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Italian baked quinoa (low FODMAP option)

A few months ago I published a recipe for a low FODMAP Mexican spiced quinoa bake. In that post I promised more flavour combinations and today I am bringing them! First up: this Italian baked quinoa. It’s vegetarian, gluten free, easily low FODMAP and easily vegan.

Italian baked quinoa

First off: of course this is not a traditional Italian recipe. There are only so many characters one can dedicate to a recipe name and this was the most succinct option.

This quinoa bake is packed full of delicious vegetarian and Italian flavours.

The quinoa is thoroughly rinsed and then baked in a flavoursome combination of ingredients. Oil, red wine vinegar, a bit of maple syrup and some Calabrian chillies form the liquid flavour base of the dish.

Next, sun-dried tomatoes, (optional) anchovies, dried thyme and/or oregano, chopped leek greens and pickled garlic (which is low FODMAP) add layer upon layer of flavour. Canned and rinsed cannellini beans add protein along with the rinsed quinoa. After the bake is nearly finished, a hefty dose of Tuscan kale is stirred through.

Finally, the bake is finished with plenty of parmesan and fresh herbs.

It’s a comforting, rich and simple dish that is almost akin to a quinoa risotto. It is a hug in a bowl that is equally at home as a main meal, a side dish or a wholesome lunch.

An aerial image of a beige speckled ceramic bowl filled with Italian baked quinoa. The bowl sits on a white marble table and the tray of Italian quinoa bake sits to the top right of the bowl. A glass of water sits to the top left of the image and creates soft light in the top corner.

Ingredient notes and substitutions

This dish is not necessarily designed to be low FODMAP but it is with a few easy swaps. If you’re not low FODMAP, great! Read on.

You’re welcome to use regular garlic in place of pickled garlic if you’re not low FODMAP. You could also use chopped onion in place of the leek greens.

This recipe is very amenable to using what you have on hand. My original Mexican quinoa bake used lemons, so you could experiment with using those instead of red wine vinegar.

The dried thyme and/or oregano could easily be replaced with Italian seasoning, if that’s what you have.

Calabrian chillies are optional but on theme. If you don’t have them, some chopped red chilli or even chilli flakes would likely work in it’s place.

If you’re not a kale person, you could replace it with radicchio or rocket. I’d recommend adding by sight and add the end of baking, rather than when the kale is added in the recipe.

Basil adds a lovely fresh finish here, but you could also use flat leaf parsley.

Vegetarian parmesan does exist, whether or not it should. If you need the parmesan to be vegetarian be sure to read the labels. I have a list of vegetarian parmesan brands in Australia here.

An aerial image of a white rectangular baking dish filled with Italian quinoa bake

FODMAP notes for your Italian baked quinoa

This Italian baked quinoa is nearly low FODMAP, but there are a few tweaks to be made if you need it to be truly low FODMAP.

First, the sun-dried tomatoes. This recipe uses 25g and a low FODMAP serve is 8g. This keeps the fructose content down.

Canned cannellini beans are low FODMAP in 76g serves. This bake contains approximately 240g (a 400g can of beans, thoroughly rinsed and drained). This means each serve contains approximately 60g of beans.

Tuscan kale is low FODMAP in 75g serves. However, it doesn’t become moderate for GOS until it exceeds serves of 220g. This bake uses 150-200g kale. This means that one serve of the dish contains approximately 37.5-50g kale.

The reason I bring these two up is that they contain the same FODMAP – GOS. Although I don’t think that combining the two creates an excessive GOS content, it is worth mentioning.

To lower the GOS content you could use collard greens instead of kale. I don’t have much experience with cooking them, but if they are hardy like kale, add them at the same time as you’d add the kale. You could also experiment with adding spinach, rocket/arugula or radicchio at the end (don’t bake them as you would with the kale).

Another option is to use vegetables instead, as with my Mexican quinoa bake. See that recipe for tips (you’ll need to add hard vegetables like pumpkin and carrot at the start).

If you’d like to use kale, you could lower the GOS content by substituting the beans with grated tofu or your protein of choice. You could also simply omit the beans.

An aerial image of an Italian flavoured baked quinoa in a speckled beige ceramic bowl atop a dark steel backdrop

A note on pickled garlic

Pickled garlic is a new ingredient to the Monash FODMAP app. It is low FODMAP in 1 clove (3g) serves. However, it doesn’t become moderate for fructose until it exceeds 30g (10 clove) serves. This is such a great little ingredient for those of us who miss garlic.

Because garlic has food safety considerations, I haven’t yet tested a version of my own.

I have bought pickled garlic at IGA, at an Italian grocer and in the Mediterranean/Middle Eastern section of the supermarket. I highly recommend sourcing some if you can.

Recipe tips

I recommend using the biggest baking dish you have. It is annoying to try and stir the kale into the mixture in a baking dish that barely contains the quinoa.

This is more of a risotto type dish than a quinoa salad. I suspect the starch content of the beans works to create a more risotto style texture.

I use the less woody kale stalks as well as the leaves. Once cooked, they add a textural element to the dish.

Be sure to wash the kale thoroughly and wash the leek greens EXTREMELY thoroughly. You would be absolutely amazed at how much dirt leek greens retain. Take the whole thing apart and wash every layer as I almost guarantee there will be dirt even in the inner core leaves.

An aerial image of a beige speckled ceramic bowl filled with Italian baked quinoa. The bowl sits on a white marble table and the tray of Italian quinoa bake sits to the top right of the bowl. A glass of water sits to the top left of the image and creates soft light in the top corner.

More quinoa recipes

An aerial image of an Italian flavoured baked quinoa in a speckled beige ceramic bowl atop a dark steel backdrop

Italian baked quinoa

Gluten free, vegetarian, low FODMAP option
*Cups and measures are in Australian cups and measures. Use gram and ml for international accuracy.
1 Australian tablespoon is 20ml, whereas it is 15ml in NZ, USA, Canada, Britain and much of Europe. 1 Australian tablespoon = 4 teaspoons in these places.
Be the first to rate this recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Course Main Course
Cuisine Food Intolerance Friendly
Servings 4 people


  • 31cm length X 23cm width X 5cm height baking dish
  • (12.2inch length X 9inch width X2inch height)


For the flavourings:

  • 2 tablespoons* dried thyme (use an additional two teaspoons if you are NZ, US, Canada, Britain or Europe based)
  • 3-5 pickled garlic cloves sliced (see notes)
  • 25-45 g sundried tomatoes chopped (see notes)
  • ½ – 1 tablespoon Calabrian chillies see notes
  • 3-5 anchovies optional
  • 20ml (1 tablespoon)* maple syrup optional but adds flavour complexity
  • 1 leek green parts only, thoroughly washed and finely chopped

For the bake:

  • 750 ml (3 cups)* water or low FODMAP stock (see notes)
  • 60 ml (1/4 cup)* oil
  • 60-80 ml (1/4 – 1/3 cup)* red wine vinegar
  • 125 g (3/4 cup)* white quinoa, thoroughly rinsed (see notes)
  • 1 X 400g can cannellini beans drained (approximately 240g beans once drained) see notes
  • 150-200 g (½ large bunch) Tuscan kale washed, particularly woody stems removed and chopped into bite sized pieces

To finish:

  • 1 bunch parsley or basil washed and chopped (remove woody stems)
  • 100 g parmesan freshly and finely grated


  • Preheat the oven to 200C/392F.
  • In the baking dish combine the flavourings, water, oil and red wine vinegar. Whisk to combine. Add the thoroughly rinsed quinoa and cannellini beans and stir to coat.
  • Place the baking dish on an oven tray to catch any drips and bake for 45 hour.
  • After 45 minutes, remove the dish from the oven and stir to combine. Stir in the kale, coating it in the mixture.
  • Return to the oven for an additional 15-20 minutes or until the kale is cooked to your liking.
  • Remove from the oven and stir through the parmesan and herbs.
  • Taste and season according to your preferences. I like to season this dish at the end after the parmesan has been stirred through as it adds saltiness.
  • Serve immediately or store in the fridge in airtight containers. Leftovers can also be frozen and defrosted.


  • I have a low FODMAP vegetable stock recipe which you can find here. 
  • Unlike my Mexican inspired quinoa, this dish has more of a risotto consistency. I suspect that the starchiness of the cannellini beans has something to do with that.
  • See body of post for FODMAP notes if you need this dish to be low FODMAP. It is not explicitly low FODMAP, but can be made so with a few tweaks.
  • See body of posts for tips if you are not low FODMAP and can eat onion/garlic.
  • If you are low FODMAP and react to fructose, 8g sun-dried tomato is a low FODMAP serve. They become moderate for fructose at 16g per person, which suggests a bit of wiggle room as to what constitutes a low FODMAP serve. 
  • I daresay this recipe would work with other quinoa varieties (tricolor etc) but I haven’t tried it.
Keyword baked quinoa, Italian baked quinoa, quinoa tray bake, vegetarian tray bake
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