Celery Salt: A Secret Ingredient to Liven Your Dishes

What is Celery Salt?

Have you ever heard of celery salt? This secret ingredient may not be as well-known as other seasonings, but it can certainly elevate your dishes to a whole new level. Made from ground celery seeds and salt, this seasoning offers a unique blend of savory, earthy, and slightly bitter flavors that can add depth and complexity to a variety of dishes. From enhancing the flavor of soups and stews, to giving a zesty kick to cocktails and Bloody Mary’s, celery salt is a versatile and delicious seasoning that every home cook should have in their spice cabinet.

In this article, we will explore the many benefits of using celery salt in your cooking, as well as some creative ways to incorporate this secret ingredient into your favorite recipes. So, let’s dive in and discover why it is the ultimate flavor booster you need to take your cooking to the next level.

History & Background

Did you know that celery was mentioned in Homer’s Odyssey from 850 BC? But it was actually cultivated for its medicinal value long before that. In fact celery was also mentioned in Chinese writings from the 5th century. It has a long and interesting history dating back to ancient Rome. Celery seeds were used in medicinal remedies, and the plant was considered a symbol of victory and honor. The use of it as a seasoning, however, can also be traced back to the United States in the late 19th century.

According to legend, a Chicago meatpacking company called Swift and Company created the seasoning as a way to use up the excess celery seeds they had leftover from making their signature sausages. The seasoning quickly gained popularity, and it became a staple in the city’s food culture. Today, it is still closely associated with Chicago-style hot dogs, which are traditionally served with mustard, relish, onions, tomatoes, a pickle spear, and a sprinkle of celery salt.

What form does it take?

Celery salt typically comes in the form of a fine powder or granules. The celery seeds are ground into a powder, which is then mixed with salt to create the final product. The final mixed texture is similar to that of regular table salt or other fine seasoning blends.

The ratio of celery seeds to salt can vary depending on the brand and the intended use of the seasoning. Some celery salts may also contain additional ingredients like garlic powder, onion powder, or paprika for added flavor.

Ground Celery Salt

100% Celery Seeds and Salt – use in soups, stews and marinades. Also try using in Bloody Mary’s to add a touch flavor to your drinks.

No added MSG and Kosher certified.

Large 30 ounce resealable container full of flavor.

Is Celery Salt good for you?

In addition to its delicious flavor, celery salt also has some health benefits. Celery seeds are a good source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, which can help reduce inflammation in the body and protect against chronic diseases. Celery seeds are also high in fiber, which can aid in digestion and promote feelings of fullness.

However, it’s important to note that it is high in sodium, which can be detrimental to your health in large amounts. It’s best to use it in moderation and to balance it out with other seasonings and fresh ingredients.

Flavor Profile

The flavor of celery salt is unique and complex. The celery seeds provide an earthy, slightly bitter taste, while the salt adds a savory flavor. Together, they create a seasoning that can add depth and complexity to a variety of dishes.

Cooking with Celery Salt

It is a versatile seasoning that can be used in a variety of dishes. Here are some creative ways to use it in your cooking:

  • Soups and Stews – It can add depth and complexity to soups and stews. Add a pinch to your favorite recipe to enhance the flavor of the broth.
  • Bloody Mary’s – It is a key ingredient in a classic Bloody Mary. Rim your glass with celery salt for an extra kick of flavor.
  • Roasted Vegetables – Sprinkle it over roasted vegetables like carrots, potatoes, and Brussels sprouts for a savory twist.
  • Potato Salad – It is a traditional ingredient in potato salad. Add a sprinkle to your favorite recipe for added flavor.
  • Chicago-style Hot Dogs – As mentioned earlier, it is a staple in Chicago-style hot dogs. Add a sprinkle to your hot dog for an authentic taste.

Celery salt is a popular seasoning in many classic dishes. Here are a few examples:

  • Old Bay Seasoning – Old Bay seasoning is a popular spice blend that is used in seafood dishes and other savory recipes. Celery salt is one of the main ingredients in Old Bay, along with paprika, black pepper, and other spices.
  • Coleslaw – It is a traditional ingredient in coleslaw. It adds a savory flavor that complements the sweetness of the cabbage and carrots.
  • Clam Chowder – it is often used in clam chowder to enhance the flavor of the broth. It pairs well with the briny flavor of the clams.
  • Deviled Eggs – Deviled eggs are typically made with mayonnaise, mustard, and other seasonings. It adds a savory flavor that complements the creaminess of the filling.

Homemade Celery Salt Recipe

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also make your own celery salt at home. Here’s my simple recipe to try:


  • 1/4 cup celery seeds
  • 1/4 cup sea salt

Cooking Instructions:

  1. In a spice grinder or mortar and pestle, grind the celery seeds until they are finely ground.
  2. Then in a small bowl, mix together the ground celery seeds and sea salt.
  3. Finally, store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

Now that was easy!

Common Uses for Celery Salt

While it is commonly used as a seasoning for food, it can also have other uses. Here are a few additional ways it can be utilized:

  1. It is often used to rim the glass of a Bloody Mary cocktail. Simply moisten the rim of the glass with a lemon or lime wedge, then dip it into celery salt to create a flavorful and decorative rim. Now lift your glasses and say ‘cheers’ everyone.
  2. Adding it to homemade pickling brines can enhance the flavor of pickled vegetables like cucumbers, green beans, or carrots. It imparts a savory and slightly tangy taste to the pickles.
  3. It can be used as an ingredient in salad dressings, marinades, and sauces to add a subtle celery flavor. It works particularly well in dressings for green salads, coleslaws, or potato salads.
  4. Sprinkling a small amount of it on freshly popped popcorn can provide a unique and savory twist to this classic snack.
  5. Aside from its use in Bloody Mary cocktails, it can also be incorporated into dishes inspired by the flavors of the cocktail. For example, you can sprinkle it on shrimp cocktail, seafood salads, or even use it as a seasoning for grilled or roasted meats.
  6. It can be used as a general flavor enhancer in various dishes. It can add depth and complexity to soups, stews, roasted vegetables, and meat dishes.

Remember to use it in moderation due to its high salt content, especially when applying it in dishes that already contain salt or when following dietary restrictions on sodium intake.

Alternatives for Celery Salt

If you don’t have celery salt on hand or prefer to avoid it, there are a few substitutes you can consider. Try using celery powder, or celery seeds. You could also make a herb and salt blend in place of it.

Have a look at our substitutes section for ideas on what other ingredient you can use in place of celery salt.


Whilst it may not be as well-known as other seasonings, it can certainly add a unique and delicious flavor to your cooking. Whether you’re making soups, stews, cocktails, or classic dishes like coleslaw and clam chowder, celery salt is a versatile seasoning that every home cook should have in their spice cabinet. Experiment with different ways to use it in your cooking and discover the many benefits of this secret ingredient.