In English we use the adjective "saltless" to describe a food with "no salt"; but I need to know whether there is a particular adjective for a food which doesn't have "enough" salt? (i.e. intentionally for diet / or when a cook forgets to sprinkle enough salt etc.)

4 Answers 4


"Saltless" is not idiomatic for foods without salt. Instead we would say they are "unsalted".

I'm going to buy us some peanuts. Do you want salted or unsalted?

Foods without enough salt would be described as "under-salted", or simply, "needs more salt".


The usual way to say this (especially if you're talking about food you're cooking or eating) is "it needs salt" or "it needs more salt".

If it has to be an adjective, I would say "undersalted" or "not salty enough". For example, "The bread was really good, but the soup wasn't salty enough."

It's also possible to say "insufficiently salty", but that's very formal.

  • +1 "Under-salted" pretty much covers it.
    – Andrew
    Apr 27, 2019 at 21:48

I've never heard anyone say "saltless", and I don't believe that's correct English.

Americans would usually say it has "no sodium" or "low sodium", especially when we're discussing dietary or nutritional contents of a dish.

A dish is "too salty" or "has too much salt", or in cases where it needs more salt, the dish "tastes bland and needs more salt".


The fact we have no antonym for salty has recently cone to my attention. For the time being, we can say unsalty.

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