The Spicy Ingredient Giada De Laurentiis Uses To Heat Up Fruit Salad

If you're a fan of fruit salad but are looking for a way to make your go-to recipe a little bit more interesting, then you need to know about celebrity chef's Giada de Laurentiis' unique way of switching up a fruit salad: she adds a surprising kick of spice by including a small amount of red pepper flakes.

In a TikTok video, de Laurentiis lays out her recipe: peaches, cherries, mint, basil, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and, of course, the red pepper flakes. The salad is full of sweetness from the fruit and the balsamic vinegar, so the red pepper flakes will balance out the flavor profile and make it more complex and interesting. De Laurentiis' recipe — which she pairs with burrata and fresh bread — calls for just a "pinch" of red pepper flakes, but you can always add a bit more if you think that the salad could use it — maybe start with a teaspoon and go from there, based on personal preferences. de Laurentiis' recipe is a great place to start if you want to try out a red pepper flake-infused fruit salad, but you can try this trick out on any of your favorite fruit salad recipes.

Give any fruit salad some sweet heat

After you've tried and loved the exciting kick of heat that the red pepper flakes bring into de Laurentiis' recipe, you'll want to add them to just about every fruit salad recipe you can find. You can start with Tasting Table's recipe for mint and melon fruit salad, which consists of watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew melon, and blueberries, complete with a maple syrup-based dressing. Between the four types of fruit and the maple syrup, there is a lot of sweetness in this recipe — so it's the perfect dish to switch up with some spiciness from a small amount of red pepper flakes.

There's also the quinoa fruit salad — featuring strawberries, mangoes, and blueberries — that already features a unique ingredient with the quinoa. However, it doesn't hurt to make this recipe even more complex and exciting with the addition of red pepper flakes. Plus, the dressing for the quinoa fruit salad is honey-based, so adding red pepper flakes is essentially just a way of incorporating hot honey into the salad.

Or, instead of following a recipe, you can simply mix together a combination of your favorite fruits as the base of your fruit salad — if you don't have a dressing recipe on hand, then you can use one of the dressings from the Tasting Table recipes listed above. From there, add in your desired amount of red pepper flakes for the perfect sweet and spicy combo.