20 Common Foods That Start With Z

Foods that start with Z are diverse from fruits, vegetables, or dishes. They are amazing with flavors and textures, making your meal more enjoyable.

Lastest Updated April 23, 2024
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Foods that start with “Z” are edible items that you need to read through for more details.

The list includes various Z-starting dishes around the world, vegetables, fruits, and other food ingredients. Of course, each brings its own twist to the dining table.

So let me take you on the food journey of the magic letter “Z” with the 20 options below.

20 Foods That Start with Z with Filters

Check out the Z-foods below to expand your culinary knowledge. Use the filters to make sure you choose your desired food quickly based on their types, such as seafood, dishes, vegetables, etc.



  • Dishes

Zarzuela is a renowned seafood stew from Spain’s Catalan coast.

It is known for its alluring orange hue and a rich mixture of various seafood, fresh fish, and vegetables in a tomato-based broth.

The stew is seasoned with herbs and spices, and the essential ground almonds to thicken the stew.



  • Dishes

Zerde is a traditional Turkish dessert known for its vibrant yellow color.

It is a sweet pudding made from slow-cooking rice and often flavored with rose water or orange blossom water.

Ideal garnishing for zerde is saffron, nuts (like pistachios or almonds), or fresh pomegranate seeds.

Plus, this is a festive dish commonly served at weddings, religious ceremonies, and special celebrations, symbolizing abundance and happiness.

Zoni Japanese Style Soup


  • Dishes

Zoni is a traditional Japanese culture soup that people usually eat during the cold winter days or to celebrate the New Year.

It includes mochi rice cakes as its main ingredient. Other elements include vegetables, dried foods, and seafood, all in the Sumashi-jiru clear stock soup.

Distinct regional variations exist, such as Kanto and Kansai styles, differing in mochi shape and soup flavor.

Zoni’s presentation is elegant, with vegetables often cut into flower shapes, creating a visually appealing and harmoniously flavored dish that’s a quintessential part of Japanese culture.



  • Dishes

Zampone is a traditional Italian dish made from stuffed pig’s trotter (aka pig’s foot) filled with a richly spiced mixture of minced pork meat and rind.

It is particularly popular during the winter holidays. The trotter is typically sewn up and then slowly cooked, resulting in a savory, aromatic dish with a unique texture.

For serving, Zampone is ideal to pair with lentils or mashed potatoes.



  • Dishes

Zapiekanka is a popular Polish street food, essentially an open-faced sandwich.

It consists of a long baguette or ciabatta, cut in half and topped with sautéed mushrooms, cheese, and often other ingredients like ham, onions, or peppers.

After baking until the cheese melts and the bread crisps, it’s typically finished with a drizzle of ketchup or garlic sauce.

Zapiekanka is beloved for its crispy, gooey texture and is a staple snack that you can find across Poland.

Zwieback Close


  • Bread

Zwieback, originating from Germany, is a type of hard, dry bread known for its crisp texture and sweet aroma.

It is made primarily from flour, eggs, and sugar.

Zwieback comes in two varieties: one as soft rolls and the other as crumbly, crispy slices, with the latter being more aromatic and flavorful.

Italian Zuccotto Cake


  • Dishes

Zuccotto is a famous chilled Italian dessert. It resembles a small pumpkin in shape, hence its name translating to “a little pumpkin” in Italian.

Originating from Florence, zuccotto is traditionally made from a dome of Italian sponge cake soaked in Alchermes liqueur.

The dessert is filled with a rich mixture of ricotta cheese, whipped cream, and sometimes chocolate or nuts.

It is known for its layered, semi-frozen texture, offering a delightful combination of creamy richness and subtle sweetness.

Zopf Bread


  • Bread

Zopf (or züpfe) is Switzerland’s national bread and is instantly recognizable by its braided shape and distinct yellow color.

Zopf is typically made from flour, yeast, sugar, milk, salt, eggs, and a lot of butter. That’s why it’s celebrated for its golden crust, buttery aroma, and soft, hollow interior.

Traditionally savored for breakfast with fruit jams or chocolate sauce, Zopf pairs wonderfully with a cup of hot tea.

Sausage Kale Zuppa

Zuppa Toscana

  • Dishes

Zuppa toscana is a delightful Italian soup combining Italian sausage, bacon, potatoes, and chicken broth. Its flavor is enhanced with onions, garlic, and kale, creating a robust and aromatic profile.

The soup is often finished with a swirl of cream and a sprinkle of cheese, adding the creaminess.

Overall, zuppa toscana is a silky, smooth soup, which is a comforting treat for everyone.

Zwiebelrostbraten Typical German


  • Dishes

Zwiebelrostbraten is a dish originally from Austria. It primarily features thinly sliced beef, typically sirloin, that’s seasoned, pan-fried, and served with a rich and flavorful onion gravy.

The dish is particularly renowned for its topping of crispy fried onion rings, which add a delightful texture contrast to the tender meat.

Zwiebelrostbraten is often accompanied by traditional sides such as roasted potatoes, spaetzle, or a simple green salad.

Zeppole Home Made Pastry


  • Dishes

Zeppole is an Italian doughnut that locals normally serve as a classic dessert and sometimes a breakfast treat.

It is made from pate choux dough with a golden, crispy exterior and tender interior.

Zeppole are particularly popular during carnivals, festivals, or special occasions (such as St. Joseph’s Day).

They’re traditionally served in paper bags generously dusted with powdered or cinnamon sugar.

Closeup Shot Starshaped German


  • Dishes

Zimtstern, star-shaped cinnamon cookies from Southwest Germany, are a quintessential treat during the Christmas holidays.

These cookies are made primarily from ground nuts like almonds or hazelnuts, and coated with a generous layer of cinnamon.

Iranianfood Persiangood Zereshk Polo

Zereshk Polo

  • Dishes

Zereshk Polo is a vibrant and nutritious Persian dish, including chicken, tart barberries (zereshk), and fluffy Persian steamed rice (polo).

Zereshk Polo is often accompanied by a salad or traditional soup like soup é jo. This hearty treat is commonly found on menus in upscale Iranian restaurants.



  • Dishes

Zabaione (aka Zabaglione) is an Italian dessert made with just egg yolks, sugar, and Marsala wine, which is a sweet and aromatic wine from Sicily.

This creamy delight is often enhanced with vanilla, ground cinnamon, or grated citrus zest for added flavor.

Often served warm, Zabaione has a rich, creamy texture and is sometimes paired with fresh fruits or served over cakes or cookies.

Zabaione’s origins date back to the Renaissance. Today, it is a holiday favorite, particularly enjoyed during Christmas and Easter in Italy.



  • Condiments

Za’atar is a Middle Eastern spice blend typically including a mixture of dried herbs like thyme, oregano, and marjoram, combined with sesame seeds, sumac, and often salt.

The exact recipe can vary by region, with some variations including other herbs like savory. Sumac adds a tangy, lemony flavor to the mix, which is a distinctive characteristic of za’atar.

This spice blend is often used to season meats and vegetables, mixed with olive oil to make a spread for bread, or sprinkled over hummus.



  • Fruits
  • Vegetables

Zucchini is a member of the Cucurbitaceae family. Though zucchini is used as a vegetable in cooking, it is technically a fruit,

Available in colors from deep yellow to dark green, its skin, seeds, and flesh are all edible and nutritious.

Zucchini’s mild flavor makes it versatile in both sweet and savory dishes, popular in salads, soups, noodles, breads, and cakes.

Additionally, it’s highly valued in healthy diets like paleo and vegetarian for its nutritional benefits.



  • Dishes

Zoodles are a healthy, low-carb alternative to traditional pasta, made by spiralizing zucchini into noodle-like strands.

They’re versatile and can be cooked or served raw, easily integrating into a variety of dishes from salads to main courses. Plus, they absorb sauces and seasonings well.

Zoodles are popular in health-conscious and gluten-free diets, offering a light, fresh texture, and a subtle, slightly sweet flavor.

Casserole Ziti Pasta


  • Dishes
  • Grains

Ziti is a long, wide tube pasta from Campania, resembling penne but with less pronounced angles.

Traditionally broken into pieces before cooking, it’s popular in the USA as Italian-American pasta, especially in baked dishes with meats, cheese, and sauce.

Its shape allows for better sauce absorption, enhancing flavor. Versatile in recipes, Ziti-based dishes pair well with salads or garlic bread.

Grater Peel Lemon Zest


  • Fruits

Zest is a general term referring to the thin outer peel of citrus fruits like lemons, oranges, and limes.

They are known for their intense citrus flavor with a hint of bitterness. Zest is rich in natural oils, which imparts a strong, zingy flavor to dishes, surpassing the flavor contribution of citrus juice.

Widely used in a variety of sweets, pastries, salads, sauces, and cocktails, zest not only enhances taste and aroma but also adds a vibrant color to delicacies.

Zander Walleye Herbs


  • Seafood

Zander is a freshwater fish from Eastern Europe. It has a firm, tender meat comparable to high-end fish.

Predominantly found in lakes and rivers in France and North America, zander is best enjoyed grilled, baked, or fried, often accompanied by vegetables or in soups with salads.

Zander has a long lifespan, reaching maturity at about four years, with laws in Finland regulating its consumption size.

Nutritionally, zander is low in fat yet rich in protein, and vitamins B1 and B2.

Coming up, I’ll classify these Z foods into separate categories, including dishes and veggies with fruits, so you can have a better view of them.

Dishes That Start with Letter Z

Here are some of the well-loved delights that begin with Z, and all of them are from Europe.

Zarzuela is a Spanish seafood stew combining seafood and vegetables in a tomato-based broth. It is easy to recognize with an orange hue.
Zapiekanka is a popular Polish open-faced sandwich, consisting of a baguette topped with mushrooms, cheese, etc., finished with ketchup or garlic sauce.
Sausage Kale Zuppa
Zuppa toscana is an Italian soup made with Italian sausage, bacon, potatoes, kale, and chicken broth.
Zwieback Close
Zwieback is a German crispy, sweetened bread, often hard and dry, typically enjoyed as a snack or with tea.

For more delicacies, you can check the comprehensive list of Z-dishes in the world here.

Next, let’s see which fruits and vegetables begin with Z.

Vegetables and Fruits That Start with Letter Z

Don’t miss the culinary journey with this selection of vegetables and fruits that intriguingly start with the letter Z.

A vegetable in cooking (also a fruit in biology) typically in green color that can be incorporated into dishes, from savory to sweet ones.

You can also learn more about Z-starting vegetables or Z-lettered fruits here.

If you find the above information useful, please click like and share the article with your beloved people so they can learn new things in the culinary world.

There are also other initial-starting foods for you to discover, don’t forget to check them out. Thank you!

Jamie Scott

Jamie Scott

Editor in Chief, Senior Content Writer


Home Cooking, Meal Planning, Recipe Development, Baking and Pastry, Food Editor, Cooking-video Maker, Western Food Evaluation Expert


Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts

  • Program: Bachelor’s degree in Culinary Arts
  • Focus: Gained foundational knowledge in French and European culinary techniques. Participated in workshops and hands-on training sessions under the guidance of seasoned chefs.

Local Community College, New York, NY

  • Program: Associate’s Degree in Nutrition
  • Focus: Acquired basic understanding of nutrition principles, dietary needs, and the importance of balanced diets in daily life.

Jamie Scott is a skilled culinary expert and content creator specializing in Western cuisine. With over 15 years in the culinary field and formal training from Le Cordon Bleu, Paris, Jamie deeply understands how to blend nutrition with delicious flavors. His passion for cooking matches his commitment to making healthy eating accessible and enjoyable.

On Fifteen.net, Jamie brings a fresh perspective to classic dishes and beverages, offering readers insightful recipes, cooking tips, and a fresh view on meal planning that emphasizes taste, health, and simplicity.

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