Shaved Fennel Salad

This simple shaved fennel salad recipe is crisp, bright, and refreshing. Customize it by adding orange segments, apple, or a handful of fresh mint.

Fennel salad

This fennel salad recipe is the perfect winter side salad. Move over, soggy lettuce and watery tomatoes—this shaved fennel salad is crisp, refreshing, and bright, just the thing to balance a hearty pasta or other comforting meal.

Fresh fennel is one of the most underrated vegetables…and it also happens to be one of my favorites. It has a really lovely anise flavor and, when it’s raw, a great crunchy texture. If you’re on the fence about fennel, or if you’ve never tried it before, I hope you’ll make this recipe. Calling for just 10 ingredients, it’s quick and easy to toss together, and you can even customize it with add-ins like fresh herbs or fruit. It’s a delicious introduction to this tasty vegetable. I think you’ll love it!

Shaved fennel salad ingredients

What You’ll Need

Here’s what you’ll need to make this shaved fennel salad:

  • Fennel, of course! You’ll need 2 medium bulbs, ideally with some fronds attached. Fennel first timer? Check out my guide to how to cook fennel to learn more about preparing it!
  • Extra-virgin olive oil – It gives the dressing richness and body.
  • Lemon juice and zest – They make the salad zingy and bright.
  • Honey – Its sweetness mellows the tart lemon juice.
  • Dijon mustard – For tangy, peppery flavor.
  • Parmesan cheese – For salty, nutty flavor. Pecorino is great here too.
  • Toasted pine nuts – They add crunch to the salad and amplify the nuttiness of the cheese. When I don’t have pine nuts on hand, I use sliced almonds instead. Both are delicious!
  • Fresh parsley – For a fresh finishing touch.
  • And salt and pepper – To make all the flavors pop!

Find the complete recipe with measurements below.

Shaving fennel on mandoline

How to Make a Shaved Fennel Salad

The first step in this recipe is slicing the fennel. You want to slice it paper-thin so that it bends and softens in the salad.

The most efficient way to do this is with a mandoline slicer. Consisting of a flat surface with a sharp, adjustable blade, a mandoline allows you to cut fennel into very thin, consistent slices. I have this Benriner mandoline, and I highly recommend it! I love that the blade has stayed sharp after years of use, that it’s easy to clean, and that it’s small enough to stash in a kitchen drawer. If you’re curious about other good options, check out my guide to the best mandoline slicers.

One note on using a mandoline: It’s easy to cut yourself on the sharp blade. A cut-resistant glove is a good way to protect your hand while using one. Please use caution!

If you don’t have a mandoline, thinly slice the fennel with a sharp knife.

Whisking lemon dressing in bowl

Next, make the dressing. Whisk together the olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, honey, mustard, salt, and several grinds of pepper in a large bowl.

Tossing shaved fennel in dressing

Then, assemble the salad. Add the thinly sliced fennel to the bowl and toss to coat in the dressing. Sprinkle in a few tablespoons of the chopped fronds, the cheese, pine nuts, and parsley. Toss gently to combine.

Finally, season to taste and serve. Enjoy!

Shaved fennel salad

Recipe Variations

This simple fennel salad recipe is delicious as written. But for a fun variation, try customizing it with add-ins! Any of these would be great:

  • Fresh fruit. Add orange, grapefruit, or mandarin slices, or toss in some thinly sliced apple.
  • Herbs. Add fresh mint leaves or chopped fresh dill.
  • Other nuts. Swap out the pine nuts or almonds for toasted walnuts or pecans.

My favorite version of this salad has fresh orange segments and lots of mint. Let me know yours in the comments!

What to Serve with Fennel Salad

This fennel salad is a perfect side dish for so many meals! Pair it with a simply cooked protein or Italian-inspired dishes like pasta, pizza, and polenta. Try serving it with any of these recipes:

What do you like to serve with a shaved fennel salad? Let me know in the comments!

Fennel salad recipe

More Simple Salad Recipes

If you love this fennel salad recipe, try one of these simple salads next:

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Shaved Fennel Salad

rate this recipe:
5 from 8 votes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Serves 4
This shaved fennel salad is crunchy, bright, and refreshing! The recipe is simple and delicious as written, but it's also wonderful with add-ins like orange segments, thinly sliced apples, or fresh mint.

Ingredients

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, honey, mustard, salt, and several grinds of pepper. Add the fennel and toss to coat.
  • Add the fennel fronds, cheese, pine nuts, and parsley and gently toss. Season to taste and serve.

21 comments

5 from 8 votes (1 rating without comment)

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Rate this recipe (after making it)




  1. Therese
    05.25.2024

    5 stars
    We love this salad! I’m doubling it for a get together tomorrow. Can I make it today?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      05.29.2024

      Sorry for my slow reply – yes, you can!

  2. Colette
    05.15.2024

    5 stars
    Wow!!! An absolute explosion of flavour and crunch! So easy to make, it’s brilliant all around! Thank you so much for sharing this keeper!!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      05.16.2024

      Hi Colette, I’m so glad you loved it!

  3. jan
    05.09.2024

    5 stars
    this salad is absolutely delicious love it thank you for sharing

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      05.10.2024

      Hi Jan, so glad you loved it!

  4. Jenna
    03.27.2024

    5 stars
    This was very good! I’m curious about why the oranges and mint in the top photo aren’t a part of the recipe though. I added oranges to my salad and it was lovely.

    • Marisue Eastlake
      06.03.2024

      My question as well!

  5. Elaine B.
    03.21.2024

    5 stars
    Both my husband and I loved this salad! We’re always fans of anything with fennel. It was so good that Hubby told me to please save it. So I did. I used the pine nuts, which I think are the better “nut” choice. I also added some Mandarin orange and red grapefruit segments. I think they’re a must! I had plenty of fennel fronds, so didn’t find the need for any added herb.

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      03.21.2024

      Hi Elaine, I’m so glad you both loved the salad! Always great to hear from fennel fans 🙂

  6. Mary King
    01.17.2024

    5 stars
    Wow!! OMG! The salad is amazing! I have never made a fennel salad before and thought I would try something new. I am hooked. Move over Caesar.!

  7. Anita Renteria
    01.16.2024

    5 stars
    This was really yummy! I love how each element added to the flavor—the mustard, honey lemon zest, cheese and pine nuts all play.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      01.17.2024

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  8. Donna
    01.15.2024

    How thick should the fennel be sliced the recipe does not mention this. My mandolin has a thickness dial.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      01.15.2024

      Hi Donna, I’d do it on your thinnest setting.

  9. Crewnecks Sydney
    01.11.2024

    Hunger Pangs Hitting Hard!

  10. Hoodies Sydney
    01.11.2024

    This deliciousness has blessed my feed.

  11. Michele Bishop
    01.11.2024

    Looks like they’re oranges in photo, but not in recipe????

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.