Low Carb Fennel Gratin. An exquisite side dish for every occasion. 4g net carbs.

With so many low carb vegetables to choose from, there is absolutely no reason to be repetitive. Fennel is a great alternative to the usual keto darlings, namely cauliflower, broccoli and courgettes.

Are you a fennelphobe? Have you ever tasted cooked fennel? You may have never tried it because you didn’t know what to do with it. Or maybe you hate liquorice and you were led to believe that it tastes like liquorice. It’s a myth. Fennel has just a mild aniseed flavour that diminishes further with cooking. And I’m convinced that, if you try this decadent gratin recipe, you’ll become a fully fledged fennelphile. Or maybe my Fennel, Celery and Cucumber Salad or Fennel Purée already converted you.

How to Make Low Carb Fennel Gratin

This dish is layered like a lasagna: fennel – cream sauce – fennel – cream sauce – Parmigiano Reggiano.

My very easy creamy sauce is a mix of butter, Mascarpone, crème fraîche, and Gruyère cheese and only takes a couple of minutes to prepare.

low carb fennel gratin

Start off with 4 large and plump fennel bulbs. Leave the skinny ones on the shelf – they’re not good.

Trim the bottoms. Cut off the stalks at the point where they attach to the bulbs. Discard the first two outer leaves. Wash away any dirt. Slice. Boil for 10 minutes. Drain. Layer onto a baking dish. Coat with my irresistible creamy sauce. Repeat. Sprinkle with Parmigiano Reggiano. Bake while you prepare your meat or fish main course. Serve whilst still bubbling hot. Happy days.

I am willing to bet that this fennel favourite of mine will top your chart of favourite side dishes.

low carb fennel gratin

Are you ready to join the fennel elite?


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Low Carb Fennel Gratin

Decadent layers of fennel drenched in a scrumptious creamy sauce and topped with Parmigiano. This keto side dish is pure indulgence.
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Course: Sides
Diet: Coconut Free, Egg Free, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Italian, Keto, Low Carb, Mediterranean, Nut Free
Keywords: creme fraiche, fennel, mascarpone, parmesan, parmigiano reggiano
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 500 g fennel net weight after trimming 800g/4 large fennel bulbs
  • 2 TBSP fine Himalayan pink salt (U.S. option HERE)
  • 30 g salted butter
  • 30 g Parmigiano Reggiano freshly grated
  • 30 g Gruyère cheese grated
  • 150 g mascarpone
  • 100 g crème fraîche


  • trim the base of the fennel bulbs and remove stalks and outer leaves; wash and cut into halves.
  • place cut sides facing down and slice (about 1cm thickness).
  • transfer to a large saucepan and fill with enough water to submerge all the fennel slices; add salt, cover and bring to a rolling boil, then reduce heat to a fast simmer and boil for 12 minutes.
  • drain well and set aside.
  • using a small saucepan (U.S. option HERE) over medium/low heat, melt butter, then add mascarpone, crème fraîche and grated Gruyère; continue to heat and stir for a 1-2 minutes until you have a smooth creamy mixture, but don't let it boil.
  • layer a Pyrex glass baking dish (U.S. option HERE) with 1/2 the fennel slices and spoon 1/2 of your cream mixture all over.
  • repeat and finish by topping with the Parmigiano.
  • bake at 200°C Circo-Roast (no need to pre-heat) for 18-20 minutes, until the top is bubbling with rich golden spots.
  • serve alongside meat or fish of your choice.


If your oven doesn't  have a Circo-Roast setting, pre-heat oven to 200°C static and bake for 15 minutes, then caramelise the gratin under a grill (broiler) for about 5 minutes.
Unless otherwise indicated, use Metric Kitchen Scales to measure ingredients accurately (U.S. option HERE).


Serving: 1/4 | Calories: 371kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 36g
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