20 Best Celery Substitutes to Use in the Kitchen

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Looking for the best substitutes for celery? Maybe you don’t have it on hand when it’s needed or maybe you just don’t like it. Don’t fret! Find great replacements for celery in the following list.

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What Is Celery?

Celery is a green vegetable whose leaf stalks are commonly used in cooking. It has a high water content and a subtle, almost bitter taste that serves as a unique flavor base in many recipes. Celery is often used in soups and stews, alongside garlic to build up flavor. The fibers in celery stalks also add a bit of crunch to dishes. Celery seeds are used as a dried spice and adds great flavor to dishes such as macaroni or potato salad. Celery is rich in vitamin K, vitamin A, calcium and potassium.

21 Simple Celery Substitutes

1. Carrots

carrots as a substitute for celery.

Carrots make an excellent celery alternative in dishes that you would normally saute celery in as a flavor base, including soups, stews and stir-fries.

2. Fennel 

fennel as celery replacement.
Fresh fennel bulbs.

Fennel has a satisfying crunchy texture and fresh flavor not unlike fresh celery stalks. Fennel makes a great substitute in raw dishes like salads.

3. Fennel Seeds

fennel seeds as celery seed substitute.
Fennel seeds.

Fennel seeds make a great substitution for celery in dishes you would normally incorporate celery seeds into.

4. Green Beans

greens beans as celery alternative.
Freshly picked green beans.

When it come to dishes like soups and stir-fries, green beans can make a suitable substitution for celery where a bit of that green veggie taste is needed.

5. Bok Choy

Bok choy.

Bok choy has a similar bitter taste profile like celery making another great celery alternative. Use in both raw and cooked dishes as a celery replacement.

6. Jicama

jicama as celery alternative.
Sliced jicama.

Jicama has a nice crunch and refreshing nature like celery, making it a really good substitute for celery in stir fry dishes and salads.

7. Apple

chopped green apple instead of celery in dishes.
Chopped green apple.

You might wonder about this one, but a mild green apples makes an excellent celery substitute in everything from cooked dishes like soups and stews to salads and sauces.

8. Water Chestnut

fresh water chestnuts as celery replacement.
Water chestnuts.

Water chestnuts are a lot like celery in terms of crunch and their shared refreshing qualities. It makes a suitable alternative in both raw and cooked dishes.

9. Onion

onions instead of celery in cooking.

Making a soup or stew base or a vegetable stock and do not have celery on hand? Replace it with some chopped onion for a similar texture and bulk.

10. Celery Salt

celery salt instead of celery seeds.
Celery salt.

Celery salt is a seasoning made from a mix of salt and celery seeds, lovage or extracted oleoresins, making it a great substitute to use for celery or celery seeds in dishes that especially call for a celery flavor.

11. Napa Cabbage

napa cabbage as celery substitute.
Napa cabbage.

Napa cabbage is a type of Chinese cabbage with a similar crunchy texture as celery stalks. Use in both cooked or raw dishes for that fresh, green crunch.

12. Parsley

fresh parsley herb as celery alternative.
Fresh parsley.

Parsley is an herb with very similar qualities to celery leaves, making it a great alternative in a pinch. Use in dishes that call for a savory green flavor, like sauces and salads.

13. Bell Peppers

green bell pepper as celery replacement.
Chopped green bell pepper.

Bell peppers, especially green bell peppers, are refreshing and crunchy, not unlike celery stalks. Use as a celery substitute in both sautéed dishes and fresh dishes like salad.

14. Iceberg Lettuce

iceberg lettuce instead of celery.
Head of iceberg lettuce.

Iceberg lettuce certainly makes the list here as it has a very subtle flavor profile and crunchy texture reminiscent of celery. Use as a substitute in fresh, raw dishes.

15. Spinach

fresh spinach leaves as a celery replacement.
Fresh spinach leaves.

Spinach works well as a replacement for celery in dishes where that green vegetable flavor is needed. Swap the celery for spinach in soups, stews, stir-fries and savory baked dishes.

16. Kale

kale as celery alternative.

Kale has a nice texture and almost bitter green taste, not unlike celery stalks or leaves. Swap celery out for kale in both fresh and cooked dishes. If using the kale in raw dishes, be certain to massage it with a little lemon juice to soften and tenderize it prior to using it.

17. Arugula

arugula leaves instead of celery stalks.
Fresh arugula.

A handful of arugula makes a great celery substitute in cooked dishes like soups and stews, where a bit of green veggie flavor is called for.

18. Zucchini

zucchini instead of celery in cooked dishes.
Sliced zucchini squash.

Zucchini is green, and has a subtly bitter flavor and crunch, making it another excellent substitute for celery. It makes a great choice for cooked and baked dishes.

19. Dill Seeds

dill seeds instead of celery seeds.
Dill seeds.

Dill seeds are another great spice cabinet ingredient to have on hand when you do not have celery seeds for a dish.

20. Clover Sprouts

clover sprouts as suitable celery alternative.
Fresh clover sprouts.

Clover sprouts actually taste a lot like celery and this especially rings true when used in place of celery in raw or fresh dishes like salads and sauces.

21. Anise

anise seeds as celery seeds swap.

Anise seeds (or aniseed) are another great swap for celery seeds when that bitter flavor profile is needed. This alternative works well in both cooked and fresh dishes.

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