Low Fodmap Basil Pesto

Easy Low Fodmap Fresh Basil Pesto Recipe

If you’re following the low fodmap diet, you may think that basil pesto is off limits due to the high garlic content. But not my low fodmap pesto recipe!

This recipe uses garlic-infused oil in place of the typical garlic cloves most classic pesto recipes call for. Extra virgin olive oil is used to make pesto anyway, so this will not change the consistency or texture of the product at all. It will simply provide a subtle fodmap-friendly garlic flavor. 

Every year I tend to grow far more basil in my garden than I can actually use. One great way to preserve fresh basil to make a few big batches of homemade pesto and freeze it. 

I use an ice cube tray with a lid or baby food molds from when my kids were little. I freeze the pesto in these, then pop them out and put them all together in a big freezer bag and store in the freezer. 

This way I can quickly grab only as many as I need at any time and keep the rest frozen. Full disclosure, the pesto cubes do stick together slightly but nothing that a good whack on the counter top won’t fix. 

Ingredients for Low Fodmap Fresh Basil Pesto

Fresh Basil

I like to grow sweet italian basil. This grows well in my area and tends to be quite prolific. If you buy your basil from the store, this is also most likely the variety you will find. 

Fresh basil leaves for low fodmap basil pesto

There are several varieties you could grow, however, including Thai Basil, Lemon Basil and Greek Basil. No matter what type of basil you’re growing in your garden, it will make a lovely pesto. Promised. 

Fresh basil has been tested for fodmaps and according to the Monash fodmap app, it is low fodmap in 2 cup serving size. 

Pine Nuts

Pine nuts are most commonly used in pesto. They can be a bit pricey, however.

If it’s harvest season and I have tons of basil coming out of the garden, I usually make a HUGE batch to freeze. In this scenario, almonds are a great alternative to the pine nuts in order to keep the cost down.

Do make sure you blend well, however, if using almonds. They are more robust than pine nuts and can result in a gritty pesto if not blended well. 

Pine nuts have been tested by Monash University to be low fodmap in 1 tablespoon. You will get this much or less in a serving of this pesto so no worries there. 

Almonds have been tested to be fodmap friendly in 10 nuts or less – this is FAR more than you would get in a serving of this pesto. So no worries there either. 

Parmesan Cheese

Since Parmesan is a hard cheese, it is drained of most of it’s lactose content. This makes it perfectly fine to consume on a low fodmap diet. You can use grated Parmesan over shredded in a pinch, but I would not recommend it unless necessary. 

Parmesan cheese for low fodmap basil pesto

Grated Parmesan will give the pesto a bit of a grainy texture and will likely thicken it up too much. You may need to add extra garlic oil in this case. 

Garlic-infused Olive Oil 

Since fodmaps are water soluble and oil is a fat, garlic-infused oil is considered low fodmap. The fodmaps don’t leech out into the oil. Do make sure, however, that if you purchase an oil that has actual garlic pieces in it, you do not consume that portion. 

Fody Foods makes a good garlic infused oil for that yummy low fodmap garlic flavor. Colavita Roasted Garlic Olive Oil is another oil that I’ve used in the past and loved. 

You can certainly play around with the flavor here if you wish. Don’t think that you are locked in to garlic-flavored oil. There are shallot infused olive oils, truffle infused olive oils, etc. If you want to do a bit of pesto experimentation, go for it! 

Without further ado, let’s cook!

Low Fodmap Basil Pesto

Easy Low Fodmap Fresh Basil Pesto Recipe

This super fast, low fodmap basil pesto recipe is easy to make and absolutely delicious. Use it in pasta dishes, Caprese grilled cheese or a topping for grilled chicken breasts.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Side Dish
Servings 8

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • ½ cup pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup garlic infused olive oil more to thin if necessary
  • black pepper to taste optional ingredient

Instructions
 

  • Toast the pine nuts: place them in a single layer in a dry pan on the stove. Turn the heat to medium-low and toast, stirring often, for several minutes until nuts are golden brown. Be careful not to take your eyes off of them, they can burn quickly. 
  • Place all ingredients except olive oil in a food processor.
  • Pulse several times and scrape edges of processor.
  • Replace lid and turn on again.
  • Slowly drizzle the oil into the pesto while the food processor is running.
  • Continue processing until smooth, scraping down the sides of the food processor as necessary.
  • Taste and adjust salt as needed.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

You can save this pesto in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. Take note, however, that the vibrant green color of the pesto will start to brown on top the longer it is exposed to oxygen. You can simply stir it around when you go to use it next, but it will have lost a little bit of vibrance. 

My favorite way (or one of my favorites) to use this beautiful pesto sauce, is to make my Low Fodmap Pesto Pasta with Turkey (or Chicken). Check out the recipe if you’re looking for a quick and yummy gluten-free pasta dish that will quickly become a family favorite!

Just a reminder to always work with a fodmap-trained dietitian when following the low fodmap diet. 

As always, thanks for reading!

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