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lemony low fodmap quinoa salad with chickpeas

Easy, lemony, low FODMAP quinoa salad

This lemony low FODMAP quinoa salad is gut-friendly, tasty and nutritious. I can whip it together in the time it takes to bake the low FODMAP parsley panko crusted salmon I love to accompany it with.

The beautiful thing about this recipe is not only that it’s low FODMAP, but it also conforms to the Mediterranean diet too. With its liberal use of olive oil, nutritious whole grain, fresh parsley, veggies, and chickpeas, this meal positively screams anti-inflammatory.

Nutrition – low FODMAP quinoa has it in spades!

Quinoa is a low FODMAP whole grain that should be well tolerated by people with irritable bowel syndrome. (Technically it’s a seed, but we treat it as a grain in North American cuisine). It has a mild, somewhat nutty flavour that blends well with all kinds of foods and therefore makes a great base for grain bowls (also referred to as quinoa salads).

In addition to being low FODMAP and easy to cook with, quinoa is super healthy:

  1. As a whole grain, quinoa is minimally processed.
  2. Quinoa is nutrient-dense, meaning it contains a lot of nutrients in a relatively small portion:
    • Iron (plant-based iron, called non-heme iron- is harder to absorb. Vitamin C increases absorption of non-heme iron. Veggies rich in vitamin C include bell peppers (especially red), tomatoes, kale, broccoli.
    • Other important minerals like magnesium, zinc, phosphorus and potassium.
    • Protein and carbohydrate, with minimal fat.
  3. Quinoa is a complete protein.
    • A complete protein contains all 9 essential amino acids that our body cannot make. Complete proteins are typically found in animal foods like dairy, meat, eggs, and fish.
    • 1 cup of cooked quinoa contains 8 grams of protein. Compare that to 6 grams in 1 large boiled egg, 22 grams in 3 oz of cooked chicken breast, 5 grams in 3/4 cup cooked oatmeal (low FODMAP serving size), 3 grams in 1/4 cup canned chickpeas.

Apart from the quinoa, the salad boasts other wonderful nutritional qualities:

  • It’s a good source of low FODMAP fibre. This is important because the low FODMAP diet can be low in fibre if you’re not eating the right foods and this can spell trouble for those of you with constipation-predominant IBS.
  • It’s a good source of plant-based protein.
  • Between the quinoa and the chickpeas, this recipe is high in plant-based non-heme iron. The vitamin C in the red peppers will help you better absorb the non-heme iron.
  • Olive oil is a heart healthy fat with anti-inflammatory properties.

Low FODMAP ingredients & alternatives

Quinoa. As mentioned above, quinoa is a lovely low FODMAP grain that is also gluten-free for those with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten intolerance.

Chickpeas. Rinsed and canned chickpeas are low FODMAP at 1/4 cup portion. Avoid eating large portions of this salad in order to keep your FODMAPs in the low range. You could also substitute canned and rinsed lentils in a similar 1/4 cup portion as this is low FODMAP too.

Red peppers. The Monash FODMAP app designates red peppers as ‘high FODMAP’ but low FODMAP in a serving size of 1/3 cup chopped (43 grams).

Check out my post on low FODMAP serving sizes to see how large a low FODMAP serving size of red peppers is.

If you’re particularly sensitive to or worried about FODMAPs, use a green pepper instead of red as it contains fewer FODMAPs.

Zucchini. Zucchini contains a moderate amount of FODMAPs but the low FODMAP serving size is 1/3 cup chopped (65 grams). You could consider using low FODMAP green beans in place of the zucchini, but they’ll take a bit longer to cook.

If you eat this low FODMAP quinoa salad as a side dish, you should be well within low FODMAP range.

Ingredients used in this low fodmap quinoa recipe, including canned chickpeas, garlic infused olive oil, quinoa soup stock, red pepper, lemon, zucchini, parsley

What I love about this low FODMAP quinoa recipe

  • It’s quick, easy and tasty. Mic drop.
  • It’s easily modified to your preferences. I’ve swapped out various veggies and legumes, and used both cooked and raw veg.
  • The lemon dressing is flavourful and a cinch to make.
  • It works well as a side, a main (lunch leftovers anyone?), and a potluck offering.
  • You can eat it cold or warm.
  • It still tastes great a couple days later.

What to serve with this

This low FODMAP quinoa salad makes a great accompaniment to my parsley panko crusted salmon. I love that I can use up all my parsley with these two recipes and nothing goes to waste.

It would also work well with:

Tips for success

  • I prefer my veg al dente, so while the quinoa is cooking, I gently saute the zucchini and red pepper. When I use green beans in this recipe, I tend to steam them as they take longer to cook than peppers and zucchini.
  • Lemon flavour can dilute, or weaken, in the fridge, so if you want a strong lemon flavour, then zest a lemon and add to the dressing.
  • Flat leaf parsley is used in this recipe instead of curly parsley because I find the latter to be coarse and scratchy in my throat.
  • Toss the canned chickpeas in a colander and rinse thoroughly under cool running water.
  • If you have curious counter-crawling cats like me, you may need to pause frequently to remove them, so add a few more minutes to the total preparation time 😉
lemony low fodmap quinoa salad with chickpeas

Lemony low FODMAP quinoa salad

This bright lemony quinoa salad is low FODMAP, Mediterranean diet compliant, and works well both cold or warm.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 6 sides
Calories 222 kcal


  • 1 cup quinoa (uncooked) *rinse under water before cooking
  • 1 3/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 tsp vegetable stock (low FODMAP) I used Fody Foods
  • 1 Tbsp garlic-infused olive oil
  • 1 red pepper, large diced
  • 1 zucchini, large diced
  • 1 cup flat leaf parsley minced
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice from store-bought juice or 1 large lemon
  • 1/4 cup garlic-infused olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • zest of 1 lemon optional
  • 1 can chickpeas (19oz), rinsed under water


  • Rinse quinoa in water, then add to medium pot with water and vegetable stock. Bring to boil, then reduce to medium low heat and simmer with lid on for 15 minutes, or until water is fully absorbed.
  • Meanwhile, heat 1 Tbsp garlic-infused olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add diced zucchini and red pepper and saute until slightly tender.
  • Mince enough flat leaf parsley to loosely fill 1 cup.
  • Add lemon juice, 1/4 cup garlic-infused olive oil, salt and pepper (and lemon zest if desired) to a container with lid and shake vigorously to mix.
  • Thoroughly rinse a can of chickpeas in a colander and set aside.
  • Once the quinoa and vegetables are cooked, add all ingredients to a bowl and toss well.


You don’t need to use vegetable stock to enjoy this dish, I just like the salty depth it provides.  Fody Foods makes low FODMAP products, including vegetable and chicken stock that’s onion- and garlic-free.
I adapted this recipe from Budget Bytes Lemony Artichoke and Quinoa Salad.


Serving: 6gCalories: 222kcalCarbohydrates: 22gProtein: 5gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 9gSodium: 213mgPotassium: 355mgFiber: 3gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 1537IUVitamin C: 48mgCalcium: 37mgIron: 2mg
Keyword low FODMAP quinoa
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Hope you enjoy this lemony low FODMAP quinoa salad as much as I do. Let me know what you think if you give it a try.

xoAndrea, RD

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