Show Love With These Red-Hued Foods

red velvet waffles

The Spruce / Leah Maroney

Whether showing love is on the agenda or you just like the color red, these recipes will bring a shock of crimson to the table in the tastiest way possible. From rich tomato-based sauces to strawberry-tinged desserts to fiery curry, it's simple to theme a meal around this warming color. 

  • 01 of 20

    Copycat Cheesecake Factory Red Velvet Cheesecake

    Red Velvet Cheesecake

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

    Imagine a red velvet cake with the texture and tang of a cheesecake, and that's the essence of this tasty treat. Inspired by The Cheesecake Factory, this is a bright red and decadent dessert anyone would be happy to have a slice of. Just remember to start the red velvet cheesecake early—it takes about eight hours to fully chill after making it. 

  • 02 of 20

    Cranberry Relish

    cranberry relish

     The Spruce / Jennifer Perillo 

    Cranberry relish can be used any time of the year to elevate a turkey or ham sandwich, with a cheese platter or charcuterie board, and in a spinach and blue cheese salad. Not only does this condiment give the dish a sweet-tart bite, but it adds a brilliant shade of red as well. Bonus: this sauce doesn't need to be cooked.

  • 03 of 20

    Spanish Crayfish in Tomato Sauce


    View Stock / Getty Images

    One might find this dish when traveling in Castilla y León or Aragón, though it can also be made anywhere in the world at home. The bright red color of the crayfish and tomato sauce livens any table, much how the shellfish energizes the eater's palate as well. 

  • 04 of 20

    Deconstructed Strawberry Shortcake

    strawberry shortcake

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    The next time a quick and sharp-looking dessert is needed, whip up this ruby-hued take on a strawberry shortcake. This recipe really lets the color of the strawberries shine, and it tastes wonderful, too.

    Continue to 5 of 20 below.
  • 05 of 20

    Red Coconut Masala


    Westend61 / Getty Images

    This lovely red hue of this red coconut masala curry comes from Kashmiri chilies, which also add a mild heat to the dish. Use fish, prawns, shrimps, squid, or crab as the protein and serve over rice.

  • 06 of 20

    Fruity Spiced Sangria


    Food Collection / Getty Images

    This festive sangria can be made any time of year. The pretty red color makes it a punch great for the holidays, and since it's served over ice it's also a good summer tipple. Swap out the fruit depending on the season.

  • 07 of 20

    Beef Burgundy With Noodles

    Beef burgandy

    Steve Cohen / Getty Images

    Technically this take on the classic French dish beef Bourguignon is more of a dark crimson color than bright red, but it's still a nice addition to a color-themed meal, especially when served with red wine. Serve over noodles as prescribed, or switch things up and make mashed potatoes instead. 

  • 08 of 20

    Muhammara, a Spicy Red Pepper Dip


    jules / Flickr

    Made with walnuts, olive oil, and red pepper, red-orange muhammara dip originated in Syria. It's now served all over the Middle East and Turkey and is best eaten with fresh vegetables or bread, or used as a sauce for roasted meats. 

    Continue to 9 of 20 below.
  • 09 of 20

    Spinach and Turkey Lasagna


    Randy Mayor / Getty Images

    Try something new the next time lasagna is on the menu and use turkey and spinach inside. It still features a tangy red tomato sauce and plenty of ricotta, Parmesan, and mozzarella cheeses. 

  • 10 of 20

    Pico de Gallo

    pico de gallo

    The Spruce

    Pico de gallo is a fresh tomato salsa that really showcases the red fruit. It can be used on tacos, salads, eggs, enchiladas, soups, and just about anything that could benefit from a burst of sweet, tart, and slightly spicy flavors. 

  • 11 of 20

    Baked Salmon in Thai Red Curry Sauce

    salmon and curry

    TheLionRoar / Getty Images

    Make dinner memorable by giving this baked salmon a kick of spicy red curry. It's tangy, slightly sweet, and packs just enough heat to be flavorful without burning any mouths. Serve with rice, whole grains, or rice noodles. 

  • 12 of 20

    Beet and Cabbage Borscht


    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

    Sure, this Russian soup is more magenta and not exactly tomato red, but it's a warming color of love, especially for those who love beets. The borscht also contains cabbage, onion, and white beans, making it a rounded meal all on its own.

    Continue to 13 of 20 below.
  • 13 of 20

    Red Velvet Waffles

    red velvet waffles

    The Spruce / Leah Maroney

    As if waffles weren't special enough, this red velvet recipe adds a beautiful red color and extra flavor to the breakfast food. The secret is chocolate chips and cocoa which get melted together in the batter.

  • 14 of 20

    Strawberry Cream Cheese Pretzel Bars

    strawberry bars

    The Spruce / Peggy Trowbridge Filippone

    Sweet and creamy is the flavor profile of these pretty red dessert bars with just a hint of salt thanks to the pretzels in the crust. Whip them up the next time a quick treat is needed—they only take about 30 minutes to make. 

  • 15 of 20

    Caprese Salad

    caprese salad

    The Spruce / Leah Maroney

    There's something so beautiful about a classic caprese salad. From the bright red tomatoes to the soft, pliable fresh mozzarella to the herbaceous basil, it's a winning dish no matter when it's served. 

  • 16 of 20

    Thai Sweet & Sour Shrimp

    sweet and sour shrimp

    Melanie Acevedo / Getty Images

    Unlike the Chinese counterpart, the Thai version of sweet and sour shrimp uses fish sauce and more chilies in the recipe. The red color comes from cayenne pepper and a handful of fresh red peppers that are thrown into the pot. 

    Continue to 17 of 20 below.
  • 17 of 20

    Easy Creamy Tomato Soup

    tomato soup

    The Picture Pantry / Getty Images

    Tomato soup is one of the simplest foods to eat and serve, and it also sports a pleasing red-orange color. Serve with toast rounds, grilled cheese, or crackers for an easy-to-make meal that satisfies. 

  • 18 of 20

    Apple Cranberry Pie

    apple cranberry pie

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

    The sweetness of apples goes so well with the tartness of cranberry in this hearty pie. It's quick and easy to make since the recipe calls for canned cranberry sauce and pre-made apple pie filling. 

  • 19 of 20

    Red Bell Pepper Marinara Sauce


    Dana Gallagher / Getty Images

    Use this marinara sauce to coat pasta, meatballs, dollop on polenta, or really anywhere tangy notes of red pepper, garlic, and tomato are needed. It can be made in an hour, which means a quick meal any time.

  • 20 of 20

    Red Cabbage With Bacon and Apples


    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    True, red cabbage is more a deep purple in color than actual red, but it's colorful nonetheless and makes a nice addition to a red menu. Plus, this bacon-tinged dish makes a great side and proves easy to prepare.