40+ Fennel Recipes We Love
If you're not familiar with fennel, we need to remedy that ASAP—check out our comprehensive guide to all things fennel. Once you've been educated, come back here for some of our favorite recipes that heavily rely on the flavorful ingredient. Looking for something warm and cozy? Try our Slow-Baked Chicken Thighs with Tomato, Fennel, and Lemon or this White Bean, Fennel, and Italian Sausage Soup with Parmesan Toasts. If you're in the mood for something fresh and fruity, you may want to check out this Fennel and Blood Orange Salad. Feeling like fine dining at home? This Filet Mignon with Apple-Fennel Slaw is just the ticket. The point is, no matter what you're looking for, the always versatile fennel has got you covered. Without further ado, here are our favorite fennel recipes of all time.
Crispy Potatoes with Fennel
These thinly sliced potatoes are the perfect side dish for a company-worthy meal.
Ziti with Mushroom, Fennel, and Tomato Ragu
Think your Ragu has to filled with ground beef? Think again. While traditionally a meat sauce, we’ve developed flavors and textures in this sauce with multiple varieties of mushrooms. Serve a loaf of warm bread to sop up all the saucy goodness of this pasta dish. Use a Parmesan rind in your Ragu, soups, and stews to subtly infuse the dish with the flavors of the cheese. If the rind doesn’t dissolve during the cooking process, you can remove it from the mixture, as instructed in this recipe, or break it up with a fork into small, chewy pieces. While any pasta shape will work with this hearty vegetarian dish, we prefer penne or ziti; these noodles help capture every last bite of the chunky sauce.
Slow-Baked Chicken Thighs with Tomato, Fennel, and Lemon
Meet your new Sunday supper--a dish that's great on the weekend, when you have more time for the pleasures of slow cooking. Serve on crusty toast slabs or a bed of pasta. Add a pinch of crushed red pepper if you'd like a little kick.
Pork-and-Farro Bowl with Warm Brussels Sprouts-Fennel Salad
We paired a warm vegetable salad with whole-grain farro and pork tenderloin for a healthy meal that’s still hearty. Fresh tarragon in the vinaigrette brings out the anise notes in the fennel, but you can substitute fresh thyme or rosemary if you prefer a milder flavor. Serving the entire meal in a bowl makes for well-rounded flavor in each bite, but you can serve it on a plate as well. If you’re looking for a new way for your family to enjoy pork tenderloin, this recipe is perfect. The tenderloin starts in a heated skillet and is finished in the oven. Paired with a healthy mix of farro, Brussels sprouts, and fennel, this meal is perfect for any New Years resolutions you’ve made.
Peach-Fennel Salad with Pecorino
This salad is crunchy, sweet, salty, bright, and refreshing—in other words, it’s perfect for summer. Peak-of-freshness peaches are the way to go here: If they’re still ripe, but a little firm, that’s perfect. Bonus points if you get them at a roadside stand. If you can find fennel with intact fronds, get that rather than fennel with the tops cut off—the fronds help make the salad feel special. Serve with flaky white fish and a nice glass of white wine or rosé.
Filet Mignon with Apple-Fennel Slaw
Go ahead and schedule a dinner party—we’ve got the perfect dish right here. Ask your butcher to cut evenly sized fillets to ensure the steaks cook at the same rate.
Seared Scallops with Fennel and Citrus
Scallops are the perfect choice for an effortless date-night dinner. To get the best golden, crispy sear, let your scallops come to room temperature and pat them dry before cooking. Track down dry-packed scallops; they’re lower in sodium.
Spice-Rubbed Tuna Steaks With Caramelized Fennel
Fennel is a natural match for tuna’s richness. We use fennel seeds in the spice coating on the fish and serve the fillets with roasted wedges.
Fennel-Crusted Rib Roast
Rub prime rib with freshly ground peppercorns, coriander, and fennel for a heady combination of seasonings that perfectly complements this elegant cut of meat. A garnish of fresh cranberries and oranges adds vibrant color to your table, making this dish as much a feast for the eyes as it is for the palate.
Pork Tenderloin with Mushrooms, Fennel, and Blue Cheese
This gorgeous main uses just one skillet--first to sear and roast the pork, then to caramelize the fennel and mushrooms. Arugula isn't only for salads; it wilts nicely when sautéed in the pan juices from the pork tenderloin.
Any cucumber will do in this salad, but we love the thin-skinned English variety—no peeling or seeding is required.
Wilted Chard and Shaved Fennel Salad
Lightly sautéed chard leaves and stems are the base of this slightly warm chard and fennel salad. Rainbow chard makes the prettiest salad, but any type of chard will work as a stand-in. Cooking the greens for just a few minutes keeps them vibrant and makes them tender but not too soft. Look for a small fennel bulb with the lacey green fronds still attached. If fennel isn’t available at your market, a small onion would be a good substitute here. Serve with pork chops or roast chicken.
Citrus Marinated Octopus with Labne and Radicchio-Fennel Salad
This elegant octopus salad strikes the right balance between refreshingly light and richly comforting, making it an impressive choice for any occasion. As intimidating as it may seem, preparing octopus at home is easier than you’d think. Octopus can be found at specialty grocery stores (such as Whole Foods), fish markets, and Asian or international markets. The key to preparing this wow-worthy seafood at home is giving the meat a preliminary cook (no matter how you intend to proceed in preparing it) in order to tenderize the meat. In this recipe, we first simmer the octopus in a flavorful, aromatic-filled cooking liquid and finish the cooking process by marinating the pre-cooked octopus in a citrusy vinaigrette. This marinade infuses flavor and continues to break down the protein for a tender, delicious bite. Just be sure not to leave the octopus soaking in the marinade for longer than suggested, as the acid will begin to deteriorate the quality of the meat. That said, the octopus can be poached and refrigerated up to a few days in advance if you want to prep ahead. Similar to kefir, labne is a tangy-rich yogurt cheese that can be found at a Mediterranean, Greek, or Lebanese market or in some specialty grocery stores. Labne is also incredibly easy to make at home if you have trouble finding it already prepared.
Beet, Fennel, and Apple Salad
This bright and fresh first course will set the tone for the rest of the dinner. Red-and-white-striped Chioggia beets (also called candy cane beets) make a festive presentation, but if you can’t find them, use red or golden beets.
New Potato and Fennel Salad
This bright and tangy potato salad pairs wonderfully with the ham. We prefer buttery Castelvetrano olives if you can find them.
Roasted Spring Lamb With Fennel, Rhubarb, and Strawberries
Lamb’s pleasantly gamey flavor pairs beautifully with tart rhubarb, sweet strawberries, and anise-scented fennel. “Frenched” racks of lamb are trimmed so that the bones are cleaned of fat and meat; if you can’t find pre-frenched lamb racks, ask your butcher to french them for you. Look for big stalks of rhubarb at the market; they’ll hold their shape better than smaller ones, which can easily get too soft when cooked.
Blackened Shrimp with Citrus and Roasted Fennel
You don’t need to grill outdoors to get smoky char on this shrimp dish, just a quick spice rub and a hot skillet. The fennel and shallots caramelize and become tender as they roast, and the orange slices become concentrated and fragrant. The multigrain medley is a fun alternative to brown rice; it includes brown, red, and wild rice, plus quinoa. Can’t find it? Use any precooked brown rice or quick-cooking quinoa.
Fennel, Tomato, and Feta Skillet Bake
Fresh fennel becomes mellow and sweet once sautéed and braised in chopped, strained tomatoes. If you can’t find Pomì brand, drain about 1/3 of the liquid from a (15-oz.) can of unsalted diced tomatoes. Pair this simple, beautiful side with baked fish or lemon-and-herb roasted chicken.
Citrus-Pickled Shrimp with Fennel and Potatoes
This heaped platter wouldn’t be out of place at a picnic on a hot day, but it’s so satisfying on winter nights, too. The shrimp picks up plenty of acid and heat with a gentle pickle of citrus, crushed red pepper, and garlic. The warm potatoes, crunchy fennel, and celery slices make it a meal. If you don’t have 1-quart containers, you can pickle the mixture in a covered bowl or two large ziplock bags, turning occasionally.
Pan-Seared Pork Chops with Roasted Fennel and Tomatoes
One pan, a handful of ingredients, and 30 minutes are all you need to put this impressive pork chop skillet dinner on the table. This flavor-packed, single-skillet supper is an easy dinner for two that feels like something special. It’s also an ideal recipe for one, as the leftover chop and veggies reheat well for a next-day lunch worth looking forward to.
Raw and Roasted Carrots and Fennel
This salad demonstrates the magic that happens when you showcase both the raw and cooked sides of ingredients.
Fennel and Blood Orange Salad
This salad is a feast for the eyes, and a welcome relief from the brown and gold tones on the Thanksgiving table. Sweet-tart blood oranges and a honey vinaigrette offset the bitter edge of the endive and radicchio (you can also use milder romaine lettuce hearts). If you can’t find blood oranges, try ruby red grapefruit or pretty pink Cara Cara oranges.
Whole Roasted Chicken with Sweet Potatoes, Fennel, and Apple
For an easy, autumnal dinner, this whole roasted chicken is the way to go. Perched on a bed of root veggies, fennel, apples, and mushrooms, this chicken becomes irresistibly crispy on the outside and succulent on the inside. Apples and mushrooms absorb the savory chicken fat and slowly break down throughout the slow-roasting process, making them almost melt-in-your-mouth delicious. The sheet pan will be crowded upon assembly, but don't fret, roasting will shrink the veggie and apple mixture's size.
White Bean, Fennel, and Italian Sausage Soup with Parmesan Toasts
Pantry staples and a few fresh ingredients combine to make a comforting soup that's ready to eat in less than an hour. Serve with a glass of your favorite red wine and a couple of our crunchy Parmesan Toasts for dunking.
Fennel and Rosemary Turkey Rub
If you're looking for a last-minute rub for your holiday turkey, try this Italian-style blend. We translated the licorice-y, mildly spicy flavors of the grand Porchetta-style Roast Turkey into a quick rub for a whole bird. Once you get the turkey seasoned, follow our Turkey Roasting Guide.
Already widely loved in the context of salad, the incredible trio of bright orange, sweet and earthy fennel, and salty olives shines in this impressive focaccia loaf. Want to take it up a notch? Enjoy this wow-worthy bread warm, with generous smear of softened goat cheese.
Pork Loin with Ginger, Fennel, and Apples
Crab, Fennel, and Basil Spaghetti
Because this pasta toss is light and delicately flavored, it's perfect for warmer weather. Feel free to "back pocket" your way around this dish, subbing shrimp or a flaky white fish for the crab and playing with other herbs like tarragon, chives, and chervil.
Shaved Fennel Salad with Orange, Green Olives, and Pistachios
A mandoline is great for shaving the fibrous fennel bulbs into delicate, thin slices.
Crab Cakes with Creamy Fennel-and-Radish Slaw
Fish, Fennel & Potato Casserole
Dinner: Tuck into these low-cal feasts, and you'll forget you're even on a diet! 250 calories & under. This healthy recipe is featured in the dinner section of the new 5:2 Starter's Guide to The 2-Day Diet. The book provides a selection of over 100 tasty recipes to help you meet the daily 500 calorie allotment for the 2 days of intermittent fasting, as required by the 5:2 Diet.
Fennel and Sugar Snap Pea Orecchiette
Cod with Fennel and Fingerling Potatoes
Fingerling potatoes add some satisfying heft to a light dish of fish and veggies in a clean broth. We like the color contrast the purple potatoes lend, but any fingerlings you have will be fine. Use your most flavorful olive oil in this dish—it makes the sauce richer. A mandoline will help you shave the fennel bulb quickly into thin, even slices. If you don’t have a mandoline, a sharp chef’s knife will work just fine. Spring onions look like bulbous green onions, which you can use as a substitute.
Shaved Fennel with Orange and Olives
Shaved Fennel with Orange and Olives has a zippy crunchiness with a potentially addictive anise flavor.
Pork Roast with Fennel and Apples
Chicken Sausage with Fennel and Apples
Seared Cod with Bacon, Braised Fennel, and Kale
Sear the cod fillets in the bacon drippings first to get a good crust; then add back to the pan, and cover so they can steam and impart their juices to the vegetable mixture. You can also use grouper or snapper.
Cornbread Dressing with Sausage and Fennel
Use your favorite store-bought cornbread to make this crispy, golden dressing.
Grilled Butterflied Turkey with Fennel Garlic Rub
After years of experimenting with different techniques in the Test Kitchen, we've landed on butterflying and grilling as the path to a better bird. Flattened out, the turkey cooks more evenly and quickly, keeping the meat moist, while grilling produces ultra-crisp skin. Plus, your oven is freed up for cooking sides.
Equipment Notes: For brining, you'll need a 12-qt. or larger stockpot (or a smaller pot and a brining bag). You'll also need a 12- by 18-in. foil roasting pan. Lastly, consider getting an inexpensive cable-style thermometer (such as Polder); it will let you track the bird's temperature without uncovering the grill and losing heat. For another variation on the rub, try Grilled Butterflied Turkey with Celery Herb Rub.
Blackened Rockfish with Pepper Jam and Braised Fennel
This sophisticated seafood entree features rockfish, a firm-fleshed, mild flavored fish also often called rock cod or pacific snapper. Its delicate flavor and hearty texture make rockfish an ideal candidate for blackening. Sweet licoricey fennel along with a savory mixed pepper jam are the perfect flavor partners to the spiced, seared fish fillets. If you have trouble finding rockfish, you can also use catfish, grouper, or swordfish in this recipe.
Cucumber, Fennel and Lemon Spritzer
This crisp and refreshing spritzer gets its garden-fresh flavor from juiced cucumbers and fennel. If desired, add limoncello (a lemon liqeuer) for a great cocktail.
Skirt Steak with Fennel Slaw
This raw fennel and celery salad brings light and bright flavor to grilled marinated skirt steak. Throw corn tortillas on the grill to make impromptu tacos, a favorite weeknight dinner.