19 Best Celery Seed Substitutes

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

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A celery seed substitute is occasionally necessary for the kitchen, for while celery seed isn’t the most common ingredient in cooking, it does provide a distinct flavor to certain meals.

Celery Seed

Celery seeds are used in many different ways, from cooking to medicine, and contains a number of unique properties. Celery seed has the strong taste of celery and tastes slightly bitter with both fresh and sweet aromas. It is used as a flavoring additive in soups, stocks, and sauces, it can be ground with other spices to make rubs, or used to flavor leafy, grain, or potato salads. Luckily, if you can’t find celery seed, there are plenty of natural combinations that can provide similar results.

Best Celery Seed Substitute

Celery seed does a lot for your meals, but if you run out of it, here is the list you can select the easiest available celery seed substitute from. The best celery seed substitute is fresh celery. You can also use celery stalk, its leaves or the root.

Celery Stalk, Leaf, and Root

For flavoring purposes, there’s no better celery seed substitute than fresh celery. Dice the stalks or the tops into the salad, dry the leaves for seasoning, or cook the root with other vegetables and meats.

Celery Salt

Celery salt is just a mixture of crushed celery seeds and salt. Use this blend in place of celery seeds, but reduce any additional salt in your recipe.

Close up of caraway seeds on a wooden spoon

Caraway is also known as meridian fennel and Persian cumin. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Fresh Dill or Dill Seed

Dill has a stronger and sharper aroma than celery seed, but you’ll find that most dishes that taste good with celery seed work with dill as well.

Fennel, Caraway, or Star Anise

For pickling or making bone broth, turn to these subtle licorice flavors. Just a few of each will add depth that complements savory ingredients.

Capsaicin, Ginger or Feverfew 

Use these in powders, teas, or tinctures in place of pharmaceutical pain relievers. Capsaicin is the chemical that makes peppers spicy, so cook with chilies for a bonus headache and inflammation relief.

Sativa, Dandelion, Parsley or Hibiscus

These herbs and spices are diuretics that help to expel excess salt and water from the body. Doctors trust these natural remedies, and Nigella sativa may be as effective as leading pharmaceutical prescriptions when it comes to detoxifying the body. So if you cannot find celery seeds, use any of these!

Turmeric, Garlic or Black Pepper 

Add any of these in place of celery seeds and enjoy a variety of flavors that also aid joint function and prevent chronic inflammation that may lead to more serious issues as you age.

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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