Roasted Fennel Orange Salad

Roasted Fennel Orange Salad presents the perfect way to eat vegetables and fruits during the wintertime! Fennel is roasted, then tossed with fresh lettuce, peeled oranges and a honey vinaigrette to create a slightly sweet, delicious appetizer or side salad.

Overhead close up of roasted fennel orange salad in white bowl with fork

I never tried fennel until I was in my 20’s, and my first taste of the vegetable came in the form of a cookie.

Yes, a freakin’ fennel cookie.

We were on our way back from a day trip in Italy, and I was sitting on our bus next to my photography professor, who instilled so much confidence and courage into me during that summer. We were chatting about sightseeing, and she offered me a cookie. She’d stopped by a local bakery, and this was apparently one of their specials, she told me.

Not one to turn down cookies — this is me, y’all — I grabbed one out of the small bag she had and took a bite…

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    And fought my instincts to spit it out because it tasted like licorice. Which meant it tasted awful.

    Two white bowls filled with roasted fennel orange salad with side of vinaigrette

    Instead of dramatically tossing the cookie, I chewed studiously and hoped Regina, my professor, didn’t notice.

    Like a good photographer, she did, and she laughed.

    “You’ve never had fennel, huh?”


    “You didn’t know it tastes like licorice?”


    Two white bowls of Roasted Fennel Orange Salad on red and white linens

    Fast forward nine or so years later: I’ve been avoiding fennel since the unfortunate cookie incident, and I don’t plan on trying it again. (Why would I? Me and licorice are clearly not friends.)

    Aaaaaaaaaand then we got a ton of fennel from our bi-weekly CSA.

    Which means I was forced to give it another go.

    After chopping up some of the veggie and happily realizing it wasn’t as potent as I remembered, I decided that roasting it and tossing it into a salad would be my best move.

    Which is how this Roasted Fennel Orange Salad came about.

    We legit got all these ingredients in one week from our CSA, and it’s a delicious, light and flavorful way to eat some fresh veggies and fruit in the mid-winter. Even though it doesn’t feel like mid-winter in Texas right now.

    Here’s how I made this super simple side/appetizer salad:

    Overhead close up of roasted fennel orange salad in white bowl with fork

    Roasted Fennel Orange Salad

    Erin Parker, The Speckled Palate
    Roasted Fennel Orange Salad presents the perfect way to eat vegetables and fruits during the wintertime! Fennel is roasted, then tossed with fresh lettuce, peeled oranges and a honey vinaigrette to create a slightly sweet, delicious appetizer or side salad.
    5 from 1 vote
    Servings 2 small salads
    Calories 407 kcal
    Prep Time 5 minutes
    Cook Time 20 minutes
    Total Time 25 minutes


    • 1 bulb fennel chopped
    • 1 head lettuce chopped
    • 1 orange sliced


    • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
    • 2 tablespoons honey
    • Salt and pepper to taste

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    • Make the dressing in a mason jar, then set aside.
    • Preheat the oven to 400°F.
    • In a small bowl, combine the chopped fennel with half of the dressing. Once combined, pour onto a small baking sheet and place in the oven.
    • Bake the fennel for 20-25 minutes, or until the fennel is caramelized, then remove from the oven, and let cool.
    • In a bowl, toss the lettuce, orange and fennel with the remaining dressing.
    • Serve and eat immediately.


    Serving: 1saladCalories: 407kcalCarbohydrates: 40gProtein: 5gFat: 28gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 23gSodium: 198mgFiber: 10gSugar: 29g
    Course Side Dishes
    Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
    Overhead close up of roasted fennel orange salad in white bowl

    Have you ever tried fennel?

    Would you eat fennel in a salad?

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    About the Author:

    Erin Parker is a Southern gal living in Texas with her husband and two daughters. She started The Speckled Palate to share what she was cooking as a newlywed… and over the years, it’s evolved to capture her love for hosting. Specifically, the EASIEST, lowest key entertaining because everyone deserves to see their people and connect over good food. Learn more about her

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    1. I am one of those weird people who hates liquorice but likes aniseed. I know right, go figure! I just think it tastes… more refined? More delicate? Something like that.

      Anyway, I love fennel for that reason. I love the seeds, the raw vegetable in salads and the roasted vegetable in gratins and just as a beautiful side veg (on its own – it’s amazing if you braise it in stock, so yummy!). I’ve never actually put roasted fennel in a salad but I can imagine it would be delicious. Your recipe looks gorgeous Erin! I can imagine how well the orange would go with that delicate aniseed flavour.

      Glad that you gave fennel another go (with positive results!) 😉 xx

    2. I’ve never had fresh fennel before. Super excited by how approachable this recipe is and the combo of roasted veggies in a crisp salad with citrus sounds delicious!

    3. Love the fennel cookie story. I had my first taste of fennel in Italy also….if I remember correctly it was a side dish … au gratin type of dish. Anyway it was delicious and like you I am not a big licorice fan but when it was cooked it wasn’t too bad and now I actually like it! This salad looks delicious. I never thought of roasting the fennel and putting it in a salad. Great idea!

    4. Really lovely! Fennel is underused in my opinion and when roasted the flavor is simply beautiful! Nice recipe!

    5. I also didn’t have fennel until I was in my early 20’s.

      I really don’t care for it raw, but once it’s cooked the flavor mellows out to something lovely!

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