Vegetables That Are Actually Fruits

The term ‘vegetables’ refers to all edible parts of a plant that can be eaten as food by humans and other animals. In the culinary sense, vegetables are plant parts typically cooked before eating, though some can be eaten raw in salads and similar preparations. So, any part of a plant can be considered a vegetable, including stems, leaves, roots, and sometimes, even the fruits.

Vegetables That Are Fruits

Another somewhat arbitrary definition counts only plant parts other than fruits, flowers, seeds, and grains as vegetables. So, in this sense, roots and stems like radishes and potatoes are vegetables, but fruits are not.

In botany, ‘fruit’ refers to the plant structure that develops from the ovary after flowering and bears the plant’s seeds. Oranges, mangoes, apples, and lemons are all examples of fruits.

Plenty of fruits are predominantly used for cooking rather than eating raw. So, these are counted as vegetables rather than fruits. Here is a list of such ‘vegetables’ that are botanically fruits.

List of Fruits That Are Considered To Be Vegetables

  • Tomato
  • Eggplant (Aubergine, Brinjal)
  • Pea
  • Pumpkin
  • Kiwano (Horned melon)
  • Zucchini (Courgette)
  • Chayote
  • Tomatillo
  • Breadfruit
  • Cucumber
  • Butternut squash
  • Squash
  • Jackfruit (unripe)
  • Bell Pepper
  • Chili Pepper
  • Ridged gourd
  • Snake gourd
  • Pointed gourd
  • Spine gourd (Kantola)
  • Plantain (Cooking banana)
  • Corn Kernels (Maize)
  • Durian (unripe)
  • Olive
  • Bitter melon (Bitter gourd)
  • Okra
  • Papaya (unripe)
  • Winter melon
  • Gac
  • Jalapeño
  • Kabocha
  • Luffa
  • Galo
  • Armenian cucumber
  • Ivy gourd
  • Calabaza (West Indian pumpkin)
  • Antipolo
  • Tinda
  • West Indian gherkin
  • Calabash (Bottle gourd)
  • Cucamelon (Mouse melon)
  • Kapas-kapas
  • Breadnut (Seeded breadfruit)
  • Caigua (Achocha)
  • Marianas breadfruit
  • Tipuho

All these are examples of vegetables that bear seeds because of the very fact that they are actually fruits.


Is there a vegetable that is used as a fruit?

Nothing that is botanically considered a vegetable is confused for being a fruit. However, rhubarb, the flavorful, fleshy leaf stalks of certain hybrids of the Rheum genus, can be an example of a vegetable with its uses typical to a fruit’s. The red stalks taste tart and are used in desserts and candies.