Here’s a forktender and buttery roasted fennel recipe. If you’ve never had fennel like this, you are in for a treat!

Once baked, the fennel sheds its licorice-like flavor and gains a creamy texture and caramelized taste that everyone will love. It’s excellent as a starter or a tasty side dish.

Roasted fennel and fork

Check out our best vegetable sides recipe collection!

Fennel, the fresh vegetable, not the dry seeds, is an anise-flavored plant native to the Mediterranean with feathery leaves and is a member of the carrot family.

Its sturdy and crunchy bulb-like stem can be eaten raw on its own (just like a carrot) or sliced into salads (like in our fennel and orange salad).

However, few know that fennel is also delicious when cooked, especially when roasted in the oven with olive oil, salt, and black pepper.

Oven roasting wonderfully transforms the flavor and texture of fennel into something completely different than when raw.

Its natural sweetness is accentuated, and the fresh anise-licorice flavor of raw fennel is replaced by a buttery, warm, cozy, and absolutely divine taste. The crunchy texture turns tender and melts in your mouth.

If you’ve never had roasted fennel before, you are in for a treat. And even people that usually struggle with fennel’s peculiar flavor tend to fall in love with this roasted fennel recipe.

Roasted fennel with parmesan cheese
This is a variation of roasted fennel with parmesan.

Ingredients

Roasted fennel and parmesan
Ingredients: fennel, olive oil, salt, black pepper, and optionally parmesan cheese or dairy-free cheese.

Fennel

Pick a couple of large, fresh, crunchy fennel bulbs.

Olive oil

Extra virgin olive oil is a beautiful flavor match with fennel; it adds a fruity flavor and helps the fennel cook evenly without burning.

Salt and pepper

Add a sprinkle of sea salt, kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper.

Parmesan

Grated parmesan cheese is entirely optional, and the roasted fennel is delicious without it.

If you are serving this recipe to people not used to eating veggies, then adding a sprinkle of parmesan cheese on top can help!

Add the parmesan after the fennel has already been roasted, then broil for a few minutes until the parmesan melts.

For dairy-free, pick shredded dairy-free cheese.

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 400°F or 200°C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Rinse the fennel, pat it dry, then cut off the fronds and set them aside for garnishing. Cut off and discard the top part of the stalks.

Cut the fennel bulb in half, then slice it into wedges of about the same size.

Tip: there’s no need to remove the outer layers unless they are heavily bruised.

slice the fennel

Transfer the sliced fennel to the baking tray, season with olive oil, salt, black pepper, and toss it with your hands, and arrange it flat on a single layer.

fennel on a baking tray

Bake in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until very tender.

Roasted fennel on a tray

Arrange on a serving platter and sprinkle with finely chopped fennel fronds (or dill) and a drizzle of good quality extra virgin olive oil.

fennel served on white platter

Variation

Roasted fennel with parmesan

Follow the same recipe as above, then when the fennel is cooked, take it out of the oven, sprinkle it with a generous amount of grated parmesan cheese (or dairy-free cheese), and put it back in the oven set to “broiler” function.

Broil for 5 to 10 minutes until the parmesan melts, and the fennel is golden-brown.

Roasted fennel with parmesan

Serving suggestions

Serve as a side dish with pasta:

Serve as a starter or green side with your favorite protein. Some ideas are:

Storage

Refrigerator: Store this roasted fennel recipe in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Eat at room temperature, or reheat in the microwave.

Freezer: we don’t recommend freezing this recipe.

More roasted veggies

Looking for more roasted vegetables? Check out our blog post on how to roast vegetables, or pick one of the following:

More vegetable sides

If you’d like a vegetable side dish but don’t feel like turning on your oven, have a peek at these:

For many more side dish ideas, check out our sides category page.

Roasted fennel on white plate

Roasted Fennel

By: Nico Pallotta
5 from 2 votes
Here's a forktender and buttery roasted fennel recipe. If you've never had fennel like this, you are in for a treat!
Once baked, the fennel sheds its licorice-like flavor and gains a creamy texture and caramelized taste that everyone will love. It's excellent as a starter or a tasty side dish.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4 -6 people
Course: Side dish, Starter
Cuisine: Italian

Ingredients

  • 2 large fennels
  • tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ cup parmesan grated, or dairy-free cheese (optional)

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F or 200°C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
    Rinse the fennel, pat it dry, then cut off the fronds and set them aside for garnishing. Cut off and discard the top part of the stalks.
    Cut the fennel bulb in half, then slice it into wedges of about the same size.
    Tip: there's no need to remove the outer layers unless they are heavily bruised.
    slice the fennel
  • Transfer the cut fennel to the tray, season with olive oilsaltblack pepper, and toss it with your hands, and arrange it flat on a single layer.
    fennel on a baking tray
  • Bake in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until very tender.
    Roasted fennel on a tray
  • Arrange on a serving platter and sprinkle with finely chopped fennel fronds (or dill) and a drizzle of good quality extra virgin olive oil.
    fennel served on white platter

VARIATION WITH PARMESAN

  • Follow the same recipe as above, then when the fennel is cooked, take it out of the oven, sprinkle it with a generous amount of grated parmesan cheese (or dairy-free cheese), and put it back in the oven set to "broiler" function.
    Broil for 5 to 10 minutes until the parmesan melts, and the fennel is golden-brown.
    Roasted fennel with parmesan

Video

Roasted Fennel | Tender & tasty vegetable side

Notes

Nutrition information is an estimate for one portion of roasted fennel out of four, including the cheese.

Nutrition

Calories: 132kcal, Carbohydrates: 9g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 9mg, Potassium: 498mg, Dietary Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 255IU, Vitamin B6: 0.1mg, Vitamin C: 14mg, Vitamin E: 1mg, Vitamin K: 77µg, Calcium: 206mg, Folate: 32µg, Iron: 1mg, Manganese: 0.2mg, Magnesium: 26mg, Zinc: 1mg
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Nico and Louise in the kitchen

Hi! We are Nico & Louise

Welcome to The Plant-Based School, a food blog with easy, tasty, and wholesome recipes.

Our aim is to help you and your family eat more veggies through delicious recipes with simple ingredients.

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