This easy Fennel Salad recipe makes the perfect summer salad combination!
Shaved slices of fennel bulbs and fresh herbs are tossed in a light, lemony dressing and garnished with delicate fennel fronds. It’s an elegant addition to any table, indoors or out! Plus fennel is such a healthy and fresh vegetable with its own unique flavor and crunch, that pairs perfectly with the deliciously tangy dressing. Don’t be surprised if this simple recipe ends up on the monthly menu rotation because it’s just perfect for any occasion or casual luncheon.
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What is Fennel Salad?
- Fennel salad recipes are becoming popular as home cooks learn more about the fennel bulb and the variety of ways to prepare it. Every part of a bulb of fennel can be used!
- Grilling chicken, fish, or shrimp? Cut a fennel bulb in half and roast it, cut side down on the grill before slicing for salad. Grilling caramelizes the natural sugars, adding a little sweetness to this fennel salad recipe.
- Make it a main dish and add thin slices of smoked chicken, air fryer chicken, or flakes of fish or shrimp.
What’s in Fennel Salad
FENNEL: Fennel bulbs are crunchy like celery. Other alternatives to fennel that are crunchy with a savory flavor are arugula and kale. So use either, or a combination of all, for a heartier salad.
HERBS: Mint is an aromatic herb with a bright flavor. Other fresh herbs in the mint family to use include thyme, sage, lemon balm, and oregano.
DRESSING: The dressing in this fennel salad recipe is very light and citrusy. So choose a mild vinegar, like rice or red wine, if champagne vinegar isn’t available. Get the most from fresh lemon juice by warming the lemon in the microwave for about 30 seconds. For an extra pop of citrus flavor, zest the rind and add to the dressing!
MIX-INS: Fennel pairs well with sweet flavors. But use sweet add-ins sparingly so they don’t overwhelm the delicate flavor of the fennel and citrus dressing. Thinly sliced apples, pears, strawberries, or carrots provide colorful crunch, and sweet fruits like mandarin segments or chunks of grapefruit will also work. Diced tomatoes, sliced radishes, diced pickled beets, and cucumbers are also good combinations to try.
TOPPINGS: For extra crunch, top fennel salad with toasted slivered almonds, chopped walnuts, or croutons. PRO TIP: Toast nuts in a dry sauté pan until they are barely fragrant. This intensifies their flavor and makes them extra crunchy!
How to Cut Fennel for Salad
For this recipe, trim both ends of the fennel and discard any damaged or discolored parts. Remove and save fronds for the salad, and cut the bulb into quarters if it is very large. Slice the fennel into thin pieces with a sharp knife or a mandoline (about 1/16 inch thick).
How to Make Fennel Salad
The simplicity of this salad is what makes it so attractive!
- Prepare the fennel bulb as directed in the recipe below.
- Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, and vinegar.
- Add prepared fennel, mint (or thyme), and parsley to coat. Cover and let sit about 30 minutes for the fennel to wilt and the flavors to blend.
- Add salt and pepper and toss. Top the salad with remaining fronds and serve. Serve with some homemade crostini.
Storing Fennel Salad
- Thyme tends to last longer than mint does, so if planning on making this salad ahead, or to use as leftovers, perhaps choose thyme.
- Keep fennel salad in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Toss with fresh dressing before serving.
Other Delish Salad Recipes!
- Burrata Salad – perfect summer salad.
- Kale Caesar Salad – a twist on a favorite.
- Cucumber Dill Salad – fresh and crunchy!
- Lemon Vinaigrette Potato Salad – for a lighter potato salad.
- Vinaigrette Caesar Salad Dressing Recipe – potluck perfect.
- 2 bulbs fennel
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 Tablespoons champagne vinegar or white vinegar
- 1 ½ Tablespoons fresh mint leaves chopped, or fresh thyme
- 1 Tablespoon freshly chopped parsley
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt or to taste
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper or to taste
- Trim the thin ends, and the root, from the fennel. Remove any tough or damaged parts, remove the fronds and reserve for the salad. If you prefer smaller fennel pieces in the salad, cut the fennel into quarters.
- Using a mandoline (or sharp knife), thinly slice the fennel (about 1/16 inch thick).
- In a large bowl, whisk together oil, lemon juice, and vinegar.
- Add sliced fennel, mint (or thyme) and parsley. Toss to coat, and rest for about 30 minutes to allow the fennel to wilt and the flavors to meld.
- Add salt and pepper and toss. Add reserved fennel fronds to the salad and serve (or garnish served portions with the fronds).
- Choose thyme over mint if making this salad ahead of time, or plan on having leftovers, because thyme tends to last longer than mint does.
- Refrigerate fennel salad in a covered container for up to 3 days.
Nutrition information does not include optional ingredients or garnish and is an estimate. It may change based on actual ingredients and cooking methods used.
Inspired by Earth Mother