Vegetables That Start with U

Hey there, plant-based pals! Today, we’re going on a veggie adventure to explore vegetables that start with the letter U. Whether you’re a seasoned vegan or just dipping your toes into the plant-based world, discovering new and exciting ingredients is always a tasty journey. Let’s delve into this listicle of 10 vegetables that might just become your new favorites!

Some yellow squash are stacked together. The text reads, Vegetables that start with U.

I’m a passionate advocate for plant-based eating. So, I am thrilled for this journey to discover vegetables that start with the letter “U.”

From the vibrant hues of purple yam to the delicate flavors of umbrella squash, each of these unique vegetables holds its own story and culinary potential. Join me as we explore the diverse textures, tastes, and cultural significance of these fascinating veggies.

Are you a seasoned chef or an adventurous home cook? Either way, there’s something delightful you can discover with every U vegetable. Let’s dive in and celebrate the wonders of plant-based cuisine together!

This post is part of my series, Increase your VEGGIE IQ. From ube to umbrella squash, let’s explore all of the tantalizing tastes these Vegetables That Start with U offer. Boost your veggie knowledge today with this quick and easy guide!

What’s missing from this list of vegetables that start with the letter U? Do you know others I should add? You can leave a comment below and let me know so I can add it to the list!


Which summer squash is also known as patisson or pattypan squash, due to its scalloped edges? Get the answer at the bottom of this page!

1. Ube

Ube, also known as purple yam, is a vibrant tuber widely used in Filipino cuisine. Its vivid purple flesh adds a stunning hue to desserts like ube halaya and ice cream, while its subtly sweet flavor makes it a versatile ingredient in both sweet and savory dishes.

An ube purple yam is cut in half revealing vibrant purple flesh inside.
Cooked ube yams show off their vibrant purple color.

2. Udupi Mattu Gulla Eggplant

Hailing from the Udupi region of Karnataka, India, the Mattu Gulla eggplant is celebrated for its unique flavor and texture. It delivers tender flesh and a mild, slightly bitter taste.

You can serve this eggplant variety in traditional South Indian dishes like sambar, curries, and pickles.

Hand holding knife preparing to cut green eggplants on a wooden cutting board.
A home chef prepares to cut green eggplants on a wooden cutting board.

3. Ukrainian Heart Tomato

The Ukrainian Heart tomato is a large, heirloom tomato variety known for its sweet, juicy flesh and distinctive heart shape. With its vibrant red color and rich flavor, this tomato is perfect for slicing and enjoying fresh in salads, sandwiches, or as a topping for bruschetta.

Several heart-shaped tomatoes grow on a vine.

4. Ulluco

Ulluco, also known as papalisa or ullucus tuberosus, is a South American root vegetable prized for its colorful tubers and crisp texture. Resembling small, elongated potatoes, ulluco comes in hues ranging from vibrant reds and oranges to creamy whites.

It boasts a slightly tangy flavor, making it a delightful addition to salads, stir-fries, and soups.

Looking down on several ulluco potatoes, showing their pink skin.

5. Ulster Emblem Potato

The Ulster Emblem potato is a heritage variety. It offers excellent flavor and versatility in cooking. With its smooth texture and rich, earthy taste, this potato shines in dishes ranging from mashed potatoes and soups to roasted vegetables and gratins.

A raw potato cut into slices is on a wooden table.

6. Umatilla Russet Potato

The Umatilla Russet potato is a popular russet variety known for its high starch content and robust flavor. Its dense flesh and fluffy texture make it ideal for classic potato dishes like french fries, baked potatoes, and mashed potatoes.

Looking down on several potatoes, one has been cut into slices.

7. Umbrella Squash

Umbrella squash, also known as patisson or pattypan squash, is a charming summer squash variety distinguished by its scalloped edges and disc-like shape.

With its delicate, buttery flavor, this versatile squash is perfect for stuffing, sautéing, or grilling.

Looking down on a white table with several umbrella squash.
Fresh pattypan squashes

8. Umibudo

Umibudo, or sea grapes, are a type of edible seaweed popular in Okinawan and other East Asian cuisines. Resembling tiny, translucent grapes, umibudo has a unique texture and a briny, slightly salty taste.

Often served as a delicacy or garnish, these sea grapes add a burst of flavor and visual appeal to salads and seafood dishes.

Hands hold bright green umibudo sea grass.
Sea grapes in a woman’s hands

9. Upland Cress

Upland cress, also known as winter cress, is a leafy green with a peppery bite, making it an excellent addition to salads or sandwiches. It’s loaded with vitamins and minerals. That means upland cress is a nutritious choice for your meals.

A closeup image of a field of vibrant greens.

10. Urfa Pepper

Urfa pepper, also known as Isot pepper, is a unique Turkish chili pepper prized for its rich, smoky flavor and moderate heat. Traditionally sun-dried and crushed, Urfa pepper adds depth and complexity to dishes like kebabs, stews, and marinades, making it a staple in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine.

Several red peppers grow on a green plant.

11. Urad Bean

Urad beans, also known as black gram or black lentil, are a type of legume native to India. These beans offer a creamy texture and earthy flavor. You can use urad beans in dishes like dal makhani, idli, and vada.

Rich in protein and dietary fiber, they are a nutritious addition to vegetarian and vegan diets.

Looking down on black legumes on a white background.

Trivia Answer

The rounded body of the umbrella squash, coupled with its fluted edges, gives it a resemblance to the shape of an umbrella when viewed from above. This visual similarity inspired the name “umbrella squash” or “pattypan squash,” with “pattypan” also referring to the shape of the squash, which resembles a shallow, pan-like dish. Overall, the name reflects the unique appearance of this summer squash variety.

More Alphabet Vegetables

If you love this guide to Vegetables that Start with the Letter U, here are more “alphabet soup” veggie lists to ponder:

Discover a Variety of U Vegetables: Illustrated graphic showcasing vegetables that start with the letter 'U.' Includes Umbrella Squash, characterized by scalloped edges and a disk shape; Ukrainian Heart Tomatoes, known for their sweet flesh and distinctive heart shape; Ube, boasting vibrant purple flesh with a subtly sweet flavor; Urad Beans, legumes with a creamy texture and earthy flavor; Urfa Peppers, Turkish peppers with a rich, smoky flavor and mild heat; and Udupi Gulla Eggplant, featuring tender flesh with a mild, slightly bitter taste. For more U Vegetables, visit:


It’s true that vegetables starting with “U” may not be the most common finds in the produce aisle. But they may be worth the search because their unique flavors, textures, and nutritional profiles make them great additions to any plant-based diet.

From the earthy sweetness of ulluco to the peppery punch of upland cress, these vegetables offer a delightful journey of discovery for adventurous cooks.

So why not expand your culinary horizons and give these underrated veggies a try?

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