8 Easy Celery Substitutes

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Need a quick and easy replacement for celery? Here are 8 grocery store finds to help you make soups, stews, and snacking easy with celery substitutes. 

Celery is a popular vegetable; many savory meals begin with chopping celery! They make quick and easy snacks (ants on a log!) and add a great crunch to things like salads, and of course, bring flavor to holiday classics like stuffing

But if you are allergic to celery, or you have simply run out of celery, you can still get a great crunch and flavor with these easy celery substitutes!

three fennel bulbs in front of a window

1. Fennel

First, fennel! Fennel is a similar root vegetable to celery but is totally safe to enjoy for those who have a celery allergy! It has a similar crunch factor as well as a similar taste. After cooking, the taste becomes even more mild and more like celery. 

You can eat all parts of a fennel plant. The tiny leaves on the top are used as an herb in cooking as an aromatic herb similar to anise. When cooked, the flavor mellows out considerably, becoming very celery-like. 

The stalks are a great substitute for celery in cooked dishes. Texture wise, you can’t get much closer than the fennel stalk! 

Best Substitute in: Stuffing, Soups, Stews, Stocks, Mirepoix, Fresh Salads

2. Jicama

Next is Jicama. Jicama is a root vegetable from Mexico. It tastes very sweet and mild, somewhat similar to an apple. It has a very mild flavor. Jicama is usually enjoyed raw. If you cook this vegetable, it will lose its crunchiness. The leaves, stems, and flowers are non-edible. Only enjoy the root of this veggie! 

Best in: Enjoyed raw, Smoothies, Juices, Fresh Salads

bunch of red radishes on white

3. Radish

Originally from Asia, these red radishes are now grown year round, making them a great swap for celery. 

Similar to jicama, radishes have a mild taste and are perfect for adding a crunch to dishes served raw. They can be slightly more peppery, so less may be more, depending on the dish. 

They are very often used to top tacos, enjoyed in spring rolls, or mixed into soups and stews. 

Best in: Fresh salads, raw snacks, juices, smoothies, soups, stews, stocks, stir fries 

close up of sliced cucumbers

4. Cucumber

 A member of the cucurbitaceae family, they are related to other melons and squashes.

Cucumbers are the most similar to celery in regards to a high water content with a mild flavor. They are super crunchy and if you search out an English or Persian Cucumber, they have fewer seeds making them perfect for enjoying in fresh dishes. 

Best in: Fresh salads, juices, smoothies, raw snacks 

5. Water Chestnuts 

These are not actually chestnuts at all, making them totally safe for those with tree nut allergies! 

The water chestnut is a plant that grows under water (hence the name) in Southeast Asia, Africa, and Australia. They are a type of tuber, similar to potatoes. 

The flavor is sweet and tart, similar to a tart apple. Canned water chestnuts are usually easier to find and while they deliver on crunch, they may lack some flavor. Fresh water chestnuts are very sweet and mild. Save the raw dishes for the fresh water chestnut to enjoy its full flavor! 

It can be eaten raw or cooked. 

Best in: Stir fries, fresh salads

a green apple on its side on a white reflective surface

6. Green Apples 

A sweet and tart apple is perfect for taking the place of celery in both raw and cooked dishes. The flavor is similar to celery and produces even more juice. 

Best in: Fresh salads, stuffing, juices, smoothies, raw snacks 

close up of green bell peppers stacked on top of each other

7. Green Bell Pepper 

Did you know the green bell pepper is simply the unripe red or yellow bell pepper? 

I love to use green bell pepper as a replacement in a Mirepoix. In Cajun cooking, this is the actual ingredient used in favor of celery! 

Slightly bitter, and with a small bite of a pepper flavor, green bell peppers are great for replacing the crunch factor of celery. 

You might have heard that peppers have a gender, and if they have 3 or 4 lobes determines which one it is. This is false as the pepper vegetable we eat is genderless as it’s just the fruit of the plant and there is no difference in taste or seed amount.

Best in: Stir fries, stuffing, fresh salads, raw snacks, soups, stews, stocks, Mirepoix 

bunches of baby bok choy on a blue background

8. Bok Choy 

Bok choy, and my personal favorite baby bok choy, is a Chinese cabbage used in many Asian dishes. It is a cruciferous vegetable being a member of the turnip family!  

It has a similar texture as celery. The leaves are more spinach-like in texture and flavor, so if you are after just a pure celery substitute, stick to the white and crunchy stalks. 

It can be enjoyed raw, steamed, or cooked. 

Best in: Soups, stews, stocks, stir fries, Mirepoix 

Celery Free Recipes to Love

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