Looking for an easy, delicious and quick low FODMAP pasta salad? This recipe for low FODMAP pasta salad features a mayonnaise free low FODMAP tuna salad filled with dill, capers and olives.
Thought you had to give up pasta on a low FODMAP diet? Nope! There are plenty of low FODMAP pasta and gluten-free pastas on the market.
I’m going to share some of my favorite low FODMAP pasta brands and my favorite low FODMAP tuna salad recipe to make this low FODMAP pasta salad. Here’s everything we’ll go over in this post:
It isn’t a pasta salad without pasta. So, first up: 10 low FODMAP pasta brands to choose from!
10 Low FODMAP Pasta Brands To Choose From
I stayed away from pasta for a long time when I started the IBS and low FODMAP diet because I thought wheat was absolutely not allowed. I didn’t mind the gluten-free pasta options but I was completely surprised when I realized I could have regular pasta.
Monash University tested regular cooked wheat pasta and found that a low FODMAP serving of 74 grams or ½ cup is tolerated by most people with IBS.
Moderate (⅔ cup or 101 grams) to large serves (1 cup or 148 grams) is high in fructans. Note: Wheat pasta does have a red light indicator next to it, so maybe be wary of that.
Another red light pasta is spelt pasta. The FODMAP App lists spelt pasta twice. One version of spelt pasta penne has a small low FODMAP serve of ½ cup or 74 grams. And spelt spaghetti has a low FODMAP serving of ½ cup or 85 grams.
Highly sensitive to fructans or have a gluten allergy? Then gluten-free pasta is your best bet.
Gluten-free pasta options have come a long way. There’s rice, corn, quinoa, chickpea and even carb-free pasta options. The general serving size for gluten free pasta is 1 cup or 145 grams of cooked pasta.
Cooked chickpea pasta has a low FODMAP serving of 100 grams or 1 cup. Larger portions of 1 ¼ cup or 120 grams contain moderate FODMAPs (GOS). Cooked quinoa pasta is low FODMAP up to 155 grams or 1 cup.
Here are 10 low FODMAP pasta noodle brands to choose from:
- Ancient Harvest
- Tinkyada (GF/VG)
- Schar (Monash Certified)
- De Boles
- Le Veneziane
- Gogo Quinoa
- Pocket Storehouse Sourdough Pasta (only available in Australia)
- Miracle noodle (Shirataki or konjac)
Now that you know the best low FODMAP pasta for pasta salad, let’s get cooking!
How To Make Low FODMAP Pasta Salad
I generally stayed away from pasta salad at BBQs because I was tired of having clumpy, over dressed and bland pasta salad but this recipe is light, healthy, refreshing and really tasty.
Believe me when I say this is one of my easy low FODMAP recipes. It’s basically cooking the pasta, draining the pasta, adding ingredients into a large bowl and mixing everything together.
Start with a large pot of boiling water (make sure to season the water with salt). Add the past to the boiling water and cook it according to the directions on the packaging. My pasta took 10 minutes.
Make the tuna salad while the pasta is boiling. Start by draining the tuna and removing the excess liquid or oil. Chop the olives, capers, dill, parsley, and cucumber into small pieces.
Add all the chopped ingredients into a bowl with the tahini, mustard, olive oil and lemon juice. Mix everything together until combined. Drain the pasta when it’s done cooking.
Add the drained pasta to the bowl filled with tuna salad and mix. Voila! A low FODMAP pasta salad recipe that’s done in 15 minutes.
Quick, easy and delicious. One of the other reasons I love this recipe is how flexible it is. Maybe you’ve got a picky eater or are looking for substitutes. The next section will cover everything from pasta, to vegetarian options and even different dressing ideas!
Substitutes & FODMAP Notes
The best thing about any low FODMAP pasta salad is how you can make it with just about anything. You can swap out the dressing, pasta, and even the veggies.
The base of this pasta salad is tahini, mustard, olive oil and lemon juice. Tahini is low FODMAP at 2 tablespoons or 30 grams. Yellow mustard is low FODMAP at 1 tablespoon or 11 grams.
I used regular yellow mustard but you can use other mustards like whole grain or dijon:
You can swap tahini out for greek yogurt, lactose-free yogurt or even mayonnaise. Or use your favorite low FODMAP salad dressing.
I used penne pasta but you can try other pasta shapes like macaroni to make a low FODMAP macaroni salad or switch up your pasta type. Choose from quinoa, rice, quinoa, corn or chickpea pasta.
The type of pasta you use can really make a difference. Another thing that makes a huge difference to this dish are the fresh herbs.
I used dill and parsley because they’re fresh and lighten oil-packed tuna. They both have low FODMAP servings of 1 cup or 16 grams.
But you can choose from a variety of fresh herbs like cilantro, oregano, basil, thyme, sage or finely chopped rosemary.
This low FODMAP pasta salad also includes olives and capers.
Olives & Capers
Olives contain trace amounts of FODMAPs but they may not be everyone’s favorite thing. Capers are low FODMAP at 1 tablespoon or 8 grams and if you don’t like olives, then you probably won’t want any.
Swap out olives and capers for sun dried tomatoes (do not exceed 3 pieces or 8 grams), grilled bell peppers, or nuts and seeds.
Cucumber & Cherry Tomatoes
Cucumbers are FODMAP free, so you can add as many or little as you’d like. Cherry tomatoes have a low FODMAP serve of 3 tomatoes or 45 grams. This recipe uses a total or 5 cherry tomatoes for 4 servings, which is in line with the low FODMAP serving.
You may want to avoid tomatoes if you are sensitive to fructose. Most tomatoes listed on the FODMAP app have a red to yellow light indicator. You can use vegetables like carrots which are FODMAP free or celery*, sweetcorn or fresh bell peppers.
*Celery has a red light indicator on the FODMAP app and should be eaten with moderation. The low FODMAP serve is 10 grams or ¼ celery stalk.
No tuna? No problem! There are tons of substitutes for canned tuna.
You can swap out canned tuna with other canned fish like salmon. Use fresh tuna or salmon in place or canned and even switch it up with shrimp, crab meat or even crab sticks.
Abandon the idea of a fish pasta salad and use shredded chicken or eggs. Looking for vegetarian friendly pasta salad options?
Ditch the tuna to keep it vegan or stick to plant based alternatives firm tofu (yes, it’s low FODMAP!), tempe or add your pick of low FODMAP vegetables.
The list of substitutes is endless. I could go on and on about it but I think we’ve got all of the substitutes covered. Still have some questions about this low FODMAP pasta salad recipe? Check out the frequently asked questions in the next section.
FAQ About Pasta Salad & IBS
There are plenty of questions about the low FODMAP diet because it’s only been around for 10 years, new ingredients are always being tested and retested, plus, everyone reacts differently to different ingredients.
So this section is dedicated to questions you may have about IBS and pasta salad.
Can You Eat Pasta On Low FODMAP?
Yes, you can. Regular cooked wheat pasta is low FODMAP at ½ cup or 74 grams but should be avoided as it is filled with fructans. Choose gluten-free pasta options to avoid any flare-ups. Gluten-free pasta has a low FODMAP serving size of 1 cup or 145 grams.
What Salad Dressings Are Low FODMAP?
Live Free Foods has low FODMAP ranch, Italian, and caesar salad dressings in some grocery stores. There are certified products like FODY’s low FODMAP dressing line:
Fody Foods has a range of Low FODMAP Dressings that are FODMAP-friendly and can be found in Europe, Australia and the United States:
What Are The Five Mistakes To Avoid Pasta Salad?
- Do not overcook or undercook the pasta: Follow the directions on the back of the packaging.
- Underseasoning: Season the pasta water generously with salt and then season the pasta salad when you’re done.
- Adding cold pasta: Always add the pasta when it’s warm. This lets the pasta soak up all the flavors.
- Making pasta way too early: You can make them a day ahead, two days is pushing it but 3 day old pasta salad is a no go. It’ll be a dry lump.
- Choosing the wrong pasta shape: Choose pasta shapes like fusilli, farfalle, rotini, penne or macaroni. They’re small, easy to eat, have lots of nooks and crannies for the sauce and filling to hold on to and it’s easy to serve.
Can You Eat Spaghetti Sauce On A Low Fodmap diet?
Tomatoes can trigger IBS symptoms for some people but there are plenty of low FODMAP pasta sauces out there. Here are 9 low FODMAP pasta sauce brands to choose from and 2 low FODMAP pasta sauce recipes you can make at home:
That’s the end of this low FODMAP pasta salad recipe, folks. I think meals like this are great for potlucks, lunches and BBQs. But why stick to pasta salad only? Here are more low FODMAP salad recipes you should try:
More low FODMAP salad dressing recipes:
Mayo-Free Tuna Low FODMAP Pasta Salad
This low FODMAP pasta salad features a mayo-free low FODMAP tuna salad recipe that's filled with dill, capers, olives and more!
- 2 cups gluten-free or low FODMAP pasta of choice
- Low FODMAP Tuna Salad
- 2 cans of tuna in oil or water (160g or 5.6 oz each)
- 1 1/2 tbs capers
- 1 1/2 tbs dill
- 2 tbs parsley
- Juice from 1/4 of a lemon
- 1 1/2 tbs tahini
- 2 tbs olive oil (extra virgin or garlic infused olive oil)
- 1/2 tbs mustard
- 1/4 cup olives
- 1/4 cup cucumber, cubed
- 5 small cherry tomatoes
- Pepper to taste
Place a large pot filled with water on high heat and wait for the water to come to a rolling boil. Season the water generously with salt.
Add pasta to the large pot and boil your pasta according to the directions on the package. This took about 10 minutes in my case.
While the pasta is boiling, prepare the tuna salad.
Drain the tuna and remove the liquid or oil.
Chop the dill, parsley, olives and capers into small pieces. Add them to a large bowl.
Cut the cucumber into small squares. Add the cucumber to the bowl with the rest of the ingredients.
Add the tahini, mustard, lemon juice and olive oil into the bowl.
Mix everything together until combined. Taste it to season. My tuna was salty enough so I didn't add any salt.
Add the tuna to the bowl and mix everything.
Drain the pasta and add the tuna salad to the bowl.
Serve immediately or refrigerate until needed.