This delicious fennel stew recipe is incredibly flavorful, with hints of licorice from fresh fennel and a touch of spice from red pepper flakes. Tender shrimp are cooked in the mouthwatering fennel tomato broth just before serving to make for a balanced and satisfying meal.
This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, see my affiliate disclosure.
Happy New Year, Veg World! I took a full three weeks off from posting, and it was a much needed break. I’m now fully refreshed and ready to create delicious new content for all of you.
I’m kicking things off with this absolutely delicious fennel stew recipe! While the flavor of fennel isn’t for everyone (it does taste like licorice after all), fennel really shines when it’s paired with the right ingredients.
For this stew, I used fennel to create the base of a rich and flavorful broth. But I also added canned tomatoes with their juices, onion, garlic, white wine, veggie stock, red pepper flakes, and parsley, so that the fennel isn’t overpowering. The balance of flavors is just right, with just enough anise!
To finish it off, I cooked shrimp in the tomato fennel broth for a few minutes before serving. That step upgrades the stew to a main dish (or a fancy first course for a dinner party). It’s a pretty amazing way to transform a single bulb of fennel into a satisfying meal.
Before we get to the recipe, I want to give a shout out to my friend Alli for inspiring this recipe! She made a delicious seafood and fennel stew for the Christmas dinner she hosted for our friends in 2019, and I’ve been dreaming of recreating it ever since. So, thank you Alli for the inspo, and I hope you all enjoy this fennel-forward recipe!
How to Make Fennel Stew
- Cook the sliced fennel with diced onion and minced garlic in a large Dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat.
- Season generously with salt and pepper, then add the red pepper flakes. Pour in the white wine, and let it cook off for a few minutes before adding the canned tomatoes and their juices and fresh parsley.
- Bring the broth to a boil, add the shrimp and cook until opaque.
- Ladle into bowls, garnish with fennel fronds and shaved parmesan. Enjoy!
- Preparation: If you haven’t cooked with fennel, check out my tutorial for How to Prepare Fennel before you make this fennel stew. It’s really easy to slice! PS – don’t throw away the fennel fronds. You can and should use those as garnish for the soup.
- Ingredients: You can use fresh or frozen shrimp (that are peeled and deveined) in this recipe, and I found that frozen shrimp works really well. It’s easier to cut into bite-size pieces when it’s frozen. The recipe calls for a dry white wine; I used a dry Riesling and it was perfect. Finally, I used canned diced tomatoes with their juices for the stew. If you have fresh tomatoes on hand, you can certainly substitute a couple cups of those.
- Reheating and Leftovers: This recipe is best enjoyed right away, but leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for a couple of days. Reheat in a saucepan on the stove over medium heat until warmed through.
- Can this be vegetarian? To make the recipe vegetarian, omit the shrimp and use white beans or butter beans instead. YUM.
Looking for another seafood plus veggie recipe? Check out the Maple Mustard Salmon with Brussels.
Serve fennel stew with freshly shaved parmesan, crunchy bread, and more herbs or red pepper flakes as desired. I like to use a swivel peeler on a block of Parmigiano-Reggiano to make shavings. You can also serve fennel stew over rice or pasta.
This dish makes a great appetizer or first course for a dinner party, but it also stands alone as an entree. It’s so versatile.
While fennel is typically grown in the fall, winter, or spring, this recipe can be enjoyed all year round. The flavor profile is suitable for a summer evening…with a glass of the white wine you use for the dish! 😉
More Fennel Recipes
If you enjoy this fennel stew, check out the Coconut Cod with Fennel and Spinach, Warm Fennel Salad with Roasted Grapes and Feta, and the Lemony Fennel Lentil Salad with Parsley. For another recipe with shrimp, see the Garlic Lemon Butternut Squash Noodles with Shrimp.
I’d love to hear how you like this recipe! Rate/review using the stars on the recipe card or in the comments, and follow the Veg World on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. Looking for something totally different? Browse the recipe library.
Healthy Fennel Stew with Shrimp
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 bulb fennel – cored and thinly sliced
- 1 yellow onion – diced
- 4 cloves garlic – minced
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes – more to taste
- 1/2 cup dry white wine – I used a dry Riesling
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes – with their juices
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 0.5 pound fresh or frozen shrimp – peeled and deveined; can use up to one pound
- Salt – to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper – to taste
- Freshly shaved Parmesan cheese – for serving
- In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the sliced fennel and diced onion, and cook for 4 to 5 minutes until softened. Stir in the minced garlic and red pepper flakes, and cook for a few more minutes. Season generously with salt and pepper.
- Add the dry white wine and parsley, and cook, stirring frequently, for 2 to 3 minutes until the wine starts to cook off. Pour in the canned tomatoes with their juices and vegetable stock, and increase the heat to bring to a gentle boil. Season with salt and pepper.
- When the broth has reached a gentle boil, add the shrimp and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes until opaque and cooked through. You can cut the shrimp into bite-size pieces if desired before adding them to the pot. I used jumbo shrimp and cut them in half and some into thirds.
- Remove the stew from heat, and ladle into bowls. Garnish with freshly shaved parmesan and fennel fronds if you have them. Serve with crunchy bread or even over pasta. Enjoy!
- This serves about two people as a main dish and four people as an appetizer or first course.
- To make this stew vegetarian, omit the shrimp and use white beans or butter beans instead.
- This dish is best served right away, but leftovers will last in the fridge for a couple of days. Reheat in a saucepan until warmed through.
- I prefer to use frozen shrimp for this recipe (that have been peeled and deveined prior to being frozen). It’s really easy to cut frozen shrimp into smaller pieces, and they cook nicely without becoming too mushy.
Welcome to 2021! – Lizzie