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This unique ingredient is hard to replace, but there are a few options! Here’s the best celery substitute to use in soups, salads and more.

Celery substitute
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Making a recipe but don’t have celery? Celery is a vegetable with long thin stalks that’s used in many different cuisines. It’s often used in soups and it’s the essential ingredient in mirepoix, a mixture of onion, celery and carrot often used in French dishes. Celery is also used raw in salads to provide a signature crunch. Don’t have it? Here’s the best celery substitute! Keep in mind, what to use depends on the specific recipe.

How many tablespoons is 1 celery stalk chopped?

You can use this substitution ratio for chopped celery. Here’s the ratio:

  • 1 medium celery stalk = ½ cup chopped

Best celery substitute

1. Green onion (raw in salads)

A good celery substitute when it’s used raw? Green onion. Green onion has a mild onion and garlic flavor, so it doesn’t match the bitterness of celery. But it brings a lovely crunch to salads like potato salad, tuna salad, or egg salad. Use half the green onion quantity vs celery, since it has a stronger flavor (remember that 1 celery stalk is ½ cup chopped).

2. Cucumber or green apple (raw in salads)

Another good celery substitute for salads? Cucumber or green apple. Celery is used in salads to provide a crunch: generally not so much for flavor. So while these ingredients don’t taste like celery, they mimic its signature crunch. Use your best judgement based on the specific salad recipe. Other ideas for adding a crunch? Jicama or kohlrabi.

3. Fennel (cooked)

Another celery substitute for cooked dishes like soups and stews? Fennel. The raw flavor of fennel has a licorice-like flavor, but when it’s cooked it has a lovely mellow flavor. In fact, you might enjoy the flavor even more than celery!

4. Carrot (cooked)

An easy celery substitute? Carrots! If you’re making a soup recipe, it’s likely carrots are already used in the broth. You can use chopped carrots to substitute for celery without losing any of the great flavor. Substitute ½ cup chopped carrots per stalk of celery.

5. Leek (cooked)

A final celery substitute? Leeks. You can use chopped leeks to substitute to celery. The flavor will be more onion-y than celery, but it will undoubtedly taste even better.

Here are some of our favorite celery recipes:

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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3 Comments

  1. Katherine D Emerson says:

    The BEST substitute for celery is SWISS CHARD!! The stalk is almost the same as celery. Same texture. Same size. Same capacity. Not only that but it’s a bonus vegetable: you get to use the leaves + stalks – it’s like two vegetables in one!! After using the amount of stalks you need to replace celery, you can use the balance of the stalks chopped up and sautéed with some onions and potatoes etc as another yummy dish. Another day steam the leaves in with a bit of water and garlic as a side dish. Swiss chard is really delicious (and underappreciated) :)

  2. Rosalind says:

    Ah.. My CV: 77 yrs of cooking. Advertising work for clay potting w/Romertopf in 80s. Lived in Mexico. Learned to Never give an American friend a requested recipe or a bottle of tequila without completely explaining obvious warnings: don’t wipe your face with hands when working with chiles and do not drink the entire liter of reposada even tho it is feeling tasty and warmingly good. Arrrgh.

  3. Rosalind says:

    Enjoyed your celery piece. Well written information. Will look up your other cooking work.