Roasted Fennel

Fennel is a wonderfully versatile vegetable. It resembles a peeled onion bulb that someone has pressed between their hands so it’s no longer round, with a green celery-like stalk and dill-ish fronds. It has the cool crunch of celery with a strong note of licorice when you take a bite. It is lovely sliced thin and served with Parmesan in a salad, luscious and filling in a cheesy gratin, and absolutely delicious roasted.

Roasted, fennel caramelizes at the edges and loses its crunch. The licorice notes that were so discernible when the fennel was raw leave only a hint when roasted. Even people who run from anything licorice-ish (like my father) easily enjoy fennel when it is warm and roasted.

This simple dish of fennel roasted with olive oil and balsamic vinegar would be perfect with roast chicken, fish, or seafood.

Roasted Fennel Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4



  • 2 fennel bulbs (thick base of stalk), stalks cut off, bulbs halved lengthwise, then cut lengthwise in 1-inch thick wedges
  • 2 Tbsp (or more) of Olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons (or more) balsamic vinegar



1 Preheat oven to 400°F (205°C). Place the fennel wedges in a bowl and toss them with 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil, just enough to coat them. Sprinkle with balsamic vinegar, again just enough to coat.

roasted-fennel-1.jpg roasted-fennel-2.jpg

2 Line a roasting pan or baking dish Silpat or aluminum foil brushed with olive oil.  Arrange the fennel wedges on the pan and roast them for 40 minutes or until the fennel wedges are cooked through and beginning to caramelize at the edges.

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Ven'll You Roast Fennel? - Adam Roberts, the Amateur Gourmet, tries out a Barefoot Contessa recipe for roasted fennel

Oven roasted fennel and tomato soup from Lucullian Delights

Roasted fennel, chilli, and sweet potato salad from the Culinary Chase

Gratin of fennel and tomato from The Wednesday Chef

Roasted potatoes and fennel from CookThink

Roasted Fennel

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Showing 4 of 17 Comments

  • Debs

    I love fennel! I especially like it roasted with olive oil and a sprinkling of parmegiano which forms a ntty crust. I was told there are “male” and “female” bulbs, and that the female which are shorter, rounder, squatter are tastier or somehow “better’. The male bulbs are more elongated. I don’t know if this is true, but I’ve always searched out the round ones.

  • mimsie

    Do you have any suggestions on what to do with the stalks? I think they smell great and I’d hate to just waste them!

  • Maxximillian

    Hi, Mimsie.

    On the Tony Tantillo site, he suggests the following for fennel stalks. Enjoy!

    Don’t throw away the stalks or leaves. Chefs use the stalks in soups and stews to add flavor and use the feathery leaves as an herb, similar to parsley. The leaves are particularly good with fish baked in parchment. You can also wet the fronds and stalks and throw them on the grill in lieu of wood chips. In addition to fish, they add excellent flavor to poultry, pork, and lamb.

  • Angel

    I’ve chopped up the stalks and the “leaves” to put in spaghetti sauce. The “leaves” are traditional in (meatless) spaghetti sauce for St Joseph’s day

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