Low FODMAP savoury pesto and vegetable crumble

RECIPE: Savoury pesto & vegetable crumble

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Following a low FODMAP diet doesn't mean you have to miss out on taste. Roberta Nelson reveals her tricks for delicious low FODMAP cooking with this flavourful recipe for savoury vegetable crumble.

A low-FODMAP diet could be perceived as limiting with loved ingredients such as wheat, garlic and onion in the ‘no go zone’. In reality, the low FODMAP diet has so much variety and opportunity - all you need is a few tricks up your sleeve to make the diet work for you. 

By learning how to adapt to the low FODMAP diet, you will quickly learn that you can have delicious food just like you used to whilst also maintaining your gut health. 

My top tricks to making the low FODMAP diet work for you include garlic-infused oil to provide the much-loved garlic taste, healthy and delicious aged cheeses like pecorino or parmesan to act as easy swaps for higher-lactose cheeses and spelt, a variety of wheat much lower in FODMAPs than traditional wheat yet as versatile and satisfying. This recipe makes use of all of these. 

This crumble works really well as a main dish paired with a fresh and zesty salad however, it also does well as a side to your favourite protein such as chicken or fish. Aside from being in low in FODMAPs, it is a rich source of iron and calcium making it a great dish for bone health and general energy maintenance. 

Whilst it looks like a low protein dish, each serve also has around 18g of protein in it thanks to the cheese, pumpkin seeds and whole grains making it good for low FODMAP vegetarians who are finding it difficult to get enough protein without beans and legumes in the mix. 

Low FODMAP, vegetarian, gluten-free option

Serves 6


Pesto and vegetable bake

  • 1 bunch fresh basil, stalks and leaves
  • ½ cup pumpkin seeds, lightly toasted
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra if needed
  • 1 tbsp garlic-infused olive oil
  • 80g pecorino, cut into small chunks
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 zucchinis, cut into 0.5cm thick rounds
  • 1 large eggplant, cut in half lengthways and then into 0.5cm thick slices
  • 8 Roma tomatoes, cut into 0.5cm thick rounds

Savoury crumble

  • 1 cup rolled spelt or gluten-free oats
  • 40g pecorino or parmesan
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp dried Italian herbs (oregano, thyme, rosemary)
  • 1 tsp dried chilli flakes (optional)

How to make

  • Heat your oven to 200°C. Place your basil, pumpkin seeds, olive oil, garlic-infused olive oil and pecorino into your food processor and blitz until a rough pesto is formed. You might need to add a touch more olive oil if you’re finding your pesto too thick. Pour this into a large mixing bowl and add the sliced zucchini, eggplant and tomatoes as well as a pinch of salt and pepper to the bowl before tossing everything together until the vegetables are well coated. Set your food processor jug aside without washing it (you will use this later)
  • Transfer the vegetable pesto mix to a baking dish (around 30cm x 20cm) and push everything down as much as possible into the dish before placing it in the oven to bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, take the dish out of the oven, push the vegetables down again allowing some of the cooking juice to come up, then put the dish back in the oven to bake for a further 15 minutes
  • While the vegetables are baking, make your crumble topping by putting the rolled spelt or oats, pecorino, olive oil, salt and pepper, dried herbs and chilli flakes (if using) into the unwashed food processor (some of the pesto flavours will mix into the crumble now) and blitz until a crumb is formed. Once the vegetables have baked for a total of 45 minutes, remove them from the oven, sprinkle the crumble on top and bake for a final 15 minutes until golden and crispy. Remove from the oven and leave to rest for 5 minutes or so before serving it warm

Roberta's tips

  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days
  • If you want to pre-prepare this dish, you can go all the way up to the point of sprinkling the crumble over the vegetables. You can then cover it in some wrap and either leave it on the bench (if you’re eating it within a few hours) or put it in the fridge once it’s cooled. When you’re ready to finish it off, heat the oven to 200°C again and bake the crumble for the final 15 minutes as per the recipe
  • You can easily halve this recipe to make in a smaller baking tray. However, I do suggest you make the same amount of pesto and using the remainder of this delicious sauce in other dishes throughout your week