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Vegetables in Spanish

Expand Your Dining Vocabulary

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vegetable prices

Coliflor. (Cauliflower.)

Photo by Nacho; licensed via Creative Commons

If you were a botanist, you might call vegetables vegetales in Spanish, but if you were a culinary expert, you'd probably say verduras or, less commonly, hortalizas. But whatever you call them, knowing the names of vegetables can come in handy if you want a balanced diet where Spanish is spoken.

Here are the names of the most common vegetables (and some foods that are often thought of as such even if they technically don't fit the definition) and a few of the uncommon ones:

artichoke — la alcachofa
asparagus — el espárrago, los espárragos
avocado — el aguacate, la palta
bamboo shoots — los tallos de bambú
bean — la judía, la haba, la habichuela, el frijol
beet — la remolacha
bok choy — la col china
broccoli — el brécol, el bróculi
Brussels sprout — la col de Bruselas
cabbage — la col, el repollo
carrot — la zanahoria
cassava — la yuca, la mandioca, la casava, la casabe
cauliflower — la coriflor
celery — el apio
chard — la acelga
chicory — la achicoria
chickpea — el garbanzo, el chícharo
corn (American English) — el maíz
cucumber — el pepino
eggplant — la berenjena
endive — la endivia, la endibia
garlic — el ajo
ginger — el jengibre
green pepper — el pimiento verde, el ají verde
Jerusalem artichoke — el tupinambo, la pataca, la papa de Jerusalén
jicama — la jícama
leek — el puerro
lentil — la lenteja
rhubarb — el ruibarbo, el rapóntico
lettuce — la lechuga
mushroom — el champiñón, el hongo
okra — el quingombó
onion — la cebolla
parsley — el perejil
parsnip — la chirivía, la pastinaca
pea — los guisantes, la arvejas, los chícharos
potato — la patata, la papa
pumpkin — la calabaza
radish — el rábano
red pepper — el pimiento rojo, el ají rojo
rutabaga — el nabo sueco
shallot — el chalote
soybean — la semilla de soja
spinach — las espinacas
sorrel — la acedera
squash — la cucurbitácea
string beans — las habas verdes
sweet potato — la batata
tapioca — la tapioca
tomatillo — el tomatillo
tomato — el tomate
turnip — el nabo
water chestnut — la castaña de agua, el abrojo acuático
watercress — el berro
yam — el ñame, el boniato, la batata, el yam
zucchini — el calabacín

Not all vegetables are classified identically in the two languages. For example, not all the coles are thought of by most English speakers as cabbages, and not all beans would be thought of by Spanish speakers as habas. Also, names of some vegetables can vary with region or with how they're prepared.

A vegetarian diet can be referred to as a régimen vegetariano or dieta vegetariana, and a vegetarian is a vegetariano or vegetariana. A vegan is a vegetariano estricto, although the term may not be clearly understood in all places.

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