Ingredient Spotlight: Celeriac…Ugly But Delicious! + Recipe for Celeriac Pureé

I adore celeriac! It’s one of my all-time favorite vegetables—but most people have never heard of it. My first exposure to it was years and years ago, before I was plant-based. I had an appetizer at BlueHour restaurant in Portland, Oregon (it’s no longer in business) that included a silky, creamy, luscious base of celeriac pureé that blew my mind! I’d never tasted anything like it and I’ve been obsessed ever since. Celeriac pureé is still one of my favorite things (and I’ll share just how easy it is to make in a bit).

If you’ve seen it at the grocery store or farmers market, you probably walked quickly past it because it really doesn’t look like something you’d want to eat. But it’s SO GOOD!

Pronounced see-Larry-ack, celeriac is also called celery root. This is a misnomer, as celeriac is NOT the root of common celery you buy, but a special bulb in the celery family cultivated for its mild flavor, white color, and crisp texture (when raw).

How to Buy

Celeriac roots grow all wild and crazy, giving the bulb a hairy, gnarly appearance. Choose celeriac which are softball size, heavy for their size, and firm, free of any soft or moist spots. Pick those that are more smooth, with less gnarled roots, as you end up cutting off all those roots. If you can find ones with their celery stalk-like greens still attached, great, that indicates they are fresh. You can find these at most grocery stores, believe it or not! They are also available a many farmers markets, farm stands, CSA boxes, and specialty produce markets.

You often find celeriac trimmed at the grocery store


Celeriac will keep about a week stored loose in the produce crisper drawer or in a paper bag, not plastic. Trim the greens to about an inch from the bulb when storing. You can use these greens in to make Vegetable Scrap Stock.

Preparing Celeriac

The roots are usually caked with dirt, so first thing first, scrub the bulb with a vegetable brush under running water. Now you can use a knife and cut off the top and then the bottom root tangle. You may need to make a couple slices off the root end until you get to the bulb as the roots can be really matted together and hide the true bulb. Now set the bulb on the cutting board and use a knife to cut off the peel from the sides. You’ll lose about 50% of the weight of the original bulb, this is normal, which is why you want to be nice big, heavy celeriac bulbs to start with. If you can only find smaller ones, buy several to account for peeling loss.

Use a knife to remove the roots and peel of celeriac

Note: I don’t use the celeriac peels in my vegetable scrap stock because there’s often grit embedded in them, which doesn’t make for great stock! The greens are great to use, just not the peels.

Like artichokes, celeriac will oxidize and discolor when left raw after cooking. So either cook immediately, toss with dressing, or rub with lemon/keep in water with a little bit of lemon juice to keep it nice and white.

Celeriac Purée

Celeriac Purée is a wonderful alternative to mashed potatoes. It has such a beautiful flavor, a little something more than your usual mash.

Celeriac cooks up beautifully in a pressure cooker. Simply cut up peeled celeriac into large chunks, like the size of new potatoes, and put into a steamer basket or on a trivet and add water to just below the basket or trivet. Cook on High Pressure for 4 minutes and do a Quick or Natural Pressure Release, doesn’t matter. Now you have perfectly steamed celeriac ready to purée. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, simply steam or simmer in water until tender, about 20 minutes.

Simply drain the cooking water (this makes great stock, by the way) and use a blender or stick blender to purée the cooked celeriac. Add a little plant-based milk to your desired thickness and season to taste with nutritional yeast, salt, and pepper. That’s it! Unlike potatoes, celeriac doesn’t get gummy when puréed with a blender.

You can add other vegetables to this puree, if you’d like. I love to cook cauliflower, parsnips, and even sunchokes (Jerusalem artichokes) with my celeriac for a really delicious mixed puree.

This purée goes wonderfully as a side to your favorite veggie loaf, sautéed cabbage, roasted vegetables, Blackened Lion’s Mane Mushroom Steaks, etc. And it’s perfect on your winter holiday table!

Other Ways to Use Celeriac

Forks Over Knives Celeriac Alfredo Pasta

This is one of our favorite dishes. It’ll have your family saying, “More, please!

Creamy Celeriac Pasta Alfredo
Check out this recipe

Roasting Celeriac

Peel, cut into pieces and roast like you would for potato hash. You get a sweeter hashbrown using celeriac than potatoes.

Raw Celeriac Salads

Cut into thin julienne and use in salads or as a slaw.

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5 from 2 votes

Celeriac Purée

Also known as Celery Root, this makes an incredibly creamy, silky-smooth alternative to mashed potatoes.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American, Gluten-Free, Holiday, Instant Pot, Nut-Free, Soy-Free
Keyword Celeriac, Celery Root
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 108.9kcal
Author Cindy Thompson, MS, NBC-HWC | Trimazing! Health & Lifestyle Coaching


  • 2 lbs celeriac about 3 medium or 2 large, peeled and scrubbed, cut into large chunks
  • ¼ cup plant-based milk
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast if desired
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Insert steamer rack or trivet into pressure cooker and add water to just below the bottom of the rack. Place celeriac chunks on the rack. Cook at high pressure, 4 minutes and do a quick or natural pressure release.
    To cook on the stovetop: Add celeriac to a large saucepan and cover with water or vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes, or until celeriac is very tender.
  • Drain and reserve cooking liquid, leaving about ¼ cup in the pot. Add plant-based milk, nutritional yeast, and purée with an immersion blender, adding additional cooking liquid, as needed to reach desired consistency. Alternatively, purée in a high-speed blender. Season with salt and pepper.


Celeriac will start to oxidize very quickly if cut and exposed to air. If cutting ahead of time, keep chunks in a bowl of water with a squeeze of lemon juice or drop of vinegar to keep it from oxidizing.
Make it a Combo! I love to add cauliflower and parsnip to my celeriac puree to change it up now and again. Simply cut cauliflower and peeled parsnip into similarly-sized chunks and cook with the celeriac before pureeing altogether.
This is a great make-ahead side dish. Simply reheat in a saucepan with a little water, broth or plant-based milk until bubbly hot.


Calories: 108.9kcal | Carbohydrates: 22.2g | Protein: 4.8g | Fat: 1.1g | Saturated Fat: 0.2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Sodium: 234.2mg | Potassium: 738.7mg | Fiber: 4.6g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 58IU | Vitamin C: 19.2mg | Calcium: 118.2mg | Iron: 1.8mg

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