What can I use instead of celery? Celeriac, celery seed, and parsley are the best substitutes for celery, offering a similar flavor. Try fennel, jicama, bell pepper, green apple, and cucumber to match the juicy, crunchy texture. Then, use bok choy, water chestnut, cardoon, and carrots for cooking.
Celery is an aromatic vegetable that flaunts long, fibrous stalks with a crunchy, juicy texture and herbaceous, peppery, and salty flavors that turn sweet once cooked. Celery is a staple ingredient in several cuisines, like Italian, French, Cajun, and British. Consider the following 12 substitutes if you’ve run out of celery.
The Best Celery Substitutes
Celeriac is a celery variety with a large, bulbous stem similar. It is harvested for its round stem – often confused for a root – instead of the green shoots like other celery varieties.
Celeriac has a similar grassy flavor to celery that gains a mellow sweetness when cooked, making it the perfect substitute for celery.
You can use celeriac raw or cooked. Grate it into raw salads and slaws, or add celeriac to soups and stews. You can also roast, boil, sauté, or fry celeriac for a delicious side dish.
Celeriac is generally more pronounced than celery. So, substitutes 1 cup celery with ½ cup celeriac and add more to match your preference.
Celery seed is a spice made from wild celery seeds. They boast a similar flavor and aroma to celery stalks, making them an ideal replacement.
Celery seeds (whole or ground) are perfect for adding a celery flavor to casseroles, stews, soups, and stuffing. They are also delicious in sauces, brine, and salad dressings.
Substitute celery with smaller amounts of celery seeds to avoid an overly spicy flavor. For example, substitute 1 cup celery with 1 teaspoon celery seeds and adjust if needed.
Parsley belongs to the same plant family and lends a similar taste to celery, making it the perfect substitute to match the flavors of celery. However, parsley is a leaf and can’t match the texture of celery.
You add parsley to soups, veggies, ground meat, and sauces to mimic the flavor of celery. Otherwise, top your dish with parsley as an attractive and tasty garnish.
Substitute celery with smaller amounts of parsley leaves to avoid an overwhelming flavor.
So, substitute 1 cup celery with 1 tablespoon fresh parsley or 1 teaspoon dried parsley, and adjust if needed.
Fennel is one of the best substitutes for celery. They boast a delicious crisp texture and herbal flavor resembling the aftertaste of celery.
Although fennel has a licorice taste when raw, it transforms into a mildly sweet flavor once cooked.
Fennel is the perfect replacement for celery in soups, stews, pies, stocks, and braises. You can use fennel bulbs and stalks to replace celery stalks.
You can use celery and fennel interchangeably in most recipes. Substitute 1 cup celery with 1 cup fennel.
Jicama (Mexican Turnip)
Jicama is a Mexican root vegetable with a juicy, crunchy texture and mild nutty flavor.
Texture-wise, raw jicama is one of the best celery substitutes. It adds sweet, apple-like notes to recipes that call for celery.
Peel jicama’s thick skin and add it to salad and slaw for a crisp texture. You can also cook jicama. However, avoid overcooking as it quickly loses its crunchy texture.
You can substitute 1 cup celery with 1 cup jicama. However, note that jicama is sweeter than celery. So, start with less and gradually add more jicama to the recipe.
Bell peppers are another juicy and crunchy textual alternative for celery. They boast a mildly sweet and earthy flavor.
Bell peppers also form part of the “Holy Trinity” in Cajun cuisine – onion, green peppers, and celery.
You can add bell peppers to salads, stews, stir-fries, stuffing, and sautés.
You can use celery and bell peppers interchangeably in most recipes. Substitute 1 cup celery with 1 cup bell peppers (preferably green).
Green apples are an ideal replacement for celery to add a crisp, crunchy texture and additional sweetness to recipes.
Green apples are delicious celery substitutes in salad, slaw, stuffing, smoothies, and green juices. In addition, apples are the perfect stand-alone replacement celery for a healthy snack.
You can substitute 1 cup celery with 1 cup green apples if you don’t mind the additional sweetness. Otherwise, start with half the amount and gradually add more apple pieces to reach the desired taste.
Cucumbers are another fantastic textural substitute for celery. They are mildly flavored, juicy, and crunchy.
Add cucumber to salads, smoothies, green juices, and cold soups. In addition, they made an ideal stand-alone snack replacement that you can enjoy as is or in dips.
You can substitute 1 cup celery with 1 cup cucumber. Note that cucumber should be enjoyed raw and isn’t ideal for cooking.
Bok Choy (Chinese Cabbage)
Bok choy is a popular vegetable in Asian cuisine. The mild, earthy taste isn’t an exact match for celery. Still, the plant features similar elements that pair well with most recipes calling for celery.
Bok choy is an excellent celery replacement in stir-fries, stews, soups, casseroles, steamed dishes, and raw recipes.
You can substitute 1 cup celery with 1 cup bok choy.
Water chestnuts are aquatic tubers commonly used in Asian cuisine. They are crispy with a juicy finish and mild flavor, making them an ideal celery substitute in many recipes.
You can use water chestnuts instead of celery to complement stir-fries, soups, salads, and stuffings.
Replace 1 cup celery with 1 cup water chestnuts. You can adjust the ratios to meet your preference. In addition, we recommend only using fresh water chestnuts to ensure a juicy crunch.
Cardoon (Artichoke Thistle)
Cardoons are leafy vegetables with stalks that resemble giant celery. These tender greens lack the crunchy texture of celery but serve as a suitable replacement in cooked dishes.
Peel away the skin of cardoons and add them to soups, stews, and braised meats instead of celery. Some recipes may require you to parboil the cardoons before use as they take longer to cook.
Replace 1 cup celery with 1 cup cardoons. Note that cardoons have a more bitter and nuttier flavor. So, soak the stalks in salt water before use to soften the bitterness.
Carrots might not offer the same flavor or color; however, it’s an ideal last-minute replacement for celery. The mildly sweet root vegetable is delicious raw or cooked replacement for celery.
Substitute celery for carrots in stir-fries, soups, stews, broths, stocks, and sauces. You can also enjoy raw carrots as a snack or add them to salads and juices.
Replace 1 cup celery with 1 cup carrots.