In the world of salads, Celery Salad often flies under the radar, but we're here to change that! Crisp chunks of celery are tossed with fresh herbs and homemade vinaigrette, resulting in a light, zesty, and refreshing dish.
Celery salad is a simple but flavorful dish that turns an overlooked vegetable into the star of the show. This recipe really showcases how versatile celery is when it’s mixed with the right flavor enhancers.
We love to toss it with fresh herbs, fennel, and a light, tangy vinaigrette dressing. This way, the crunchy texture and distinctive flavor of celery shine through. It is seriously one of the best salad recipes.
Feel free to switch up the flavors by adding ingredients like apples, cheese, dates, red onions, or sliced almonds. You can enjoy this refreshing salad on its own, but we find it pairs well with proteins like grilled chicken or salmon.
Why You'll Love Celery Salad
- Low in calories: Since celery is made up of mostly water, this salad is extremely low in calories. It’s a great choice for those with a big appetite!
- Made in one bowl: Everything comes together in one bowl, making this celery salad a fuss-free recipe with minimal clean-up.
- Vegetarian: This vegetarian recipe is easy to make vegan-friendly, so you can share it with a wide variety of food lovers!
Ingredients and Substitutions
You don’t need much to make a delicious celery salad recipe! Here are the key ingredients:
- Celery: With its crisp texture and subtly sweet flavor, celery is the perfect choice for a salad base. Make sure to include the celery leaves as well. You can also try cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, or fennel as an alternative.
- Parsley: Lends a fresh, slightly bitter taste that complements the celery well. If you can’t find parsley, experiment with cilantro for a different flavor profile.
- Dill: Provides a unique taste with notes of anise, citrus, and grass. Mint, oregano, or basil are all options as well if you don’t like dill.
- Fennel: Fennel seeds impart a sweet, licorice-like element that balances the bitterness of the celery. Mustard or caraway seeds also work as substitutes or you can skip it if you don't love the flavor of fennel.
- Red wine vinegar: Gives this celery salad a zesty tang. If you don't have red wine vinegar, try white wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or fresh lemon juice.
- Olive oil: We recommend extra-virgin olive oil for the fruitiest aroma and richest flavor. No olive oil on hand? Use avocado oil, grapeseed oil, or walnut oil instead.
- Salt and black pepper: Enhances the flavor of the celery and adds a slight kick.
- Sugar: Just a touch of granulated sugar helps balance the tang and bitterness of the salad and dressing. You can also use honey or agave if you prefer.
What To Serve With Celery Salad
The crisp, refreshing flavors of this celery salad complement a variety of dishes! Try serving yours with options like these:
- Grilled lemon pepper chicken
- Hummus wraps
- Grilled Salmon
- Mediterranean Quinoa Bowl
- Lemon Pepper Tilapia
- Grilled Lemon Dijon Chicken Thighs
Celery salad is best enjoyed fresh, but follow these storage tips if you have leftovers:
- Fridge: Store the salad in an airtight container for up to 2-3 days in the refrigerator. The celery might lose a bit of its crunch, but the flavor will still be delicious.
- Freezer: We don’t recommend freezing this salad since the high water content of celery means it will turn soggy once thawed.
- Prep ahead: You can prep the salad a few hours ahead of time. Just keep it covered in the fridge until you're ready to serve.
Make This Salad Even More Unique
Don’t feel limited by the ingredients in this recipe! Get creative with your celery salad by incorporating options like these:
- Cheese: Sprinkle on goat cheese, feta cheese, or shaved Parmesan cheese for a creamy touch.
- Fruit: Add sliced apples or pears for natural sweetness. You can also add chopped dates, raisins, or dried cranberries for a chewy element.
- Spice: Give your salad a little kick with a teaspoon or so of red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, or even Dijon mustard.
- Citrusy: Add some lemon zest and use lemon juice to make a lemon vinaigrette.
- Nuts: Top it with sliced almonds, cashews, pecans, or walnuts for a nutty crunch.
- Protein: Toss in some chickpeas, lentils, navy beans, or quinoa for added protein.
Tips for Making Celery Salad
Since this celery salad is so simple to make, it’s important to follow these tips for the best results:
- Use fresh celery: Purchase a fresh, crisp bunch of celery and use it within a few days for the best texture in this recipe.
- Thin slices: Slice the celery thinly and on an angle for a better bite. You can even use a mandoline to ensure each slice is perfectly uniform.
- Let it rest: Let the salad chill before serving to allow the flavors time to meld together.
- Chop the herbs finely: Finely chopping the herbs helps evenly distribute them throughout the salad, resulting in a more balanced flavor.
A Powerhouse Of Nutrition
Celery is not only a crunchy and delicious addition to recipes but it’s also a valuable contributor to health. Here is what this humble green veggie has to offer:
- Antioxidants: Celery is packed with a variety of antioxidants, which help keep our cells protected from free radicals.
- Anti-inflammatory: Thanks to a compound called apigenin, celery may help with reducing inflammation in our bodies.
- High in fiber: Celery is an excellent source of dietary fiber, which supports a healthy gut and digestive system.
- Hydration: If you don’t drink enough water, you’ll be happy to know celery is made up of 95% water. So, eating more of this vegetable can actually help with hydration!
- Vitamins and minerals: Although it's low in calories, celery is a great source of vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, and potassium.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the most common questions about making this tasty salad.
While we always suggest using fresh herbs, you can use dried ones if you’re in a pinch. Dried herbs are more potent, so you’ll have to use about a third of the amount called for in the recipe.
Yes, you can use celery root (celeriac), but it will provide a different texture and flavor profile than the stalks.
Yes, you can eat celery raw without any issues. In fact, raw vegetables usually contain more nutrients than cooked ones!
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- 8 stalks celery (¼ inch diagonal slices, stalks and leaves)
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 3 tbsp dill, chopped
- 1.5 tsp fennel seeds (or mustard/caraway seeds)
- 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp sugar
- 3/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
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- Nutritional Information
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
Optional additions: sliced apples, feta or Parmesan cheese, chopped dates, red onions, red pepper flakes, or sliced almonds
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