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20 Foods That Start With Z

If you try to think of foods that start with Z, coming up with a list isn’t so easy!

However, plenty of foods start with Z, and many of them are my personal favorites!

If you like Italian recipes, zucchini, and things that are a little bit zesty, you’ll love this list as much as I do. 

20 Foods That Start With The Letter Z

1. Zoodles 

Zucchini + noodles = zoodles! 

If you’re crazy about pasta but need to cut back on the carbs, zoodles are the perfect compromise.

All you’ll need to make them is some zucchini and a spiralizer.

Like pasta, they have a very mild taste, and they soak up the pasta sauce for flavor. 

Slices of Zucchini

2. Zucchini

Zucchini, what some people call “green squash,” is just that: a dark green squash that usually grows in the summer. 

Most people think of zucchini as a vegetable and prepare it like one. However, it’s actually a fruit that’s high in manganese and vitamin C.

3. Zuppa Toscana

The literal translation of this Italian soup is, “Tuscan soup.” 

It’s served regularly in Tuscany, where chefs make it with zucchini, kale, tomato pulp, Italian bacon, toasted Tuscan bread, carrots, potatoes, celery, and onions. They usually serve it on bread.

The popular version served in American Olive Garden restaurants is made with Italian sausage, chicken bouillon, heavy cream, kale, onions, and potatoes.

4. Zuccotto

Traditionally made with cake, ice cream, and chocolate, this dome-shaped dessert is served chilled or semi-frozen.

It originated in Florence and usually includes sweet liqueur. 

It’s rich and cool, and it’s perfect for summer.

5. Ziti

Ziti are small, tube-shaped pasta noodles. The noodles also lend their name to an Italian dish called “baked ziti,” which is a lot like lasagna.

You’ll make it with ziti noodles instead.

6. Zeppole

Zeppoli, which is the plural form of zeppole, are Italy’s answer to American donuts.

They’re deep-fried dough balls, made like fritters, that are topped and filled in various ways.

Some feature toppings of chocolate, powdered sugar, or whipped cream.

Others contain fillings of pastry cream, jelly, chocolate, custard, or a traditional honey-butter sauce. 

7. Zucchini Fritters

Usually made with zucchini, parmesan cheese, eggs, and plenty of seasonings, zucchini fritters are low-carb, low-calorie, and healthy. 

They’re flat, flavorful cakes similar to pancakes, but they’re more savory than sweet. They’re great for snacking, as appetizers, or served for brunch.

Zest of Citrus

8. Zest of Citrus 

People often use the zest of citrus to flavor food, but they never eat it by itself.

They “make it” by scraping off the rind of oranges, lemons, limes, or other citrus fruits. Zest usually tastes sweeter than the citruses’ juice.

9. Zingers

Depending on where you live in the world, Zingers may mean something different to you than it does to me.

To me, Zingers are coconut-covered strawberry Hostess cakes filled with cream.

They’re sweet, a little sticky, and unbelievably delicious. 

To you, Zingers could be a slightly spicy, supremely crispy chicken tender. Either way, Zingers are yummy. 

10. Zig-Zag Vine Fruit

Usually found in the rainforests of Australia, zig-zag fruit is an orange berry whose flesh is edible. However, it’s used more often in recipes or to make liqueurs. 

I’ve not tried it myself, but people often describe the flavor as “a spicy orange sherbert.”

Fresh White Zander Fish

11. Zander

I have a hard time eating things with names that sound so name-like, so I’ve never eaten zander, which is a freshwater whitefish most commonly found in Europe. 

Most people eat it baked, but it can also be grilled or fried. It has a mild, clean taste, few bones, and is supposed to taste a bit like perch.

12. Zucchini Bread

Zucchini bread tastes like a mixture between banana nut bread and raisin bread.

It’s sweet, nutty, and cinnamony. It’s usually baked with walnuts, although some people substitute pecans.

You can also add seeds to it for a crunchier, more earthy flavor. 

13. Zopf

Popular in Bavaria, Austria, and Switzerland, zopf is a golden-brown braided bread made from eggs, milk, butter, white flour, and yeast. 

In Switzerland, it’s often referred to as “Sunday bread” because it’s traditionally eaten on Sunday mornings.

German Cinnamon Stars

14. Zimtsterne 

Zimtsterne, often called “German cinnamon stars,” are precisely that: popular German star-shaped cookies flavored with cinnamon.

They’re naturally gluten-free, and people usually make them during the holiday season. 

Zwieback Bread

15. Zwieback

There are several different definitions of what zwieback is. Some people know it as a kind of crunchy toast-like snack that was sold by Nabisco. 

Others know zwieback as a type of double-layered roll their Mennonite grandmothers used to make, and finally, some people know it as a type of sweet, double-baked toast known as rusk. 

Plum Dumplings

16. Zwetschkenknödel

If you can’t pronounce zwetschkenknödel, don’t worry; you can call them “plum dumplings” instead.

As is probably evident by the name, these are a favorite dessert in Germany and Austria.

You can make the dumpling dough from yeast, curd, semolina, or even potatoes.

For the filling, you’ll use tart, tasty plums. Italian prune plums are best, but most varieties work. 

Roasted Beef with Onions

17. Zwiebelrostbraten

This is an incredible Austrian main dish of beef and roasted onions, covered in thick, warm gravy.

People usually serve it with fried or roasted potatoes and a side salad.

It’s a hearty dish that’s perfect for meat lovers. 

18. Zebra Cakes

Although Little Debbie has now branched out a little, the original Zebra Cakes were hexagonal-shaped cakes with one layer of sweet cream between two layers of white cake.

The whole thing was covered in white icing with chocolate stripes. 

The company then made inverted Zebra Cakes (chocolate cake, chocolate icing, and white stripes), Zebra Cake Brownies, and a few more varieties. 

You can also make homemade zebra cake at home using white and chocolate cake mixes, along with vanilla and chocolate frosting. 

19. Zereshk Polo

Zereshk is the Persian name for barberries, and zereshk polo is a classic Persian dish that pairs barberry rice with saffron chicken. 

It’s tangy and sweet, naturally gluten-free, and a great source of lean protein and healthy fats.

It’s a lovely dish that combines lots of colors – red, yellow, gold, orange, and white among them.

20. Zapiekanka

More commonly called “Polish pizza,” zapiekanka is more like a toasted sub than a pizza, but it combines many the same flavors, including cheese, mushrooms, and some type of meat.

It’s usually served piping hot with ketchup drizzled across the top. It’s a popular option for Polish street food vendors.

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20 Foods That Start With Z



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author avatar
NaTaya Hastings
NaTaya Hastings is a food and recipe writer for Insanely Good Recipes. She’s an educator, boy mom, dog mom, and whatever-stray-enters-the-yard mom. As a result, she's constantly cooking for both humans and animals.

Luckily, she enjoys it!

Though born, raised, and still living in Alabama, her specialty is NOT down-home Southern cooking. Instead, she loves to experiment with Asian, Mexican, Italian, and other ethnic cuisines. She has two mottos when it comes to cooking. “The more spice, the better!” and “There’s no such thing as too much garlic!”

She’s also pretty good with desserts. Especially the easy, no-bake ones.

Her favorite things are cuddling with her four giant dogs, traveling, reading, writing, and hanging out in nature. She’s also pretty excellent at Dominoes.

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