Are Chili Peppers A Fruit And Why?

Last Updated on December 5, 2022 by Cristina

Today, we’re going to be answering the question: are chili peppers a fruit? And taking a look at why that might be. Much like tomatoes, there’s been a constant debate at whether this particular food is a fruit or a vegetable. It has seeds, but it has the texture and flavor profile of a vegetable. Feeling confused? Don’t worry, we’ll be covering all the bases of why this food is often classified as both a fruit and a vegetable. So are chili peppers a fruit? Let’s take a closer look.

What Are Chili Peppers?

Chili peppers (sometimes known as chilli peppers or Chile peppers) are a popular food product that have been to add spice and heat to dishes for many years. It’s thought that chili peppers originated in South America, and cultivated in Mexico. Chili peppers are actually part of the nightshade family, which is surprising to some people.

Chili peppers get their heat from a substance called capsaicin and the hotter the chili, the higher the level of capsaicin. Chili peppers are measured on their heat intensity, using the Scoville scale. The hotter the chili, the higher on the scale it will be.

Other members of the pepper family include bell peppers. While bell peppers don’t pack any heat, they’re incredibly flavorful and work well in many Mexican dishes.

What Are Chili Peppers

Nutritional Information Of Chili Peppers

You may be wondering what the nutritional value is when it comes to chili peppers. Each regular red chili pepper contains the following:

  • Calories: 18
  • Fat: 0.2
  • Sodium: 4.1mg
  • Potassium: 145mg
  • Carbohydrate: 4g
  • Dietary Fiber: 0.7g
  • Sugar: 2.4g
  • Protein: 0.8g

Types Of Chili Peppers – Are Chili Peppers A Fruit?

There are many different types of chili peppers. However, some of the most common types include:

  • bell pepper
  • jalapeno
  • cayenne
  • Piri Piri
  • habanero
  • scotch bonnet
  • bird’s eye
  • Carolina reaper
  • banana pepper
  • Padron
  • piquillo
  • tabasco
  • paprika

This list is by no means extensive. In fact, there’s thousands of types of chili peppers!

Are Chili Peppers A Fruit?

To put it simply: yes. Chili peppers are classified as a fruit; that is, botanically speaking…but we’ll get into that later in this post. Chili peppers are classed as a fruit because they contain seeds in the middle of them and will then grow from the flower of the plant. Botanically speaking, that is the definition of a fruit and chili peppers match that description perfectly.

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Are Chili Peppers Fruits Or Vegetables?

You’ll probably class chili peppers as vegetables…and that’s not wrong either! Because chili peppers are one of the only foods that are classified as both fruits and vegetables. Botanically speaking, chili peppers are a fruit. But culinary speaking, chili peppers are a vegetable. Vegetables do not have any specific physical attributes. However, the texture and taste is usually tougher and plainer. Vegetables are also usually cooked to add in dishes. Because of this, most people in general life will classify peppers as a vegetable. Whether you class it as a fruit or a vegetable, there is no wrong answer!

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Are Chili Peppers A Fruit

What Type Of Fruit Is A Chili Pepper?

If you’re wondering which type of fruit a pepper is, it comes from the plant genus Capsicum. As we looked at earlier, this particular fruit is part of the nightshade family. Chili peppers share the same family as other fruits and vegetables, including tomatoes, eggplant and cherries.

Is Chili A False Fruit?

Absolutely not. Chili is not a false fruit and is simply classified as both a fruit and a vegetable. Botanically speaking, chili is just as much of a fruit as any other member of the fruit family!

Why Is Chili A Fruit?

Chilis are classed as a fruit for a few reasons. The most important aspect being that they contain seeds in the center. The second being they grow from the flower of the pepper plant. For both of these reasons, the chili fruit is botanically classified as a fruit…and rightly so!

Green Chili Peppers Recipe – Are Chili Peppers A Fruit?

There are many ways to prepare chili peppers, but I thought I’d share one of my favorite ways to get the most out of your chili peppers. It takes just a few minutes and the dish is so flavorful. Let’s take a look at this pan-seared chili pepper recipe, inspired by Spice the Plate.


The ingredients you’ll need for this recipe are:

  • 4-6 green chili peppers
  • 1 tbsp of oil
  • 4 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp of soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp of rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tbsp of sugar
  • 2 tbsp of water

Recipe – Are Chili Peppers A Fruit?

Step 1: Prepare The Peppers

Using a knife, cut the top of the peppers off and take out the insides. Using the flat side of a knife, flatten each pepper down individually. Once all peppers are flattened, dry with a paper towel and leave to one side.

Step 2: Prepare The Sauce

In a bowl, add the soy sauce, rice vinegar, water, sugar and garlic. Mix well and leave to one side. Add the oil to a pan over a medium heat. Once hot, add the chilis and sear for around 3 minutes on each side. Once cooked, drizzle the sauce over the chili peppers and leave for a few minutes until the sauce begins to thicken.

Step 3: Serve

Remove from heat and plate up. Serve with dish of your choice, and enjoy!

Conclusion – Are Chili Peppers A Fruit?

I hope this post has helped to answer the question: are chili peppers a fruit and why? When it comes to identifying which group chili peppers belong to, there is no right or wrong answer. Whether botanically or culinary speaking, both fruit and vegetable is correct! One thing’s for sure – chili peppers are absolutely delicious and make it super easy to make dishes flavorful and tasty.

Did you know that chili peppers were both a fruit and a vegetable? Do you have any tips or tricks when it comes to cooking with chili peppers? If so, please feel free to let me know in the comments below. Sharing is caring!

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