I don’t know about you, but I love salsa! When I initially embarked on my low FODMAP journey it was one of the things I missed the most.
But guess what? With a few adjustments you can make delicious fresh salsa from scratch without the FODMAPs! You might be thinking “salsa without onions? How can that be any good?”, but you might be surprised at the flavor you can achieve using low FODMAP ingredients.
For those who don’t like to cook, there are now some low FODMAP salsas on the market as well! But this recipe is really easy, I promise! So why not give it a shot? Read on the get the scoop on how to fit my favorite condiment into a low FODMAP diet.
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Regular Store-Bought Salsa
If you are just looking for something to top a taco or a baked potato, I have good news! Regular store-bought salsa is considered low FODMAP in a serving size of 2 tablespoons. Of course, you might want to check the label and choose salsas that have the high FODMAP ingredients (think onions and garlic) at the end of the list of ingredients.
For those of you who know are capable of moderating yourselves, most salsas should be fine used in small amounts. Not so much if you are looking to chow on a big pile of chips and salsa.
If you are like me and 2 tablespoons is not nearly enough to satisfy your craving for some spicy goodness, you might want to consider an alternate option.
Commercially Available Low FODMAP Salsa
Fortunately, there have been several food companies that have started up in recent years to address the need for low FODMAP food options. Unfortunately, only a few are producing low FODMAP salsa at this time. But hey, it’s a start.
FODY Food Co. has both red and green salsas that are certified low FODMAP by MONASH University. FODY Food products can be found in stores or online.
Casa de Sante has a mild chunky salsa that is certified low FODMAP through FODMAP Friendly. Casa de Sante products are available online only through their website.
Homemade Low FODMAP Salsa (Pico de Gallo)
This is a fresh salsa recipe, which some may consider more of a low FODMAP pico de gallo. But whatever you call it, call it delicious! Although it is a garlic and onion free salsa it is jam packed with flavor.
Tomatoes are the main ingredient of this salsa. Half a common tomato is a low FODMAP portion (65 grams). Or one whole roma tomato. Garden fresh tomatoes make the best salsa. If you don’t have a garden head on over to your local farmer’s market when in season. If you but from the store, look for a bright red color and a weight that feels heavy for its size. Go ahead and give it a sniff! It should also smell like a tomato.
Green Bell Pepper
A low FODMAP serve of green bell peppers is ½ cup. I usually add ½ of a bell pepper to my salsa, which usually ends up being around ½ a cup. But you could add a little more if you would like, as long as you are not eating the full batch of salsa in one sitting.
Fructans are the FODMAP component in green bell peppers, so if you have done your elimination and re-introduction, you will have an idea if this ingredient is a problem for you.
The tops of green onions (as in the green part) are FODMAP free. You can use as much or as little of this ingredient as you would like to add flavor to your salsa. Just be careful not to include the bulb (the white part). As little as a single bulb is high in fructans.
Green chili peppers are considered low FODMAP, though tolerance may vary (see below for a note on spicy foods). Add to your taste and tolerance.
Ahhh cilantro! Some love it and others hate it. Skip it if it tastes like soap to you – did you know that is a genetic trait? Crazy, right? Cilantro is a low FODMAP food so go ahead and add as much (or as little) as you desire.
No salsa is complete without the brightness of some citrus. Lime juice is low FODMAP in servings up to 1 cup, but for this recipe a few tablespoons will do. Some people prefer lemon juice, which is also a safe choice.
Garlic Infused Olive Oil
If you can’t live without the flavor of garlic, you can achieve this with a teaspoon of garlic infused olive oil. Garlic infused olive oil gives you the flavor you crave without the fructans in garlic cloves.
Be cautious when choosing your oil – avoid products with visible pieces of garlic sitting in the bottle. It may be wise to choose a brand that is certified low FODMAP. Here is what I use:
You could also throw in some garlic chives to get some low FODMAP garlic flavor.
Salt is free from FODMAPs, but take it easy for the sake of your heart health.
One of my favorite spices. Cumin bumps up the flavor of this salsa and is low in FODMAPs.
A Note on Spicy Foods
Many people with IBS, and some people without, do not tolerate spicy foods. Others tolerate only a small amount. In one study, 45% of participants reported at least moderate symptoms related to hot spices. The most common symptoms were abdominal pain, dyspepsia, and loose stools.
Although chili peppers are generally considered low FODMAP in modertation, it may be wise to go easy on the spice.
Capsaicin is the component of hot peppers that give them their heat. It is also the component that can irritate the gut. However, some people do just fine with hot peppers. If you are among then lucky ones that tolerate the heat, go ahead and bump up your salsa to the level of hot you desire.
You might also be interested in this article: Peppers, Spicy Food, and IBS: What You Need to Know.
How to Enjoy Your Low FODMAP Salsa
First of all, the flavors of this salsa really come together best if you let it chill before serving. I usually take a few bites right away to make sure I’m happy with the initial flavor, then I toss it in the fridge for 15-30 minutes.
The classic way to use your fresh salsa is just with tortilla chips. My favorite chips are Garden of Eatin’ Sesame Blues.
But there are so many other ways to enjoy it. Here are some ideas:
- On tacos, fajitas, or quesadillas
- As a topping for baked potatoes. Don’t forget the sour cream (a low FODMAP serve is 2 tablespoons)!
- Have salsa for breakfast on scrambled eggs
- Use on a salad instead or along with salad dressing
- On top of grilled fish or chicken
- On a burger
If you are making tacos, check out this low FODMAP taco seasoning recipe with ideas for low FODMAP toppings.
How Long Does Fresh Salsa Last?
Fresh salsa is best eaten, well… fresh! I would toss out any unused salsa after five days in the refrigerator. However, I find that the taste and texture is best in the first two days. Honestly, it’s so good you’ll be lucky if it lasts more than that anyway!
Low FODMAP Salsa
- 3 Tomatoes
- 1/2 cup Green Bell Pepper
- 1 Medium Jalapeno
- 3-4 Green Onions green tops only
- 2 Tbsp Lime Juice
- 1 tsp Garlic Infused Olive Oil
- 1/2 tsp Cumin
- 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
- Black Pepper to taste
- Finely chop the tomatoes, bell pepper, jalapeno, and tops of green onions.
- Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl.
- Chill for 15-30 minutes before serving.
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Enjoy! And please drop a review in the comments!
Remember: this post is for informational purposes only and may not be the best fit for you and your personal situation. It shall not be construed as medical advice. The information and education provided here is not intended or implied to supplement or replace professional medical treatment, advice, and/or diagnosis. Always check with your own physician or medical professional before trying or implementing any information read here.