Here are all the best fennel recipes to make the most of this star ingredient: fresh and dried! Salads, soups and more are all better fennel.
Got fennel? This unique ingredient is an incredible treat in the kitchen. Fennel is a vegetable that’s a member of the carrot family, but it looks more like a cross between an onion, celery and dill! It has a large root, stalks, and leafy fronds at the top. Fresh fennel has a black licorice or anise flavor. But you can also cook with the dried fennel seeds: they’re fantastic for adding savory, hearty flavor.
Here are all the best fennel recipes to make with fresh fennel or the dried seeds! Try stunning and refreshing fennel salad, or sweet and caramelized roasted fennel. Or use the seeds to add hearty and savory flavor to pasta sauces and pizza toppings. We’re getting hungry so…let’s get cooking!
And now…the best fennel recipes to try!
How to cut fennel!
Using fresh fennel in these recipes? You’ll need to learn how to cut this unique veggie. It’s not hard at all, once you’ve tried it once! Here’s our master method for how to cut fennel:
- Cut off the stalks and root: Using a large chef’s knife, cut off the fennel stalks. Then cut off the root end.
- Cut the bulb: Remove any tough outer layers of the fennel bulb and discard them. Slice down the center of the fennel bulb.
- To slice: Place the fennel on its cut side and cut thin half-moon slices parallel to the root end using a circular motion. OR…
- To dice: Cut slices parallel to the root end, leaving room at the end so that the slices stay attached. Then rotate the fennel and cut slices in the other direction, following the curve of the fennel. When you get halfway through, flip the fennel onto its flat cut side and continue slicing.
Here’s a refreshing and easy side dish: fennel orange salad! It pairs juicy orange and the subtle licorice essence of fennel with a citrus vinaigrette.
- 1/2 recipe Citrus Vinaigrette
- 1 fennel bulb
- 1 large shallot
- 2 small oranges: blood orange or Cara Cara
- 2 tablespoons chopped pistachios
- 5 ounces baby mixed greens (about 5 cups)*
- Make the Citrus Vinaigrette.
- Thinly slice the fennel and the shallot. If desired, save a few fennel fronds (the feathery green parts on top of the stalk) for a garnish.
- Cut oranges into sections or “supremes” following How to Cut an Orange.
- To serve, place the greens on a plate. Top with oranges, fennel, shallot, and chopped pistachios (and fennel fronds if desired). Drizzle with dressing and serve.
*Use whatever type you’d like! It’s nice to use a mixture of greens to vary texture and flavor. If you’re using baby kale, arugula or spinach, make sure they’re mixed with some other milder greens. Mixed lettuces are also nice, as they add a refreshing crunch.
- Category: Side Dish
- Method: Raw
- Cuisine: Salad
Keywords: Fennel recipes, fennel recipe
About the Authors
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.