Celery Seed Substitutes

The 6 Best Celery Seed Substitutes You Need To Look Out For

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Celery has become a popular spice and is typically a European plant (1).   

It is cultivated in other regions for its applications in contemporary cuisine.

You can easily find fresh stalks in the vegetable market throughout the year. It is most commonly used in salad recipes.

Celery seeds have been employed for Greeks for curing health problems. It was used as a flavor enhancer by the Romans which later became a specialty in Italian as well as French cuisine too (2).  

It was only in the 19th century that the Americans started using celery seeds as a pickling solution (3).

Why are celery seeds popular?

Celery seeds are not just flavor enhancers.

These have numerous health benefits to offer. They maintain your blood pressure to optimum levels (4). These seeds strengthen your immune system and help in fighting infection. These also better your nighttime sleep.  

Celery seeds offer antioxidant defense and help with the formation of red blood cells. These are also known to improve cognitive functioning. (5)

Where can you purchase celery seeds?

Celery seeds come in different forms. These can be used in their natural form or in powdered form. These can be found at grocery or herbal food stores.

Extracts from the seeds are available in the market. You can opt for substitutes if you cannot find them near you or have run out of the stock and have to complete a dish without it.

Best substitutes for celery seeds

Celery seeds are harvested from wild celery. The flavoring offered by these seeds is strong and hence is sparingly used.

The aroma of the seeds is similar to that of stalks and the leaves. However, much of flavor concentrates is found in celery seeds. While looking for a substitute for celery seeds, you will have to opt for something which possesses a stronger flavor similar to the seeds.

Here are the best celery seed substitutes that you can choose from.

1. Celery leaves and stalk

The stalks and leaves of celery plant possess a similar aroma and flavor. You will have to use more of these while using as a substitute as the seeds are much more concentrated (6).

There also exists a difference in texture and bulk. The stalks and leaves are fibrous and difficult to hide in dishes such as sauces and soups.

You may have to use 5-6 teaspoons of chopped stalks and leaves in order to substitute for a teaspoon of celery seeds.

You need to ensure that you chop the stalk and leaves finely if you want them to be less noticeable.   

You can also try celery substitutes if you have run out of the stock such as Bok Choy, Fennel Stalk and Cardoon.  

2. Dill Seeds

Both celery and dill seeds share the same flavor characteristics.

Although, these differ slightly in appearance, dill seeds can be used in the same dishes that require celery seeds, including pickling process. 

3. Celery salt

Celery salt is equally popular and can be found in several kitchens all across the globe.

An understanding of Celery seeds vs celery salt is essential to know how to use them.

Celery salt is a combination of salt and celery seeds powder. You can use this combination if you have run out of celery seeds (7).

Make sure to check the amount of salt being added to the entire dish. You can make celery salt easily at home. If you do not know how to make celery salt, then you can purchase it from stores or try recipes from the web.

4. Lovage

Lovage is a member of parsley family and is native to central Asia and southern Mediterranean region. It is popularly used for its flavor and aroma which makes it an ideal celery substitute.

The plant resembles celery and the leaves are pungent. You can use the fresh leaves for the flavor. The stems and leaves can be used wherever celery is used. The dried leaves and seeds make excellent celery substitutes (8).

The seeds are aromatic and can also be used in place of fennel seeds. They are usually sprinkled on dishes, in bread dough and salad. You can grind the seeds with sea salt for creating a seasoning that can be used in place of celery seeds.

5.  Exotic spices

There are many spices that possess the same flavor profile like celery seeds. You can try substituting celery seeds with nigella and caraway seeds.

Caraway seeds provide concentrated bursts of flavor that it needed for making a perfect potato or coleslaw salad.  

Nigella Sativa is used popularly in Indian dishes. These can be found in Indian grocery stores.

Despite being different, nigella seeds capture the flavor of celery perfectly. Both seeds possess pungent aroma and are flavorful (9).

Nigella seeds and caraway seeds are mostly used in same kind of dishes as celery. Both are commonly used in soups, sauces and while making pickles.

These are also similar in terms of pungency. This also implies that you can use nigella seeds in the same ratio as you would use celery seeds.

6.  Celery Flakes

Celery flakes are nothing but the dried leaves and stalks from the celery plant. The leaves are stalks are de-moisturized and crumbled into flakes. If you have run out of celery seeds, then you can opt for flakes.

Small portion of flakes is enough for replacement when compared to fresh stalk and leaves of celery used as a substitute for seeds.  


Celery seeds impart a strong flavor to any dish without altering the dish altogether. The flavor of these seeds is indispensable in soups and sauces. You need to make sure to use only a small amount.

Despite of being a common additive in dressings, breads, pickles and soups, the seeds are not widely used when compared to other herbs. You can utilize the substitutes of the seeds mentioned above if you have run out of stock.

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1 thought on “The 6 Best Celery Seed Substitutes You Need To Look Out For”

  1. Recipe calls for 1 tbsp of celery salt but I have no celery salt can I just chop up onions are used garlic salt and me place

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Isabel Scott

Isabel has a background in fitness and nutrition and spends her time developing exercise and healthy...

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