Fennel Slaw with Mint Vinaigrette

If you are firing up the grill this summer with fish or seafood, consider this fennel slaw as a fresh alternative to regular cabbage coleslaw to serve as a side. Even my father, who runs from fennel as if it were carrying plague, thoroughly enjoys this salad. Oddly, the naturally pronounced licorice taste of fennel is strongly muted by the vinaigrette, so only a hint comes through, and it is well balanced with the mint, shallots, and mustard.

Fennel Slaw with Mint Vinaigrette Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4-6

The sugar helps bring out the natural sweetness of the fennel, don't leave out!



  • 1 large fennel bulb (or 2 medium bulbs)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh mint
  • 2 teaspoons minced shallot or onion


1 Make the vinaigrette. Put the lemon juice, shallot, mustard, salt, sugar and mint in a blender and pulse briefly to combine. With the motor running, drizzle in the olive oil until it is well combined.

2 Using a mandoline, shave the fennel into 1/8 inch slices starting from the bottom of the bulb. Don't worry about coring the fennel bulb, it's unnecessary. If you don’t have a mandoline, slice the bulb as thin as you can. Chop some of the fennel fronds as well to toss in with the salad.

3 Toss with the fennel and marinate for at least an hour. Serve this salad either cold or at room temperature.

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Beet and fennel salad from Lydia of The Perfect Pantry

Orange and fennel salad from Pille of Nami Nami

Warm beef and shaved fennel salad from Marc of No Recipes


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Showing 4 of 23 Comments

  • Gwen

    I make a version of this and toss it with orange supremes just before serving. Very pretty and very good with fish.

  • Chris

    HUGE fan of fennel, since I was a kid. My grandma used to give us quarters of the bulb to gnaw on. Little did I know then that acts as a mood relaxer….natural adderall if you will.

    Love the combo of flavors here! Can’t wait to try.

    Natural mood relaxer? That’s a new one! Cool. ~Elise

  • jonathan

    As adventurous as I am (aside from Tacos de Lengua ;), fennel is just one item I’ve never prepared a lot. Yet the times I’ve had it, I’ve loved it, I did use it recently here (http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Italian-Stuffed-Mushrooms-107837) which now ranks as one of my favorite party foods. I needed a recipe to try it where fennel shined a little more, and yours looks great. Hey – have fun and ‘memorialize’ something this weekend, Elise.

  • Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)

    I think the mandoline is the key. I love fennel when it’s thinly shaved like this — which you can really only do with a mandoline, even a small Japanese plastic one — and marinated a bit with some acidic dressing. When it’s cut thicker, I’m not as crazy about it. I love the combination with mint here, and the mint in my garden has just reached cutting length.

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