Looking for substitutes for celery? Maybe you don’t have any on hand and need a quick replacement that has a similar taste or texture? No matter what you are using it for, here you’ll find 15 great replacements for celery!
Celery is one of those veggies that is known for it’s crunch! Celery sticks make a fantastic snack (Ants on a Log, anyone??) and adding celery to dishes like Macaroni Salad or ANYTHING involving buffalo chicken like these Buffalo Chicken Tacos with Celery Slaw give that wonderful, distinctive CRUNCH FACTOR!
Celery is also a staple ingredient in Cajun and French cooking as part of the “Holy Trinity” (onions, celery, bell pepper) and Mirepoix (onion, carrot, celery). Typically these ingredients are used in soups, stews and Thanksgiving dressing.
But if you find yourself not having any on hand, or someone doesn’t love the taste of celery, here are some great celery alternatives!
HOW CELERY IS MOST COMMONLY USED
Celery seems like it’s been a produce drawer staple for so many years! It’s used in so many ways! Here are some of the most popular ways celery is used. At the end of this post you will find the best substitutes based on what purpose you are using celery.
- Thanksgiving Stuffing
- Stir Fries
- Raw, as a snack
- Anything having to do with buffalo sauce or chicken wings!
- French based Mirepoix (celery, carrot, onion)
- Cajun/Southern based “Holy Trinity” (celery, onion, green pepper)
15 SIMPLE SUBSTITUTES FOR CELERY
Fennel bulbs are a perfect substitute for celery! Not only does it have the distinctive crunch factor, it also has a distinct flavor similar to celery. When it’s cooked down (in soups/stews/stocks) the flavor mellows out and works perfectly to replace celery.
Jicama definitely has the crunch factor and, like celery and it has a mild flavor. It works well blended in smoothies, as a snack (CRUNCH!) or in salads.
Smilar to Jimaca, radishes have the crunch factor and a somewhat mild, yet slightly peppery taste. This substitute works best in salads and as a snack.
Speaking of CRUNCH, cucumber is a great replacement for celery for many things. Like celery, cucumber. has a high water content and mild flavor. Cucumber works best as a replacement for celery in salads, in juice/smoothies and as a snack.
5. Water Chestnuts
Water chestnuts make me laugh a little because I used to use them only in the Knorr Spinach Dip! LOL! Know why Knorr put water chestnuts in their recipe?? CRUNCH!!! Water chestnuts have very little flavor but pack a crunch. They work best as a celery substitute in stir fries, soups, and salads.
6. Celery Seeds
Celery seed is a spice used for seasoning dishes to give that celery-like flavor. Substituting with celery seed works best in Thanksgiving stuffing, in mirepoix or “Holy Trinity.” Start with about 1 tsp per cup (about 2 stalks) of celery. Don’t overdo it 🙂
Apples=CRUNCH! However, apples have a much more distinct and sweet taste than celery. Apples work best as a substitute in salads, juice/smoothies, as a snack (raw) and it’s great in Thanksgiving stuffing!!
Carrots are a fantastic substitute for celery in so many dishes. They work best as a sub in soups/stews/stocks, stir fries, salads and as a raw snack! If you making juice and have a juicer, carrots make a fantastic juice like this one here.
9. Green Beans
You may not think of green beans as an alternative to celery, but they work well in a lot of dishes! Throw then in a stir fry, soup/stew/stock and they even make a great crunchy snack…with easy homemade ranch, like this one!
10. Green Bell Pepper
Green bell pepper, with it’s somewhat mild flavor is a staple ingredient in the Cajun’s cooking’s “Holy Trinity” along with onion and celery. You can easily swap green pepper for celery in a Mirepoix making the mix onion, carrot and green pepper.
Green pepper also works well in stir fries, salads, Thanksgiving dressing, as a raw snacks and in soups/stews and stocks.
While not a perfect substitute for celery in every type of dish, this crunchy veggie is a great swap in stir fries, soups and stocks and raw, as a snack! Broccoli definitely has a deeper, more rich flavor than celery and contains less water–which is good if you’re looking for a bit more flavor.
12. Bok Choy
I LOVE LOVE boy choy, especially if you can find tender baby bok choy. It’s known as the “asian cabbage” but has a much better flavor in my opinion. The green leaves are tender and the bottom (light green color) has the crunch and a very similar flavor profile to celery.
Bok Choy can be used in stir fries and in soups/salads/stocks. The bottom part makes a great alternative to celery in Mirepoix and “Holy Trinity.”
Leeks are a great sub for celery even though it has a slight mild onion flavor. Leeks are fantastic in soups/stews/stocks, stir fries and make a great stand-in in Mirepoix and “Holy Trinity.”
This crunchy veggie is delish in stir fries and also in soups. Instead of cream of celery soup, try cream of asparagus soup!!! It’s delish!
Cabbage is a great sub for celery because it’s crunchy and has a high water content. Cabbage is a great sub for all those “buffalo” dishes like my Buffalo Chicken Tacos with Celery Slaw! Just sub cabbage for the celery!
Cabbage also works well in some soups and stir fries for an extra little crunch!
HOW TO CHOOSE A SUBSTITUTE
Here are the best substitutes for celery in:
Replacing celery in stuffing is not for the crunch, but for flavor. In this case, here are the best replacements:
- Celery Seed, Fennel, Green Bell Pepper, Carrots (if not already using)
Again, when you use celery in soups, stews and stocks, you typically aren’t looking for the crunch factor. Here are some good alternatives:
- Fennel, Celery Seed, Green Beans, Green Bell Pepper, Carrots, Leeks, Cabbage, Baby Bok Choy.
I always love crisp veggies in my stir fry which is why I like adding celery when it’s handy! The beauty of a stir fry is you can throw in whatever you have on hand! In this case, if you don’t have celery, try:
- Carrots, green beans, green bell peppers, asparagus, water chestnuts, baby bok choy or broccoli.
Celery is a very water-heavy veggie, so when blended it doesn’t have a HUGE, overpowering flavor. If you want the nutrients, but don’t have celery on hand, try blending up:
- Cucumber, jicama, apples, cabbage.
Great crunchy, snacking replacements are:
- Apples, carrots, green bell pepper, green beans, jimaca and cucumber.
This is a tough one because nothing can truly replace celery + buffalo sauce, but here are some options:
- Carrots, radishes and in a “slaw” like one that goes with these Buffalo Chicken Tacos, cabbage is a great option!
Mirepoix or “Holy Trinity”
Similar when you replace celery in stuffing (which typically uses a mirepoix), you are looking for a similar flavor profile, so try:
- Celery seed, fennel, green bell pepper (Mirepoix), carrots (Holy Trinity).