Hi! My name is Sara and I am the face behind Real Balanced. I'm so happy to have you here and to share my favorite low-carb, keto, paleo, and low-FODMAP recipes! Learn more about me here.

1-Minute Low-FODMAP Pesto

Pesto is a household staple for us. Adding it to any dish provides both a delicious depth of flavor and a power-packed source of nutrients and healthy fats. Even better? It only takes a minute to throw together (literally, you can just throw everything in a food processor, blend, done). It fits all of my criteria!

This was until I started to exhibit terrible GI pain after eating my beloved pesto... I learned later that one of the main ingredients, garlic, is reaaaally high in oligosaccharides, a member of the FODMAP family, that isn't a friend to people with gastrointestinal problems.

What Are FODMAPs?

FODMAP is an acronym that stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polyols, short-chained carbohydrates that are poorly absorbed by our bodies which can wreak havoc on your digestive system. When consuming something that is high in a particular FODMAP, the food passes through our stomach and small intestine and is either fermented by colonic bacteria releasing gas or expelled together with fluid, which results in GI symptoms for those with a sensitive gut.

A low-FODMAP diet is highly recommended by medical professionals for people experiencing gastrointestinal distress, such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Rather than taking a myriad of prescription medicine to deal with the symptoms caused by IBS, a low-FODMAP diet has been found to be extraordinarily helpful in dealing with the distress of the syndrome.

When I was diagnosed with GI problems, the first thing the doctor advised me to do was to reduce or altogether eliminate FODMAPs from my diet. A low-FODMAP or FODMAP-free diet can be incredibly beneficial for those who struggle with a gastrointestinal problems such as IBS, SIBO, and other disorders of the gut.

After eliminating FODMAPs, I couldn't believe the results. My symptoms decreased so significantly and so quickly that I knew that I needed to adopt this style of eating on an ongoing basis.

Foods That Contain FODMAPs

The major FODMAP culprits that seem to bother a majority of IBS-sufferers are garlic, onions, dried fruit, gluten, legumes, and, unfortunately, many more foods that most people consider to be part of a healthy diet. This doesn't mean that consumption of some high-FODMAP foods will absolutely bother you, but elimination of some of them may greatly improve your symptoms. For many people, an elimination diet followed by a period of reintroduction is found to be most helpful in understanding what FODMAP foods are negatively affecting you.

For a complete list of low- and high-FODMAP foods, check out this link here or, if you'd like a searchable, easy-to-use list, download the Monash University Low-FODMAP phone app.

How This Pesto Is Different

You're probably wondering, "how on earth will this pesto taste good if there isn't any garlic involved?" To that, I respond, well.....there's no Parmesan cheese in it either.

Wait! Before I lose you! Just hold on.

The beautiful thing about garlic is that it's fat-soluble! When garlic is added to oil, the allicin in the garlic will leak into the oil, releasing its flavor. Simply remove the pieces of garlic from the oil and, voilΓ , you've just created garlic-infused oil! (Or, if you're lazy like me, buy it in a bottle without having to do any of the work. ;) This is kind I use and love.)

Instead of including Parmesan, I use one of my favorite ingredients, nutritional yeast. This stuff is a game-changer if you are lactose intolerant, vegan, paleo, or hungry. I'm assuming you fit into at least one of those categories, so investing in nutritional yeast is a must. The stuff not only tastes incredible, but it's also loaded with B-vitamins and is a good source of both protein and fiber.

Plus, It tastes like cheese without being cheese. It's so weird that I simply don't question it. The flavor is SO GOOD that I put it on practically every savory dish I make. Buy it and I guarantee you will do the same.

Diets This Recipe Is Compliant With

This recipe is paleo, keto, low-carb, Whole30 compliant, gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, vegetarian, vegan, and sugar-free.

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click one of the product links, I may receive a commission. Don't worry, you won't be charged anything extra. This just helps keep the lights on.


Total time: 1 min
Yields: 1 cup


3/4 cup garlic-infused olive oil
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup fresh arugula
3/4 cup fresh basil
1/8 tsp pink Himalayan salt (more/less depending on your preference)
1/8 tsp black pepper, freshly ground


  1. Add all ingredients to food processor and pulse until blended to desired consistency.
  2. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving with fresh vegetables or can be added immediately to hot dishes.

Store in airtight container in refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

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