How to Make Homemade Prepared Horseradish

CondimentHow ToHorseradish

How to make homemade horseradish by grating horseradish root and adding vinegar.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Do you like horseradish?

I find that people either love it or hate it. Some people can’t resist it, and some people will leave the room if it’s on the table.

One bite of pungent prepared horseradish is enough to clear out anyone’s sinuses, right?

Horseradish is both easy to grow and easy to prepare!

Plant a section of root in a sunny part of your yard, make sure it gets some water, and soon you’ll have more horseradish than you can use.

horseradish plant in garden

A horseradish plant in the garden

If you don’t have access to a garden plant, you can often find the roots at markets such as Whole Foods.

Homemade prepared horseradish is about twice as strong as store-bought versions, and lasts about 3 to 4 weeks in the refrigerator.

Prepared Homemade Horseradish


How to Make Homemade Prepared Horseradish

  • Prep time: 10 minutes


  • 8-10-inch long piece of horseradish root
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • Pinch salt


1 Dig up or buy an 8-10 inch horseradish root: If you have access to a garden horseradish plant, use a sturdy shovel to dig up an 8-10-inch long tuber of horseradish. (You can't pull it up.)

The plant itself, once established, propagates with tubers, and is very hardy. (See Wikipedia on horseradish). Remove the leaves from the root and rinse the dirt off of the root.

2 Peel and chop: Use a vegetable peeler to peel the surface skin off of the tuber. Chop into pieces.

3 Grind in food processor with water, add vinegar, salt: Put into a food processor. Add a couple tablespoons of water. Process until well ground.

At this point be careful! A ground up fresh horseradish is many times as potent as freshly chopped onions and can really hurt your eyes if you get too close. Keep at arms length away, and work in a well ventilated room.

process horseradish in food processor

Strain out some of the water if the mixture is too liquidy. Add a tablespoon of white vinegar and a pinch of salt to the mixture. Pulse to combine.

Note that the vinegar will stabilize the level of hotness of the ground horseradish, so do not wait too long to add it to the mixture.

4 Transfer to jar: Using a rubber spatula, carefully transfer the grated horseradish to a jar. It will keep for 3 to 4 weeks in the refrigerator.

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Fresh Wasabi (not the same as horseradish)

How to Prepare Horseradish

Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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109 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Kristy

    It lasts a lot longer then that, just looses a bit of heat. I only do the home grown horseradish and vinegar in small food processor. The big one doesn’t like to do a small amount.

  2. Rob p

    Dug up today 6 Oct in little old England great recipe great flavor daughter great fan of horseradish really impressed many thanks.


  3. Gretchen Colonius

    Love horseradish. And fresh from the garden is the best. A mention of the spreading nature of the beast might be helpful. Love to see this year’s picture of your horseradish crop…my guess is that it is eclipsing your woodpile! Mine is happily taking over my herb bed….oops.


  4. Scott Garey

    1. If possible wait to harvest until you have a hard freeze.
    2. Do not soak the root for more than a hour when cleaning the root.
    3. When peeling and cleaning the root make sure to get rid of all pieces which are discolored. Leave only white pieces, otherwise you will get a “woody” taste.
    4. Advise to use hand and eye protection for the whole process, the act of peeling 4 lbs of just 4 lbs left my hands in pain.
    5. Adding water while grinding will diminish the “heat.” If the root is especially dry that is a sign that it has been harvested for an extended time and the oils will have been evaporating and much less “heat.”
    6. After grinding the root wait for 10 to 20 minutes before adding vinegar, this will make for a stronger flavor. Using sugar will give a milder taste, but it is not a required component for the recipe.
    7. Refrigeration instead of canning is best. Air and horseradish will cause rust, use glass, crramic, or “dedicated” plastic containers.

  5. Robert Hill

    Excellent recipe and very understandable.

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