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Low-Carb Fennel Pesto Noodles

4.4 stars, average of 8 ratings

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This is a simple low-carb side recipe made with just five ingredients (or three if you don't count salt and pepper). I wouldn't say it tastes like "real" noodles but it is a great low-carb alternative to pasta.

In this keto recipe I used my Wild Garlic Pesto but you can use any pesto sauce with your preferred herbs, nuts/seeds and spices. Homemade pesto takes just 5 minutes to make so I rarely use ready made.

If you don't have the ingredients to make your own, feel free to use any store bough pesto sauce — just watch out for added fats and ideally choose a product that only uses extra virgin olive oil.

Instead of pesto, you can keep the fennel noodles plain and use them just like you would zucchini noodles or palmini. Try with other sauces such as this easy marinara or our super popular keto cheese sauce.

Now when it comes to fennel, it's not as widely used as zucchini. I'll address some of the most common questions below.

Is Fennel Keto?

Fennel is a tasty low-carb vegetable that's ideal for a keto diet. Fresh fennel contains 4.2 g net carbs per 100 grams. Apart from the low carb count, fennel is packed with nutritional benefits; it can aid digestion and improve bowel movement.

How Does Fennel Taste?

Fennel has a pleasant licoricey flavour and a nice crunch. It can be eaten both raw and cooked. It's perfect in salads such as this crunchy slaw. Apart from using the raw bulbs in salads, fennel can be braised, added to any roast vegetables, soups and stews.

How To Prepare Fennel

Preparing fennel bulbs is easy. First you need to trim off the hard fennel stalks. These are too tough to eat but will be an excellent addition to homemade stocks for a flavour boost. Simply place the stalks in a ziploc bag and freeze until you make the next batch of bone broth.

We are making fennel "noodles" so the next step is to cut the fennel bulbs in half and then each half in quarters. Cut off the hard core (add to the ziploc bag with the stems) and then slice very thin noodles lenghtwise. You can also use a mandolin or a food processor with a grating blade attachement.

Can I Have Fennel on a Low FODMAP Diet?

If you're following a low FODMAP diet, keep the serving size of this meal at half a cup per serve. The pesto doesn't use garlic cloves and instead it uses wild garlic (also known as ramsons) which should be safe for a low FODMAP diet. Similar to leeks and spring onions which are often used to replace onions, wild garlic leaves are used as an alternative to garlic cloves.

Hands-on Overall

Serving size about 1 cup

Allergy information for Low-Carb Fennel Pesto Noodles

✔  Gluten free
✔  Dairy free
✔  Egg free
✔  Nut free
✔  Nightshade free
✔  Pork free
✔  Avocado free
✔  Coconut free
✔  Fish free
✔  Shellfish free
✔  Beef free

Nutritional values (per serving, about 1 cup)

Net carbs6.3 grams
Protein3 grams
Fat22.9 grams
Calories249 kcal
Calories from carbs 10%, protein 5%, fat 85%
Total carbs10.9 gramsFiber4.5 gramsSugars5.1 gramsSaturated fat2.8 gramsSodium485 mg(21% RDA)Magnesium44 mg(11% RDA)Potassium636 mg(32% EMR)

Ingredients (makes 4 servings)


  1. Start by preparing the fennel bulbs. (Weight listed in the ingredients excludes all the cut-offs that won't be used.) Low-Carb Fennel Pesto Noodles
  2. Trim off the hard fennel stalks (you can use the cut offs for bone broth or vegetable stock). Cut a thin slice off the base. Cut the fennel bulb in half lenghtwise and then cut each half into quarters. Using a pairing knife, cut off the the hard core. Peel off any wilted outer layers. Reserve the soft fronds for garnish. Low-Carb Fennel Pesto Noodles
  3. Finely slice the quarters (lengthwise for longer "noodles") or use a mandolin or a slicing blade on your food processor. Low-Carb Fennel Pesto Noodles
  4. Place the fennel noodles in a hot pan greased with avocado oil (or olive oil) and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until crisp tender. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool down slightly. Low-Carb Fennel Pesto Noodles
  5. Transfer the fennel noodles to a mixing bowl. Low-Carb Fennel Pesto Noodles
  6. Add the pesto (I used my Wild Garlic Pesto but any pesto will work) and mix to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper and combine well. Garnish with the reserved fennel fronds. Low-Carb Fennel Pesto Noodles
  7. Serve immediately or store in the fridge for up to a 3 days. These fennel noodles are best served with fish, seafood, grilled chicken or steak. Low-Carb Fennel Pesto Noodles

Ingredient nutritional breakdown (per serving, about 1 cup)

Net carbsProteinFatCalories
Fennel bulb, fresh
5.3 g1.6 g0.3 g39 kcal
Avocado oil, extra virgin
0 g0 g7 g62 kcal
Wild Garlic Pesto, homemade (KetoDiet blog)
1 g1.5 g15.6 g148 kcal
Salt, sea salt
0 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Pepper, black, spices
0.1 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Total per serving, about 1 cup
6.3 g3 g22.9 g249 kcal

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Martina Slajerova
Creator of

Martina Slajerova

I changed the way I ate in 2011, when I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid. I had no energy, and I found it more and more difficult to maintain a healthy weight.

That’s when I decided to quit sugar, grains, and processed foods, and to start following a whole-foods-based ketogenic approach to food.

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Comments (4)

Fennel stalks, sliced thinly, as one would celery, are great in soups and salads. 🥗 Anyplace you'd use celery.

I totally agree! I love then grilled/roasted with some lemon and olive oil.

Hi there. I'm new to this site. I love Licorice and anything that has a fennel/licorice taste. So when I saw this unusual  recipe I had to try it. Unfortunately, it didn't taste how I expected. Basically, the pesto overwhelmed the fennel. I even used less than the 1/2 cup. I might try fennel with different seasoning or sauce next time and see if the fennel flavor will remain intact.

Hi Carri, I think it depends on the pesto you're using. I think that if you want to keep as much of the flavour as possible, you could make pesto made with fennel fronds. Or perhaps you could even add a few pieces of fennel before blending 😊