If you are looking for a substitute for celery, these fifteen options are good replacements that won’t tarnish the flavor and texture of your dish. Also, these can be good alternatives if you don’t like the flavor of celery and prefer something different.
What dishes commonly include celery?
Dishes that commonly include celery are broth and cream based soups, stuffing, chicken and tuna salads, garden salads, slaws, pasta dishes, roasted meat and smoothies.
Celery can be used in a variety of ways and add nice flavor and texture to a dish. They can also be enjoyed on their own as a snack. Some like to add nut butter and raisins to make it more filling and delicious.
Is celery good for you?
Celery is a low calorie food that provides vitamins, minerals and plenty of water (making it super hydrating). One cup of diced celery contains less than 20 calories, but is still a good source of vitamin K, folate and potassium. It also contains almost 100 grams of water.
It contains a little less than 2 grams of fiber, meaning it can help you stay regular and protect against constipation. Overall, it’s a great addition to a healthy diet and can even help you reach your macronutrient goals.
Vegetable substitute for celery
If you are making a dish that doesn’t just require the taste of celery, but the texture and bulk it provides, the following vegetables can be good alternatives. Below I describe in what situations these vegetables would work best in.
Fennel is my favorite celery alternative because it belongs to the same plant family as celery (Apiaceae) and has a similar flavor and texture to celery.
It is comprised of a large, white bulb at the bottom, with green stalks emerging upward into dill like branches. The stalks are very similar to celery stalks and are a great alternative.
Leeks are another great alternative to celery. They are similar to green onions, but are thicker and have a stronger flavor. Leeks work great in soups or other dishes where they are cooked.
They look like long thick stalks, starting white and fading into a deep green, with stalks sprouting into multiple directions at the top. They’re texture is thicker and sturdier at the bottom, similar to celery.
Green onion is another alternative that is similar to celery. Its flavor is a little different and its texture is less rigid and thinner than celery, but it can add a similar essence to a dish.
Green onions are green stalks that emerge from a thin white bulb with protruding roots. If using it as an alternative to celery, I would use the green part of the stalk.
This vegetable may not be as common in Western style cooking, but it’s common in Asian cooking, especially Japanese and Korean cuisine. It has a thick and crunchy texture and works great raw, cooked or pickled.
The radish is long and thick, what you would imagine a bloated albino carrot looks like. You can cut it into diagonal slices, cube it or grate it.
Jicama has a similar texture to the daikon radish but looks very different on the outside. It’s commonly used in Mexican and South American cuisine and is part of the potato family.
It is roundish in shape and is covered in a brown, rough coating. It almost looks like a mix between a potato and a coconut. On the inside, it’s white (very similar to a daikon radish). It’s crunchy and filled with water, making it similar to celery.
Water chestnuts are commonly used in Asian cuisine and add a nice crunch. They can be eaten raw, cooked or pickled and are a great alternative to celery in a vegetable stir fry.
They look like mini jicamas, covered in a blackish-brown, rough coat with a white inside. You can wash, peel and eat them raw if you’d like. They don’t have a strong flavor, but they have a great crunch to them.
Cucumbers don’t necessarily taste like celery, but they have a great crunch that can mimic the crunch from celery. They are a great alternative in garden salads and chicken or tuna salads.
They are long, thick and green on the outside with a fleshy pale green inside populated with soft seeds. You can dice them, cut them into diagonal slices or consume them whole, like biting into an apple!
Parsnips are another great alternative to celery. They are similar to carrots, but are white and have a more earthy flavor and add a good crunch and can be added to raw or cooked dishes.
They are long and tapered with a brownish-white outside. I would recommend peeling the outside before cutting them up and adding them to your dish of choice.
Carrots are another great celery alternative that you probably already have on hand. While their flavor is different, they typically work well in dishes containing celery like soup and salads.
They are long and tapers with an orange outside. I would recommend peeling them the same way as parsnips. If you are making a mirepoix without celery, double up on the carrots!
Broccoli stalks can be another great celery alternative. They are a similar color and have a nice crunch to them, though the flavor is a bit different.
You can purchase a large bunch of broccoli, but off the stalk and use the head of broccoli for another recipe. Cut the stalk into small pieces and use in raw or cooked dishes.
Green bell pepper
Green bell pepper is another good alternative to celery. It’s a similar color and can add a nice crunch to a raw or cooked dish.
To prepare a green bell pepper, remove the inner core and seeds. Then, cut the bell pepper into small cubes to be used in a salad, soup or other dish. I love them in chicken or tuna salad.
Seasoning substitute for celery
If you want the flavor of celery and aren’t looking for a vegetable to add a similar texture or bulk to a dish, you may want to try out a seasoning that mimics the flavor of celery.
Celery seeds are the obvious first choice. They provide the flavor of celery to a dish without the bulk of the vegetable. I would recommend having them on hand for when you forgot the celery at the grocery store. This seasoning works great for a mirepoix with onion and carrots.
Dill is actually in the same plant family as celery, which makes it a great alternative to celery. While the flavor is a little different, it adds a similar essence as celery. Plus, dill typically tastes great in dishes that include celery like chicken noodle soup and roasted chicken.
Fennel is also in the same family as celery and is a great alternative. In fact, fennel is my top vegetable replacement for celery since they are so familiar. The seasoning adds that great flavor without having to use the actual vegetables.
Caraway is another plant in the same family as celery. Because of this, the seeds provide a similar flavor as celery seed. They look very similar to fennel seeds, but they are a bit darker and larger in size.
What can you use as a substitute for celery in mirepoix?
If you are making a mirepoix for a soup or sauce, there are a few options when you are out of celery. First you could add more onion and carrot. If you have the option, add some celery seed seasoning to add the celery flavor.
Alternatively, you can add diced fennel, leek or green onion as a substitute for celery. In fact, if you are making an Asian inspired sauce or soup, these options could fit even better. They are a great addition to soups in general and can also be used instead of onion.