With its crunchy texture and anise-like taste, I think you’ll really enjoy this list of fennel recipes.
It adds something special to even the most basic of meals, and though it has a mild licorice flavor, it’s not so overwhelming that licorice-haters will be bothered.
Though it may look like an onion, it’s actually part of the carrot family, and when cooked, it becomes tender and even a little sweet.
Fennel is also a great source of vitamin C, and it’s loaded with antioxidants to boot. So, if you’ve never tried it before, why not start now?
1. Fennel Gratin (Finoccio al Forno)
As mentioned, fennel can take on a quite strong anise flavor, which is more pronounced if you eat it raw.
One way to balance that flavor is to cook it in oodles of cream and cheese.
When sliced, it looks more like an onion, as it breaks apart into layers. But that just helps this to cook faster.
2. Roasted Fennel with Garlic & Herbs
If you’re looking for a relatively low-carb option for your next dinner, why not try this heavenly roasted fennel dish?
I just love how those layers turn golden and crispy after time in the oven, and when you roast it on high, you’ll even see some scrumptious caramelization.
3. Roasted Fennel Pomodoro Recipe
When thinking of roasted veggies, I’m sure most people think of potatoes with carrots and maybe squash.
But it doesn’t have to be so heavy!
This light and bright roasted fennel salad is packed with pops of sweet cherry tomatoes along with peppery red onion and just a hint of garlic.
4. Caramelized Fennel and Onions
Caramelized onions are lovely on everything from burgers to pasta, and though they’ll take a little time to make, it’s more than worth it in the end.
You’ll add sliced fennel for this recipe, which provides a slightly different texture and a hint of bitterness, which balances the whole thing out.
5. Pasta with Fennel, Kale, and Lemon
A common misconception about vegetarian and vegan food is that it’s boring.
But when you add bright flavors like fennel and lemon to the mix, you won’t miss the meat one bit.
As with any authentic pasta recipe, this doesn’t rely on a heavy sauce. Instead, you’ll use a simple onion and fennel mix with oil, chili flakes, and lemon juice.
6. Rigatoni with Sausage & Fennel
If you’ve ever tried Italian sausage and wondered what makes it so unique, you might be surprised to hear that it’s fennel!
So it won’t come as a shock to see this sausage and fennel dish.
Adding extra fennel will enhance that flavor beautifully, and it’s as easy as dicing it up and cooking it with the onion.
7. Roasted Carrot & Fennel Soup
When making soups or stews, I always suggest that you start by roasting the veggies.
Yes, they’ll cook in the pot, but roasting them first will add a depth of flavor you won’t believe.
In the case of fennel, it also helps to reduce that anise taste, making it much more pleasant.
8. Spinach Fennel Pizza
I’ve yet to find a pizza topping I don’t like, and I have to say that fennel makes such a great addition to this classic tomato and cheese combination.
I love this recipe because the fennel will roast on the surface but keep part of its crunchy texture inside.
So you’ll get nice caramelization while the flavor is still quite prominent.
9. Homemade Italian Sausage
As mentioned, fennel is one of the key ingredients in Italian sausage, and it’s the reason this flavor is so unique.
You’ll use fennel seeds here, which will be extra fragrant if you take the time to toast them first.
10. Crispy Lemon & Herb Chicken with Fennel
This lemon and herb chicken recipe is so bright and juicy that it deserves a side dish that can hold its own.
You’ll cover the meat and the veg in a lemon, garlic, and herb blend before roasting, giving the fennel chance to soak up the herb sauce as well as the chicken juices.
11. Chicken with Creamy Fennel Broth
For this recipe, you’ll use almost all of the fennel, including the fronds (the stalks).
In fact, it’s present in the broth and served on top in the form of a vibrant gremolata.
Gremolata is kind of like a cross between chimichurri and pesto, though it typically uses parsley.
Like pesto, it calls for lemon juice too for a boost of zest, along with pine nuts for a delightfully buttery finish.
12. Fennel-Garlic Braised Brisket with Roasted Peppers & Potatoes
If you’ve never made brisket before (I don’t blame you, it’s a tricky dish to master), I can’t suggest this recipe enough.
After all, when you’ve spent all that money on such a lovely piece of meat, you want to get the most out of it.
13. Fennel-Roasted Pork Tenderloin With Sweet Onions Recipe
Although I’m a huge fan of garlic, I know plenty of people that prefer their food without it.
But when you take away such a key ingredient, it’s crucial to replace it with something special.
Fennel is the perfect garlic substitute. It’s easy to work with, adds lovely flavor, and it pairs with pretty much anything you can think of.
14. Baked Salmon With Fennel & Tomatoes
This low-waste dish uses every part of the fennel, including the fronds. So, you know it’ll have a pretty prominent flavor in the end.
You’ll start by boiling the fennel before roasting. This helps to make it extra tender since the salmon doesn’t need to cook for long.
15. Fennel Salad
To make fennel salad, you’ll need a mandolin to get the thinnest possible slices. Of course, you can also slice it by hand, but it likely won’t be as delicate.
The thinner the slices, the more they’ll soak up the lemon dressing, making this side salad very light and refreshing.
16. Fillet Steak on Fennel
Steak is very rich and decadent, and it’s most often served with hearty potatoes and maybe roasted veggies.
But when you want to indulge without overdoing it, this light fennel side is the way to go.
It’s browned in a pan first to add color and then served with chewy raisins for a uniquely sweet finish.
17. Fennel And Chickpea Stew
Between the protein-packed chickpeas and fennel loaded with antioxidants, this stew is designed to make you feel better.
Thanks to the tomatoes, it’s hearty and rich, and the longer it sits, the more delicious it becomes.
18. Scallops With Fennel in White Wine
Cooking scallops at home may feel like a challenge, but I promise, it’s easier than you think.
Like shrimp, they only need a few minutes in a hot pan.
The trick is to ensure the pan is as hot as possible and then don’t move the scallops until it’s time to flip them.
19. Oven Roasted Potatoes and Fennel
One way to add flavor to potatoes is to overload them with butter and salt. It’s not very healthy, but at least it’s effective.
But if you’d like a filling potato side dish that isn’t swimming in calories, try this fennel recipe.
You’ll only need a dash of olive oil and a hint of rosemary and thyme.
20. Baked Haddock With Roasted Tomato and Fennel
Most fish is best served with some kind of fresh and zesty dressing or sauce. Haddock is especially tender and easy to cook, plus it has a nice, mild flavor.
Again, the fish doesn’t need very long to cook, so you’ll need to roast the veggies first, then nestle the fish in the skillet for the last few minutes.
21. Baked Shrimp with Fennel & Feta
Not only is this shrimp and fennel recipe colorful, but it’s also packed with fantastic texture and flavor.
My favorite part is the crunchy topping with salty feta.
22. Steamed Mussels with Fennel and Tarragon
It’s incredible how much flavor mussels will soak up when you give them a chance.
In this dish, they’re allowed to bubble in a blend of beer, fennel, and shallots.
That deep hoppy taste makes a really nice change to the typical white wine you so often see.
23. Roasted Fennel & Garlic Socca Flatbread
Thanks to the chickpea flour, this impressive pizza/flatbread is gluten-free and loaded with goodness.
It’s a little like a thick crepe or pancake and cooks right in your favorite skillet.
To add flavor, try pan-frying the veggies and then cooking the batter in the juices.
To make this totally vegan, try this cashew mozzarella!
24. Pork & Fennel Burgers with Apple Slaw
Pork and fennel go hand in hand, and I love that this recipe uses fresh and ground fennel for maximum taste.
You’ll also add an incredible apple slaw that’s bright and crisp. It cuts through the anise flavor, bringing a touch of sweetness to the mix that I think you’ll love.
25. Fennel Gin Cocktail
This cocktail is not sweet, but then it’s not super savory either.
Instead, it’s strong and lemon-flavored with a distinct licorice taste that plays perfectly with the botanicals in the gin.
Even if you prefer your cocktails sweet, I think you should try this, especially if you’re a gin lover!
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