This tortilla salad bowl is crunchy, delicious and surprisingly low FODMAP. It's exactly the type of thing I’ll eat at least once a week when the UK weather allows. If you thought salads were off the menu then hopefully this will help to change your mind.
This recipe is a bit of a nod to that time I spent one day a week for five months, working in the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico. (But that’s a whole other story). This is, of course, my inauthentic version which celebrates the total absence of coriander leaf, (bleurgh!)
I rework this recipe often, based on what I have to hand and eat it in some form or another on the regular. I encourage you to play around with what’s available to you and experiment with different flavours and ingredients;
- Swap out the oils, you can try avocado or herb oils. A low-waste hack of mine is to use the flavourful oil that my (garlic-free) sundried tomatoes or grilled peppers are preserved in.
- Change up the acids. How about replacing the lime juice with lemon, orange or balsamic vinegar? Try pickled capers, gherkins or sauerkraut for a bit of extra zing.
- Switch the lentils for chickpeas/garbanzo, butter/lima beans or marinated oyster mushrooms.
- Add rice, millet or load it onto spiced potato wedges for a filling main course.
- Use whichever fresh herbs and leafy greens you prefer.
- If you don’t want a dressing then add sliced avocado on top instead.
When making substitutions the main thing you need to be mindful of is not stacking your FODMAPs. As this recipe gets close to the recommended 1.5 portions of each FODMAP type. That means;
- Avoid or swap out fructan-containing ingredients that can potentially stack with the bell pepper and chips,
- Avoid or swap out GOS ingredients that can potentially stack with the lentils and chips,
- Limit no more than half a portion of other fructose-containing ingredients that may stack with the tomato,
- Limit no more than half a portion of other sorbitol ingredients with the avocado.
Don’t forget to let me know in the comments below what swaps you made and how they worked for you, except if you added coriander, now that I don’t want to hear!
Are corn tortilla chips low FODMAP?
Yes. Plain corn tortilla chips have a safe serving of 50g. I prefer to use flavoured chips, my favourites are the sea salt and lime tortilla chips from Aldi which appear to be accidentally low FODMAP.
If you can’t find any that are FODMAP safe you can always make your own. Simply rub a small corn tortilla wrap with a little oil and spices or nutritional yeast, slice it into small triangles and bake for roughly 10 minutes until crisp.
Can I make this oil-free?
Yes. It’s easy enough to leave the garlic oil out of the salsa but bear in mind you will miss out on the extra flavour that it brings.
If you’ll still be using the avocado dressing then you won’t really miss the oil too much. You can omit the avocado from the dressing as described below. If you plan on doing away with the dressing entirely then you’ll definitely need to bring in some other flavours.
Although I haven’t tried any of these suggestions with this recipe some oil-free ways to add flavour include:
- fresh herbs, alone, in combination or blitzed into a dressing with lime juice and seasonings
- mixing the lime juice with a spice blend such as the FODY low FODMAP taco seasoning.
- blitzing up firm tofu with a splash of water to make a creamy base dressing that you can add herbs and spices to taste.
Is avocado high FODMAP? Why is it in this salad?
Yes, at a full serving avocado is a high FODMAP food. However, like many high FODMAP foods, it does have a small, low FODMAP safe serving of 30g, which is the amount we use in this recipe.
This is the main reason I recommend using the Monash app above any other low FODMAP resource. To allow for more variety and a less restrictive diet Monash list the smallest safe serving possible, even of foods typically considered high FODMAP. Many other resources I’ve come across state that high FODMAP foods in any serving size should be eliminated but this is simply not true and makes the diet far less healthy and practical for most.
Wherever possible you can and should eat as varied a diet as possible. This includes adding in safe servings of high FODMAP foods such as avocado, some legumes, fruits, vegetables and grains. The easiest way to do this is to familiarise yourself with these safe servings in the Monash app.
In this recipe, the avocado adds extra calories, healthy whole fats and a rich, creaminess to the dressing. However, if you know that you malabsorb sorbitol, or just prefer to leave out the avocado, the dressing works well without it as sour cream. If you leave out the avocado then I suggest increasing the lime juice to 2 tsp, adding a pinch of dried dill or mint and adjusting the seasonings to taste.
I can’t tolerate lentils, can I leave them out?
Yes. The lentils add extra bite, protein and calories which help to make this a main meal salad. If you don’t want to add the lentils then I recommend adding rice to the salad to make it more satisfying.
Can I prep this in advance?
Yes. This whole salad, (without the optional greens or avocado dressing added) can be prepped ahead of time and will store for several days in the fridge. If you would like to increase the quantities and prepare this in bulk I suggest preparing the base salad without the lentils. You can then portion the salad out into separate containers and add a measured safe serving of lentils to each individual container.
If grilling the bell pepper from fresh this can be done up to 48 hours in advance and stored in the fridge until you need it.
The avocado dressing can be prepped ahead and stored separately from the salad for at least 24 hours in the fridge. I prefer not to dress my salad until I’m ready to eat it so if taking this on the go I transport my dressing separately in a small jar.
This recipe was updated in July 2022 to reflect the changes to the recommended low FODMAP serving size and FODMAP quantity of red bell pepper and common tomato. Note the updated recipe switches from red to green bell pepper. This is because green bell pepper contains fructans, whereas red bell pepper contains fructose. This means that at a full portion the red bell pepper is more prone to stacking with the fructose in the tomato. In this recipe, it makes more sense to switch to fructan-containing green bell pepper, but that may not always be the case when it comes to other recipes containing bell pepper.
I think it’s really important to highlight the fact that as more research is done and more is learned about FODMAPs, changes can and do occur. Updates to safe servings and/or which specific FODMAP a food contains can have a big impact on a recipe, with the potential for FODMAP stacking and exceeding low FODMAP portions. This is my number one reason for constantly recommending the Monash app as the must-have resource for the diet.
As written this recipe is low FODMAP at 1 single serving. This recipe contains approx:
- 1+½ Fructan serving - 75g green bell pepper = 1 serving + lime juice = trace + 25g corn chips = ½ serving
- 1+½ GOS serving - 46g lentils = 1 serving + 25g corn chips = ½ serving
- 0 Mannitol
- 1 Sorbitol serving - 30g avocado = 1 serving
- 1 Fructose serving - 69g vine/truss tomato = 1 serving
- 0 Lactose - All my recipes are vegan and therefore free from dairy and lactose. Yay!
* Always refer to the Monash app for current safe serves and FODMAP categorisations.
FODMAP Ingredient Notes
Low FODMAP at 30g. Servings of 45g or more contain moderate to high amounts of sorbitol. I always advise weighing your low FODMAP portions on a food scale rather than using the volume or count measurement. This especially applies to an ingredient such as avocados that differ dramatically in size.
Bell pepper/Capsicum - Green
Since the 2022 update, green bell pepper is now listed with a low FODMAP serving of 75g. It becomes moderate for fructans at 250g and high for fructans at 310g.
Previously, green bell peppers have always been considered higher in FODMAPs than other colours. However, following retesting not only has the portion size increased dramatically but the FODMAPs they contain have also changed. Green bell pepper is now listed as fructan-containing, whereas it used to be considered to contain high amounts of the polyol - sorbitol in 80g servings. Something that’s likely to catch people out is that the green peppers contain fructan whilst the red peppers contain fructose.
Some people have non-FODMAP reactions to the capsaicin content. Reduce or omit depending on your tolerance.
Untested and unlisted in the Monash app. Feel free to substitute with ground chilli powder which has a low FODMAP serving of 2g or 1 tsp. Alternatively, omit the dried chilli from the blend and add fresh chilli into your recipe when cooking. Fresh red chilli has a low FODMAP serving of 28g and contains moderate amounts of fructans in portions of 35g or more.
Some people may have non-FODMAP reactions to the capsaicin content of chilli which can trigger flushing, heartburn and stomach pain. Reduce or omit depending on your personal tolerance.
Corn tortilla chips
Plain corn tortilla chips have a low FODMAP serving of 50g or roughly one small packet. Large servings of 250g are high in fructans and GOS. You may also be able to find flavoured varieties without high FODMAP ingredients. My favourite brand is the Aldi sea salt and lime flavour which appear to be FODMAP safe.
Infused garlic oil, (free from visible garlic pieces) is FODMAP safe. Pure oils are free from carbohydrates which makes them naturally FODMAP free. Some people with IBS may have non-FODMAP reactions to oil.
If you prefer you may omit the oil and water saute your ingredients instead. Bear in mind that omitting garlic oil from a recipe will affect the finished flavour. You may wish to add ginger, asafoetida, spring onion greens, leek green tips, or chives to compensate for the lack of garlic flavour.
Canned, rinsed and drained green/brown lentils contain GOS and have a low FODMAP serving of 46g. Canned legumes and pulses have a lower FODMAP content than dried beans because the water-soluble Oligos Fructans and GOS leach out of the bean and are washed away in the canning water.
Some people that do not usually tolerate legumes may find that low FODMAP servings of canned, drained beans are more easily digested.
In early 2022 the low FODMAP serving of vine tomatoes was reduced to 69g after they were found to contain moderate levels of fructose. This is a significant decrease from their previous listing of being FODMAP-free and could be eaten freely. Vine tomatoes have now been retested and found to contain moderate levels of fructose at 75g servings and high levels of fructose in servings of 93g or more.
If you've been eating larger amounts of vine tomatoes without symptoms then there's no need to reduce your intake based on these new findings. If you have experienced symptoms or are new to the elimination phase of the low FODMAP diet then stick to the new serving size as stated in the current version Monash app.
Be aware that older recipes may be using outdated values calculated prior to the 2022 update.
- FODY garlic-infused extra virgin olive oil (250ml). If you’re worried about using garlic oil then this brand is officially low FODMAP certified by Monash. Unfortunately, as with any niche branded product, you’ll pay a premium for the peace of mind that comes with certification. When purchasing regular garlic oil look for the words “infused” and make sure the oil is clear and free from any visible garlic cloves, pieces or sediment.
- Engevita nutritional yeast with B12 (125 g). If you use this regularly it sometimes works out to be a better value to buy it in multipacks online rather than individually. If you’ve never used it before or prefer not to buy it in bulk then start off with a single 125g pack.
- The Coconut Collaborative - coconut dairy-free yoghurt (350g). Monash doesn’t specify the ingredients in the low FODMAP coconut yoghurt listed in the app. This version also contains coconut water. Some brands of coconut yoghurt are a mixture of coconut milk and soya. If you're unsure as to how you'll react to your chosen brand then start by testing a small amount to see how you go.
- Amaizin organic natural corn chips (75g). I haven’t tried this brand but it seems like a good quality FODMAP safe choice and it’s reasonably priced. Organic, wheat and gluten-free, non-GMO, palm oil-free and made to an authentic Mexican recipe using only cornflour, sunflower oil and salt.
* We use affiliate links here to help support our work. Purchasing through these links does not affect your consumer rights or the price you pay but may result in The Irritable Vegan receiving a small commission payment. We thank you for supporting us in this way whilst you shop.
- Celery free
- Gluten free
- Mustard free
- Peanut free
- Sesame free
- Soy free
- Wheat free
- Lactose free
- Mannitol free
Please always double-check your ingredients to ensure your products, brands and version is “free-from” if required. Where we list free from FODMAPs please be aware we are referring to free from excess FODMAPs as defined by low/high FODMAP limits in the Monash app and not a true allergy-safe definition of “free-from”. Most plant foods will still contain some level of FODMAPs but in amounts that are considered to be tolerable for most people on the low FODMAP diet.
Low FODMAP Tortilla Salad Bowl
- 69 g fresh vine/truss tomato
- 75 g grilled green bell pepper - Fresh or from a jar
- 46 g canned and drained lentils
- 15 spring onion/scallion greens
- 50 g olives - Green or black
- ¼ cup fresh basil and parsley leaves
- 1 tablespoon garlic-infused olive oil
- squeeze lime juice
- pinch salt
- pinch freshly ground black pepper
- 25 g corn tortilla chips - Plain or free from high FODMAP flavourings
- optional rocket/arugula leaves - To serve
- optional dried chilli flakes - To serve
- Thoroughly rinse your lentils and allow them to drain over the sink whilst you prep the veggies.
- Halve and deseed a medium green bell pepper. Reserve one half for another time. Place half of the pepper, skin side up, under a hot grill/broiler for 5-10 mins until the skin blackens. Carefully remove from the heat (I use tongs) and place the pepper into a glass jar and close the lid. Leave it to cool for 10 minutes. Once cool enough to handle, carefully peel off the blackened skin, it should come away from the flesh easily. Discard the skin and dice the flesh.
- Finely dice your tomato, finely slice the spring onion greens and the olives. Tear the herbs into smaller pieces with your fingers.
- Pop the drained lentils into a mixing bowl along with the tomatoes, pepper, spring onion greens, olives and herbs.
- Add the garlic oil, lime juice, salt and pepper. Mix everything really well and set it aside whilst you make the avocado dressing.
- Weigh out 30g of avocado flesh, place in a small bowl and mash with a fork until smooth. Add nutritional yeast, salt and pepper, coconut yoghurt and lime juice. Stir everything together really well into a smooth, creamy dressing.
- Plate up the salad. I like to add a bed of rocket or other leafy greens. Pour the lentil salad and any juice from the bowl on top of the greens. Crush up the corn tortilla chips (I just use my hands) and sprinkle them evenly over the salad. Drizzle over the avocado dressing and top with an optional sprinkle of dried chilli flakes.
Did you make this recipe? How did you eat yours?
Tag us on Instagram @theirritablevegan and #theirritablevegan so we can see your creation and share it with our community.
Please don't forget to rate ⭐, review and pin the recipe. Every single one helps more people, just like you, to find it when they search.