Substitute For Celery Seed – Here Are 5 Reliable Swaps To Use

Missing celery seeds for your recipe? Then, there are a few good substitutes for celery seeds, common ingredients in your kitchen.

Note using a substitute may slightly alter the flavor of your final product. So, choose the suitable ingredient according to your recipe’s flavor profile and texture. The replacement ingredient must be flavor, texture, appearance, and aroma acceptable.

What are Celery Seeds?

Celery seeds are the fruits of Apium graveolens (a small plant), also known as wild celery.

It’s a popular spice used in several recipes all across the globe. Especially some varieties of salads may go incomplete with a pinch of celery seeds.

The Greeks used it extensively for home remedies. The Romans used it as a flavoring ingredient, which later found its place in many Italian and French cuisines. These seeds have the versatility to enhance salads, enrich dressings and pickles, elevate brines, and intensify dry marinades. Certain recipes distinctly require their unique flavor infusion for a complete culinary experience.

Although many countries grow celery, the US remains the top producer, followed by Mexico and India.

Often, celery seed is confused with lovage seed, which has a similar flavor. Lovage seed is larger and not sold as “celery seed.”


Celery seed tastes a lot like fresh celery, with the same astringent qualities and aroma that you get from raw stalks and leaves of the celery plant. All the same, much of the flavor concentrate is found in celery seeds. Also, celery seeds have a savory, earthy character with a tinge of bitter flavor. The bitterness increases when this spice is used in its ground form. Use it sparingly in your recipe, for its harsh and strong flavor can otherwise overpower it.

Health Benefits Of Celery Seeds

Though tiny, celery seeds have great nutritional value and many health benefits. Here are some of the prominent benefits of celery I could gather through my research and from studies out there:

  • Rich in several vital nutrients.
  • Supports better bone health.
  • Helps in red blood cell formation.
  • Good for managing healthy blood sugar levels.
  • Contains antibacterial properties.
  • Rich in antioxidants.

Substitute for Celery Seed

Finding an exact replacement is difficult for any spices with a unique flavor like celery. While choosing a good substitute for celery seeds, opt for something with a strong flavor similar to the seeds.

Here are the best celery seed alternatives that you can use.

Celery leaves and stalk

Undoubtedly, the best substitution for celery seeds is the fresh leaves and stalks of the celery plant. They all belong to the same plant and have the same aroma and flavor.

Of course, leaves and stalks have a different texture and are bulky. They are fibrous and increase the volume of your dish.

The seeds are slightly more flavorful than the leaves and stalks. Therefore, you need to use the leaves and stalks in more quantity than the seeds.

In place of one teaspoon of celery, use about 5 teaspoons of finely chopped stalks and leaves.

If you don’t have fresh celery leaves and stalks, use dry celery leaves and stalks, though they have lower flavor and aroma.

Celery salt

Celery salt is commonly used to season the Chicago-style hot dog, stews, salads, and coleslaw. It’s also used as a popular alternative to standard table salt.

Before you use this substitute, know the comparative facts of celery seeds vs. celery salt. Celery salt is a seasoned salt used for food seasoning, made from ground seeds, which may come from celery or its relative lovage. But in our context of substitution, use the one that contains ground celery seeds only.

If you have run out of celery seeds, use celery salt in its place. When using it as a substitute, balance the amount of salt added to the entire dish. Preferably, reduce salt in the recipe by ½ teaspoon.

Use two teaspoons of celery salt instead of every teaspoon of celery seeds.

Celery flakes

Celery flakes consist of dried stalks and leaves of celery. Flakes are made by de-moisturizing and compressing the fresh stalks and leaves of celery.

It has the same flavor and aroma as the seeds.

If you don’t have seeds, use the celery flakes instead. It is probably the best replacement for celery seeds.

Use one teaspoon of celery flakes instead of a teaspoon of celery seeds.


Lovage tastes like a mix of parsley and celery but with a higher intensity of both flavors. Like celery, lovage is used for its leaves, stalks, and seeds. Like the fennel seeds, the lovage seeds are used as a spice.

The aroma and flavor of this spice is a good match for celery. For this reason, lovage is an effective celery seed substitute.

Just as you do with celery, you can use the leaves and stalks of lovage for flavoring your dishes. Usually, the seeds are just sprinkled on dishes and salad.

The dry leaves and seeds of lovage also work as a good alternative to celery seeds.

The ground seeds of lovage blended with salt is an effective seasoning ingredient. This mixture can also be used in place of celery seeds.

Use lovage seeds in a 1:1 ratio for substitution.

Dill Seeds

The dill seeds render a pleasant aroma with a hint of sharpness and slant more toward anise, caraway, and celery seeds flavors. Just like celery, dill seeds also have pungent, astringent tones.

Dill and celery seeds look very different but can be used interchangeably. Dill seed is an excellent substitute for celery in salads, savory dishes, and pickling.

Use either of them in your dishes in the same quantity as a replacement.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much celery salt equals 1 cup of celery?

Celery salt and celery aren't directly interchangeable since celery salt combines celery seed and salt. To compare:
• 1 cup of celery is about 110 grams.
• Each gram of celery salt has roughly 0.11 grams of celery.
So, 1 cup of celery is roughly equal to 1,000 grams of celery salt.

Why can't I find celery flakes?

Finding celery flakes can be tricky because they're rarer than other herbs mainly sold in specialty stores or online. They last less time on shelves, making them less common in regular stores. Plus, their use is mostly limited to dishes like soups, reducing their overall demand.

How much celery seed equals a cup of celery?

Celery seed tastes more pungent than celery, so they don't convert directly. But generally, one teaspoon of celery seed matches the flavor of 2 celery stalks.

How much celery salt is to substitute for celery?

Since celery salt is a blend of celery seed and salt, it doesn't directly replace celery. Yet, you can generally swap 1 teaspoon of celery salt for every 2 tablespoons of chopped celery.

How much celery seed equals one stalk of celery?

One teaspoon of celery seed packs the flavor of two celery stalks. So, if a recipe needs 1 cup of celery, use 1/2 cup of celery seed instead.

Is celery seed the same as celery salt?

Celery seed and celery salt are different. Celery seed comes from the celery plant and is brown and flavorful. Celery salt is a mix of celery seed and salt with a milder, salty taste.

What does celery salt taste like?

Celery salt tastes tangy and a bit salty, with a gentle touch of celery. It's less intense than celery seed and has a slightly bitter end.

What do celery seeds look like?

Celery seeds are tiny, brown, and oval, similar in size to poppy seeds, with a bit of a rough surface. They're usually sold whole or can be found as a powder.

Where does celery seed come from?

Celery seed is harvested from the celery plant, part of the parsley family, originally from the Mediterranean. Now, it's grown globally.

Final Thoughts

The celery plant is perfect for soups, and salads, and as a garnish for some dishes. It’s a popular ingredient in several recipes, especially in the West. Despite the high water content, celery seed possesses many health benefits.

Some of the best substitutes for celery seeds include:

  • Minced fresh celery stalks and leaves.
  • Celery salt (reduce ½ teaspoon regular salt in the recipe)
  • Minced celery flakes.
  • Lovage (seeds or leaves and stalks).
  • Dill seeds.

Lastly, choose the correct substitute ingredients according to your dishes’ flavor profile and texture.

Other Spice Substitutes: