Braised Fennel

Braised Fennel in Orange Sauce with Pomegranate Seeds

Braised Fennel in Orange Sauce with Pomegranate Seeds is a beautiful and fragrant way to add root vegetables and fruit to your menu. It is easy and fast to prepare, and is a great side side for fish or pork. The beautiful colors are festive and adds an elegant touch for a special meal.  The pomegranate seeds are key for this dish not only for color, but the sweet pop of juice with each bite.

Course Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6 servings


  • 3 large fennel bulbs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 large orange zested and juiced (about ½ cup)
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ½ cup fresh pomegranate seeds


  1. To prepare the fennel bulbs, cut the tops off the bulbs of fennel and reserve 2 stalks of fronds for garnish.
  2. Carefully slice any dark or bruised marks from the root end but keep the root intact. This will help keep the fennel wedges together during cooking. Cut the bulb in half from root to stem and then slice the halves into wedges. If the bulb is very large cut wedges into half again. Be sure to keep all wedges a similar size for even cooking.
  3. Heat the olive oil in large covered skillet on the stovetop over medium high heat.  Place each fennel wedge in a single layer in the pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Cook for 3 - 5 minutes on each side until they start to caramelize and turn golden brown.
  4. Add orange juice, orange zest, and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 10 - 15 minutes or until the just fork tender in the large root end. With a slotted spoon, transfer fennel from the pan to a serving platter.
  5. Add butter to skillet and allow the sauce to reduce for another 5 minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally.
  6. Spoon the warm orange sauce over the fennel.  Garnish with fresh fennel fronds and pomegranate seeds.
  7. Can be served warm or room temperature.