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15 Minute Low FODMAP Broccoli Salad

Feature, Low FODMAP & Gut Health Recipes | January 16, 2023

A beautiful rainbow of different fruit and vegetables in a pile.
15 Minute Low FODMAP Broccoli Salad Featured Image

If you’re looking for a new low FODMAP salad, look no further! This super simple broccoli salad is the perfect addition to any meal and is totally low FODMAP, as it uses only the low FODMAP part of broccoli – the heads! With added walnuts, bacon, and dried cranberries, there’s lots of flavour and texture.

As a registered dietitian, I like to help people find vegetable recipes that actually excite them. Personally. I’m not always in the mood for salads with lots of “leaves” (lettuce, spinach, kale, etc) and I enjoy something a bit heartier. This low FODMAP salad is the perfect alternative to leafy green salads and is always a hit for potlucks and parties!

A white bowl full of broccoli salad sits beside some walnut pieces on top of a wooden cutting board.

Is broccoli low FODMAP?

Yes, and no. The FODMAP content of broccoli really depends on which part of the vegetable you use. Broccoli heads (the top of the tree) are low FODMAP at a 3/4 cup serving and only moderate in FODMAPs at about 2.5 cups. This means you can eat quite a bit while following a low FODMAP diet! However, broccoli stalks (the trunk of the tree) contain more fructose and are high FODMAP at 3/4 cup and only low FODMAP at 1/3 cup or less.

Feeling confused by all these numbers? The key point here is this: broccoli heads are lower in FODMAPs than the stalks, so it’s best to trim off most of those stalks when chopping broccoli for a low FODMAP recipe.

Low FODMAP Ingredient Tips for the Best Broccoli Salad

I love this salad just as it is, but there’s also lots of opportunity to tweak this broccoli salad to your own preferences. Here are some tips for ingredient swaps, as well as notes about the FODMAP content of each add-in.

Walnuts and Other Low FODMAP Nuts

I chose walnuts for this recipe because they’re full of healthy fats and provide a nice crunch. A portion of 10 walnut halves per serving is low FODMAP. You could also swap walnuts out for pecans or slivered almonds. If you want a nut-free broccoli salad, you could also use pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds. Just stick with the same amount in the recipe (1/3 cup), as this ensures each portion remains low FODMAP.

Are Cranberries Low FODMAP?

I am a BIG fan of dried cranberries, but we don’t want to go overboard when following a low FODMAP diet. Having 1 tablespoon of dried cranberries is low FODMAP, so it’s best to think of them like a topping or garnish. This recipe works out to be 1 tablespoon dried cranberries in each serving of salad – perfect!

Not a fan of cranberries? I suggest using 1/4 cup of raisins (for the whole recipe) or perhaps some fresh grapes instead.

Bacon

Bacon is definitely low FODMAP, but can sometimes be bothersome to those with IBS because of the high fat content. This recipe only has a small amount, so should generally be well tolerated. If you’re a plant-based eater or don’t enjoy bacon, you can easily omit it. Try adding a bit of nutritional yeast for added protein and flavour instead.

Is Mayonnaise Low FODMAP?

Traditional mayonnaise made from egg, vinegar, oil, salt, and a bit of sugar is low FODMAP. However, there are a lot of different commercial formulations of mayonnaise on the market – it’s best to check for high FODMAP ingredients on the label. In particular, store-bought mayo might contain spices like garlic or onion, or even high fructose corn syrup (often called glucose-fructose). For this recipe, I used Hellman’s Real Mayonnaise.

To make this recipe vegan, you can omit the bacon and swap the mayonnaise for a low FODMAP vegan mayonnaise such as Hellman’s Vegan Mayonnaise or Follow Your Heart Vegenaise.

Apple Cider Vinegar

A lot of us have heard or read that apple cider vinegar is good for the gut – so is this true? In short, it’s not the miracle food that many people claim it to be, but it does offer both prebiotics and live bacteria, which may support gut health a little bit. As a dietitian, the way I recommend using ACV is in recipes (like this one!), rather than drinking it or taking really high dose supplements, as there can be some risks associated with taking it too.

Is apple cider vinegar low FODMAP? Yes! While apples are high FODMAP, this vinegar derived from apples is not. You can safely use it in lots of low FODMAP recipes.

How to Make 15 Minute Low FODMAP Broccoli Salad

Start by cooking the bacon. In a frying pan, cook the bacon over medium heat until well done and slightly crispy – approximately 5 minutes per side. You can start preparing the other ingredients while it cooks. When the bacon is finished, dab the excess fat off with some paper towel. You’ll want to allow time for this to cool before chopping it up.

Roughly chop the bacon into small pieces, about 1/2 inch each.

Prepare the broccoli by cutting off any long stalks. You only want the ‘top of the tree’ with only a little bit of stem remaining. Cut up your green onion (green part only) and set aside.

Time to make the salad dressing! Grab a medium bowl and add all the dressing ingredients – this is the mayonnaise, olive oil, dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, and salt. Once everything is in the bowl, use a spoon or whisk to mix everything until you get a nice smooth consistency.

Time to complete the salad by mixing everything together. Start by adding all the dry ingredients into the same bowl as the broccoli – add the walnuts, dried cranberries, bacon, and green onions. Then pour the dressing over top and mix well until everything is coated.

Serve the salad with your favourite low FODMAP proteins. I think it would be amazing alongside this maple glazed chicken or some delicious shrimp skewers. Enjoy!

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15 Minute Low FODMAP Broccoli Salad

This super simple broccoli salad is the perfect addition to any meal and is totally low FODMAP, as it uses only the low FODMAP part of broccoli – the heads! With added walnuts, bacon, and dried cranberries, there’s lots of flavour and texture.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Course: Appetizer, Lunch/ Dinner, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: dairy free, flavor, low fodmap, no garlic, no onion
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Foodie Digital

Ingredients

  • 4 cups broccoli, heads only see tip above for cutting broccoli to be low FODMAP
  • 4 strips bacon
  • 3 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup green onions, diced green parts only
  • cup walnut pieces
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries

Instructions

  • In a frying pan, cook the bacon over medium heat until well done and slightly crispy – approximately 5 minutes per side. When it is finished, dab the excess fat off with some paper towel. Once it cools, roughly chop the bacon into small pieces, about 1/2 inch each.
  • While the bacon cooks, cut the broccoli. You only want the ‘top of the tree’ with only a little bit of stem remaining. Cut up your green onion (green part only) and set aside.
  • Prepare the dressing: In a medium bowl, add mayonnaise, olive oil, dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, and salt. Mix until smooth.
  • Add broccoli, green onions, walnuts, dried cranberries, and chopped bacon to a large bowl. Pour the dressing over top and mix well until everything is coated.
  • Serve and enjoy!
Marlee Hamilton
About the Author

Marlee Hamilton

Marlee Hamilton is Ignite's Dietitian Team Lead. She is licensed in both Alberta and Ontario and sees patients virtually. Her specialty is working with patients who have unique and complex health concerns, particularly digestive disorders like IBS, SIBO, and IBD. She has also written an insulin resistance cookbook for PCOS patients and loves empowering people who struggle with this condition. Her realistic and actionable approach helps her patients thrive with small steps toward their big goals.

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