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Not sure how to cook fennel? This roasted fennel recipe is perfect for any occasion, and it’s so easy to make! If you dislike the taste of this veggie raw, this method is a game changer that brings out its natural sweetness. Just like roasted rutabaga or roasted sweet potatoes, this sheet pan healthy side dish needs only a few staple ingredients for stunning results.
What Is Fennel?
Fennel is a vegetable in the carrot family and has a mild anise flavor, similar to licorice. It’s a fully edible plant with stalks that look like celery and fronds (leaves) that look a lot like dill.
Fennel is in season during the cooler months, late fall, through the winter, and into early spring. You can often find it in Italian recipes (fennel seeds are commonly used in pizza sauce), but can be used in all sorts of dishes.
Why You’ll Love This Roasted Fennel Recipe
- Sweet, buttery flavor similar to caramelized onions
- Soft texture with crispy, caramelized edges
- 5 simple ingredients
- Nutrient-dense: high in fiber, vitamin C, and potassium
- Vegan, whole30, paleo, dairy free, & gluten-free
Ingredients & Substitutions
This section explains how to choose the best ingredients for roasted fennel recipes, what each one does, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.
- Fennel Bulbs – You can usually find raw fennel bulbs in the produce section of most grocery stores, and they are typically sold whole.
- Olive Oil – Promotes browning and caramelization, and helps the seasonings stick. I used 3 tablespoons. You could cut back the oil to 2 tablespoons, but they might not brown quite as well and will be less flavorful.
- Spices – Sea salt, black pepper, and garlic powder bring out natural sweet flavors in this recipe for roasted fennel.
VARIATION: Add parmesan!
Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese on the fennel recipe after roasting for extra flavor.
How To Cut Fennel For Roasting
The best way to cut a fennel bulb for roasting is to make pieces, for maximum surface area that can brown and caramelize. It’s easy to do:
- Trim the stalks. With a sharp knife, slice off the stalks of the fennel bulbs.
- Remove the ends. Trim the end of each bulb.
- Cut lengthwise. Slice each fennel bulb in half lengthwise.
- Chop pieces. From the halved bulbs, cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch thick slices or wedges.
How To Cook Fennel In The Oven
This section shows how to roast fennel, with step-by-step photos and details about the technique, to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
- Season. Place the sliced fennel in a large bowl. Gently toss in olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder until evenly coated.
- Transfer. Arrange the fennel pieces on a sheet pan and spread in a single layer.
TIP: Make sure each piece is touching the pan.
Crowding the pan can cause the fennel to steam instead of roasting. Make sure there is plenty of room to allow for proper browning.
- Roast. Cook the roast fennel recipe in the oven, until it’s fork tender and caramelized.
TIP: Flip the fennel if you can.
If desired, you can flip each wedge over at 20 minutes to get both sides evenly caramelized, but a quick stir works as well.
- Garnish. If you like, garnish with fresh parsley or fennel fronds (what I used).
- Store: Keep leftover fennel in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Meal prep: Cooking roasted fennel is a great way to prep for other recipes since it can be added to a variety of different dishes. Simply make ahead and store.
- Reheat: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Place leftover fennel on a baking sheet and roast for about 10 minutes, or until warm. The microwave also works if needed, but you’ll lose any crispy edges.
- Freeze: Wrap the fennel recipe tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, place in a freezer bag, and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to use it, thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
What To Serve With Fennel Recipes
If you’re looking for something to serve with this roasted fennel recipe, look no further! There are so many delicious ways to plate it:
Serve Fennel With:
- Chicken – Pair this sweet side with Italian-inspired chicken dishes like chicken piccata, grilled bruschetta chicken, balsamic chicken, and grilled chicken kabobs.
- Seafood – After roasting fennel, pair it with grilled shrimp skewers, pan seared salmon, surf and turf, or grilled lobster tails for a fancier meal.
- Pork – Try these sweet roasted fennels with savory pan seared pork chops, pork tenderloin, pork steaks, or air fryer sausage.
- Steak – Serve with air fryer baked potatoes and a ribeye steak, reverse sear steak, or air fryer filet mignon.
- Sauces – Drizzle this fennel recipe with tahini sauce or marinara.
Add Fennel To:
- Eggs – Add roasted fennel to an omelette or frittata. The sweetness of the fennel pairs well with eggs, and it makes a filling and satisfying meal.
- Fennel Salad – Let the roasted fennel cool completely, then toss with mixed greens, crumbled bacon, shaved parmesan, pine nuts or walnuts, and your favorite vinaigrette (I love it with Greek salad dressing!).
- Soup – Fennel makes a great addition to any healthy soup. Some of my favorites to add it to are vegetable soup or stuffed pepper soup.
- Noodles – Prepare your favorite pasta, zucchini noodles, or spaghetti squash. Toss with roasted fennel, sun-dried tomatoes, olive oil, salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese.
Roasted Fennel Recipe
Roasted Fennel Recipe (Easy & Caramelized!)
The BEST roasted fennel recipe – caramelized and buttery! Learn how to cook fennel with olive oil, salt, and pepper to bring out its flavor.
Tap underlined ingredients to see where to get them. Please turn Safari reader mode OFF to view ingredients.
Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (204 degrees C).
Slice off the stalks of the fennel bulbs and trim the end of each with a knife. It’s important to keep the bottom of the bulb intact, so you can slice into wedges.
Slice each fennel bulb in half lengthwise, then slice into 1/2-inch pieces.
Place the fennel in a large bowl. Gently toss in olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder until evenly coated.
Transfer to a sheet pan and spread in a single layer (without any pieces touching).
Roast fennel in the oven for 20 minutes, stir, then return to the oven for another 10-15 minutes, until the fennel is fork tender and caramelized.
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Serving size: 6-8 pieces
Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.
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This recipe looks good! I plan to try it soon.
This is exactly like how my Nonna used to make finocchio! Glad I found a similar recipe. I will be making it again soon.
I never know what to do with fennel and I got some in my CSA. So I’m glad I found this recipe! We really loved it!
This was so easy to make. I almost never make fennel but it looked good at the market so I grabbed it. Will be making this one again!
This is one of my favorite ways to enjoy fennel. The flavor is so transformed when roasting!
This was the first time I’ve ever cooked fennel and I loved it! So easy and delicious. Thank you!