Celery root comes from the celeriac plant, and it is mostly used to flavor foods such as soups and stews. If you need a substitute for celery root, you can use the following foods:
- Fennel bulb
- Butternut squash
- Parsley root
What Is Celery Root?
Celery root can be eaten raw or cooked. When it’s cooked, it tastes a lot like a potato or a turnip. When eaten raw, it has a crispy and crunchy texture, but keep in mind that you have to take the skin off of the root before you eat it.
Also, keep in mind that not all these substitutions are good for all stews and soups. In other words, when you’re looking for a celery root substitute, you have to pair it well with the dish you’re cooking.
8 Substitutes for Celery Root That Work
If you need a celery root alternative, here are some suggestions:
1. Fennel Bulb
A fennel bulb looks a little like an onion and has a nice sweet flavor. It has green stalks on top of the white bulb part and is very healthy. It contains a lot of vitamins and has a taste similar to celery. If you use this veggie as a substitution for celery root, just know that it won’t take as long to cook because it is a little softer than celery root. Wait until the dish is nearly cooked all the way before you add this vegetable. Otherwise, it will be very mushy and will fall apart easily.
Carrots are easy to find and are perfect as a substitution for celery root, especially in soups, salads, and meat dishes, among others. The only thing that’s a little different is that when you use carrots instead of celery root, the aroma of the dish won’t be quite as pleasant. It won’t be a bad smell, but it isn’t as nice as the celery root. But the taste will be exquisite!
When you don’t have celery root but want something extremely close to the taste and texture of that vegetable, turnips are your best bet. Between the texture and the starchiness, they are nearly identical to celery root, so you can use turnips in any dish in which you would normally use celery root. Turnips are such a great alternative to celery root that you can use them in equal portions and sizes when cooking your dish.
Because celery root tastes like potatoes when cooked, you can use potatoes as a substitute nearly every time. Potatoes are very nutritious and are easy to find, not to mention inexpensive. When you use potatoes in place of celery root, the taste and texture will be very similar. Potatoes are low in calories and have plenty of vitamins and minerals. When you look at potatoes and celery root side by side when it comes to taste, texture, and nutritional value, you’ll realize why they are essentially interchangeable.
5. Butternut Squash
While butternut squash is not a root vegetable, you can still use it in place of celery root. You just might have to make a few adjustments. First of all, since this type of squash is so sweet, you’ll have to add a little bit of salt to the recipe to balance out the taste. It is also best to save this squash for purees and other dishes with that type of texture. You should also use it sparingly and maybe even combine it with another root vegetable, in part because the color of the squash can turn your dish a funny color in the end.
A rutabaga is like a cross between a turnip and a cabbage. Its flavor is a bit milder and similar to that of Yukon potatoes. It is considered such a good replacement for celery root that you can use it exactly the same way. When it’s cooked, it has a sweet, buttery flavor with a hint of pepper. It is also similar in texture to celery root, which makes it a great substitute for your dishes.
When using celery in place of celery root, keep in mind that celery has a high water content, so you’ll need to add some type of thickener, such as potatoes or even a little corn starch. You can use the same amount that you would with celery root, but just remember you can also use the entire celery, including the leaves, and you should chop the celery like you would if you were using celery root.
8. Parsley Root
Parsley roots have a smooth consistency and a nice creamy taste when you cook them, and they make a great replacement for celery root in soups and stews. With a crispy texture and a beige color, parsley root is great for adding to boiled, baked, or steamed dishes. For nearly any dish that you would use celery root in, you can use parsley root instead. Both the taste and texture are perfect, and what’s more, you can easily grow your own parsley root if you want to make sure that what you’re using is fresh! (As a side note, parsley root also works great as a parsnip substitute.)
When trying to find a celery root replacement, you should look for something with the same taste and texture. Celery root is sometimes difficult to find and is typically not something most people already have in their kitchens. Some of the foods mentioned above are better replacements than others, so do some research before you choose one.