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How to Use Fennel Seeds

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Fennel seeds are native to the Mediterranean and are used extensively in Indian, Chinese, German, French, and Italian cooking.

Fennel seeds have a licorice-like flavor and look very similar to cumin seeds.

Fennel seeds are incredibly versatile and can be used in sauces (especially tomato sauces), with seafood, pork, in soups and stews, and in baked goods. You can use fennel seeds whole or ground.

fennel seeds on a silver spoon

Recipes with Fennel Seeds

Fennel seeds and ground fennel are so useful! Here are some of our favorite recipes with fennel seeds.

Where to Buy Fennel Seeds

You can buy fennel seeds in most grocery stores. If you'd like to buy them online from whole foods, they sell organic fennel seeds.

If you want to buy them from an independent spice shop, the Spice house sells excellent fennel seeds and ground fennel seeds.

Substitute for Fennel Seed

If you can't source fennel seeds, you can substitute anise, caraway, dill, or cumin seeds. Anise seeds are the most similar in flavor but cumin seeds will likely be the easiest to find.

More Spices & Spice Guides

If you like spices and spice blends, we think you'll love these guides - as well as our unique spice guide (and recipes to use them in).