Substitutes for Creole Mustard: Your Options Explained

Creole mustard is a form of mustard with its grains still intact. As can be inferred from its name, creole mustard hails from the south-eastern regions of the United States, wherein it was first invented and popularized by French citizens living in the area.

With a spicy and full-bodied flavor, creole mustard is an unmistakable complement to many dishes as a sauce or condiment. However, owing to its rather high price and difficulty in making it, many home chefs ask the question; what can substitute for creole mustard?

As creole mustard’s primary ingredient is mustard, certain other forms of this particular plant can act as an excellent replacement for the south-eastern condiment. Mustard alternatives such as whole-grain mustard or even Dijon mustard (if unsweetened) are the ideal replacements for creole mustard.

What does Creole Mustard Taste like?

While ordinary mustards have a tart flavor with hints of earthiness and a sharp after-taste, creole mustard is a far more intense version of this unique taste, further enhanced by a distinct spiciness and helped by a creaminess that is not normally present in most mustard condiments.

creole mustard

Creole mustard also frequently incorporates other flavors commonly enjoyed in other forms of south-east American cooking, such as the mellow sweetness of honey or even the unique savory taste of garlic. Traditionally, creole mustard also includes the earthy spiciness of cayenne pepper and horseradish.

These tastes combined create a definitively unique form of mustard condiment that pairs extremely well with many fried dishes and sandwiches.

What is the Texture of Creole Mustard?

Generally, most forms of mustard involve grinding and crushing the mustard seeds into a fine and homogeneous paste. However, this is not the case when making creole mustard is involved, as it traditionally does not completely crush the seeds and instead leaves them mostly intact.

Though creole mustard presents quite a creamy taste, it is still grainy due to the mustard seeds still being whole.

This is different from whole grain mustard, however, as the mustard seeds used in creole mustard are brown and matured, softening the seeds’ shells prior to usage. Apart from this, the whole mustard seeds are also soaked for a period of time, in which the acidic fluid will break down several of the molecular bonds present in the seeds’ shells.

Taste Substitutes for Creole Mustard

While creole mustard is indeed replaceable by a variety of other mustard products or even certain types of condiments and pastes, its unique taste and mouth-feel is difficult to replicate entirely owing to the carefully balanced mix of ingredients incorporated into the creole mustard.

Keeping this information in mind, the closest possible replacement for the uniquely spiced creole mustard is in fact whole grain mustard, which shares many similarities with creole mustard. 

While creole mustard presents a more mellow and earthy spiciness than its counterpart, whole grain mustard’s variation of spiciness is hotter and stronger, of which may be slightly overwhelming in comparison to creole mustard. This may be remedied by mixing in other condiments, should the recipe require it. Mayonnaise is a particularly popular addition for softening the heat of whole grain mustard.

As an alternative to whole-grain mustard, Dijon mustard may also be used, though this depends on quite a few factors such as whether the manufacturer has added large amounts of vinegar and sugar, which will alter the flavor profile of the mustard paste too far from that of creole mustard.

If it is possible, the ideal way to replace creole mustard with Dijon mustard is to make it at home so as to replicate the taste as close as possible within your own kitchen.

Texture Substitutes for Creole Mustard

Since creole mustard most often contains mustard seeds that have not been crushed or ground up, some other forms of mustard are not suitable replacements for this grainy yet creamy south-eastern condiment. 

However, by extension of this thought, the most obvious substitute for replicating the texture of creole mustard is in fact whole grain mustard. While the particular texture of whole-grain mustard is somewhat less creamy than that of creole mustard, the general graininess of its seeds are similar, though whole-grain mustard seeds are incrementally crunchier depending on the type of seeds used and whether they have been soaked in vinegar.

Another substitute for the creaminess of creole mustard is Dijon mustard, which is quite similar to one of the primary ingredients added to creole mustard as it is being mixed.

Dijon mustard presents a creamy texture that is far more consistent than that of creole mustard owing to the fact that the mustard seeds used in making Dijon mustard are partially or completely ground up. 

This equates to a lack of graininess when using Dijon mustard to replace creole mustard, and as such makes it an excellent replacement when creating mixes with mustard. However, should your particular sandwich or condiment mix require a particularly grainy or crunchy texture, Dijon mustard does not provide this and is an unsuitable substitute.

Is GREY Poupon a Substitute for Creole Mustard?

GREY Poupon is a commercially available brand of mustard originating from Dijon, France, the birthplace of Dijon mustard. Owing to its popularity, it is one of the most common brands of mustard purchased in the western world.

In terms of substitution, however, GREY Poupon comes in a variety of forms, of which only two may act as a suitable replacement for creole mustard’s taste and texture.

The brand, at the time this article was written, sells their own line of whole-grain mustard sourced from brown mustard seeds and spiced prior to packaging. This creates a similar taste-profile and texture to that of creole mustard, though certain flavor notes may be missing from the mixture.

The second of these potential replacement candidates is their Dijon mustard, also known as the original GREY Poupon. While this particular form of mustard is much smoother and less grain than creole mustard, its creaminess is similar and as such makes an excellent textural replacement.

The taste of this Dijon mustard may be different than that of creole mustard, however, depending on which particular additives have been incorporated by the company.


1. Hagan, Jim Coleman and Candace. “The specifics on Creole mustard”.

2. W. Thomas Angers. (October 1985) Cajun Cuisine: Authentic Cajun Recipes from Louisiana’s Bayou Country, ISBN 978-0935619003

Dominic Peterson
Hey there! My name is Dominic but everyone calls me “Dom.” Food is a huge part of my life and allows me to share my foodie experiences with the world.