Looking for good substitutes for celery? Here are our 15 replacements for celery which you can use in soups, salads, smoothies, juices or mirepoix.
Celery is an often underappreciated ingredient in a chef’s arsenal. It’s a key aromatic for many dishes, and is one of the three ingredients that forms the “holy trinity” of the French mirepoix, the flavor base for a lot of French cuisine.
Of course, sometimes you just don’t have any celery in the refrigerator. Maybe you have a little, but not enough for the recipe you want to make. What should you do? Well, for a start you can take a look at this handy list of fifteen easy celery substitutes.
❗Your choice of substitute will depend on what exactly you’re using your celery for. For example, you might be looking to replicate the fresh, satisfying crunch of uncooked celery. You might need it as a garnish for buffalo wings or as a side for macaroni salad. You might be going French or Cajun, and cooking it with carrots, onions, or green peppers. Whatever your celery needs, our list will be sure to find at least one substitute worth trying.
Most Common Uses for Celery
Celery is a produce staple for good reason. It’s very versatile and can be used in many different dishes. Celery is great for a variety of uses, including:
- Soups, Stews, and Stocks
- Served raw or with peanut butter for a snack
- As additional liquid for juices and smoothies
- As a fresh, crunchy side for buffalo sauce or chicken wings
- Mirepoix of celery, carrot, and onion
- Cajun/Southern based “Holy Trinity” (celery, onion, green pepper)
15 Simple Celery Substitutes
Fennel bulbs are crunchy and actually taste quite similar to celery. The taste of raw fennel is quite a bit more intense than that of raw celery, but once you’ve cooked fennel down, its flavor mellows out, making it a great celery substitution if you’re making a soup, stew, or stock.
This, like celery, is a crunchy, mild vegetable. Jicama is best substituted for celery in a salad or in juice for the same reason: its crunch factor! Crunchy vegetables like celery and jicama are higher in water content, making them great for juices and smoothies.
Radishes are crunchy, like jicama, but they have a more peppery taste. This won’t work as a flavor substitute for celery very well, so we don’t recommend using radish as a substitute in a juice or a smoothie. However, in salads or as a snack it can be a great option.
Yet another mild, green, crunchy vegetable! Cucumber, with its mild flavor and high water content, is perfect for salads, juices, smoothies, or as a snack on its own.
Water chestnuts are low on flavor and high in crunch factor. That makes them great for stir fries! You could also try using water chestnuts in soup or salad.
Celery seeds are great as a seasoning to give the illusion of celery flavor without using celery stalks. Celery seeds are great for stuffing, mirepoix, or in the Cajun holy trinity. If you’re patient enough, try planting the seeds and seeing if some celery grows.
Apples, with their sweet taste, won’t be a perfect substitute for celery in many recipes. But for salads, smoothies, and snacks, they’re crunchy and juicy enough to satisfy your celery craving.
Carrot is surprisingly good for making delicious juice. Because carrots are so crunchy and flavorsome, they can sub in for celery in soups, stews, stir fries, snacks, and in salads.
Green beans have a great crunchy texture and a relatively clean palate, not unlike celery. These legumes also have more protein than celery does, so they’re a perfect side for chicken wings or any buffalo dish. You can use green beans in soups, stews, or even a stock if you’re out of celery.
10.Green Bell Pepper
The green bell pepper is absolutely crucial to Cajun cuisine. Its mild flavor and high water content are reminiscent of celery, and you can actually substitute green bell peppers for celery in a mirepoix. Try it with carrot, onion, and green bell pepper and see what you think!
You can use green bell pepper to great effect in stir fries and salads, too.
Broccoli is another substitute that works in some contexts but not others. It’s nice and crunchy, making it great for stir fries and salads, but you wouldn’t use it for a mirepoix. Broccoli’s deeper, richer flavor than celery makes it less useful for stews, for example, and its lower water content means it lacks the powerful celery crunch.
Bok choy, particularly tender baby bok choy, is a great substitute for celery if you can find it. Although it’s sometimes called “Chinese Cabbage”, it has a more pleasant flavor than cabbage that is closer to that of - you guessed it - celery. You can use the bok choy leaves for stir fry and salads, and the softer, more tender bottom part to make an Asian-inspired mirepoix.
Leeks are kind of like tall onions. They have a mild flavor reminiscent of the onion, and work great in soups, stews, and stocks. They will stand in for celery very easily in mirepoix and the Cajun Holy Trinity.
Yes, this crunchy green vegetable can put in a shift replacing celery in a stir fry or soup. Cream of celery soup is great, but have you tried cream of asparagus? You might be surprised!
First we discussed Chinese cabbage, and now we’re looking at the original cabbage. Cabbage works well as a celery substitute because of its crunch and water content. You can use cabbage as a sub for celery in any buffalo dish.
Which Substitute is Best?
- For stuffing, use Celery Seed, Fennel, Green Bell Pepper, or Carrots, as long as you aren’t already using them.
- For a stir fry, use carrots, green beans, green bell peppers, asparagus, water chestnuts, baby bok choy or broccoli.
- In a juice or smoothie, we recommend cucumber, jicama, apples, cabbage.
- As a raw snack, you’ll love apples, carrots, green bell pepper, green beans, jimaca and cucumber.
- To make a mirepoix, try celery seed, fennel, green bell pepper for Mirepoix, or carrots for Holy Trinity.
Delicious Recipes with Celery
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