Chemical composition of Larrea tridentata leaves was determined and elevated content of lignin (35.96 % w/w) was found. The present study was proposed in order to evaluate the extraction of bioactive compounds, particularly phenolic compounds, by solid-state fermentation (SSF) of L. tridentata leaves. The basidiomycete Phanerochaete chrysosporium was used in the experiments due to its ability to degrade lignin. The concentration of total phenolic compounds in the extracts produced by SSF was determined. Additionally, the extracts were characterized regarding the concentration of flavonoids, quercetin, kaempferol, and nordihydroguaiaretic acid and antioxidant activity. SSF was not an efficient process to recover phenolic compounds from L. tridentata leaves. However, this process was very efficient when used as a pretreatment before the plant extraction with organic solvent (methanol). By submitting the plant to SSF and subsequently to extraction with 90 % (v/v) methanol, the recovery of phenolic compounds was improved by 33 % when compared to the results obtained by methanolic extraction of the non-fermented plant. Scanning electron microscopy micrographs revealed a major disorganization and porosity of the plant structure after fermentation, and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy spectra indicated a possible solubilization of some constituents of lignocellulose fraction after this process, which may have favored the solvent action in the later stage.