Recipes | Easy

Low FODMAP Orzo Salad

DFGFVGNVEGEZQ

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see our disclosure policy for details.

Low FODMAP Orzo Salad might be the perfect summer side-dish. Orzo is rice shaped pasta, typically made from wheat, but in this recipe we are using a low FODMAP gluten-free version. This salad includes colorful, juicy, and crunchy low FODMAP cucumbers and tomatoes. A lemony salad dressing works beautifully with the fresh dill, parsley and scallion greens.

horizontal image of Low FODMAP Orzo Pasta Salad in blue and white oval bowl
Our Low FODMAP Orzo Pasta salad can be served as a side dish or light main dish.

Please plan ahead, as you might have to mail-order the orzo. More info below on additional shapes – but I highly suggest orzo.

Low FODMAP And Gluten-Free?

We have chosen to use orzo pasta that is both low FODMAP as well as gluten-free. The low FODMAP diet is actually not a gluten-free diet. Confused? It all comes down to the fructans in wheat.

Fructans are FODMAPs and they are found in wheat – which is in so many foods that we eat, like pasta, bread, pizza, baked goods, cereals…the list goes on and on. And wheat also contains gluten, so the fructans and gluten are side by side.

When we start the Elimination phase we are trying to eliminate and greatly minimize the FODMAPs in our diet and since fructans are found in wheat, and we greatly reduce its intake, the gluten in the wheat products is lessened in our diet as well.

Our Low FODMAP Orzo Salad is suitable for Elimination, as well as for those who are gluten sensitive or celiac. We want as many people to enjoy this dish!

Vegan Pasta Dishes

This recipe happens to be vegan. I was going to add some crumbled feta – and you can – but decided to leave the recipe as is to be suitable for more people.

We have an article for you about cheese to help you determine whether any cheese is low FODMAP. Many are!

Be sure to read Is Cheese Low FODMAP?

Pasta Salad Making Tips

As with any pasta salad, I have some strong feelings about temperature. I personally do not like pasta salad that has been refrigerated. The texture of the pasta, regardless of type of pasta or shape, suffers. Refrigerated pasta turns hard. Some types can somewhat recover by being brought to room temperature, but they are never as good as when made fresh.

closeup of Low FODMAP Orzo Pasta Salad in blue and white oval bowl

I understand that this makes do-ahead steps less intuitive. You have choices. You can make this ahead and chill it and it might be just fine for you, your friends and family. I am just suggesting that you try our pasta salads freshly made to experience them at their best.

What You Can Do-Ahead

Please note that the recipe only takes about 20 minutes to make. But if you really want to get ahead, I suggest prepping all the veggies and lemon zest, seal in an airtight container and refrigerate overnight. Then, the day of serving, simply cook your pasta and finish the dish.

What Is Orzo?

Orzo is rice shaped pasta which is very well suited to salads, soups, and side-dishes. I used Delallo, which has corn content (in addition to rice), hence the rich golden color.

Can I Use Another Pasta Shape?

You could, but we love this shape, as it is reminiscent of rice, but it’s pasta! If you use another shape, make it a similarly small shape such as ditalini or anellini.

Do I Have To Use Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice?

This recipe is about fresh vegetables, toothsome pasta, fresh herbs and zesty lemon. The lemon comes in the form of lemon zest, and juice to make the dressing. Since you need the zest anyway, we do suggest you use the fresh lemon to juice it and use it for the Low FODMAP Lemon Salad Dressing.

What Are Persian Cucumbers?

In many markets you might find several different kinds of cucumbers. My former employer, Bon Appetit, has a terrific article on supermarket cukes.

There is the classic basic cucumber, which is called a Pole cucumber; there are often hothouse, also called English cucumbers; and increasingly we have been able to easily find Persian. In our stores they come pre-packaged with 6 to a pack. They can also be referred to as “mini” and “baby”.
 
Persian cucumbers are short – about 6-inches (15 cm) long – slender, with a thin skin, hardly any seeds (and the seeds are tiny), they are crisp and dense. No need to peel.
 
Persian cucumbers are much, much less watery than Pole cukes, and much sweeter and their texture is just all around better. Please do not substitute Pole cucumbers. If you need a substitute, buy the hothouse, partially peel, seed them, then chop them up.

Here they are below, held in my hand so you can see dimensions
.
3 Persian cucumbers held in woman's hand

How To Make Orzo Salad

Check your local shops for there orzo, but you might have to mail-order.

I use Dellalo:

Low FODMAP and gluten-free Orzo graphic
The golden color of the orzo comes from the corn content.

Cook the orzo in a large pot of salted water until al dente. Drain well. Place orzo in a big mixing bowl and drizzle with a bit of Low FODMAP Lemon Salad Dressing while it is still warm, just enough to coat; set aside.

PS: I love using my little frother to help emulsify the dressing.

emulsifying lemon salad dressing in a white bowl with a tiny frother
Small hand-held frothers can be used for more than cappuccino!

Wash, dry, trim and thinly slice the cucumbers crosswise. They are thin, but not too thin and floppy. You want some crunch.

thinly sliced cucumber held in hand

(Note that in my images, I tossed together my veggies and then added the orzo, as I multi-tasked and cooked the orzo while prepping the rest of the recipe).

Add cooled orzo; just make sure it is not hot; room temp is perfect. Add the halved tomatoes, dill, and parsley. Use a microplane to create fine, fluffy lemon zest.

showing finely zested lemon using a microplane

Add enough salad dressing to coat. Taste and season well with salt and pepper. Allow to sit for 15 minutes for flavors to meld and serve. We much prefer this freshly made. If you want to refrigerate, please bring all the way back to room temperature before serving and be prepared to refresh with a bit more dressing. You can try refrigerating in an airtight container for 24 hours.

overhead of Low FODMAP Orzo Pasta Salad in blue and white oval bowl
Our Low FODMAP Orzo Salad comes together in about 20 minutes!

FODMAP Information

Our recipes are based on Monash University and FODMAP Friendly science.

  • Cucumbers: Both Monash University and FODMAP Friendly have lab tested cucumbers. FODMAP Friendly gives them a “Pass” at ½ cup (64 g). Monash states that no FODMAPs were detected upon lab testing and set a serving size at ½ cup (75 g).
  • Lemon Juice: Monash University has lab tested lemon juice and it is low FODMAP in ½ cup (125 g) amounts.
  • Oil: All pure oils are fats and contain no carbohydrates, therefore they contain no FODMAPs.
  • Pasta: You have to read labels, but there are many low FODMAP gluten-free brands of pasta available. Use what is called for in individual recipes. Our go-to is rice-based pasta. Monash University and FODMAP Friendly have both tested “gluten-free” pasta, but they do not specify what the pasta was made from. Monash says gluten-free pasta is low FODMAP at 145 g or 1 cup cooked; FODMAP Friendly lab testing suggested 2 cups or 146 g cooked is low FODMAP. Monash has also lab tested pasta made from rice, which they list under “rice stick” and it is low FODMAP at 220 g, which no Moderate or High FODMAP amounts given. 
  • Tomatoes: Both Monash University and FODMAP Friendly have lab tested common, beefsteak tomatoes. Monash University lab tests have shown no FODMAPs. FODMAP Friendly gives them a “Pass” at ½ cup (75 g) portions. Cherry tomatoes and Plum (Roma) tomatoes have also been tested by Monash and FODMAP Friendly. Both Monash and FODMAP Friendly recommend 75 g of cherry tomatoes as a serving (about 5 or ½ cup) and 75 g of plum or Roma tomatoes, which is about 1 small tomato or ½ cup.

Please always refer to the Monash University & FODMAP Friendly smartphone apps for the most up-to-date lab tested information. As always, your tolerance is what counts; please eat accordingly. The ultimate goal of the low FODMAP diet is to eat as broadly as possible, without triggering symptoms, for the healthiest microbiome.

horizontal image of Low FODMAP Orzo Pasta Salad in blue and white oval bowl
5 from 1 vote

Low FODMAP Orzo Salad

Low FODMAP Orzo Salad might be the perfect summer side-dish. Orzo is rice shaped pasta, typically made from wheat, but in this recipe we are using a low FODMAP gluten-free version. This salad includes colorful, juicy, and crunchy low FODMAP cucumbers and tomatoes. A lemony salad dressing works beautifully with the fresh dill and parsley.

Makes: 6 Servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Author: Dédé Wilson

Ingredients:

  • 12- ounces (340 g) low FODMAP gluten-free orzo, such as Delallo
  • Low FODMAP Lemon Salad Dressing, made with coarse mustard
  • 3 small seedless cucumbers, such as Persian cucumbers, sometimes called mini or baby cucumbers (they are about 6-inches/15 cm long, and thin)
  • 15 cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • ¼ cup (8 g) chopped fresh dill
  • ¼ cup (8 g) chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • ¼ cup (16 g) chopped scallions, green parts only
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced lemon zest, preferably made with a Microplane
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Preparation:

  1. Cook the orzo in a large pot of salted water until al dente. Drain well. Place orzo in a big mixing bowl and drizzle with a bit of Low FODMAP Lemon Salad Dressing while it is still warm – just enough to coat.

  2. Wash, dry, trim and thinly slice the cucumbers crosswise and add to the now room temp orzo. Add the halved tomatoes, dill, parsley, scallion greens and lemon zest. Add enough salad dressing to coat. Taste and season well with salt and pepper. Allow to sit for 15 minutes for flavors to meld and serve. We much prefer this freshly made. If you want to refrigerate, please bring all the way back to room temperature before serving and be prepared to refresh with a bit more dressing. You can try refrigerating in an airtight container for 24 hours.

Notes:

FODMAP Information

Our recipes are based on Monash University and FODMAP Friendly science.

Cucumbers: Both Monash University and FODMAP Friendly have lab tested cucumbers. FODMAP Friendly gives them a “Pass” at ½ cup (64 g). Monash states that no FODMAPs were detected upon lab testing and set a serving size at ½ cup (75 g).
Lemon Juice: Monash University has lab tested lemon juice and it is low FODMAP in ½ cup (125 g) amounts.
Oil: All pure oils are fats and contain no carbohydrates, therefore they contain no FODMAPs.
Pasta: You have to read labels, but there are many low FODMAP gluten-free brands of pasta available. Use what is called for in individual recipes. Our go-to is rice-based pasta. Monash University and FODMAP Friendly have both tested “gluten-free” pasta, but they do not specify what the pasta was made from. Monash says gluten-free pasta is low FODMAP at 145 g or 1 cup cooked; FODMAP Friendly lab testing suggested 2 cups or 146 g cooked is low FODMAP. Monash has also lab tested pasta made from rice, which they list under “rice stick” and it is low FODMAP at 220 g, which no Moderate or High FODMAP amounts given.
Tomatoes: Both Monash University and FODMAP Friendly have lab tested common, beefsteak tomatoes. Monash University lab tests have shown no FODMAPs. FODMAP Friendly gives them a “Pass” at ½ cup (75 g) portions. Cherry tomatoes and Plum (Roma) tomatoes have also been tested by Monash and FODMAP Friendly. Both Monash and FODMAP Friendly recommend 75 g of cherry tomatoes as a serving (about 5 or ½ cup) and 75 g of plum or Roma tomatoes, which is about 1 small tomato or ½ cup.

Please always refer to the Monash University & FODMAP Friendly smartphone apps for the most up-to-date lab tested information. As always, your tolerance is what counts; please eat accordingly. The ultimate goal of the low FODMAP diet is to eat as broadly as possible, without triggering symptoms, for the healthiest microbiome.

Course: Dinner & Lunch, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, American & Italian

Nutrition

Calories: 279kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 1g | Fiber: 2g

All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more. For a more detailed explanation, please read our article Understanding The Nutrition Panel Within Our Recipes.