Food & Drink

11 Celery Salt Substitutes for Cooking

Published on December 4, 2023 | 0 Comments
celery salt substitutes

Celery salt substitutes are easier to find than you might think despite the unique flavor of this spice. Have you ever begun preparing a delicious dinner only to realize that you don’t have a pinch of celery salt for that baked chicken, roasted carrots, egg salad or bloody mary concoction? While you could leave it out, why compromise on flavor, zing and texture? In addition to nutrients like manganese, calcium and iron, a dash of celery salt gives food a distinct flavor that you’ll appreciate and possibly miss if it’s not there. 

Fortunately, there are ways to keep that flavor train going if you happen to run out of this salty spice. If you’re searching for a celery salt substitute, check out these hints and tips for celery salt substitutes to keep your dish as flavorful as it would be with the original.


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What Is Celery Salt?

As the name implies, celery salt is made with a mix of regular table salt and crushed celery seeds. Sometimes ground and dried celery stalks and leaves are used. The ground celery is added to the table salt in a 2:1 ratio (2 parts regular salt and 1 part ground celery seeds or stalks).  

Celery salt tastes very similar to regular table salt, but it has a celery-like aroma (due to the crushed celery seeds) that gives it a distinctive and bright flavor that’s not overpowering. The taste is often described as peppery, green, grassy or even bitter.

Celery Salt
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Purpose of Celery Salt in Cooking and Baking

Celery salt adds flavor and depth to savory foods and can be used in place of regular salt in any recipe. It adds zest, depth and a bright flavor to potato salad, cream sauces, chicken breasts and more. Because of the celery, it’s good for recipes with onions, carrots and other vegetables. Sprinkle on garlic bread, rim a bloody mary glass or use as a seasoning for chicken noodle soup, meatballs and popcorn. 

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Celery Salt Substitutes

1. Celery Seed

The best celery salt alternative is celery itself. You can make your own using celery seeds and either sea or table salt. Use a grinder to crush the celery seeds and combine them in a 1:2 ratio for a wonderful celery salt substitute.

A good celery salt substitution are celery seeds
via Canva 

2. Celery Leaves

Use up those leftover celery leaves by creating your own celery salt substitute. Dry the leaves in the microwave to preserve the taste and color. Next, grind them in a grinder or mortar and pestle. Use your favorite salt varieties for flavor. Store in an airtight container and let sit for about a week for the best flavor. This method gives a more subtle flavor than using celery seeds.

celery leaves
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3. Dill Seed

Combining dill with regular salt (in a 1:2 ratio) is a terrific sub for celery salt as dill is in the same family as celery. Grind the dill seeds and mix one teaspoon of this with two teaspoons of salt. With a flavor similar to anise and caraway, this combination is wonderful to use in sauces and soups and sprinkled on vegetables.

Dill seed is a great celery salt substitute
via Canva

4. Dill Salt

If you already have dill salt on hand, which is available on its own in stores, it makes a great celery salt substitute. Sprinkle, pinch or add a dash as you would regular celery salt.

A bowl of dill salt
via Canva

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5. Fennel Seeds

Flavorful fennel seeds make a great celery salt replacement. Fennel adds a sweet touch to meat dishes. It also yields an earthy flavor, which makes it a perfect celery salt substitute. Grind the fennel seeds to a smooth consistency. Grinding will retain some of the sweet flavor that could be eliminated if crushed. Combine two parts of regular salt and one part of fennel to make a celery salt substitute you'll love. 

Use fennel seeds as a celery salt substitute
via Canva

6. Nigella Seeds

Similar in flavor to celery, nigella seeds make a terrific celery salt substitute. They’re very flavorful and have a pungent and peppery aroma. Grind the seeds and use them in the same proportion as celery salt for curries, lentil recipes and other savory dishes.

A bowl of nigella seeds
via Canva

7. Mustard Greens

Bitter and peppery in taste, mustard greens make a great celery salt substitute. With a similar celery taste profile, they're a healthy and flavorful replacement. Chop very finely and add while cooking. Use one and a half parts mustard greens for one part of celery seeds. You will probably need to add additional salt since mustard greens don’t offer much of a salt component.

Try using mustard greens and make your own celery salt substitute
via Canva

8. Garlic Salt

While it has a stronger flavor profile than celery salt, garlic salt makes a wonderful celery salt alternative. Use in dips or salad dressings for a terrific boost of flavor.

Garlic salt
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9. Dried Parsley

The mild and slightly bitter flavor of parsley is a popular seasoning addition to a wide array of recipes. In dried form, parsley takes on a more intense and robust flavor, making it a terrific celery salt substitute. Mix two teaspoons of salt with one teaspoon of dried parsley and use in any recipe as a substitute for celery salt. If you’re not a fan of celery, this is a wonderful choice as it offers an earthy flavor without the notes of celery.

Dried parsley is a tasty celery salt substitutes
via Canva

10. Dried Cilantro

A member of the parsley family, cilantro is an equally wonderful sub for celery salt. It gives a fresh and bright flavor to meat and vegetable recipes. As a substitute, mix one teaspoon of dried cilantro leaves with two teaspoons of the salt of your choice. Use as you would celery salt in any recipe.

Dried Cilantro
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11. Coriander Seeds

Coriander seeds are the seeds of the cilantro plant, so it only makes culinary sense that they can be used as a celery salt replacement. They have a lighter and more citrusy flavor than dried cilantro. If you’re not a fan of regular dried or fresh cilantro, you may prefer the taste of coriander seeds. Grind the seeds with a grinder and use them in the same proportion as celery seeds in recipes such as pickles, curries, stir-fries, spice mixes and stews.

Use coriander seeds as a celery salt substitute
via Canva

The next time you need a dash of celery salt, give one of our celery salt substitutes a try. You may just find that you like some of them even better than the real thing. At any rate, you’ll have found a great celery salt replacement to get that recipe completed without having to make a grocery store run. 

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