Braised Fennel Recipe with Orange

Braised Fennel Recipe

We’ve been on a veggie kick lately – did you see our Cheddar Roasted Broccoli? That’s our most recent favorite. Here’s another great vegetable side – braised fennel. It’s simple to make — cut, brown then braise with chicken stock (or vegetable stock) and a little orange. The orange works beautifully with the anise-flavor of fennel. It’s softly sweetened and so delicious.

How to Make Braised Fennel Recipe

Start with one or two fennel bulbs  (we recommend using one bulb if it’s for two people). Usually, you’ll find them in the store with stalks and fronds in tact — the fronds are those wispy green things at the top.

Braised Fennel Recipe

For this recipe, we’re after the bulb, but make sure you keep the stalks and fronds for another day. Use the fronds as you would fresh herbs and the stalks can be kept in the freezer then added to a future soup or stock you make.

Remove the stalks then  cut the fennel bulb in half, lengthwise. Make two angled cuts in the center of the bulb to remove the core — even with braising the core can be a bit tough. (If you wanted to, you could save the core for stock).

Braised Fennel Recipe

And finally, slice each half into wedges.

Braised Fennel Recipe

To braise, sear the fennel wedges in a little olive oil. Then flip and sear the second side.

Braised Fennel Recipe

Next, add the zest and juice of half an orange — oranges and fennel were born to be together. Add some stock (or water) then cook, covered, for about 8 minutes until tender.

Braised Fennel Recipe

Easy, right?

More Fennel Recipes

Braised Fennel
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A simple and delicious braised fennel recipe with fennel, orange and chicken or vegetable stock.
Created By:
Yield: 2
You Will Need
  • 1 whole fennel bulb
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 orange zested and juiced
  • 3/4 cup chicken or vegetable stock (can also use water)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  1. Cut off and discard stems/stalks from fennel bulb, reserving fronds (wispy green tips).
  2. Slice fennel, in half, lengthwise. Remove tough core by making two angled cuts.
  3. Cut halves into 1/2-inch thick wedges and season both sides with salt and pepper.
  4. Heat olive oil in a medium dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add fennel wedges and brown, turning over once, about 2 minutes on each side.
  5. Reduce heat to low, add orange zest, juice and the stock. Cook, covered, until fennel is tender, 8-10 minutes. Serve with a few reserved fennel fronds sprinkled on top.

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6 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Craig February 27, 2012, 3:01 pm

    I made this last night to accompany some seared scallops. Nice and simple preparation, and very tasty. I’ll be making it again for sure.

    I found the outer layer to be a little tough still. Next time I’d probably braise it an extra minute or two. Could have just been my fennel too, it was rather large.

  • October 4, 2011, 8:42 am

    Hi Adam and Joanne – that fennel looks delicious! I love the idea of braising it and serving it as a side dish.
    Fennel is also great with a splash of Pernod. (The Barefoot Contessa’s recipe for lobster pot pie with fennel and Pernod is to die for!)

    BTW, KJ said they would be posting the Fish and Corn Pudding Recipe this week – can’t wait!

    • inspiredtaste October 5, 2011, 8:07 pm

      Fennel with Pernod is pretty amazing, Kathy! Not to mention, fennel + lobster + Pernod — there is a reason we all love Ina!
      -Joanne and Adam

  • Joan Nova October 1, 2011, 6:18 pm

    I’m a big fennel fan…I generally eat it raw as a snack or in salad and I’m totally in agreement that fennel and orange go well together. I’ve recently started braising and adding it to various dishes, most recently with salmon and it was an interesting combination.

    • Joanne October 3, 2011, 8:22 am

      We don’t usually have fennel raw – we should try that more often!

  • Denise @ TLT - The Little Things October 1, 2011, 4:10 pm

    Beautiful! I love cooking with fennel, but have never prepared it this way. Time to change that!


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