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Celery Salad

5 from 1 vote
Time: 10 minutes
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This one bowl Celery Salad is loaded with crunchy celery, sweet cranberries, toasted pecans, and is coated in a rich and creamy dressing. Serve it as a side dish to your favorite meal, or at everything from potlucks to outdoor grilling parties.

If you like this, then you will love my English Pea Salad. It is also full of veggies and coated in a light, creamy dressing.

A big bowl of Celery Salad and a spoon ready for serving. More chopped pecans, dried cranberries, and a bottle of red wine vinegar in the background.

The BEST Celery Salad

I have turned multiple celery haters into celery lovers with this simple salad! Some say its the dressing, others say it’s the bright cranberry and toasty pecans, but really it’s all in the celery.

Celery is by nature a crunchy, fibrous, and sometimes bitter vegetable. Most people find hard to eat, but I have a few secrets for you. If you cut celery on the diagonal it severs the fibers in just the right way that tenderizes the exterior. Two, the red wine vinegar in the dressing mellows out the bitter by making the water within the celery more sweet in flavor.

I know, I know, less about celery and more about this salad. You’ll also love how it’s…

  • MADE USING ONE BOWL – Not kidding, just toss the dressing in the bottom of your bowl, add the goodies, combine and that’s it!
  • PERFECT FOR MAKING AHEAD OF TIME – This salad tastes better over time which makes it great for parties and holidays, meal prepping, or just because you want to have a big bowl of it in the refrigerator.
  • A GREAT USE OF CELERY – Whether you have lots of celery hanging out in the refrigerator or you have some that is about to go bad, this salad is a great way to use 8 or more stalks.

What’s even better is you will turn the celery haters in your life into celery lovers too!

Celery Salad with red wine vinegar, more toasted pecans, and dried cranberries on the side. Serving spoons ready to scoop.

Celery Salad Ingredients

Below are all the ingredients you will need to make this celery salad recipe. I have included important notes and potential substitutions.

  • Celery: Be sure to wash, trim both ends of the celery stalks, and chop them on the diagonal into 1/4 inch pieces.
  • Dried Cranberries: Adds a sweet note to the salad, raisins or dried cherries taste great as well.
  • Pecans: Unsalted pecans that are lightly toasted taste best. You will also want to chop them into small, bite sized pieces. Feel free to use raw pecans if you don’t want to use toasted pecans.
  • Sour Cream: The base to our dressing. You can also use plain Greek yogurt to lighten things up.
  • Mayonnaise: Adds a richness to the dressing. Feel free to use your favorite brand, I use avocado mayo.
  • Dijon Mustard: This is for seasoning and flavor without adding a ton of other ingredients.
  • Red Wine Vinegar: Has a fruity tanginess that compliments the other ingredients in this salad. In a pinch you could substitute it for apple cider vinegar, but I do not recommend any other substitutions because it changes the flavor in the dressing a bit too much.
  • Salt and Black Pepper: Basic seasoning every salad needs. You can either follow my measurements or season the salad to your taste preferences.
Ingredients. Celery, toasted pecans, dried cranberries, mayonnaise, sour cream, dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, salt, and black pepper.

How to Make Celery Salad

Here’s a quick overview of how to make this easy Celery Salad. The recipe card further down will have complete details and instructions.

1. TOAST CHOPPED PECANS in a dry skillet until they are golden brown and fragrant.

2. IN A LARGE BOWL, STIR together dressing, sour cream, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, salt and black pepper.

3. ADD celery, dried cranberries, and chopped pecans.

4. COMBINE until the ingredients are well coated and evenly distributed.

5. REFRIGERATE for a few hours before serving (give the salad a good toss before you do).

Make Ahead and Storing Information

This Celery Salad is great for making ahead of time because it actually tastes better the longer it refrigerates. You can make it and store covered in the refrigerator up to 2 days before you plan on serving it. It is also great for portioning out and meal prepping up to 4 days out.

Any leftover salad should be stored in an airtight container and in the refrigerator. Freezing is not recommended. It is best to eat within 4 days, and don’t forget to give your salad a good toss before you plan on eating or serving it.

What to Serve With Celery Salad

The light and bright flavors goes great with…

Creamy Salad with celery, toasted pecans, and dried cranberries. Large serving spoons on the side ready for scooping.

3 Recipe Tips You Need To Read

This Celery Salad is so easy to make, but here are a few tips to make it even better.

1. CHOP YOUR CELERY ON THE DIAGONAL. This may seem like a “style” choice for a prettier salad, but there is more to it. Cutting celery on the diagonal avoids a stringy texture. It also reduces bitterness because of how the celery fibers are severed.

2. DON’T SKIP THE REFRIGERATOR TIME. This is essential for building flavor in the celery salad. It also allows some time for the onion and celery to slightly soften and soak up some of the dressing.

3. PRESENTATION IS EVERYTHING. I like to add additional toasted pecans, dried cranberries, and black pepper to make the top look pretty for serving. I do this right before serving and after I have refrigerated and tossed the salad.

A big bowl salad and a spoon ready for serving. Creamy dressing coated celery, toasted pecans, and dried cranberries.

Frequently Asked Questions about Celery Salad

Can I use slightly soft celery in this Celery Salad?

Yes, if some of your celery has lost it’s snap and crunch it’s no problem. Celery naturally becomes soft from the moisture level in our refrigerators, but it will not negatively impact the salad.

More Salad Recipes You Might Like


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Enjoy Entirely, Elizabeth
A big bowl of creamy celery salad with dried cranberries and toasted pecans ready to eat.

Celery Salad

Elizabeth Swoish
Turn the celery haters in your life into celery lovers. This simple Celery Salad with cranberries and pecans is crunchy, light, and so creamy. A great way to use leftover celery in a delicious way.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Salad, Side Dish
Servings 6 (1/4 cup servings)
Calories 87 kcal

INGREDIENTS
 
 

  • 8 ribs celery - thoroughly washed, chopped into 1/2" pieces
  • cup dried cranberries
  • cup pecans - roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS
 

  • Heat chopped pecans in a dry skillet over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes, or until they are golden brown and begin to smell toasted. Stir frequently to prevent the nuts from burning.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together sour cream, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, salt, and black pepper.
  • Add celery, dried cranberries, and toasted chopped pecans.
  • Toss the salad and dressing together until everything is well coated and combined.
  • Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 12 hours. Lightly toss prior to serving.
    OPTIONAL: Top the salad with more dried cranberries, toasted pecans, and black pepper for presentation.

RECIPE NOTES

Storing Information:

  • Refrigerated, in an airtight container, for up to 4 days.
  • Freezing this Celery Salad is not recommended.

Metric conversions are calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee the accuracy of this information.

Tried this recipe?Feel free to share a rating and comment below. Don’t forget to tag me on social media, or use the hashtag #EntirelyElizabeth – I would love to see what you’ve made!
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By Elizabeth Swoish on February 22nd, 2024
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About Elizabeth Swoish

Elizabeth Swoish is the founder and CEO of Entirely Elizabeth. She is a self-taught foodie and mocktail enthusiast with a business degree in data analysis. Read Elizabeth's food journey or connect on your favorite social media channels.

4 thoughts on “Celery Salad”

  1. 5 stars
    This is delicious, I just bought in the salad dressing section a 3oz bag of dried cranberries mixed with honey roasted chopped pecans, cheaper and easier! Flavors and cruch is delicious, will make again! Oh and cut celery on a diagonal, good tip

    Reply
    • Hi Rebecca,
      Yes, of course! I recommend sunflower seeds or roasted chickpeas. You want something fatty and a little salty to add to the creamy, sweet, savory flavors.
      Hope this helps!
      ~Elizabeth

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