Plates filled with food on a table

110+ Useful Spanish Food Words for Cooking and Eating

Food is the heart of culture, especially Spanish culture.

As Spanish language learners, we grow closer to the Spanish language and Hispanic culture by learning foods in Spanish and cooking vocabulary.

The Spanish food vocabulary provided here was hand-picked to give you an authentic taste of life in Spanish-speaking regions of the world.

It will also help you navigate talking about food and even being able to cook recipes in Spanish!


Eating and Mealtimes in Spanish

Plates of food on a table

Here are some of the most common words that you will see relating to general eating and mealtime topics:


Verbs about food

Fruit in Spanish

A box filled with fruit

Traveling throughout Latin America you are bound to stumble across many a strange and mysterious fruit. Here are some common words for fruit in Spanish, whether you know the fruit or not:

Vegetables in Spanish

A box filled with vegetables

Vegetales is a commonly used word to say “vegetables” in spoken Spanish, but verduras (vehr-doo-rahs) is the more technically correct term.

Staple Foods in Spanish

Collection of foods including bread and corn

Be prepared to find these ingredients in any Latin American or Spanish household:

Herbs and Spices in Spanish

Bowls filled with spices

Here is where the distinctive flavors of Hispanic cooking originate.

Meat and Dairy in Spanish

Milk, cheese and eggs on a table

These products are often the main event of the meal, despite the tower of rice and beans on the plate. 

Cooking Tools in Spanish

Cooking utensils in a row on a white background

Knowing how to refer to these will help you navigate your way around the kitchen as you follow a new recipe. 

Preparing Ingredients in Spanish

Person chopping a vegetable

These are the first and most crucial steps to any recipe.

Measurements in Spanish

Measuring cups with food in

If you want to follow a recipe properly, you need to know how much of each ingredient to use.

Cooking Words in Spanish

Frying pan with a flame coming out of it

Here are some Spanish cooking terms to use when talking about actually cooking the food.

Flavors in Spanish

The words 'sugar' and 'salt' drawn in sugar and salt

Other Spanish Food Words

Plates with food on them

Why Learn Spanish Through Cooking 

While becoming immersed in the Spanish language and eating out at restaurants abroad, you’ll encounter an incredible diversity of Hispanic foods. 

The regions of Spain alone offer a wide array of culinary styles, from rice dishes to seafood and roasted meats.

Taking all of Latin America into consideration, one can become overwhelmed trying to define the sweeping category that is Hispanic cuisine. 

To really grasp Spanish culture, you can try all the different foods, whether at an authentic restaurant or making it yourself.

If you do cook something yourself, you can use the Spanish recipe to not only get the cultural experience, but practice your Spanish reading as well!

How to Learn Spanish Through Cooking and Eating

By integrating Spanish learning into your shopping, cooking, and eating habits, you infuse one more aspect of your life with your new language. 

Once you begin to familiarize yourself with Spanish cooking vocabulary you’ll find many more learning tools and strategies open up to you.

Here are some ways to learn and practice your Spanish food vocabulary and cooking terms:

  • Shop at a local Hispanic grocery store and practice reading Spanish labels.
  • Watch Spanish food-related videos on YouTube or Spanish learning platforms. The immersive language program FluentU adds interactive dual-language subtitles to authentic Spanish videos, and provides personalized quizzes and flashcards for practicing new cooking vocabulary. 
  • Make a Spanish shopping list whenever you go to the store to reinforce what you’ve learned.
  • Watch Spanish language cooking shows to pick up new recipes and kitchen tricks.
  • Cook a regional dish from Spain or Latin America and host a Spanish conversation night for your language partner, fellow Spanish language learners and native speakers.

While cooking styles are very variable throughout the Spanish-speaking world, the basic ingredients and preparations are strikingly similar. 

Here is a great video that will introduce you to even more kitchen vocabulary:


Now that you know all this Spanish food vocabulary, there’s nothing left to do but enjoy all that Spanish food. If you intend to do so while eating out, visit our post about Spanish restaurant vocabulary for even more useful words and phrases!

¡Buen provecho! (Bon appetite!)

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