Italian Breaded Fennel Slices (Finocchio)

If you are tired of the same old winter vegetables Italian Breaded Fennel Slices or Finocchio may be just the right thing.

It probably isn’t new to anyone of Italian heritage but it was new to me. And I am so glad I found this! I love fennel, sliced raw in a salad, minced into pasta sauce or meatloaf. I think of it like the celery of Italy!

Slicing the bulb and breading it is very easy. If you use Italian style bread crumbs the seasoning is even done for you!

I dredged them and breaded them and then let them rest in the fridge for a few hours. This is not necessary but I find the breading gets a bit firmer after some fridge time and it lets me make them ahead of time!

I did mine in the air fryer because it is so fast and compact but a convection oven or oven with an air fryer setting works as well.

These make a a great side for Italian Meatloaf .

And – added bonus… the outside layer of the fennel bulb is often slightly blemished. You can use the outer layer and the white part of the stalks to make Fennel Cream.

The Fennel Cream also goes well with the Italian Meatloaf above, it makes a nice light pasta sauce and you can even use it as a soup base. Follow the link above for complete instructions.

Fennel Cream Three Ways
Fennel is one of the healthiest ingredients ever!
Crispy golden, air fried breaded fennel slices.

Italian Breaded Fennel Slices (Finocchio)

Fast and refreshing.
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Course: Sides
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 22 minutes
Servings: 6 slices


  • 1 fennel bulb
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
  • olive oil for spraying


  • Trim the bottom of the fennel bulb and the top at the point the stalks emerge from the bulb.
  • Remove the outer layer if it is blemished. (Reserve and use it to make fennel cream).
  • Lightly whisk the egg in a separate bowl.
  • Add bread crumbs to a separate bowl.
  • Slice the fennel bulb vertically about in to about 1/2" slices. Err on the side of thickness. Handle gently so the slices hold their shape.
  • Dredge each slice through the egg and then the bread crumbs.
  • Spray your air fryer tray and both sides of the fennel slices with olive oil.
  • Air fry about 12 minutes flipping at halfway point. Exchange trays if using 2 trays at mid point as well. (See note below for regular oven).
  • Slices should be crispy golden with a soft interior. Rearrange trays and add another minute or so if need to crisp up the coating uniformly.
  • Serve warm.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Use convection or air fryer setting if  you have one.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Lay breaded fennel out in a single layer.  Spray with olive oil, flip and spray the other side lightly.  Bake about 20 minutes, flipping at mid point.   Check them for crisp exterior and soft interior after about 15 minutes. Time will vary depending on your oven settings.


Calories: 110kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 55mg | Sodium: 308mg | Potassium: 228mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 170IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 64mg | Iron: 2mg
Italian Breaded Fennel Slices (Finocchio)

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