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Can you think of any foods that start with the letter i? After ice cream and icing, you might run out of ideas. You might be surprised to learn that there are actually over 80 different foods beginning with i, many of which are both delicious and nutritious for you! Read on to see a complete list of all of the foods that start with i — everything from ingredients, to produce, to entrees, drinks and dessert!
Recently, to keep my kids entertained on long road trips and in the car, I’ve been playing word games with them. The one that seems to have stuck is “Foods A-Z” — where we pick a random letter of the alphabet and try to name as many foods as we can. Then, sometimes, we take it a step further to think of recipes we can use those foods in!
When it came to the letter “i”, I was pretty stumped after thinking about Indian food, ice cream, and ice. After a bit of research, I came across so many foods that start with I, I thought it would be helpful to create a guide with a list of foods beginning with i that you can use in a variety of recipes!
Let’s get started with our list of foods that start with i!
🍎 Fruits And Vegetables That Start With I
Icacos are oblong-shaped fruits that grow near the sea. They are quite similar to plums (and are also called coco plums), with thick black and red skin. This food beginning with i has a sweet taste, which makes it ideal for spreads like jam. The flavors are perfectly subtle and not overpowering at all with a beautiful balance. No part of it is wasted: You can even roast the seed and eat it.
Icaco fruit is extremely healthy while they also play a role in traditional medicine and are said to be hypoglycemic, an antioxidant, and an antifungal.
Iboga is a plant native to Central Africa that contains psychoactive compounds, including ibogaine, which has been traditionally used for spiritual purposes. The Iboga plant looks like a shrub or a small tree, with long yellow fruits shaped like chili peppers. The yellowish root or bark is what is used for its psychoactive properties. This food starting with i is illegal in many countries, and is considered a controlled substance in the US.
Icacina is a plant native to Africa, and is commonly found in Cape Verde, Angola and Congo. The fruit of the plant looks similar to a kiwi – small, oval, and with a brown/greenish skin. It’s also known as bush banana, and the root of the plant is traditionally used in African medicine to treat various ailments, including fever, diarrhea, and respiratory infections.
4. Inga Edulis
Inga edulis has a lot of names, but most commonly it is known as the ice cream bean fruit. It’s a fruit native to South America, and it’s widely grown by indigenous people in South America for food, timber, medicine, etc.
From planting to growth, Inga edulis should give fruit within three years. These fruits with the letter i have a sweet flesh with seeds surrounding it. The flesh tastes like vanilla ice cream, and the seeds when cooked taste like chickpeas.
Hailed as a superfood, this healthy food that starts with i is rich in vitamins A, C, B1, and B2 and a good source of phytonutrients, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory flavonoids.
5. Inca Berries
Inca berries (or Incaberry), sometimes known as ‘healthy sour Skittles,’ are native to Peru, South America. They grow best in high tropical areas and have a mixture of sweet and sour flavors. They are great as add-ons or just as a simple snack.
Inca berries have lots of benefits: These healthy foods that start with i are high in antioxidants, potassium, protein, and vitamin C. The fun fact about Inca berries is that they are technically not berries but more closely related to tomatoes or raspberries.
6. Iceberg Lettuce
Crisp and fresh, iceberg lettuce is a leafy green vegetable with a cabbage-like shape and has light green/white leaves. This vegetable that begins with i has an extremely high water content, making it a great choice for salads in the summertime.
Contrary to popular belief, iceberg lettuce actually contains a significant amount of vitamins and nutrients, including Vitamins C, K, A, Calcium, Folate and Potassium.
7. Ice Apple
Ice apple, also known as Nungu, is a sweet, fleshy, transparent fruit that comes from the Borassus Flabellifer tree. It is native to South Asia, commonly found in the regions of Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, and Eastern India. This fruit that begins with i looks like a mini coconut – it’s small, round and has a brown skin. The skin is cut to extract the seed – which is the edible part of the fruit. Because of its transparent nature (it looks like ice), and square/apple like shape, it got the name “ice apple”!
Ice apple is super healthy for you. It’s packed with antioxidants, fiber, and vitamins A, C, iron, potassium, and calcium.
8. Ice Plant
The ice plant, or ice vegetable, is a vegetable that comes from South Africa. It has a “frosty” look (hence the name), is super hardy, and keeps its crunchy texture, even when cooked or heated. These vegetables that start with the letter i are great for stir fries, or for dishes where you want some added greens or texture. It has a fresh, water-rich, salty, slightly lemony flavor.
Ichigo is the Japanese word for strawberry, a popular fruit worldwide that is rich in nutrients such as vitamin C, folate, potassium, and fiber. Strawberries can be eaten fresh, used in recipes, or added to desserts, and are commonly used in traditional Japanese sweets, such as strawberry mochi (strawberry daifuku).
10. Idaho Potatoes
Idaho potatoes are a type of russet potato grown in Idaho! They are super versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes like mashed potatoes, potato salads, baked potatoes, and French fries. They are a staple food and also happen to be healthy for you! These foods starting with i are packed with fiber, Vitamin C, B6, Potassium and Magnesium. Try this recipe with Idaho potatoes – they taste great in this healthy baked potato recipe!
11. Indian Almond Fruit
Indian Almond Fruit is also known as Terminalia catappa. It grows in tropical locations and is native to Asia, Australia, the Pacific and Madagascar. This fresh fruit turns red and green when they are ripe, and the seeds of the fruit have a nutty taste — similar to almonds or hazelnuts. It is rich in minerals and helps with the body’s metabolic processes. The oil from the seeds can be used for cooking or even to make soap.
12. Ilama Fruit
Ilama is a tropical fruit native to Central and South America, with a green or brownish-green outer skin that is covered in soft spikes or fuzz, and a sweet, creamy, and juicy texture on the inside. It is a good source of several vitamins and minerals, low in calories and fat, and is enjoyed fresh or used in desserts and drinks. The seeds of the fruit are also edible and can be used in recipes.
13. Illawarra Plum
The Illawarra Plum, also known as the Brown Plum, is native to Australia, and is known for its small, dark purple or black fruits. It is high in antioxidants, vitamin C, potassium, and other nutrients, and has a tart flavor that can be eaten raw or used in recipes like jams, chutneys, and desserts. Indigenous Australians have used it for thousands of years for food and to treat various ailments. Today, it is grown for its fruit and is also grown as an ornamental plant.
14. Imbe Fruit
Imbe fruit, also known as Garcinia livingstonei, is a fruit tree species native to southern Africa. The fruit is small, roughly the size of a cherry or a grape, and is orange or yellow in color when ripe. It has a slightly sweet and tangy flavor and is often used to make jams and jellies. It’s a good source of antioxidants, including several vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, potassium, and calcium.
15. Indian Squash
Super popular in South Asian cuisines, Indian Squash is also known as “Tinda”, round melon, ivy gourd, or apple gourd. It looks sort of like a green apple – both in size and in color. These vegetables that start with i have a soft texture when cooked, and a mild, slightly sweet flavor.
Indian Squash is also super healthy and packed with vitamins. It’s low in calories, high in fiber, and is rich in both Vitamin C and Iron. Add this squash to a classic stir fried Indian vegetables recipe!
Iyokan is a citrus fruit that is native to Japan. It is a type of hybrid fruit, developed by crossing pomelo with mandarin orange. The fruit is large, round, and has a yellow-orange skin that is thick and easy to peel. The flesh of the fruit is also yellow-orange in color, and has a juicy, sweet-tart flavor that is similar to that of grapefruit. Iyokan is a good source vitamin C, potassium, and dietary fiber. In addition to being eaten fresh, iyokan is also used in a variety of recipes, including salads, juices, and marmalades.
17. Ita Palm Fruit
Ita palm fruit, also known as jucara or jussara, is a small, dark purple palm fruit native to South America, particularly Brazil. It’s high in vitamins A and C, and is a good source of antioxidants and fiber as well. It’s often used in desserts and sweet dishes, such as ice cream, jams, and sorbets. The fruit is also used to make a type of wine called jussara wine.
18. Indian Mustard Plant
Indian mustard is a plant that’s part of the mustard greens family. The entire plant – including the stems, seeds, and leaves are all edible. It’s popular in Nepali and South Asian cuisine. The seeds are used for the production of whole brown mustard seeds (used in Indian cooking), and the brown mustard condiment (which has a spicier flavor than traditional yellow mustard). Indian mustard seeds are a common ingredient in dal – try it in this simple slow cooker yellow dal recipe!
19. Indian Corn
Indian corn, also known as maize, flint corn, or field corn, is a variety of corn that is native to North and Central America. These vegetables that start with an i are mainly grown for animal feed and industrial uses, such as ethanol production.
Indian corn is typically larger and harder than other varieties of corn, with kernels that are often a mixture of colors, including white, yellow, red, and blue. While it is edible, it’s also used as ornamental corn for celebrations and important rituals or ceremonies. The kernels can be used to make cornmeal, which is often used to make tortillas, tamales, and other traditional dishes in Mexican and Central American cuisine. Try these corn fries which is another fun way to use this Indian corn!
20. Indian Cucumber
Indian cucumber, also known as Medeola virginiana, is part of the lily family and is native to North America. This vegetable that starts with an i typically grows in forests and its roots are edible and have a mild cucumber like flavor.
21. Indian Fig Fruit
Indian fig fruit is another name for the prickly pear fruit, which comes from the prickly pear cactus. It is native to the Americas, but is now grown in many parts of the world. The fruit is oval-shaped and covered in small spines, with a fleshy, juicy interior that can be yellow, red, or purple in color. These foods that starts with i super healthy for you and is packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants. It’s used in a variety of dishes such as salads, smoothies and desserts. Try them in this delicious breakfast fruit salad recipe!
22. Indian Gooseberry
Indian gooseberry, also known as amla, is a fruit that comes from the Indian gooseberry tree, which is native to India and Southeast Asia. The fruit is small, round, and has a light green or yellowish-green color when ripe. It’s rich in vitamin C, antioxidants, iron, and calcium and is said to have multiple health benefits including healing digestive issues and skin conditions. It has a sour and tangy flavor, and is often used to make chutneys, pickles, and other condiments in Indian cuisine. It can also be used to flavor rice dishes and curries, and is sometimes used to make jams and other sweet dishes.
23. Indian Hog Plum
Indian hog plum, also known as Ambarella, is a fruit tree species native to India, Sri Lanka, and Malaysia. It grows on a medium-sized tree that produces oblong-shaped, yellow or greenish-yellow fruits with a hard, fibrous center. It’s a great source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, potassium and fiber. It can be eaten fresh, or added to jams, chutneys, beverages, and many other sweet and savory dishes.
24. Indian Jujube Fruit
Indian jujube fruit, also known as ber or bor, grows on a fruit tree native to South Asia. It produces small, round, green colored, sweet fruits that can be eaten fresh or dried. This fruit is a good source of vitamins such as vitamin C, potassium, iron, and antioxidants. It’s commonly used in jams, pickles and drinks.
25. Indian Mango
Indian mango is a variety of mango that is native to India and is one of the most widely cultivated mango varieties in the world. It is a large, juicy fruit with a sweet and rich flavor, and is often considered to be one of the best-tasting mango varieties. Mangoes are super healthy for you, and are high in vitamin C, A, potassium, fiber, and antioxidants. Indian mangoes are used in a variety of dishes such as smoothies, juices, salads, chutneys and desserts. Try Indian mango in this mango protein smoothie recipe!
26. Indian Peas
Indian peas are not what you’d think of as traditional peas! It’s actually a legume known as the grass pea (or Lathyrus sativus), and is cultivated in Asia. This veggie that starts with i is a hardy and drought-resistant crop that can grow in poor soil conditions.
27. Indian Prune
This variety of prune is also called Flacourtia rukam. It’s native to Southeast Asia, particularly Indonesia and Malaysia. These prunes are small, oval-shaped fruits, with a reddish-brown skin, a juicy, tart flesh, and a sweet and slightly sour taste. This food starting with the letter i a good source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, making it a healthy addition to your diet.
28. Indian Sherbet Berry
Indian Sherbet Berry, also known as Grewsia asiatica, is a small fruit tree species native to South Asia. This tree produces small, juicy berries that are about the size of a blueberry and have a tangy, acidic flavor. It’s high in antioxidants, vitamin C, and potassium, and is said to aid in digestion. It’s typically used in making drinks and other refreshing beverages, including sherbet!
29. Indian Strawberry
This strawberry doesn’t really taste like a strawberry at all. It’s known as Potentilla indica, or “mock strawberry.” While it is edible, this i name fruit is bland and dry. It’s often used for medicinal purposes and to aid in digestion.
30. Indian Wild Pear
Indian wild pear, also known as Pyrus pashia, is a species of pear tree that is native to South Asia and Southeast Asia. It produces small, round, and gritty fruits that are usually eaten raw or used in cooking. This pear is high in vitamin C, potassium, antioxidants and fiber. It’s often used to make chutneys, pickles, and other sweet and savory dishes in South Asian cuisine. Try it in this sweet pear compote recipe!
31. Indonesian Lime
The Indonesian lime, also known as citrus hystrix, wild lime, or kaffir lime, looks like a regular lime but with pebbled skin. It’s commonly used in all types of savory dishes, particularly in Southeast Asian cuisine, and is known for its acidic, tangy flavor. Try this food with the letter i in this taco stuffed peppers recipe – it tastes amazing in the sauce!
32. Irish Moss
Irish moss, also known as sea moss, is a type of seaweed that is commonly found along the Atlantic coasts of Europe and North America. It’s typically harvested for its thick, gelatinous substance, which is used as a thickener or emulsifier in a variety of food and cosmetic products. This healthy food starting with i is high in iodine, iron, magnesium and antioxidants too.
33. Italian Parsley
Italian parsley, also known as flat-leaf parsley, is an herb that’s commonly used in all types of savory dishes. This vegetable beginning with i is native to the Mediterranean region and is now cultivated in many parts of the world. It has a slightly bitter, peppery, earthy, citrusy, fresh taste, and is less sweet than curly parsley. This type of parsley has flat, dark green leaves, and is often used as a garnish or a flavoring agent in soups, stews, sauces, salads and more. Try it as a garnish in this garbanzo bean soup!
34. Italian Red Onion
Italian red onion, also known as Tropea onion, is a type of sweet red onion that is native to the Calabria region of Southern Italy. It’s named after the town of Tropea, where it is widely cultivated and highly valued for its sweet flavor and delicate texture. This veg starting with i has a deep-red skin, white flesh, and a sweet, mild flavor. It’s often used raw in salads and sandwiches, and in cooked dishes, such as soups, stews, and sauces. It also tastes delicious caramelized – like in this veggie panini recipe below!
35. Italian Sweet Peppers
Italian sweet peppers come in a variety of colors – green, yellow, red, and are a variety of long sweet peppers that are native to Italy. This food that starts with i is also known as friggitello and pepperoncini, and is used in sandwiches, salads, or in cooked dishes – either sauteed or pickled.
36. Italian Plum
The Italian plum, also known as a prune or prunus cocomilia, has an oval or oblong shape, with a smooth and firm skin that can range in color from dark blue to purple. Italian plums are known for their sweet, juicy flesh and rich flavor, which is often described as slightly tart or tangy. They are high in vitamin C, fiber and antioxidants, and are often used in baked goods, such as tarts and pies, as well as jams, jellies, and other preserves. They can also be used in savory dishes, such as roasted meats and stews, where they add a sweet and tangy flavor.
🥨 Snacks, Condiments, And Spices That Start With An I
37. Instant Noodles Or Instant Ramen
Let’s start the list with a classic: instant noodles. This dish has crossed every border and is popular in many different countries all over the world. Originally from Japan, this handy food comes in every flavor imaginable.
These are dried blocks of pre-cooked noodles that come with flavoring/seasoning powder. The nutrition facts vary between different brands and flavorings, but most commonly, they are high in carbohydrates, fats, and sodium; but low on fiber, protein, and calories.
Once in a while, these dishes that start with i are fine to have, but if consumed every day, they might have an adverse effect on your health.
One benefit to instant noodles is how versatile they are. You can make a fancy dish with it by adding pan-fried meats and/or vegetables or have it the good old-fashioned way with lots of broth.
However you like it, instant noodles are a hit among everyone, from children to adults alike. And the best part—apart from the taste—is that anyone can cook it in a few minutes!
38. Instant Oatmeal
Oats are one of the oldest grains – there are accounts of it as long ago as 7,000 BC, and the ancient Greeks are credited for coming up with the first ‘porridge.’
Instant oatmeal was invented by Henry Parsons Crowell, founder of the Quaker Oats Company. While instant oatmeal is in the same family as rolled oats or steel cut oats, it tends to have a more bland taste and more mushy texture than other oatmeal varieties. This can be pretty unappetizing, but there are several ways to enhance the taste. You can add salt, spices, various fruits, nuts, nut butters, seeds or a touch of honey to make this easy breakfast food much more interesting.
This breakfast that starts with i is considered to have the same nutritional value as regular or quick-cooking oatmeal. But there is a difference, and it lies in the glycemic index. It is a high glycemic food (which means that it is digested very quickly), so it can cause your blood glucose level to rise and won’t keep you full as long as rolled oats or steel cut oats. Try all of these healthy oatmeal recipes, including our favorite – bananas and cream oatmeal!
39. Indian Potato Cake
In India, this is more commonly known as aloo tikki. Aloo means potato, and tikki means a small cutlet. These snacks that start with i originated from South Asia, the region consisting of North India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. They are usually made from boiled potato and peas marinated in various spices and served hot with a side of chutney to add a distinct flavor.
The chutneys can be of many flavors, the most popular being tamarind, coriander-mint, saunth, and coconut chutney. There are many variations of aloo tikki, and the chutneys can give you a hint of which region the flavor comes from.
Keep in mind, potatoes are high in simple carbs and can lead to weight gain when eaten in large amounts. They should also be avoided by people with diabetes, obesity, and heart problems.
40. Italian Rice Balls
Another classic dish, Italian fried rice balls are deliciously crispy and a great snack for any time. When you say Italian rice balls, it is usually presumed you are talking about Arancini. Arancini hails from Sicily, but there are other Italian rice balls called suppli from Rome and Lazio.
These foods that start with i are made up of meat sauce, peas, and soft mozzarella cheese fillings with a coating of crunchy breadcrumbs. Arancini means ‘little oranges,’ and they are aptly named for how they look.
Italian rice balls are rich in protein, but are typically deep fried so are best eaten in moderation. If not, it might lead to increased blood pressure and cholesterol.
41. Icelandic Skyr
Is Skyr the same as Greek yogurt? Not exactly. They’re similar in that they are both yogurt, but have a few key differences:
First, they are both cultured dairy products, but the cultures are what sets them apart. Skyr has a rich, creamy flavor, while Greek yogurt has a more sour taste. This food that begins with i is also more dense and thick, and it contains more protein and less sugar.
Skyr is the national food of Iceland, and it has been around for a thousand years. It is delicious, low in lactose, gluten-free, a super healthy snack, and usually free of artificial sweeteners. It also contains rare Nordic berries like bilberry, cloudberry, and lingonberry, which add to the flavor and make it even more delicious! Try it in this peanut butter yogurt bowl recipe!
🍲 Foods That Start With I: Side Dishes
42. Irish Potato And Leek Soup
Potatoes and Ireland go hand in hand. There are many delicious Irish recipes for potatoes, and they are super easy to make.
Irish potato leek soup is creamy in texture, is ready in 30 minutes, and uses only six ingredients. Yes, you read that right, just six! All you need are lots of butter, large leeks, russet or Idaho potatoes, vegetable broth, and salt and black pepper for seasoning.
While this food that starts with an i is high in fat due to the butter, you can lighten it up by using less butter or replacing it with olive oil. Additionally, leeks decrease total cholesterol and triglyceride levels and potatoes are a good source of fiber, potassium, and vitamin C.
Usually prepared for St. Patrick’s Day, you can best enjoy this soup during cool weather. Try this easy 4 ingredient potato soup for a twist on the traditional recipe!
43. Italian Wedding Soup
If you frequent Italian restaurants, you might be familiar with the dish called ‘wedding soup.’ ‘Minestra maritata’ comes from Italy and means ‘married soup.’
Native to families of Lazio and Campania, the ‘marriage’ of meat and vegetable in the soup is the reason behind the name.
Some common vegetables used to cook this soup are endive, escarole/cabbage, lettuce, kale, and sometimes spinach. The meat is usually in a sausage form or a meatball laced with parsley and Parmesan cheese. It has a beautiful clear broth, and sometimes pasta is added to it.
A cup of simple Italian wedding soup contains 190 calories and is typically high in fiber, protein and nutrients thanks to all the veggies! It’s a great option for a healthy side dish or a light dinner.
44. Italian Flag Salad
Commonly known as Caprese salad, this salad originated from the island of Capri, and it is said to have been created as an homage to the Italian flag just like pizza Margherita—hence the name Italian flag salad.
Originally, it was only prepared to appease the appetite of royalty and political figures who came on vacation to Capri. Slowly, the salad gained popularity because of how easy it is to make and its health benefits.
You will need some ripe Roma tomatoes, fresh mozzarella balls, pesto sauce, olive oil, sea salt, and black ground pepper for seasoning. Perfect for lunch or a side dish for dinner, this salad is low in calories, high in protein, and high in antioxidants.
45. Indonesian Satay
People usually assume satay is from Malaysia or Thailand, but it actually originated in Indonesia. You’ll probably find this food with i at many East Asian restaurants in the US – as it has become pretty popular globally, over time.
Satay is usually described as chicken-on-a-stick served with thick, chunky peanut sauce. What sets Indonesian satay apart is the sauce, which is the hero of the dish. The peanut sauce is made from peanuts or peanut butter, kecap manis (which is a sweet soy sauce) chilies, lime, and shallots. They are ground together in a thick paste (it’s a no-cook sauce!)
Satay is high in protein as it is mainly meat (or for a vegetarian version, tempeh or tofu can be used). I recommend using the peanut sauce in moderation as it tends to be higher in calories and fat!
46. Indian Spiced Peas
Who knew you could make a scrumptious side dish out of plain old peas? As with many Indian foods, simple peas are taken to the next level by adding spices, herbs, and healthy ingredients. This healthy food beginning with i is a super tasty side dish for any dinner spread.
To make Indian spiced peas, sauté onions, peppers (red and green), and garlic. Stir till it softens. Add curry spice or any masala you like to bring out the flavor. Wait one minute and add water. Keep stirring the whole time and mix everything well. Lastly, put the peas in and simmer till it’s reduced. And there you have it—an easy, healthy vegetable dish that’s a true crowd pleaser!
47. Irish Colcannon
Another St. Patrick’s Day favorite, colcannon is an Irish potato recipe—a mixture of potatoes and cabbage or kale. This food that starts with the letter i is similar to American mashed potatoes.
The recipe includes potatoes, cabbage and/or kale leaves, scallions, unsalted butter, and salt and pepper to taste.
Irish Colcannon can be healthy depending on how it’s made: recipes that are more cabbage forward and have less butter/potatoes can be quite nutritious and ok to eat on a regular basis. But if it’s much more potatoes + butter than cabbage, then you want to make sure to only eat it in moderation!
48. Indian Chutney
Indian chutney is a condiment that originated from India. This snack that starts with i can be spicy, savory, or sweet, depending on what you’re serving it with. Chutneys can be made from fruits, vegetables, and/or herbs. They are gluten-free and used to prove a balance to dishes or highlight a specific taste.
Chutneys are a tasty, healthy, low calorie condiment option. They can reduce inflammation and aid in digestion.
49. Irish Soda Bread
Traditional Irish soda bread is a quick bread that is prepared without using yeast. The leavening entirely comes from baking soda and buttermilk. It is incredibly soft yet dense and has a cracked, crusty exterior.
In the US, Irish soda bread is generally a sweet white bread made with eggs and butter. It is speckled with raisins and caraway seeds. It is low in saturated fat, low in cholesterol, and sugar-free. When made with whole wheat flour instead of white flour, it’s a good whole grain bread option that’s high in fiber.
50. Icelandic Rye Bread
Icelandic rye bread, also known as rúgbrauð, is a traditional bread from Iceland made from rye flour, sugar, baking powder, and often molasses. It’s a dark, dense bread with a sweet, earthy flavor.
Icelandic rye bread is often baked in a pot, known as a pottur, which is placed in a hot spring or buried in the ground and left to cook slowly for several hours. The slow cooking process gives the bread its distinctive flavor and dense texture.
In Icelandic cuisine, rye bread is often served with butter, smoked salmon, or pickled herring, and is a staple in many traditional dishes. It is also a popular snack or breakfast food, often toasted and topped with jam or cheese.
🌿 Vegetarian Dishes That Start With The Letter I
51. Indonesian Fried Rice
Indonesian fried rice or nasi goreng is packed with flavor and is easily distinguished from other fried rice dishes. Fried rice can be found in most Asian countries, but the thing that distinguishes Nasi goreng is the sauce: a sweet soy sauce with kecap manis that stains the rice a dark brown color and caramelizes it when cooked.
To make sure your fried rice is healthy, you can use brown rice instead of white and use a minimal amount of oil. Try this delicious healthier vegan tofu fried rice, which is a twist on the Indonesian version!
52. Indonesian Fried Noodles
Another mouth-watering dish from Indonesia, this list would be incomplete without mentioning Indonesian authentic noodles. Locally called mie goreng, they are incredibly flavorful and have several varieties.
The classic dish consists of some sort of protein (usually chicken, but you can use tofu for a vegetarian option) with shallots, leek, garlic, egg, vegetables, and sweet soy sauce. If you add fried chicken with sambal in it, then the dish is called mie goreng ayam penyet. Or if you add beef instead of chicken, the name is changed to mie goreng sapi.
While these foods that begin with i are super tasty, they are to be eaten in moderation as they are high in refined grains, calories, saturated fats and sodium. So they’re more of a once-in-a-while indulgence than a regular meal! For a healthier noodles recipe, try these teriyaki noodles!
53. Indian Curry
The land of spices, India is a treasure trove for food lovers. The word curry comes from ‘kari,’ a Tamil word meaning sauce or soup to be eaten with rice. But these healthy foods beginning with i are not just limited to rice. It can be enjoyed with every kind of naan or flatbread, chapati or paratha, or just with a side of salad and chutney.
A curry sauce usually contains a base of these three spices—turmeric, cumin, and red chilies. To save time, you can always buy a pre-made high quality curry powder — keep in mind that every curry powder has a unique taste and smell, so be sure to taste it before adding it to your recipes. Some popular curry powder add-ons are garam masala, amchoor, fenugreek, tamarind, and coconut milk/cream. Each spice contains a different health benefit, making curries an amazing food for the body. Try these Indian curry recipes, or this butternut squash and chickpea curry!
Idli is a one of those classic recipes that start with i, and is a traditional South Indian dish, whose origins are technically unknown. Food historians believe it might have its roots in Indonesia, while most Indian people attribute its origins to Tamil Nadu or Karnataka.
It’s a type of savory rice cake, mostly popular as a breakfast meal. The cakes are usually made by steaming a batter of fermented black lentils (urad dal) and rice. It’s soft and fluffy in texture and is full of nutrients. There are more variations of idlis served in South India and Sri Lanka.
A culinary specialty of the south part of India and Sri Lanka, you must taste these dishes beginning with i least once in your life. Also known as string hoppers, these are rice flour noodles that you eat by dipping into a curry.
Idiyappam is generally served with a variety of side dishes like chicken curry or stew, vegetable korma, and/or egg. You can also serve it as dessert—just add a glob of ghee, shredded coconut, and sugar or sweetened coconut milk to make it sweet.
Since it’s made with white rice, it’s not the healthiest food to eat frequently, but is fine as a once-in-a-while treat!
56. Israeli Falafel
Falafel is traditionally a Middle Eastern dish and is considered the national dish of Israel (as well as Egypt and Palestine).
Falafel is low on the glycemic index scale and has a relatively low cholesterol level. It is also high in protein, complex, and fiber, making it a deliciously healthy choice (even more so when it’s baked instead of fried!).
If you are a fan of chickpea or fava beans, this dish is for you. Traditionally served in a pita or flatbread, falafels are deep-fried balls or fritters made from chickpeas or fava beans, or both. The balls are topped with hot sauce, salad, or pickled vegetables. Try this delicious falafel wrap recipe for a fun way to use falafel!
🍖 Meat Dishes That Start With An I
57. Iraqi White Bean Stew
Locally known as fasolia yabsa, it literally translates to ‘dry beans.’ This is one of the most popular meals that start with i in Iraq, and is an everyday comfort dish. Full of nutrition and flavor, it is surprisingly easy to make. The ingredients include tender lamb or veal, cannellini beans, and tomato sauce. Usually served with rice, you can’t go wrong with this beloved Middle Eastern food. For a vegetarian twist on this classic recipe, try this vegetarian white bean and kale soup!
58. Icelandic Salmon Grill
Icelandic salmon is famous for its taste and texture. It has a mild and light flavor that melts in your mouth and a beautiful firm and fatty texture. Well-known for being farmed sustainably, the fish are raised in ice-cold currents which give them their distinct flavor.
These meats that start with i are a great source of B vitamins (including Vitamin B6), potassium, selenium, healthy Omega 3 fats, and protein.
You don’t need many ingredients to grill this delectable fish. In fact, the fewer the better. The goal is not to let the ingredients overpower the natural taste of the fish. The basic ingredients you will need are sliced onions, olive oil, salt and pepper, and of course the hero of the dish—the salmon.
59. Indonesian Ginger Chicken
Indonesian Chicken is a very easy and healthy recipe with a simple marinade.
The chicken is moist and flavorful, described as slightly spicy with a hint of sweet and pungent essence. The marinade is made with freshly grated ginger and minced garlic. To make these dinner foods that start with i: mix the ginger and garlic with honey and soy sauce and pour it over the chicken. Cover with foil and leave it overnight. Bake once with the foil on and then without it. And there you have it, a simple yet delicious chicken dish.
60. Italian Sausage Bread
In Sicily, this bread is called bignolata, but there are versions of this dish all around the world.
You can either prepare it from scratch or buy it from a local deli. If you wish to bake it yourself, you will need sweet Italian sausage/link, salt and pepper for seasoning, garlic, salted butter, dried parsley, onions, mozzarella cheese, pizza dough, egg white, and marinara sauce for dipping.
Sausages are not the healthiest meat out there, and a slice of sausage bread might contain around 100 calories. Moderation is important here!
61. Italian Meatballs
Another yummy dish from Italy, these meatballs are also known as polpettes, and they are very different from American meatballs.
They are eaten as a meal itself or in soup and can be made with any kind of meat, from fish to turkey.
This meat that starts with i is a complete meal in themselves and is very high in protein.
62. Irish Stew
Irish stew is a dish born out of necessity, as it is a budget-friendly option that was developed during Ireland’s economic crisis during the 19th century.
Traditional Irish stew only has a few ingredients: potatoes, onions, and mutton. Sometimes, root vegetables like carrots and turnips are also added. The ingredients are boiled and simmered for up to two hours to give a pure flavor to the dish. Stews can be a healthy, filling option, especially when they are balanced with protein and veggies to keep you satsfied.
Now considered comfort food, Irish stew had a humble beginning but now remains a loved dish in Ireland.
63. Isi Ewu
Isi Ewu, also known as goat head soup, is a traditional Nigerian dish made from the head of a goat, typically including the brain, tongue, and cheeks. The goat head is thoroughly cleaned, seasoned, and boiled until tender. These meals beginning with i are then typically served with a spicy pepper sauce and eaten with a side of fufu, a starchy dough made from cassava, plantains, or yams.
🍰 Desserts That Start With An I
64. Ice Cream
You can’t think about foods that start with i without mentioning ice cream! Usually made from milk, cream, and sugar, this is a classic dessert with a rich flavor that everyone loves. On hot summer days, ice cream is pretty irresistible! As with all desserts, you can have too much of a good thing, but an ice cream treat is great once in a while!
Ice cream became popular during the 1930s in America. Interestingly, the first ice cream was invented in China in about 200 BC, made from snow. This simple yet delicious food has survived the test of time and is more popular than ever now! For a slightly healthier version, try this chocolate banana ice cream recipe!
65. Ice Cream Cake
Another one of the most popular i foods, this ice cream-based classic dish is always a hit at any party, especially birthday parties for kids. It may be best during summertime, but an ice cream cake is great in any season—yes, they are that delicious! Just like ice cream, they come in many different flavors, with different options for both the cake and ice cream flavors!
Even though they used to be a luxurious dessert for wealthy people back in the day, now they can be found in any supermarket and ice cream retailer. The first method of making ice cream cakes was thought to be from the 1600s, and a lot of people still follow that same recipe: Line the pan with crushed cookies and then fill the remaining part with ice cream. It’s that easy!
66. Instant Pudding
If you are looking for a sweet treat that you can have almost instantly at any time of the day without much effort, instant pudding is your answer.
Instant pudding is a powder that you mix with milk or other ingredients. It contains sugar, flavoring agents, and thickeners. Try to find one that doesn’t have any ingredients you can’t pronounce for a more natural option. It’s good enough to meet your sweet craving, and kids tend to love it too! Try this vegan vanilla pudding for a plant based twist on instant pudding!
67. Ice Pops
Otherwise known as popsicles, ice pops are a frozen dessert equally loved by kids and adults, and come in almost every variety and flavor you can think of!
Ice pops have a humble beginning. The technique was accidentally discovered by 11-year-old Frank Epperson in 1905. He named them ‘Epperson icicles’ and started to make and sell them around his neighborhood. He eventually renamed them to ‘Epsicles.’ Epperson patented his ice pops at thirty years of age.
While there are no records of the first flavors Epperson made, now you can get ice pops in cherry, root beer, lemon, banana, orange, grape, and dozens of other flavors! Ice pops are essentially sugar, water and flavoring. You can make them much healthier by using pureed fruit and freezing it in popsicle molds – which is a great way for kids to get extra fruit while feeling like they are eating dessert! Try these lemon popsicles for a refreshing treat!
68. Icelandic Cocoa Soup
Chocolate soup? Yes, you read that right! There are quite a few countries that have their version of chocolate soups, namely Italy and Mexico. But the Italian and the Mexican version might be a bit adventurous for a lot of us. Italy is famous for mixing it with pig’s blood, and Mexico caters to spice-loving foodies by putting chilies in theirs.
The Icelandic version of the chocolate soup is well-loved and a well-rounded recipe for anyone and everyone. This food that begins with the letter i consists of potato starch and cocoa (preferably dark chocolate) topped up with some cinnamon or vanilla. It’s a hearty and comforting treat to warm you up in cold weather.
69. Italian Ice
Italian Ice is the best substitution for ice cream if you are not a fan of dairy products or are vegan/dairy-free.
Most similar to a sorbet or a snow cone, it can be frozen or semi-frozen and is usually sweetened with fruits or other natural/artificial flavorings like juice, concentrates, or purees. It doesn’t contain any dairy or egg ingredients; therefore, it is a great option for vegetarians and vegans alike.
It’s also lower in calories and sugar than ice cream, so it can be a healthier option for a summer treat!
70. Italian Kisses
Italian kisses are insanely popular small treats. It’s super easy to make Italian kisses at home.
Scoop some ice cream – vanilla or mint flavors are preferred – into balls and put them in the freezer. As soon as they are frozen hard, take them out and dip them in melted chocolate. You can sprinkle some crushed nuts or coconuts on them and put them back in the freezer until the coating hardens. When you are satisfied with the consistency, it’s ready to be served!
Make sure you serve these dishes starting with i straight out of the freezer before the ice cream or the chocolate melts. A great dessert to satisfy even the sweetest tooth!
71. Irish Potato Candy
The name Irish potato candy is deceiving. It is neither Irish nor is it typically made from potato. It is a unique Philadelphian treat, and you can find it in almost every candy shop there.
The size of a baby fist, these foods that start with an i are designed to look like small potatoes with a white center and a brown exterior. The white center is made from coconut-flavored fillings and they are rolled in cinnamon. Just like any other candies, make sure you don’t overindulge.
Imarti is another sweet from India, and is also known as Jalebi. It’s said to have originated from the Mughal kitchens in Fatehpur Sikri, but it more likely has Persian roots. It was considered a royal confectionery and was only served in the courts of the Mughals and the Rajputs.
These foods with the letter i look like a circular pretzel and are orange-red. Its texture is sugary and chewy. Imarti is essentially a fermented dough that’s poured into hot oil in a spiral shape and fried (similar to a funnel cake), and then immersed in sugar syrup. Imarti dough is made from all purpose flour, corn flour and besan (a dal flour); yogurt, turmeric, baking powder, ghee, and lemon juice. The sugar syrup is made from sugar, water, rose essence, cardamom, and saffron.
Locally known as ‘hadgi badah,’ the smell and the taste of this cookie are very unique to Iraq. It’s not something you can find in supermarkets; Iraqi cardamom cookies are usually made at home, and the recipes are handed down from generation to generation.
Cardamom cookies are a type of shortbread that’s tan in color and have a slightly nutty flavor. These foods with i have a soft, melt-in-your-mouth texture, and the taste is more interesting than typical shortbreads thanks to the cardamom! There are many recipes online if you wish to bake them at home.
Icing is a sweet, creamy mixture used to decorate cakes, cupcakes, cookies, and other baked goods. It’s typically made from powdered sugar, butter or margarine, and a liquid such as milk or water. The ingredients are blended together until smooth, and flavorings such as vanilla extract or food coloring can be added to achieve the desired taste and appearance.
Icing can come in a variety of textures, including thin and runny, thick and fluffy, or smooth and creamy. This food beginning with the letter i can also be used for a variety of purposes, such as to frost and decorate cakes, to fill pastries, or to add a sweet glaze to cookies or other baked goods. Try these vegan carrot cake cupcakes that have a vegan cream cheese icing!
75. Iced Gems
Iced Gems are a type of small, colorful biscuits or cookies that are popular in the UK. They are typically made from a sweet, buttery dough that is formed into small, round shapes and baked until golden brown. The biscuits are then topped with a small amount of icing, often in different colors, and decorated with sprinkles or other small candies.
🍹Beverages That Start With An I
76. Ice Cream Soda
The versatility of ice cream doesn’t stop just with cones and sundaes. You can create an amazing array of tasty treats with it. One of the most refreshing drinks of summer is ice cream soda. How do you make it? A cool glass of soda topped with a scoop of ice cream, easy-peasy! If you want to make it a bit more special, pour in your favorite syrup to get an extra punch of flavor. Just like ice cream cones, this drink that starts with i is not very healthy, so make sure you don’t drink it often.
To think we would have missed out on this frothy drink if Robert Green hadn’t run out of ice while selling sodas in Philadelphia’s 150th-anniversary celebration in 1874. To keep the soda cold, he put ice cream on top of it, and voilà! An instant hit!
77. Iced Tea
Nothing says summer quite like a nice, tall glass of iced tea. The first reference of iced tea can be found in Marguerite Countess of Blessington’s account of her travel in Naples in 1823, and the oldest printed recipe of iced tea can be found in a cookbook from 1871.
Just like every other novel drink, this too started as something only the rich would have access to, but slowly it reached the masses, because of a man named Richard Blechynden – who had the idea to market iced tea instead of hot tea in the summer.
These drinks beginning with i, when made without sugar, are extremely healthy for you as they are packed with antioxidants and are a low-calorie summer drink. (Learn more: How To Make Tea).
78. Iced Coffee
If you are not a fan of iced tea, iced coffee might be the perfect summer drink for you. You can use instant coffee or French pressed brewed coffee to make iced coffee—there’s no one right way to do it. Brewed coffee usually offers a stronger and better flavor than instant coffee, as instant coffee can have more of a bitter taste. Add ice, cold milk, and sugar (if you desire), and that’s it, you are done! And the best part is iced coffee is healthier than hot coffee as it is a whopping 67 percent less acidic.
Additionally, cold-brewed coffee (when made without added sugar) might lower the risk of heart diseases and type 2 diabetes.
79. Irish Coffee
When iced tea was first invented, it was usually mixed with alcohol. The popularity of boozy iced tea lasted for quite some time, but that shifted around 1904 when the nonalcoholic version of the beverage gained more popularity as it reached more consumers.
Unlike iced tea, there is one drink that has kept its original, tried, and true recipe: Irish coffee.
All you need to make a fantastic mug of Irish coffee is some black coffee, whipped cream, sugar (optional), and of course the star ingredient: Irish whiskey!
80. Indian Chai-Spiced Hot Chocolate
This is a simple hot chocolate recipe spiced deliciously to create a ‘chai’ like flavor.
You will need quite a few ingredients, but don’t let that scare you because trust me, it’s totally worth it! Take fennel seeds, cardamom seeds, peppercorns, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg powder and crush them into a fine powder.
Heat some milk on the stove and add the spice mixture and a few drops of vanilla extract. The last step is to add dark chocolate powder and honey (optional). Stir well and serve hot with a bit of sprinkled chocolate on top. Try this healthy hot chocolate with cinnamon for a twist on the Indian version of hot chocolate!
Inebriants are anything that can make you intoxicated, such as homebrew, kava, aperitif, sake vino, sherry, hard cider, perry, and a whole array of beverages or cooking ingredients for preparing meals. These foods that start with i are also used to give a different dimension of taste to certain desserts. Irish cream liqueur is a popular inebriant that also happens to be one of the more popular foods that start with I!
As with any alcoholic drink, make sure you drink in moderation / once in a while!
82. Icelandic Hot Shot
There are a lot of hotshot recipes out there, but no one can do it like Iceland. The Icelandic hotshot is a bit different and tastes better than other variations because of how smooth it feels.
This drink starting with the letter i is very easy to make at home: all you need is one ounce of Galliano, one ounce of espresso coffee, and a dash of whipped cream.
Pour the liquor in a glass. Pour the espresso on top of the Galliano and let it sit for a bit. One dollop of whipped cream on top and it’s ready! The only way to drink it is to do it in one shot!
83. Instant Coffee
Instant coffee is a type of coffee that’s made from coffee beans that have been roasted, ground, and brewed into a concentrate, which is then dehydrated into a powder or granules. To make a cup of instant coffee, all you have to do is add hot water or hot milk to the granules and stir until it dissolves. Unlike traditional brewed coffee, instant coffee does not require any special equipment or brewing methods, making it a convenient and easy option for those on-the-go or without access to brewing equipment. You can use instant coffee in any coffee recipe or latte – try it in this mocha latte recipe!
84. Irish Cream
Irish cream is an alcoholic beverage that is made from a blend of Irish whiskey, cream, and other flavorings, such as chocolate or vanilla. It’s known for its smooth, creamy texture, as well as its rich, sweet flavor. Irish cream is typically served as a liqueur, and is often used as a cocktail ingredient or a dessert topping. It can be enjoyed on its own over ice, or mixed with coffee or other spirits to create a variety of cocktails.
85. Irish Whiskey
Irish whiskey is a type of whiskey that is actually made in Ireland from a mash of malted barley, water, and other grains, such as wheat or rye. The whiskey is distilled three times, which gives it a smooth and distinct flavor, and is then aged in wooden casks, typically made from oak.
Irish whiskey is known for its smoothness and complexity, with a mellow and balanced flavor that is often described as fruity, floral, and spicy. It is also typically less smoky and peaty than Scotch whisky, which is made in Scotland using a different distillation process.
✔️ More Delicious Food Guides!
I hope this list helped you to expand your palate and discover new foods that start with i! Looking for more eating guides? Check out these guides!
- Foods That Start With D
- Foods That Start With U
- Foods That Start With Y
- Foods That Start With W
- Fruits That Start With O
- Fruits That Start With Z
- Foods That Start With J
- Foods That Start With F
- Foods That Start With C
- Foods That Start With A
- Foods That Start With B
For more healthy and easy recipes, check out these posts:
- 15 Pantry Meals You Can Make in 30 Minutes
- 55 Healthy Vegetarian Recipes
- 21 Delicious Vegan Lunch Ideas
💭 Final Thoughts
This list of foods starting with the letter i have taken us around the world from instant noodles to Idaho potatoes to Irish cream to idli! I hope this list has given you inspiration for new foods and recipes to try!
Love this Eating guide? Please leave a 5-star rating 🌟 in the recipe below and/or a review in the comments section further down the page!
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That’s a long list. Thanks for organizing it. I’m going to try some of them.
Thanks Jeff! Enjoy!
I can’t wait to try some of these foods. Some are my favorites and others I’m so excited to try!
Yay! Glad you found some new foods to try from this post!
I never realised there were so many different foods beginning with the letter I! It was fun to read through all of them and find out more about the different foods.
I know right? Thanks Bintu – glad you found it helpful!
What a fun post! I learned so much reading through all the different foods that start with I. Some favorites, plus some that were new to me as well!
Thanks so much Tara! Glad you found it helpful!
So many foods start with an I, and that ice cream looks great!
Thanks Biana!! 🙂