Looking for foods that start with the letter R? Here is a list of 52 of them -- and some fun facts about each one!
- Ranch dressing
- Ranger cookie
- Red bean
- Red beets
- Red cabbage
- Red Currants
- Red pepper
- Red onions
- Red potatoes
- Red snapper
- Red velvet cake
- Reuben sandwich
- Ricotta cheese
- Ricotta salata
- Rice paper
- Rice pudding
- Rice vermicelli
- Rice vinegar
- Rice wine
- Rock Cornish game hen
- Rocky road
- Romaine lettuce
- Roman bean
- Romano bean
- Rose hip
- Russian dressing
- Rye bread
Raclette is a semi-hard cheese produced in Switzerland and France. It is an exceptional melting cheese and has a sweet, fruity flavor. It has a firm, smooth, creamy texture and small irregular holes.
It is used in a classic Swiss apres-ski dish, called raclette, that is made by melting the cheese and scraping it over boiled potatoes. Raclette is ideal for fondues, casseroles, gratins, or any dish that requires melted cheese.
This leafy vegetable has variegated red leaves with white veins and looks like cabbage, but is actually a variety of chicory. It is sometimes referred to as Italian chicory because it is commonly used in Italian cuisine.
Raw radicchio has a spicy, bitter taste when served sliced in salads. It is also commonly served grilled or roasted, which mellows down the flavors.
A radish is an edible root vegetable in the same family as kale, broccoli, cauliflower, and horseradish that is known for its crunchy texture and pungent flavor. There are many varieties of radish that range in size, flavor, and color.
Radishes are easy to grow and are popular among newbie gardeners. A good source of vitamin C, radishes can be eaten raw as a crudite, in salads, on tacos, pickled like cucumbers, or roasted like potatoes.
A raisin is a dried grape — a simple, one-ingredient food. The most popular varieties of raisins are either dark purple or golden raisins, also called sultanas.
Raisins are made through either a sun-drying process or a mechanical process. Did you know that it takes 4 tons of grapes to make 1 ton of raisins?
Sweet, chewy raisins can be eaten as a snack, in oatmeal, trail mix, or baked goods. Raisins can also be plumped up before being added to baked goods by soaking them in hot water.
Raita is a classic Indian condiment made from yogurt, herbs, spices, vegetables, and sometimes fruit. It can be used as a cooling element when served alongside spicy dishes like curries or kebabs.
Raita is often compared to tzatziki, a yogurt-based side dish in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine.
Ramen is so much more than those dried noodles with a seasoning packet from the grocery store. Authentic ramen is a Japanese noodle soup dish consisting of wheat-based noodles in a rich meat or sometimes fish broth.
Varieties of ramen are often flavored with soy sauce or miso, and served with toppings like pork, eggs, nori, and scallions.
Oh, ranch dressing, how we love you. So I’m not surprised one bit that 40% of Americans pointed to YOU as their favorite dressing.
This much adored dressing was invented in the 1950s by a plumber working in Alaska who whipped it up for his crew. He later moved to California and bought a ranch, which he renamed Hidden Valley Ranch (yes, it’s an actual place), where he served the dressing — and eventually grew the business.
This creamy salad dressing is made from buttermilk, garlic, herbs like chives, parsley, and dill and spices like pepper, paprika, and mustard seed.
It’s commonly used as a dipping sauce for everything from pizza to French fries. Oh, and it’s also good on salads.
Ranger cookies, also sometimes called Cowboy Cookies, are made from oats, Rice Krispies, coconut, brown sugar, and chocolate chips. They’re a decadent, chewy cookie that could even be classified as a breakfast cookie (I’m on board for that!).
Some say it got its name from its Texas origins where it was called a Lone Ranger Cookie.
Rapini, also known as broccoli rabe, is an entirely edible green cruciferous vegetable. It has dark green leaves, stems, and buds that resemble broccoli, but don’t form a large head like broccoli does.
Rapini is in the turnip family and a good source of vitamin A. It is commonly used in southern Italian dishes as a side dish, in pasta, on sandwiches — even on Italian-American dishes like pizza and lasagna.
Raspberries are a member of the rose family and contain more vitamin C than oranges.They’re delicious eaten fresh, on ice cream, in jams, and jellies, and in baked goods.
Did you know a raspberry isn’t really a berry at all (but bananas are — what??!).
A raspberry is a fruit, so no surprises there. But it’s what’s called an “aggregate fruit,” which is a type of multiple fruit that develops from multiple flowers. You know those little seed-filled beads that make up a raspberry? Those are called drupelets.
The more you know…
The name ratatouille comes from the word "touiller" which means "to stir up.”
In addition to being a darling animated film about a rat who dreams of becoming a chef, ratatouille is a traditional stew from southern France. It is made from tomatoes, zucchini, peppers, and eggplant.
Presentations of ratatouille range from rustic with vegetables cut into chunks to more refined with sliced vegetables arranged in layers.
Reblochon is a soft French cheese made from raw cow’s milk that has a velvety, creamy texture, taste of ripe cream, and a nutty aftertaste.
It’s been called an “illegal cheese” because of its origin. In 13th century France, the cow’s milk was considered the property of the landowner. So farmers would “incompletely” milk the cows for the landowners, then later go back and do a “second milking,” which produces a creamier milk — and this beautiful cheese.
Red beans are a type of legume that are similar to a kidney bean, but not quite the same thing. Red beans are small, oblong beans with a smooth, creamy texture and mild, nutty taste.
The two main varieties of red beans include small red beans, or Mexican red beans, and Adzuki beans, or East Asian red beans.
Red beans are commonly used in Central American, Creole, and Southern cuisine and are delicious in dishes like red beans and rice, chili, con carne, and soups.
Red beets are a round, red root vegetable with a green, leafy stem, known as beets in North America and beetroot in the UK.
The red beet roots can be eaten boiled, roasted, or raw and the greens can be boiled, steamed, or served raw in salads.
Fun fact: Beet juice has been used as a dye since the 16th century!
Red cabbage is a kind of cabbage (surprise!) with a tight, round head, and waxy red-purple leaves. The color of its leaves can depend on the pH of the soil in which it is grown, so it can be red, purple, or even greenish-yellow.
Red cabbage is rich in vitamin C and often used raw in salads and coleslaw or cooked alongside traditional German dishes.
Red currants are pearl-sized berries with a translucent sheen that grow clustered on elongated strands. These ruby-red berries are members of the gooseberry family and taste sweet and tart with flavors of raspberry and rhubarb.
Red currants can be made into pies, tarts, sorbets, and puddings or used fresh in salads and as a pretty garnish.
Did you know that red bell peppers are actually green peppers that have ripened? Though not all peppers that start out green are destined to turn red, only certain varieties have a rosy future.
Known for their large bell shape, smooth glossy skin, and sweet taste, red peppers are an excellent source of Vitamins A and C.
Botanically speaking, red peppers are technically fruits, but are treated like vegetables in the kitchen. Red peppers are delicious raw in salads or crudite platters, on pizza, stuffed, sliced and sauteed in fajitas, or roasted.
Red onions are medium-large sized onions with purple-red skin and sharp flavor.
The rosy hue and pungent bite make them a popular choice for raw preparations. Soaking them in cold water can tame down the strong flavor. Red onions can also be served grilled, roasted, or pickled.
Fun fact: Their purplish skins can be used to make red dyes for everything from fabrics to Easter eggs.
Red potatoes are a smaller-sized potato with smooth, thin, red skin and a mild, buttery, earthy flavor.
Because their waxy flesh stays firm when cooked, red potatoes are a popular choice in potato salads. They are also delicious mashed, baked, or roasted, and in soups and stews.
Red potatoes that are prematurely harvested are often labeled as “new potatoes.”
Red snapper is a popular white fish with rosy-red skin, firm texture, and sweet flavor. Whole red snapper can be prepared grilled, broiled, baked, or deep-fried, while filets are great for pan frying. Red snapper is also a delicious addition to fish stews like cioppino.
The majority of red snapper are harvested from the Gulf of Mexico and Indonesia. They grow quickly and can reach 40 inches long and 50 pounds.
Red velvet cake is a vanilla cake with a deep, red color that gets its flavor from buttermilk, vinegar, and cocoa powder, and is typically frosted with cream cheese frosting.
When the recipe originated, during Victorian times, vinegar was used to tenderize cakes. And when the vinegar combined with the non-Dutch processed cocoa of the times, it turned the cake a rusty red color.
During World War II, the processing of cocoa changed, so the cakes no longer turned red, so bakers used beets to add the rosy hue. Today, we turn to red food coloring for our red velvet cakes.
Relish describes any number of condiments made from cooked or pickled fruits or vegetables. They are typically used in small quantities to enhance the flavor of dishes.
Relishes can be spread on sandwiches, stirred into sauces, or served alongside a main dish, side, or with charcuterie.
The most common relishes in the US are hamburger relish, hot dog relish, and corn relish.
A Reuben is a grilled sandwich made from corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, Thousand Island or Russian dressing, and rye bread.
Where the Reuben was invented, however, isn’t quite as straightforward as its ingredient list. Two competing origin stories of the Reuben have it coming from NYC or Omaha, Nebraska.
Rhubarb is a plant with long reddish-pink celery-like stalks and large green leaves. The stalks are edible, however, the leaves are poisonous. Technically, rhubarb is actually a vegetable, but it is treated like a fruit.
Raw rhubarb is crunchy, tart, and tangy. Some people find raw rhubarb unpleasant, while others like to eat it raw dipped in sugar.
Rhubarb is usually cooked with sugar to counteract the sour flavor and is used to make jams, jellies, sauces, pies, and crumbles.
Ribs refer to a cut of meat, usually beef or pork, that is typically served as a slab and eaten from the bone. Ribs can be roasted, grilled, fried, baked, braised, or smoked and are often served with barbecue sauce.
Ribs weren’t always a popular cut of meat. In fact, in the 1800s, pork ribs were a meat packer's "cast-off" cut and given away for free.
Ricotta is a creamy, spreadable whey-based cheese made from the milk of sheep, goats, or cows. Meaning “recooked” in Italian, ricotta is made from milk whey leftover from the production of other cheeses.
The texture of ricotta is smooth, yet slightly grainy, and the flavor is sweet and mild. Ricotta is a popular ingredient in both savory and sweet dishes. It is equally delicious in lasagna and stuffed pasta dishes, and Italian cheesecakes and cannoli.
Ricotta salata is a mild, white, rindless sheep’s milk cheese with a dry, crumbly texture. It’s what you get when you salt, age, and press fresh ricotta cheese. It can be sliced, grated, or crumbled — like feta cheese.
Some say the texture can be a little chalky or even spongey, but that’s when it’s eaten alone. It’s best used as a garnish, grated on pasta, or crumbled over salads or roasted vegetables.
I feel like rice needs no introduction, since it is, in fact, the most-consumed food staple in the world.
But did you know that rice is the seed of a species of grass? And, there are over 120,000 varieties of rice in the world.
White rice is a result of removing the outer hull, the bran, and the germ, while brown rice retains the bran, but not the hull. Black and red rice get their namesake colors from the color of its bran.
Rice can be eaten millions of ways including alone, cooked in soups, rolled in sushi, mixed into fried rice, and stirred into risotto. It can also be made into breakfast cereal, noodles, and sake.
Rice paper is a thin, translucent paper made from rice flour, water, and salt. It is commonly used for wrapping spring rolls or summer rolls.
Rice paper sheets, right out of the package, are very brittle. To make them pliable, just soak them, one at a time (or they’ll stick together!) in water until they are soft and easy to work with.
Rice paper does not need to be cooked, however, it will stand up to frying if you like your spring rolls crispy and golden brown.
Rice pudding is an old-fashioned creamy dish made from rice cooked in sweetened milk. There are many variations of rice pudding that can be found around the world, all of which contain cooked rice and a type of milk. Eggs and butter may also be used.
Rice pudding is often sweetened with sugar, molasses, or honey and flavored with spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom, as well as vanilla, raisins, and nuts.
Rice pudding can be served as a breakfast, side dish, or dessert.
Rice vermicelli are long, thin rice noodles made from rice flour and water that are commonly used in Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, and other Southeast Asian countries. They are often confused with cellophane noodles, which are transparent noodles made from mung bean starch.
Rice vermicelli do not need to be boiled, only soaked in hot water until tender. They are often used in stir fries, soups, salads, and spring rolls.
Rice vinegar, sometimes called rice wine vinegar, is a slightly sweet vinegar that is made from fermented rice. It is less acidic and has a much milder flavor than white vinegar.
Rice vinegar is often used in Asian dishes including soups, salads, salad dressings, and sushi rice.
There are many varieties of rice vinegar including white, brown, black, red, and seasoned.
Rice wine is a fermented and distilled beverage made from rice. “Rice beer” may be a more accurate description, since it is fermented from a grain, not fruit.
Types of rice wine include mirin, sake, and shaoxing wine. Rice wine can be used in cooking and consumed as an alcoholic beverage.
Rigatoni is a short, wide tube-shaped pasta with ridged sides. The word rigatoni comes from the Italian word “rigato,” which means ridged.
Because of its ridged sides and large hollow centers, rigatoni is often served with chunky sauces that can grab onto the sauce. It is also perfect in baked pasta dishes.
Risotto is a northern Italian rice dish made from cooking short-grain rice and stock until it reaches a creamy consistency. Sometimes, it’s finished with butter and cheese, though it isn’t necessary — it’s plenty creamy without it!
The trick to achieving the perfect risotto is to slowly add small amounts of liquid to allow the rice to release its starches and create the velvety smooth sauce with perfectly al dente rice.
In Italy, risotto is commonly served as a first course, but it can also be a main course dish.
Rock Cornish game hen
Rock Cornish game hen, or just Cornish game hen, is a small, delicately-flavored breed of broiler chicken. It looks like a mini chicken because that’s pretty much what it is.
A Cornish game hen typically weighs between 1 and 2 pounds each, making it the perfect serving for one or two people.
Cornish game hen can be cooked in the same ways as any whole chicken, including roasted, braised, sauteed, grilled, or even in the Crock Pot. Because of its small size, it is easy to achieve a perfectly moist and juicy bird with deliciously crispy skin.
Rocket is just another name for arugula, that peppery green, leafy vegetable with sword-shaped leaves.
Rocket is delicious in salads, chopped up and added to sauces, or piled on a pizza just before serving.
Rocky road refers to that addictive flavor combination of chocolate, marshmallows, and nuts that is most commonly known as a type of ice cream or a no-bake fudge-like treat.
It’s been said that the original rocky road was more like a brownie, or maybe fudge. The story goes that an Australian confectioner created it as a way to sell spoiled sweets by mixing it with chocolate and nuts to cover up the flavor.
As for the ice cream, there are conflicting stories of how that came about, but one of them is that it was created by an ice cream maker after the stock market crash of 1929 as something uplifting for their customers.
Rolls are individual portions of bread that are most commonly shaped and baked into round or oblong buns, knots, wedges, or various other shapes.
A roll can be an individual loaf of bread to accompany a meal or a sweet roll. Sweet rolls are baked pastries like cinnamon rolls or caramel rolls that are rolled, baked, and glazed, and are commonly consumed at breakfast or as a snack.
Romaine, also known as cos lettuce, is a variety of lettuce that has deep, green elongated leaves, a crunchy texture, and a mild flavor.
Romaine is most commonly used in salads, sandwiches, and wraps, and is the main ingredient in Caesar salads. But it is also delicious halved and grilled.
Roman beans are a tan and red-speckled legume that turn an even color of tan when cooked. Also known as cranberry beans, they have a creamy texture and mild chestnut flavor.
Roman beans are perfect in chili, soups, and baked beans, and delicious tossed in pastas and salads.
Romano beans are a broad, flat green pod bean similar to a green bean, also known as an Italian bean.
They’re in the same family as run-of-the-mill string beans and have a sweet flavor and crunchy texture. They can be found in green, yellow, and purple, with green being the most common color. Each bean is about 4-6 inches long, but at the peak of the growing season, can get much longer than that!
Romano beans can be eaten raw, blanched, grilled, braised — or any way you would typically eat green beans.
Roquefort cheese is a blue-veined sheep’s milk cheese from southern France. Similar blue cheeses are produced elsewhere, but only those that are aged in the caves of Roquefort-sur-Soulzon can be called Roquefort.
Roquefot has a moist, crumbly texture and sharp, salty flavor. It is most commonly used in salads and salad dressings.
Rosemary is a fragrant, evergreen plant with needle-like leaves. It is native to the Mediterranean region and can grow up to 6 feet in height.
Rosemary leaves are used as a seasoning in stuffing, soup, casserole, chicken, fish, and more, although whole sprigs can also be added to dishes to add flavor.
Rose hips are small seed-filled pods found under the petals of a rose. They have a sweet, floral flavor with a touch of tartness.
Dried rose hips can be used to make herbal tea and fresh rose hips can be slowly cooked and made into jams, jellies, syrups, and vinegars.
Rotini are short, corkscrew-shaped pasta that are usually about 1-2 inches long. This twisted-shaped pasta was inspired by children because it’s fun to eat!
Besides being fun, its shape is conducive to holding onto sauce, so it is perfect for serving simply with sauce, or in pasta bakes, soups, and cold pasta salads.
A roulade is any dish, either savory or sweet, that is filled and rolled — most commonly meat or pastry.
A typical meat roulade can be filled with vegetables, cheese, and other ingredients, rolled and secured with string, then browned and braised or roasted, then cut into slices.
Pastry roulades can consist of cake rolled around jam, buttercream, and other fillings, like a Swiss roll or a buche de Noel.
Roux is a cooked mixture of equal parts flour and fat that is used as a thickener for soups and sauces.
There are different varieties of roux — white, blond, brown, and dark brown — that are a result of how long they’ve cooked.
White and blond rouxs are the most common in chowders and sauces, while brown and dark brown rouxs have the most flavor and are used in jambalaya and gumbo.
A rutabaga is a root vegetable that is similar to a turnip, but larger, with a yellowish color. It is also called a swede.
Some folks like to use rutabagas as a low-carb replacement for potatoes, either mashed, or sliced like fries. Rutabagas can also be eaten pureed, braised, roasted, or stewed.
Rumaki is an hors d’oeuvre made from marinated chicken livers and water chestnuts wrapped in bacon, and served on a toothpick. It was a popular dish at Polynesian restaurants and cocktail parties in the 1950s and 1960s.
Since then, rumaki has been adapted in many recipes to include things like pineapple, shrimp, dates, and mushrooms.
Russian dressing is a creamy dressing that actually originated in the United States. It was called “Russian” because the first recipes included caviar.
Russian dressing is made from mayonnaise and ketchup, and other ingredients like horseradish, pickle relish, Worcestershire, chopped onions, and spices.
Not only is Russian dressing delicious on salads, but it’s a classic ingredient on a Reuben sandwich.
Rye bread is a type of bread with a dense texture that is made from rye flour. It may be light or dark in color, depending on the type of flour used to make it.
The most common types of rye bread are pumpernickel, dark rye, light rye, and marble rye.
Rye bread is perfect for making a Reuben, though it also makes a delicious grilled cheese, or, let’s be honest, piece of toast.