Spanish Vocabulary for Cooking and the Kitchen

Instructor: Angelica Roy

Angelica is an educator and a journalist. She has a master's degree in education, a bachelor's degree in linguistics and languages, and a second major in journalism.

Cooking plays an important role in Latin American and Spanish cultures. Very frequently, friends and family get together to share delicious homemade dishes. This lesson will help you identify key Spanish vocabulary related to cooking and the kitchen.

The Kitchen in a Spanish Speaking Country

Here is a list of appliances and utensils you can find in a kitchen; as well as the main action verbs you need to prepare food and drinks.

Electrodomésticos (Appliances)

Spanish Pronunciation English
(el) lavaplatos /lah.bah.PLAH.tohs/ sink
(la) estufa /ehs.TOO.fah/ stove
(el) horno /ORH.noh/ oven
(el) horno microondas /ORH.noh mee.kroh.OHN.dahs/ microwave oven
(la) nevera, (el) refrigerador /neh.BEH.rah/ / refrigerator
(el) congelador /koh.heh.lah.DOHR/ freezer
(la) alacena /ah.lah.SEH.nah/ cupboard
(el) lavaplatos automático /lah.bah.PLAH.tohs ah.oo.toh.MAH.tee.koh/ dishwasher
(la) tostadora /tohs.tah.DOH.rah/ toaster
(la) cafetera /kah.feh.TEH.rah/ coffee maker
(la) licuadora lee.koo.ah.DOH.rah/ blender
(la) batidora /bah.tee.DOH.rah/ beater

Utensilios (Utensils)

Utensilios de Cocina

Spanish Pronunciation English
(el) cucharón /koo.chah.ROHN/ ladle
(la) olla /OH.yah/ pot
(la) sartén /sahr.TEHN/ frying pan
(la) cuchara /koo.CHAH.rah/ spoon
(el) tenedor /teh.neh.DOHR/ fork
(el) cuchillo /koo.CHEE.yoh/ knife
(la) espátula /ehs.PAH.too.lah/ spatula
(el) colador /koh.lah.DOHR/ strainer
(los) cubiertos /koo.bee.EHR.tohs/ cutlery

Verbos (Verbs)

Spanish Pronunciation English
preparar /preh.pah.RAHR/ to prepare
cortar /kohr.TAHR/ to cut
rallar /rah.YAHR/ to grate
pelar /peh.LAHR/ to peel
picar /pee.KAHR/ to chop
hervir /ehr.BEER/ to boil
freir /freh.EER/ to fry
sofreir soh.freh.EER/ sauté
tajar /tah.HAHR/ to slice
revolver /reh.bohl.BEHR/ to stir
hornear /ohr.neh.AHR/ to bake
cocinar /koh.see.NAHR/ to cook
cocinar al vapor /koh.see.NAHR ahl bah.POHR/ to steam
verter /behr.TEHR/ to pour
batir /bah.TEER/ to whisk
mezclar /mehs.KLAHR/ to blend
añadir /ah.nyah.DEER/ to add
asar /ah.SAHR/ to grill
derretir /deh.reh.TEER/ to melt
calentar /kah.lehn.TAHR/ to heat up
servir /sehr.BEER/ to serve

Ingredientes (Ingredients)


If what you want is to prepare a good Latin American or Spanish recipe, you need to know some of the main ingredients there are in a Spanish speaking country kitchen. You will also need to know the vocabulary related to measurements. So, let's begin:

Ingredientes Principales (Main Ingredients)

Spanish Pronunciation English
(la) cebolla /seh.BOH.yah/ onion
(el) ajo /AH.hoh/ garlic
(el) tomate /toh.MAH.teh/ tomato
(el) pimentón /pee.mehn.TOHN/ pepper
(la) zanahoria /sah.nah.OH.ree.ah/ carrot
(los) fríjoles /FREE.hoh.lehs/ beans
(el) arroz /ah.ROHS/ rice
(el) maíz /mah.EES/ corn
(la) harina /ah.REE.nah/ flour
(la) fruta /FROO.tah/ fruit
(la) verdura /vehr.DOO.rah/ vegetable
(la) lechuga /leh.CHOO.gah/ lettuce
(las) arvejas /ahr.BEH.hahs/ peas
(la) habichuela /ah.bee.choo.EH.lah/ string beans
(el) plátano /PLAH.tah.noh/ plantain
(las) carnes /KAHR.nehs/ meats
(la) sopa /SOH.pah/ soup
(la) papa
(la) patata

Carnes (Meats)

Spanish Pronunciation English
(la) carne de res /KAHR.neh deh rehs/ beef
(el) pollo /POH.yoh/ chicken
(la) pechuga de pollo /peh.CHOO.gah deh POH.yoh/ chicken breast
(la) pierna y pernil /pee.EHR.nah ee pehr.neel/ leg and thigh
(la) carne de cerdo /KAHR.neh deh SEHR.doh/ pork
(la) chuleta de cerdo /choo.LEH.tah deh SEHR.doh/ pork chop
(el) pescado /pehs.KAH.doh/ fish
(los) mariscos /mah.REES.kohs/ seafood

Fruta (Fruit)

Spanish Pronunciation English
(el) jugo /HOO.goh/ juice
(el) limón /lee.MOHN/ lime, lemon
(el) maracuyá /mah.rah.koo.YAH/ passion fruit, maracuya
(la) guayaba /wuah.YAH.bah/ guava
(la) manzana /mahn.SAH.nah/ apple
(la) pera /PEH.rah/ pear
(la) mora /MOH.rah/ blackberry
(la) fresa /FREH.sah/ strawberry
(la) naranja /nah.RAHN.hah/ orange
(la) sandía /sahn.DEE.ah/ watermelon

Hierbas y especias (Herbs and Spices)

Spanish Pronunciation English
(la) sal /sahl/ salt
(la) pimienta /pee.mee.EHN.tah/ pepper
(el) comino /koh.MEE.noh/ cumin
(el) laurel /lah.oo.REHL/ bay leaf
(el) tomillo /toh.MEE.yoh/ thyme
(el) perejil /peh.reh.heel/ parsley
(la) albahaca/ /ahl.BAH.kah/ basil
(la) canela /kah.NEH.lah/ cinnamon
(el) jengibre /hehn.HEE.breh/ ginger
(los) clavos /KLAH.bohs/ cloves
(el) aceite de oliva / deh oh.LEE.bah/ oil

Unidades de medida (Measurements)

Spanish Pronunciation English
(la) cucharada /koo.chah.RAH.dah/ tablespoon
(la) cucharadita /koo.chah.rah.DEE.tah/ teaspoon
(la) taza /TAH.sah/ cup
(la) libra /LEE.brah/ pound
(el) gramo /GRAH.moh/ gram
(el) trozo /TROH.soh/ chunk
(el) pedazo /peh.DAH.soh/ piece


Now, let's put everything into practice, and prepare some good food! We'll also fill in some blanks and test our kitchen knowledge.

Práctica 1: Una Receta (A Recipe)

Rice plays an important role in the cuisine of a Spanish speaking country. Here we have a very traditional Spanish and Latin American dish: Arroz con pollo.

Arroz con pollo


1 pechuga de pollo cortada en trozos
2 tazas de arroz
4 tazas de agua
1/2 taza de arveja
1/2 taza de zanahoria picada
1/2 taza de habichuela picada
1/2 pimentón picado
1 cebolla pequeña picada
aceite de oliva


  1. En una sartén con aceite de oliva, sofría el ajo y la cebolla por dos minutos.
  2. Añade el pollo y sofríe.
  3. En una olla, prepara el arroz con el agua, añade sal y aceite de oliva.
  4. En otra olla, pon a hervir la zanahoria, la habichuela y la arveja.
  5. En una olla grande, añade el arroz ya cocinado, la zanahoria, la habichuela, la arveja (sin el agua) y mézclalo con el sofrito de aceite, ajo y cebolla.
  6. Añade el pimentón y mezcla.
  7. Sirve el arroz con papas a la francesa (french fries) o plátano frito, y salsa de tomate (ketchup).

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