12 Vegetables That Are Actually Fruits (You Won’t Believe)

A lot of us get mixed up about what’s a fruit and what’s a vegetable. We usually think fruits are sweet and eaten without cooking, while we cook vegetables and they’re not sweet. However, plants are not that simple. In this eye-opening list, we’ll uncover the truth about some foods that are actually fruits, even though they’re often called vegetables.

In science, a fruit is something that grows from the flower of a plant and has seeds inside it. Everything else we can eat from the plant, like the roots, stems, and leaves, are called vegetables. This makes sense to scientists, but it might shock you when we look at some of our everyday foods.

12 Fruits You’ve Always Thought Were Vegetables

These foods are normally seen as vegetables, but scientists say they’re really fruits.

1. Tomatoes


Tomatoes are the classic mix-up. We use them like vegetables, but in the world of plant science, they’re fruits. They are part of the nightshade family and come from the flower of the tomato plant, plus they’ve got seeds inside.

That’s right! Tomatoes fit the fruit description because they grow from a flower and have seeds. Even though we love them in salads and sauces more than in fruit salads, they are fruits through and through.

2. Cucumbers


Cucumbers often hang out with veggies like lettuce, but they’re fruits too. They belong to the same family as melons and squash, and they come from the flowering part of the cucumber plant.

Even though cucumbers are a go-to for cool, crunchy salads and we rarely think of them as sweet, they tick all the boxes for being a fruit, with seeds inside and all.

These green, refreshing snacks are botanically fruits, thanks to their seeds and the way they grow from the plant’s flower.

3. Avocados


Avocados might look like veggies, but they are actually fruits. They come from the laurel family and first grew in Central America.

These creamy, tasty fruits have become super popular worldwide and are a healthy choice. You can find them in different dishes, adding good fats to our meals and helping our bodies use other nutrients better.

Yes, avocados are fruits, with a big seed in the middle and growing from the avocado tree. They’re delicious and good for you too!

4. Peppers


Peppers, whether they’re spicy or sweet, are often thought of as veggies. But guess what? They’re technically fruits because they grow from the flower of the pepper plant and have seeds inside.

We have lots of different peppers, from the kind that adds a kick to your food to the ones that are mild and sweet. The term “chili” originally comes from the Aztecs, and it’s still used today in many places around the world.

Our colorful peppers turn out to be fruits. They come to life after a pepper flower gets pollinated and then make seeds. Surprise – your favorite spicy treat or salad topping is actually a fruit!

5. Eggplants


Eggplants, or aubergines as some folks call them, look a lot like veggies but are actually fruits. They belong to the nightshade family, too, just like tomatoes and peppers. Eggplants come in all sorts of cool shapes and colors.

Eggplants have a sort of meaty taste, which makes them great for plant-based dishes. You can cook them in many ways, and they always bring something special to the plate.

The beautiful eggplant with its shiny skin and tasty insides is yet another fruit. It grows from the flowering part of its plant and has seeds. Next time you’re enjoying an eggplant dish, remember – it’s a fruit you’re having!

When you eat baba ganoush, enjoy the fact that it’s made from eggplant, which is actually a fruit!

6. Zucchinis

Vegetables That Are Actually Fruits, FruitoNix

Zucchinis are really interesting because, even though we think of them as vegetables, they’re technically fruits. These long, green foods come from the flower part of their plants. They’re in the same family as cucumbers and pumpkins, called Cucurbitaceae.

The way zucchinis grow is pretty cool. They hang out on vines that spread along the ground. When they’re picked, they’re not fully grown up yet. That’s why their seeds aren’t hard and the skin isn’t too tough. Zucchinis don’t have a strong taste, so you can cook them in lots of different ways.

Just like their cucumber family members, zucchinis are actually fruits. They come from the flowery part of the plant and have seeds inside. You can fry them, bake with them, or put them in other dishes for a nice, fruity touch.0824/p>

7. Pumpkins

Vegetables That Are Actually Fruits, FruitoNix

Pumpkins are famous for being part of fall celebrations and Halloween. But pumpkins are fruits, too! They’re big, round, and orange, and they come from a family of plants called gourds.

Botanically, this means they share a lot of things with fruits. Even though we use them a lot in savory recipes, what makes them fruits is their seeds and the fact that they grow from a flower on the pumpkin vine.

In science, fruits are the mature parts of a flower that have seeds inside. Pumpkins check all these boxes because they grow from the pumpkin plant’s flower and have seeds in their middle. So they’re really considered fruits, not vegetables.

8. Olives

Vegetables That Are Actually Fruits, FruitoNix

Olives might make us think of vegetables, but in the world of plants, they’re actually fruits. They’re what scientists call drupes. Drupes are fruits with a soft outside part and a single hard seed or pit in the middle.

If you break open an olive’s pit, you can find its seed. This can be planted to make new olive trees, or it can be pressed to get olive oil. So, olives really do meet the definition of fruits, as they have seeds and come from an olive tree’s flowers.

9. Corn Kernels

Vegetables That Are Actually Fruits, FruitoNix

Corn is a food many people around the world love to eat. It can taste savory, which might make you think it’s a vegetable. But each piece of corn, or kernel, is actually a type of fruit.

Every corn kernel comes from the corn plant, more specifically, from the ovaries that have seeds. This makes them technically fruits, according to the rules of botany.

Even though we call corn a fruit in science, it still feels like a vegetable when we eat it on the cob. This is because it comes from a plant’s seeds or flowers.

10. Peapods

Vegetables That Are Actually Fruits, FruitoNix

Peapods, the pods that hold peas, might be a surprise because they’re actually fruits, not vegetables. They grow on a type of plant called a bean plant, and since they carry seeds, they’re called fruits by scientists.

Peapods are part of a big plant family called legumes. This family also has green peas and runner beans. These guys develop from flowers, which is pretty different from most vegetables.

Peas themselves are tiny, green, and tasty, but don’t let that fool you. They grow inside their pods, which makes the whole thing a type of fruit called a legume.

11. Green Beans

Vegetables That Are Actually Fruits, FruitoNix

Get ready to think differently about green beans. Even though lots of us treat them as vegetables, they’re the fruit of the green bean plant. The green pods are really fruits, and they’re good for you, full of vitamins and fiber.

What’s special about green beans is that they have seeds inside, which is typical for fruits. Even though they taste like veggies, their seeds make them scientifically fruits, not vegetables.

12. Okra

Vegetables That Are Actually Fruits, FruitoNix

Okra is a fruit with lots of seeds that’s part of the Malvaceae family. People might call it a vegetable, but it’s really a fruit. It comes from the flowery part of the okra plant.

People use okra in many dishes, like soups and stews, or fry it. It’s an interesting kind of fruit. The okra pods are long and bumpy, with seeds inside. These seeds help grow new okra plants.

Okra may not seem like a fruit, but because of its seeds and where it comes from, it really is one. It has a soft taste and a special texture that makes it useful in a lot of different foods from around the world.


So, there are a bunch of “vegetables” that are actually fruits when you look at them closely. Knowing this can make your cooking more fun and interesting.

It’s pretty cool to learn that some things we’ve always thought of as vegetables are really fruits. This can help us try new flavors and get some different nutrients into our meals, too.

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