30 Minute Low FODMAP Quinoa Salad and Dressing
Looking for a flavourful, hearty salad packed with veggies and quinoa? This low FODMAP quinoa salad is loaded with crunchy cucumbers, colourful radicchio and fragrant herbs and tossed in a creamy maple tahini dressing. It’s an nourishing IBS friendly salad that everyone will absolutely love.
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Salad is one of my favourite meals. Seriously! But for me, salad is rarely a few leaves thrown on a plate. Give me texture! Flavour! And fill it with nutrient-dense plants! I love creating exciting low FODMAP salads that can double as a main dish because sometimes, I just crave veggies so dang hard.
If that’s you too, you’re going to love this incredible low FODMAP quinoa salad because it’s packed to the brim with colourful herbs, crunchy cucumber and quinoa, a grain that offers plenty of low FODMAP fibre and protein while tasting just as delicious as your favourite salad shop salad.
As a gut health dietitian, I know that there is a lot of misinformation out there about going low FODMAP if you’re vegetarian or vegan. Many clients come to us saying their practitioner straight up told them they couldn’t do it…but that’s simply because they don’t have experience guiding their clients through a nutritious low FODMAP vegan way of eating. (This post has a free Low FODMAP Starter PDF that might be helpful!)
Eating a plant-forward, low FODMAP diet is SO beneficial for your gut health long term. It helps you increase your intake of IBS-friendly fibre and phytochemicals to help support the gut microbiome.
In truth, the ONLY nutrient that becomes a bit of a challenge is protein because low FODMAP servings of legumes are quite small. But getting enough protein while you’re low FODMAP isn’t as hard as you think! Tofu and tempeh are very high in plant-based protein and you can sneak in higher protein grains like quinoa to help boost your intake so you feel full and satisfied at a meal. A good quinoa salad always satisfies, so I wanted to make this low FODMAP quinoa salad that works as a main or a side dish so you can get a dose of veggies and a bit of protein too!
Grab your ingredients for this easy low FODMAP quinoa salad
This low FODMAP salad requires just 6 ingredients to put together, plus a creamy maple tahini dressing (5 ingredients!) and makes a wonderful lunch or light dinner all on its own or a hearty side salad for 4-6 people.
- Quinoa: this low FODMAP and gluten free grain is the perfect base for a salad. Use any colour quinoa you have on hand!
- Radicchio: I’m a big fan of bitter veg, and this bitter Italian chicory is SO good for you. I promise, the balance of flavours in this salad will mellow out the bitterness, big time. Plus a low FODMAP serving is 2 cups, so get on board!!
- Cucumbers: you can use English or Persian cucumbers here, which are low FODMAP up to ½ cup per person.
- Fresh dill: fresh dill is a highly underrated herb…I love it’s delicate flavour. Most fresh herbs are are low FODMAP at a 1 cup serving, so herbs are a great way to boost veggie intake.
- Mint: fresh mint is essential to balancing out the radicchio here, don’t skip it!
- Walnuts: 10 walnut halves is a low FODMAP serving, so measure exactly to keep this salad low FODMAP so you can eat as much as you want. If you’re not low FODMAP? Go ahead and double it, the walnuts offer a nice crunch and plenty of minerals.
- Low FODMAP dressing: I love dressing this salad with my creamy maple tahini dressing, which is made from tahini, water, lemon juice, maple syrup, a bit of oil, salt and chile flakes. The acidity and sweetness in the dressing neutralize bitterness in the radicchio…it’s science!
FAQ: how much quinoa is low FODMAP serving?
According to the MONASH low FODMAP app (2023), 1 cup of cooked quinoa is a low FODMAP serving so even if you eat half this salad, you’re fine!!
Why quinoa is so dang good for you
A traditional staple of the Andean mountain region of Peru and Bolivia, quinoa has become a health food darling because it’s tummy friendly (gluten free and low FODMAP) and packed with nutrition benefits. When you can, please consider buying fairly traded quinoa to support the livelihood of the farmers who grow it for you!
½ cup (125 mL) of cooked quinoa contains:
- 4 grams of protein, which a balanced amino acid profile
- About 2.5 grams of FODMAP-friendly fibre
- 1 mg of zinc and almost 1.5 mg of iron, so important on a plant-based diet
- Smaller amounts of choline, folate, calcium, magnesium and manganese
- Lutein and zeaxanthin for eye health and potassium for heart health too!
How to make this low FODMAP quinoa salad and dressing
This simple low FODMAP quinoa salad is the perfect way to use up leftover quinoa…but even if you cook the quinoa from scratch, the salad still takes only about 30 minutes to make!
Step One: Cook the Quinoa If you don’t have leftover quinoa, bring it to a boil with 1 cup of water and then reduce to medium and simmer, with lid ajar for about 15 minutes. Once cooked, spread it on a piece of parchment to help it cool faster.
Step Two: Make the maple tahini dressing. In a bullet or wide-mouth blending cup, add the tahini, water, lemon juice, maple syrup, oil, salt and chile flakes. Blend until smooth and set aside.
Step Three: Chop the veggies and walnuts. Slice the cucumber and radicchio and chop the mint, dill and walnuts. It’s not a ton of veg so this takes less than 10 minutes!
Step Four: Toss and serve! This is a salad I don’t dress until right before serving. So toss the quinoa and veggies together in a bowl, and dress right before you’re about to eat it for the best flavour.
Tips, Tricks + Substitutions
- While this salad is most flavourful when you prepare it, structurally, it actually holds very well for up to 3 days in the fridge. I like to revive leftovers with a squeeze of lemon, a tiny drizzle of oil and some salt.
- Don’t have quinoa on hand? You can absolutely use millet, just be mindful to dress just before serving as the millet will suck up more of the dressing. Rice could work too.
- Want to prepare this salad in advance? You can cook the quinoa, chop the veggies and make the dressing 1 day in advance and just toss everything together when you’re ready to serve.
More yummy low FODMAP salads
- 15 Minute Vegan Kale Caesar Salad with Smoked Tofu
- Nourishing Kale and Quinoa Salad with Edamame
- Roasted Delicata Orzo Salad with Arugula
- Winter Panzanella Salad with Kale and Roasted Squash
- Vegan Cobb Salad with The BEST Dressing
- Easy Vegan Pasta Salad
- Vegan Cold Soba Noodle Salad with Sesame Ginger Dressing
30 Minute Low FODMAP Quinoa Salad and Dressing
- ½ cup quinoa, or 2 cups leftover cooked
- 1 small head radicchio, thinly sliced (about the size of a medium orange)
- 1 cup sliced cucumber
- ½ packed cup fresh dill, chopped
- ⅓ packed cup fresh mint leaves, sliced
- ½ cup walnut halves, chopped
- 1 batch maple tahini dressing
- handheld immersion blender or bullet blender
- If starting with dry quinoa, bring quinoa to a boil in a small pot with 1 cup water and a pinch of salt. Once boiling, lower heat to medium and cook, with lid ajar, for 10-15 minutes until water is absorbed. Spread cooked quinoa on a piece of parchment or a plate to cool quickly.
- While quinoa is cooking, prepare your veggies and maple tahini dressing.
- Place quinoa in a medium salad bowl with the radicchio, cucumber, dill, mint, and walnuts. Right before serving, toss salad with maple tahini dressing and enjoy.
- Leftovers can be stored for up to 3 days in an airtight container in the fridge.