Fennel Infused Onions

Layered onion slices, fennel fronds, and olive oil ready for the grill


The things I love about this recipe:

It’s so easy to make and the cleanup is even easier.
It goes with just about anything – meats and vegetables.
It uses some of those fennel fronds leftover once the fennel bulb is gone.
Its versatility allows you to adjust the flavors by replacing the fronds with different herbs.
It can be cooked on the grill or stovetop.
It’s healthy and oh so good.

Even if you don’t like fennel, you’ll love these onions and if you really, really don’t like fennel or want to change the flavor profile to better complement the rest of the meal, see Kitchen Notes for alternatives.

Kitchen Notes

You can easily double or even quadruple this recipe.  Just make a wider stack but keep the number of onion layers limited to 3 so all of the onions cook evenly.

Herbs that can be used in place of fennel fronds.

Fresh dill weed
Sweet basil or Thai basil
Thyme or lemon thyme (Used this last night with grilled lamb chops – yummy!)
Your own personal favorite herb or herb combination

Cooking on the grill – We usually make these onions when we grill ribeye or T-bone steaks. We place the onion package on the grill next to the steaks using the same cook time as the steaks.  When we turn the steaks, we turn the onions.  There is some flexibility in cook time so regardless of whether you’re going for medium rare or medium, just cook the onions the same as the steaks.  If you’re going for well-done on your steaks, then the onions will be well-done as well, so you might take them off the grill a couple minutes earlier.

Cooking on the stovetop – You can also cook this on the stovetop.  Just prepare as instructed and then place on a hot, heavy griddle or skillet over medium heat.  Top with a domed lid to concentrate the heat around the “onion package”.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook 5 minutes per side.

When you buy a fennel bulb always try to buy it with good looking stalks and fronds intact.  Use the bulb for another dish.  Need an idea?  Try my Suppertime Pileup.  Save the fronds for a variety of uses during the week. There are so many things that you can do with them – add them to soups, use them like you would rosemary to fill the cavity of whole fish or chicken, or use them in the above recipe – Fennel Infused Onion (of course).  For more ideas on how to use fennel fronds, check out a great discussion on ChowHound – What to do with fennel fronds? Lots of wonderful ideas.  If you have some ideas of your own, please let us know in a comment.


This fennel infused onion recipe has been shared with the following blog hop.  Click on the link to see more fabulous recipes!  Just Another Meatless Monday, Midnight Maniac Meatless Monday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Full Plate Thursday, Around My Family Table, Made From Scratch Monday, Traditional Tuesdays, Allergy-Free Wednesday, Whole Food Wednesdays, Gluten-Free Wednesdays, Gluten-Free Fridays, Hearth and Soul, Mix It Up Monday, Made With Love Mondays, Recipe Sharing Monday, Whole Foods Wednesday, Food Frugal Thursday, Katherine Martinelli’s Onion Hop


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61 Responses to “Fennel Infused Onions”

  1. Laura @ Frugal Follies October 9, 2012 at 11:32 am #

    Looks delicious! Thanks for linking up to Frugal Food Thursday, and come on by and check out my cheap recipes!

  2. The Wimpy Vegetarian October 5, 2012 at 10:30 pm #

    Fabulous idea!! I love fennel, and always end up throwing away so much of the fronds. This is a wonderful use for them. I think I’ll make them this weekend. Thanks so much for posting this!!

  3. Viviane Bauquet Farre October 5, 2012 at 3:07 pm #

    Mmm what a unique ingredient recipe, MJ. With nice, delicate onions and some pungent fennel this must be a scrumptiously balanced side dish. Looking forward to photos of your new kitchen!

  4. ray October 5, 2012 at 1:05 pm #

    Ooohh, I think I like the one cooking it on the grill next to that thick, juicy, and tender rib eye steaks. Kitchen redo is really a big task. Last two kitchen redo that I did, we ended up selling the house the year after. I told my wife, this third hopefully was the last one and I’m holding on to the house, hehe. Have a good weekend, MJ! :)

    • mj October 5, 2012 at 5:30 pm #

      Thanks Ray! I like it most next to that juicy steak as well! :) This is only our second redo. The first was after living in the house for 16 years, then getting to live with the new kitchen for only 5 years. One would have driven me nuts! We’ hoping this is our last redo and that we get to enjoy it for years and years to come. :)

  5. peachkins October 5, 2012 at 3:56 am #

    I’ve never thought of onion as a side dish like this!

  6. Adora's Box October 5, 2012 at 2:43 am #

    I wish I was had a kitchen redo as an excuse not to cook. This is a great idea, MJ. We always have onions with barbies but have never added anything to it. Love dill and that’s the first I’m gonna try. Will send you a fork via post (sorry, cake’s finished).

    • mj October 5, 2012 at 5:27 pm #

      Thanks Adora! Darn — I was afraid that cake was going to go fast!

  7. Jen L | Tartine and Apron Strings October 4, 2012 at 11:10 pm #

    Oooh! Can’t wait to see your new kitchen!

  8. The Squishy Monster October 4, 2012 at 10:15 pm #

    What a mighty interesting concept—I can’t wait to give this a try, I bet it’s so refreshing and just wakes up your taste buds!

  9. Asmita October 4, 2012 at 11:52 am #

    A few months ago was the first time I cooked with fennel. I actually love the flavor of it. I like the way you have used the fronds.
    Am really looking forward to trying out this recipe!

  10. cquek October 4, 2012 at 11:05 am #

    i love onions… that is something interesting. i must try it asap


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