The Definitive Low FODMAP Pasta Guide (2023)

Did you know that you can still enjoy pasta on the Low FODMAP diet?! I think one of the biggest misconceptions about the diet is that it’s a gluten free diet. Spoiler: gluten has NOTHING to do with FODMAPs! FODMAPs are just carbohydrates (specifically, fructans), while gluten is a protein. During the elimination phase of the diet, you’ll want to keep your portions of wheat based products small, as FODMAPs are typically portion size dependent. 

If you’re thinking, “Ok I get that I can have pasta now, but what about pasta sauce?! And meatballs? Don’t they contain FODMAPs, too?” Yes, most pasta sauces, meatballs and sausages may include other FODMAPs. That’s why I’m going to break down what you should be looking for on their labels and provide you with some Low FODMAP friendly products. Delizioso!

What FODMAPs should I be aware of?

When it comes to pasta and Italian food in general, there are four FODMAPs that you should be aware of. They are:

  • Fructans-grain
    •  This includes wheat based products like pasta and bread.
  • Garlic: 
    • Also a fructan. This may be in the form of whole, minced or garlic powder. Garlic infused oils are actually ok because FODMAPs are not fat soluble (meaning, they can’t leach out into the oil).
  • Onion:
    • Also a fructan. Also may be in the form of whole, minced or onion powder. Look out for other alliums like shallots, the white parts of green onions or various onion varieties (red, yellow, white, etc).
  • Lactose:
    • This is milk sugar and is found in dairy products. Luckily, most cheeses that are used in Italian good are hard or aged (i.e parmesan), which makes them low in lactose. Items you should look out for are milk, milk powder, cream and ricotta cheese. Reminder, the Low FODMAP diet is NOT a dairy-free or even lactose-free diet. It’s a low lactose diet!

Low FODMAP Pasta Varieties

Monash has tested multiple pasta varieties. You can find the most up to date portion sizes on their app. They have also certified some products, like Schar, which means that they have tested the product themselves to ensure it is Low FODMAP. Most of the brands that I have listed have not been tested by Monash, but I’ve reviewed their ingredients and found them to be Low FODMAP based on the current evidence. 

  • Wheat: 
    • You can actually eat up to ½ cup of wheat pasta (i.e. made from white wheat flour) while you’re in the Low FODMAP elimination phase. If you increase beyond that, it becomes high in fructans. 
  • Quinoa
    • 1 cup cooked appears to be fine. You’ll likely find this mixed in with other gluten free flours like rice or corn. 
  • Spelt
    • This is an ancient grain that’s like a subspecies of wheat. It’s not considered gluten free, but it is Low FODMAP up to ½ cup. 
  • Gluten free
    • Most gluten free pastas will be Low FODMAP, but it does not automatically mean it IS Low FODMAP. When I Googled “gluten free pasta”, I found varieties made from lentils, peas and cauliflower. These types of flours have not been tested, but we know that lentils, peas and cauliflower all have upper limits. I recommend avoiding products made from those items. 
  • Chickpea
    • My personal favorite! I think this tastes the most like “real” pasta and you can eat up to 1 cup. It’s also high in fiber and protein, which makes it more nutritionally dense than other pasta varieties. 
  • Corn
    • This has not specifically been tested, but corn flour and polenta, made from cornmeal, are considered Low FODMAP
  • Rice
    • Both white and brown rice varieties are Low FODMAP. 

Specific Low FODMAP Pasta brands

  • Barilla Gluten Free (Penne, Rotini, Elbows, Fettuccine); they’re made with corn flour
  • Ronzoni Gluten free Spaghetti; made with white/brown rice flour, corn and quinoa flour
  • Jovial: made from brown rice, varieties include spaghetti, fusilli, lasagna, fettuccine and manicotti. 
  • Ancient Harvest: most of their Supergrain Organic Pasta products are made from corn, brown rice and quinoa flour. Varieties include shells, penne, rotini and spaghetti. They also have polenta, which is made from corn flour. 
  • Dr. Schar: this is the only brand that is Monash certified. Varieties include spaghetti, fusilli and penne. 
  • Delallo: they have a few different products that are made from a variety of Low FODMAP friendly sources. These include: gluten free potato gnocchi, whole grain rice fusilli, corn & rice orzo and spaghetti made from brown rice flour. They also have lasagna noodles made from corn and rice flour. 

You can find these and more in my Amazon shop.

Specific Low FODMAP Pasta sauces

  • FODY: all of their pasta sauces are Low FODMAP and Monash certified. 
  • FODMAPPed for you tomato 
  • Rao’s Sensitive: Rao’s sauces are so, so good! Luckily, they have a Sensitive Marinara sauce that does not contain garlic and/or onion. 
  • Prego Sensitive: similar to Rao’s, Prego made a Sensitive Marinara without any garlic or onion. This seems to be pretty easy to find in most grocery stores. 
  • Classico Light Alfredo is likely Low FODMAP at one serving size (¼ cup). It does not contain any garlic and/or onion. The two main ingredients are water and parmesan cheese, which we know is very low in lactose (and low fodmap friendly). 

Low FODMAP Sausage and Meatballs

  • Kroger Mild Italian Style Pork Meatballs
  • Great Value Italian Style with Parmesan Meatballs
  • Amylu Cranberry & Jalapeno Chicken Meatballs
  • Trader Joe’s Mild and Spicy Italian Chicken sausage
  • Pure Farms Homestyle Fully Cooked Meatballs
  • Aldi Italian Style Meatballs
  • Bilinski’s Organic Spicy Italian with Red Pepper, 
  • Johnsonville Mild Italian Sausage

Pasta Recipes

There are a lot of great pasta recipes out there, but I like to keep it simple when it comes to pasta! Check out my “recipe” below along with a few other Low FODMAP recipes from some of my favorite blogs. 

  • Liz’s Recipe:
    • My personal recommendation is to use chickpea pasta (I love Banza!) for additional protein and fiber. Mix in Rao’s Sensitive and add in a chicken sausage (Trader Joe’s Mild Italian and Spicy Italian are both FODMAP friendly…and delicious!). When cooking a GF pasta like chickpea, I recommend cooking for either the lowest amount of time recommended on the box, or one minute under. This helps prevent it from getting too mushy! Slice the chicken sausage links and sautee on medium for 4-5 minutes per side (I prefer mine to be a little crispy). Top with shredded parmesan. 

Buon appetito! 

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