Summertime is the best time to enjoy an IBS-friendly, low FODMAP potato salad! This recipe is based off a classic version, which I modified from Gimme Some Oven’s classic Southern potato salad recipe.
Potato salad is also high in prebiotics, which I’ll share more details on below!
But first things first…
(This post was most recently updated on July 15, 2022.)
What is low FODMAP?
This specific potato salad recipe is low in FODMAPs (“fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols”), which are specific types of carbohydrates not well absorbed by the small intestine for some people.
The low FODMAP diet is often recommended in my field by registered dietitians and GI doctors for people who are trying to manage conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and/or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). This is because high FODMAP foods tend to feed microbes in the intestines that can produce methane which leads to gas, bloating, and other IBS symptoms.
My two cents on the low FODMAP diet
There are many cases where a low FODMAP diet can work well and help to manage/reduce unpleasant digestive symptoms; however, this diet is VERY restrictive and not always helpful for many people!
In my practice where we address digestive health issues from a root-cause level, I find most of my clients DON’T need to go on a strict FODMAP diet either long term or sometimes at all in order to heal from and reverse their gut health issues.
There are also multiple dimensions of gut health that need to be addressed from a holistic standpoint in order to move into healing beyond symptom management and/or food avoidance.
For more details on my holistic approach and insights on gut healing, make sure to grab your free copy of my gut health nutrition guide!
Now you may be wondering… what the heck is a prebiotic?!
Prebiotics vs probiotics
Prebiotics are totally different from probiotics – although the two still go hand-in-hand!
Prebiotics are specific constituents naturally found in certain foods, that are known to feed the “good” beneficial probiotic microbes (fungi and bacteria) that live in our gut. There are dozens of different types of prebiotics that exist naturally in foods. Prebiotics are now also often added into foods or supplements, to enhance their health benefits.
In this recipe (and technically all potato salads), the cold potatoes naturally contain a prebiotic called resistant starch, which can feed beneficial strains of good bacteria and can support not just the gut, but also a healthy metabolism and healthy insulin levels! (2)
Probiotics are the helpful microbes themselves. They live in the body (mostly in the gut) and support healthy digestion as well as balanced immunity. These good beneficial microbes need us, and we need them! It’s a win-win dynamic.
- These guys are like our first line of defense in the gut, and whether or not we have enough good bacteria can make or break the state of our microbiome (ecosystem of microbes living in the gut) and health in general (1).
Prebiotics and probiotics: one size does not fit all!
The microbiome is definitely NOT cookie cutter… it’s complex to say the least!
One thing to keep in mind is that foods containing prebiotics which feed the GOOD bacteria, also have the potential to feed certain types of “bad” microbes depending on the person. For example, garlic contains prebiotics, has been shown to have anti-fungal/anti-microbial properties, and it is also considered a “high FODMAP” food.
It’s also important to remember that diversity is not just about how we look on the outside – it applies to our internal world too! That said, we don’t all need, have or benefit from the exact same strains of probiotics (although there can be plenty of overlap).
- I’ve seen people take a certain probiotic and feel close to 100% better and I’ve also seen others get very sick from taking the exact same probiotic supplement.
Low FODMAP potato salad ingredients
Of course we can’t have a potato salad without potatoes! 😉
It doesn’t matter which types of potatoes you use for this recipe.
- If you’d like to reduce the fiber content, you can peel the skins off the potatoes before cooking.
- If you’d like to reduce the potassium content of this recipe for someone with kidney disease, you can pre-soak AND peel the potatoes.
In the original recipe which I modified, it called for red onions which are also quite tasty. But scallions are delicious and make a great GI-friendly alternative to onions for people who can’t tolerate onions!
(Omit the scallions if you’re on a low-fiber, low-residue diet.)
Technically most all mayo’s are GI-friendly.
From a general health standpoint and for heart health, my #1 mayo of choice is Primal Kitchen to keep on-hand at home, because it contains heart-healthy avocado oil and no wonky preservatives – just simple ingredients. But whatever floats your boat will work for you!
- FYI: Although avocado is considered a “high FODMAP” food, you can use avocado oil freely even if you’re on a strict low FODMAP protocol since it doesn’t contain any kinds of carbs or fibers that would make a difference in the gut!
When Michael and I made this potato salad last week, we tried Chosen Foods coconut-based mayo and agreed that was pretty delicious too… It gave us a normal “mayo” experience, and didn’t taste like coconut at all which was interesting!
(Vegan/plant-based alternative: use vegan mayo!)
I used two hard-boiled eggs in this recipe (since it’s what we had on-hand) and it felt like plenty. But however many you use is up to you!
(Pro-tip: to save time, I boiled these a day in advance.)
(Vegan/plant-based alternative: just omit the eggs!)
Additional add-in’s (optional)
Celery: I didn’t use celery in our home version of this recipe, but it’s definitely a common ingredient in most potato salads, and usually well-tolerated in moderation from a gut health standpoint! (Don’t add celery if you’re dealing with Crohn’s or diverticulitis because it can trigger a flare in these cases.)
Chives: You can stir these in, or chop some up and sprinkle them on top as a garnish! Chives are a little extra work, but they also make the dish feel extra fancy and gourmet. ????
Salt & pepper: we added a sprinkle of each, and found it made a big difference! If you’re watching your blood pressure or kidney health you can skip the salt; if you’re on a bland diet you can hold off on the pepper.
Spices: In the “Gimme Some Oven” potato salad recipe, she includes celery salt, paprika, mustard, and pickle relish… all tasty! We didn’t use any since we are keeping things pretty simple right now (still living in the RV while renovating our “new” old home, so most of our spices are in storage) but feel free to add whatever appeals to you, and whatever you have on-hand.
Spoonful of plain yogurt (regular or vegan): This is a fun way to add some natural probiotics into your potato salad, to go with the prebiotics! More for gut health benefits than for the sensory experience…
Low FODMAP Potato Salad
- Cutting board
- Knife for slicing potatoes
- Scissors for scallions/chives
- Medium stockpot
- Large bowl
- Wooden spoon
- Plastic wrap for covering / tupperware for storage
- 3 lbs. Yukon gold potatoes or potatoes of choice
- 4 cups filtered water with sprinkle of salt to boil potatoes
- 1 to 1 1/3 cups mayo of choice (I love Primal Kitchen or Chosen Foods!)
- 2 eggs hard boiled
- 1/2 bunch scallions snipped into wheels
- 1 sprinkle salt and pepper to taste
- 1 to 2 stalks celery diced
- 1 bunch chives sliced thin for garnish
- 1 sprinkle paprika or celery salt
- 1 to 2 tablespoons plain yogurt for probiotics!
- Wash, chop and boil the potatoes. Add to a medium stockpot and cover with filtered and salted water (just enough to completely submerge the potatoes underwater), then bring to a boil. Keep boiling until the potatoes are fork-tender (about 20 minutes).
- While potatoes are boiling, you can also boil the eggs if you haven’t already!
- Strain the potatoes and let everything cool in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.
- Peel and chop the boiled eggs once potatoes have cooled.
- In a large bowl, gently combine and stir all the ingredients together.
- Garnish with paprika and/or chives.
- Have on the side with your protein and some veggies ofchoice at your next cookout, and enjoy!!
More low FODMAP recipes
If you’d like to try out more recipes that are low FODMAP, you might also enjoy these:
- Turkey zucchini burgers
- Strawberry spinach salad
- Overnight oats
- Cookie dough fudge
- Butternut squash pancakes
I’d love to hear from you!
If you get a chance to try out this potato salad recipe, let me know how it goes!!!
XO — Jenna
- Kho ZY, Lal SK. The Human Gut Microbiome – A Potential Controller of Wellness and Disease. Front Microbiol. 2018;9:1835. Published 2018 Aug 14. doi:10.3389/fmicb.2018.01835
- Michael J Keenan, June Zhou, Maren Hegsted, Christine Pelkman, Holiday A Durham, Diana B Coulon, Roy J Martin, Role of Resistant Starch in Improving Gut Health, Adiposity, and Insulin Resistance, Advances in Nutrition, Volume 6, Issue 2, March 2015, Pages 198–205.