Eating the same veggies night after night is a quick way to zap your interest in healthy food. The next time you’re in the produce aisle staring at the familiar onions and carrots, use this list of vegetables that start with “W” for culinary inspiration. You may find your new favorite veggie. 

1. Wasabi (Eutrema japonicum)

extreme closeup of green wasabi leaves

You can grind wasabi into a spicy paste.


If you love sushi, there’s a good chance you like wasabi, too. Wasabi is a root vegetable with a strong flavor that’s perfect for spicy marinades and sauces. It’s widespread in Japanese cuisine and is often paired with fish and meat. 

To make your wasabi paste, grind wasabi roots as fine as possible. Whole wasabi roots can be sliced and tossed with a salad.

2. Water Spinach (Ipomoea aquatic)

Water spinach (Ipomoea aquatica, Swamp morning-glory, kangkong, river spinach, Chinese spinach, or water convolvulus) is planted in vegetable agriculture field. Green background.

Some people eat water spinach because of the health benefits associated with its high water content.


Trouble with your gut? Add some water spinach to your diet. It’s full of fiber and water, so it promotes healthy digestion. You may need to travel to find it, however, because growing water spinach is illegal in many states. 

The problem is that it’s considered an invasive species. It’s also a delicious vegetable loaded with health benefits, so foodies and chefs are trying to fight the bans. In 2022, Georgia updated its laws so restaurants could serve water spinach.

3. Wax Beans (Phaseolus vulgaris)

New harvest of organic yellow long wax beans close up

Green beans and wax beans look almost identical.


Wax beans are a yellow variety of green beans. They’re often added to nutritious soups and salads.

The beans lack the vibrant color of green beans, but they share a similar taste. You can use wax beans instead of green beans in your recipes, and you likely won’t notice a big difference. 

4. Winged Beans (Psophocarpus tetragonolobus)

Winged bean pods

All winged bean pods are long and thin.

©STRONGlk7, CC BY-SA 3.0 – License

Winged beans flourish in hot, tropical climates in places like Thailand and Malaysia. Every bit of the plant is edible, but it’s the bean pods that get the most attention. The pods look like thin strips of lettuce. 

Cooked winged beans are more commonly consumed, but feel free to eat them raw and enjoy the satisfying crunch. 

5. Welsh Onions (Allium fistulosum


Many people know Welsh onions as scallions or green onions.

©Stephan Schlachter/

Welsh onions may be an unfamiliar term, but how about green onions or scallions? Most scallions in the U.S. are the Welsh onion variety, although it’s possible to run into other types. 

Welsh onions grow small bulbs and long, tube-shaped leaves that are delicious sprinkled over savory dishes. The taste is mild and similar to chives, another member of the Allium genus. There’s no need to cook the delicate greens, but feel free to slice and stir-fry the bulb.

If you’re concerned about health, Welsh Onions are a good idea for pregnant women because they contain folic acid. 

6. White Radishes (Raphanus sativus var. Longipinnatus)

Lo Bok known as Daikon, or Winter Radish too

White radish leaves can give flavor to salads and soups.

©alex5248/iStock via Getty Images

Try chopping up some young white radish leaves when you’re in the mood for a salad. They have a nice crunchy texture. 

White radish roots are edible, too. Eat them raw if you want a biter bite to accent other flavors, cooked if you prefer a peppery twang. 

The first white radish plants grew in China, but they’re now cultivated worldwide. They need cool temperatures and are ready to harvest within a month of planting.

7. White Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis)

Modern style traditional steamed white asparagus with butter sauce hollandaise and cress served as close-up on a Nordic design plate

Farmers grow white asparagus underground, so it never turns green.


In some countries, white asparagus is considered a delicacy. It’s especially popular in Germany and Switzerland.

Most asparagus is picked after the spears sprout from the ground. Exposure to sunlight encourages chlorophyll production, so the asparagus turns a recognizable green color. White asparagus is grown entirely underground, so it never produces chlorophyll and keeps its original pale shade.

8. Water Caltrops (Trapa

the eatable water chestnuts in the danube delta in romania

Raw water caltrops are considered unsafe to eat.


Water caltrops, also called water chestnuts, are aquatic plants often found in lakes and flooded fields. Don’t eat them straight from the water, however. Raw water caltrops are toxic. 

Many people can describe what water caltrops look like, but nailing their taste is more difficult. They’re very mild and have a light crunch. Many chefs add water caltrops as a contrast to softer textures like stir-fried noodles. 

9. Wheatgrass (Thinopyrum intermedium)

Wheat grass (Thinopyrum intermedium)

Fresh wheatgrass has a light to medium green color but a very strong taste.

©Pavaphon Supanantananont/

Wheatgrass can have an intense, bitter flavor when grown indoors or harvested late. However, even bitter-tasting wheatgrass is beneficial because it’s often pulverized and taken as a shot or dehydrated and used as a powder.

You might add powdered wheatgrass to soup, a smoothie, a sauce, etc. The taste is milder when you can control the potency. Wheatgrass is a solid addition to your diet because it houses calcium, 17 amino acids, enzymes, iron, and vitamins A, C, E, K, and B complex.

10. Wild Leeks (Allium tricoccum)

Wild ramp growing out of leaf-covered ground

Eating wild leeks may benefit your eyes.

©Karel Bock/

Today, you can spot wild leeks growing in America’s moist, wet forests, although the plants are native to Europe and Asia.

Wild leeks taste similar to garlic but have the scent of an onion. The leeks are slightly sweeter than both vegetables, however. Many people love the flavor, and small towns and cities across the U.S. hold wild leek festivals, although they usually call them “ramps.” 

Wild leeks are full of Vitamin K and carotenoids, organic pigments that can make your eyes healthier. 

11. Wild Endives (Cichorium intybus)


Pulverized wild endive roots can be used as a coffee substitute.


The food industry uses crushed wild endives as an additive and coffee substitute. That may sound surprising unless you know that wild endives are also called chicory in America. 

The entire plant is edible raw but has a bitter taste that may be off-putting. The leaves lose some of that sting when they’re cooked. 

Wild endives are commonly grown as food for livestock as well. 

12. Wax Gourds (Benincasa hispida)

Winter Melon, White Gourd, Winter Gourd, Ash Gourd,Benincasa hispida. Rather large, oblong gourds. The look a bit like boring watemelons. The are standing on end. They look rather waxy.

Large wax gourds can be cooked in many different ways.

©Have a nice day Photo/

Wax gourds are technically fruits, but they’re used as vegetables in many recipes because they bring depth to savory dishes. They taste delicious when grilled, fried, roasted, steamed, and eaten raw. 

The gourds have a high water content, so they can help your gut feel better if you have digestion problems.

13. Wild Garlic (Allium ursinum)

Woman picking wild garlic (allium ursinum) in forest. Harvesting Ramson leaves herb into wicker basket. Herbal harvest

Cooks appreciate wild garlic leaves.


Unlike the clove garlic you typically find, wild garlic is usually consumed for its leaves. The bulbs and flowers are edible, too, however. 

Wild garlic has a mild taste, perfect for those who like just a touch of garlic. At restaurants, you might find wild garlic in dishes like pasta, pesto, and savory pastries. For a more robust flavor, rub it as a paste on a piece of meat.

14. Walla Walla Onion (Allium cepa)

Fresh Picked Large and Sweet Whole Walla Walla Onions in a bin in a Farmers Market for Sale

Walla Walla onions are a sweet variety.

©Candace Hartley/

To be considered a Walla Walla onion, it must be grown in Walla Walla, Washington. The first plant was brought to the community in 1900 by a French soldier.

Today, Walla Walla onions are famous for their sweetness and mildness. You can buy them in Washington markets during the summer months. You’ll know you’re buying the right variety because all Walla Walla onions are labeled with an official sticker. 

15. Wawa Choy (Brassica rapa subsp. pekinensis)

Napa Cabbage

Napa Cabbage and wawa choy are the same vegetables in different stages.

©Brent Hofacker/

Wawa choy is Napa cabbage that’s harvested when the plant is still young. Early harvesting leads to incredibly tender leaves and a noticeably sweet taste. 

You’ll see these veggies on Asian-inspired menus. If you enjoy napa cabbage, you’ll almost certainly like wawa choy. However, they aren’t entirely interchangeable. Mature napa cabbage may not have the delicacy for recipes requiring wawa choy.

Additional Vegetables That Start With “W”

  1. Walnut lettuce
  2. Wakkerstroom onion
  3. Wakame seaweed
  4. Wandoo tomato
  5. Wasata Bok choy
  6. Walcheren winter lettuce
  7. Waldmann’s green lettuce
  8. Watercress
  9. Waltham butternut squash
  10. Wando pea
  11. Ware onion
  12. Warner lettuce
  13. Wan Shoukong cucumber
  14. Warba potato
  15. Warabi
  16. Wenatchee onion’
  17. White celery
  18. Willow herb
  19. Ward’s Romaine lettuce
  20. White lady cucumber
  21. Wangenheim cabbage
  22. Warner cauliflower
  23. Weeping blue atlas cedar shoots
  24. Wax pepper
  25. Wee bee little pumpkin
  26. White Brussels sprouts
  27. White habanero pepper
  28. White icicle radish
  29. White yarrow
  30. Wizard radish
  31. Windstar lettuce
  32. Winter beetroot
  33. Wu hur cucumber
  34. Wendy lettuce
  35. White carrot
  36. Wood sorrel
  37. White mustard
  38. White Tama maize
  39. Westphalian onion
  40. Wright cucumber
  41. Wood violet
  42. White potato
  43. White beetroot

Summary of Vegetables That Start With “W”

Vegetables Culinary Facts
Wasabi Perfect condiment
Water Spinach High water content for improved digestion
Wax Beans Taste like green beans
Winged Beans Have crunchy, lettuce-like pods
Welsh Onions Also called scallions or green onions
White Radishes Offer a peppery flavor
White Asparagus Considered a delicacy by many
Water Caltrops Add crunch to stir-frys
Wheatgrass Often consumed as a powder
Wild Leeks Smell like onions
Wild Endives It pairs well with meat
Wax Gourds Pairs well with meat
Wild Garlic Less pungent than common garlic
Walla Walla Onion Famously sweet and mild
Wawa Choy Tender leaves with a lightly sweet flavor

The photo featured at the top of this post is © nnattalli/