Italian Oven Roasted Fennel Recipe (Easy)

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Italian Oven Roasted Fennel Recipe (Easy)- a super tasty and fresh vegetable side dish. It is buttery, caramelized on the edges and deliciously sweet. 

Oven Roasted Fennel is the perfect side dish to your next meal!

Try it as a side with Best Salmon Piccata Recipe and make a side of No Knead Italian Focaccia Bread to go with it.

More fennel recipes: Perfect Pork Tenderloin with Fennel, Roast Chicken with Citrus and Fennel and Italian Fennel, Citrus, Pomegranate and Salad.

Why this recipe works

The olive oil caramelizes the sweet fennel and the veggies turn into magic in your mouth! This is my favorite way to serve fennel and I learned it from my nonna in Italy.

I like to top with fresh chunks of parmigiano to add texture and a little cheesy goodness. Truly, sensational.

Ingredients

  • Fennel bulbs
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Parmigiano cheese

Simple and wholesome ingredients for a tasty and simple side dish.

roasted fennel on a plate with parmigiano
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Instructions

Roast the fennel by lining a roasting pan or baking dish with aluminum foil and brushing it with olive oil.

Arrange the fennel slices on the pan, add more olive oil, then sea salt and roast them at 400°F (205°C) for 30 minutes or until the fennel wedges are cooked through and beginning to caramelize at the edges.

This Roasted Fennel is one of my favorite side dishes because it’s incredibly easy to make, and so delicious.

Where to find fennel in the grocery store?

You can find fennel in the refrigerated section in your local grocery store. Usually it’s near the leafy greens and celery, but it depends on the grocery store.

Usually the fennel comes with the top on the bulb, but sometimes it’s sold as just the bulb.

What does Fennel Taste Like?

Fennel is a member of the carrot family, though it looks like an onion that’s sprouted celery stalks and dill fronds! 

Uncooked fennel has a mild licorice flavor and crunchy texture. When fennel is cooked, the flavor becomes more delicate and the texture softens.

Fennel can be sautéed, braised, baked and added to soups or stews. The feathery leaves have an even milder flavor and can be used in soups and salads or as a garnish.

Fennel is similar to anise seeds, but is sweeter and milder as compared to anise. It also has a licorice flavor. Anise seeds, cumin seeds, caraway seeds, or dill are often used as substitutes for fennel.

If you haven’t tried fennel- now is the time!

roasted fennel with bread and parmigiano

Italian Fennel Recipes

Fennel is found in many recipes of Italian cuisine, bulbs and fronds are used, both raw and cooked, for side dishes, salads, pastas, vegetable dishes and risottos.

The fennel seed is a common ingredient in Italian sausages and meatballs.

The distinct sweet anise flavor reminds me of many dishes we make in Italy. I also remember munching on raw fennel fresh from the fruit and vegetable stands in the summertime.

I love the crunch, almost like a celery, but tastier and sweeter. If you haven’t tried fennel or had it lately, it is time!

Health Benefits of Fennel

A vegetable that nourishes you in more ways than one.

The fiber, potassium, folate, vitamin C, vitamin B-6, and phytonutrient content in fennel, coupled with its lack of cholesterol, all support heart health.

Fennel contains significant amounts of fiber.

final dish on a plate and a wodden board in the background

Serving Suggestions

This Italian oven roasted fennel recipe goes well with Best Italian Stuffed Chicken Thighs (Involtini di Pollo), or Best Roasted Rack of Lamb with Dijon Pistachio Crust and a beautiful salad- Arugula, Apple, and Pistachio Salad in Parmigiano Cups.

Don’t forget dessert: Italian Pistachio Cream Cake (Sbriciolata), or a simple Classic Italian Tiramisu Recipe (Authentic).

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roasted fennel with bread and parmigiano

Roasted Fennel Recipe (Italian Style)

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The olive oil caramelizes the sweet fennel and the veggies turn into magic in your mouth! I like to top with fresh chunks of parmigiano to add texture and a little cheesy goodness. 

  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 46 servings 1x

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 2 fennel bulbs (thick base of stalk), stalks cut off, bulbs halved lengthwise, then cut thinly in 1/2 inch slices (the fennel will shrink a bit as it cooks)
  • 2 tablespoons (or more) of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup fresh parmigiano chunks (cut pieces from block of parmigiano cheese)

Instructions

  1.  Preheat oven to 400°F (205°C)
  2.  Line a roasting pan or baking dish with aluminum foil and brushing it with olive oil. Arrange the fennel slices on the pan, add more olive oil (until the fennel is covered on all sides). Sprinkle with sea salt and roast for 30 minutes or until the fennel wedges are cooked through and beginning to caramelize at the edges.
  3.  If desired add parmigiano chunks after the fennel is slightly cooled on the pan. Enjoy hot, room temperature, or even cold.
  • Author: Elena Davis
  • Prep Time: 5 min
  • Cook Time: 30 min
  • Category: Savory
  • Method: Italian
  • Cuisine: Italian

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About Elena

My dream is to share delicious wholesome recipes that you will share around the table with all your loved ones. The memories surrounded by food are the heart and soul of CucinaByElena.

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