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Red is the color of love, power, and passion, so it's no surprise that red foods often get the same passionate response.
Red fruits and vegetables are not only beautiful to look at, but they're also packed with nutrients like lycopene, anthocyanins, and vitamins A and C.
And while you may be familiar with some of the more common red foods like red vegetables and red fruits, we’ll share 30 foods with a range of red hues. You can eat them to improve your health and use them creatively in dishes.
Sounds delicious, right?
How do red foods get their color?
Red foods get their color from their cells. The pigment in the cells make the food red in color.
Let's get started with this list of foods that are red.
Common Foods that are Red
Some of the most common red foods are strawberries, cherries, paprika, and red beef.
1. Red Bell Peppers
Red bell peppers originated in Mexico and are part of the nightshade family. They are an excellent source of antioxidants, which can help protect your cells from damage.
You can use the red bell peppers to garnish your salads or as a tasty addition to soups and stews.
There are other creative ways to use them as well. For instance, you can stuff them with fillings or even use them as a replacement for red meat in some recipes.
You'll be surprised that they have twice as much vitamin C as oranges.
2. Red Cabbage
Red cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable, an excellent source of antioxidants and vitamins, including vitamin C, beta-carotene, and folic acid.
Red cabbage also contains sulforaphane, a compound shown to have anti-cancer properties. And you can use it to decorate your plate as it has a beautiful red color that will make your meal look more attractive.
Sautéed, roasted, or raw red cabbage is a versatile red vegetable you can use in various dishes. Red cabbage slaw is a popular way to enjoy this veggie, but you can also use it as a filling for tacos or wraps.
3. Red Grapes
Red grapes are excellent for making wine, yet they're also fantastic for various things. You may use them to make flavored oils or infused water, which pair well with various foods.
For instance, you can use them as a topping for pizza or a salad with feta cheese and toasted almonds. You can even put them in desserts, like red chocolate cake or custard.
4. Blood Oranges
Blood orange is a variety of sweet oranges with red flesh. They get their name because the color is the color of blood. The red pigment is due to anthocyanins, which are potent antioxidants which is uncommon in citrus fruits like oranges. It originated in the Southern Mediterranean in the 18th century.
You can use blood oranges in desserts, like sorbet or granita. But don't hesitate to use it in savory dishes, like salads or main courses.
And that’s not all. You can also use blood orange as a decorative element as it adds a pop of color to your dish. For instance, you can use its slices as a garnish for roasted chicken or fish.
These oranges are juicy and have a slightly tart flavor, making them perfect for various dishes. Add them to salads, use them as a garnish for cocktails, or even bake with them. So start digging into your crazy foodie or chef fantasies.
Cranberries are a type of evergreen shrub that grows in bogs or wetlands. They're one of the few red fruits available all year round as we usually use them in dried form.
Cranberries are tart, so you can use them in sauces, stuffings, and baked goods. Chefs love adding them to dishes, like cranberry chicken or pork tenderloin with cranberry gravy. We can't forget cranberry juice which is a delicious drink.
And if you're looking for a creative way to use them, try roasting them. Roasted cranberries are a great addition to salads or a topping for oatmeal or pancakes.
6. Red Beans
As a family member of common beans, you can use small red beans in various dishes. They are perfect for use in soups, stews, and chili. It's a popular ingredient in Chinese, Japanese, and Indian cuisines.
Red beans and rice is a classic red dish from Louisiana, made with small red beans, vegetables, spices, and pork bones. It tastes like heaven, and you'll want seconds.
Also, you can bake and sauté small red beans with rice; it's a delicious and unique way to enjoy this red food.
7. Red Potatoes
Red potatoes have red skin, a type of waxy potato. They're small to medium in size with a smooth texture. And they're perfect for use in salads or as a side dish.
Roasted red potatoes are the most popular way to enjoy them. But you can also use them in soup, like the creamy red potato and bacon soup.
Also, you can mash them or make roasted red potato wedges.
Decorating steaks with this red vegetable is another great way to use them. They are also a good source of fiber and vitamins, making them delicious and nutritious.
There are endless ways for you to enjoy red potatoes. Get creative in the kitchen and have fun with it!
8. Pomegranate Juice
Red pomegranate juice is loaded with antioxidants and has many health benefits. Bartenders use it in cocktails, like the Pama Sour or the Red Devil. But you can also mix it in mocktails, like the Shirley Temple or Virgin Mary.
If you're looking for a creative way to use this red juice, try making a pomegranate reduction. It's perfect for use as a sauce or glaze.
And it's effortless to make; all you need is pomegranate juice and sugar.
Interestingly, pomegranate juice is also great for marinating meats. So the next time you're grilling, try using it as a marinade for your chicken or steak. You'll be amazed at the flavor it adds to your dish.
Raspberries originated in Europe, and they're a type of summer fruit. They have a delicate flavor and are perfect for use in desserts, like pies or tarts. But you can also add them to smoothies, yogurt, or cereal.
One of the most creative ways to use raspberries is by making raspberry vinegar. It's a great addition to salad dressings or marinades. You can make it by combining raspberries and white vinegar.
Raspberry jam is also a traditional way to enjoy this red fruit. But if you're looking for something different, try making raspberry chutney. It's perfect for serving with chicken or pork dishes.
You can also make watercolors or natural dye with raspberries. So if you're feeling crafty, give it a try. Ensure to solidify after straining the seeds.
10. Red Apples
You've probably heard the saying, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away." Well, there's some truth to that. Red apples have nutrients like fiber and vitamins that are good for you.
There are many ways to enjoy red apples. You can eat them as is, or you can cook with them. They are perfect for use in pies or cobblers. Try making a red apple galette to get creative in the kitchen.
Red apples are also great for snacking. And yes, you can also enjoy red apple chips, a perfect alternative to potato chips.
11. Goji Berries
Gogi or goji berries are a type of red fruit native to China. They have a sweet and sour flavor, and they're often used in Chinese medicine.
Goji berries are also gaining popularity as a superfood. They are exceptionally high in antioxidants. And there are many ways to enjoy them.
You can add them to smoothies or yogurt. Or you can make a goji berry salad with greens and other fruits.
Interestingly, you can also use goji berries in savory dishes to balance the flavors. So if you're looking for a unique way to use this red fruit, try adding them to a stir-fry. You can also make goji berry tea or candy with them.
12. Red Cherries
There's nothing quite like a ripe, red cherry. They are perfect for snacking or adding to desserts. You can make cherry pies or cobblers with them. Or you can enjoy their yogurt or cereal.
Interestingly, cherries are also suitable for making cocktails. So you can creatively use red cherries the next time you're entertaining.
Cherry juice is also a great way to enjoy this red fruit. Cherry vinegar is also gaining popularity as a creative way to use this tart fruit.
Strawberries are one of the most popular red fruits. They have a sweet flavor and are perfect for use in desserts like pies. But you can also add them to smoothies, yogurt, or cereal.
Strawberry balsamic vinegar is a creative way to use this red food. You can make it by combining strawberries and balsamic vinegar.
Or you can buy it at most gourmet food stores. The exciting thing about strawberries is that you can also use strawberries to make a natural dye.
Tomatoes are technically a fruit, but they're often used as a vegetable. They have a slightly acidic flavor and are perfect for sauces like marinara or salsa. But you can also add them to salads, sandwiches, or wraps.
One of the most creative ways to use tomatoes is by making tomato water. It's a refreshing way to enjoy this red fruit cum vegetable. It's also a great way to add flavor to dishes and soups.
15. Red Chili Peppers
Red chili peppers originated in Bolivia and were first cultivated in Mexico. They have a spicy flavor and are often used in Mexican or Indian cuisine. And you can use them in many dishes to add flavor and garnish.
The most obvious thing to do with red chili peppers is making hot sauce. So if you like spicy food, you can use this red food to make your hot sauce.
People love eating watermelon as a snack or dessert. The taste of watermelon juice is refreshing. And you can use watermelon to make cocktails and add color and flavor to salads.
A surprising fact about watermelon is that it's not just red on the inside. The watermelon rind is also red; you can use it to make pickles. So if you're looking for a creative watermelon recipe, try making its rind pickles.
Beef is a type of red meat high in protein and iron. People often use it in dishes like stews, burgers, or tacos.
One of the unique ways to use beef is by making beef jerky. It's a perfect snack for on the go. And you can make it with different flavors, like barbecue or teriyaki.
Make beef into patties and then fry them; you'll thank us later. You can also fake it for a vegetarian version and use portobello mushrooms.
Lobster is red seafood high in protein and omega-3 fatty acids. It's often used in dishes like bisques or chowders.
One of the most creative ways to use lobster is making lobster rolls. They're a famous sandwich in New England. But you can also add them to salads or pasta dishes.
Or you can enjoy boiled lobster with drawn butter. It's a delicious and easy way to enjoy this red food.
Radish was domesticated in Asia but is grown and consumed throughout the world. These red vegetables have a slightly sour flavor, and that's why people use it in salads. But you can also play with it as a garnish.
Radishes pickles are a creative way to use this red vegetable. Or you can enjoy radish kimchi, which is a popular Korean dish. You can enjoy it by fermenting radishes in a spicy chili paste.
Paprika is a red spice that is made from dried peppers. It has a mild flavor, and people use it to add color or flavor to dishes. Smoked paprika is a great way to add flavor to meats or vegetables.
Paprika has a long shelf life, so it's a great spice to have on hand. Paprika salt is a creative way to use this red food ingredient. Combine it with paprika and salt to flavor meats, vegetables, or popcorn.
21. Red Currant
Red currants are a type of red berries you can eat raw. They have sugar sprinkles on the outside and a sour flavor inside. You'll love their taste in jams, jellies, or syrups.
Red currant syrup is a creative way to use red currants. Add it to cocktails or desserts for a delicious flavor. You can also freeze it and enjoy it as a healthy snack. It's a delicious way to add sweetness to your dishes.
22. Red Wine
Red wine is a type of red alcohol made from red grapes. Its smooth flavor is renowned, and people use it in cooking. It can add a touch of sophistication to your dishes.
You must give it a go if you have never tried red wine jelly. It's a great way to use red wine and an excellent addition to appetizers or main courses.
Red wine vinegar is another popular way to use this red food. It also adds flavor to stews or braised dishes. And you can enjoy the red wine sauce as well.
Rhubarb is a type of red spring vegetable that is native to Asia. Because of its tart flavor, people almost always combine it with sugar.
You'll be surprised to learn that rhubarb pie is actually a popular dessert in the United States. And it's easy to see why because this red food is delicious.
You may also use rhubarb to make a delicious dish if you love food challenges. You can also add it to pork or chicken for a mouthwatering flavor.
Beetroot originated in Mediterranean Europe and North Africa. And then it spread all over Europe and India. The sweet flavor makes your salads and desserts extraordinary.
Beet juice is a popular way to use this red food. But people also love eating roasted beetroot as a side dish.
You can also use it to make a healthy and delicious slaw. And don't forget the pickled beetroot that's perfect for savory dishes.
25. Red Salmon
Red salmon is a type of redfish that is high in omega-3 fatty acids. Chefs love adding it to dishes like sushi or sashimi.
One of the most creative ways to use red salmon is by making red salmon caviar. It's a luxurious and flavorful dish that's perfect for special occasions.
26. Red Onion
Red onions are a type of red vegetable that is native to Asia. They have a sharp flavor and are often used in salads. One of the tastiest ways to use red onions is by pickling them. It's a great way to add some extra flavor to your dishes.
Unique List of Red Foods
Some of the more unusual red foods are red quinoa, sumac, and prickly pear.
27. Red Quinoa
Red quinoa is a red grain that is native to South America. It's high in protein and fiber and has a slightly nutty flavor. You will love red quinoa salad because it's a healthy and flavorful dish.
Red quinoa is also a great way to add color and nutrition to your dishes. It's a versatile grain you can use in many ways. For instance, you can use it to make a red quinoa cake.
28. Red Rice
Red rice originated in Asia and is high in fiber and has a nutty flavor. And foodies all across the world are rediscovering their versatility and health benefits.
From making risotto to red rice pudding, this is a red food you can use in many ways. It's also a great way to add color and nutrition to your dishes. And it's a delicious and comforting dessert that's perfect for winter.
Sumac is a spice that is native to the Middle East. It has a tangy flavor, and Lebanese or Persian cuisine uses it in many dishes.
Sumac chicken is a flavorful and easy dish that's perfect for weeknights. Or you can add it to salads or roasted vegetables for a mouthwatering flavor.
You can also use sumac to make a lemonade-like drink. It's a refreshing and healthy drink you'll love during the summer.
30. Prickly Pear
Eastern prickly pear fruit has a sweet flavor, and you can use it in desserts or as a garnish in many dishes. Prickly pear sorbet is a refreshing and flavorful dessert. It's high in fiber and antioxidants, making it a healthy and delicious treat.
Other Red Foods
Some other foods that are red include things like bloody Mary drink, cherry cobbler, red velvet cake, and more.
Red Food List FAQs
Some foods are red because they contain anthocyanins which is a group of natural coloring.
Red foods are typically full of antioxidants and are full of health benefits.
Some vegetables that are red include: radishes, rhubarb, and red onion.
Some fruits that are red include: strawberries, cherries, grapes, and currants.
Red Food Recipes
Some delicious red food recipes include:
More colorful food
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes cut in half
- ¼ cup red onion sliced
- ¼ cup fresh basil chopped
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Add tomatoes, onion, and basil in a bowl. Season with salt and then toss with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.