What Is Whole Grain Mustard? (All You Need To Know)

Mustard is a condiment of great variety. Whether you’re seeing them on a grocery shelf or in a recipe book, you’ll come across different types of mustard you’re unfamiliar with.

Perhaps of all these types, you want to know what whole grain mustard is. I looked into it so you won’t have to. Here’s all you need to know!

What Is Whole Grain Mustard?

Whole grain mustard is roughly crushed or whole mustard seeds mixed with other ingredients just enough to make a paste. Brown mustard seeds are the best choice for whole grain mustard but yellow mustard seeds can be used as well. This paste is used for a variety of dishes as it is or mixed into sauces and dressings. 

So what makes whole grain mustard different from any other type of mustard? Keep reading to find out!

What Are The Ingredients Of Whole Grain Mustard?

Whole grain mustard consists of mustard seeds that are left whole, white vinegar, and brown sugar. Some recipes add yellow mustard to the mix but that is entirely dependent on preference.

The ingredients are sometimes substituted for another, depending on the manufacturer, brand, or the home cooks. Brown sugar may be substituted for honey and white vinegar for apple cider.

As long as the base flavor and the original integrity of the mustard flavor are kept, you can put any ingredient you prefer to replace the traditional ingredients.

What Does Whole Grain Mustard Look Like?

Whole grain mustard is easy to spot as the mustard seeds blended into it are still visible. This type of mustard will look coarse and have a slightly pasty texture to it.

If not left whole, mustard seeds in whole grain mustard are only slightly ground, just enough to still make the seeds the center of attention.

Whole grain mustard ranges in color from faded yellow to near brown if it is overpowered by the brown mustard seeds mixed into it.

What Does Whole Grain Mustard Taste Like?

Whole grain mustard is among the mildest of mustards in flavor. This is because the mustard seeds are left whole and not broken down.

Broken down mustard seeds release mustard oil which is the source of spiciness or heat. Since whole grain mustard has only partially ground seeds, the oil is not as potent.

As a result of this, whole grain mustard is widely used as a balancing factor in dishes with strong flavors. It gives the kick needed in dishes without overpowering the original flavors.

What Is Coarse Whole Grain Mustard?

Coarse whole grain mustard is when the seeds used in preparing whole grain mustard have been slightly ground.

The seeds are left visible and just slightly crushed in order to give the condiment its coarse-looking texture.

What Is Whole Grain Dijon Mustard?

What Is Whole Grain Mustard?

Whole grain Dijon mustard is a combination of traditional Dijon mustard with whole brown and yellow mustard seeds.

The result is mustard with a Dijon taste and a unique grainy texture that has become widely popular.

What Is Whole Grain Mustard Used For?

Whole grain mustard makes a great spread for sandwiches and hotdogs. It is also incorporated in dressings and vinaigrettes for salads.

Mixed in with sauces, whole grain mustard gives an extra kick to the flavor of an otherwise simple recipe.

Additionally, some people use whole grain mustard in cheese boards and charcuterie boards as a side or as a condiment as it balances out the saltiness of most cheeses.

Moreover, whole grain mustard can be used as dips for crackers, onion rings, and sausages because the flavor gives it an extra tang and spiciness.

Is Whole Grain Mustard Gluten-Free?

Because mustard is a plant, it is technically gluten-free. However, the same cannot always be said about the other ingredients used in whole grain mustard.

While the most basic ingredients used to make traditional mustard are all naturally gluten-free, it would be best to check the label.

What Are Substitutes For Whole Grain Mustard?

If whole grain mustard is not readily available and you want the overall spiciness and strong flavor in your dishes, there are a few great substitutes for it.

Horseradish and wasabi sauce can offer the same spiciness and pungent kick of whole ground mustard to any food you add them to.

Another alternative for whole grain mustard is any other type of mustard. This is probably your best bet, as most mustards have similar flavor profiles.

Yellow mustard, spicy brown mustard, Dijon mustard, and even mustard powder can be great replacements when whole grain mustard is not within reach.

How Do You Store Whole Grain Mustard?

Mustard has a very long shelf life as long as it is stored properly. But for maximum freshness, opened whole grain mustard must be refrigerated.

If the whole grain mustard is unopened, store the whole grain mustard like you would any other mustard in cool, dry places away from direct sunlight.

If you want to learn more about mustard, you can see our related posts on what prepared mustard is, what dry mustard is, and what mustard flour is.


Whole grain mustard is a mustard variety that is well-known for its texture which results from the mustard seeds being left whole or only partially ground.

Like other kinds of mustard, whole grain mustard offers the same flavor but is a bit milder than the rest. This makes it a great addition when balancing out strong flavors in dishes.

Additionally, whole grain mustard can be used for dressings, sauces, vinaigrettes, and even as a dip.

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