foods that start with r

Top 43 Foods That Start With R

Ever thought of doing your grocery shopping based on the alphabet letters? Sounds a bit crazy, but it is not that weird! With this list of food names that start with R, you will find plenty of ideas, new ingredients, and meals to make and try at home!

Here is our list of fruits, vegetables, cooked food, and whole foods that begin with the letter R:

Condiments, Spices, and Additives

#1. Ranch

This dressing is an American invention that contains buttermilk, salt, garlic, onion, mustard, herbs, and spices.

In some cases, a healthier ranch dressing version contains Greek yogurt, sour cream, or a vegan substitute. This condiment is a staple dip for many foods, including pizza, chicken wings, and vegetables.

#2. Roux

A roux is a mix of fat and flour that is usually used as a starter for a sauce or a thickener. The roux consists of equal parts flour and weight, but the flour is added to the melted fat on the stove and cooked until smooth.

The roux is part of many famous French sauces, but also soups, stews, and gravies.

#3. Relish

A relish is a cooked and pickled product that consists of chopped fruit, vegetables, herbs, and pickles. 

The most famous relish is the American one, which consists of pickled cucumbers, sugar, and spices, and it is meant to be used as a topping in hot dogs, hamburgers, and sausage. 

In other cuisines, a relish can be a chutney, a mix of herbs, or fruits, and have different textures.

#4. Remoulade

This French cold sauce is based on mayonnaise, but it is more yellow and may contain curry, pickles, or mustard pickles.

Some variations may also contain horseradish, paprika, capers, and anchovies. Remoulade is often used in France, Denmark, Germany, Sweden, Poland, and Iceland.

#5. Romesco

Romesco sauce originated in Tarragona, Catalunya in Spain, and it is a mixture of tomatoes, garlic, toasted almonds, pine nuts, olive or sunflower oil, and red bell peppers.

In some variations, romesco sauce also contains sherry vinegar, red wine vinegar, and onions. This sauce is often served with seafood, poultry, lamb, and vegetables.

#6. Rainbow Sauce

A rainbow sauce is a dessert sauce that consists of pineapple, candied cherries, apricot, pears, and pistachio nuts. These ingredients are mixed and then boiled in simple syrup to create a sauce. There are other rainbow sauces in many cuisines that may be savory or sweet and sour. 

Fruits and Vegetables

#7. Radish

This edible root vegetable is often served raw in salads. Radish has a pungent flavor, and it is a relative of mustard greens, broccoli, kale, cauliflower, cabbage, and turnips. As a tip, the lighter color radishes have a milder flavor, while the darker ones are stronger.

#8. Romaine Lettuce

Also known as cos lettuce, romaine lettuce is a variety of lettuce common in North America. This lettuce is used in salads, particularly Caesar salad, but it can also be part of soups, stews, and as a garnish.

Like other green vegetables, romaine lettuce is full of fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

#9. Radicchio

Sometimes called Italian chicory because of how common it is in this cuisine, this vegetable has a very distinct red-purple color and its shape resembles cabbage.

Radicchio tastes very bitter raw, but the flavor becomes milder once cooked. This vegetable can be grilled, braised, or served raw.

#10. Rice

Everybody knows rice, some have it every day of their lives. By definition, rice is the seed of the grass species Oryza glaberrima or Oryza sativa, and it is widely popular in Asia, Africa, and South America.

There are thousands of variations of rice, short, medium, long, white, brown, red, or green.

See More: Rice Substitutes

#11. Rhubarb

Rhubarb is a perennial plant that grows in cool climates. The stalks are the edible portion of this plant, and they are very tart in flavor. Rhubarb is usually cooked with sugar and used in making desserts, jams, and jellies.

#12. Red Potatoes

Red potatoes are small or medium in size with red skin and white, smooth flesh. Even though the red potato originated in Peru, it is now very popular across the United States.

If you have ever had breakfast potatoes, then you know that red potatoes are the preferred ones in this setting.

#13. Red Cabbage

Also known as Blaukraut once prepared, red cabbage is common in salads and coleslaw. Red cabbage is very popular in German dishes, including meat dishes like doner or the traditional roast Sauerbraten.

During Christmas time, apples and spices can be added to it, and result in a sweet and sour taste.

#14. Raspberries

This popular berry is known for being pink in color, but there are black, purple, yellow, or gold varieties as well.

Raspberries are incredibly healthy, as they contain a wide range of vitamins and minerals, including antioxidants. You can find them fresh, frozen, or cooked in jams, jellies, syrups, and desserts.

#15. Raisins

Raisins are simply grapes that have been dried in the sun or a food dehydrator. This sweet treat is used in yogurt, cereal, salads, and desserts. Most raisins available commercially contain sugar, so you should consume them in moderation.

#16. Rye

Rye is a grain closely related to wheat and barley, which is a common ingredient in making bread, whiskey, animal feed, and even vodka. This grain is high in dietary fiber, so it is considered a relatively healthy carbohydrate.

Unlike other grains, rye is absorbed more slowly and results in more fullness.

#17. Rosemary

Rosemary is an evergreen herb native to the Mediterranean region, which is why it is common in Greek, Spanish, and Italian cooking. This herb is a member of the mint family, but it has a lemony-pine flavor.

You can find fresh and dry rosemary to cook, but also as a tea mix or tincture.

See More: Rosemary Alternatives

#18. Rambutan

Rambutan is a not-very-common food that starts with R. It’s an edible fruit from Southeast Asia, and it is closely related to the lychee and mamoncillo. This fruit is sweet and creamy, and it contains a seed in the middle. To eat it, remove the skin and seeds first.

#19. Rutabaga

Sometimes called swede, this root vegetable is a hybrid between a turnip and cabbage. Rutabaga is yellow, very large, and only grows in cool climates. This vegetable is not as easy to cook, so most people prefer to boil it first and then saute or fry it.

#20. Rosehip

Rosehip is the fruit of the rose plant, which is typically red or orange. This fruit grows mostly in Europe and some parts of Africa from late summer into fall. You may be familiar with dry rosehip which is a common additive to tea and drinks.

#21. Rapini

Also called broccoli rabe, this vegetable is common in Asian and Italian cuisines. The whole vegetable is edible, but it is often considered to be bitter. For better taste and texture, blanching, broiling, or grilling is recommended.

#22. Redcurrant

Redcurrant is a member of the gooseberry family, and it is native to Europe. The flavor is very tart and slightly sweet. In many European countries, redcurrant is used as a condiment for meat, but also in desserts.

#23. Rigatoni

This tube-shaped pasta is original from Italy and is famous for being used in meat sauce dishes. The big hollow shape allows for better hold of sauces, meat, and vegetables. As with other pasta, rigatoni is made from durum wheat semolina.

#24. Rice Noodles

These are noodles made from rice, as the name indicates, and they are common across many Asian cuisines. Rice noodles are often made with rice and water but may also contain tapioca or cornstarch. There are various sizes, shapes, and textures to rice noodles available these days. 

Prepared Dishes

#25. Reuben Sandwich

A Reuben sandwich is an American grilled sandwich that consists of corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, Russian dressing, and rye bread.

This famous sandwich is often sold in delicatessens, and many mistake it for kosher, but it is not. The story goes that it originated in Omaha, Nebraska.

#26. Ravioli

Ravioli is an envelope of thin pasta dough filled with meat, cheese, or vegetables. Normally, ravioli is served in broth or sauce. These days, you will find ravioli in many shapes and sizes, but the traditional shape is square.

#27. Roll

A roll is a long, round piece of bread that is meant to be served as a meal side dish. Rolls can also be used to make sandwiches and burgers because they are relatively neutral in flavor. In the United States, rolls are made with wheat flour.

#28. Roulade

A roulade is a dish of rolled meat or pastry. This dish can be either savory or sweet, and a famous example is a Swiss roll, which is sweet. A roulade is common in many European cuisines and may include various ingredients inside.

#29. Rusk

A rusk is a hard, dry biscuit, or bread that is baked twice. In some countries, the rusk may be made with cake instead, so it can be called cake rusk. A famous rusk around the world is the Italian biscotti, which people dip in their coffee.

#30. Risotto

Risotto is a northern Italian rice dish that is cooked in broth and has a creamy consistency. In most cases, the broth is either made of chicken, fish, or beef. Risotto may also contain butter, onions, white wine, and Parmesan cheese.

#31. Ratatouille

Ratatouille is a French dish consisting of stewed vegetables and originally from Nice. Common ingredients include tomatoes, garlic, onions, squash, eggplant, bell peppers, and leafy greens. For the seasoning, bay leaf, fennel, basil, marjoram, and thyme are used.

#32. Rissole

A rissole is a small meat patty that comes enclosed in a pastry or covered in breadcrumbs and then baked or fried. Sometimes, it can be filled with ground meat or fish and served as a main dish, side dish, or appetizer.

Rissoles are common in Europe, some South American countries, Australia, and New Zealand.

#33. Ragout

Ragout is a seasoned meat dish with stewed vegetables. This dish is French, and it is prepared slow-cooked over the stove for hours. Often, ragout contains beef, lamb, or duck, peas, carrots, onions, and other vegetables.

#34. Red Velvet

Red velvet cake is a popular American dessert that is a chocolate cake covered with red food coloring and a cream cheese frosting. Commonly, it can be made with buttermilk, cocoa, vinegar, and flour. This type of cake is famous now and may be found in cupcake form as well.

#35. Rice Pudding

This dessert consists of rice mixed with water or milk, as well as cinnamon, raisins, and vanilla.

Rice pudding is common in Asian, European, and Latin American cuisines, which all have some variations to it. Some rice pudding may also contain eggs, making the texture more similar to a custard.

#36. Rum Cake

Rum cake is simply what the name states, a cake made with rum. It is traditionally served around the holidays and originated in the Caribbean. The traditional recipe is made by soaking dried fruit in rum for many days and then adding it to the dough to form a cake.

Fish, Poultry, Meat, and Others

#37. Roe

Roe is the egg of marine animals like fish, scallops, shrimp, squid, or sea urchins. This food can be cooked or eaten raw and is often served on top of other dishes, like sushi. Roe is considered a delicacy, though some people find the flavor to be too strong.

#38. Ricotta

Ricotta is a whey cheese made from sheep, cow, goat, or water buffalo milk. It is made by coagulating the proteins that remain after the casein is used to make other products. Ricotta is a fresh, sweet, and salty cheese.

See More: Ricotta Replacements

#39. Roquefort

Roquefort is a sheep’s milk cheese originally from southern France and thought to be the best blue cheese. This cheese has a very pungent and strong smell, and the flavor is tangy and sharp. Roquefort is a white and crumbly cheese that can last for a long time.

#40. Ribs

When people refer to ribs, they are usually referring to pork, beef, lamb, or venison meat near the ribcage. Ribs are commonly served smoked or barbecued and can be covered in BBQ, honey, or spicy sauce.

In the United States, ribs are a common staple of steakhouses, BBQ restaurants, and cookouts.

#41. Redfish

Redfish is the general term used to refer to a group of deep-sea rockfish. Some examples include the red snapper, red drum, sockeye salmon, and red emperor. This fish is often served grilled, sauteed, or smoked.

Cocktails and Beverages

#42. Rye Whiskey

This type of whiskey is made from rye and a combination of other grains. Rye whiskey has to be at least 51% rye, while bourbon is made from a mash that has 51% corn. This whiskey tends to be spicier and sharper than regular bourbon.

#43. Ratafia

Ratafia is a term used to refer to two types of sweet alcoholic beverages. The first one is a liqueur flavored with almonds, and the second one is made with peaches, apricots, and cherries. Both of these are meant to be served chilled and can be considered a digestif.


What are fruits that start with R?

Some fruits that start with the letter R include rosehip, rambutan, raspberries, and raisins.

What vegetables start with R?

Some vegetables that start with the letter R include rhubarb, romaine lettuce, rutabaga, and red potatoes.

What meat starts with R?

Meats by the letter R include ribs, roe, and redfish.


The list of foods by the letter R is never-ending and as you can see, it has tons of delicious options for you! Next time you want inspiration or a change, make something from this list. Don’t miss out on trying something tasty!

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