5 Ingredients or Fewer

Honey Mustard

December 16, 2013
4 Ratings
  • Makes 1 1/2 cups
Author Notes

There was a time in my life—we'll call it my early early twenties—when the only thing that could cure a bad day, or make a great day better, was a trip to the Zabar's mustard section. Like an artist gets lost in a painting, I'd get lost in the Dijons, the honeys, and the weirder flavors like fig and walnut.

Over time, and with the help of a membership to the National Mustard Museum's Mustard of the Month Club, I accumulated more than 80 jars. I'd often spread four types onto one sandwich, and occasionally just eat it with a spoon.

It was an obsession of the not-too-unhealthy type; Google "health benefits of mustard" and you'll get a day's worth of reading. Eventually, though, I started to pick favorites. Mustard Girl's Sweet and Spicy Honey, Amora's Dijon, Fox's Sweet and Spicy Balsamic Garlic, and SchoolHouse Kitchen's Sweet, Smooth, and Hot Mustard came out on top, and the rest faded into mustard oblivion of the loneliest sort. At least they had each other.

Today my mustard collection exists in a pared-down manner: only my favorites, and those with sentimental value or cool jars. I live very far from Zabar's now, so adding to my collection often requires making it from scratch.

Making mustard is quite easy, and fun because there are a million twists that you can put on it. By definition, mustard consists of mustard seed (I like yellow—brown and black seeds are stronger and more pungent) blended with a liquid (often vinegar). I like adding a pinch of salt, some kind of sweetener, and then cooking it down a bit to reduce the hotness.

What follows is a very basic honey mustard recipe, but I encourage you to experiment with different vinegars or other liquids; adding spices (I like curry!); and subbing out the honey for other sweeteners like molasses, sugar, or maple syrup. The kitchen is your mustardy oyster! Just make sure you've got enough hot dogs on hand. —molly yeh

What You'll Need
  • 1 cup ground yellow mustard seed
  • 2/3 cup white vinegar for a thicker consistency, or more (up to a cup) if you'd like a thinner consistency
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 pinch salt
  1. Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and cook over medium to medium-low heat for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring often, until it thickens. Remove from heat, let it cool, and then store in an airtight container. You can store it at room temperature or in the fridge. The fridge will preserve its hotness, while storing it at room temperature will let it mellow out. Many people like to let it sit for a night before eating it because the flavors will develop more. I usually don't have that patience, but it's up to you.
  2. Again, feel free to experiment with different ingredients. Red wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, and also straight-up wine will do the trick in the place of white vinegar. You can also add a bit of hard booze. Sweeteners like molasses, maple syrup, jam, sugar, or a combination are fun as well. A bit of turmeric will yield a bright yellow color and even more health benefits. And spices like curry, paprika, or even wasabi powder are super tasty to add. Happy Mustarding!

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Jayeno
  • Ann-Marie D. Nguyen-Shavurova
    Ann-Marie D. Nguyen-Shavurova
  • molly yeh
    molly yeh
  • Bonita
molly yeh recently moved from brooklyn to a farm outside of grand forks, north dakota, where her husband is a fifth generation farmer. she writes the blog my name is yeh.

9 Reviews

Bonita October 11, 2021
I appreciate your goodness of mustard.
As I only purchase seeds to prep my own seasonings.
I use mustard seeds & NEVER mustard. I don’t like the smell.
Now, I’m encouraged & excited to make my own mustard.
Thanks again ♥️❤️‍🩹
Sharon June 4, 2015
How do you grind the mustard seeds? I am so excited to find this recipe. Cannot wait to try it.
Jayeno October 11, 2021
I have a spice grinder which I use for many spices, but for this I use a mortar and pestle. It is very easy to over grind in an electric grinder
Jayeno October 22, 2014
A wonderful alternative to purchasing Honey Mustard. The all-natural brands are wicked expensive. I prefer to make my own. This is very, very good.
Shibani September 17, 2014
My mustard came out bitter. I added more honey but the bitterness is not going away! Help!
Jayeno October 11, 2021
How old were your mustard seeds? I buy many of my spices from Penzeys Spices. They are online and always fresh.
Rkelly3042 December 31, 2013
My first batch of mustard is a bit too thick. Tried cooking it for just 1 minute and at very low flame-looks better, not sure what I did wrong?
molly Y. January 1, 2014
Hi Rkelly! I suppose I like my mustard a bit on the thicker side, but it should still be spreadable. I would recommend adding a bit more vinegar at the beginning until it is slightly thinner than you want it to be and then cooking it down. I hope this works!
Ann-Marie D. December 26, 2013
Homemade is the best and seriously so easy! Everyone should make their own!