8 Fennel Substitutes Already in Your Kitchen

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Fennel is an important pantry component to keep on hand for many cuisines throughout the world.

Its seeds may be found in Italian sausage, Chinese five-spice powder, and Middle-Eastern delights, and it is also often used in fish dishes, soup stocks, and salads. So, what exactly is fennel? Is it a vegetable or a herb?

What Is Fennel?

8 Fennel Substitutes Already in Your Kitchen

Fennel is classified as a perennial plant since it may survive for two or more years. There are two kinds of fennels herb and Florence.

The former resembles dill because it has thin stems and a yellow blossom on top, but the latter has similar leaves to dill but is shorter and has a dense bulb at the base.

Florence fennel is considered a vegetable, yet both generate the same licorice flavor and are extensively used in cooking.

Fennel Seed Substitute

Did you know there are methods to substitute each element of the fennel bulb in your recipes? Every part of the fennel may be used, from the bulb to the seeds, stem, and even the leaves. Here’s an alternative to fennel seed that you may try.

Anise Seeds: Anise seeds may be used with fresh celery. Fennel tastes similar to anise but is gentler and sweeter. Fennel is often substituted with anise, cumin, caraway, and dill seeds.

When utilizing these seeds, make sure you utilize them in the appropriate quantity. A replacement in excess might spoil your food.

Also, keep in mind that no matter which fennel alternative you pick from our list, you may not be able to completely mimic the distinctive taste of true fennel.

Fennel seeds are extracted from the bulbing section of the vegetable. It may take on a little woodsy taste in addition to its trademark licorice flavor, making it an excellent option for savory meals.

8 Ultimate Substitutes to Perfectly Replace Fennel

1. Dill


As previously said, fennel leaves are quite similar to dill and have a similar scent. However, unlike fennel, which has a strong anise taste, it has a moderate flavor.

If the scent of your dish is important, consider using dill as a fennel replacement. You won’t be sorry if you try it with carrots, eggs, and shellfish. Dill may be used in place of fennel in equal proportions.

Even dill has some excellent replacements that you may use in your dishes. Best Dill Substitutes may be found here.

2. Celery


Celery has a structure and feel comparable to fennel bulb. So, if you don’t like the flavor of fennel bulbs, celery might be a terrific replacement. It’s great in egg or tuna salads, as well as vegetable stir-fries. The crunchy texture will make your meal more pleasurable. To replace fennel, use equal quantities celery and fennel.

3. Mild Onion


If you want a sweet taste in your dish, red onions might be a good alternative for fennel. It loses taste when cooked, thus it is recommended to utilize it raw. Consider using white onions for cooked meals since they, too, have a light onion taste that is popular in Mexican cuisine. In equal parts, replace onions for fennel.

4. Hoja Santa Leaves


Hoja santa leaves have a similar anise smell to fennel. If you want to add a peppery flavor to your recipe, these leaves are an excellent fennel alternative.

They are widely found in any grocery store’s Mexican cuisine area. You may use it to wrap fish, pork, and tamales, or just add it to scrambled eggs, soups, and stews. They may be utilized in the same way as fennel is.

5. Bok Choy


If you’re making a savory meal, use bok cabbage instead of fennel. It has a similar texture as fennel but a little stronger flavor. It is often known as white cabbage in Asian cookery.

You may use it raw in a number of recipes ranging from soups to stir-fries. A pound of bok choy may be substituted for a pound of fennel. If you have fennel seeds, add a teaspoon.

6. Artichoke Hearts

If you want to add a faint lemony taste to your dish, artichoke hearts may help. According to the USDA, they are ranked seventh out of twenty antioxidant-rich foods. They may be broiled, baked, grilled, or boiled, but the ideal technique is to steam them. It’s fantastic for salads as well as cooked foods. They may be replaced for fennel interchangeably.

7. Parsley

Parsley is widely available, and if you like its taste, it should work well as a fennel alternative. Wash it carefully and finely cut the leaves, particularly if you want a delicate flavor in your dish. To achieve a powerful, delicious impact from parsley in salads, cut it roughly.

8. Mexican Avocado Leaves

Toasting these Mexican avocado leaves and using them as a fennel alternative might give your dish a subtle and somewhat creamy taste.

However, if you want to utilize it, be certain that it is pesticide-free. It may be used to season soups, broths, and even grilled meats in both dry and fresh forms. Use equal portions of these leaves and fennel.

What Is Your Ideal Fennel Substitute?

With so many options, choose one should be based on your interests and priorities. If you’re searching for a simple option, try parsley. If you’re looking for the anise taste of fennel, hoja santa leaves are your best choice.

Finally, if you wish to replace the bulb section of the fennel, pick from vegetable kinds such as artichoke and bok choy to give depth to your meal.

In a nutshell, pick the fennel alternative that you believe will provide the flavor your dish requires while also pleasing your taste.


What can be substituted for fennel?

Anise is a good substitute for fennel.
The root of licorice.
Caraway seeds are a kind of seed.

What is the same as fennel?

There are various parallels between fennel and anise: The fragrant chemical anethole, which has a pronounced black licorice flavor, is produced by fennel and anise plants. Because of their similar taste profiles, amateur cooks sometimes mistake fennel with anise in the kitchen.

How much cumin to substitute for fennel?

When fennel seeds are unavailable, cumin adds an earthy and toasty layer of flavor to any dish. The only difference between ground cumin and cumin seed is the texture. To take curry recipes to the next level, add cumin. Cumin may be used in place of fennel seed in a 1:1 ratio.

Is anise a fennel?

Bulb fennel, unlike anise, has stalks and frondlike leaves that look like fresh dill. Use it in recipes that call for fennel bulb. Anise is a completely separate plant, the seeds of which are used for flavoring. Fennel and anise have similar but not identical flavors.

Is cumin and fennel the same?

Fennel (Foeniculum Vulgare) and cumin (Cuminum cyminum) are two distinct plants that need different growth conditions. Fennel seeds are significantly bigger and have a greenish hue, whilst Cumin seeds are typically darker and slightly more compact.

Is fennel related to onion?

Is Fennel Related to Onions? Surprisingly, fennel is not even related to onions, with the only connection being the layers. Carrots are the closest cousins of fennel bulbs. Their delicate fronds resemble fresh dill, although fennel is not related to dill.

What is the closest vegetable to fennel?

Cooked leeks (fennel bulbs)

Another option for cooked fennel? Leeks. You may use chopped leeks instead of chopped fennel. Again, the taste lacks the savory, anise sense, but fennel seeds might be added as well.

Does fennel taste like cumin?

Fennel seeds have a sweet flavor with anise and licorice undertones. Cumin seeds, on the other hand, have a smoky, earthy flavor with a subtle bitterness. However, all are equally flavorful and fragrant.

Is fennel the same as dill?

Fennel leaves are longer than dill leaves and have a unique flavor. However, both are used in cooking and as garnishes. Fennel has a characteristic black licorice flavor that dill lacks. Dill contains digestive and anti-infective properties, as well as diuretic properties.

Can I use coriander instead of fennel?

Ground coriander seeds have a strong flavor that may readily replace fennel. Use with caution. Pickling with whole coriander seeds is also an option.

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