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Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Anjali Shah

Foods That Start With N: 41 New Foods to Try

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As a part of my eating guides series, I’m sharing foods that begin with each letter of the alphabet to help you and your family explore new foods at home. We’ll look at foods spanning different groups and dishes across cuisines that will hopefully give you some inspiration for your meals. So, let’s look at a list of foods that start with N! 

Nectarines cut in half in bowl (foods that start with n)

Here in this post, I’ll be sharing with you 41 foods that start with the letter N including a range of popular foods such as fresh fruits and fruit juices, snacks, and beverages, as well as some unusual foods that will entice you to try something new!

🍎 Fruits That Start With N

1. Nectarine

Nectarines are one of the most delicious fruits that start with n! The smooth version of a peach, they have a sweet flavor and are super juicy, and can be enjoyed fresh or cooked. Nectarine fruit is also a great source of vitamin A which supports the function of the immune system. 

For fussier kids who don’t like the texture of peaches, nectarines make an awesome alternative for lunch boxes and snacks!

2. Naranjilla 

Naranjillas are a fresh fruit native to South America. Its name literally translates to “little orange”, but don’t be fooled. Naranjillas are more similar to tomatoes than they are to other citrus fruits, but are said to taste like a mix between lemons and pineapples. 

To enjoy this exotic fruit, you can squeeze the juice out or slice the skin off and eat the flesh. It’s one of many foods that start with N that’s a must try!

3. Nashi Pear

The Asian pear, Nashi is native to East Asia. They’re kind of like an “apple pear” – as they’re shaped more like an apple, but they have the signature mild sweetness of pears. You can enjoy these as a snack or use them in dessert dishes such as pies.

Nashi pears in basket.

4. Netted Melon

Netted melons, also known as nutmeg melon, are the formal name for most types of melons that you find in grocery stores. The “netted” part refers to the outside of the rind of the melon that resembles a net. These refreshing and healthy fruits contain high amounts of water and provide iron and calcium. This green cantaloupe has a nutmeg shape. It’s fruit is sweet with a hint of nutmeg flavor. It is grown in the United States.

5. Navel Oranges

An excellent source of vitamin C, the navel orange grows two fruits. The second fruit does not fully develop, and looks like a navel, or belly button, giving this fruit it’s name. Navels are part of the citrus fruit family. They’re seedless, peel easily, and are thought to be one of the world’s best-tasting oranges.

6. Natal Plum

While the stems and leaves of the natal plum bush are toxic, and poisonous, the fruit is edible and delicious. They have a bright red skin and flesh. When cut they exude a milky sap. They are native to South Africa. They are commonly used to make jams and spreads.

7. Nasturtium

Nasturtium (also known as Tropaeolum) refers to a species of edible flowering plants, known for their bright yellow, red, pink, and orange flowers. Both the leaves and flowers are edible, and have a mild peppery flavor similar to watercress.

blooming yellow and orange nasturtium in garden - foods that start with n

8. Naartjie Fruit

This citrus fruit is typically found in South African and Asian countries, but can be found in the US as well. It has a sweet mild taste, similar to a Clementine orange.

9. Nance Fruit

Nance fruit is another n food that you might not have heard of, but it is very popular in South America. This fruit comes from the Nance fruit tree, and has a white flesh with a sweet and acidic flavor. It looks like a cherry but doesn’t taste like it at all! It can be used in desserts or eaten fresh.

🥬 Vegetables That Start With N

10. Neem Roots

The shoots and flowers of the Neem tree, found in India or Iran, is served as the main ingredient in soups.

11. New Zealand Spinach

Grown in New Zealand, but also found in Asia. It tastes similar to regular spinach when it’s harvested young. However, if harvested later, it becomes bitter in flavor.

12. Neep

Neep is just another name for turnip or rutabaga – and come in many varieties. They can be small with a white flesh, or a larger vegetable with a purplish green outside and orange inside. They are earthy and mild when cooked and have a texture similar to carrots.

13. Napa Cabbage

Napa cabbage is a type of cabbage that originates from China, so don’t be surprised if you’ve seen it labelled as Chinese cabbage in grocery stores! It’s a staple ingredient in Korean kimchi, but can be used for many different types of dishes.

This leaf is great tossed in a stir fry, used in dumplings or even in your salad – there are so many ways to use this versatile vegetable.

Napa cabbage gathered together.

14. Nopal

The Spanish word for Prickly Pear, Nopal is a type of cactus. It is used as a Mexican dish. Often served as a side. The spines are removed, and they are enjoyed like a vegetable. They have a moist, crunchy texture, and a tart citrus flavor.

15. Nettles

Nettles, or stinging nettles, are used in a variety of foods such as teas, stir fries, soups, salads, etc. Nettles are never served raw – as they have tiny thorns that can sting you and cause irritation if eaten raw. But when cooked it is perfectly safe to eat and has multiple health benefits including antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties, vitamins and minerals!

🍞 Grains And Beans

16. Naan Bread

Naan bread is an Indian flat bread, made of an unleavened dough, that is traditionally served as a side dish to curries and sabjis. This type of bread is commonly served with foods from Northern India. They’re typically cooked in a tandoor, which is a type of clay oven, however you can make them on regular pans too. See how I use naan in my favorite Indian dinner recipes!

Naan bread stacked on flat basket.

17. Noodles

Noodles are some of the most versatile sources of carbohydrates that you can find, and they can be used in a wide variety of dishes too. Here are a few varieties of noodles that you might find:

  • Pasta Noodles
  • Udon Noodles
  • Rice Noodles
  • Wheat Noodles
  • Soba Noodles
  • Egg Noodles

I prefer to stick to wholewheat or buckwheat noodles as they’re healthier but they still taste great! I use them in many of my recipes, including this Tofu Broccoli Stir Fry. Noodles are great for a quick dinner for busy parents and they’re popular with kids too.

18. Navy Beans

Navy beans are one of the types of white beans that are small and cook quickly. They’re named navy beans as they were popular with the US Navy in the early 1900’s. You can find them as a dry white bean – usually in the bulk section of the grocery store – or canned and ready to eat. Opt for these little beans for a great source of fiber and protein!

🍽️ Snacks and Spreads

19. Nutella

Nutella is a hazelnut cocoa spread that is found in most households and is a popular “n food”. However, it’s notorious for being high in processed ingredients and sugar. But, there is a way to enjoy this sweet spread guilt-free – and that’s by making it yourself! My easy and healthy Nutella recipe is quick to make and dairy-free too. Create sweet dishes with a bit of nutella spread!

20. Nuts

These are one of my favorite healthy snacks to eat in moderation. Nuts are highly nutritious, filling and easy to have on the go too. From almonds to walnuts and more, nuts can also be added into dinners and scattered into salads for a crunchy addition. 

21. Nori

Nori is an edible kind of dried seaweed most commonly found in Western Asia, common in Japanese cuisine. It is used to wrap up sushi rice and fillings, but nori can also be eaten as a healthy snack as part of a lunch bag or for snacking between meals. It’s salty and light – a great alternative to chips!

22. Nacho Cheese

This variety of melted cheese is delicious over tortilla chips, or over steamed veggies for a bit of a healthier option! You can make your own simple nacho cheese sauce in just 5 minutes. Add your favorite seasoning to make it your own!

23. Nantua

This French sauce is named after the city of Nantua. It is a creamy, rich sauce made with a a Béchamel sauce base, crayfish butter and crayfish tails. It’s commonly used with seafood dishes!

24. Natto

Natto is a traditional Japanese food made from fermented soybeans, and resembles a sticky paste in its texture. It’s often served for breakfast, and tastes like salty cottage cheese or old brie cheese.

🌰 Spices and Seeds

25. Nutmeg 

Nutmeg is a popular spice you would most likely associate with the wintertime, but it’s used in more than just eggnog! This warming spice is great in desserts, for seasoning vegetables and paired with meats like pork and beef.

Nutmeg  in small wood bowl, beside ground nutmeg. - foods that start with n

26. Nigella Seeds

Nigella seeds are also known as black caraway or black cumin seeds are black seeds that have multiple health benefits thanks to their anti-inflammatory properties. They’re commonly found in South Asian cooking, but can be used even in dishes like granola! 

27. Nora Chili Peppers

Nora peppers are small and round in shape. They have a sweet taste, and red flesh. They are used most commonly in Spanish cuisine, added to stews and soups. They are used more often than regular chili peppers in Spanish recipes.

28. New Mexico Chili Powder

New Mexico chile powder is made up purely of dried chiles. Chili powder, on the other hand, is made of chilis but also other spices such as oregano, garlic powder, and cumin. It has a medium level of heat, making it not too spicy. It is often used in enchilada sauce, or ground beef for tacos for added flavor.

29. Northwood Mushroom Blend

The Northwood Mushroom blend is made with a combination of dried lobster mushrooms, dried shiitake mushrooms, dried porcini mushrooms, dried morel mushrooms, dried oyster mushrooms, dried shiitake mushrooms (sliced), and dry bolete mushrooms. It pairs nicely with vegetable soups, casseroles, stir-fries, and pastas. This dried mushroom blend must be rehydrated before use by pouring hot water over the mushrooms and allowing them to sit for 15-20 minutes.

🍲 Main Dishes That Start With N

30. Nuggets

When it comes to foods that start with N, Chicken nuggets are a favorite main dish with kids! But these fried morsels are high in saturated fats. Luckily, it’s extremely easy to make healthy versions of nuggets, such as my mushroom nuggets served with a tangy vegan aioli.

31. Nachos

Nachos are a widely enjoyed dish that originates from Mexican cuisine. Featuring tasty cheese, vibrant guacamole and cool sour cream, nachos are a great sharing dish to bring out, no matter the occasion. 

32. Nasi Goreng

Nasi Goreng is possibly the most famous dish from Indonesia, and is a fried rice dish that’s full of flavour and best topped with egg whites or egg yolks. You can play around with different types of vegetables and protein sources here, such as using tofu in place of chicken.

33. Noodle Soup

There’s nothing like digging into a piping hot bowl of noodle soup when you’re feeling under the weather or it’s cold out. This popular dish has so many different varieties – from chicken to vegetable, with the opportunity to add in health-promoting herbs and spices too.

🍰 Desserts That Start With N

34. Norman Tart

A shortcrust pastry, filled with apples, sliced almonds, and sugar, and topped with custard. It’s baked until caramelized. This French pastry comes from the Normandy region, hence the name.

35. Nonpareils

Nonpareils are a decorative candy made of a combination of sugar and starch. They look like tiny colored spherical balls and are commonly used as a topping for chocolates, cakes and cupcakes.

36. Neapolitan Ice Cream

This famous and popular ice cream is three flavors in one! When you can’t decide if you want chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry, opt for Neapolitan ice cream where you get all three! You can find this flavor in any grocery store. It’s a big hit among the kids!

Neapolitan ice cream in 9 inch baking pan, with ice cream scoop. - foods that start with n

37. Natilla

Natilla is a Puerto Rican or Spanish custard desert, that is made with milk, cinnamon and coconut. It’s rich and creamy and perfectly sweet – similar to a panna cotta or crème brûlée!

38. Nankhatai

Nankhatai are shortbread biscuits that originated in India, and are most popular in Northern India and Pakistan. They are eggless cookies typically made with flour, semolina, sugar, ghee – but there are dozens of variations with different flours that can be used!

39. Nougat

Nougat is a popular candy made with honey, sugar, egg whites, nuts and sometimes candied fruit. It has a chewy texture and a super sweet flavor and can be customized however you like!

40. Nerds

Nerds is one of those foods that start with N that you have definitely heard of! A super popular American candy, you can find them in grocery stores all over the US and more recently all over the world. They are a highly processed treat, so not exactly healthy, and come in a variety of flavors and colors.

41. Nesselrode Pudding

This delicious sweet treat is a mix of different candied fruits, maraschino cherries, and nuts and can be made as a frozen ice pudding or into a pie. It was created by a French chef in the 1800s, who created it for his Count Nesselrode.

💭 Final Thoughts

Hopefully these foods that start with N have inspired your next dinner or meal prep session! We’ve looked at a wide range of foods from various food groups and cuisines, and if this has got you inspired, check out my other recipes for easy and quick dinners.

If you would like more inspiration on new and exciting foods to cook with, then take a look at some of our other food lists from A-Z here:

Don’t forget to take a look at my other healthy eating guides so you can enjoy healthy, yet tasty food that the whole family will enjoy.

If you found this post helpful, or have tried any other recipe on my blog, then please leave a comment below! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOKTWITTERINSTAGRAM, and PINTEREST to see more delicious, healthy, family friendly food!

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