Best High Protein Bariatric Recipes

You know the importance of protein after bariatric surgery for healing, weight loss, and overall health. But, it can be hard to know exactly what to eat to help you meet your protein goals. Sure, you can just Google “high protein recipes”, but are the search results optimal optimal for you or does the recipe have too much fat or too many carbs?

I decided to pull together some of my favorite my high protein recipes for after weight loss surgery that are simple to make, but can also help you meet your protein requirements. 

Why is Protein Important?

Just to recap a bit, why is protein so important? Generally, your protein requirements are based on your age, gender, type of surgery, and activity level. Recommended protein intake is between 60-120 grams per day after surgery, according to the ASMBS guidelines

Protein not is not only critical for healing, it will also help you lose and maintain your body weight. Protein is a highly satiating macronutrient, meaning it can make it easier to manage your calorie intake long-term. Many patients struggle with getting enough protein, which can lead to muscle loss, nutrient deficiency, and low energy. 

High Protein Bariatric Recipes

I have gathered a few of my favorites from my collection of high protein recipes and from other sites that are ideal for after weight loss surgery. If you want more ideas, there are plenty of other recipes in this section of my website.

One thing to remember, your surgery center and the type of surgery you have will change your personal protein requirements and diet guidelines. Make sure you are following the protocol set forth by your surgeon. In the description, I noted if the recipes can be modified for the diet stage you are currently in.

High Protein Soups

Soup is a great option at any stage. It is easy to digest, even just out of surgery, and a delicious way to add in some extra protein to your day.

Instapot Curry Chicken Lentil Soup

High Protein Bariatric Soup Curry Chicken Lentil in bowl

The Instapot is a great tool to effortlessly make soup, but if you don’t have one you can always use a regular pot. This soup tastes delicious pureed, if you are still in the puree phase. If you need to, you can cut back a little on the curry seasoning if it is too much to handle. 

10-minute Instapot Turkey Chili

A yummy list of high protein bariatric recipe options. Pureed and soft included. #bariatricrecipe #wlsfood #bariatricmealprep #bariatricdiet #bariatricsurgery

Yep, I had to throw in another Instapot recipe because I love a quick meal. This one can be made in just 10 minutes in the Instapot. But, if you are going to prepare it on the stove, it will take a bit longer to cook. 

The good thing is that this is definitely a recipe that lends itself well to prepping and freezing ahead of time. If you prepare a big batch, you can have it ready to defrost for busy weeknights. Modify the spices and toppings if you are not able to tolerate certain seasonings just yet. 

High Protein Butternut Squash Soup

High Protein Butternut Squash Soup in bowl

Butternut squash is a delicious fall favorite that is high in beta carotene and fiber. This soup doesn’t need to be modified at all for any diet stage, making it super versatile. It can also be enjoyed by anyone as a main or side dish.

This particular recipe omits the potatoes to help reduce the carb content and uses almond milk instead of cream. To make this high protein, you will have to have some unflavored protein powder on hand to blend in. 

High Protein Barley Vegetable Soup

This is a vegan option for high protein soup that uses lentils to add to the protein content.If you want to boost the protein content even further, consider mixing in an unflavored protein powder as well. 

This soup is also low in fat, and could be easily blended for those on a puree diet. I would suggest omitting the barley until you reach the regular stage or can comfortably meet your protein needs daily. Don’t be afraid to mix up the veggies in this one as well. You could always add spinach, crushed tomatoes, or other favorite vegetables.

High Protein Entrees

Looking for a delicious dinner or lunch option? Here are my favorite high protein entrees for post-bariatric surgery:

Chicken Caprese

This takes the ingredients of a delicious caprese salad and adds them to a savory dish. This dish would be difficult to enjoy on a pureed diet, but it is definitely a high protein option for those on a regular diet. 

Easy Rotisserie Chicken Meal Prep

Rotisserie chicken meal prep with broccoli

Rotisserie chicken is an incredible option for a high protein, no-cook weeknight meal. It is so versatile and tasty! This meal prep recipe is super easy, just add chicken and broccoli and voila! You can always add your favorite seasonings to spice it up as well. 

Bariatric Low Carb Burrito Bowls

Two Meal Prep Breakfast Bowls

This recipe is an easy to throw together weeknight meal that can be modified to any taste preference. The meat and Greek yogurt amp up the protein content in these delicious bowls.

Consider using ground turkey instead of beef if you are less than 6 months out from surgery. You can always modify the toppings to suit your personal needs as well. This recipe is not recommended for those in the puree stage. 

If you want a different flavor option in a bowl, you can also try my Low Carb Jerk Chicken Bowl

Jerk Chicken with all the fixings

Savory Mini Apple Turkey Burgers

These delicious mini burgers are just the right size for someone post-gastric bypass. They can be blended with a bit of chicken broth for those on the puree diet. If you are on the soft phase, whether you can tolerate onions is up to you or your surgeon’s guidelines.

These burgers taste best grilled and when the onions are well-caramelized. The apple can be omitted, but helps reduce the dryness of the turkey meat.

Cheesy Crustless Quiche

Love quiche, but hate the calories that come from the buttery crust? This crustless quiche keeps the same great flavor (with tons of protein), but eliminates the crust. This recipe would be most appropriate for someone on a soft or regular diet. Add your choice of veggies to boost the nutrient content.

High Protein Snacks

Sometimes you need a little treat or snack to help you get through the day. Why not make it high in protein as well? Here are a few of my favorite high protein snacks and treats:

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bites

High Protein Bariatric Snack

These protein bites are both a tasty treat and loaded with 4 grams of protein per ball. The sweetness from the balls comes from dates and the texture from black beans. Unfortunately, these are only for a regular diet and not indicated for those still on puree or soft. 

High Protein Chocolate Banana Chia Seed Pudding

Banana-Chia-Seed-Pudding-on-table

Chia seeds are little nutritional powerhouses packed with fiber and omega-3s. The flavor in the pudding comes from the protein powder, I used chocolate in this recipe. But, you could use vanilla or strawberry if you would like as well.

Due to the texture and fiber content of the chia seeds, it’s best to avoid this until you are at the soft phase or beyond, but check with your doctor first to make sure. 

Looking for more snack options? BariLife has three delicious snacks you can try. My favorite choice in this list for a high protein, delicious snack would be the avocado deviled eggs, yum!

These are just a few ideas of high protein bariatric recipes to get you started. Pick a few that seem appealing and get cooking!

Kristin Willard, RDN

I am Bariatric Dietitian that teaches you how to eat before and after weight loss surgery to help you feel and look your best.

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