Want to make delicious soup, stew, salad, or sauce with unique flavor and crunchiness? Use celery. Celery is the number one ingredient in almost every cuisine. It comes from the same family as carrots and parsley, with long pale green stalks, which tapers into leaves at the top.
Celery has a mild earthy and peppery flavor, with a crunchy texture. It can be eaten raw as a healthy snack, pickled, in soups, stews, sauteed, baked, or in main dishes.
There are many well-known dishes made with celery-like, French base Mirepoix (celery, onion, carrot),” Holy Trinity”(celery, onion, bell pepper), Battuto/Soffritto (celery, onion, carrot, and herbs), and many others.
All in one celery is a very important vegetable in every kitchen. However, if you don’t like its taste or don’t have it in your home you can use other veggies.
The best substitutes for celery are fennel, celery root, bok choy, Carrots, Celery seeds or some of the next substitutes.
Maybe the flavor is not going to be the same, because every vegetable has its unique taste, but you can try and experiment for the best results. Now let’s see some other vegetables you can use as a celery substitute, to improve the flavor of your dishes.
Now, let’s take a look at the best substitutes for celery and learn how to use them properly.
Fennel has a similar texture as celery, but a stronger taste. It can be used as a substitute in soups, stews, and other cooked dishes. When the fennel cooks it gets a milder taste similar to celery.
2. Celeriac (celery root)
Celeriac is a root vegetable close to celery. It has a stronger earthy taste than celery and it can be used in dishes like soups, stews, and sauces. It can be used raw but you will have to slice extra thin slices.
3. Bok choy
Bok Choy is also known as Chinese cabbage is a vegetable used in Asian cuisine. It has a similar texture as celery, rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber so it can be used as a substitute.
Bok Choy leaves feature a spinach-like mild bitter taste and white crunchy stalks. It can be eaten raw, or in soups, stews, stir-frys, or steamed.
Carrots are one of the substitutes for celery. They have a crunchy texture same as celery, but the taste is sweet and a little different. Carrots are rich in calcium, vitamin K, vitamin A, and beta carotene therefore they are good for your health.
They can be used in soups, stews, or pasta sauces, but also you can eat them raw just like you eat celery stalks.
5. Celery seeds
Celery seeds are spices that can be found grounded or whole. They are used in sauces, salads, stews, and dressings. Celery seeds have a similar taste to celery. However, they are a little bitter with an earthy flavor. When you are using them as a substitute for celery use a smaller amount because of their stronger flavor.
6. Celery salt
Celery salt is made from celery grounded seeds and salt. It can be used in pasta sauces, stews, salads, and tomato soups. You should only be careful not to add too much salt to the dish.
Jicama is a Mexican vegetable with a mild nutty flavor and crispy texture. It’s rich in vitamins and minerals same as celery. Jicama is usually eaten raw. However, if you want to cook it do it for a short period because it will lose its crunchiness. The leaves, stems, and flowers of this veggie are toxic only the root is edible.
Cardoon is a leaf steam veggie, similar to celery but with bigger leaves and a nutty bitter taste. Thus, it should be soaked in salty water before cooking. Cardoon is a good substitute for celery in cooked recipes, but you should cook it longer.
9. Water chestnut
Water chestnut is a plant that grows underwater in Southeast Asia, Africa, and Australia. It has a sweet-tart flavor something between coconut and apple. You can use it in salads, stir-fries, grilled, fried, or sauteed.
Cucumber is the perfect substitute for celery in salads, dressings, or a dip. They are crunchy and refreshing same as celery which makes them a good substitute when crunchiness is needed.
Cucumbers have sweet and sour flavors depending on how fresh they are. Therefore, you can use them whenever you need a fresh crunchy vegetable.
Parsley is similar to celery but it has a different taste that is lighter and stronger. Use it less than celery because it has a strong taste. Parsley is perfect for different soups, sauces, mixed with ground meat, or in vegetables.
Onions are vegetables that will give flavor to your dish. There are different types of onions that work great as a celery substitute. You just have to find what is your favorite. Onions have a strong and rich taste and they go well with carrots and celery.
13. Bell peppers
Bell peppers are a very good celery substitute in salads, meat stews, or for a saute with onions and carrots as a base for meat recipes. Green bell peppers have the closest flavor to celery.
How to Substitute Celery
There are many substitutes for different dishes. Which one you are going to use depends on what you want to achieve: texture, flavor, seasoning, or you need it as a green vegetable substitute.
When you are cooking soups, stews, or sauces texture is essential. As a substitute for celery, you can use fennel, carrots, garlic, onion, shallots, leeks, scallions, or bell peppers. Maybe the texture will not be the same but it will be similar.
Celery has a unique flavor. You can use vegetables like cucumber, apple, cabbage, water chestnuts, jicama, kale, radish, or cauliflower, as a substitute for celery to reach the taste you want.
If you don’t have celery as a seasoning use: black pepper, dill seed, onion powder, garlic powder, parsley, cilantro, white pepper, or smoked paprika.
Bok choy, broccoli, asparagus, spinach, green beans, kale, arugula, zucchini, brussels sprouts, or lettuce is often used as a celery substitute. There are also 2 celery–based spices that can be used as a celery substitute, celery salt, and celery seed.
Celery seed is made of the seeds of wild celery which is related to ordinary celery only with a stronger taste. It’s used in sauces, salads, dressings, and dry rubs.
Celery salt is a spice made with salt and grounded celery seed. It’s used in salads, pork roast, tomato soups, rice, and stews.
Celery Substitute in Soup
If you are making a soup you can use fennel, carrots, onion, or garlic. Use ½ cup of these vegetables chopped for each stalk of celery.
Celery Substitute in Stuffing
Some of the substitutes for celery in stuffing are fennel stalks, celery seeds, or celery salt.
One thing you should keep in mind is that there are different substitutes for different dishes. Here are some things you should be careful about when you are buying fresh celery.
- Always buy celery that has green, strong upstanding stalks. Fresh stalks should snap when you pull them.
- Leaves should be crispy with green color.
- You should chop celery just before cooking because if it stayed too long it will lose nutrients.
- If you steam celery it will bring back its flavor and nutrients.
- Use the leaves because they have calcium, potassium, and vitamin C.
- Don’t store them for more than 1-2 days after buying
Can you substitute cucumber for celery?
Cucumber has a crunchy texture, so it’s an excellent substitute for celery, but only in salads, dressings, or dips.
What vegetable is like celery?
Cardoon is like celery. However, you should cook it longer than celery before eating.
Can I use parsley instead of celery?
You can use parsley instead of celery, but in a smaller amount because of its stronger taste.
Can I use celery seed in place of celery?
Yes, you can use celery seed in place of celery,1/2 of ground celery seed for 2 tablespoons minced celery.
Celery is a vegetable that you can eat in soups, stir-fries, steamed, baked, raw, or any other dishes you like. If you like it use it. But if you don’t have it at home you can always use some of these substitutes.