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Roasted Fennel

December 4, 2022

Adored for its melt-in-your-mouth flavor and texture, roasted fennel is delicious and impressive yet crazy simple.


roasted fennel on a serving plate made with olive oil, salt, garlic powder and pepper
Photography by Gayle McLeod

Your New Favorite Roasted Fennel Recipe

Roasting fennel brings out all the tender, buttery notes we love and locks in all the moisture. If you’ve scrolled through roasted fennel recipes time after time and still haven’t found the one – bookmark this! You’ll never go back after this simple roast fennel recipe! With only 5 ingredients and 20 minutes, you’ll have a restaurant-worthy side. We dream of this dish on cold winter days and imagine eating the fennel slices piece by caramelized piece directly off the sheet pan.

raw fennel bulbs on the counter to make roasted fennel

What Does Roasted Fennel Taste Like?

The short and sweet answer is that fennel has a complex and rich flavor profile with notes of licorice, anise, and hints of mint! But there are many ways to prepare fennel and commonly people grapple with the question of is fennel better roasted or raw. We love it both ways! Roasted fennel has a buttery, caramelized flavor with very mild licorice notes while raw fennel provides a crunch and sweet, stronger licorice flavor like in our Easy Fennel Salad. We also love a sautéed version such as in our Spicy Gnocchi with Fennel and Mushrooms. The difference in cooking methods (or not cooking at all!) lend themselves to a variety of diverse flavors and dishes in French and Mediterranean cooking.

raw fennel sliced on a baking sheet tossed with olive oil, salt, garlic powder and pepper
roasted fennel on a serving plate made with olive oil, salt, garlic powder and pepper

How Do You Cut Fennel for Roasting?

How to cut fennel to roast is a very common question! In our roast fennel recipe, big beautiful roast fennel bulbs are sliced down the middle to slightly caramelize the outer layers which create a beautiful centerpiece and vessel for garlic and EVOO. First, take your fennel bulb and remove the stalks and leafy fronds, saving the stalks in place of celery (think soups!) and fronds for a gorgeous, simple garnish. Sit your fennel wide side up, and slice it in half. It should look similar to the inside of an onion, with the slices running vertically. Then, lay the halves cut side down and cut into ½ -inch wedges or ⅓-inch wide half-moons for perfect slices. If you’re looking for a versatile root veggie, fennel roasted (or raw) is your gal.

raw fennel sliced on a baking sheet tossed with olive oil, salt, garlic powder and pepper
roasted fennel on a serving plate made with olive oil, salt, garlic powder and pepper

What to Pair With Roast Fennel

Slightly sweet, roasted fennel is great on its own but thanks to its complex profile, it complements a variety of dishes, too! It makes the perfect side for chicken such as Easy Lemon Chicken, Spatchcocked Grilled Chicken, or even Grilled Chicken Thighs. We also love it with a Pork Loin Roast or in Salmon en Papillote. Shave a little parm overtop or squeeze fresh lemon after roasting and the fennel bulbs might shine as bright as the main! Toss them into salads like this Grilled Halloumi Salad or Simple Green Salad any of your favorites! Roast fennel goes well with fresh and bright citrus, nutty notes like pistachios, and green Castelvetrano olives.

How to Roast Fennel

If you’re wondering, from start to finish how long to roast fennel, then these step-by-step instructions are for you! In less than 30 minutes, you’ll have perfectly soft and buttery pieces of caramelized fennel waiting to be enjoyed! Even those who might be licorice adverse have raved about this recipe – as you roast them, the anise/licorice flavors take a back seat.

  1. Prepare your roasted fennel! We turn our oven up to 425°F in order to achieve the high heat, short time cooking method which produces a slightly sweet, tender interior.

  2. Dress em! We only use three simple pantry ingredients to keep the roast fennel the star of the show! Make it your own and shave parm over the top or add different spices like thyme.

  3. Roast away! Spread out in a single layer so that each fennel slice will be equally tender and caramelized! Pro tip: If you love caramelization as much as we do, pop the broiler on for 1-2 minutes until the edges crisp up a tad. To avoid burning, don’t take your eyes off them!

roasted fennel on a baking sheet made with olive oil, salt, garlic powder and pepper

Tools You’ll Need For Oven Roasted Fennel

Our Favorite Warm and Cozy Winter Meals

When winter rolls around, all we can think about is making comforting recipes that make the house smell absolutely delicious and feel like a big hug. We love to make:

on a baking sheet
roasted fennel on a serving plate made with olive oil, salt, garlic powder and pepper

Say Goodbye To The Winter Blues With Roast Fennel!

How did you serve your roasted fennel? We love seeing all the photos and videos of your recipes! Snap a photo or take a video and tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper. Happy eating!

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Roasted Fennel

  • Serves: 4
  • Prep Time:  5 min
  • Cook Time:  20 min
  • Calories: 95


  • 2 large fennel bulbs
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.

  2. Trim the stalks and flat root base away from the fennel bulbs, reserve the fronds for garnish. Halve and cut into ⅓-inch wedges.

  3. Spread the wedges out on a large rimmed baking sheet and toss with the olive oil, garlic powder, and salt.

  4. Roast the fennel until tender and beginning to brown, about 20 minutes. Turn on the broiler and cook for another 2 minutes, until the edges are caramelized.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories95
  • Protein2 g
  • Carbohydrates9 g
  • Total Fat7 g
  • Dietary Fiber4 g
  • Cholesterol0 mg
  • sodium208 mg
  • Total Sugars5 g

Roasted Fennel

Questions & Reviews

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  • Kay

    Have never eaten fennel like this it was absolutely delicious. Took your advice and served it with lemon chicken and salad, yum!

    yay! glad you liked it!