© 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.There are very few studies in the literature on the usage of CKD in cementitious systems. This article presents the laboratory study results on the influence of cement kiln dust (CKD) on the properties of mortar made with cement kiln dust and Portland cement. The article aims to prevent CKD’s (known as a hazardous waste product) damage to nature by utilizing CKD in cementitious systems and contributing to sustainability by reducing cement amount in the cementitious system. For this purpose, 5%, 10%, 15%, and 20% of CKD were replaced with cement and binary cementitious systems were formed. For all mortar mixes, the water/binder ratio was kept constant at 0.5, and the sand/binder ratio was 3. Workability, dry unit weight, water absorption ratio and porosity, flexural strength, compressive strength, abrasion, carbonation, and high-temperature resistance tests were performed on the mortar specimens. Based on the results of laboratory work, it was observed that the replacement of CKD with cement reduces the workability of fresh mortar. Compressive and flexural strengths of CKD-added mixtures were found to be equivalent or insignificantly lower than that of the control sample. The addition of CKD had a negligible effect on water absorption and porosity of samples. Besides, the residual compressive strength determined after the elevated temperature test for the sample made with CKD were found to be equivalent or higher compared to the control sample. Present laboratory studies showed that utilization of CKD in cementitious mortar system is feasible in terms of testing conducted.