the water, make sure that the lid is tight and that the jar seals properly.
- Place the jar of mustard in a cool and dark place to process for 3-4 weeks before opening to use. The mustard needs time for the seeds to marinate and the flavors to combine. This process can’t happen in the refrigerator.
- Refrigerate after opening.
Now you’ve got your very own creole mustard that you can use for whatever your heart desires!
2. Homemade Creole Mustard Using Prepared Mustard
We won’t blame you if you don’t have the time or inclination to make creole mustard from scratch.
You can use any type of prepared mustard (other than yellow) to create this recipe. We suggest using spicy brown mustard, but Dijon mustard or whole-grain mustard will work fine as well. If at all possible, use mustard that has whole grains and is not blended.
Use the suggested spices when making this recipe, or substitute them with a premade cajun spice mix. You can also double up on the spices if you’re a big spice lover. If you don’t have an ingredient like horseradish or turmeric, just leave it out.
I recently made some tuna salad and wanted to use creole mustard. Instead of making a whole batch of creole mustard, I used dashes of the ingredients from the recipe below to make about a tablespoon of creole mustard.
Homemade Creole Mustard Recipe Using Prepared Mustard
Here’s a homemade Creole Mustard recipe that includes prepared ingredients for easier access.
- 1 cup prepared spicy brown mustard
- 1 tbsp horseradish
- ¼ tsp paprika
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- ⅛ tsp turmeric
- ¼ tsp ground allspice
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- Dash of ground black pepper
- 2 tsp molasses or another rich sweetener like brown sugar
- 1 tsp white wine or other white vinegar (if using dijon mustard)
- 1 tsp Tabasco or other hot sauce (optional)
- 1 jar with a lid
Combine all the ingredients in a jar with a lid and refrigerate.
3. Dijon Mustard
Dijon mustard originated in France. When mustard makers create dijon mustard, they marinate mustard seeds in white wine or verjuice (the green juice of unripe grapes) instead of white wine vinegar like creole mustard.
To approximate the texture of creole mustard, you should choose whole-grain dijon mustard rather than a blended one.
The flavor of dijon mustard is milder than creole mustard because of the lack of vinegar. It also tends to be ground more than creole mustard, and it doesn’t contain horseradish, sweetener, or spices.
4. Spicy Brown Mustard
The difference between dijon mustard and spicy brown mustard is that mustard makers soak the mustard seeds in vinegar instead of white wine when they make the mustard.
Since creole mustard uses vinegar instead of white wine in its making, the flavor of spicy brown mustard comes closer to the taste of creole mustard than dijon mustard does. This fact makes it an excellent creole mustard substitute.
You will want to choose a whole-grain spicy brown mustard instead of a blended version.
Some deli-style spicy brown mustards incorporate horseradish, which brings it closer to creole mustard. However, creole mustard tends to be courser and sweeter than brown mustard and includes extra spices.
5. Stone-Ground Mustard
Stone-ground mustard uses a chunky slightly-crushed grind of mustard seeds like creole mustard does. In contrast, whole grain mustard uses entire mustard seeds.
Interestingly, the mix of mustard seeds the manufacturer uses to make stone ground mustard can sometimes make it hotter than creole mustard.
Some stone ground mustard manufacturers use vinegar, while others make a Dijon-style stone ground mustard with white wine.
Inglehoffer stone ground dijon mustard includes sugar and spices, so it does come closer to tasting like creole mustard than some other mustards. However, it is missing a vinegar kick.
While the heat level and texture of stone ground mustard can come close to creole mustard, most brands usually lack the extra flavor notes from spices and sweeteners.
Frequently Asked Questions
You may still have a few questions about what to substitute for creole mustard, so we have some answers for you.
Creole mustard is very similar to spicy brown mustard, but they are not the same. Both start with mustard seeds soaked in vinegar.
Some deli-style spicy brown mustards even contain horseradish. However, spicy brown mustard is missing the sweetness and spices that creole mustard has.
Creole mustard is not the same as stone-ground mustard. Both are spicy and chunky. However, most stone-ground mustards do not contain the same flavor notes or sweetness as creole mustard.
Inglehoffer Stone Ground Dijon Mustard comes the closest to tasting like creole mustard with added spices and sweetener.
The oldest and easiest-to-find creole mustard brand is Zatarain’s Creole Mustard. You can also find specialty creole mustard brands like Arnaud’s, Scratchmo’s, Maison Louisianne, and Doux South.
Creole mustard is a boldly and spicy whole grain mustard that features in New-Orleans-style cajun and creole cuisines. It often contains spices and horseradish.
Like other commercially bottled mustard, creole mustard does not need to be refrigerated. It will last in your fridge for 12 to 18 months after you first open it. However, it will stay its freshest in the refrigerator. If you leave it open and in warm air, it is only suitable for 1-2 months.
Also, check the ingredients to see if it contains eggs. Creole mustard doesn’t usually have eggs, but some manufacturers use it for creamier mayo versions. If your creole mustard contains eggs, it must be refrigerated.
If you can’t find creole mustard or don’t have time to wait for it to ship to your home, the best creole mustard alternative is to make your own.
The second-best option is to use a deli-style spicy brown mustard with horseradish or stone-ground mustard with extra spices. However, Dijon mustard will also work as a substitute for creole mustard.