Celery has an acquired taste. Some people don’t like its texture, while others don’t like the flavor. What do you do if you’re cooking for someone who doesn’t like it? If you’re looking for a substitute for celery, you’ve come to the right place!
I like celery a lot, but there are some people in my family who can’t stand it. This is why I always look for alternatives. As much as I enjoy eating it, I sometimes need to adjust my recipes to make sure that everyone enjoys the food.
Below are ideas that you can use if you or someone you’re cooking for wants to skip celery—tips on how to pull off similar textures and flavors. I hope you find the information below helpful!
First Things First!
A few notes about celery before we begin.
Celery has a distinct flavor, so know that even though you can achieve the texture with other ingredients, they will not be able to provide the exact same flavors. I actually think that this is very exciting, as you can get creative with your dishes. You may think of a knife to slice or copping the following ingredients.
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Seven Delicious Ingredients That Substitute For Celery
Bok choy, a vegetable that’s also called Chinese cabbage, is a well-known alternative to celery. It has the same great crunchy texture and can be added to both soups and stir fry recipes.
The best part? It’s very good for you! Bok choy is packed with vitamins A, C, and K; as well as vitamin B6 and calcium. Not only are you eating something delicious—you’re also taking in a lot of nutrients!
I’ve used bok choy in a stir fry dish <composed mainly of chicken and carrots> that calls for celery, and it turned out delicious. I wasn’t able to achieve the almost pungent but delicious celery taste, but since some of my guests don’t like celery, I looked for an alternative.
A tip: when shopping for bok choy that you’ll be using as a substitute for celery, make sure that you pick the ones that don’t have flimsy stalks. Get the ones that have harder stalks, so you’re sure that you’ll get that same beautiful crunchy celery texture.
I actually enjoyed working with bok choy so much that even if I’m a fan of celery, I sometimes use the alternatives when I’m cooking. I’ve grown to love them so much that I sometimes choose them over the original!
I’d never thought that this would be such a wonderful substitute for celery! Although their flavors are not similar, fennel and celery have similar textures.
You might be familiar with fennel seeds or herb—note that this is different! When using as a celery alternative, you will be using the stems.
Fennel, which in the same family as carrots and parsley, has green stalks and a white <sometimes light green> bulb. It is also known for its aromatic properties that resemble anise.
Fennel stalks may seem pungent at first, but don’t worry, it should get milder after cooking. This means that this vegetable is an excellent celery substitute if you’re working on a cooked dish.
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These are common ingredients in Chinese cuisine, as well as —. Water chestnuts are another great celery substitute because of both texture and flavor.
Take note that the water chestnuts that I’m talking about are the fresh type and not the canned versions. I’ve read a number of articles and reviews about them, and it’s true what they say—they’re very flavorful!
You can compare the texture to an apple or a pear, so you’re sure to get a similar crunch. The flavor is kind of sweet, almost fruity.
Water chestnuts are well-known ingredients in Chinese cuisine, so this is a great substitute for celery if you’re making stir-fry dishes. I would also recommend this for salads for the wonderful crunch they bring.
The best part is that it’s healthy! Water chestnuts do not contain cholesterol and are low in sodium. They’re also rich in potassium and can promote lower cardiac risks. This is only the tip of the iceberg—it has so many other wonderful health benefits!
Not familiar with what you can do with jicama? You’re not alone! I actually had no idea how to work with this vegetable before I started looking for celery substitutes.
Also known as “yam bean,” this vegetable is simply amazing. It has a wonderful texture—crunchy like celery, hence the substitution—and a subtle sweetness to it.
I haven’t tried cooking with these. I actually had it raw, for snacking. I had it with some raw carrots, raw broccoli stems, and some ranch dip. Healthy and delicious! This is excellent for long trips and late-night snacking.
When consuming jicama raw, all you need to do is to peel the skin. When peeling, go deep, as the skin is thick.
If you’d like to add jicama to cooked dishes, it is advised that you cook it briefly, so that it retains its wonderful crunch.
This is a “new” ingredient that I’m currently obsessed with. I’m using quotation marks because I almost always discard these parts of the broccoli!
Most of the time, I would just cook the broccoli florets and then discard the stems. I’ve always known that the stems can be consumed, but I just never really got around to cooking them.
My search for alternatives brought me to this: the broccoli stem as a substitute for celery. It makes so much sense, because they both have the same crunch, especially if you consume them raw.
These are excellent alternatives for when you’re making stir-fry dishes, as well as salads that call for celery. You can slice them lengthwise (to achieve that celery texture), or chop them. You can cut them however you want, really!
For those of you who don’t know how to work with broccoli stems, here’s a tip: clean the stems by peeling the outer layers, and cut about one to one and a half inches of both ends, as these are the dry parts.
Perhaps the most common item on this list! You should not have a hard time looking for this one, as it’s available everywhere.
If it’s the texture you want to replicate, you’ll have no problem—carrots have a wonderful crunch that can easily replace the texture of celery. However, it won’t be able to copy its taste.
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It’s been actually said that the Italians skip the celery in their mira poix, and just replace it with carrots and onions. If you would like to get a similar flavor, you can try the next item…
If you’re making soup that calls for celery, you can try asparagus as an alternative. Like most of the items on this list, this vegetable offers the same wonderful texture!
You can also make some great stir fry recipes with this one—it will be a bit more crispy, especially if you bake them. Like water chestnuts, asparagus is a common ingredient in Chinese cuisine.
You may consider some more alternative to celery, like-
- Green beans
- Collard Greens, Kale, Mustard Greens
- Swiss Chard
- Beet Greens
- Brussels Sprouts
That’s it! Simple!
Whether you need to replace celery for someone, or simply want to seek new ideas for yourself, I hope these tips will always come in handy! Were these tips and tricks helpful? Let me know in the comments below!
You can also share your comments and suggestions below. I love hearing from readers and learning their recipe ideas! I have tried most of these things, but I know that there’s still a lot that I don’t know.
I hope you had fun reading this! I had a wonderful and delicious time writing it!