JOIN! 12 Weeks for $1

Baked Fennel with Three Cheeses

4 to 6 Servings

45 minutes

Made This Recipe? Write a Review.
Thank you for submitting your review! A member of our team is confirming the review meets our site's Community Guidelines. It will be posted on the site shortly.

This elegant fennel gratin is our adaptation of a recipe from “David Tanis Market Cooking” by David Tanis. Fresh fennel has a celery-like crispness when raw but cooking renders it supple and tender while also turning its flavor sweet and mellow. We agree with Tanis that for optimal texture, fennel benefits from a quick blanch prior to baking to ensure the slices fully soften, but be sure to dry them well after draining to remove excess water that otherwise would result in sogginess. Crushed fennel seeds amplify the licorice notes of the fresh fennel; either pulse the seeds in an electric spice grinder or bash them in a mortar with a pestle.

4 to 6



Don’t use a baking dish or pan that is not broiler safe. After baking, the gratin spends a couple minutes under the broiler to brown the topping, so be sure the vessel can withstand the intense heat.

45 minutes


  • 4

    medium fennel bulbs (about 2½ pounds total), halved lengthwise, cored and sliced about ¼ inch thick

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper


Pardon the interruption

You need to be a Milk Street Digital Member to see the full recipe


and get access to all of our recipes and articles online, as well as in print.

How we use your email.

Your email address is required to identify your subscription. We will use it for customer service as well as other communications from Milk Street. We will not share, or rent your email address.

Jennifer B.
September 6, 2023
I love fennel
Very underrated vegetable and great for digestive health. Delicious recipe.
Jon S.

Used my 12" cast iron. Very good, but I had to pivot a bit due to store shortages. Needed a lot of chopped fronds (good flavor) and sliced shoots (farther up the shoot than I'd have liked, but sliced thinly crosswise, it worked -- they can be tough) to get up to weight. Still, panko and cheese fixes a lot :)

Robert S.

We made this as a part of our Christmas dinner and it was fantastic! We will definitely make this again. The next time, we will try par-cooking some whole shallots and whole garlic cloves along with the fennel.

Tony L.

Another recipe to keep. It was wonderful. I cooked the fennel after cutting up in a fry pan, I had left over bell pepper and red onion and cooked for about 25 minutes before putting it into the baking dish for the oven. I have to be gluten free so I used GF panko breadcrumbs. Very delicious.