If someone put you on the spot and asked you to name a food beginning with the letter ‘N’ then you might be hard-pressed to find an answer. There’s no denying that you definitely know foods beginning with this letter, but thinking of them when under pressure can make the process very difficult.
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If you ask many folks what the letter "N" stands for foodwise, they'll likely say "Nachos." And while there's no denying the sheer awesomeness of that crunchy, cheesy, meaty dish, there are quite a few more foods that share the same letter.
And while I can't promise they are all as yummy as nachos, many more than hold their own in the flavor department. It's always fun finding new favorite food and raving to all your friends and family about it. It's especially fun when you find a new recipe and prepare your new favorite for other folks to enjoy.
The world is a large place, and in every single country there is a long list of foods beginning with the letter ‘N’. It would be impossible to learn them all, but if you find yourself wanting to find out more, then you are definitely in the right place.
In this guide, we’ve put together 28 different foods, all beginning with the letter ‘N’. Some are complete meals, others are ingredients, while some are simply sweet treats. But they all have one thing in common, and that is the letter ‘N’. So with no further ado, let’s dive in.
28 Foods Beginning with ‘N’
Let’s kick off the list with something that you have probably already heard of, and that is the Nectarine. This type of stone fruit is often confused with a peach, but it is actually a fruit in its own right.
Nectarines come in a variety of colors from yellow through to white, and are generally fairly sweet in taste. While they can be enjoyed on their own, they are often used in baked desserts during the Winter months.
Sticking with the fruit, next we have navel oranges. This type of fruit is actually a genetic clone of a type of fruit that is traditionally found in Brazil, but it is cloned to make producing them easier.
Of all the fruits in the world, the navel orange is considered one of the healthiest as it is high in potassium, vitamin C, and fiber. If that wasn’t enough, they are also very tasty to eat.
Now, nectar isn’t strictly a fruit, but it does come from plants, just like fruit does. This type of food is insanely high in sugar, and because of this it is essentially a sugar syrup, despite the fact it is entirely natural.
Due to this, this food is mainly used as an ingredient in desserts to help make them sweeter, and you will often also find it in fruit juices. But, it is very rare for you to find nectar sold on its own.
4. Nashi Pear
You might not have heard of Nashi pears before, instead you will likely have heard them referred to by their other name: Asian pear. However, their traditional name is Nashi pear (so they technically begin with an ‘N’).
This pear is native to East Asia, and it has a naturally crisp bite with a sweet taste. This type of pear is very juicy, so it is not only a great snack, but also a great way to quench your thirst.
5. Natal Plum
Next up, we have the Natal Plum. This fruit is native to South Africa, and has the Zulu name ‘num-num’. It is one of those fruits that you have to be very careful eating as some parts of the plant it grows on are toxic to humans.
The only part of this plant that is safe to eat is the Natal plum itself, and it is actually very healthy as it is high in calcium, magnesium, and vitamin C. You just have to be careful when picking them.
6. Nutmeg Melon
You may not have heard of a nutmeg melon before, but you likely have heard of a cantaloupe. These names are synonyms for the same type of fruit, so nutmeg melons are exactly the same as cantaloupes.
They have a sweet taste with yellow/orange flesh inside and a green exterior. Due to this, they are a great treat for a hot summer’s day.
Moving slightly away from fruit, we have the Nasturtium. This is a type of plant that is made up of over 80 different flowering plants.
Of course, eating plants isn’t a normal part of life, but the flowers of the Nasturtium are commonly used as herbal remedies for illnesses, usually for colds and coughs. This is mainly because both the flowers and leaves of this plant are high in vitamin C, which is excellent for easing illness.
8. Naranjilla Fruit
As its name suggests, the Naranjilla fruit is a type of fruit. Their name is Spanish, and directly translates to ‘little oranges’, but they aren’t actually part of the citrus family. Even though they look like they should be.
Instead, Naranjilla fruit are actually closer to the tomato and eggplant families of fruit. The entire Naranjilla fruit can be eaten, but as they are quite chewy, most people tend to cut them up before eating them.
Moving slightly away from fruit, you have Nutmeg. This is, of course, a type of seasoning that is commonly used in winter months. However, this seasoning actually comes from a seed.
The nutmeg seed is dried out before it is used, and ground down into the form that we know it in. Nutmeg is highly versatile as it is often used in both sweet and savory dishes, but you will probably know it best when combined with cinnamon in seasonal dishes.
10. Nigella Seeds
Sticking with the seed theme, next up is Nigella Seeds. You probably will not have heard of these unless you are familiar with Austrian and South Asian cuisine, as this is where they are most commonly used.
They have a taste that is both nutty and smoky, and are actually very healthy. This is because they promote lots of health benefits including regulating blood sugar and cholesterol. You may also have heard of this seed referred to as caraway or black seeds.
When you hear the word ‘nettles’ you might not immediately consider it food. But, the nettle plant is actually perfectly safe to eat. In fact, a lot of people consider it to be delicious. As well as being able to eat nettles, they are also commonly used in nettle tea, nettle soup, and even nettle beer.
While they grow throughout the year, the best time to harvest the nettle plant is during the early Spring as this is when the shoots are at their most delicious. But when you are picking them, remember to be careful, as nettles can sting you.
Another type of plant that is perfectly safe to eat is Nipa. You might not have heard of this as it is another plant that is only really used in South Asia and Austria. Just like Nigella seeds.
The Nipa plant is great for cooking as it can be used in so many dishes. It has long prongs which can be used in some dishes, and then stalks that are packed with sugar sap - perfect for sugar and treacle. So this really is a diverse plant.
Unless you have Scottish relatives, then you might not have heard of Neeps. But a ‘Neep’ is basically just another name given to a turnip, which is probably something that you have heard of.
Neeps/turnips are white root vegetables found all over the world because they do not need a specific climate to grow. It is used in lots of different dishes, but is most commonly found in soups and stews, where it is used for its healthy vitamins and minerals.
Stepping away from vegetables, and onto complete dishes beginning with ‘N’, let’s start with Nachos. This dish is of Mexican origin, but has become a firm favorite all over the world. As you probably know, nachos consist of tortilla chips that are smothered with cheese, among other things.
It is also common to find salsa, guacamole, sour cream, jalapeños, and even chicken or minced beef in nachos. No matter how you prepare it, there’s no denying that nachos are one of the tastiest dishes to come out of Mexican cuisine.
Next up, we have Nuggets, or more specifically, chicken nuggets. Nuggets are a staple meal all over the world, and have been made popular by fast food restaurants like McDonald's.
Nuggets are usually made with chicken breast that is either battered or breaded, then cooked in a deep fat fryer. It is also possible to bake them if you want to make them healthier. Most grocery stores sell nuggets, and they are very popular among children, and also very easy for parents to cook.
16. New England Clam Chowder
Now, you might think that this is a cheat answer as ‘Clam Chowder’ does not begin with an ‘N’. But, New England Clam Chowder is food in its own right. While you can get Clam Chowder from lots of different places, you won’t be able to beat the New England recipe.
This heart-warming soup is packed with potato, pork, celery, and onions, as well as milk, broth, and, of course, clams. It is insanely yummy, and a great comfort food for bad days.
17. New York Pizza
Again, technically ‘pizza’ does not begin with an ‘N’, but New York Pizza isn’t just any regular pizza. This style of pizza is so much better than any other style of pizza, so it would be rude not to include it on this list.
The dough for New York Pizza is thin and hand-thrown, and it is designed to be used as a single slice. The toppings of this pizza are entirely up to you, but the crust is what makes New York Pizza so special.
Moving away from complete dishes, let’s take a look at some common side dishes that begin with the letter ‘N’. Beginning with noodles. While they can be used as the sole ingredient in a dish, you will more commonly find noodles paired with other ingredients to create a delicious meal.
They are a staple dish in Chinese cuisine, but have quickly become popular all over the world, and are often viewed as a healthy option. My favorite is egg noodle with kimchi.
19. Naan Bread
Another great side dish beginning with the letter ‘N’ is naan bread. You probably have already heard of Naan bread as it is commonly used in Indian cuisine, and it is a type of leavened bread usually cooked on a stove top or in a grill.
Naan bread can be served plain, or it can be modified to include different ingredients, including garlic, coriander, and even meat. So, if you are a fan of Indian food, then you definitely will have heard of naan bread.
Alternatively, another great food that begins with an ‘N’ is Nori. Nori is mainly found in Japanese cuisine, and actually consists of seaweed. While seaweed might not immediately strike you as something you want to eat, it is actually a popular ingredient in different cuisines all over the world.
Most commonly, you will find Nori used as an ingredient in the making of sushi, as its strong flavor compliments the other ingredients in sushi incredibly well.
21. Nasi Goreng
Another popular side dish that begins with ‘N’ is Nasi Goreng which translates directly to fried rice. It is most commonly found in Indonesian and Malaysian cuisine, and consists of rice fried with meat, vegetables, and a fried egg on top.
Despite the fact that this dish contains fried rice, the rice inside it is different as it is cooked in kecap manis. This is a type of soy sauce that has a sweet flavor and can completely transform the taste of the rice, making it a very yummy meal.
We couldn’t make a list about food beginning with the letter ‘N’ without including nuts. Nuts make an excellent snack, and they also make a wonderful ingredient in lots of different dishes across multiple cuisines.
There are lots of different kinds of nuts, meaning that you can use different types for different dishes depending on which is more appropriate. But, whichever type you decide, nuts are another great food beginning with the letter ‘N’.
Now that we’ve covered all the healthy and savory dishes, let’s move onto the sweeter options that start with the letter ‘N’, beginning with Nesselrode. Nesselrode is a French dish that is made with a mixture of nuts, maraschino cherries, and candied fruits.
This mix is then commonly used as a filling in puddings, pies, and even with ice cream. This dish was once reserved for the rich, but now it is accessible to everyone.
Another sweet treat beginning with ‘N’ is Nonpareil. These are a type of confectionery sweet that is high in both sugar and starch. Nonpareil is a traditional sweet, and during their early days you would only be able to get them in opaque form.
However, thanks to the advancements in food coloring, you can now get nonpareil in lots of different colors. While you might expect these treats to be made out of pure sugar, they are actually made of chocolate, and decorated with sprinkles for a fancy finish.
If you are someone who prefers biscuits, then Nankhatai might be for you. Nankhatai is a type of shortbread biscuit that originated in India, and is very popular in Pakistan too.
Unlike other types of shortbread, they are made using ghee, and infused with spices including saffron and cardamom. Due to this, they have a bit of a kick to them when compared with other shortbread recipes.
26. Neapolitan Ice Cream
While the last two treats that we looked at are definitely lesser known, you probably have heard of Neapolitan Ice Cream before. This type of ice cream is also sometimes known as Harlequin ice cream, and it consists of vanilla, chocolate, and vanilla ice cream all served at the same time.
This ice cream isn’t for everyone, because you have to like all 3 flavors to enjoy it, but it is definitely a staple in the ice cream world.
Another sweet treat that you have probably heard of is ‘Nerds’. Nerds are a type of American confectionary that are very popular among kids all over the world. They come in a range of flavors and colors, and can be both sweet and sour.
The best thing about Nerds is that a mixture of sweet and sour sweets come mixed together in one box. So every handful that you take of these sweets is completely unique, and very tasty.
Something else that begins with ‘N’ which you have probably already heard of is Nutella. Although its history is limited, Nutella has quickly become one of the most popular spreads all over the world.
It is a hazelnut and cocoa spread with added sweetener to give it a sweet flavor, and it is perfect for lots of different dishes. You can add Nutella to waffles or pancakes, you can even add Nutella to a sandwich, or simply eat it on its own. It simply is that versatile.
29. New York Cheesecake
Finally, let’s finish off this list with the absolute classic dish that is New York Cheesecake. While this dish originates in New York, it has now become popular all over the world due to its delicious taste.
New York cheesecake is made using cream cheese that is flavored with vanilla and sugar to make a perfect sweet treat. Due to this, you can easily enjoy New York cheesecake on its own, or you can add a pouring sauce to give this yummy dessert even more flavor.
In short, there you have it, a complete guide to 29 different foods beginning with the letter ‘N’.
So whether you’re looking for inspiration for an ‘N’ themed party, or simply brushing up your knowledge for a quiz, you are in the right place.
Foods That Start with N: Our Top 28 Picks
- Navel Oranges
- Nashi Pear
- Natal Plum
- Nutmeg Melon
- Naranjilla Fruit
- Nigella Seeds
- New England Clam Chowder
- New York Pizza
- Naan Bread
- Nasi Goreng
- Neapolitan Ice Cream
- New York Cheesecake
- Try our kitchen tested foods that start with N.
Use in or with your favorite recipe.