Roasted Fennel is an easy and delicious staple for healthy eating, and it can be added to a variety of salads and meals, or simply enjoyed as a side dish. All you need is 4 ingredients and 45 minutes! I particularly love this with Italian meals like Chicken Saltimbocca and Easy Chicken Marsala.

Roasted Fennel - In Slices on Sheet Pan

If you need a little convincing when it comes to getting onboard with fennel, roasting is hands down how to cook it. If you’ve tried fennel bulb before, then you’re certainly familiar with its bold flavor. This vegetable is not shy, and anise can have some negative associations tied to it (raise your hand if you hated black licorice as a kid). This is why how you prepare fennel is so important.

My two favorite ways to prepare it are thinly shaved and enjoyed raw in a salad (like in this Fennel, Orange, and Beet Salad), or roasted in the oven. Roasting the fennel caramelizes its natural sweetness, and makes it very tender. Much like Roasted Cauliflower, it’s one of my favorite ingredients for jazzing up salads on the fly.

Tips for Best Results

Select the best fennel at the store – When you’re at the grocery store, look for fresh and perky fronds on the stalks, and bright white bulbs. The bulbs will start to become brown and discolored as they age, so try to avoid any brown bulbs. Also avoid any bulbs that feel soft or look shriveled at all.

Roast in single layers – Just as with all roasted vegetables, you want to make sure you do not overcrowd the pan, or the fennel will have a harder time browning and caramelizing. Do multiple trays if you’re making a big batch.

Flip at the end – We’ll roast the fennel for 3/4 of the time on the first side, to develop deep browning and caramelization, but you’ll want to flip the pieces over for the final 10 minutes so that color develops on the other side too. It’s worth the effort!

How to Cut Fennel Bulb:

First trim the bottom and tops from the fennel bulb:

Cutting Bottom from Fennel Bulb

Can you eat the stalks?

While technically edible, the stalks are usually extremely tough and fibrous, so I discard them. If you wish to save them, toss them in the freezer to use for vegetable stock.

Once the bottom is removed, prop the fennel bulb on its flat bottom side, and cut straight down into 1/4″ thick slices:

How to Cut Fennel by Slicing Downward

These pieces are now ready to roast!

How to Cook It:

Place the cut fennel in a large mixing bowl, and toss with oil, salt, and pepper:

Adding Oil to Cut Fennel in Bowl

Olive oil is a great choice, or you can try more flavorful fats like duck fat, lard, or even tallow. Any high heat cooking fat works here.

Spread the fennel slices out onto a half sheet pan, in an even layer:

Single Layer of Sliced Fennel on Sheet Pan before Cooking Fennel

The spacing above is a little bit more crowded than I’d like, but it’s passable, as the pieces shrink quickly.

Roast the fennel until it’s tender and golden on the edges, flipping the pieces over toward the end:

Roasted Fennel Bulb Slices on Sheet Pan

How to Serve

This Roasted Fennel is delicious enough to be eaten as a side, with a drizzle of top-notch extra virgin olive oil on top, but I also love making a salad with leftover Roasted Pork Tenderloin, quinoa, this roasted fennel, and Lemon Vinaigrette. It’s a wonderful hearty salad.

This dish pairs nicely with meats like Chicken Milanese, steaks like Grilled Ribeye or even Reverse Sear Prime Rib, and Glazed Spiral Ham.

Recipe Tips and FAQ

How do you store leftover Roasted Fennel?

Keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Can you freeze Roasted Fennel?

Because we cook out most of the moisture in the oven, the texture actually handles freezing pretty well. Freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. To thaw, leave in the fridge overnight.

How do you reheat Roasted Fennel?

The microwave or the oven are fine options. For the microwave, reheat in 30 second intervals until warmed through. For the oven, try 300F for 10 minutes, until warmed through.

What do you do with the stalks?

While edible, the stalks are pretty tough and fibrous, so I discard them. You may save them for vegetable broths or stocks if you prefer.

Did you enjoy the recipe? Please leave a 5-star rating in the recipe card below and/or a review in the comments section further down the page.

Roasted Fennel In Slices on Sheet Pan

Roasted Fennel

Roasted Fennel is an easy and delicious staple for healthy eating, and can be added to a variety of salads and meals, or simply enjoyed as a side dish!
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Ingredients

  • 1.25 lbs fennel bulb (about 2 bulbs)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil *
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 400F.
  • Cut the bottom and tops off each fennel bulb. Save the scraps for vegetable stock, or discard.
  • Prop the bulb up on its flat bottom side that you just cut, then cut straight down in 1/4" thick slices (see photo if necessary).
  • Place the pieces into a bowl, then toss with the olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  • Scrape the fennel out onto a sheet pan, including any leftover oil in the bowl, and spread in a single layer.
  • Roast for 30 minutes, until tender and slightly golden on the edges.
  • Flip all the pieces over, and roast for another 10 minutes, to caramelize further. Serve and enjoy!

Notes

*Use any high heat cooking fat that you enjoy here. For more flavor, try duck fat, lard, or even tallow. Or try avocado oil.
Selecting fennel at the store: Look for fresh and perky fronds on the stalks, and bright white bulbs. The bulbs will start to become brown and discolored as they age, so try to avoid any brown bulbs. Also avoid any bulbs that feel soft or look shriveled at all.
Storing leftovers: Keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Freezing: Freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. To thaw, leave in the fridge overnight.
Reheating: The microwave or the oven are fine options. For the microwave, reheat in 30 second intervals until warmed through. For the oven, try 300F for 10 minutes, until warmed through.

Nutrition

Calories: 212kcal, Carbohydrates: 20g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 729mg, Potassium: 1173mg, Fiber: 8g, Vitamin A: 380IU, Vitamin C: 34mg, Calcium: 139mg, Iron: 2.1mg

Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.