Fennel Frond Pesto w/Pesto Recipes (2024)

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Fennel Frond Pesto w/Pesto Recipes (1)

A vibrant green pesto that screams summer, this fennel frond pesto has a bright, lemony anise flavor to add flavor to your life. It’s the perfect way to stash away the beauty and brilliant green-ness of summer so you can pull it out and remember summer’s bounty once the chill of winter is upon us.

Fennel Frond Pesto w/Pesto Recipes (2)

What are fennel fronds?

Fennel fronds are the pretty frilly green tops of the fennel plant. Usually it’s the bulb of the fennel that people think of (or possibly the seeds), but the fronds are not only beautiful, they are delicious and so flavorful!

Fennel fronds are perfect for pesto because you’ll get an abundance of them off of just one plant.

Fennel Frond Pesto w/Pesto Recipes (3)

Why not basil? I know, most people think of basil when they think of pesto, and I love a good basil pesto just as much as the next person, but other herbs are just as good, if not better, than basil in pesto. I’ve entertained many an herb in my pestos … if you’ve not tried them, you might want to take a peek at my Cilantro Almond Pesto, Sunflower Dill Pesto, Mixed Herb Pesto, Chive Asparagus Pesto, Sun dried Tomato Pesto and Pesto Trapanese (fresh tomato pesto) … and this Parsley Pistachio Pea Pesto and Lemon Oregano Pesto look really good too!

So let’s take a walk on the wild side and switch switch it up a bit, shall we? Let’s invite the fennel fronds to the party! Fennel fronds have the perfect vibrant flavor that every pesto strives for. And who could say no to THIS? Just looking at these photos makes me want to dive right into the bowl and eat it by the spoonful. When I made this pesto, I kept taste testing it over and over again, taking “just one more” little bit. It was so addictively good … but I made myself STOP and tuck it into a little container to stash away in the freezer for later. I still have plenty of fresh fennel fronds left to play with now and I just KNOW I’m going to want some of that fabulous fennel frond flavor long after the pretty greens have faded away.

Fennel Frond Pesto w/Pesto Recipes (4)

How to use fennel frond pesto?

Like any pesto, this fennel frond pesto is super versatile and something you’ll want to have in your back pocket whenever you want to add fennel flavor to chicken, fish, pork, pasta, sandwiches, salad dressings, dips, grilled or roasted veggies, potatoes, breads, soups, pizza … you name it!

Here are a few recipes to give you some inspiration (from me and my foodie friends). Try subbing fennel frond pesto for other recipes that call for pesto, whenever you think a splash of anise might be in order.

Main dishes:

Sides, Salads, Dips and such:

  • Pesto Spinach Shrimp Dip
  • Pesto Pasta Salad from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
  • Pesto Roasted Asparagus
  • Cucumber Pesto Buttermilk Salad
  • Pesto Parmesan Peppercorn Dressing
  • Pesto Cheese Scones from Tin & Thyme


Fennel Frond Pesto w/Pesto Recipes (5)

Fennel Frond Pesto

  • Author: Ann
Print Recipe



  • 1 cup (packed) fresh fennel fronds, roughly chopped
  • 24 cloves garlic, peeled
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1.52 oz. shredded Parmesan, Romano or Asiago cheese


Blend all ingredients in a mini food processor until smooth. If needed, add a little water or olive oil to get it to blend properly. Use on pasta, seafood, pork, chicken or fish or add a bit to flavor soups, sandwich spreads, dips, etc.


Pesto freezes beautifully. Some people like to freeze in ice cube trays, but I prefer to freeze it in small plastic containers, then thaw and scoop out as needed.

You can substitute other nuts or seeds for the walnuts. Pecans, almonds, sunflower seeds, pepitas or pistachios would work well too.

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Fennel Frond Pesto w/Pesto Recipes (6)

CheeseFennelGarlicGluten freeHeart healthyLemonsOlive oilParmesanPestoWalnuts

Fennel Frond Pesto w/Pesto Recipes (2024)
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