A FODMAP-Friendly Thanksgiving

November 26, 2019 5:00 AM

A dietitian offers those following a low FODMAP diet some advice and a sample recipe for the holidays.

This story was last updated on November 15, 2022.

When you think of Thanksgiving, you may think of all the things you’re grateful for, like the friends and family that’ll be gathering around the table that day. But this year, Thanksgiving may look different for many American families.

With Governor Whitmer’s three-week epidemic order targeting large indoor gatherings, all the festive eats like the turkey, green bean casserole, cornbread muffins, pecan pie, stuffing and more may fall on a single family.

But, if you suffer from digestive issues, the holidays at home may be a chance for you to experiment with ingredients from classic recipes that won’t bother your stomach. Once you’ve perfected the meal, you can bring it along to future festive occasions.

This may work well if you have sensitivities to poorly absorbed sugars or FODMAPs. FODMAPs that can disrupt the gut include fructans, lactose, fructose, galactooligosaccharides and polyols (which is what the acronym stands for) and they can be found in common foods or ingredients.

These sugars ferment in the large intestine and can lead to a host of gastrointestinal symptoms like abdominal pain, gas and bloating. FODMAPs can also pull liquid into the intestines, which may cause diarrhea. Although not everyone is sensitive to FODMAPs, this is common among people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). People that have these sensitivities may find relief from following a low FODMAP diet.

SEE ALSO: 5 Easy, Low FODMAP Diet Recipes for Every Meal

“This can sound intimidating, but it’s not so ‘all or nothing’,” says Emily Haller, M.S., R.D.N., a registered dietitian in gastroenterology at Michigan Medicine. “FODMAP tolerance is like a bucket. Many people can get away with eating a little here and there. It helps to know what sits well with you and what your specific triggers are to prevent the bucket from overflowing.”

When cooking for the family, Haller says to consider following these general FODMAP-friendly meal tips:

  1. Use garlic infused oil instead of garlic.

  2. Use chives or spring onion green tops for onion flavoring.

  3. Use gluten-free all-purpose flour for baking.

  4. Use lactose-free milk when cooking or baking. Additionally, butter and cheese are very low in lactose and low in FODMAP. 

  5. Use herbs to flavor dishes, and if using spicy (hot) seasonings use them sparingly or leave on the side for people to add to their dish as they wish.

Try this 30-minute, low FODMAP stuffing recipe to help get you started. It’s dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free and soy-free. To make it gluten-free, substitute for gluten-free bread and gluten-free broth.

Low FODMAP Holiday Stuffing

What you’ll need

  • Baking tray

  • Standard muffin tray (12 portion)

  • 10 slices of sourdough or gluten-free bread

  • 4 tablespoons of dairy-free spread (olive oil spread or butter)

  • 1 tablespoon of garlic infused oil

  • 120 grams (1 1/2 cup) of leek, green tips only

  • 12.5 grams (1/2 cup) of fresh parsley

  • 1 teaspoon of dried sage

  • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano

  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme

  • 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper

  • 125 milliliters (1/2 cup) of chicken or vegetable stock that doesn’t include onion or garlic

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  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

  2. Take the gluten-free or sourdough bread and cut it up into small pieces, placing the pieces in a large bowl. In a small bowl put the dairy-free spread in the microwave to melt. Mix the spread with garlic infused oil and drizzle it over the bread until the bread is well coated.

  3. Lay the coated bread pieces out onto a baking tray, place it in the oven and bake for five minutes. After five minutes, turn or toss the bread, and cook for another three to five minutes until the bread is golden brown. Then remove the tray from the oven.

  4. If you want your stuffing to be thinner, you can place it into a food processor until it's your desired texture. Place the bread back into a large bowl and chop the green leek tips and parsley. Mix the leek tips, fresh parsley, dried herbs (sage, oregano, thyme), salt and pepper in the dish. This mixing can be done in advance and stored in the fridge until you’re ready to use it.

  5. Add hot, low FODMAP chicken stock and mix through. Spray a muffin tray with oil and spoon your new mixture into the muffin tray until the holes are full. Lightly press the bread down.

  6. Bake in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes until the top is crisp and serve with a drizzle of homemade gravy.

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This recipe is endorsed by Emily Haller, MS, RDN and can be found with additional buying and preparing tips at A Little Bit Yummy.