17 Vegetables that are Fruits – The List is Surprising!

Sheri Dorn is a versatile homesteader and culinary artist with a strong focus on organic and heirloom gardening. Holding a Master's degree in Culinary Arts, she combines her love for cooking and gardening in a unique way. Sheri is an active contributor to online gardening communities and enjoys quality outdoor time with her family and pets.
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Do you know about Vegetables that are Fruits? Expand your culinary knowledge and impress your dinner guests with some fun food facts!

Did you know about the list of Vegetables that are Fruits? Many vegetables are technically classified as fruits by botanists! Let’s have a look at them in detail!


Vegetables that are Fruits

1. Tomatoes

Vegetables that are Fruits 1

Botanical Name: Solanum lycopersicum

In spite of being classified as a fruit, people often regarded tomatoes as a vegetable. In 1893, the Supreme Court of the United States even ruled that tomatoes should be taxed as vegetables. The court based its decision on the fact that while botanically, tomatoes are fruit, they are consumed as a vegetable.

2. Okra

Botanical Name: Abelmoschus esculentus

While okra is biologically classified as a fruit, it is predominantly used as a vegetable in cooking. It is a staple ingredient in Southern American cuisine and a common addition to gumbo.

3. Pumpkins

Vegetables that are Fruits 3

Botanical Name:Cucurbita

Pumpkins, as well as other gourds, are commonly known to be full of seeds. However, what many people may not know is that pumpkins and gourds are technically classified as fruits rather than vegetables.

4. Peas

Botanical Name: Pisum sativum

Botanically speaking, pea pods are considered fruits, as they encompass the plant’s seeds that are vital for reproduction, namely, the peas.

5. Eggplant

Vegetables that are Fruits 5

Botanical Name: Solanum melongena

Eggplant is not actually a vegetable but rather a type of berry belonging to the Nightshade family, which also includes potatoes. This is due to the presence of small, edible seeds within the fruit, in contrast to potatoes, which are tubers.

6. Peppers

Botanical Name: Capsicum annuum

Based on this definition, peppers are classified as a type of fruit since they emerge from the flower of the pepper plant and contain small seeds in their core.

Learn about Growing Bell Peppers in Pots and Containers here

7. String Beans

Vegetables that are Fruits 7

Botanical Name: Phaseolus vulgaris

According to botanists, green beans are not actually vegetables but fruits. So, even though you can’t escape them, you can dazzle your relatives with this intriguing bean trivia.

8. Cucumbers

Botanical Name: Cucumis sativus

Cucumbers are actually fruits from a botanical standpoint since they develop from flowers and contain seeds.

9. Olives

Vegetables that are Fruits 9

Botanical Name: Olea europaea

Similar to tomatoes, olives blur the distinction between being a fruit or vegetable. From a botanical perspective, olives are classified as fruits since they contain seeds and emerge from a plant’s flower.

10. Avocado

Botanical Name: Persea americana

Avocados are technically fruits from a biological standpoint. To add to their quirkiness, avocados are considered single-seeded berries and belong to the same family as sassafras, bay laurel, and multiple species of cinnamon trees.

11. Corn

Vegetables that are Fruits 11

Botanical Name: Zea mays

Zea mays, commonly known as corn, is a member of the Poaceae family. Though consumed as both a vegetable and grain, botanists classify corn as a fruit due to its structure.

12. Zucchini

Botanical Name: Cucurbita pepo

From a botanical perspective, zucchini, a type of squash, is unquestionably a fruit. It grows on the flowering portion of the zucchini plant and contains seeds, meeting the criteria to be classified as a fruit.

13. Chayote

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Botanical Name: Sechium edule

Chayote is technically classified as a fruit due to its structure. You can cook it similarly to other types of squash. Additionally, it can be eaten raw, much like cucumber or celery, making for a refreshing and healthy snack option.

14. Bitter Gourd

Botanical Name: Momordica charantia

Bitter melon, also referred to as bitter gourd, is a fruit. This tropical vine belongs to the gourd family. It is closely related to zucchini, squash, pumpkin, and cucumber.

15. Tomatillos

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Botanical Name: Physalis philadelphica

Tomatillo, meaning “little tomato” in Spanish, is a small, green, round fruit resembling a tomato. It belongs to the nightshade family and is native to Mexico. The fruit can be consumed both raw and cooked in various culinary preparations.

16. Butternut Squash

Botanical Name: Cucurbita moschata ‘Butternut’

Butternut squash is a winter vegetable that resembles a large, elongated pear with creamy beige skin and orange flesh. Although it is considered a vegetable due to its culinary usage and savory applications, it is actually a fruit.

17. Sponge Gourd

Botanical Name: Luffa aegyptiaca

While it is technically a fruit botanically (as it develops from the flower’s ovary and contains seeds), it is typically treated and consumed as a vegetable due to its culinary uses.

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