Celery is a vegetable that can be found in many cuisines across the world. It is usually used in soup, but it can also be eaten raw with dips or pickles.
Many people love and enjoy eating celery, however, some don’t because of the taste or texture. Moreover, not everyone has celery readily available to them all of the time and sometimes we just don’t feel like eating it!
Fortunately, there are plenty of alternatives you can use in its place. This article will explore 11 of the best celery substitutes for when you don’t have this leafy green vegetable around!
Some of the best substitutes for celery are green onion, fennel, bok choy, cucumber, celery seed, jicama, carrots, etc.
Continue scrolling for the complete list and substitution instructions.
- What is Celery?
- 11 Best Celery Substitutes
- What Does Celery Taste Like?
- How to Substitute Celery in Soup?
- Can I Use Celery Seed in Place of Celery?
- What Can I Replace Celery with in a Juice?
- How Much Celery Seed Equals a Cup of Celery?
- Tips for Buying Celery
- Final Words
What is Celery?
Celery is a vegetable that can be found in many cuisines across the world.
It is part of the parsley family, which means it has a slightly nutty flavor. However, celery tends to be more bitter than carrots and parsley because of the minerals in it such as calcium, iron, manganese, etc.
Therefore some people don’t like eating it straight up or by itself.
Celery is often used in soup, especially minestrone soup. This vegetable can also be eaten raw with dips or pickles.
It is a good source of potassium, fibers, and vitamins A and C. Moreover, Celery is a low-cal, low-carb veggie, which makes it an ideal diet food.
Its crunchy texture and unique flavor make it difficult to replace sometimes, however, there are many substitutes that can be used if celery is not available at the moment.
11 Best Celery Substitutes
1. Green Onion
Green onion is a very mild-tasting vegetable, which makes it a good substitute for celery if you are looking for something with a bit more flavor.
You can use green onions as a topping on soups or salads because of their light and fresh taste. Other recipes that call for celery can also be replaced with green onions.
Fennel is another vegetable that can be used as a celery substitute in soups, salads, and dips.
It has a distinctive anise flavor which makes it stand out from celery. People love to eat fennel raw in small slices or diced up in salads (e.g., tuna or chicken salad).
3. Bok Choy
Bok choy is a mild-tasting vegetable that can be used as a celery substitute in soup recipes.
This vegetable has a crunchy texture and subtle flavor, which makes it a good choice for many people who cannot stand the taste or smell of traditional celery.
Carrots are another commonly used raw vegetable that can be eaten as a celery substitute.
It is usually cut into matchsticks and added to salads or on top of soups.
Many people also enjoy eating carrots with dip because of their pleasant taste and ease of chewing.
Cucumber is a fresh and crunchy vegetable that acts as a good celery substitute.
It does not have a strong flavor of its own, which makes it a great choice for dips or salads where the other ingredients will be able to stand out.
To use cucumber as a celery replacement, dice or slice them up into small cubes and add to salads or sliced up into rounds to be added on top of appetizers.
Also known as celery root, celeriac is an underground vegetable that can be eaten raw or cooked.
This vegetable has a strong celery flavor, which makes it suitable for recipes that require celery as an ingredient.
Celeriac root is also great when combined with butter and mashed up to go inside sandwiches or burgers.
7. Celery Seeds
Celery seeds are very different from vegetable celery because it comes from another plant altogether.
The flavor of this seed is also more intense than actual celery, so it should be used in moderation if you do not want your recipes to taste too strong.
Celery seeds can be added to seafood dishes or sautéed with other vegetables in order to enhance flavor.
Jicama is an underground tuber that looks like a brown-skinned potato. Once it has been peeled, this vegetable can be eaten raw or cooked much in the same way as celery, which makes it a good substitute for when celery is not available.
It can be added to salads, baked into chips, or eaten raw with dip. It is also commonly cooked in soups and stews if a celery substitute is required.
9. Water Chestnut
Water chestnuts are another underground tuber that acts as a good celery substitute because of their crunchy texture.
This vegetable can be used as an ingredient in salads, soups, and stews, but it is tasty enough to be enjoyed as a snack on its own as well.
Water chestnuts are also commonly added to stir-fry dishes or appetizers.
Parsley is a leafy green vegetable that has a very distinctive flavor, which makes it suitable for people who do not like the taste of celery.
It is usually eaten raw in salads or on top of appetizers because of its light and fresh taste. Parsley can also be added to soups because of its curly leaves that resemble the look of cooked celery.
11. Bell Peppers
In general, bell peppers are not vegetables that act as celery substitutes.
However, they work well with other vegetables to be used as a celery substitute because of the combination of flavors that it brings about.
Bell peppers have a very sweet taste and crunchy texture, which makes them popular for salads but also for appetizers and snacks.
If you are using bell peppers as a celery substitute, you can cut them up into cubes to be added to bacon or tuna salad.
However, it is also worth mentioning that bell peppers do carry their own flavor, so they should not be used in recipes where the flavor of the other ingredients would overwhelm them.
What Does Celery Taste Like?
Its flavor is best described as being fresh and pungent. In terms of texture, it is crunchy and crisp. It has a subtle sweetness to it as well.
Since we have already discussed how this vegetable can be eaten raw or cooked, it should come as no surprise that the taste of celery varies depending on how it is cooked.
When this vegetable is consumed raw, its flavor is more pronounced and not tempered by being boiled or sauteed with other ingredients.
However, cooking celery will reduce its natural water content and concentrate the flavor, which makes it taste more intense.
If you want to use celery as a substitute for cooked recipes that require celery, then we recommend that you saute it with other vegetables like carrots and onions.
How to Substitute Celery in Soup?
If you want to make a soup but celery is not available, you can use strong-flavored vegetables such as carrots and onions instead.
When substituting celery for these vegetables, we recommend that you saute them first. This will help concentrate their flavor so that they taste more like celery when combined with your soup.
Can I Use Celery Seed in Place of Celery?
As we discussed earlier, celery seed can be used as a good substitute for celery because of the intensity and pungency that it brings to recipes.
What Can I Replace Celery with in a Juice?
We recommend that you use cucumber as a celery substitute for fruit juice recipes because of its refreshing yet light flavor.
How Much Celery Seed Equals a Cup of Celery?
As we can see, there is no simple answer to this question because the size and water content of celery vary so much.
Therefore, celery seed can be considered as a general substitute for celery if you do not have access to fresh celery.
Use ½ teaspoon of Ground Celery Seed for 2 tablespoons minced celery tops.
Tips for Buying Celery
If you’re in the market buying celery, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Buy celery that has green leaves and firm, crisp stalks.
- Avoid celery that has wilted leaves or is flimsy in texture. These signs indicate that the vegetable is old and will taste bitter when cooked. Fresh stalks should snap easily when bent.
- Don’t store them in the fridge. Celery will become soft when it is chilled or iced. Instead, store them in a cool and dry place such as the pantry for 2-3 days.
How do you feel about celery substitutes? Have you ever tried any of these vegetables as a celery substitute before? Share your experiences and thoughts with us by leaving a comment below!