25 Fennel Recipes + Produce Guide (2024)

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by Marcie //February 14, 2022 (updated 3/4/24)

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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!

25 Fennel Recipes + Produce Guide (1)

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:

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25 Fennel Recipes + Produce Guide (2)

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.
25 Fennel Recipes + Produce Guide (3)

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.
25 Fennel Recipes + Produce Guide (4)

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.

25 Fennel Recipes + Produce Guide (5)

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!

25 Fennel Recipes + Produce Guide (6)

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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25 Fennel Recipes + Produce Guide (7)

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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25 Fennel Recipes + Produce Guide (8)

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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25 Fennel Recipes + Produce Guide (9)

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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25 Fennel Recipes + Produce Guide (10)

Easy Spatchco*ck Roast Chicken

Easy Spatchco*ck 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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25 Fennel Recipes + Produce Guide (11)

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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25 Fennel Recipes + Produce Guide (12)

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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25 Fennel Recipes + Produce Guide (13)

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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25 Fennel Recipes + Produce Guide (14)

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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25 Fennel Recipes + Produce Guide (15)

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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25 Fennel Recipes + Produce Guide (16)

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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25 Fennel Recipes + Produce Guide (17)

Italian Chopped Salad

Italian Chopped Salad is packed with salami, chickpeas, olives, parmesan, veggies and it's tossed in a zesty Italian dressing! It can be customized using what you have on hand and it's great for meal prep!

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25 Fennel Recipes + Produce Guide (18)

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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25 Fennel Recipes + Produce Guide (19)

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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25 Fennel Recipes + Produce Guide (20)

Fresh Pink Grapefruit Fennel Salad

If you love fresh, beautiful salads, this simple pink grapefruit fennel salad is and easy salad to enjoy. Juicy pink grapefruit blends with the subtle licorice flavors from the fennel to make a surprisingly delicious salad.

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25 Fennel Recipes + Produce Guide (21)

Red Kuri Squash and Fennel Soup with Savory Granola

Savory granola tops each bowl of warming squash and fennel soup.

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25 Fennel Recipes + Produce Guide (22)

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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25 Fennel Recipes + Produce Guide (23)

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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25 Fennel Recipes + Produce Guide (24)

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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25 Fennel Recipes + Produce Guide (25)

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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25 Fennel Recipes + Produce Guide (26)

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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25 Fennel Recipes + Produce Guide (27)

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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25 Fennel Recipes + Produce Guide (28)

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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25 Fennel Recipes + Produce Guide (29)

One Pan Italian Chicken and Vegetables

This quick and easy sheet pan dinner chicken recipe results in tender Italian-spiced chicken, caramelized onions, peppers and fennel.

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25 Fennel Recipes + Produce Guide (30)

Holiday Slow Roast Leg of Lamb with Potatoes

DeliciousHoliday Slow Roast Leg of Lamb with Potatoes and Carrots. Flavourful one pot Christmas roast or a classic roast with all the fixings!

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**This post was originally published in February 2019. The post has been modified to increase readability and include more information.

posted in: Fall, Produce Guides, Recipe Roundup, Recipes, Winter // 12 comments

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    12 Comments on “25 Fennel Recipes (+ Produce Guide)”

  1. Joanne Reply

    I haven’t tried Fennel in many dishes, but I like the idea of adding it to a salad. It tastes really good raw.

    • flavorthemoments Reply

      That’s my favorite way to use it Joanne!

  2. Nicole @ Foodie Loves Fitness Reply

    Fennel is such an interesting veggie! I started playing around with it more a couple years back. Love all of the recipe ideas that you highlight in this post!

    • flavorthemoments Reply

      It really is! Thanks Nicole and I hope you get to try some of the recipes!

  3. Letty / Letty's Kitchen Reply

    Thank you for getting this excellent info out in the www! And thank you for including my salad recipe with Orange, Fennel, and Pickled Onions! All the other links look enticing too. Off to the store for fennel!!
    Shared all around!

    • flavorthemoments Reply

      Thank you for sharing Letty and your salad looks wonderful! 🙂

  4. Katherine | Love In My Oven Reply

    Ok, I’m SOLD! I never use fennel because you’re right, I didn’t know what to do with it. Now I’m looking forward to trying it in some dishes!

    • flavorthemoments Reply

      I never knew what to do with fennel for so long so I’m trying to make up for lost time! lol . I hope you enjoy some of these recipes!

  5. Jeff the Chef Reply

    Thanks for the interesting fennel info!

  6. Ashley@CookNourishBliss Reply

    Yup, I’m totally guilty of NEVER using fennel!! haha I just don’t ever think about it … which is such a shame! Love this round-up so I have ideas on what to use it in once I finally buy some lol

  7. Leanne | Crumb Top Baking Reply

    I always enjoy your produce of the month guides! I’ve never cooked or used fennel in a recipe, but I’m totally inspired to now! Thanks for the tips on cutting it too. I’ll be sure to consult that when I make my first fennel purchase! 😉

    • flavorthemoments Reply

      Thank you Leanne and I hope you get to try fennel soon! 🙂

25 Fennel Recipes + Produce Guide (2024)


Why do chefs use fennel so much? ›

Though often overlooked by home cooks, this versatile ingredient is beloved by chefs for its pleasantly sweet, fresh flavor and mild aromatic character.

What pairs well with fennel? ›

Citrus: Fennel pairs well with citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, and limes. Herbs: Fennel pairs well with fresh herbs such as dill, parsley, and thyme. Cheese: Fennel pairs well with cheeses such as parmesan, feta, and goat cheese. Nuts: Fennel pairs well with nuts such as almonds, hazelnuts, and pine nuts.

How to prepare fennel for a meal? ›

Slice off the shoots and root and peel off the tougher outer layer (if the bulb is particularly young and tender you can leave this layer on). To cook it whole, cut out the tough central core from the bottom, leaving a cone-shaped cavity, or slice if you prefer.

What part of fennel is edible? ›

Technically speaking, all parts of the plant are edible, but most people will find the stalks too tough and fibrous to eat. The leaves can be chopped and used to flavor salads, dressings, marinades and sauces. They tend to have a slightly more citrusy flavor than the base. The base (or bulb) is delicious raw or cooked.

Who shouldn't use fennel? ›

Hormone-sensitive condition such as breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids: Fennel might act like estrogen. If you have any condition that might be made worse by estrogen, do not use fennel.

Is it OK to eat fennel everyday? ›

Although fennel eaten in normal amounts is generally safe, some people may need to be cautious about how much they consume. One study showed that breastfeeding mothers who drank two or more liters of fennel tea each day reported signs of pain in their infants.

Is fennel a laxative? ›

Can fennel seeds cause constipation? Fennel seeds are unlikely to cause constipation. In fact, they are often used to relieve digestive issues, including constipation, as they can help promote bowel movement and ease digestion.

Is fennel good for your stomach? ›

Fennel seeds may also relax muscles in the intestines, which can help relieve constipation. Soothing muscles in the stomach and intestines helps to relieve gassiness that's from constipation or acid reflux. Anethole is the main component that gives fennel seeds these beneficial effects.

Can you eat fennel raw? ›

Every part of it is edible, from the bulb to the flowers, and it can be eaten raw or cooked. Though the stalks and leaves are edible, fennel recipes most often call for the bulb. When raw, it has a crisp texture similar to celery and a fresh licorice flavor.

Why do you soak fennel in water? ›

It helps in regulating the flow of the blood, thus reducing the pain caused by cramps. Soak fennel seeds in water overnight and have them first thing in the morning.

Why do you soak fennel? ›

Detoxification: Fennel seeds have diuretic qualities, which may be partially extracted into the water by soaking them in water overnight. By encouraging urine production and waste product elimination, this may help the body's natural detoxification procedures.

Is it better to eat fennel raw or cooked? ›

Digestive and purifying

Rich in vitamins and minerals fennel is particularly well known for its digestive properties (especially when eaten raw at the end of a meal) and for its liver and blood purifying properties.

How much fennel should I eat per day? ›

How Much Fennel Seeds Can I Take Daily? Fennel seeds are heaped with volatile oils than the plant, so it is ideal to take about 1 teaspoon (6 grams) of dried whole fennel seeds in your daily cooking. Roasted fennel seeds when added to the dishes give a distinct sweet flavour.

Can you eat too much fennel bulb? ›

Though fennel and its seeds are likely safe when eaten in moderation, there are some safety concerns over more concentrated sources of fennel, such as extracts and supplements. For example, fennel has strong estrogenic properties, meaning that it acts similarly to the hormone estrogen.

Should you swallow fennel seeds? ›

Although whole fennel seeds are safe to eat in moderation, the concentrated levels of chemicals found in many supplements or essential oils may not be as safe. Anethole, one of the major compounds in fennel seeds, has properties similar to estrogen.

Why is fennel so popular? ›

Fennel is widely cultivated, both in its native range and elsewhere, for its edible, strongly flavored leaves and fruits. Its aniseed or liquorice flavor comes from anethole, an aromatic compound also found in anise and star anise, and its taste and aroma are similar to theirs, though usually not as strong.

What country uses fennel the most? ›

India leads the world in fennel cultivation, though those varieties are mainly grown for fennel seeds, which are used as a spice. Most U.S.-grown Florence fennel comes from California and Arizona, although it is considered a minor crop here in the U.S.

Why do Italians eat fennel? ›

For example, Italians often eat fennel raw at the end of a meal, saying it helps with digestion and cleansing. If you do a quick search, you'll find that Fennel Bulbs are an impressive source of dietary fiber, which we all know is amazing for digestion and gut health!

What is fennel most commonly used for? ›

The entire plant is edible, and you can think of it as a multitasker: the bulb can be sliced and used as a main ingredient in dishes like salads, while the fronds (the tiny, frilly leaves) can be finely chopped and treated as an herb (some cooks like to swap it in for dill).

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