Whenever I come across a recipe that only calls for a stalk or two of celery, I inwardly sigh. Then I have the dilemma, "Can I get away with not using celery in this recipe at all? The rest of the bunch is just going to go to waste!"
Well, fear not — celery is actually really versatile, and even the biggest bunch can be easily used up in tasty ways. Instead of a supporting role in a dish, celery can be the star; here are 10 tasty ways I've found to use up a bunch of celery!
Celery juice adds bright, vibrant flavor without being too sweet. Try it in combination with cucumber, kale, and apple for a refreshing juice combination. Also try celery juice in cocktails; it plays nicely with tequila or gin.
I had pickled celery as part of a Spanish ham platter recently and the tart pieces of pickled celery were still really crunchy, but picked up the sour pickle brine nicely — it was such a fun way to eat celery and felt like a completely different vegetable.
Get a Recipe: Spicy Celery Quick Pickle Sticks - Food52
Chop up celery and combine it with cooked cranberries and almonds for a fun twist on relish. Also try mixing it with blue cheese, herbs, and olive oil for a fun buffalo wing-inspired relish to serve with grilled or roasted chicken.
Get a Recipe: Cranberry and Celery Relish - Epicurious
While celery usually just gets stuffed into a roast chicken or turkey, it's great roasted under the chicken to absorb all those lovely juices, or roasted separately as its own side dish.
Get a Recipe: Crispy, Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Celery - The Splendid Table
Okay, I know celery is normally already part of the mirepoix mix of celery, onion, and carrots that many recipes start with, but hear me out! Precook mirepoix or its Southern cousin, the holy trinity (celery, onion, and green bell pepper), and then freeze it to get a jumpstart on recipes calling for those two mixes.
Celery is actually used in a lot of Asian stir-fried dishes since it cooks quickly, but retains a nice crunch. Thinly slice up the celery and stir-fry it with chicken, tofu, or beef!
Learn How to Stir-Fry: How To Stir-Fry Chicken
Think of celery in the same vein as you would fennel and radishes — it adds a nice crunch and flavor to salads, especially when thinly sliced. It's a great way to use up a big bunch of celery, especially when combined with something tart and juicy, like grapefruit.
Celery is assertive enough that it can be the dominant flavor in a puréed soup — especially when tempered with cream and some salty bacon!
Get a Recipe: Cream of Celery Soup with Bacon
Braised celery takes on the flavor of the braising liquid quite nicely, turning it from crisp and refreshing into something warm and comforting. Whether you braise in tomato sauce or chicken stock, braised celery can be a great main dish when spooned over polenta or couscous.
Get a Recipe: Sedano e Pomodori Brasati (Braised Celery and Tomato) - Saveur
Of course we all know ants in a log, but celery can stand in for lettuce instead and be stuffed with your favorite chicken, egg, or tuna salad. Crab salad stuffed in celery stalks would make a delicious, elegant starter to any dinner party.
Get a Recipe: Crab-Stuffed Celery - Taste of Home
If you actually like celery sticks, here's a quick tip to remember when you have them around: Make a crudité platter and keep it eye level in your fridge so you have a visual reminder every time you go in there!
Finally, don't forget that the stump of the celery isn't just for the compost bin — you can replant it instead!
Read the Tip: Re-Growing Celery: Grow a New Bunch Indoors or Outdoors
What do you like to do with celery?
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