Sautéed Celery (20-Minute Side Dish)
This sautéed celery recipe is cooked with Asian-inspired seasonings like garlic, soy sauce, and rice vinegar. It’s a quick, easy, and nutritious vegetable side dish – packed with flavour and crunch!
If you haven’t tried cooking celery stalks before, you are in for SUCH a treat! It was something I tried by chance years ago and was so pleasantly surprised by the result. Cooking transforms the flavour of raw celery into something a little more mild, while absorbing the flavours of the seasonings you cook it with.
This is my personal favourite way to eat celery and it makes for such a quick and easy side dish – all you need are 6 ingredients and about 20 minutes to throw it together!
As a dietitian, I’m happy to share that celery is packed with nutrition benefits, like fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins. I’ve also included a handful of ideas for what to serve this sautéed celery side dish with to make a complete, nutritionally-balanced meal.
Want more delicious veggie sides? Check out my popular roundup of 30+ healthy vegetable side dish recipes!
Is celery good cooked?
You bet! Cooking helps to mellow out the flavours of raw celery, while adding additional flavours from all the seasonings you cook it with.
It also makes celery slightly softer and more tender to eat, but you still keep a bit of that crunch for plenty of texture.
Cooking celery is an awesome way to change things up! And if you’re not a big fan of raw celery, you may be surprised by how delicious this sautéed celery is 🙂
How long does it take to cook celery?
Not long at all! In a skillet, you can cook celery in about 6-10 minutes depending on your desired doneness or crunchiness. I personally find 8 minutes to be the sweet spot!
About the ingredients
All you need to make this easy celery side dish are 6 simple ingredients:
- Celery: We’ll use one whole bunch of celery for this recipe, so nothing goes to waste! You can even chop up the leaves and add them into the pan when cooking. When purchasing, try to find a bunch of celery that is looking quite “fresh” – not too many browned spots or broken stalks. Dirt is ok and natural – just be sure to give it a good rinse!
- Olive Oil: I use olive oil to cook the celery in, but you are welcome to swap it with a neutral-flavoured cooking oil if preferred (my other go-to in this case would be avocado oil!)
- Garlic: This recipe calls for minced fresh garlic cloves, but you are welcome to use garlic powder if you’re in a pinch.
- Soy Sauce or Tamari: Celery pairs so great with Asian-inspired flavours. You’re welcome to use soy sauce, tamari (if you follow a gluten-free diet), or even coconut aminos if preferred. These sauces all contain sodium, so you may not need any extra salt (but if you feel that you do, taste at the end and add as needed!)
- Rice Vinegar: Rice vinegar adds a nice, mild acidity to complement the salty flavours of the soy sauce. If you can’t get your hands on rice vinegar, you’re welcome to try this with white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar instead.
- Optional: Chopped Parsley – not completely necessary, but parsley adds a balancing freshness to the salt and acidity, plus some extra greens and nutrition! If you have some parsley in the fridge, this a great way to use it up.
Full ingredient measurements and detailed instructions are located in the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post!
How to cut celery stalks
Start by washing celery stalks well and removing any browned or hard ends.
Then, take one stalk and lie it face down on a cutting board. With a chef’s knife, cut down along the stalk in roughly 1/4-inch pieces. I personally like to cut a bit on a diagonal. Repeat until all stalks are cut.
How to sauté celery
Next, mince cloves of fresh garlic into very fine pieces.
Do the same with fresh parsley, if you choose to use it!
Next, heat olive oil in a large pan. When hot, add the minced garlic and cook for a couple minutes, stirring frequently.
Then, add chopped celery to the pan along with soy sauce/tamari, rice vinegar, and black pepper. Cook for approximately 8 minutes, stirring every 30-or-so seconds.
Finally, turn off the heat and stir in the chopped parsley. Taste and adjust seasonings, as desired and serve hot!
What to serve this recipe with
This is a quick vegetable side dish that honestly goes with just about everything. The seasonings for the celery are asian-inspired, so you may want to continue that theme throughout the meal, or just opt for something super simple!
I often practice the “plate method,” where I like to balance my plate with protein, complex carbohydrates or starches, plenty of veggies, and some healthy fats for a nutritionally-balanced meal.
For a protein, it would go great with some:
- salmon – like this baked miso maple ginger salmon
- a white fish – like this baked herb-crusted cod
- shrimp – this sautéed paprika shrimp is a favourite in my house!
- tofu – either this honey garlic tofu or this miso tofu would be excellent
- cooked chicken or other meat
For a starch, I love it with:
Celery nutrition benefits
From a micronutrient standpoint, celery is a source of:
- vitamin K
- vitamin C
- vitamin A
In addition to micronutrients, celery is also a good source of dietary fibre (important for our gut health, heart health, and blood sugar regulation) and antioxidants (which help prevent cell damage and promote good health overall).
Plus, at 95% water, celery is also super hydrating!
If you love celery, check out my crunchy cucumber, carrot, and celery salad for another delicious way to enjoy it!
More sautéed vegetable sides:
- Cheesy Sautéed Butternut Squash
- Sautéed Shredded Brussels Sprouts With Lemon
- Garlic Sautéed Green Beans With Dijon Vinaigrette
- Sautéed Oyster Mushrooms With Red Wine Vinegar
Did you give this Sautéed Celery Recipe a try? Let me know by leaving a comment and recipe rating below!
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Get the Recipe: Sautéed Celery (20-Minute Side Dish)
- PREP: Wash celery stalks + remove any hard or browned ends. Take one stalk and lie it face down on a cutting board. With a chef's knife, cut down along the stalk in roughly 1/4-inch pieces. I personally like to cut a bit on a diagonal. Repeat until all stalks are cut. You can even cut up the leaves and add them in for a no-waste option!Mince garlic and roughly chop parsley. Set aside.
- Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium-high. When hot, add the minced garlic and cook for a couple minutes, stirring frequently.
- Then, add chopped celery to the pan along with soy sauce/tamari, rice vinegar, and black pepper. Cook for approximately 8 minutes, stirring every 30-or-so seconds. Celery should be tender, but still have a good crunch to it!
- Turn off the heat and stir in the chopped parsley. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired (you may need a touch more if you have an extra large bunch of celery!) and serve hot.Note: soy sauce/tamari is a source of sodium, so you may not need to add extra salt to this. Taste and add more salt (or tamari) if necessary and desired!
- Leftovers can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge. With proper storage, cooked celery will last for 3-5 days in the refrigerator.
- To reheat, you can easily do so in the microwave or on the stovetop! Or, you may enjoy this one cold as well.
- Olive oil can be swapped for another neutral-flavoured oil. My preference would be avocado oil.
- You may use garlic powder in place of fresh garlic, if you’re in a pinch!
- Similarly, you are welcome to try this with white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar if you’re not able to get your hands on rice vinegar.
- To ensure a gluten-free recipe (if needed), please use a certified gluten-free tamari OR coconut aminos in place of soy sauce (which contains gluten).
As a dietitian, I create recipes with whole food ingredients that provide the nutrients needed for optimal health. My nutrition philosophy does not focus on numbers; however, I understand that this information can be helpful.
Do note that the nutrition info provided is an estimate and I cannot guarantee correctness of the displayed values. These numbers will differ depending on brands used, recipe modifications, and amount eaten. If you require specific nutrition information due to medical reasons, please consult with your dietitian or physician.