6 Lovage Substitutes [FLAVORFUL Cooking]

6 Lovage Substitutes [FLAVORFUL Cooking]

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Are you planning to cook some delicious European food for your loved ones? Lovage is widely used in many German and other European dishes as a part of soup or stew. It adds a strong, fresh flavor to your dish. 

You may not have lovage around every time you want to cook with it. Does that mean you have to scratch the whole recipe idea? The good news is that you don’t! If you’re wondering what the answer is, lovage substitutes!

What are lovage substitutes?

The type of lovage substitute you choose depends on the flavor profile you desire, plus its availability around you. Some excellent lovage substitutes are celery leaves, parsley, and celeriac. Gluten-free options like fennel also make for excellent lovage substitutes.

To make it easy for you, we have researched some suitable lovage replacements. So, what are you waiting for? Continue reading our post to learn more about lovage and its substitutes!

Where is Lovage Used?

Lovage is an herb with a flavor profile similar to celery and parsley. It is commonly used in cooking for its aromatic and savory qualities. 

The leaves of the lovage plant can be chopped and used as a seasoning in various dishes. It adds a fresh and herbaceous flavor to soups, stews, salads, and sauces. Lovage leaves can be added to stocks and broths to enhance their flavor.

You can also finely chop your lovage leaves and mix them with softened butter to create herb butter. It can be spread or melted over grilled vegetables, fish, or steaks.

The leaves of lovage are added to hot water to make an herbal tea as well. It has a refreshing and slightly sweet flavor. You can also add lovage leaves as a garnish to add a pop of green and a subtle celery-like flavor to various dishes. It works well as a finishing touch on soups, salads, or roasted vegetables.

When using lovage in cooking, it’s important to note that the leaves have a strong flavor, so it’s best to use them sparingly and taste as you go to ensure it doesn’t overpower the dish.

6 Best Substitutes for Lovage

Now that we’ve understood more about lovage and its uses let’s look at some lovage substitutes! We’ve saved you from going through all the research trouble. Check out our favorite lovage substitutes!

1. Celery Leaves

The first lovage substitute we will discuss is celery leaves. Well, celery is not really that different from lovage. Apart from celery having relatively pale leaves and thicker stalks, you can hardly tell the difference.

Celery is not the best lovage substitute only because of its taste; it closely resembles lovage too! So, you don’t need to compromise on the appeal of your dish by using celery as a replacement.

Please note that celery has a longer cook time. So, it is best to let it cook thoroughly. It is an ideal substitute if you’re making soups or stews. Additionally, the amount of celery you use is not the same as lovage. You can find out what the suitable proportion of celery is based on your recipe and the celery you’re using.

2. Lovage Seeds

Since we primarily use lovage leaves in cooking recipes, we often forget how helpful the seeds can be! The seeds and leaves of this plant have a similar taste. Therefore, when you can’t buy the herb, you can always try finding lovage seeds.

You can use lovage seeds as a substitute base for your cooking dish. Lovage seeds do not add the same texture and bulk that the leaves do while offering a similar taste. So, you can use them in specific recipes where you only want the taste and not the leafy greens.

Lovage seeds are popularly used as a substitute not only for lovage but celery too.

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3. Celeriac

Celeriac is the next lovage alternative which is excellent because you can find it in most grocery stores! Celeriac is the knobby-looking celery root that has a nutty essence to it, which makes it perfect for wholesome soups and other rich, slow-cooked meals.

You may not love what it does to your aesthetic dishes, but it is still an excellent lovage substitute! Also, celeriac doesn’t taste the best when eaten raw. It has a somewhat overpowering taste with a pungent smell that makes it unpleasantuncooked taste buds. Additionally, celeriac needs to be boiled and softened longer as it is stiffer.

4. Flat-leaf Parsley

Lovage is from the parsley family. Therefore, lovage and parsley have a similar flavor profile. Flat-leaf parsley is a popular herb in many recipes and is readily available in local grocery stores. You can make stews, salads, soups, sauces, and more! Parsley also looks similar to lovage which won’t mess with the aesthetics of your dish.

Like lovage, you can use parsley to garnish and add freshness to your dish. Its color looks visually appealing too. You can also use it as a finishing ingredient by sprinkling it on top of meats, vegetables, and pasta.

Regarding taste, parsley doesn’t have as intense a flavor as lovage. Parsley has a milder taste and may require adding more to your recipe. It is also an easy find in most local stores, so availability will not be as much of an issue. 

5. Fennel

Fennel is another excellent alternatiuve to lovage for those looking for a gluten-free option. Like lovage, fennel has a strong taste with a similar texture. Fennel goes well in most recipes that are lovage-based. Fennel stalks look similar to lovage stalks has a herby, crisp texture as well.

One thing you need to remember about fennel is its overpowering taste. So you may taste its distinct flavor a lot more. You can always adjust the quantity based on your dish and taste preference. All in all, fennel is an excellent lovage substitute! You can also add some celery with the fennel for a better result.

Fennel is also relatively easier to find in grocery stores and markets than lovage. Lovage may not be as widely available as some of these substitutes.

6. Chinese Celery

If you live around Asian markets or local stores that import goods, Chinese celery is an excellent substitute for lovage! It is not considered the best substitute as it is not as readily available, but if it is, you cannot go wrong with it.

Chinese celery looks more like celery but smells like lovage in intensity. Chinese celery’s taste is on the peppery side, while lovage’s taste is somewhat citrusy. 

Please note not to eat Chinese celery raw. While it is not dangerous to our health to eat raw, the taste of Chinese celery is somewhat overpowering and strong. So, it is not recommended for everyone.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What does lovage taste like?

It is not easy to describe the taste of lovage as it has a distinct flavor. But if you are trying to understand what is similar, think of it as parsley and celery with a citrusy punch! We hope this gives you a fair idea of what lovage tastes like.

Is lovage the same as parsley?

Lovage and Parsley belong to the same plant family. Hence, there is some similarity in taste. In terms of appearance, parsley resembles lovage, except parsley has relatively larger leaves. This is one of the reasons parsley is one of the best lovage substitutes.

Can I use lovage as a celery substitute?

Yes! While celery makes an excellent lovage substitute, lovage too can be replaced with celery in many recipes. You can use lovage instead of celery in most dishes. You can use its leaves to create delicious stews, salads, soups, and sauces.


We’ve finally reached the end of this post! We hope our article on the best lovage substitutes has helped you continue making delicious lovage recipes.

After discussing six incredible lovage substitutes, you can choose which suits you best. Celery, parsley, and fennel are all excellent lovage substitutes. If you have Asian grocers around you, Chinese celery works great too. The best lovage substitute for you depends on which one is most easily accessible to you.

Thanks for reading. See you in our next post!

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