A completely different way of preparing fennel is with this delicious braised fennel with butter and parmesan. You let it slowly soak up all the delicious flavors.

braised fennel with parmesan

Braised fennel with parmesan and butter

Fennel is one of those vegetables that I simply love. But thinking about it I usually eat it raw in a salad or cooked such as in this risotto with fennel. Super simple but after making this recipe I have to say that I have never eaten a fennel dish more delicious than this. Braised fennel with parmesan might easily be my next favorite dish.

Making the braised fennel is super simple. You just need to give it a bit of time. It’s also easier if you pick fennel bulb that are nice and plump. Otherwise slicing into smaller pieces might be a bit of a challenge. Now what makes this dish so super delicious is the butter and parmesan combination.

Intoxicating smell

Now I am an absolute lover of cheese so I think the smell of slowly cooking parmesan is the best smell in the world. For preparing the dish you need a large frying pan. The fennel needs a bit of space to cook properly and crowding it, is not going to do the trick.

You melt the butter in the pan and add the fennel to it. Briefly bake the fennel in the butter before adding the parmesan and the water. Just add enough water so that the fennel is submerged. Not too much. I added the rind of the parmesan to the pan as well as that gave it loads of extra parmesan flavor.

The braised fennel then has to slowly simmer for about 40 minutes. Make sure there is enough liquid in the pan in between so check it from time to time.

Serve the fennel with some extra grated parmesan and the fennel tops.

More fennel recipes!

braised fennel with parmesan

Braised fennel with parmesan

3 from 2 votes
GangSide Dish

Delicious sidedish
Decorative clock showing preparation time
Prep time 10 minutes
Cooking time 40 minutes
Total time 50 minutes

4 people


  • 3 fennel bulbs
  • 50 gr butter
  • 3 tbsp parmesan
  • rind of the parmesan optional

  • Cut the fennel tops where they meet the bulb and discard them. Check if the outer parts are damaged and discolored and if so remove them. Slice about 3 mm of the end. Cut the bulb vertically into slices of roughly 1 cm thick and wash them in cold water.
  • Put the fennel and the butter into a large saucepan, add just enough water to cover and turn the heat to medium. Don’t cover. Let it cook very slowly for about 25-40 minutes. I added the rind of the parmesan to it which gave it an even cheesier taste.
  • If the liquid becomes too little in the pan you can add a little bit of water if needed. The end of the slice will be firmer than the top once cooked, but it should be soft enough.
  • Once cooked add salt and sprinkle with parmesan.

Nutrition Information per portion

Calories: 159kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 29mg | Sodium: 241mg | Potassium: 733mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 577IU | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 133mg | Iron: 1mg


The nutritional values above are calculated per portion. The details are based on standard nutritional tables and do not constitute a professional nutritional advice.

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Simone van den Berg

Food blogger from the Netherlands. Loves good food. Likes to create healthy and easy recipes for daily use, but also loves the occasional sweet dish. Lives in the Netherlands with her two cats; Humphrey and Buffy. Profession: Food photographer, food blogger, recipe developer and nutritionist