25 Fennel Recipes (+ Produce Guide)
If you’re wondering how to use fennel, look no further than this collection of 25 of 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!
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!
Last month when I was working on the photos for this post, I took a poll on my Instagram stories asking people if they use fennel. 60% said they did not, which got me thinking that most people probably have no clue how to use fennel at all.
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.
If you love produce, be sure to check out the following collections:
- Butternut squash recipes
- Cabbage recipes
- Carrot recipes
- Chicory recipes
- Cranberry recipes
- Corn recipes
- Fava bean recipes
- Fig recipes
- Kabocha squash recipes
- Leek recipes
- Persimmon recipes
- Poblano pepper recipes
- Rhubarb recipes
- Shishito pepper recipes
- Swiss chard recipes
- Tomatillo recipes
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
(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.
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 with Fennel and Avocado
Spicy Fish Tacos with Fennel Slaw
Italian Sausage Tomato Orzo Soup
Radicchio Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette
Easy Spatchcock Roast Chicken
Orange, Fennel, and Pickled Onion Salad
Roasted Eggplant Fennel Pizza with Whipped Garlic Feta
Roasted Beet Salad with Goat Cheese
Spring Green Risotto with Peas, Asparagus, and Fennel
Creamy Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad
Olive Oil Braised Chicken with Citrus, Fennel and Turmeric
Italian Chopped Salad
Slow Roasted Pork Shoulder with Fennel, Lemon and Rosemary
Golden Beet and Fennel Soup
Fresh Pink Grapefruit Fennel Salad
Red Kuri Squash and Fennel Soup with Savory Granola
Easy Crock Pot Stuffing
Tomato Herb and Beer Poached Cod with Caramelized Fennel
Creamy Coleslaw with Apples and Fennel
Oven-Roasted Orange Chicken with Fennel
Italian Parmesan Baked Fennel
Healthy Baked Catfish
Arugula Salad with Fennel and Blood Oranges
One Pan Italian Chicken and Vegetables
Holiday Slow Roast Leg of Lamb with Potatoes
**This post was originally published in February 2019. The post has been modified to increase readability and include more information.