Instant Pots are highly versatile cooking tools. They offer much more than simple pressure cooking. You can use Instant Pots to sear, brown, and sauté foods like a traditional skillet meal. You can also use them to steam vegetables, fish, and eggs. They can even serve as a rice cooker and function as a slow cooker. The pressure cooker function can also produce elaborate meals that typically require hours of stewing, simmering, or slow cooking in under an hour—sometimes even less than 30 minutes! With so much versatility, it’s easy to make tasty bariatric-friendly meals.
Bariatric Butternut Squash Soup
Butternut squash soup is an excellent bariatric surgery Instant Pot recipe for individuals in the pureed food stage of recovery and beyond. It’s chock-full of veggies and packs in a lot of flavors.
- 2 lb. butternut squash (peeled and cubed; approximately 1 medium squash)
- 1 medium apple (peeled, cored, and chopped)
- 1 large yellow onion (diced)
- 1 red bell pepper (chopped)
- 3 c. chicken broth
- 3 oz. goat cheese or cream cheese
- 1/3 c. Parmesan cheese
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 2 tsp. diced garlic
- 1 tsp. ground ginger
- 1 tsp. sage
- 1/8 tsp. chili powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- Set the Instant Pot to sauté, then add the olive oil, onion, and bell pepper. Cook on high for three to four minutes, then add the garlic and ginger. Sauté for another minute.
- Add the butternut squash, apple, sage, chili powder, salt, and chicken broth. Place the lid on the Instant Pot and set it to seal. Cook the soup ingredients on high pressure for five minutes, then perform a quick release.
- Blend the ingredients in the Instant Pot using an immersion blender, standard blender, or food processor. Add the cheeses and continue to blend under the puree is smooth.
This recipe yields four half-cup servings of butternut squash soup (two cups total). Each serving contains:
- Calories: 350
- Fat: 16g
- Sodium: 950mg
- Carbohydrates: 42.5g
- Fiber: 7g
- Sugar: 15g
- Protein: 16g
Chicken Enchilada Stoup
As the name implies, stoups are a cross between soups and stews. Stoups are a great option for bariatric patients transitioning to solid foods. While technically a soup, they’re thick like chili or stew.
- 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast
- 5 C chicken broth
- 5oz can diced tomatoes
- 1 medium yellow onion (diced)
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce*
- 1 Tbsp. chili powder*
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 1 tsp. oregano
- 1/4 tsp. cilantro (chopped)
- 1 lime (cut into wedges)
* Some bariatric patients find that spicy flavors upset their stomachs. Exclude these ingredients or substitute them with less spicy flavors like smoked paprika.
- Add the chicken breasts and chicken broth to the pot. Cook on the pressure cook setting (or manual setting) for five minutes. Once the cooking time is up, turn the steam release handle from the sealed position to the vent position to perform a quick release.
- Place the chicken on a cutting board and cut it into cubes. Return the chicken to the pot along with the vegetables, garlic, chipotle pepper, chili powder, cumin, and oregano. Press the cancel button to exit the pressure cooker mode, then select the soup setting. Cook for 5 minutes.
- After the cooking time elapses, allow the Instant Pot to release naturally for ten minutes. Once it releases, take off the lid and stir in the cilantro.
- Optional: Use a slotted spoon to separate the solids from the liquids for a heartier stoup. You can add even more flavor by garnishing this stoup with lime wedges for squeezing.
This bariatric surgery instant pot recipe yields four half-cup (4oz) servings (two cups total). Each serving yields:
- Calories: 210
- Fat: 4.5g
- Sodium: 810mg
- Carbohydrates: 12g
- Fiber: 4g
- Sugar: 6g
- Protein: 30g
Super Quick Turkey Chili
Chili is a savory comfort food that you can whip up in less than 20 minutes with an Instant Pot. Quick meal solutions are essential for days you are short on time or don’t feel like preparing an extravagant meal.
- 1 lb. lean ground turkey
- 1 onion (chopped)
- 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
- 1 C chicken broth
- 5 oz can kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 5 Tbsp. chili powder
- 5 tsp cumin
- Optional: Salt and pepper to taste
- Set the Instant Pot to sauté, then add the olive oil and onion. Sauté until the onions soften.
- Add in the ground turkey and spices. Brown the turkey until cooked through.
- Add the crushed tomatoes and broth, then stir to combine. Cook on high for ten minutes.
- Use the pressure release valve, then stir in the kidney beans and any desired salt and pepper.
Tip: Use an immersion blender, standard blender, or food processor to make this chili into a puree if you’re not in the solid food stage of post-op recovery yet.
This recipe yields six cups. A single-cup serving contains:
- Calories: 275
- Fat: 11g
- Sodium: 575mg
- Carbohydrates: 22.5g
- Fiber: 8g
- Sugar: 5.5g
- Protein: 22g