Celery Substitute – What Alternatives for Celery Can I Use?

Published Categorized as Ingredients, Journal

Celery is beneficial for our savory dishes for its crunchy texture and fresh taste. Using celery in our cooking also comes along with some great health benefits. Unfortunately you may have either run out of celery or even be allergic and need to find a good celery substitute. 

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In this article we will explore the best celery substitutes and what you should use them for.

Substitute For Celery

What is a good substitute for celery? There are three things you need to consider when looking for a good substitute for celery.

The first is crunch. Celery is naturally very crunchy and has a tough texture until cooked. The second is color. If you want to make your savory meal look perfect it is best to match the color of the missing celery with your substitute. The last consideration when finding a good celery substitute is flavor and this one is super important!

Here are our top suggestions for a good celery substitute to match celery’s texture and crunch:

  • Cauliflower
  • Cucumber
  • Chopped Red or Green Cabbage
  • Jicama
  • Celery seeds
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Raw Red Onion
  • Raw White Onion
  • Spring Onion
  • Water Chestnuts

Here are our top suggestions for a good celery substitute to match celery’s bright green color:

  • Broccoli
  • Asparagus
  • Cucumber
  • Green apple
  • Jicama
  • Chopped Green Cabbage
  • Spinach
  • Green beans
  • Brussels Sprouts

Here are our top suggestions for a good celery substitute to match celery’s unique taste:

  • Fennel
  • green onions
  • Scallions
  • Leek
  • Green Bell pepper
  • Fresh chives
Massive leeks

What Vegetable Is Equivalent To Celery?

There are lots of vegetables that are very similar to celery. But the closest equivalent we can think of is jicama.

Jicama is a Mexican vegetable that looks very similar to celery both in color and texture. Jicama has been described to have a crunchy texture, similar to a turnip but have a sweeter flavor than celery.

Can I Use Celery Seed In Place Of Celery?

Celery seeds have a very similar taste to celery but when used in cooking can be a lot stronger than fresh celery. Celery seeds can be found as a whole seed or ground up and are known as a spice. When left whole, celery seeds are the size of bell pepper seeds and brown in color. 

How much celery seed to substitute for celery? Celery seeds can be quite bitter and provide a bit of an earth flavor compared to fresh celery meaning you will not need as many celery seeds as you would fresh celery. It is to reduce the amount of celery seed you use, therefore for example if you need 1 cup of fresh celery, use half a cup of celery seeds.

Can I Use Celery Salt In Place Of Celery?

You may be thinking, what is celery salt? Celery salt is a powdered version of salt that is made from a mixture of ground celery seeds and salt. Celery salt is a great substitute in taste when you can not use fresh celery. It is a lot stronger in flavor than fresh celery and should be used in small amounts

McCormick Culinary Celery Salt, 30 oz
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Celery salt can be bought from a store or made at home. You can make your own celery salt at home by grinding two parts of normal salt to one part of the celery seed and storing at room temperature.

little celery plant

What Can I Use Instead Of Celery In Potato Salad?

If you are wanting to replace celery in your potato salad we would recommend a substitute that has a nutty flavor, as this can really compliment the potatoes.

Using a vegetable like jicama will give a mild nutty flavor to your potato salad while also providing a crispy texture. Jicama is also full of health benefits as it has a high content of vitamins and minerals, making it a great health match to celery.

Best Celery Substitute for Bolognese

When picking a substitute for a Bolognese, you will need to pick an ingredient that can soften to the same amount as celery when cooked within a sauce.

Using fennel stalk is a great substitute when cooking a Bolognese as it will provide a slightly herbier flavor but remain a similar texture to celery with your sauce.  If you use fennel stalk, you may want to add a little garlic to complement. 

Best Celery Substitute for Stuffing

When replacing celery in a stuffing recipe, your main corner will be the flavor. Adding with red onions or spring onions can be unnoticable in your stuffing once they are cooked. Red onions and spring onions are both milder versions of onions and will add a slightly bitter flavor to your stuffing.

Best Celery Substitute In Mirepoix

Carrots are the best replacement for celery in mirepoix.

Carrots can add a crunch but can also soften when cooked, just like celery and are very easy to cut and dice! If you are wanting to use carrots instead of celery in mirepoix then use double the amount of carrot than you would celery.

Best Celery Substitute For Soup

Adding fennel to your soup can be a fantastic substitute to replace missing celery in your recipe. Fennel may not taste overly similar to celery but it can have a similar texture, especially when cooked within soups. If you are using fennel instead of celery in your soup, it is best to use actually fennel stems rather than fennel herb.

Best Celery Substitute In Salad

If you are looking to replace celery in your sals, you are most likely looking for an ingredient that can provide a crunch. In our opinion, the best celery substitute for salads is green apple. Green apples can add a sweet touch to your salad while also adding a texture change to your normal lettuce salad.

chopped up greens with celery

Best Celery Substitute In Tuna Salad

If you are wanting a celery substitute to use in your tune sals, green onion is one of the best options. Green onion when eaten raw can provide a mild flavor similar to celery when it is cooked. Green onions will not provide the same bitterness flavor but can add a crunch to your tune salad.

Best Celery Substitute In Chicken Salad

If you are making a chicken salad and need a replacement for celery we would recommend using leek.

Leek is very similar to celery with both vegetables sharing the same color and same crunch. Leek has a more subtle flavor when compared to celery making it a perfect pairing for a chicken salad. It is best to use a celery substitute that will not overpower your chicken salad.

On top of these perks. Both leek and celery have huge health benefits. Leek Is rich in antioxidants and consuming leek regularly can have anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, and anticancer properties.

Best Celery Substitute for Celery Seed

Celery seeds taste like concentrated celery and can have a very earthy and grassy flavor. Mainly recipes use celery seeds as it provides a very strong flavor for very little ingredient needed. Celery seeds are commonly used in sauces or salads.

 If you are needing to replace celery seed in your recipe here is our top picks of celery seed substitute:

  • Celery Salt
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Dried Celery
  • Dill Seeds
  • Fennel Seeds
  • Caraway Seeds

What Can I Substitute For Celery In A Recipe

There are plenty of ingredients you can subtitle celery for especially when cooking up savory dishes. Out of all the ingredients we have picked our favorite celery substitutes for you to use when cooking. 

Here is why we love these top four favorite celery subtitles and why you should try them:

  • The winner is asparagus: Asparagus is our favorite choice when looking for a substitute for celery. Not only does asparagus share the same color as celery it also shares the same crunch. Both asparagus and celery soften completely when cooked and provide a slightly stringy texture. When cooking asparagus can taste slightly bitter, just like celery therefore making it a pretty perfect celery match.
  • Second place is cucumber: Cucumber is our runner up when it comes to finding the best celery substitute. Just like celery, cucumber shares the same bright green color while also containing a lot of water content. Cucumber does have a higher water content when compared to celery and this can sometimes alter your cooking. Although there are some differences between celery and cucumber, cucumber can still offer the same crunch when raw and soften when cooked.
  • Third place is green apple: Green apple is our third favorite choice for using as a substitute for celery. Firstly, green apples share a lot of similarities with celery. Both green apple and celery have the same color skin and have a similar crunch when raw. The difference green apple will create to your cooking is it will provide a much sweeter flavor than celery when cooked. Green apple will also not soften like celery will when it is cooked as it will turn slightly mushy in texture.
  • Fourth is broccoli: Our fourth choice when comparing our favorite celery subtitles is the one and only broccoli. Now when we say broccoli we actually mean broccoli stems. Just like all the other celery substitutes, broccoli shared the same color and crunch as celery when raw. Broccoli can soften when steam cooked to match celery texture in a sauce of savory dish. Broccoli will also provide a different flavor to your dish when compared to celery. It also has a much milder and blander taste than the bitter flavor celery can produce. Even though there is a different taste, broccoli is still worth using as a celery substitute.

FAQs

Can I Omit Celery?

When asking if you can omit celery, if you mean can you leave celery out of a recipe then the answer is yes. It is easy to replace celery as there are plenty of celery substitutes that will work within your recipe. When asking if you can omit celery and you mean, can you leave celery out of the fridge, this is a little tricker. 
Celery is best stored in the fridge as the cool temperature will keep it nice and crisp for longer. Although, you can keep celery wrapped up in aluminum foil and leave at room temperature for up to a week and it will remain at top quality.

Does Celery Add Flavor?

Celery when cooked or added to a sauce can provide a strong flavor to the dish. This flavor can taste like a mixture of citrus, nutty and provide a bitter taste. The bitter taste that celery provides can be described as giving an earthy flavor to the food.

Choose Your Celery Substitute Carefully

There are lots of ingredients that you can use to replace celery which will tick all the boxes for texture, color and taste but it is best to look at how you would use celery to pick your perfect substitute. If you are looking to replace your celery in its raw form then choosing a substitute which has a good crunch will be vital. If you are looking to replace celery when  it is cooked, choosing an ingredient that will soften in a similar way to celery would be your best bet. 

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By Anna

Hey, I’m Anna; writer, editor and amateur cook extraordinaire! Food has been my life and my passion for the most of my life – it’s crazy to think I didn’t pursue a career in cooking. I’m obsessed! However, keeping cooking as an obsessive hobby has worked for me – my passion grows as the years pass by – maybe I wouldn’t say the same if it was also my day job! I hope you find cooking inspiration, entertainment and “stop and think interesting tid-bits” throughout my writing – and I’d love to hear from you if you’ve got anything you want to share. Food feeds the soul – so get eating!

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