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Substitutes For Celery Seed – What Can I Use Instead?

Using celery seeds is a great way of adding lots of flavor and aroma to your dish. But what can you do if you have run out of celery seeds but still want your dish to have the depth and richness they provide?

What can you use instead of celery seeds? One of the best substitutes for celery seeds is fresh celery. But there are multiple other options too. Here is what you can use instead of celery seeds:

In this article, you will learn about the cooking purposes of these substitutes and how to use them for the best results.

Celery Seed – What Is It and How Do You Use It?

wild celery plant

Celery seeds are the seeds of the wild celery plant.

The taste of celery seeds is very similar to the taste of celery itself but more concentrated and grassy. These dark brown seeds are packed with lots of flavor. They are usually quite bitter and spicy. Depending on the variety, the properties of the seeds may slightly vary.

Thus, it is recommended to use these seeds in moderation in order to not overdo it. If it is your first time cooking with celery seeds, start with a small amount to see how it makes the dish taste.

Celery seeds come in handy when you need to add the earthy flavor of celeries to the dish but don’t have fresh celery stalks at hand or simply don’t have the time to wash and chop them.

Celery seeds are commonly used in the Mediterranean and Indian cuisines, as well as some dishes from the European cuisines. This, however, doesn’t mean that you can’t experiment with them and use celery seeds to make flavorful dishes of your own.

Celery seeds are most popularly used in:

  • Pickle flavoring
  • Salads
  • Stews
  • Soups and stocks
  • Dressings, dips, and sauces
  • Chicken and meat dishes
  • Bread baking

Using Fresh Celery Instead of Celery Seeds

celery 1

What can be a better substitute for celery seeds if not fresh celery? The stalks and leaves of fresh celery have a similar aroma to celery seeds. The difference is in their intensity.

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The flavor in the seeds is more concentrated. Thus, you will need to use a lot more of the fresh celery to create the same flavor background as you would with the help of celery seeds.

A teaspoon of celery seed is equivalent to 3 tablespoons of finely chopped celery leaves and stalks.

The drawback of using fresh celery instead of celery seeds is that celery is a very fibrous plant. When using it in soups or stews, it is highly important to chop it correctly.

When using fresh celery to add flavor to stocks, you can spend less time and effort on chopping it right as you will be taking it out anyway.

Can You Substitute Celery Seed for Celery Salt?

You can substitute celery seeds with celery salt. The latter is used to add celery-like flavor to the dish while also making it salty.

You can use store-bought celery salt, or you can easily make some at home. Simply mix a cup of dried and crushed celery leaves with the same amount of salt, and you have a flavorful salt ready at hand. Celery salt can also be made with crushed celery seeds.

Use one teaspoon of celery salt instead of one teaspoon of celery seeds. While the flavor of celery is not as pronounced, it is better not to risk making your dish too salty.

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When using celery salt instead of celery seeds, you will need to cut down the salt in the recipe.

Here are seven substitutes for celery seeds if you have run out of them.


7 Celery Seed Substitutes

1. Dill Seeds

dried dill seed

If you are looking for a seed substitute for celery seeds, dill seeds are the best option.

What makes the two interchangeable are their very similar flavor profiles. Dill seeds add a pungent flavor to dishes.

Dill seeds can be used for the same cooking purposes as celery seeds. Use them in stews, bread baking, dipping sauces and soups. They can also substitute celery seeds in pickling.

Dill seeds are one of the easiest substitutes for celery seeds as you will need to use one teaspoon of dill seeds instead of one teaspoon of celery seeds.

2. Fresh Dill

dill weed 2

What makes dill a good substitute for celery seeds is that both pair well with the same ingredients. Rarely can you find a dish where dill used instead of celery doesn’t taste good.

The flavor profile of fresh dill can be described as grassy. It adds a lot of freshness to the dish due to its light licorice notes.

You can use fresh dill instead of celery seeds in dips and salads. When using it in dishes that require cooking on heat, add freshly chopped dill toward the end of the cooking time to prevent it from getting bitter.

Around three tablespoons of chopped fresh dill will make up for a teaspoon of celery seeds.  

3. Fennel



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Fennel stalks and leaves can also be used as a substitute for celery seeds.

The flavor of fennel is generally described ad anise-like. The licorice notes in fennel will add depth to the dishes you cook with celery seeds.

Broths, soups, and stews turn out great with fennel. Fennel leaves can also be used in dips or as a garnish to add a touch of freshness to the dish.

4. Lovage


Lovage is a plant similar to celery in terms of its flavor and smell. Its seeds are also used for cooking purposes.

Lovage can be used as a celery seed substitute in a variety of forms. You can use it fresh and dried. Lovage seeds can be used in baking bread or making salads.

You can also make a flavorful seasoning mix with ground lovage seeds instead of celery seeds.

5. Celery Flakes

frozen celery flakes

Celery flakes are dried and crumbled celery leaves and stalks. With a shelf life of up to 3 years, this product is great to have in the pantry.

The flavor of celery flakes is less intense compared to the flavor of celery seeds. Thus, it is recommended to use around 3 teaspoons of celery flakes as a replacement for celery seeds.

Celery flakes can be used in soups and stews.

6. Caraway Seeds

caraway seeds 1

Caraway seeds have flavor notes similar to celery seeds. These seeds are bitter and sweet at the same time, with a citrusy aroma and licorice notes.

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The flavor of caraway seeds will turn out mild if you use them in dishes that don’t require cooking on heat, such as in salads or simply sprinkled on roasted or baked vegetables.

Once you apply heat to these seeds, their flavor will be intensified.

7. Nigella Seeds

nigella seeds

Nigella sativa, also known as nigella seeds, is another great substitute for celery seeds. These black seeds taste rich. If you put nigella seeds in your dish, one may think you have used a complex combination of spices and herbs.

Nigella seeds are pungent and slightly bitter. And yet, they make a great alternative for celery seeds.

You can use nigella sativa in soups and various sauces. It is often used in Indian dishes.

Nigella seeds can also substitute celery seeds in pickle flavoring.

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