Baked Fennel and Apple with Breadcrumbs is one of the easiest seasonal side dishes you can make. Fresh fennel and sweet apple are a truly delicious flavor combination that are baked with minimal seasoning to let the vegetable and fruit flavors shine through.

A closeup of sliced fennel and apple in a casserole dish topped with breadcrumbs

Fennel is the green and white, tall vegetable with a large bulb at the bottom with grassy ‘fronds’ growing on the top that look like dill. It has a mild licorice/anise flavor when raw that gets milder when cooked and it then becomes slightly sweet. 

A spatula scooping up baked fennel and apple

I love to roast or bake fennel. Because it is a very crunchy vegetable (similar to celery), it does take some time to become tender. 

While delicious on its own, fennel is a perfect addition to dishes like Easy Mushroom, Fennel & Sage Pasta. I even like to add fennel in its raw form to Crunchy Vegetable Coleslaw.

What fruit goes well with fennel?

Sweet red apples pair so well with the cooked fennel. To add texture to the dish, breadcrumbs mixed with Parmesan and parsley finish the dish off nicely.

Half of a fennel bulb

How do you cut fennel?

Start with cutting off the stems and removing any discolored outer layer. Slice off the bottom, then stand the bulb up and cut in half. This will reveal the hard center that is a triangle shape, simply cut and remove.

A bulb of fennel with the hard center cut out

As far as the seasonings, I kept it very simple with salt, pepper and a little nutmeg. You can’t really taste the nutmeg, but it does enhance the flavors of the fennel and apple.

An oval casserole dish with slices of fennel and apple baked with breadcrumbs and parsley

If you want to make this low carb/keto or gluten free, you can use your favorite keto or gluten free bread to make the breadcrumbs. You can even find low carb and gluten free breadcrumbs in the grocery store.

Baked Fennel and Apple with Breadcrumbs Serving Suggestions:

You can pair this side dish with just about any main dish. Pistachio Pesto Pasta would be a delicious choice, or Lemon Pepper Spaghetti. If you’re looking for a meat dish, Herbed Brown Butter Chicken with Tomatoes would work, or even Sage Rubbed Pork Tenderloin.

Yield: 4

Baked Fennel and Apple with Breadcrumbs

Browned breadcrumbs on top of baked fennel and apple

Sliced fennel and apple lightly seasoned with salt, pepper and nutmeg is baked with breadcrumbs, Parmesan and parsley.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes


  • 2 fennel bulbs
  • 2 red apples, peeled and sliced
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Small pinch of nutmeg
  • 2 slices of bread (or ½ cup/82 grams plain breadcrumbs)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F/220°C.
  2. Cut the stems from the bottom of the fennel. Cut in half and cut in a triangle around the hard center then slice.
  3. Lightly coat the bottom of a large casserole dish with oil. Lay the fennel and apple slices in a casserole dish. Drizzle with more oil, ½ teaspoon salt, pepper and nutmeg. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 35 minutes..
  4. Toast the bread slices, cool then blend into breadcrumbs (skip this step if using pre-made breadcrumbs). Mix the breadcrumbs, parsley and Parmesan in a bowl. Set aside.
  5. Remove the foil and sprinkle the top of the fennel and apples evenly with the breadcrumbs. Bake for 20 more minutes until the top is golden brown.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 159Total Fat 6gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 4gCholesterol 5mgSodium 741mgCarbohydrates 24gFiber 4gSugar 12gProtein 4g

This nutrition calculation is provided by Nutronix that is only a guideline and not intended for any particular diet.