Does Horseradish Go Bad? (Shelf Life & Storage)

Does Horseradish Go Bad?

Horseradish is a spicy root vegetable that is from the mustard family. Other related vegetables include wasabi, broccoli, cabbage, and radish. It is often freshly grated or mixed into sauces that are used as condiments. Horseradish sauce is typically made with horseradish root, sour cream, mayonnaise, vinegar, salt, and pepper. The taste of horseradish is pungent and spicy, but distinct from the spice of chili peppers. The sensation of horseradish is less felt in your mouth and felt more in your sinuses, which could cause your eyes and nose to water. It is a versatile condiment that can be added to many different dishes for an intense flavor and spice. Whether you use horseradish often or not, you may be wondering what is its shelf life and if it goes bad.

Horseradish root and sauce can go bad if they are not stored properly. Fresh horseradish root can last in the pantry 1-2 weeks, and in the refrigerator 1-2 months. Horseradish sauce can last unopened in the pantry 2 months past its expiration date. Once opened, horseradish sauce lasts about 3-4 months in the refrigerator and may lose potency with time.

In this article, we will go over whether horseradish goes bad over time and discuss how to properly store it. We will then introduce some alternatives to horseradish in case you don’t have it on hand or you want to use something different in your recipe. Lets take a look!

Does Horseradish Go Bad Over Time?

Yes, horseradish root and sauce can go bad over time. Fresh horseradish root can last in the pantry for 1-2 weeks, and in the refrigerator for 1-2 months. It is best to refrigerate it as it will last much longer, but if you plan to use it within a few days of purchase, it can stay in the pantry.

Horseradish sauce can last unopened in the pantry for a long time, and even will retain quality around 2 months past the expiration date. Once it is opened, horseradish sauce can last about 3-4 months in the refrigerator in its original container and with the lid tightly closed. Make sure to refrigerate it, as it will start to go bad once it is opened. With time, it will lose its potency and may not retain its pungent and spicy taste as it had when it was first opened.

Does Horseradish Sauce Have Preservatives?

Yes. Some, but not all, commercially produced horseradish sauces contain preservatives to prolong shelf life. To avoid preservatives, check the labels to make sure they do not contain them or you can make your own homemade horseradish sauce (see recipes below).

How Can You Tell If Horseradish Has Gone Bad?

Horseradish root and sauce both can go bad, but the timing may be different. So how can you tell if it has gone bad?

How to tell if horseradish root has gone bad

  1. If there is visible mold, throw it away.
  2. If it feels soft or mushy, throw it away.
  3. If it smells bad or off in any way, throw it away.
  4. If it has any small black spots, but does not feel soft and mushy, and does not smell bad, you may be able to cut off those black spots and still use the horseradish root.

How to tell if horseradish sauce has gone bad

  1. If there is mold in the jar or on the lid, throw it away.
  2. If it smells bad or off in any way, throw it away.
  3. If the lid makes a popping sound as if it is releasing a lot of pressure, then that is a sign that gas has built up and the sauce is most likely spoiled. If this happens, throw it away.

How To Properly Store Horseradish

How to store fresh horseradish root

  1. Wrap the root in a bag with small holes for air circulation.
  2. Place the root in the vegetable drawer in the refrigerator.
  3. Use the root within 1-2 weeks, as it will be most fresh during this time period.
  4. If it is cut or grated, use within a few days as the flavor quickly deteriorates once it is cut.
  5. For longer storage time, store in the freezer. Peel and grate it, and then freeze in small portions such as in an ice cube tray for easy thawing. It can be frozen for about 6 months.

How to store horseradish sauce

  1. If horseradish sauce is unopened, store it in a cool and dry place away from sunlight and sources of heat such as a pantry or kitchen cabinet. It can be used up to around 2 months after expiration date.
  2. If it is opened, make sure to put the lid back on tightly.
  3. Always use clean cutlery and do not double dip if you are scooping out horseradish sauce from the container. It will prevent microbial contamination, which may cause it to spoil a lot sooner.
  4. Store it in the refrigerator for about 3-4 months.
  5. Make sure to check for mold, any discoloration, and changes in smell after this time.

Does Horseradish Go Bad After Opening?

Horseradish does start to go bad after opening, but if properly stored in the refrigerator with the lid tightly secured and with no cross contamination from using unclean cutlery, it will last 3-4 months. It may lose some of its potency during this time. Always check for changes in appearance such as mold, discoloration, as well as changes in smell during this time.

Can You Get Sick From Eating Old Horseradish?

Horseradish sauce can last a long time if it is stored properly. What is most likely to happen is it will lose its potency and become bland over time. While it may be safe to consume, it will not taste very good.

If horseradish was not properly stored, shows any signs of mold, smells bad, and the bottle made a popping sound when opening, it could make you sick. Mold can cause food poisoning with an upset stomach, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. In some cases, it could lead to more serious complications and even death depending on the individual and amount consumed.

Can You Make Your Own Horseradish Sauce?

Yes, you can make your own horseradish sauce. You can make one with dairy or dairy-free. Check out the recipes below.

Homemade Horseradish Sauce Recipe With Dairy


  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoon horseradish root
  • 2 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chives, finely chopped


  1. In a small mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients together.
  2. Serve right away or cover and refrigerate for about 2 weeks.

Dairy-Free Homemade Horseradish Sauce


  • 1 medium horseradish root
  • 1 ½ tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • ½ cup organic vegenaise (or other non-dairy mayonnaise)
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper


  1. Grate the horseradish root with a hand grater.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the grated horseradish, Dijon mustard, white wine vinegar, vegan mayonnaise, and pepper.
  3. Keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator and it will last about 1 week.

Does Homemade Horseradish Sauce Go Bad?

Yes, homemade horseradish sauce does go bad because it does not contain added preservatives as some store-bought varieties. It can last about 3-4 weeks in the refrigerator.

Alternatives To Horseradish

Primal Kitchen Organic Dijon Mustard

Primal Kitchen Organic Mustard Variety Pack, Dijon & Spicy Brown, Whole30 Approved, Certified Paleo, and Keto Certified, 12 Ounces, Pack of 2 For a very close alternative to horseradish sauce, look no further than Primal Kitchen Organic Dijon Mustard. It may not have some of that sinus-clearing spiciness, but it will not disappoint in flavor. It is different in color from horseradish sauce, but it is similar in texture with a creamy base.

It adds a pungent and spicy kick, but slightly milder than horseradish sauce. You might even like it more and be able to use it in more dishes with its milder taste. You can count on very simple ingredients and no added preservatives in this great option.

Eden Foods Wasabi Powder

Eden Foods Wasabi Powder -- 0.88 oz - 2 pc Another very close alternative to horseradish sauce is Eden Foods Wasabi Powder. Wasabi is known to be a condiment paired with sushi, but it doesn’t stop there. This wasabi powder just needs hot water to make it into a paste, and you can add it to salad dressings, mayos, marinades, and dips for a spicy kick.

It is great with sushi because it has a pungent, yet delicate flavor that brings out the flavor of fish. Wasabi is often referred to as Japanese horseradish because it is so closely related to the horseradish root.

K Pop! Foods Kimchi Mayo Sauce

KPOP Foods Kimchi Mayo Sauce. Bold and Zesty Spicy Mayo in Convenient Squeeze Bottle. Low Heat. Bold, tangy, and zesty, this K Pop! Foods Kimchi Mayo Sauce is another great creamy alternative to horseradish sauce. It is lower in heat than horseradish sauce, but still delivers a spicy and savory taste that can be enjoyed by people of all ages.

Korean chili peppers, garlic, lemon, and vinegar come together to create a truly delicious sauce that can go on everything such as sandwiches, wings, fries, and eggs.

ISH Premium Horseradish – Dairy-Free

Regular horseradish sauce usually contains dairy products such as sour cream or heavy cream. ISH Premium Horseradish is a dairy-free alternative with all natural ingredients and no preservatives. This horseradish sauce has a robust flavor and tastes good on everything including grilled salmon, roasted vegetables, burgers, mashed potatoes, or layered on crackers. There are 4 flavors of this horseradish sauce, which include garlic, beet, ginger, and citrus horseradish. All can be used in different ways and range from hot to spicy to sweet.

Related Questions

Does horseradish have any health benefits?

Horseradish root has been used worldwide for centuries not only in cooking, but also for its medicinal value. It has been found to have strong antioxidant properties that help fight free radicals in the body and reduces the risk for disease; it has antimicrobial and antiseptic properties as well. It has even been reported to be effective as a traditional antibiotic at treating acute sinus infections, bronchitis, and urinary tract infections when used in combination with nasturtium, which is another herb.

Does horseradish have dairy?

Fresh grated horseradish root does not contain dairy, but many creamy horseradish sauces do contain dairy because they are usually made with heavy cream or sour cream. If you want to avoid dairy when eating horseradish, look for dairy-free alternatives (see above) or make your own dairy-free horseradish sauce.

What are some foods that go well with horseradish?

Fresh horseradish or creamy horseradish sauce are often served with steak, prime rib, and fish in restaurants. It also goes well on roast beef sandwiches, burgers, deviled eggs, baked potatoes, oysters, and can even be added to Bloody Mary’s. Add it to sauces, dressings, and marinades for a spicy and zesty kick as well.

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Yana Nikitin

Yana is passionate about health and fitness. She strives for whole body health in soul, mind, and body. She is a wife and mom to two little kiddos and one fur baby named Colty. She lives on a farm and loves writing, gardening, and recreating classic recipes to make them healthier.

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