25 Foods That Start With N

foods that start with n featured image

Ever heard of nankhatai? What about nori? These are just two nifty foods that start with N.

We’re guessing you’ve heard of some of these, but we doubt you’re familiar with all of the foods in our list of 25 foods that start with N.

Read through our list and let us know if we missed any in the comments!

25 Foods That Start With N


Nori is the Japanese name for edible seaweed. It’s commonly used to wrap rolls of sushi, but it also makes a great nutritious snack.

Although it’s considered safe to eat in moderation, nori can contain toxic metals such as arsenic or cadmium and shouldn’t be consumed in large quantities.


A neep is a turnip. More specifically, it’s the Scottish term for a turnip.

Don’t mistake a neep for a standard turnip, though. While standard turnips have a pinkish exterior and white flesh, the neep is a larger, dark purple root vegetable with a pale yellow or orange interior.


A nugget is a chicken product that is breaded and battered, then deep-fried or baked. They were invented in the 1950s by a food scientist at Cornell and remain a popular fast food item today.

Although nuggets began with chicken the modern nugget comes in vegetarian and vegan options.

Nashi Pear

Another Japanese food that starts with N is the nashi pear. Nashi pears are native to East Asia and combine the crispness of apples with the lightly sweet taste of a pear.

Unlike European varieties, nashi pears are not typically used in baked goods or jams. This is because their high water content and crisp, grainy texture make them a fruit that is better enjoyed raw.

Navel Oranges

Navel oranges are large, orange citrus fruits that are commonly grown in Brazil, Arizona, California, and Florida. Typically they are about 4.5 inches in diameter and have a sweet flavor.

Navel oranges get their name from the growth of a second fruit at their apex that closely resembles a human navel.

foods that start with n - Three orange slides sitting on a table
Navel oranges are commonly grown in California


Nobody really knows where noodles originated, but different regions of the world all seem to have different versions of this tasty food.

Noodles are typically made with unleavened dough that is cut into string-like pieces and dried. They’re usually cooked in boiling water and served topped with a sauce or incorporated into a broth.


Nougat is a type of candy that’s typically made with sugar or honey, whipped egg whites, and nuts and fruit. It has a chewy consistency and can be eaten alone or incorporated into other candy bars.

Nougat is thought to have originated in Central Asia or Persia (modern-day Iran).


Naan is an oven-baked flatbread primarily associated with the cuisine of Western Asia.  

Naan bread can be covered in herbs or served plain. It is often served with meals as a vessel to scoop up different meats, cheeses, or vegetables. It’s also sometimes as a wrap (e.g., when it’s used in gyros).


Originating in India in the 16th century, nankhatai are shortbread biscuits. The word itself means bread “naan” biscuit “khatai.”

These popular Indian biscuits might be impossible to buy online, but they aren’t difficult to make. We’ve found a couple of different recipes online if you want to give these treats a try.


Now we’re getting to the good stuff – nachos! Nachos originated in Northern Mexico and consist of warm tortilla chips covered with cheese and other ingredients. Nachos that are piled high with toppings are called “loaded” nachos.

Today nachos are popular all over the world and are served as both an entree and an appetizer. 

We personally like them as an entree. 🙂

foods that start with n - Loaded nachos sitting on a black plate
Mmm... delicious nachos


Nutella is a brand of sweetened cocoa hazelnut spread. Originally created in Italy, it’s gained popularity worldwide because it is unbelievably delicious.

There’s not really a right or wrong way to eat Nutella. It can be used as a spread on toast, used to make Nutella sandwiches, or even eaten straight from the jar.

The only bad thing about Nutella is that it’s so delicious it can be hard to stop eating it.


Nectarines are one of our favorite foods that start with N! A nectarine is a variety of smooth-skinned peach (meaning they don’t have the peach fuzz).

Nectarines can range from tart to sweet, depending on their level of ripeness. They are commonly used in baked goods, jams and jellies. However, they’re also delicious raw.


Negus is a type of drink made with a port (or other rich) wine, hot water, oranges or lemons, spices, and sugar.

Oddly enough it was recommended as a drink for children’s parties in the 1861 book “The Book of Household Management.”

We’ll admit it – we’re kind of jealous of those children.


Nutmeg is the seed or ground spice from nutmeg trees.

While it is typically used as a spice, it is also a source of essential oils and used in nutmeg butter.

If it’s consumed in large quantities nutmeg can produce allergic reactions or have psychoactive effects.


You might already know them as sprinkles – nonpareils are the round decorative sprinkles commonly used to decorate cakes, desserts, and other sweets.

The history of nonpareils is a little murky, but they were referenced in recipes as far back as the 18th century and widely available by the early 19th century.

White chocolate balls coated in nonpareils
These white chocolates are covered in nonpareils


Nantua is a French sauce that’s made from a Béchamel sauce base, cream, crayfish butter, and crayfish tails. It’s used in classical French dishes such as quenelle.

The sauce is named for the city of Nantua, which is known for its crayfish.


Nesselrode pudding is a frozen dessert named after the Russian diplomat Count Karl Nesselrode.

It is typically made of a custard base that has been flavored with chestnuts and syrups before being frozen. Fruit is also sometimes added to the mix.

Nigella Seed

Native to Mediterranean regions, nigella seed is a spice characterized by its rich black color and oregano-like qualities.

While nigella seed isn’t widely used in the United States, it makes a great addition to soups, salads, sauces, and other savory dishes. It’s even sprinkled over the top of baked goods (much like poppy seed).


Natillas is a Spanish custard made from milk, sugar, vanilla, eggs, and cinnamon. It is a thick, creamy dessert. Vanilla is the most common flavor, but natillas can also be flavored with chocolate or turrón.

Interested in trying natillas? We found an easy recipe to get you started.

Nasi Goreng

The literal translation of nasi goreng is “fried rice,” and that’s exactly what this dish is. Nasi goreng is essentially Indonesian fried rice.

What makes nasi goreng different than other fried rice is the infusion of Indonesia’s sweet soy sauce and terasi (shrimp paste), which give it a unique umami flavor. Pieces of meat and vegetables are also sometimes added to the dish.

Fried rice made in a large pan
Nasi goreng is a delicious Indonesian fried rice dish


Nargesi is a simple Persian/Iranian dish made with eggs, spinach, and onions flavored with simple spices (generally salt, pepper, and turmeric).

Nargesi can be prepared as a simple scramble of the ingredients, but if you’re making authentic nargesi the vegetables are usually sauteed before an egg is added to the pan and cooked until the white part appears solid but the yolk is still runny.


Are you a fan of fritters? Neyyappam is a sweet rice fritter that has been fried in ghee and flavored with fried coconut and cardamom.

Neyyappam originates from India, where it is usually served as a tea-time snack in the evenings. Sometimes it is also served as an offering in traditional Christian churches and Hindu temples.


Nikujaga is a Japanese dish of stewed meat and potatoes. The name itself is actually just a combination of the Japanese word for meat “niku” and potatoes “jagaimo.”

Nikujaga was invented by chefs of the Imperial Japanese Navy. It is typically prepared by boiling the meat, potatoes, and onions until most of the liquid has been reduced. Thin-sliced beef is usually the meat used in this dish, although pork is sometimes used as well.


Navettes are orange-flavored boat-shaped cookies that originated in France. The boat shape is to commemorate Mary Magdalene and Saint Martha and their voyage to Marseilles by boat.

Orange is the flavor traditionally associated with these cookies, but they can also be flavored with cinnamon, chocolate, vanilla, and lavender.

If you’re interested in making navette cookies there is a simple recipe on Martha Stewart’s website.

Navy Beans

Navy beans are small white beans often featured in dishes like baked beans and soups. They were first domesticated in the Americas.

The name navy bean originated from the U.S. Navy, which has been serving the beans as a staple to its soldiers since the mid-1800s.

White beans in a red bowl sitting on top of baskets of vegetables
Navy beans are small in size and white in color

Did we miss any foods that start with N? Let us know in the comments. 🙂

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