How to Use Up Any Amount of Mustard

September 27, 2016

Mustard is one of those fridge-door features that essentially becomes a part of the landscape: It almost feels like the jar will never, ever run out, like there might be some secret mustard spring very gradually replenishing it.

When you finally have just a modest slick of it left on the walls of the jar (or if you're just trying to hit the bottom), don't let it go to waste. Even a little bit of mustard provides round, spicy punchiness to whatever it's added to. Here are a few ideas for how to use it:

Photo by James Ransom
  • Make a vinaigrette directly in the mustard jar: Drizzle in oil, salt and pepper, a bit of honey, and shake like the Dickens—then pour over your salad.
  • Mash mustard into softened butter, refrigerate until firm, and then use as a compound butter. It would be killer on steak. Or on an egg sandwich, or smoked salmon toasts.
  • Toss just-roasted vegetables with mustard (thinned with a little olive oil) so that they absorb it while they cool. Brussels sprouts and broccoli especially love this treatment.
  • Combine shredded cheese with mayonnaise and mustard for a melty spread for cheese toasts and grilled cheese. (Or biscuit sandwiches.)
  • Make a mustardy sauce for mussels! This recipe sounds spiffy, and only takes about 20 minutes.
  • Add it to meat marinades.
  • Or spread mustard onto slices of tofu before pan-frying. (This is especially good with whole-grain mustard.)
  • Fold it into leftover cooked potatoes and cabbage and pan-fry it for a zipper version of bubble and squeak.
  • It's just as good in potato salad.
  • Add honey and you've got a quick honey mustard for dipping (or glazing chicken wings).

We originally ran this piece April 21, 2016. We're rerunning an updated version today.

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Where else do you incorporate mustard? And what else on your fridge door can't you seem to finish? Tell us in the comments.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • LadyR
  • Pisanella
  • Kaite
  • susan g
    susan g
  • Sean R
    Sean R
Writing and cooking in Brooklyn.


LadyR March 13, 2022
Here's another long comment but hopefully worth reading; if not just pass it by... these are my originals, some going back to mid 1970s.

Mustard Greens Salad Panzanella Italian Bread Style

Retrieve from your freezer a cup of my special leftover Christmas cake croutons. Sear the croutons on all sides in just a little unsalted butter noisette made using a compound butter coin from your frozen Coin Reserve. Perhaps choose a garlic compound butter coin.

Rest the crisped Christmas cake croutons on white paper towel. Deglaze the skillet with a quarter cup red wine vinegar. You could use white if that's all you have. Reduce and save to drizzle over salad when serving.

In a large salad bowl full of washed and dried mustard greens (or arugula) toss black olives, capers, tiny wine-marinated pearl onions (you can buy them at the deli or use your refrigerated pantry supply), pulled pieces of oil-marinated bottled artichokes, and fresh from the garden pitted beefsteak tomatoes, chopped in 1" pieces.

If in season you could add chopped seeded perfect green tomatoes. Add a pinch of my oven-roasted homemade golden garlic purée. If you have on hand add chopped bottled in oil sun-dried tomatoes.

Sprinkle with a little equal parts granulated sugar and kosher salt.

Split creamy Bocconcini balls and add to salad greens. If you like, crumple crisped pancetta into the mix.

When ready to eat toss with homemade mayonnaise mixed with a little of my homemade mustard sauce in the mayonnaise. Delight your tastebuds.


"Mustard Sauce Mayo"

To a cup of my homemade mayonnaise add 3 tablespoons of dijon, a tablespoon of sugar, a tablespoon of white wine vinegar or white Balsamic and a tablespoon of fresh dill or dried fresh dill from your pantry jar, or use LiteHouse freeze-dried fresh dill and add a grind of fresh peppercorns and a flutter of sea salt flakes. Whisk gently to combine.
You could add capers.

If you prefer, add 2 tablespoons of mustard powder or even use plain French's prepared mustard for a totally different mustard sauce. Dilute with a little half and half cream if you prefer a thinner sauce to drizzle over a whole lox platter just when serving.

Serve the mustard sauce in a glass dish alongside your lox roses on your charcuterie board, in a tester dish with an espresso spoon tucked in. Avoid serving mustard sauce in a silver dish. The sauce is acidic. But so delicious.

The mustard sauce mayo is excellent to serve as a dip with my Perfect Picnic Chicken Legs. Or alongside my Battered Deep-fried Vegetables Salad.

Maybe even serve with these melt in your mouth fish nuggets:

Or even offer with my personal Bitterballen:

If you enjoy fried or baked liver and onions, this Mustard Sauce offered in a tiny tasting dish on the side ups the flavour to an extra special treat.

If you serve my Chicken Liver Pâté as tapas, as crostini, a smear of this Mustard Sauce will attract special attention. Then drizzle with a few drops of your favourite hot sauce, maybe Tabasco, or a spritz of Bacardi LIME just when ready to eat. You could drizzle the LIME using an eye-dropper.

You might enjoy adding a scatter of crushed dry sage to my Mustard Sauce from your pantry jar, or add a sprinkle from your LiteHouse jar.

© Lady Ralston's Canadian Contessa Kitchen gets Saucy ~ Sauces, Aolies, Drizzles, Drops, and Puddles


Only when ready to eat, toss plenty of the crispy Christmas Cake Croutons into the Panzanella-like Mustard Greens salad.

Here's a differentiator: You can make croutons from many dried leftovers: try using my dried date bread or my Boston Brown Bread. You can also use dried leftover black olive baguette that dries out so quickly. Don't toss it in the trash. Use a sharp serrated knife to cut the baguette into large croutons. Freeze.

You can use any combination of fresh vegetables with the tomatoes and greens; maybe chopped chives and or green onion. Have you ever used garlic "scapes?"

The crispy croutons absorb the natural liquids and are a wonderful tasty addition to the salad.

Serve as a side dish to bring a taste of summer to your Autumn soups or even serve as a generous meal on its own.

© From Lady Ralston's Kitchen: It's Just a Salad ~ but it's no Ordinary Salad...

Pisanella September 10, 2017
I recently spread mustard over a pork tenderloin, rolled it it chopped sage and rosemary, seared it on all sides, transferred to a baking dish, roasted for 20 mins and served it thinly sliced and drizzled with the reduced juices and balsamic vinegar on a bed of rocket! Phew!
Kaite September 27, 2016
Use it in this amazing recipe:

I love mustard!!!!!
susan G. April 24, 2016
My mustard loving husband tends to abandon the old one(s) when a new one appears. I periodically consolidate the orphans and use it in most of the ways given.
Sean R. April 22, 2016
This article is perfection. I live down the street from the National Mustard Museum and could definitely be classified as a mustard hoarder....
I hoard bacon fat too and it's piling up quickly. I use it for frying the occasional hash and apple cider caramels in the fall. I'd love to hear how everybody else likes to use their bacon fat! Esp. non-baking applications.
AntoniaJames April 21, 2016
Kill two birds with one stone: Stir into the equally forlorn leftover spoonfuls of jam hogging valuable real estate in your fridge, and spread on grilled ham or turkey and cheese, or not-grilled for that matter.
Stir into split pea soup just before serving: take a ladle of soup out, stir the mustard into it, and then stir that back in.
Or, stir the mustard into sour cream or Greek yogurt, and stir that into split pea soup, or carrot soup, to brighten either up.
Or, stir into any kind of jam, add a splash of soy sauce and a splash of wine or lemon juice + some fresh herbs if you like, to glaze anything grilled.
Or, stir into pan sauces of a roast chicken or pork tenderloin with a splash of stock or wine.

Or put it in this sauce:

I could go on, but I'll stop here, to avoid the rude, snarky criticism to which I've been subjected on Food52 when posting detailed, informative answers intended only to be helpful. ;o)
Rachel April 21, 2016
antonia, your suggestion about split pea soup is interesting but why take out the ladle of soup, stir in the mustard and put it back? Why couldn't you just add a little directly to the soup and stir it in well?
AntoniaJames April 21, 2016
It blends into the soup better that way. Of course, you can also stir in a small amount to each bowl and let people stir it in themselves. This works better if stirring the mustard into yogurt or cream before dolloping on. ;o)
Sean R. April 22, 2016
Forget those bad apple comments; you always have great ideas, Antonia! It's obvious that the community here holds you in high regard. The mere thought of that glaze has me salivating....
Catherine April 21, 2016
These are all great ideas, but I never have the problem of an old jar that needs to be used up. I regularly go through a jar or two a month. :)