What are examples of savory foods? We give you 25 examples and answer many more questions in our complete guide.
Savory foods are an important part of the American diet.
From pizza to hamburgers, hot dogs, and French fries, salt concentration defines some of the staples of American fast food.
The human tongue can detect five major flavors: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and umami. Savory foods have a satisfyingly salty taste or smell with little (if some) sweet taste.
Savory foods are frequently served as snacks at bars and in Italian restaurants.
If you’re looking for more savory foods to add to your “favorites” or “want to try” list, keep reading for 25 savory foods, followed by some frequently asked questions about what constitutes a savory meal.
What are Some Savory Food Examples? (25 Examples)
Popcorn is among the most famous savory snack options.
Popcorn is also a healthy snack option unless you opt for movie theater popcorn butter, which is high in saturated fats.
If you want to go for a healthier popcorn option, opt for air-popped popcorn, which lacks the extra fat and calories found in prepackaged popcorn.
You can also create your own flavor profile with homemade popcorn. You can add sea salt and olive oil to add a savory flavor without adding anything unhealthy.
You could really pop your own popcorn on the cooker, in the toaster oven, or in an air popper if you have one.
Hamburgers and cheeseburgers are American culinary icons.
A meat patty sandwiched between two soft hamburger buns with cheese, onions, pickles, and tomatoes is sure to satisfy any appetite.
Hamburgers satisfy the human tongue’s umami and salty flavor cravings and have a high glutamate content, making them a savory dish.
3. Veggie Chips
Veggie chips have grown in popularity as a healthier alternative to potato chips.
They’re ideal for when you’re craving something savory but still want to fuel your body with nutritious foods.
Kale chips and asparagus chips are popular veggie chip variations that can be found in the grocery store with a variety of flavor profiles such as sriracha, mustard, and salt.
You can even make your own veggie chips in the comfort of your own home by roasting and drying vegetables.
By making your own veggie chips, you can avoid preservatives and additives while also using healthy oils and salt to give your chips the exact flavor you want.
Because salt is one of their main ingredients, pretzels are one of the most common foods associated with a savory flavor profile.
If you’re not careful, they can become quite addictive.
If you’re watching your weight, try mini pretzels to keep your snacking at a slower pace, allowing you to fill up without going overboard.
Pretzels are delicious on their own, but they also make excellent vehicles for your favorite dips, such as guacamole and hummus.
Pizza originated in Italy and was made from the finest ingredients such as fresh cheese, basil, and tomato with few extra additives.
However, as pizza has grown in popularity in the United States, it has become far more savory than its Italian forefather.
Pizza is now frequently topped with a generous amount of salt and pepper. To add some spice to pizza, garlic salt and chili oil are commonly used.
Many people like to top their pizza with savory toppings like anchovies or pepperoni.
Chili is a delicious savory dish that can be made in a variety of ways. There are numerous establishments across the country that claim to serve the best chili.
Chili is typically made with beans, tomatoes, ground meat, cheese, and other flavoring vegetables such as celery.
Chili creates a distinct savory flavor profile by combining umami and salty flavors. It’s the ideal meal for satisfying your savory cravings while keeping you warm and full.
7. Peanut Butter
Peanut butter is an intriguing ingredient because, depending on the type, it frequently crosses the line between sweet and savory.
Peanuts are naturally savory, but salt is frequently added to enhance this flavor.
Peanut butter contains a lot of added sugar, making it a unique combination of sweet and savory.
You can also buy flavored peanut butter, such as white chocolate or cinnamon peanut butter, which are more akin to desserts than snacks.
If you want savory peanut butter, stick to your favorite natural peanut butter that is low in added salt.
Other types of nut butter, such as almond butter and hazelnut butter, may be healthier options because they are lower in fat while still providing all of the great flavors.
8. Potato Chips
Of course, potato chips must be included on the list of savory foods.
Just because some of your favorite potato chips aren’t so healthy doesn’t mean they’re all bad for you. Sweet potato chips or baked potato chips with lower saturated fat content are available.
You can even try roasting and drying potatoes at home to make your own potato chips with all of the flavors you want without all of the bad stuff.
Cheeses come in a variety of flavors, from sharp cheddar to mild cottage cheese. Blue cheese, cotija, feta, mozzarella, and cheddar are some savory cheeses.
Cotija cheese is commonly found in Mexican dishes such as guacamole and tacos. Mozzarella is more common in Italian cuisine.
Cheddar is widely used in American foods such as sandwiches and burgers.
Cheese comes in a wide range of flavors, making it a popular savory option all over the world. Cheese goes well with a variety of savory snacks and dishes, including crackers and chili.
Because of its high glutamate content, bacon is an excellent example of savory food. Bacon is a breakfast staple in the United States and Europe, though preparations vary by country.
Some chefs choose to add a maple glaze to their bacon to add sweetness.
11. Asian Noodles
Many Asian cuisines add extra glutamate (MSG) to their dishes to make them more savory.
Noodles are a staple food in many Asian cuisines, including Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.
Dan Dan noodles, which originate in China’s Sichuan region, are one example of a savory noodle dish.
They are served with “mala,” a spicy sauce made of pork, Sichuan pepper, chili oil, preserved vegetables, and green onions.
Dan Dan noodles are quite salty and use the umami flavor of meat, making them a very savory dish. Pad Thai, Mi Xao, and Lo Mein are some other savory Asian noodle dishes to try.
The variety of dried meat snacks available these days seems limitless.
While beef jerky was once the only type of dried meat available, the market has expanded to include turkey jerky, pork jerky, chicken jerky, and even vegan jerky.
Jerky is an excellent grab-and-go snack that is high in protein but also high in sodium and fat. However, there are some healthier options available, particularly if you go vegan.
There are tofu jerkies and fruit jerkies that are healthier than meat-based jerkies.
Another option is to look for turkey or chicken jerky, which typically contains fewer nitrates than pork or beef jerky.
Avocados are technically fruits, did you know? Did you know that fruits can also be savory?
Avocados are one of the few naturally savory fruits available. Not to mention that they are an essential component of one of the best dips: guacamole.
Avocado is a filling, healthy snack high in healthy proteins and fats. If you want something spicy, add a pinch of salt and pepper or even some of your favorite hot sauce.
If you want to combine savory and sweet flavors, salt and honey are an excellent choice.
Avocados are also distinctive in that they are one of the few savory foods with a creamy texture. Avocados are a great option if you want something savory but are tired of crunchy or crispy foods.
Tomatoes are another type of fruit that falls into the savory category.
They are not overly sweet, unlike most other fruits, and pair well with a variety of savory dishes such as hamburgers, lasagna, wraps, sandwiches, and more.
They are also delicious on their own or with a pinch of salt and olive oil. Tomatoes are among the healthiest savory snacks available.
Potatoes are used in a variety of savory dishes, including French fries, baked potatoes, and others. They can be seasoned with salt, cheese, or bacon to make them even tastier.
Potatoes chopped and served with garlic and rosemary are another delicious, low-cost savory dish.
Many cultures around the world include potatoes in their diet.
16. Corn Tortilla Chips
Corn tortilla chips can be used with any dip.
While regular potato chips may be considered pure junk food, corn tortilla chips are typically healthier alternatives.
They are frequently salted or even flavored with lime, making them a great savory snack for any dip you choose.
They’re also filling snacks on their own!
There are many brands of corn tortilla chips on the market but look for brands with fewer ingredients and additives.
Fritters are deep-fried small cakes or patties popular in the southern United States. They’re supposed to be savory, but they can also be sweet.
They taste best when served warm.
Fritters are made from dough or batter, and then chopped ingredients are added to give them a distinct flavor.
Corn fritters, potato fritters, pork fritters, and other popular fritters. You can’t go wrong with almost any ingredient because they’re just fried dough.
They are frequently served at southern barbecue restaurants alongside fried chicken or pork ribs, as well as your favorite coleslaw and mac and cheese.
Check the serving size as well, because it is all too easy to eat the entire bag! They pair well with healthy side dishes such as guacamole or hummus.
18. Savory Pies
Though more popular in the United Kingdom and Europe, savory pies are gradually making their way into the American diet.
Savory pies, such as Shephard’s pie, are made with meat, a creamy sauce, and vegetables.
Steak & Ale pies and vegetarian pies with mushrooms, broccoli, peas, and other vegetables are also popular savory pies.
The crust is less sweet than that of dessert pies. Savory pies are a filling and dense dinner option.
Soups come in a variety of flavors.
Almost all soups contain salt and are flavorful, making them the ideal meal on a cold winter day when you’re craving some comfort food.
Some soups are healthier than others, and it all depends on how much red meat, cream, and salt you use.
Clear broth soups are typically healthier because they use less cream.
Other soups, such as pumpkin and squash soup, are thicker but just as healthy because they are made from pureed vegetables.
20. Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are a healthy option for those looking for a savory snack without the associated health risks.
Nuts and seeds are high in protein and healthy fats, and they now come in a variety of flavors such as habanero, coconut, chili-lime, toasted salt, and many others.
If you’re tired of eating plain nuts, there are plenty of savory nut flavors to satisfy any craving.
You can also find a lot of nuts and seeds in nut bars, such as Kind bars or RX bars, which come in sweet or savory flavors to suit your tastes.
Consuming this high-protein, high-fiber bars will help to keep your high-calorie snack cravings at bay.
They’re also great afternoon pick-me-ups when things seem to be moving slowly at work.
Eggs If you enjoy savory breakfasts, eggs are a great option. You can make scrambled eggs, over-easy eggs, hard-boiled eggs, omelets, and more.
They’re frequently served with potatoes, toast, or tomatoes to make a hearty American breakfast.
They are high in protein and healthy fats, providing you with the energy you need to get through the day.
To make your breakfast even more savory, season it with salt, pepper, or even hot sauce. Eggs are also used in a variety of savory dishes, such as huevos rancheros.
Crackers, like corn chips, are excellent vehicles for your favorite dips and vegetables. If you’re looking for a filling snack, use crackers to make mini sandwiches with meats and cheeses.
Crackers are available in a variety of flavors, including sriracha, salt, herb, cheese, and many others. Some cracker brands are better for you than others.
Before purchasing savory crackers from the store, make sure to check the ingredients list as well as the serving size.
23. Onion Rings
Onion rings have a crispy exterior and a softer onion center on the inside. It goes perfectly with any barbecue or a fast-food meal.
The thick onion rings will be coated with breadcrumbs or dipped in batter before being fried. They are frequently accompanied by ketchup, mayonnaise, or tartar sauce.
Some people may add salt, pepper, and cheese to make the dish even more flavorful.
24. Macaroni and Cheese
One of the most popular kid’s meals on the market is macaroni and cheese. What’s not to like about pasta and cheese?
With breadcrumbs, it can be made savory. The savory cheese is responsible for the delectable flavor of mac and cheese.
You can make healthier mac and cheese at home by using whole grain pasta and low-fat cheese, or you can buy your favorite brands at the supermarket.
Amy’s, Annie’s, and Kraft are some of the most popular Mac and Cheese brands.
You can select the type of mac and cheese you want from these brands, such as white cheddar or vegan.
Quesadillas are Mexican dishes that can be found in Mexican restaurants, fast food chains such as Chipotle, or made at home.
Quesadillas are typically made with a flour tortilla and filled with cheese, beans, and occasionally vegetables or meat.
They are richly spiced and thus quite savory. Quesadillas are simple to prepare and pair well with guacamole, salsa, or spicy sauce.
How Can You Produce Savory Flavors?
Consider adding soy sauce, fish sauce, or miso to your broth or stock to make it more savory.
These are common flavors found in Asian cuisine. Don’t be alarmed if fish sauce sounds frightening. It has no taste of fish. It’s almost always found in spring rolls and other Vietnamese dishes.
If you like Vietnamese food and sweet and sour sauce, you’ll probably enjoy the fish sauce. Soy sauce, fish sauce, and miso are all excellent additions to your favorite savory dishes.
Is Spicy the Same as Savory?
No, savory and spicy are not synonymous. Another word for salty is savory.
Spicy is that peppery flavor that can leave your mouth burning while also leaving you wanting more.
Chili, pizza, and buffalo wings are examples of spicy and savory foods.
Is Buttery Sweet or Savory?
Butter is typically considered savory, especially when salted, but unsalted butter can be used for baking or if you are trying to reduce your sodium intake.
This makes your dishes less savory, which is useful if you want to make a sweet recipe, such as cakes, or if you want your toast to be a little sweeter (or at least less savory).
Butter is generally considered savory and is used in a variety of savory snacks and meals such as popcorn and butter pasta.
Is Meat Savory?
Umami is a flavor that is commonly associated with meat. Umami and savory flavors can also blend together.
You can cook meat with a high glutamate content to stimulate both the tongue’s umami receptors and savory flavors.
When the meat has a high glutamate content, MSG levels rise, and MSG is typically associated with salty savoriness.
Because of this, your favorite Salisbury steak may be described as savory.
Is Cheese Savory?
Cheese is typically regarded as savory due to its relatively high salt content.
It may surprise you to learn that a 30-gram portion of cheddar cheese contains more salt than a 30-gram bag of potato chips.
Cheese is also commonly used to complement savory dishes such as grilled cheese and potato chips.
Because the majority of these dishes are high in salt, cheese is generally regarded as savory.
What is the Usefulness of Savory Flavor?
Savory is a flavor that complements a wide range of foods. One favorite is a sweet and savory combination, such as caramel.
Some people enjoy putting chocolate in their popcorn or eating chocolate-covered pretzels, which all feature a unique combination of sweet and savory flavors.
Another favorite is to sprinkle salt on summer fruits such as watermelon and pineapple, which transforms any sweet snack into a delectable treat that will satisfy all of your savory snack cravings.
The savory mineral is also delicious in soups, stews, bean dishes, cabbage, sauerkraut, and many other dishes.
What is the Savoriest Food?
Glutamate, an amino acid that gives natural products like mushrooms, meat, anchovies, and cheese their distinct flavors, is found in the most savory foods.
Umami, the savory flavor associated with meat and fish, can also be obtained through cooking and fermentation by reducing moisture and increasing glutamate concentration.
What Herb is Savory?
Summer Savory is a unique herb that is unique to Savory. This herb comes from the mint family and originated in the Mediterranean.
It has been used since the Middle Ages and has an aromatic flavor that is similar to thyme.
It has a peppery aftertaste that lends it a distinct flavor.
Why Do We Call it Savory?
According to legend, the ancient Roman empire brought savory spice to England, where it quickly gained popularity in cooking and medicine.
Because of its close relationship to spiciness and pungent flavor, the English called it “savory.”
What is Savory Food?
Sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and umami flavors are all perceived by taste buds.
Savory foods tend to emphasize salty and umami flavors. Umami, which means “essence of deliciousness” in Japanese, is a flavor found in meats, fish, mushrooms, cheese, soy sauce, and many other foods.
The primary fundamental role of this flavor is to assist humans in consuming enough proteins for organ growth and maintenance.
Although most modern humans with access to proper nutrition do not have to worry about this, it was a significant benefit in helping our forefathers thrive.
The presence of glutamic acid, an amino acid, gives savory foods their flavor.
This acid occurs naturally in a wide variety of savory foods. However, monosodium glutamate is a low-cost additive that is sometimes added to foods to give them a more umami flavor.
What is Sweet Food?
Sweet foods are frequently contrasted with savory foods. This is because sweets are thought to be at the opposite end of the taste spectrum as salty and umami flavors, which are associated with savory foods.
Sweet foods provide the body with quick sources of energy, which was necessary when people had to hunt and gather food.
However, because many foods now contain unhealthy amounts of sugar, sweet foods should be consumed in moderation.
Eating small amounts of sweet foods on occasion will help you appreciate the savory foods at the other end of the flavor spectrum.
What Constitutes Savory Food?
Savory food tastes salty or spicy rather than sweet. Savory dishes are the most well-known aspect of Italian cuisine.
Savories are small portions of savory food that are typically consumed as a snack, such as with alcoholic beverages at a party or before a meal.
Is Pizza Classified as a Savory Food?
Pizza is a popular dish served for a variety of occasions and meals.
It can be sweet or savory and eaten as a breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, or snack. Pizza is traditionally thought to be a savory food made into a round shape and cut into wedges for serving.
Is Chocolate Savory or Sweet?
After all, chocolate is only sweet because manufacturers stuff it with sugar and mask the cocoa notes with milk and additives. Cacao beans, the precursors to chocolate, contain a plethora of flavors that can add contrast, brightness, richness, and depth to a variety of savory dishes.
What Distinguishes a Recipe as Savory?
Adding tomatoes, mushrooms, or potatoes to your other vegetables, which are all naturally savory, will increase the overall umami of the dish.
The more ripe the vegetables, the more flavorful they will be. Leaving the seeds in the tomatoes will also increase the umami flavor.
What’s the Distinction Between Savory and Salty?
“Savory” usually means flavorful but not sweet, but it does not have to be salty.
This is especially common in rich dishes with meat, vegetable, butter/oil, and/or herb flavors. A savory item can also be salty, but it does not have to be salty.
What Spice is Savory Made of?
Savory, a member of the mint family, is a small, green plant used to flavor food.
This aromatic herb comes in two varieties: winter savory and summer savory. Both are native to the Mediterranean’s sunny slopes.
How Do you Add Flavor to Savory?
Here are some suggestions for adding savory/umami flavors. To broth or stock, add a splash of soy sauce, fish sauce, or miso. Sauté vegetables with anchovy paste. Simmer the soup with the parmesan cheese rind.