Eating and cooking should be a fun experience every time, but sometimes we don’t have the time or the energy to think of new food to try or ways to update old recipes.
The current list contains ingredients and recipes that start with m, which will inspire you to try something new in the kitchen. Read more for some American classics and many dishes from around the world!
Are you ready to discover new flavors and rediscover older ones? Let’s dig in!
The List: 41 Foods that Start with M
Macadamia is a variety of nuts native to Australia but is now grown in other places around the world, such as Brazil, Costa Rica, and Hawaii. Macadamia nuts are rich in nutrients, and they are a known for adding flavor to desserts and snacks like cookies, waffles, ice cream, granola, and brownies.
But they can also be great for savory dishes: add macadamia nuts to your hummus or salad for a boost of flavor
2. Macaroni and Cheese
Can you think of some that screams’ comfort food’ more than a bowl of mac and cheese? Loved by children and adults alike, there’s no right or wrong way to make macaroni and cheese.
Boil the macaroni pasta (traditionally al dente), make the cheese sauce by combining butter, starch, and milk, and cook it until thick but still creamy. Then, mix it all together, bake… and dig in!
Macarons transport you to Paris with one, decadent bite. They are a traditional French sweet that was introduced to France by the Italian chef of queen Catherine de Medici during the Nineteenth century.
Macarons are meringue-based cookie sandwiches: between two rounded cookies, the Parisian-style macaron has a ganache, buttercream, or a jam–traditionally with raspberry or chocolate flavor.
If you like Mexican food, you might be familiar with this next entry on our list. Machaca is a traditionally dried meat, usually spiced beef or pork, that is rehydrated for this dish. It is popular in Northern Mexico’s cuisine as well as in the Southwestern United States.
Machaca is used to fill tacos or burritos, and it makes a great breakfast or brunch dish when served with eggs, onions, and peppers.
Consumed worldwide, mackerel is the common name we call different species of pelagic fish. Mackerel is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, super important for our health. Grill your fresh mackerel… and then the sky is your limit for inventing a delicious recipe with this fish!
Try using mackerel as a pasta condiment (with cherry tomatoes, kalamata olives, and fennel) or serving it with a drizzle of olive oil and lemon on top of a fresh salad.
Have you ever tried this Korean dish? Maeuntang is a spicy fish stew. And by “spicy,” we mean “hot”! As a classic of Korean cuisine, maeuntang seasons fresh fish and veggies with gochujang, Korean red chili pepper paste, that give this stew its unique taste.
Mandi is a traditional Yemeni dish, very popular among all Arab countries. It is made from chicken and a mixture of dry spices known as Mandi Masala. The name of this dish comes from the Arab word nada which means “dew,” giving you an idea of the fabulous, tender texture of the meat.
Mansaf is a unique Jordanian dish that you absolutely need to try. Eaten at any big gathering, from weddings to funerals, mansaf was traditionally made from camel or lamb meat and served with flatbread, meat broth, and clarified butter.
Today, mansaf can be enjoyed alongside rice and a yogurt sauce made with jameed, a special, salty yogurt rehydrated with water.
9. Maple Syrup
This iconic ingredient is the pride and joy of every Canadian… but did you know that maple syrup was first made and used by Native Americans? This syrup is usually made from the sap of sugar maple, red maple, or black maple trees. It is a sweetener that can be used both in deserts and savory dishes.
Maple syrup’s most known use is? As the go-to topping for delicious pancakes and waffles!
Is there anything better than a slice of bread and some marmalade spread on top to start your morning? Marmalade is made from boiling the peelings of citrus fruits in water and sugar. The most classic version in the world is made from Spanish Seville oranges.
If you are traveling in the UK, don’t miss the chance to try the popular ‘Original Frank Coopers Oxford Marmalade’.
Have you ever tried marmite? If not, you are in for an experience – you will either love or hate this spread made from yeast. Now infamous in the UK and Australia, marmite was originally invented by a German scientist at the beginning of the 1900s, marmite has a unique, tart taste and provides vitamin B.
If you want to try a super healthy spread, and you are not scared away by super strong flavors, then marmite is for you!
They are sweet, soft, and fluffy. Guess what we are talking about yet? Made from sugar, gelatin, and puffed air, marshmallows are one of the most popular US comfort foods.
Marshmallows are the main ingredient to make s’mores, a sweet treat made from graham crackers and chocolate sandwiched around a fire-roasted marshmallow. A classic when camping, you can also roast marshmallows in the oven or over a stove top. There are plenty of ways to use this delicious sweet!
Masgouf is Iraq’s National Dish of Mesopotamian Origin and centers around a carp fish. The name of this dish means ‘covered’: the carp is covered with a spicy tomato sauce and then cooked suspended over hot coals – when finished roasting, it’s finally served over vermicelli rice noodles.
What makes masgouf amazing is the sauce, made from combining onion, garlic, parsley, tomato paste, vinegar, lemon juice, water, salt, curry, and cayenne pepper. All the ingredients go inside the chopped tomatoes to create a flavor-packed consignment.
14. Mashed Potatoes
This list cannot continue if not with this ultimate classic: mashed potatoes. It’s a warm comfort food and considered an essential side dish for the US holiday Thanksgiving. You need only four ingredients to make it: potatoes, milk, butter, and salt, and you are ready to go.
To create a vegan version, simply substitute the milk for water and the butter for a dairy-free oil. Serve with a dipper of gravy and garnish with some parsley–if you like–and share a big bowl of mashed potatoes among family and friends!
15. Massaman Curry
A flavor-packed curry of Arab origin, massaman curry is one of the most popular Thai dishes.
Usually served with beef, chicken, or lamb over steamed white rice, this curry is spicy, but less hot than other Thai curries. What makes the difference in every curry dish is always the curry paste.
The massaman one is quite easy to prepare at home because it doesn’t require more rare ingredients, such a kaffir lime zest, that can be difficult to find in grocery stores. The only thing you really need? A lot of patience to properly pound all the spices together!
16. Matar Paneer
A Northern Indian curry dish, matar paneer is a classic delicacy with two main ingredients: peas (matar in Hindi) and Indian cottage cheese (paneer).
Every household, and every restaurant, personalizes this dish in different ways, which renders eating matar paneer a new experience every time! It never tastes the same, but it’s always delicious.
Doesn’t everything taste better with some mayo? It’s traditionally made from just three ingredients: oil, egg yolk, and an acid (either vinegar or lemon juice). It takes only a couple of minutes to mix all together (if you use a blender), and voilà!
This versatile, creamy sauce is ready to enjoy. It’s often used as a sandwich spread, as a base in various dips, in potato and chicken salads, in Mexican street corn, as an extra moisture in baked goods, etc.
As a bonus, mayo can also be used as a hair mask treatment to keep your hair glossy. If you fancy something different, add other ingredients to add an interesting twist to your mayonnaise: sriracha, harissa, dried herbs… just get creative!
The epitome of homemade cooking, meatballs are a traditional Italian dish that has found its way into Italo-American cuisine. They’re the star in everyone’s favorite dish: spaghetti with meatballs. Yep, you actually won’t find this dish anywhere in Italy!
Meatballs are usually made from ground beef and breadcrumbs, but the beef can be swapped or mixed with pork and chicken as well chicken, or pork as well. Of course, meatballs can be totally personalized! Add your favorite spices and herbs you like and experiment to find your favorite flavor combinations
A classic Filipino dish, menudo is a rich tomato-based stew of pork meat and liver. You might be familiar with a similar dish, Mexican menudo. The difference between the two is that Filipino menudo is a stew, while the Mexican version is a soup.
In Filipino menudo, the pork is marinated in soy sauce and lemon before cooking. In this way, the meat is going to be super fragrant and flavorful!
If you love sweets, you should definitely try a fluffy meringue! Made from whipped egg whites and sugar, meringue is then baked in the oven: the result is a weightless, airy moment of joy for your tongue!
Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, meringue is a challenge to make at home, which is part of the fun. Meringue is a Swiss dessert widely popular in Italy, France, and Poland. Try it out and serve to friends to level up your baking prowess!
This next entry on the list is truly unique and might not be for everyone. Mett is a traditional German dish, also popular in Poland, and its main ingredient is raw pork meat. To preserve the intense flavor, the meat is minced and flavored only with salt and black pepper. You can also find mett served on a slice of bread with raw onions on top.
22. Mie Ayam
Popular in Indonesia, mie ayam is a noodle dish made from chicken broth and bakm–yellow wheat noodles. The seasoned chicken, boiled vegetables, the sambal sauce, and the noodles are added on top of each other into the bowl before being served.
This dish, besides being delicious and nutritious, has an exciting look that will also make a great pic to post on your social media!
A Spanish and Portuguese rustic dish, migas is made from leftover bread. The name migas literally means “crumbs,” and the pieces of bread are fried and then paired with other ingredients (from meat to veggies). Migas is a traditional breakfast meal, but today it is served in restaurants for lunch and dinner as well.
24. Millionaire’s Shortbread
A valuable name for an incredibly easy-to-make dessert! Millionaire’s shortbread is a rectangular-shaped pastry with three layers: shortbread at the base, caramel in the middle, and milk chocolate on the top.
As always, you can put your own twist and adjust this dessert to your taste by adding different toppings (try out hazelnuts) … or make it all vegan!
One of the most famous beverages, milk is used in countless preparations in cuisine worldwide. The majority of desserts and sweets contain milk. But it is widely used in savory preparation as well.
Traditionally an animal-based product, today a great range of plant-based milks are available on the market: soy milk, oat milk, almond milk… you name it. Whatever dietary needs you have, there is a nourishing milk for you out there!
26. Mimosa Salad
We don’t know about you, but when we hear the word ‘mimosa’, we’re instantly ready for brunch! The Mimosa salad has little to do with it, though. This salad was quite popular in former Soviet states. The mimosa salad is made from eggs, cheese, canned tuna, onion, and mayonnaise.
It gives its name to the resemblance of mimosa flowers sprinkled with snow, achieved by crumbling, and scattering boiled egg yolk on top of the salad.
27. Mince and Tatties
It’s classic, it’s a heartwarming dish, and it’s Scottish. Mince and tatties main ingredients are simple: minced beef and mashed potatoes. Mince and tatties is also popular in the island of Jamaica, where it was introduced by the Scottish in the 1800s.
28. Mince Pies
If you are from the UK or Ireland, you already know a good mince pie when you taste one. If you are from somewhere else, don’t miss the chance to taste this traditional Christmas dessert.
Mince pies are tarts filled with apples (or sometimes pears), dried fruits, and spices soaked in brandy. The combination of fruits and spices varies from a family recipe to family recipe, but there are some standard ingredients: raisins, currants, candied lemon, citron, and/or orange peel mixed with cinnamon, cloves, mace, and nutmeg.
The smell from baking this dessert will fill you home with warm Christmas vibes!
29. Minestrone Soup
There is nothing more comforting than a warm bowl of soup during the winter months.
Minestrone is an earthy vegetable soup typical of Italian cuisine. Its invention dates back to the pre-Roman period when the diet was “vegetarian by necessity,” because meat was too expensive at that time for the majority of the population.
Minestrone remains a delight to eat: add every veggie you can find, vegetable broth, and pasta or bread croutons.
Mint is an aromatic perennial herb. The fresh or dried leaves of this plant are used both in dishes as well as drinks. Mint has a fresh and sweet flavor with a cool aftertaste, which renders beverages (from tea to mojito) incredibly satisfying. Mint ice cream and candies are to die for, and mint is a great addition to different desserts and savory dishes.
Plus, mint herb has anti-inflammatory properties, and can be used to help settle an upset stomach. Very popular in Middle Eastern cuisine, mint is used in lamb dishes; it is also a staple in Indian cuisine, used to make even more special curries!
If you are unfamiliar with Burmese cuisine, do yourself a favor and try out mohinga! Mohinga is a rice noodle and fish soup with a magical lemon-grass broth that makes everything vibrant. The trick to nailing this traditional dish is to achieve the right balance of ingredients.
When ready, the mohinga is served as follows: the noodles, which have been cooked separately, the soup, and then toppings of your choice (cilantro, slices of lemon… whatever your heart desires). Mohinga is usually made in a big pot and enjoyed on special occasions.
A traditional dish from Tibet, momo is so popular that it has become a beloved dish in both Nepal and India. Momo are dumplings made from flour with savory stuffing (meat or veggies, your choice).
Steamed or sometimes deep-fried, momo is traditionally served with chili garlic sauce and pickled daikon. In Nepal, the most popular dipping sauce is a tomato-based chutney.
Moqueca is a Brazilian fish stew that is easy and fast to make–and, of course, super delicious! You can make moqueca with whatever fish you like, cooked in a terracotta casserole. The fish is simmered in coconut milk alongside onion, tomatoes, chilies, and lime. It will only take you half an hour to prepare this heavenly dish!
Every Greek taverna serves this traditional dish! Moussaka is a casserole made from baked or pan-fried eggplants and potatoes. They’re covered with a minced beef or lamb tomato sauce, topped off with a bechamel sauce. If this sounds like a sort of lasagna, you are right! Moussaka is creamy and rich in flavor… just the ultimate comfort food!
Let’s be honest, pizza wouldn’t taste the same without this ingredient. The original mozzarella cheese is made from fresh buffalo milk mixed with whey and left to ripen for approximately an hour.
After that, the right amount of rennet is added to the mixture becomes denser and reaches its dreamy consistency. Perfect for a pizza, pasta, sandwiches, or just alongside some tomato slices, mozzarella is a one-of-a-kind ingredient that you need to regularly have in your kitchen.
36. Mu Ping
If you want to feel like you are walking on the streets of Bangkok, then you should try making mu ping. Curious about what this dish is? Simple grilled pork skewers enriched with an incredible marinade.
The pork is tossed in a savory-sweet marinade made by combining garlic, cilantro stems, palm sugar, fish sauce, soy sauce, oyster sauce, and white pepper. This mix is what makes the difference and renders mu ping mouthwatering!
A beloved dish in countries from the Arabian Peninsula and Southeast Asia, murtabak is known by different names: matabbak, mutabbak, or mutabbaq.
Coming from the Arab word for “folded,” murtabak is a type of flatbread filled with different types of fillings, from meat to veggies, then folded and pan-fried. It looks like an omelet, and it is super delicious!
Musakhan is a delicious Palestinian dish that, in its literal translation from Arabic, the name of this dish can be translated as “something that is heated.”. Also known as muhammar (“reddish”) for the color given by the saffron and the sumac (a plant), it is a very special version of chicken with bread.
The chicken is roasted with fried pine nuts, onions, saffron, and sumac topped on a taboon bread. If you have never tried Palestinian cuisine before, this dish is a good place to start!
Mushrooms are edible fungi that provide several important nutrients. There are thousands of different mushrooms, but not all of them are edible–some can be toxic!
Luckily, mushrooms that you find at the grocery store or food market are safe to eat. Mushrooms vary for consistency, flavor, and price – yes, we are talking about you, truffles. You can buy mushrooms fresh, canned, or dried, and use them in so many dishes!
Shiitake in Japanese ramen, truffle or porcini in Italian pasta, oysters to veganize your favorite tacos recipe… just choose a mushroom variety and begin cooking something delicious. As a bonus, if you like the outdoors, you can take a course in foraging and learn identify and harvest edible mushrooms from forests yourself!
Belonging to the family of bivalve mollusks, mussels are black-shell marine animals that have been used as food for thousands of years. From China to India, to Brazil, to Italy, mussels find their way into kitchens around the world.
You can enjoy mussels steamed in a white wine broth or try to make a tomato sauce with them–your pasta will be just irresistible!
Mustard is a condiment with such a distinct flavor profile that you will spot its use in hundreds of dishes! Made from the seeds of a mustard plant (yellow mustard, brown mustard, or black mustard), mustard can be mixed with other ingredients to make a paste or sauce to use in your cooking.
Mix together olive oil, mustard, lemon juice, maple syrup (or another liquid sweetener), salt, and pepper to make an over-the-top salad dressing! In the US, mustard is also often also used as a condiment on hot dogs and hamburgers.