The most complete red vegetables list, EVER. From red leafy vegetables to red stem vegetables, names, pictures, fun facts, tastes, health benefits, and uses are included! ❤️

Intro and Disclaimer

Twenty-five red vegetables (with pictures!), making this the most comprehensive list you can find on the Internet!

For the purpose of this list, I use the broad definition of vegetables as any edible part of plants. Meaning that this includes root veggies, leafy veggies, beans, and grains. Alright, get ready and let’s go! ❤️

6 Red Root Vegetables

1. Red Onions

Red onion slices looking translucent, taken from above.

Fun fact(s): Red onions contain especially high levels of quercetin and flavonoids compared to other types of onions.

Quercetin itself fights inflammation and boosts the immune system, with some researchers believing that it is the compound that gives onions their cancer-fighting properties! (source: WebMD)

Taste and texture: They are milder than their yellow counterparts and slightly sweet with a crisp texture.

Uses: Red onions are excellent for raw applications in salads, salsas, carpaccio (like in my Tomato Carpaccio recipe) and sandwiches (like in my Hummus Bagel), adding the oomph to your dishes!

2. Beets

Two red beet root: one cut open and one whole red beet in the background.

Fun fact(s): In ancient Greece, beets were a common offering to Apollo, god of the sun, light, poetry, healing, prophecy, agriculture, and archery!

Another thing that’s great about beet is that they’re rich in nutrients such as folate, manganese, potassium, and iron. Plus, beet juice helps in lowering blood pressure! (source: Medical News Today)

Taste and texture: Earthy and slightly sweet with a firm, smooth texture.

Uses: Commonly roasted, pickled, or used in salads and soups. They’re really great in my Vegan Beetroot Tartare, which sounds fancy, but only takes 15 minutes to make!

3. Red Carrots

Seven rainbow carrots lined up side by side, two of them being red carrots, mixed with orange, yellow, and white carrots.

Fun fact(s): Red carrots get their color from lycopene, an antioxidant also found in tomatoes. This is also the same substance that helps with heart health, so yay! (source: WebMD)

Taste and texture: Sweeter than orange carrots, but just as crunchy! They’re usually only available in the winter so when you see them, go grab some!

Uses: Great for eating raw (e.g. with dips like this 5-Minute Hummus), roasting, or adding color to salads and slaws. They’re also great in soups since they will make the soup so pretty!

4. Radish

A bunch of red round radish with the radish greens still in tact.

Fun fact(s): In Mexico, there’s an annual festival called “Noche de Rábanos” (Night of the Radishes) where large radishes are carved into intricate designs. You can browse pictures and read more about it in this Thrillist article, it definitely made me want to go and visit Mexico!

Taste and texture: Radishes are crisp and mildly peppery with a firm texture.

Uses: Often eaten raw in salads and bowls (like in my Poke Rice Bowl), pickled, or used as a garnish.

5. Red Potatoes

A bunch of organic red potatoes before they're completely cleaned in a large basket in a market.

Fun fact(s): Red potatoes were first cultivated in the Andes Mountains, which were then brought over to Europe by Spanish explorers in the 16th century. From then on, red potatoes have been a staple in many European countries! (source: Specialty Produce)

Taste and texture: Red skin potatoes are creamy and smooth with a slightly sweet taste. They have that comforting feeling you get from eating potatoes!

Uses: Perfect for baking, grilling, boiling, and steaming. They stay firm so it’s less ideal for mashed potatoes (though of course, you can still make them). They’re also great in my Crispy Adobo Fries or my Korean Fries (Loaded Fries or Gochujang Fries variations)!

6. Red Sweet Potatoes

A bunch of red Japanese sweet potatoes laid in a big crate.

Fun fact(s): Japanese sweet potatoes, also known as Satsumaimo, are often sold by street food vendors in Japan, typically roasted to perfection!

Taste and texture: Sweet with an earthy, chestnut-y tone (instead of the sugary kind of sweetness), with a creamy and fluffy texture when cooked!

Uses: Japanese sweet potatoes are commonly roasted, baked, used in desserts, and even made into tempura and croquettes (korokke).

I like to buy tons of them whenever I’m back home in Indonesia since they’re much more affordable there, and I just roast them for breakfast! And feel free to also turn them into fries, following my Korean French Fries recipe to give that recipe a sweet twist!

7 Red Leafy Vegetables / Salad Veggies

1. Red Oak Leaf Lettuce

Red oak leaf lettuce starting to spring up from the ground.

Fun fact(s): You guessed it, red oak leaf lettuce gets its name from its dark red lobed leaves that resemble the shape of oak leaves!

Taste and texture: Mild and slightly nutty with tender, crisp leaves.

Uses: Ideal for salads, wraps, sandwiches, and as a colorful garnish to various dishes since it has mild flavor! I like to add mine to stuff like my Avocado Bagel Sandwich, or as a base in grain bowls too!

2. Lollo Rossa / Lollo Rosso

Six heads of lollo rossa: three are red, the other are green, taken from above.

Fun fact(s): Lollo Rossa is an heirloom variety of lettuce known for its dark red, frilly leaves. Although it’s an heirloom variety, it’s actually quite common to find in supermarkets here in the Netherlands where I live!

Taste and texture: Crispy and a bit nutty with a slightly bitter undertone and a tender yet crunchy texture!

Uses: Similar to red oak leaf lettuce, they’re great when eaten fresh in salads, bowls, sandwiches, wraps, and as a garnish!

3. Ruby Gems Lettuce

Ruby gems lettuce after being sprayed with a bit of water, taken from above.

Fun fact(s): Ruby Gems lettuce is a variety of romaine lettuce but with vibrant red leaves!

Taste and texture: Mild and sweet with a crisp and crunchy texture.

Uses: As with most lettuce, ruby gems lettuce is great when served raw in salads, wraps, sandwiches, or as a garnish. Feel free to also mix them with the green ones to add color to your bowl!

4. Radicchio Chioggia

Radicchio chioggia on a dark green crate, with more radicchio next to it.

Fun fact(s): Radicchio Chioggia is named after the Italian city of Chioggia which is located near Venice!

Taste and texture: Bitter and spicy with a crisp, crunchy texture.

Uses: They are often used in salads, grilled, or roasted to mellow its bitterness.

5. Red Chicory / Red Endive

Red chicory / endive / radicchio di treviso leaves being laid on top of another to create a really pretty pattern.

Fun fact(s): Chicory roots have been used as a coffee substitute, providing a caffeine-free alternative!

Taste and texture: Similar to radicchio chioggia, red chicory leaves are bitter and slightly spicy with a crunchy texture.

Uses: Used in salads, sautéed, grilled, baked, or roasted to add a unique bitter flavor to dishes. As always, cooking them mellows their bitterness so I recommend cooking them!

6. Red Spinach

Close-up of red spinach/red amaranth leaves on a pure white background.

Fun fact(s): Red spinach, also known as red amaranth leaves, is often used in Asian cuisines for its flavor and nutritional benefits!

Also just about Asian spinach in general, they’re actually quite different than the ones we often see in the West. The green Asian spinach is more fibrous and therefore less suited for raw consumption, unlike the green spinach here!

Taste and texture: Similar to your regular green spinach but with earthy tones and a more fibrous texture especially on the stems.

Uses: They’re often stir-fried, sautéed, or used in stews and soups!

7. Purslane

An orange purslane flower with purslane leaves with its red stems.

Fun fact(s): Although purslane is known in many cultures as weed, it is high in omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and minerals, making it a nutritious choice! (source: Healthline)

Taste and texture: Fresh and crunchy, similar to the taste of spinach and watercress!

Uses: Purslane is great when served raw in salads, vegetables, and garnishes due to its pretty red stems/stalks! You can, however, also cook them by stir-frying or steaming!

4 Red (Hot) Chili Peppers

Okay red bell peppers aren’t hot but sorry guys, can’t stop myself! 😆 (iykyk haha)

1. Red Bell Pepper

A bunch of red bell peppers with a dark background.

Fun fact(s): Red bell peppers start out as green bell peppers! As they ripen, they turn red and develop up to 11 times more beta carotene and 2 times more vitamin C! (source: WebMD)

Taste and texture: Sweet and crisp with a juicy texture, it’s one of the most versatile vegetables!

Uses: Use them raw in salads, sandwiches, and bowls, or simply dip them with this Smoked Paprika Aioli for more bell-pepper-y taste!

They’re also great when cooked in fajitas, added into pasta (like in my Tandoori Pasta) and pizzas, roasted, stir-fried, the options are endless!

2. Cayenne Pepper

A bunch of fresh red cayenne pepper scattered around, taken from above.

Fun fact(s): The Scoville Heat Units (SHU) of cayenne pepper typically range from 30,000 to 50,000, making it spicy but milder than some other chili peppers like habaneros.

Taste and texture: Cayenne peppers are spicy with a pungent aroma and a subtle smokiness.

Uses: These days, cayenne pepper is mostly sold as ground spice so you can add them to any dish where you want that heat! Use them in spice mix, added into soups, curries, and stews, or use the fresh ones to make My Mum’s Authentic Indonesian Rendang (Made Vegan!).

3. Red Habanero Pepper

Red habanero pepper in the middle, with the orange, yellow, and green habanero varieties around.

Fun fact(s): Red habanero peppers are among the hottest chili peppers, measuring up to 350,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU)! 🌶️🔥 And as you can see, there are also the yellow, orange, and green varieties.

Taste and texture: These red chili peppers are extremely spicy with a fruity and floral undertone.

Uses: Used fresh, dried, or in hot sauces and salsas for their intense heat and flavor!

4. Red Cherry Pepper

A bunch of red cherry peppers taken from above.

Fun fact(s): Red cherry peppers are small, round peppers that resemble cherries in size and shape. They have a mild to moderate level of heat and a slightly sweet flavor.

Taste and texture: These red peppers are mostly sweet with a mildly spicy tone.

Uses: Red cherry peppers are often pickled and used in salads, sandwiches, and appetizers, or often stuffed with cheese for a flavorful snack.

5 Other Red Vegetables

1. Red Cabbage

Two heads of red cabbage, one cut open and another one left whole.

Fun fact(s): Red cabbage contains anthocyanin, which is a natural pH indicator, meaning that red cabbage water will change color to red/pink in acidic conditions, and to blue/green in alkaline conditions!

If you’d like to do an experiment at home, perhaps with kids, this video by The Dad Lab shows you exactly that!

Taste and texture: Red/purple cabbage has a peppery taste with a crunchy texture, similar to green/white cabbage.

Uses: Often used in slaws, salads, bowls (like in my Rainbow Poke Bowl), stir-fries, and even soups to make it extra pretty and colorful!

2. Rhubarb

A bunch of red rhubarb stalks next to each other, showing nice shadows.

Fun fact(s): Rhubarb is technically a vegetable but is often treated as a fruit in culinary uses due to its tart flavor. One more thing is that you should only eat the pink/red stalks since the leaves can be toxic if ingested in large quantities!

Taste and texture: Rhubarb stalks have a tart flavor with a fibrous texture, which is also why it’s typically cooked with sugar to balance that tartness.

Uses: Rhubarb is commonly used in desserts like pies and crisps, or turned into jams, sauces, and compote.

3. Tomatoes

Red tomatoes with green stalks laying on top of each other, with five tomatoes in the middle being in focus.

Fun fact(s): Opposite to rhubarb where it’s technically a vegetable but often treated as a fruit, tomatoes are botanically classified as fruits but commonly treated as vegetables!

Taste and texture: Tomatoes have a juicy, slightly acidic taste with a soft and fleshy texture.

Uses: Where do I start? So many dishes use tomatoes! Often added into pizzas, pasta, salads, sandwiches, salsas, chili, curries, and many many more! And don’t forget to try my 10-Minute Tomato Carpaccio which truly showcases the beauty of tomatoes!

4. Red Cherry Tomatoes

A bunch of red cherry tomatoes still with its green stalks on top of each other, taken from above.

Fun fact(s): Although red cherry tomatoes are probably the most popular variety of mini red tomatoes, cherry tomatoes also come in other colors like yellow, orange, green, and even purple!

Speaking of yellow cherry tomatoes, you might want to check out my List of 25 Yellow Vegetables! 💛

Taste and texture: Red cherry tomatoes have a sweet and slightly tangy taste with a juicy, burst-in-your-mouth texture when bitten!

Uses: Use them when you’re too lazy to chop tomatoes, as snacks, added into salads or in pastas/noodles like what I did here in my Spicy Gochujang Ramen!

5. Red Corn

Red corns with their husks opened, hung to try them, with other colored corn around.

Fun fact(s): Its deep red color comes from anthocyanins, which are powerful antioxidants that protect against inflammation and free radical damage. (source: Specialty Produce)

Taste and texture: Red corn has a slightly sweeter taste compared to yellow or white corn, with a crunchy texture.

Uses: Often boiled, grilled, or used in dishes where its color can provide visual appeal, such as red corn salsa.

3 Red Beans and Grains

1. Red Kidney Beans

A bunch of red kidney beans being scooped using a metal scooper.

Fun fact(s): Red kidney beans are named for their resemblance to the human kidney in shape and color. Well, surprise surprise!

Another great fact about them is that they’re rich in protein and iron. They can also reduce heart disease risk, control blood sugar levels, and prevent colon cancer! (source: WebMD)

Taste and texture: Creamy when cooked, with an earthy, nutty, and slightly sweet flavor.

Uses: They are often used in chili con carne, curries (like the Indian rajma which I’m a big fan of!!), bean salads, stews, and as a side dish. I’ve also tried making red kidney bean brownie and it turned out great!

2. Adzuki / Azuki Beans

Close-up of adzuki beans from Japan, taken from above.

Fun fact(s): Adzuki beans are native to East Asia and have been cultivated for over 4,000 years! (source: this journal article published in Oxford Academic)

Taste and texture: Nutty and slightly sweet, with a creamy texture when cooked.

Uses: This dark red bean is often turned into sweet red bean paste (anko in Japanese) that is used for desserts like mochi, dorayaki (Japanese ‘pancake’), or taiyaki (also Japanese ‘pancake’ but in fish shape) fillings.

Speaking of mochi, you can also make them at home just by using Nutella as its fillings following my Nutella Daifuku Mochi recipe!

3. Red Quinoa

A bunch of red quinoa grains taken from overhead.

Fun fact(s): Red quinoa is naturally gluten-free and considered a complete protein, containing all nine essential amino acids so you don’t have to worry about getting complete protein anymore!

Taste and texture: They have an earthy and nutty flavor with a slightly crunchy but soft texture when cooked.

Uses: Use this dark red grain as a base for salads and bowls, served as a side dish, incorporated into veggie burgers, or used in soups and stews for added fiber, nutrition, and texture!

FAQ

Red and orange vegetables usually contain more vitamin C than other vegetables. However, green vegetables typically contain more iron (source: Michigan State University). Therefore, neither is universally ‘healthier’ than the other. Incorporating a variety of colors in your meals is the way to go!

Red leaf lettuce (such as lollo rossa, ruby gem lettuce, and red oak leaf lettuce), radicchio, red chicory, red spinach, and purslane are some examples of red leafy vegetables. Read my post here to learn more about them!

Naturally red foods include tomatoes, red bell peppers, red lettuce, and beets. Some examples of red fruits are strawberries, apples, and cherries. Come check out my blog post to learn more about them!

Red vegetables include red bell peppers, tomatoes, radishes, red cabbage, and beets. I’ve compiled a list of 25 red vegetables here (including photos, fun facts, and uses in cooking), so check that out!

Red-veined sorrel, beet greens, and red Swiss chards are some examples of leaf vegetables that have red veins but green leaves.

Beets are a common vegetable that is dark red in color. Red quinoa, red kidney beans, and red spinach are other examples of dark red vegetables.

Final Words

So there you go—the fiery and robust world of red vegetables!

From our good old trusty tomatoes to the hot and spicy red habanero peppers, and even the sweet and earthy richness of azuki beans. This article celebrates the diversity of red foods from all around the world.

If you still want to browse around, I recommend checking out my List of White Vegetables🤍, Black Vegetables🖤, Brown Vegetables🤎, or Pink Vegetables🩷 in my Pretty Produce series!

Otherwise, let’s try some of these red veggies and let’s get cooking! 🧑‍🍳

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One Comment

  1. Great post! Nice to add color to my dishes sometimes so thanks for the inspo.