The Only 3 Foods Giada De Laurentiis Can't Stand

Celebrity chef and television personality Giada De Laurentiis has developed tons of recipes using a wide variety of ingredients, and beyond her love for fresh, high-quality ingredients in general, she has an affinity for pasta, cheese, and chocolate. At the time of writing, De Laurentiis' website Giadzy is home to more than 100 recipes that focus on chocolate, and she's also published over 200 pasta recipes. However, like any cook, De Laurentiis also has "unfavorite" foods that she normally avoids cooking with or eating. Her three least favorite ingredients, as she revealed in a Refinery29 interview, are green bell peppers, coconut, and pumpkin.

De Laurentiis states that she really hates coconut and green bell peppers, while pumpkin is her third most-hated ingredient. A few of her recipes found on Giadzy include pumpkin or coconut, but green bell peppers do not appear in any recipe posted by the pro chef. The peppers appear to be at the bottom of the barrel for De Laurentiis, as not only does she dislike the taste, but they also don't seem to sit well with her. "They don't like me," the chef told Eating Well. "And, in turn, I don't like them."

Giada De Laurentiis still creates recipes for foods she hates

While she may stand her ground on green bell peppers, Giada De Laurentiis does her best to give coconut and pumpkin a chance. Just because these ingredients are not her favorites doesn't mean that she can't whip up a delicious recipe for them. As many cooks can attest, pairing a disliked ingredient with some of our favorite ones can help us get around the "ick" factor, and this may be true for De Laurentiis. She uses pumpkin in a recipe for comforting pasta carbonara and incorporates lots of pancetta and Pecorino Romano, creating an Italian pasta dish that she finds good enough to share with her audience.

On the other hand, De Laurentiis straight-up won't eat coconut in any form, as she told Bravo. However, she does use it some recipes that can be found on Giadzy, such as coconut chocolate cake and coconut yogurt with olive oil and granola. It's clear that she has a commitment to developing and sharing diverse recipes, even ones that feature ingredients she doesn't love, but that her audience may enjoy.

What to do if you also hate pumpkin, coconut, or bell peppers

If you also dislike any of Giada De Laurentiis' three most-hated foods, but you want to expand your horizons or cook for those who do enjoy them, there are ways to acquire a taste for these ingredients. For instance, if you hate coconut, don't try to chug a glass of coconut water. Try a Thai-style coconut curry that has lots of chilies, garlic, and ginger, and pair it with soft, fluffy coconut rice. The coconut flavor in these dishes is more of an undertone, but is present enough for you to get accustomed to it.

If you want to skip out on using these ingredients altogether, try a few substitutions. De Laurentiis enjoys making stuffed zucchini in a similar manner to stuffed bell peppers. The vegetal notes of the zucchini evoke some of the flavors of green bell peppers in a milder way. Anaheim, poblano, cubanelle, and shishito peppers can also stand in for bell peppers, though some of these are spicer than others. 

Meanwhile, heavy cream can often be used in place of full-fat coconut milk, and dried fruits and toasted nuts can provide a texture similar to that of shredded or desiccated coconut. Just make sure that the flavors of these ingredients work well with your recipe. As for pumpkin, any kind of sweet and starchy winter squash, or even root veggies like sweet potatoes or carrots, can work as a substitute.