Top tips for low FODMAP cooking from our in-house Development Chef

We called on our own expert Development Chef Matt Williamson for his top tips when cooking for a low FODMAP diet. Here's what he had to share:

Experiment with Garlic and Onion Substitutes:  

Not being able to use onion and garlic is one of the things people find trickiest when cooking for a low FODMAP diet. Try adding a large pinch of Asafoetida or ground fenugreek to other vegetables when they are being cooked in olive oil. This can replace onion and garlic flavours. 

Another tip is to dice or roughly grate low FODMAP vegetables and cook in olive oil for about 10 – 15 minutes. This creates a rich and thick base for pasta sauces, soups and stews. Carrot, courgette, sweet potato and red peppers work well like this. 

The green parts of spring onions or leeks are low FODMAP but not very practical as you get left with the white part! If other members of your household will eat them, great. If not, fresh and dried chives can also work well cooked in olive oil with other vegetables as the base for recipes. Also try using garlic infused oils which are low FODMAP.  

Go for Gluten-Free Whole Grains: 

Gluten-free grains like brown rice and quinoa are good nutritious options. They are great at absorbing flavours too.

Boil until tender and drizzle over extra virgin olive oil, chopped herbs, spices and vinegars or citrus juice whilst still warm. Finely grated citrus zest is also a good flavour booster.

Use these grains as a side or the base for salads. Don’t forget brown rice noodles and soba (buckwheat) noodles are great wholegrain options and convenient to cook. 

Polenta is also a great option. You can serve it soft, baked or fried in olive oil. It is also great with pasta sauces. 

Use Herbs, Spices and aromatics: 

My top flavour boosters include:

  • extra virgin olive oil
  • finely chopped fresh herbs
  • whole, and ground spices
  • tamari soy sauce
  • vinegars
  • citrus juice or finely grated citrus zests. For the brightest flavours, toast and grind spices, chop herbs and finely grate zest at the last minute. 

Mixing 3 parts extra virgin olive oil with one-part citrus juice or good vinegar is also the easiest dressing that you can make. You can use it on steamed, boiled or roasted vegetables as well as lettuce-based salads. 

Plan ahead for balanced meals and use leftovers: 

More often than not, stress-free cooking starts with good shopping and planning ahead. If you like FODMAP safe vegetables like sweet potatoes, carrots or FODMAP friendly squash varieties, roast enough for a couple of meals.

Use them as a side dish one night and as a main meal the next night. To make them into a main dish, top with roasted tomato sauce, small amounts of pulses, fresh herbs and toasted seeds.

Think Traybake! 

Team vegetables like sweet potato, parsnip, carrots and FODMAP friendly squash with halved new potatoes for a convenient traybake base.

Cut the vegetables into a similar size as the potato and toss them in olive oil and your favourite spices. Roast them until golden brown and delicious then serve as a side or top with chicken, fish, meatballs or marinated tofu for a simple meal. Finish with fresh herbs and a basic dressing.