Lemon-Roasted Fennel Recipe

Fennel is a vegetable that might well have slid under your radar until now, and that's okay. While fennel may be packed full of flavor and nutrients, it is a vegetable that people often shy away from using due to it being less familiar and perhaps a little more intimidating. This simple roasted fennel recipe is a great and easy introduction to this wonderfully flavorful and versatile vegetable.

If you like the flavor of licorice or anise, you will love the taste of fennel. It has a freshness and lightness that makes it a wonderful vegetable to add to salads and it can be eaten raw. However, in our humble opinion, the absolute best way to enjoy fennel is by roasting it. Roasting fennel enhances and sweetens the licorice flavoring, as well as softening the inside of the vegetable and giving it delicious crunchy edges. It really is the perfect way to prepare this underused vegetable; and with the additional flavors of lemon, garlic, and olives, this dish is transformed into a tabletop showstopper.  

This lemon roasted fennel recipe, created by recipe developer Jennine Rye, is a great side dish to serve with other Mediterranean flavored foods, simple roasted chicken, fish, or other vegetables, and it can be enjoyed either hot or cold. Read on to find out just how simple it is to roast fennel.

Gather the ingredients for this lemon-roasted fennel

To begin this lemon-roasted fennel recipe, first you will need to gather the ingredients. You will need fennel bulbs, olive oil, white wine, a lemon, garlic, black olives, fresh basil, and salt and pepper. When shopping for fennel, make sure to look for firm and fresh bulbs, with bright green fronds and a round white body.

For those who would prefer an alcohol-free option, Rye tells us, "It is possible to swap out the white wine for chicken or vegetable stock instead, and make this recipe alcohol free. It's a simple change and just as delicious."

Prepare the fennel

To prepare this dish, first preheat the oven to 375 F. Then, using a sharp knife, slice each fennel bulb into quarters. Place the fennel wedges into a medium sized roasting tray, and pour the white wine, or the stock if using, over the top. Drizzle the olive oil into the dish, and squeeze out the juice of a whole lemon. Mix the fennel well so that it is coated with all the delicious flavors in the tray, and then season it with salt and pepper. Place the roasting tray with the fennel into the preheated oven to roast for 20 minutes.

Add the olives and garlic

When the fennel has been roasting for 20 minutes, remove the tray from the oven and baste the fennel with the delicious juices at the bottom of the dish. Place it back into the oven for another five minutes, and then remove it once more. Add the sliced garlic clove and the sliced olives to the tray and place it back into the oven to roast for 10 more minutes.

Serve this lemon-roasted fennel as a side dish

The fennel will be ready when the edges are crisp and the insides are soft, top with the finely chopped basil before dishing it up. This lemony-roasted fennel recipe can be served fresh and hot from the oven, or it can be cooled and served cold as a salad. It pairs wonderfully alongside classic mains like chicken, steak, or fish, though you can easily keep things plant-based if that's your preference. Should you have leftovers, you can store them in a container in the fridge, just be sure to eat them within three days.

Lemon-Roasted Fennel Recipe
5 from 65 ratings
This lemon-roasted fennel recipe provides bright, tangy flavors.
Prep Time
Cook Time
Roasted fennel with olives
Total time: 40 minutes
  • 4 fennel bulbs, stems and leaves removed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup white wine
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 1 large garlic clove, sliced thinly
  • 4 tablespoons sliced black olives
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil, finely chopped
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Using a sharp knife, slice the fennel into quarters.
  2. Place the fennel wedges into a roasting dish, and pour the white wine over the top. Drizzle with the olive oil and squeeze over the lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper, and then place the fennel into the preheated oven for 20 minutes.
  3. After 20 minutes, take the fennel out, give everything a good stir, and then place it back into the oven for another 5 minutes.
  4. Remove the fennel once more, add the sliced garlic and the sliced black olives to the roasting dish and place it back into the oven for 10 minutes.
  5. Remove the roasted fennel from the oven, and top with the finely chopped basil. Serve either hot or cold.
Calories per Serving 174
Total Fat 8.2 g
Saturated Fat 1.3 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 20.7 g
Dietary Fiber 8.2 g
Total Sugars 9.9 g
Sodium 688.0 mg
Protein 3.3 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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