Chicken salad is a classic dish that has been a staple in many households for years.
However, it can become a bit mundane after a while.
If you’re looking for a way to give your chicken salad a bit of a twist, consider substituting celery for something else.
In this article, I’ll explore 15 delicious celery substitutes that will take your chicken salad to the next level.
- What to Do with Leftover Chicken Salad (16 Creative Ideas)
- Chicken Salad Wine Pairing – Best Wines for Chicken Salads
15 Best Substitutes for Celery in Chicken Salad
Below is an overview of the 15 celery substitutes that you can use to make your chicken salad extra special:
Swapping out celery for apples in your chicken salad is a great way to get a unique flavor and different texture.
To make it, simply dice up a few apples, and mix them in with your cooked chicken and other salad ingredients.
As a prep tip, it’s best to add the apples at the end, so that they don’t get too soggy before you serve the salad.
Swapping out celery for pears in your chicken salad is a great way to add a unique flavor and texture.
Start by peeling and dicing the pear into small cubes and adding it to the salad mix.
To prevent the pears from turning brown, be sure to sprinkle them with a bit of lemon juice before adding them to the salad.
This will add a nice zing to the salad and make it even more delicious!
Swapping celery out of your chicken salad is a great way to add more flavor and texture to the dish.
Carrots are a great alternative to celery, as they offer a sweeter and crunchier texture.
To prepare the carrots, simply peel and grate them, or use pre-cut carrot coins. If you want to add a little more flavor, try roasting the carrots first before adding them to your dish.
This will give the carrots a deep, slightly sweet flavor and a pleasant crunch.
Radishes might sound like an unusual addition to your chicken salad, but they can provide a delicious and crunchy alternative to celery.
To add radishes to your chicken salad, simply chop them into small pieces and mix them in with other ingredients.
An important tip to remember is to lightly salt the radishes first to help bring out their flavor.
This will help give your chicken salad a unique and flavorful twist.
Celeriac has fantastic crunch and a super nutty, celery-like flavor that will instantly upgrade your chicken salad.
To substitute celeriac in your chicken salad, simply peel and cube the celeriac into small pieces, then cook it in boiling water until it is just tender.
To make sure that the pieces don’t break apart when cooked, add a tablespoon of salt to the cooking water.
Once it is cooked, drain it and mix it in with the rest of the salad ingredients. Enjoy your crunchy and flavorful new salad!
Zucchini doesn’t pack a ton of flavor, but it adds a great crunch to your chicken salad.
To get the best flavor and texture, it’s best to cut the zucchini into thin slices or julienne strips.
To keep the zucchini crunchy, you can blanch it in boiling water for a few minutes before adding it to the salad.
This will help ensure that you get a nice crunchy texture without compromising the flavor.
Cucumbers are pretty mild in flavor and crunchy in texture, making them a great substitute for celery in your chicken salad.
To give your salad extra flavor and crunch, simply dice the cucumbers and mix them in with the other ingredients.
As a prep tip, try to slice the cucumbers as thinly as possible so that the texture and flavor of the cucumbers is evenly distributed throughout the salad.
8. Bell Peppers
Bell peppers are a great substitution for celery in chicken salad.
They provide a much brighter flavor and a crisp texture that can be a welcome change from the sometimes bland and crunchy celery.
To use them, simply chop them into small cubes or strips and add them in place of the celery.
As a prep tip, you can seed the bell peppers first to reduce the moisture content and make them easier to work with.
Fennel has a very mild anise or licorice flavor, which can bring a unique depth to your chicken salad.
It can also provide a nice crunch without being as tough and flavorless as celery.
To swap out celery for fennel, you can either dice or slice the fennel into thin strips.
For a unique twist, try roasting the fennel for about 12 minutes and then adding it to your chicken salad.
This will add a nice depth and sweetness to the salad.
Tomatoes add a certain freshness and sweetness to chicken salad that celery lacks.
To swap out celery for tomatoes, simply dice up some fresh tomatoes and add them to your salad.
You can also roast them to add a smoky flavor.
To ensure the tomatoes are evenly distributed throughout the salad, pre-mix them with some olive oil and a pinch of salt before adding them to the chicken salad.
This will ensure that your salad is flavorful and evenly distributed.
11. Dried Apricots
Here’s a fun way to switch up your usual chicken salad: swap out the celery and add in some dried apricots!
The apricots will bring a sweet and chewy texture, as well as a flavor that complements the chicken perfectly.
To get the most out of this swap, cut the apricots into small pieces and let them marinate in the dressing for a few minutes before serving.
This will help bring out the sweetness and give the salad a unique flavor.
Try it out and enjoy!
Figs have a honey-like sweetness that can make a delicious addition to your chicken salad.
They also provide a softer, chewier texture than celery, which can be a welcome change.
When prepping your ingredients, be sure to dice the figs into small pieces so they mix in easily with the other ingredients.
You can also lightly roast the figs to bring out even more flavor.
Enjoy the sweet and savory flavors of your new chicken salad with figs!
Almonds are used in so many recipes, but they can also be a great addition to chicken salad.
Not only will they add a delicious nutty flavor, but they also have a great crunch that can really compliment the other flavors in the salad.
To get the most out of the almonds, you should lightly toast them first as this will bring out the flavor and crunch even more.
- Simply spread the almonds onto a baking tray and place in the oven at 375°F for about 5 minutes.
- Once toasted, let them cool and then add them to your chicken salad for a great flavor and texture combination.
14. Sunflower Seeds
Sunflower seeds have a mild, nutty flavor that can add a delicious punch to your chicken salad.
They also provide an interesting texture, as they are crunchy but not nearly as tough as celery.
To add sunflower seeds to your chicken salad, simply toast them in a dry skillet over low to medium heat until they become fragrant.
This will add an extra layer of flavor to your salad.
As a prep tip, consider crushing the sunflower seeds before adding them to your chicken salad.
This will allow them to better integrate into the dish and provide a more uniform texture.
When I think of cashews in the place of celery in my chicken salad, I can’t help but imagine the difference in flavor and texture.
Cashews are much creamier, and their flavor is slightly sweet, making it a perfect complement to the savory ingredients of the chicken salad.
To get the most from cashews, I highly recommend toasting them before adding them to the salad. This will bring out their flavor, as well as give them a bit of crunch.
12 Delicious Substitutes for Celery in Chicken Stock
13 Best Substitutes for Carrots in Soup
10 Best Substitutes for Barley in Soup
13 Best Substitutes for Celery in Bolognese
15 Substitutes for Raisins in Carrot Cake
17 Substitutes for Onion in Indian Cooking
15 Best Substitutes for Celery in Chicken Salad
- Bell Peppers
- Dried Apricots
- Sunflower Seeds
- Pick any of these ingredients to use instead of celery in your chicken salad recipe.
- Prepare the rest of your recipe.
- Enjoy in no time!
Hi, I'm Benjamin. I love cooking, long walks, and my girlfriend! Here you’ll find simple and delicious recipes that you can make in 30 minutes or less.