Celery Salt Substitute: Chef Tips For When You Run Out

So, you are halfway through a delicious recipe, perhaps a casserole or stew and you realize that one of the main ingredients you need to use is missing - celery salt. 

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Now, for many people, this is a staple condiment to have on hand. However, not everyone likes the taste of celery, and so they are not likely to have it in their store cupboard. 

As well as this, things do run out, and so there may come a time where you need celery salt but just don’t have any available. However, we want to assure you that you don’t need to worry as there are a number of celery salt substitutes that can be used in their place in all of your favorite recipes. 

In this article, we take you through some of our favorite celery salt substitutes, showing you how you can use them and what amounts you need for each. Keep on reading to find out more…

Celery seed

One of the best substitutes for celery salt is to actually use something from celery. You could use actual celery, but we think the best form of celery to use is celery seeds. The reason celery seeds are the best option as a substitute for celery salt is that the flavor is more intense. You can also add salt to give the recipe that much needed salty taste that celery salt would add to the recipe.

Celery seeds will still be able to add that peppery, unique taste that you get from celery salt, and whilst the texture is likely to be a little different as the seeds are thicker and crunchier when compared to celery salt which is finely ground.

Use celery seeds in all recipes that require celery salt, using the same amount of seeds as it states for salt. You can also add in a teaspoon of salt to ensure the taste is even more exact.

Dried celery 

Another great option is to use dried celery as a substitute for celery salt. Dried celery is basically cut up prices of actual celery that have been dehydrated and dried out, before being either crushed or left as they are to be added to food. They are popular in stew mixes and in mixed seasonings. 

Of course, the flavor may not be as intense as it would in celery salt, and it would not have the added salt element, but if you use more dried celery than celery salt then it can be a great substitute in a pinch. 

We highly recommend that you add salt to your dried celery beforehand and then stir them together. You can then add the salt and dried celery to your recipe as you need it, using double the amount stated in your original recipe. What we mean is, if the recipe states 2 teaspoons of celery salt, you should use 4 teaspoons of dried celery, with 1 teaspoon of salt added to it.

Fresh celery 

Fresh celery can also be used in place of celery salt in your recipes, and it will also be able to double up as one of your vegetable servings for the day. It is a fantastic option to use in place of celery salt as it has the fresh peppery flavor that the celery salt will give, and will perhaps be even more intense as it will be fresh rather than in dried or seed form. 

 Fresh celery can be cut up to be as small or as large as you want. However, unless you grate it up into tiny pieces they will never be as small as the celery seeds or dried celery.

 With this in mind, you should only use fresh celery if you do not mind the texture of it, and if it will pair well with the food or recipe you are cooking. This may mean that it will not be suitable for smooth recipes.

 However, it may work well in stews and casseroles in place of celery salt. Just do not forget to add in the salt that you will be missing, adding a teaspoon of salt for every teaspoon of celery salt stated on the recipe.

Regular salt 

Of course, if you have no celery salt at home, regular salt is the perfect replacement. In fact, you can use regular salt in place of any flavored salt, whether that is garlic salt or onion salt.

This means that you can use regular salt in the exact same amounts as your recipe calls for. For example, if your recipe states the need for 1 teaspoon of celery salt, you should use 1 teaspoon of regular salt instead. 

You should also bear in mind that celery adds a certain flavor and depth to the recipe. Celery is very peppery in terms of taste, and as such it has quite a warming and intense flavor. However, regular salt obviously doesn’t have these properties, and so if you do want the peppery flavor in your recipe you can add some white pepper as well just to make it taste even more authentic. 

Keep in mind that depending on your recipe, you may want to use either fine salt or coarse salt. Coarse salt is bigger, featuring larger salt crystals. These can add texture, or they can dissolve in a warm dish. Finer sea salt will be less noticeable from a texture perspective, but it will still dissolve well in hot food, as well as being able to be used as a seasoning. 

Dill Seed and Salt 

Dill seeds are a great substitute for celery, and the added salt means that you can use the concoction in place of celery salt in lots of recipes. Of course, the flavor will not be exact, as dill is not quite as peppery.

 It has more of a citrusy taste and can be quite sweet. However, it does have earthy undertones, and as such, it can be a good substitute for celery salt if there is nothing else to hand. 

You can use fresh or dried dill, depending on what you have available to you. We recommend using the same amount of dill as you would celery salt, remembering to add in actual salt too, for flavor. The reason for this is because if a recipe calls for the use of celery salt it is unlikely that it would also need regular salt. Therefore, your whole recipe would be saltless if you don’t use celery salt. Add in a teaspoon, adding in more if needed, based on your preferences. 

You can check out celery powder, celery flake, celery stalk, celery leaf, and dill seed when you need a celery substitute. When I need that celery flavor for a recipe I prefer homemade celery salt made with ground celery seed if I have time to make it.

Cassie Marshall
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