Celery seed is a spice with dark brown color, warm, bitter flavor, and earthy scent. These seeds have a long history of use in medicine and as a spice in Asian cuisine.
Today, they are common spice different cuisines for salads, dressings, marinades, soups, sauces, stews, and many other recipes.
Celery seeds come from the wild plant similar to celery only with a stronger taste. Therefore, this plant is good only for the seeds.
They can be found as whole seeds and grounded. Grounded seeds have a bitter flavor. They are used in smoothies and sauces because they can easily mix in the liquid.
However, if you want stronger and better flavor buy whole seeds and blend them at home just before use. Celery seeds have a similar taste to celery, so they can be used wherever you need fresh celery in your dish.
For barbecue sauce, homemade ketchup, marinades, you can even use them as a pickling spice. Whole celery seeds are used in dressings, dry rubs, or pickling.
However, what if you don’t have celery seeds on hand? Can you substitute celery seeds? Yes. It’s easy to replace celery seeds with celery leaves and stalk, celery salt, dried celery, dill, or some of the following substitutes.
Celery Seed Substitutes
Celery seeds are small but rich in calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, manganese, and phosphorus. Thus, these seeds can improve your health. Or help you with some health conditions.
If you are allergic to celery, you don’t like its taste, or don’t have it at home I can suggest you some good substitutes. Which one you are going to use depends on that what you want to achieve.
1. Celery leaves and stalk
Fresh celery is the best substitute for celery seeds. The leaves and stalks have a similar flavor to celery seeds. However, because the seeds have a stronger flavor you will have to use more of the leaves and stalks.
If you want to use them in sauces and soups you will have to chop them into small pieces, to make them less noticeable. As a substitute use 6 tablespoons of chopped leaves and stalks for 1 tablespoon of celery seeds.
2. Celery salt
Celery salt is made from grounded celery seeds, which makes it a good substitute for it. You can use it in salads, stews, vegetables, potatoes, and other dishes.
For one teaspoon of celery seeds use two teaspoons of salt. Have in mind that when you are using celery salt you should reduce another additional salt in the dish.
3. Dried celery
Dried celery is made of chopped dehydrated celery leaves and stalks. It can be added to soups, sauces, salads, or stir-fries. It offers a similar flavor as the seeds and has a stronger flavor than a fresh one.
Dill herb is in the same family with parsley and celery. It has a sweet, fresh, grassy flavor. It has a unique taste. You can use it fresh as a garnish, in salads, soups, dressings, and for flavoring fermented milk. It pairs well with beans, cabbage, and peas. For cooked dishes, add it at the end because it will lose flavor if cooked longer.
5. Dill seeds
Dill seeds have a flat and oval shape, with light brown color. And they have a stronger but similar flavor to celery seeds, which makes them a good substitute.
These seeds are perfect for dressings, salads, soups, and other dishes. Use equal amounts as a substitute for celery seeds.
6. Caraway seeds
Caraway seeds are a very popular spice, similar to celery seeds. They are used in many dishes like soups, vegetables, curries, potatoes, and other dishes.
These seeds have a sharp bittersweet flavor with citrus, anise, and pepper scent. You can use one teaspoon of caraway seeds for one teaspoon of celery seeds.
Parsley is used as a garnish for soups, salads, or pasta. It has a fresh peppery taste, which can be a good substitute for the taste of celery seeds. Parsley is best to be used fresh because dried parsley doesn’t have a strong flavor.
Lovage is a herb that looks and tastes similar to celery. The leaves and stems are added to soups, stocks, stews, potato, or pork dishes for celery-like flavor. Lovage is a good celery seeds substitute as its a member of the parsley family.
9. Nigella seed
Nigella seed is a spice used in North African, Middle Eastern, and Indian cuisine. It’s known by other names like black cumin, black sesame seed, or black onion seed.
But it has nothing in common with them. Nigella seeds have a strong mixed flavor of oregano, onion, and black pepper. It’s used in vegetable dishes, curries, stir-fries, and pickles.
Ginger has a peppery and sweet aroma, with a unique taste. It is used in marinades, soups, curries, or stir-frys.
You can use it fresh, dried, preserved, pickled, candied, or powdered. It’s the perfect celery seeds substitute. Add some garlic for an even better taste.
Can you use celery instead of celery seed?
You can use celery instead of celery seed because they have similar tastes. Chop them in small pieces to make them less noticeable.
Is coriander the same as celery seed?
They’re not the same. But they both belong to the same family Apiaceae. Coriander goes well with onions, beef, chicken, pork, garlic, ginger, and many other ingredients.
Can I use celery salt instead of celery seed?
You can use celery salt instead of celery seed because celery salt is made from grounded celery seeds. Only be careful with adding additional salt to the dish.
What does celery seed taste like?
Celery seeds have a warm, strong, and bitter taste. It’s better to use whole seeds because when they are grounded they taste more bitter.
You can use celery seeds in dishes that need celery flavor, like soups, stocks, dressings, meatloaf, or pickling. When they are used for pickling they add a very unique flavor to salty and sour brines, especially for cucumber pickles.
Celery seeds can be used when you are preparing meat for barbecue, you can use them in your meat rub, or the barbecue sauce. They go well with potato salad too, adding refreshing warm bittersweetness and helps to lighten up the dish.
It’s better to use whole celery seeds because grounded tastes more bitter than the whole. If you want to use some other spice as a substitute for celery seeds, in those mentioned above you will find ones with similar or even better flavor than celery seeds on their own.
Choose between celery salt, fresh celery, fresh dill, dill seeds, caraway seeds or simply use the one that works best for you.
Experiment with the flavors until you reach the perfect flavor you want. To taste the celery seeds flavor in dishes where you didn’t add it at all that’s a challenge.