Italian Garden Salad with Fennel

4.86 stars average

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This fast and easy Italian garden salad recipe is made with your favorite salad greens and crunchy fennel then drizzled with a lemony parmesan vinaigrette for the perfect side dish.

Forkful of Italian garden salad with fennel.

You can’t go wrong with a simple salad as a side for your dinner table. This Italian Garden Salad with Fennel uses simple, accessible ingredients, but if you aren’t familiar with fennel, it adds crunch, texture, and fiber! Slightly sweet like licorice and crunchy like celery, it adds a mild anise flavor that pairs perfectly with the sweet tomatoes and spicy red onions. I love drizzling with a lemony parmesan vinaigrette that can we whipped up quickly, but a store-bought Italian dressing would work well, too!


  • Romaine lettuce: Romaine is crunchy and mild in flavor, and an accessible and affordable green.
  • Tomatoes: I like to use grape or cherry tomatoes for a juicy pop of sweet flavor in this salad.
  • Red onion: Pairs well with the fennel to make this crunchy salad burst with a balance of flavors.
  • Fennel: Wonderfully crunchy, mildly tastes of anise, and a great source of protein and potassium.
  • Lemon juice: It should come as no surprise that I love to use lemon juice when making my own salad dressings.
  • Garlic: Nutty and aromatic addition to the salad dressing.
  • Olive oil: Heart healthy and mild taste to make the base of the dressing.
  • Parmesan Cheese: A delicious hard cheese that is slightly salty and nutty to finish off the dressing.

How to Make Italian Garden Salad with Fennel

Chopped lettuce in bowl

Start your Italian garden salad by washing and drying your produce. Then roughly chop your romaine lettuce.

Other salad toppings added to bowl

Then thinly slice your red onion and fennel, and cut your cherry tomatoes in half and toss all your salad ingredients together in a large bowl.

Grating garlic into bowl

Then make your lemon garlic vinaigrette by first grating your garlic into a small bowl using a microplane.

Juicing a lemon into bowl

Next add your fresh lemon juice in with the garlic.

Adding parmesan cheese to dressing

And sprinkle in the parmesan cheese.

Whisking olive oil into salad dressing.

Then whisk in your olive oil until it’s fully combined and no longer separated.

Seasoning salad dressing

Finish off the dressing by seasoning with some salt and pepper to taste.

Italian garden salad with fennel

Drizzle your vinaigrette dressing over your salad, garnish with any fresh herbs you might have on hand (like fresh basil), and enjoy your Italian Garden Salad with Fennel!

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can fennel be eaten raw?

Yes, it adds great crunch and flavor to your salads and dishes! It also tastes great sautéed with some onions, as cooking it sweetens the flavor.

How do you cut fennel for a salad?

Every part of the fennel bulb is edible, so it’s really a preference thing of what you want to include. Typically I cut off the fronds and the stalk and remove the root end. Once I’m left with the bulb, I cut it into quarters and slice thinly into the size I want them, peeling apart the layers..

What does fennel pair well with?

Some great main dishes I would recommend include Oven Baked Chicken Parmesan and One-Pan Italian Sausage Pasta.

Italian garden salad with fennel wide

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Liz eating Italian garden salad with fennel.

If you haven’t tried fennel before, then this Italian Garden Salad is a great way to introduce it to your family!

Your fork is waiting.

Italian Garden Salad with Fennel

Italian Garden Salad with Fennel

4.86 stars average
This fast and easy salad recipe is made with your favorite salad greens and crunchy fennel then drizzled with a lemony parmesan vinaigrette.
PREP: 10 minutes
TOTAL: 10 minutes


  • 8 cups romaine (roughly chopped)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes (halved)
  • ½ cup red onion (thinly sliced)
  • 1 bulb fennel (thinly sliced (core removed))

Lemon Garlic Vinaigrette

  • 1 lemon (juiced)
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese (grated)
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt


  • Place your salad ingredients (lettuce through fennel) in a large bowl. To that bowl, add all of the vinaigrette ingredients and toss well; serve immediately. Alternatively, you can whisk together the vinaigrette in a separate bowl and drizzle before serving. 

Last Step:

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Serving: 2cupsCalories: 129kcalCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 3gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 374mgPotassium: 622mgFiber: 5gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 8465IUVitamin C: 35.3mgCalcium: 105mgIron: 1.7mg
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2 responses to “Italian Garden Salad with Fennel”

  1. Erin Perez Avatar
    Erin Perez

    I didn’t have a full bulb of fennel but made it anyway. Loved the tanginess of the dressing. So delicious! A new favorite that I’m adding to my rotation.

  2. Deborah Wenzler Avatar
    Deborah Wenzler

    Fabulous salad. Nice combinations. Going to pair it with a Springtime Lamb Navarin with Herbed Mashed Potatoes!