Celery Seeds Add A Stunning Flavor Boost To Potato Salad

If you're looking to shake up your classic potato salad, you may just need one ingredient — a spoonful of celery seeds. While they might come from the celery plant, this isn't just like throwing some celery into the mix. Instead, celery seeds add an intriguing flavor profile: they're a bit herby, a little earthy, with a celery flavor and a slight hint of anise, adding a vibrant extra layer to your spuds.


It should be pretty easy to incorporate them into a standard potato salad recipe with a creamy mayonnaise base. Just mix them in with the dressing and any other herbs and seasonings in the recipe. The exact amount to use is flexible, as it's not the most intense flavor — a teaspoon would be a happy medium amount (if you're using two to three pounds of potatoes), but you could go for less (say, half a teaspoon) if you want a very subtle note, or more (perhaps up to a tablespoon) if you want something punchier.

Working with celery seeds

Celery seeds aren't a dominant spice; they tend to be more subtle and complementary to other seasonings. For example, they're part of a broad mix of spices in Old Bay seasoning, which means they should play nicely with a range of flavors, including the common ingredients in potato salad. They work just as well with larger ingredients like onions and hard-boiled eggs as they do with herbs like chives and parsley, as well as condiments like mustard. They're also good with some bolder flavors like garlic and chilies, if you're getting extra-experimental with your potato salad.


If you're buying celery seeds, you should be able to find them in the spice section of most supermarkets. While you can buy ground celery seeds, it's probably wiser to go for whole seeds, since ground celery seeds lose their flavor relatively quickly. If you really don't want whole seeds in your potato salad, you can grind them at home with a food processor or coffee grinder. If celery seeds aren't available, celery salt is very similar — but it's usually a 2-to-1 mix of salt and celery seeds, so you may want to cut back on any other salt in the recipe.