15 Bariatric Friendly Holiday Recipes!

Steph Wagner

December 14, 2015

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Bariatric Friendly Holiday Recipes


Appetizers, entrees, sides, drinks and desserts for patients after weight loss surgery

Updated November 10th, 2022
Original Publish Date December 14th, 2015


weight loss surgery recipes for bariatric patients during the holidays christmas thanksgiving on bariatric food coach


Holidays after Bariatric Surgery

Its true holidays have to be different after Bariatric Surgery. Most patients will agree the first year is the hardest because you aren’t used to the change!

Of course we have sentimental memories and feelings around what the holidays should look like, including the menus and baking sessions.

When Pinterest fills up with amazing looking recipes or your sister has called asking what you are bringing this year, it’s okay to take a breath and recognize that change is hard. But there is also GOOD news! Holiday dishes can be adapted to better suit your bariatric lifestyle and keep great flavor and enjoyment.

Plus, there is so much about the Holiday Season that brings joy outside of the foods we eat! We can focus instead on the things we love like time with family, Christmas decorations, music, lights, puzzles and so much more.

Below are 15 bariatric friendly holiday recipes are listed by appetizers, entrees, side dishes, drinks and desserts. These options are tweaked to reduce carbohydrates and fat or increase protein. And bonus, the best part of holiday meals is the main protein dish!

2022 bariatric holiday planner from steph wagner bariatric food coach


Please note!! Some recipes are reserved for Premier Access Members. Find out about our affordable membership! HSA/FSA cards accepted. 


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If you are a dietitian, CLICK HERE TO REQUEST PROVIDER ACCESS for the handout version of these recipes!


Creamy Deviled Eggs

Deviled eggs can be made SOOO many ways and they are always a crowd pleaser. This recipe is one of the most classic recipes for deviled eggs but you can also make a spin like BLT Deviled Eggs or Creamy Jalapeño Deviled Eggs.

creamy deviled eggs bariatric friendly holiday appetizer

Creamy Stuffed Mushrooms

Another recipe that can be made several ways and is always a welcome holiday favorite. Whether it be a holiday party before the actual holiday or an appetizer to bring to your family get together! I love bringing something I know I can eat myself.

creamy stuffed mushrooms bariatric friendly holiday appetizer


Rosemary Turkey Tenderloin (Members Recipe)

If you aren’t cooking for a “crowd” so much as a few people, it’s wonderful to know you can make a simple turkey breast instead of the whole bird! Talk about bariatric friendly!!!

rosemary turkey tenderloin weight loss surgery bariatric surgery holiday recipe


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Fall Inspired Turkey Sausage Tomato Sauce

You may think this doesn’t seem like a holiday recipe but I still decided to include this because the flavors in this tomato sauce are so bold they remind me of a marriage between thick and hearty chili and a marinara sauce. For me, that’s a very holiday friendly meal! It’s cold outside and a big pot of a hearty meal on the stove is exactly what I want before decorating a tree or watching a holiday movie! I put mine over zucchini noodles.

fall inspired turkey tomato sauce for holiday bariatric eating


Reduced Fat Green Bean Casserole (Members Recipe)

Skip the high calorie ingredients and enjoy this modified green bean casserole! One of my families favorites (and they don’t even know it’s not that bad for them!!!)

bariatric friendly green bean casserole





Parmesan Brussel Sprouts

I love these roasted brussel sprouts with parmesan cheese as a side dish to any main meat dish like ham or turkey. They are flavorful and fast and keep you on the low carb bariaric diet without making you feel totally ripped off!

parmesan brussels sprouts holiday bariatric side dish


Green Beans with Toasted Pecans

I included these green beans with toasted pecans for the same reason as the parmesan brussel sprouts. Easy vegetable side dishes that are simple yet carry bold flavor and texture are a wonderful way to fill your plate for a holiday dinner or party. I always sign up for the side dishes for my family meals and bring roasted vegetables like these and they always disappear!

green beans with toasted pecans bariatric friendly holiday side dish


Mashed Cauliflower (Members Recipe & Cooking Video)

I tried mashed cauliflower SO many different ways before I finally came to this conclusion….it HAS to have Laughing Cow® Cheese to make it creamy and delicious. Fresh garlic never hurt anyone either! Trust me…this is the way to go! This is my favorite hand blender and my go to for this recipe! (ad) 

creamy mashed cauliflower bariatric holiday side dish


 Spinach & Red Pepper Frittata

This recipe is PERFECT for a holiday brunch or a Christmas morning breakfast! The red pepper gives it a fleck of holiday color too :) If I’m hosting or staying with family, I have been known to make the egg mixture the night before so I can get up and finish the recipe without the prep work when I’m wanting to take my time in the morning!

spinach and red pepper frittata holiday bariatric breakfast


Spinach Pesto & Chicken Sausage Egg Bake

Another delicious holiday brunch recipe that is sure to please to masses. I take this one to breakfast themed parties all the time! Actually, I make this recipe as a breakfast for dinner meal or even when someone has a baby. I think it’s just an awesome WLS friendly recipe.

spinach and pesto chicken sausage egg bake bariatric holiday breakfast recipe


Candy Cane Protein Shake

If you are still on a diet using protein shakes (because not everyone is!! I have thoughts on protein shakes after surgery)…this shake a splash of minty fun for a fresh holiday taste. You may also use it as a sweet treat that doesn’t get you off track!

candy cane protein shake bariatric holiday recipe


Bariatric Friendly Pumpkin Spice Latte (Members Recipe & Video)

Oh the Pumpkin Spice Latte!!! Similar to the Low Carber’s Egg Nog, this recipe is a concoction to get you the experience of your favorite warm drink without the the trouble :)

Bariatric Friendly Pumpkin Spice Latte holiday recipe


Low Carber’s Holiday Egg Nog

I know it sounds, well, wrong…but this recipe is the best way to get the taste of an eggnog type holiday drink without compromising your goals to stay low-carb and holiday healthy.

bariatric friendly low fat holiday egg nog


Chocolate Mousse Dip

Not going to lie, this chocolate mousse dip is very rich. Which means you don’t need much at all to get the rich chocolate flavor and satisfy a sweet tooth! With all the temptations around for the holidays, it’s nice to have a few options of sweet treats you can have that won’t interfere with your post-op weight loss goals.

chocolate mousse dip bariatric holiday dessert


Pumpkin Whip

The pumpkin obsession continues! It can be hard to find pumpkin flavored desserts that are truly low carb and keep you in the macronutrient goals for post-op patients. (More on macro goals in my blog “Most Asked Weight Loss Surgery Questions”) Pumpkin itself is high carb because it’s a root vegetable. Recipes like this one that use more pumpkin pie SPICE and lower amounts of actual pumpkin are a great way to get the taste without the carbs.

pumpkin whip bariatric holiday dessert recipe


– Steph Wagner MS, RDN/LD (Bariatric Dietitian)


bariatric support during the holidays