Food Network’s Giada De Laurentiis Embraces Vegan Meat and Dairy-Free Cheese for Italian Recipes

Amanda M. Rye

Food Network’s celebrity chef Giada De Laurentiis is becoming a fan of using vegan meat and dairy-free cheese as swaps for animal products in her classic Italian recipes. The chef recently appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres show to promote her 10th cookbook Eat Better, Feel Better and share a bolognese recipe she includes in it using vegan Beyond Beef in place of traditional meat. 

“I had never worked with [Beyond Meat] before, for this book, I tried a few recipes and I found that the [Beyond] bolognese was really good,” the 50-year-old chef said. “I was really floored by it.” De Laurentiis then tasked DeGeneres with cooking the Beyond Beef, stating, “You brown it like you do regular ground meat.” While the recipe in De Laurentiis’ new book calls for dairy-based parmesan, on the show, the chef easily swapped the cheese with a vegan version, which DeGeneres generously grated onto the vegan bolognese. 

Food Network chefs embrace Beyond Meat

De Laurentiis is the latest celebrity chef to use Beyond Meat in place of traditional beef products. In 2019, Fellow Food Network chef Spike Mendolsohn—also an alum of Bravo’s Top Chef—was inspired to open fast-food concept PLNT Burger in Maryland after tasting a Beyond Burger. The chef has since expanded the concept into a chain to include seven locations inside Whole Foods Markets across several states with more outposts, including stand-alone restaurants, planned for this year.

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