Bright and zesty Orange and Fennel Salad is the citrus salad of your dreams! Crunchy and sweet fennel with tangy, juicy orange and crisp red onions pair together deliciously in this easy, wholesome salad recipe.
Similar to the fennel salad Barefoot Contessa makes, this super simple salad recipe uses a vinaigrette citrus salad dressing of fresh orange juice and olive oil. It is so yummy!
Your New Favorite Salad: Fennel Orange Salad
With its bright, sweet, and zesty flavors, fennel and orange salad is a perfect side salad or citrus salad recipe for lunch. It makes a fantastic winter salad recipe during orange season, but it’s also a great choice for spring and summer.
Bright and beautiful, it brings color and flavor to the family table! That’s what makes fennel orange salad one of my favorite potluck and holiday salad recipes. Try it out, and I know it will be a favorite of yours, too!
Orange and Fennel Salad Ingredients
- 2 navel oranges
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2 medium fennel bulbs (about 1 3/4 lbs.)
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced into half-moons
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar (optional)
The beautiful citrus salad dressing in this recipe is homemade using olive oil, salt, pepper, and freshly squeezed orange juice. After you finish the salad, you can add a little red wine vinegar for extra flavor, if you like.
What really makes this fennel salad stand out is its presentation. Orange and fennel salad has so much color, especially when served over a bed of greens.
If you want to add greens, I recommend serving your salad over a spring salad mix that includes red leaf lettuce and arugula. This gives it an extra pop of color – and arugula fennel salad is delicious!
How to Make Fennel Salad with Orange
There are just three steps to making orange fennel salad:
- Preparing the oranges and making the citrus salad dressing
- Preparing and cutting the fennel bulbs
- Assembling the fennel orange salad
How to Supreme an Orange and Make Citrus Salad Dressing
- Finely grate the zest of 1 orange into a medium bowl.
Then, using a serrated knife, trim off the top and bottom of 2 oranges. Cut away the skin each orange, one at a time.
Completely peel the orange of its peel and pith (the white stringy skin connecting the peel to the orange). This is called supreming an orange. Do this for both oranges.
If cut correctly, the orange should have very little white skin and no peel remaining.
- Cut each orange horizontally into 1/4″ rounds.
Squeeze enough orange rounds in your hands over the bowl with the zest to produce about 2 tablespoons of orange juice.
Cover and refrigerate the remaining orange rounds.
- Whisk 2 Tbsp. of olive oil into the bowl with the orange zest and juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Remember, you can always add more, but can’t take it out – so start with a small amount, taste, and season more as necessary.
How to Cut Fennel for Salad
- Cut the top stalks off of 2 medium fennel bulbs.
Reserve the fronds and stalks – you can use them later.
- Cut each bulb in half vertically. With a knife, Y-slicer, or mandoline slicer, cut the fennel into slices about 1/16″ thick.
- Transfer the sliced fennel bulbs to a medium bowl and toss with the dressing. Cover with cling wrap and marinate for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.
Assembling the Orange and Fennel Salad
- Cut 1 small red onion into half-moons. Start by cutting off the stem end of the onion. Then, slice in half through the opposite end (the root).
Peel off the outer layer of skin from the onion. Set the onion cut-side down on the cutting board, and slice into half-moons.
- Taste the salad just before serving. Adjust to taste with salt and pepper and add 1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar if you prefer less sweetness.
If serving over salad greens, add the orange and fennel salad to the greens. I recommend a spring salad mix using red leaf lettuce and arugula for the best flavor.
Coarsely chop about 1 Tbsp. of your reserved fennel fronds and sprinkle them over the salad.
More Simple Salad Recipes to Enjoy
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If you love simple salad recipes like this, you’re sure to love our fresh vegetable salad with creamy balsamic dressing and our grilled peach salad! Tomato cucumber feta salad is always a hit in the summer, along with our watermelon basil salad.
Zesty & Tangy Orange and Fennel Salad
- 2 navel oranges
- 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2 medium fennel bulbs about 1¾ pounds
- 1 small red onion sliced into half-moons
- 1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar optional
- Finely grate zest from 1 orange into a medium bowl. Then, using a serrated knife, trim off the top and bottom from 2 oranges. Cut away the skin from one orange at a time, completely peeling the orange of its peel and pith (the white stringy skin connecting the peel to the orange). This is called supreming the orange.
- Cut each orange horizontally into 1/4” rounds. Squeeze enough rounds in your hands for 2 Tbsp. of juice, then cover and refrigerate the remaining rounds.
- Add the orange juice to a bowl with the zest. Whisk in 2 Tbsp. olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Cut off the top stalks from 2 medium fennel bulbs. Reserve the fronds and stalks.
- Cut each bulb in half vertically. Using a knife, V-slicer, or mandoline slicer, cut the fennel into slices about 1/16” thick.
- Transfer the sliced fennel bulbs to a medium bowl and toss with the dressing. Cover and marinate for at least 30 minutes to up to 2 hours.
- Cut 1 small red onion into half-moons. Start by cutting off the stem end of the onion. Then, slice in half through the opposite end (the root). Peel off the outer layer of skin from the onion. Set the onion cut-side down on the cutting board, and slice into half-moons.
- Just before serving, taste the salad. Add 1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar if you desire. Adjust the salad to taste with salt and pepper, then serve over reserved orange slices. Coarsely chop a Tbsp. of fennel fronds and sprinkle over the salad, then serve chilled.
- Try serving this salad over a bed of spring salad mix! Red leaf lettuce and arugula are great choices for pairing with orange fennel salad.
- If serving over lettuce, wait until after the salad is done marinating and is chilled before adding the lettuce.
Adapted from Frankie Avalon’s Italian Family Cookbook