The zebrafish larva is a powerful tool for the study of dietary triglyceride (TG) digestion and how fatty acids (FA) derived from dietary lipids are absorbed, metabolized and distributed to the body. While fluorescent FA analogues have enabled visualization of FA metabolism, methods for specifically assaying TG digestion are badly needed. Here we present a novel High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) method that quantitatively differentiates TG and phospholipid (PL) molecules with one or two fluorescent FA analogues. We show how this tool may be used to discriminate between undigested and digested TG or phosphatidylcholine (PC), and also the products of TG or PC that have been digested, absorbed and re-synthesized into new lipid molecules. Using this approach, we explored the dietary requirement of zebrafish larvae for phospholipids. Here we demonstrate that dietary TG is digested and absorbed in the intestinal epithelium, but without dietary PC, TG accumulates and is not transported out of the enterocytes. Consequently, intestinal ER stress increases and the ingested lipid is not available support the energy and metabolic needs of other tissues. In TG diets with PC, TG is readily transported from the intestine and subsequently metabolized.