If you’re wondering how to use fennel, look no further than this collection of 25 Fennel Recipes! You’ll find a number of recipes to inspire you, along with its nutrition benefits, how to cut fennel, and so much more!

25 best fennel recipes collage pin

Fennel was never an ingredient that I sought out, or even heard of when I became a stay at home mom over 20 years ago.

I first learned about it in an episode of Barefoot Contessa when Food Network had just started. Ina Garten was roasting it, and she gushed about how amazing and underutilized it was.

I tried it soon after that, but it didn’t become a staple for me until I started cooking school. We worked with it a lot in class, and it quickly became one of my favorite ingredients. It’s been a staple in my kitchen ever since!

I hope the information that I’ve included here, along with the 25 Fennel Recipes at the bottom of this post will inspire you try it, or use it more often.

What is fennel?

Fennel is a bulbous vegetable that’s a member of the carrot family. It’s a very hardy, perennial herb with yellow flowers and feather-like fronds, or leaves.

The bulb is in layers similar to cabbage, but the layers are thicker and harder. The fronds are very delicate and may be used as an herb would (think dill). While the stalks are edible, they’re quite tough and aren’t widely used.

The origin of fennel is the Mediterranean, and it has many culinary and medicinal uses. There are two types: Florence fennel has a white bulb, as pictured in this post, and Sweet fennel (anise) is used for seeds.

What does fennel taste like?

Fennel has a very mild, sweet anise flavor. It’s crunchy, crisp and bright when served raw, and like onions, it becomes very tender and the flavor mellows significantly when it’s cooked. It’s extremely versatile and pairs well with root vegetables, chicken, pork, lamb and fish.

Fennel fronds are aromatic, delicate and have a mild anise flavor. They’re great used as an herb or a garnish.
fennel bulb

What is fennel good for?

Fennel is used as a vegetable in a variety of dishes. It adds a crunchy, crisp texture when it’s used raw in salads or slaw, and the fronds may be used as an herb or garnish. Fennel is also amazing cooked and makes a great addition to soups and roasted vegetables.

The seeds of the fennel plant are widely used as a spice. Fennel seed is featured in Indian, Middle Eastern and Asian cuisines. In fact, fennel seed is one of the 5 spices included in Chinese 5 spice.

Fennel seeds are also used to make sausages and absinthe.

What are the health benefits of fennel?

Fennel is a good source of vitamins and minerals including iron, magnesium, zinc, niacin, calcium, potassium, vitamin K and vitamin C.

It also has many medicinal uses, and is used to treat anemia, indigestion and constipation. It’s also believed to reduce heart disease, regulate blood pressure and improve brain function.

If you’d like to learn more, talk to your doctor about any conditions that you may have.

How to grow fennel

Plant by seed in midsummer, or 60 days before first frost, for nice, full bulbs. Grow in full sun and in rich soil that gets plenty of moisture and has a near neutral pH. A combination of compost and organic planting mix is ideal.
Sliced fennel in a bowl

Choosing and storing fennel

Choose fennel that is firm with bright green stalks and fronds, and a bulb that’s free from discoloration.

It should be stored in the crisper drawer for up to 1 week. Remove the stalks to save space in the refrigerator if you’re not planning to use them. Just don’t forget to reserve the fronds!

I like to prep my fennel ahead and store it in an air tight container to add to my salads during the week.

How to cut fennel

(1) Place the fennel on a cutting board, and using a sharp knife, remove the stalk and the base of the fennel. If slicing the salads, remove the core. Leave the core intact if cutting into wedges for roasting. Stand the fennel upright and cut in half. (3) Slice thinly for salads, slaw and stir fries, or cut into wedges for roasting! See the video below for a full tutorial on how to cut fennel.

How to cut fennel

 25 delicious fennel recipes

There are so many delicious ways to use fennel, and I hope the recipes inspire you to to try it or use it a lot. more often!

Citrus salad layered on a white platter

Citrus Salad with Fennel and Avocado

Citrus Salad with Fennel and Avocado is a bright, refreshing winter salad that will brighten any day!  It's served with a tangy, sweet orange vinaigrette and comes together in minutes!
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Overhead view of a spicy fish taco with fennel slaw.

Spicy Fish Tacos with Fennel Slaw

Easy grilled fish tacos are topped with a bright flavored cabbage and fennel slaw in these Spicy Fish Tacos with Fennel Slaw.
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Italian Sausage Tomato Orzo Soup

Think of an Italian Wedding Soup with all-pork sausage meatballs. This savory, comfort soup is on the table in only 30 minutes.
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Radicchio salad on a white plate with a fork

Radicchio Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette

Radicchio Salad with Avocado, Fennel and Orange is a winter salad bursting with sweet and savory flavor and tossed in a tangy citrus vinaigrette!
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Spatchcock roast chicken in skillet with potatoes, fennel and carrots

Easy Spatchcock Roast Chicken

Easy Spatchcock Roast Chicken is juicy, golden brown chicken over caramelized potatoes, carrots, parsnips and fennel. It's an easy one pot dinner that's ready in one hour!
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Orange, Fennel, and Pickled Onion Salad

Fresh fennel, with its faint licorice flavor, sliced very thinly and served raw, is uniquely delicious, and this orange, fennel, and pickled onion salad is absolutely stunning.
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A wood serving board with eggplant fennel pizza.

Roasted Eggplant Fennel Pizza with Whipped Garlic Feta

If you love white pizza, you’ll love this roasted eggplant fennel pizza! It has a whipped feta and ricotta base with toasted pine nuts, creamy roasted garlic cloves and an olive oil drizzle to top it off.
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Roasted beet salad on a plate with a fork

Roasted Beet Salad with Goat Cheese

You can't beat this Roasted Beet Salad! It's packed with tangy goat cheese, juicy oranges and is tossed in a flavorful blood orange dressing!
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Two white bowls of spring risotto.

Spring Green Risotto with Peas, Asparagus, and Fennel

Spring Green Risotto with Peas, Asparagus and Fennel ~ this healthy risotto recipe with fresh spring vegetables will have you dreaming of spring!
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Shaved brussels sprout salad in a bowl with serving spoon

Creamy Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad

Creamy Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad is fresh, crunchy and utterly addictive! It's tossed with savory bacon, crisp apple and creamy coleslaw dressing for one delicious side dish!
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Overhead view of olive oil braised chicken in a cast iron skillet.

Olive Oil Braised Chicken with Citrus, Fennel and Turmeric

The full flavor of olive oil paired with a bit of the chicken’s fat creates a luxurious liquid that kept the protein incredibly moist and full of intense flavors.
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Overhead view of slow roasted pork shoulder that's been partially shredded.

Slow Roasted Pork Shoulder with Fennel, Lemon and Rosemary

This meltingly tender Pork Roast is flavored with fennel, lemon and rosemary. You will not believe how incredibly easy it is to slow roast a
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A bowl of beet and fennel soup next to a spoon.

Golden Beet and Fennel Soup

Golden Beet and Fennel Soup is an earthy creamy healthful soup full of nutrients and fiber.
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Red Kuri Squash and Fennel Soup with Savory Granola

Savory granola tops each bowl of warming squash and fennel soup.
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Crock pot stuffing on a white serving platter

Easy Crock Pot Stuffing

Crock Pot Stuffing is golden brown, full of flavor, and frees up precious oven space! It's a delicious Thanksgiving side dish that's made completely from scratch and it can be prepped entirely in advance!
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Beer poached cod with caramelized fennel on a white plate.

Tomato Herb and Beer Poached Cod with Caramelized Fennel

This simple dish features cod that’s been poached in beer and topped with a tomato-fennel mixture.
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Overhead shot of apple fennel slaw in a bowl with wooden servers.

Fennel and Apple Slaw

This Fennel and Apple Slaw is crisp, crunchy and packed with sweet and savory flavor! It's tossed in a creamy coleslaw dressing for the ultimate side dish!
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Overhead view of chicken with fenenl and orange.

Oven-Roasted Orange Chicken with Fennel

This One-Pan Roasted Chicken with Fennel is a simple and comforting way to feed your family and friends. With some advance prep, it is ready in 45 minutes.
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Italian Parmesan Baked Fennel

Italian Baked Fennel is an easy side dish, made with fresh Italian parsley, Parmesan cheese and a little Olive oil. So good and good for you!
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Baked catfish topped with fennel fronds on a white plate.

Healthy Baked Catfish

This healthy baked catfish recipe is definitely a winner! The fish cooks along with vegetables all in the same pan. An easy to make meal that’s healthy, full of flavor, and ready in minutes!
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Arugula Salad with Fennel and Blood Oranges

Peppery arugula, crisp fennel, juicy blood oranges, and crunchy walnuts are tossed with a light vinaigrette to create an explosion of flavors that you will enjoy anytime of year.
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**This post was originally published in February 2019. The post has been modified to increase readability and include more information.

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