51 Foods That Start With R

Whether you’re doing a school project, or just sick of cooking foods from the other letters of the alphabet, here are 51 different foods that start with the letter R. From ravioli to ratatouille, we’ll cover every food group.

Exploring different foods can be a great way to make cooking fun. It gives you a new insight into how to prepare diverse dishes, and explores cultural differences when learning new foods.

With this list, you’ll be able to surprise and impress your guests with a variety of new foods and new knowledge. We’ll talk about where the food comes from, and what it tastes best in.


51 Foods That Begin with The Letter R

Rosemary, Ribs, Rice; we’ll cover it all. There are plenty of great foods that begin with the letter R. Some can be a main course while others are simply spices used to spruce up main dishes. Which foods have you tried?


The term redfish can mean many different fish, but in general refers to snappers, red drums, and some ocean perch. Red drums are the most commonly used in dishes. These fish are best prepared baked, or blackened Cajun style.


Rice is grown primarily in Asia, specifically China, India, Indonesia, and Bangladesh. It is cooked by boiling, or can be ground into flour. Rice is mostly paired with other foods such as meats or vegetables, as opposed to being the main dish.


The raspberry originates from Asia and North America. Raspberries can be used in a multitude of recipes including pies, salads, jams and jellies, pastries, breads, and even in drinks! Did you know? Raspberries are part of the rose family.


Roulade is a filled rolled meat or a pastry. Meat-based roulade is typically made with a slice of steak with a cheese or vegetable filling. Sweet roulade consists of sponge cake baked in a flat pan and then rolled with filling, such as a swiss roll.


The entire radish is edible, but the portion that is most often eaten is the taproot. Radishes can be used in salads, soup, and sauteed as a side dish. They are also used as a garnish in some Mexican dishes.


Redcurrant is a shrub in the gooseberry family. It produces berries similar in size and color to a raspberry, but with smooth edges. They are used in jams, jellies, gravies, and as a topper in deserts.


Risotto is an Italian dish noted for its creaminess. It’s made with short-grain rice, spices, and broth. The main difference between rice and risotto is that the liquids are added ½ cup at a time, as opposed to all at once.


Raisins are dried grapes. They are either brown or golden, the difference being how they are dried. Brown raisins are dried in the sun, while golden raisins are oven-dried. Brown raisins are most often used in baking.


A Rueben is a sandwich comprised of corned beef, sauerkraut, swiss cheese, rye bread, and Russian dressing. There is some dispute over who first created the Rueben sandwich, one story stating it originated in Nebraska, the other New York.


Rutabaga is a hybrid between a wild cabbage and a turnip. Rutabagas can be roasted, mashed, and made into noodles. They can also be used in soups or made into fries or chips, just like potatoes.


Ramen: the ultimate comfort food. It is a Japanese noodle soup. A typical dish includes Chinese wheat noodles in a meat broth flavored with miso or soy sauce and topped with dried seaweed, pork, or scallions.


Ravioli can be considered a pasta or a whole dish. It consists of a square-shaped pasta with filling, usually cheese or meat, that’s bathed in a broth or sauce. Ravioli is thought to have originated in Venice.


Rosemary is part of the mint family and native to the Mediterranean. It is an herb used in a variety of dishes for its fragrance and taste. Did you know? Rosemary has medicinal properties such as increased concentration and digestion health.


Ricotta is a type of cheese made from the curds and whey from cow’s milk. It is not aged, so it is very moist and fresh. It’s great for lasagna fillings, manicotti, or stuffed shells. You can also substitute it for yogurt in some recipes.


Ribs are typically either beef or pork. Ribs can be slow-cooked, smoked, or cooked on the grill. Typically, they are served in barbeque sauce but can also be garlic herb, teriyaki, or any favorite sauce.


Relish is often used as a condiment or salsa on foods such as hot dogs and hamburgers. It is made from cooking and pickling chopped vegetables, fruits, pickles, or herbs.


Rhubarb is half vegetable, half fruit. Scientifically speaking, it is vegetable. However, a 1947 New York court (with perhaps too much time on their hands) ruled it a fruit to save businesses on taxes from importing rhubarb.


Ranch is a popular dressing to put on salads. It also makes a great partner to pizza, chicken nuggets, and other handheld foods. Ranch consists of mayonnaise, onion, buttermilk, and herbs.


Originating from the France, Ratatouille is a stewed vegetable dish. The most common ingredients in ratatouille include zucchini, eggplant, bell pepper, tomato, onion, and garlic. Though there are many variations.

Red Potatoes

Red Potatoes are often used in soups and stews. Red potatoes are best used for boiling, roasting, and in potato salad. They are not good for mashing, baking, or frying because they are less starchy.

Russet Potato

Unlike red potatoes, russet potatoes are packed with starch. This makes them perfect for light and fluffy mashed potatoes.  These are the most common potatoes used for French fries and baked potatoes.


Rigatoni seems to be a staple dish at any buffet. This tube-shaped pasta originated in Italy and is often paired with red sauce. It is characterized by ridges down the length and a straight-cut edge.

Red Velvet

Red velvet is a favorite flavor among many. Originally just in cake form, red velvet can now be found as a cupcake and even a beverage. Red velvet won its name from the soft texture of the cake, comparing it to velvet.


Rambutan is a fruit-bearing tree native to southeast Asia. The term rambutan also refers to the fruit produced from the tree. Rambutans can be eaten by themselves or paired with other fruits.

Romaine Lettuce

Romaine lettuce is a sturdy vegetable used in salads. It’s also favored for lettuce wraps because of its sturdy nature. Romaine lettuce can also be grilled and sauteed to add to your favorite vegetable dish.

Rum Cake

A favorite holiday dessert of the Caribbean Islands, rum cake is said to have deep meaning to the inhabitants of the islands. It is considered a relic of the days of sugar plantations in the colonial history of the islands.


Don’t feel bad if you had no idea of the existence of Roquefort. Most think blue cheese is blue cheese, right? Not necessarily. Roquefort is a type of blue cheese, just like gorgonzola.

Rice Pudding

Rice pudding can be made as a dessert or a dinner dish. There are wide variations in the recipes, some using eggs to make it a custard, others using sugar or cinnamon to make it a sweet dessert.

Rye Bread

Rye bread is made from rye-grain flour. It is high in fiber and was considered a staple in the middle ages. Because of its fiber content, rye bread is also heart healthy.


Rolos are cone-shaped chocolates filled with caramel in the middle. First sold in 1937, this delicious treat originated in England by coating Mackintosh’s Toffee with chocolate. In 1988, Nestle company acquired the rights to Rolo.

Refried Beans

As its name suggests, refried beans are first boiled and mashed into a paste before being fried or baked. This is a staple of Mexican and Tex-Mex dishes, but are also popular in Latin American countries.

Rainbow Trout

Rainbow trout are native to the Pacific Ocean in North America and Asia. A type of Salmon, this fish is typically prepared with lemon or pan seared with Mediterranean herbs.

Red Pepper

Red peppers are a type of bell pepper. They are native to Mexico, Central America, and South America. Did you know? Bell peppers are considered a fruit, and are part of the berry family!

Rose Apple

Its name is misleading. The rose apple is not actually an apple, but a different fruit altogether found in tropical regions. Rose apples are usually used in jellies and jams, but can also be candied.


This little-known vegetable originated in Italy. It is part of the chicory family, and is prepared by boiling, sauteing, roasting, or grilling. It has a bitter taste and is best paired with acidic ingredients.


A French word meaning ‘to revive the taste,’ ragouts are stews made with or without slow-cooked meat. They are comprised of a variety of vegetables including mushrooms, artichokes, and truffles.


Rissoles are baked pastries with minced meat, fish, or cheese used as filling. The pastry is rolled in breadcrumbs and either baked or deep-fried. The rissole differs in Australia and New Zealand, where it is without the pastry covering.


Romazava is a Madagascar dish eaten for either lunch or dinner. It consists of a one-pot dish with beef, chicken and pork cut into cubes. Vegetables include onions, tomatoes and spinach.

Run Down

A run down is a Jamaican fish stew cooked in coconut milk. The fish used is usually mackerel. Run down is served with a side of boiled bananas and dumplings.


This Indian dish is all vegetarian. It is made with red kidney beans in a thick gravy sauce of onions and tomatoes. with spices. It’s best served with a side of rice.


Romeritos are leafy vegetables that are most popular in central Mexico. They are served during Christmas and lent. Romeritos cannot be eaten raw, rather they need to be sauteed, steamed, or boiled.

Raindrop Cake

Raindrop cake was developed out of the desire from a Japanese company to make edible water. It is made of water and agar, which is a jelly-like substance obtained from red algae.


Rizogalo is a Greek rice pudding. It’s best used with arborio rice or something similar. The spin on this rice pudding is the added citrus flavor, hinting at Greek roots.


This Indian yogurt is often paired with spicier Indian dishes to help cool and refresh the palate. It is a yogurt sauce made with cooling ingredients such as mint, cilantro and cucumbers.


Rarebit is a mix of cheese and spices that is often spread over toasted bread. It pairs well with tomatoes or bacon over the cheese. This mixture was originally called Welsh Rabbit, but confused many as it has nothing to do with rabbits.

Red Cabbage

Red cabbage is not always red! It depends on the soils PH. More acidic soils give it a reddish tint, while basic soils give it a green-yellow color. Neutral PH soils will give red cabbage a purple hue.


Ribier is a type of grape. They are commonly grown in California and are blue-black in color. They are slightly larger than the average grape and have bitter skins but sweet insides.

Reisling Grape

Unlike Ribier grapes, Reisling grapes are a golden yellow color. They are average size and taste very tart. Due to their taste, Reisling grapes are a great source for making Reisling wine.


Hard to pronounce but delicious to eat, Rijsttaffel is an Indonesian dish. It includes dozens of small plates laden with Indonesian cuisine. It hits all palettes from spicy to sweet.


Roast is a popular dish in North America. It is usually made with a cut of beef such as round roast or chuck roast. Roast is often served with potatoes, carrots, and cooked in beef broth.


Rugelach is a polish desert made with either sour cream or cream cheese dough. Rugelach fillings vary greatly, including chocolate, poppy seed, raisins, fruit preserves and more. In recent years these can even be filled with meat and cheese.

Wrap Up

As you can tell, there are a wide variety of foods that start with the letter R. You can find almost any meal; breakfast, lunch, dinner and desert with R-lettered foods. You can also find these foods across the globe, from North and South America to Asia, and every continent in between. Try a new one today!

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