Turkey Meatball Soup

Steph Wagner

January 13, 2020

Turkey Meatball Soup


Turkey Meatball Soup can be made in Instant Pot or Crockpot and is high in protein, low carb for bariatric surgery patients


Turkey meatball soup for the Instant Pot or Slow Cooker


A note about soup after weight loss surgery

If you are thinking to yourself “I thought I wasn’t supposed to have soup after bariatric surgery?” I would say that you aren’t wrong.

You might also be thinking, I wasn’t told that!

Every bariatric program differs tremendously! Here are my thoughts on soup.

Avoid liquids when you eat as a post-op.

When you have liquid with your food, it move food through your stomach pouch faster which means larger portions and/or more hunger later. This is more of a hunger control issue than anything.

I have seen many patients struggle with snacking and hunger because they got away from avoid fluids while eating and 45-60 minutes after the meal.

So why am I posting a Turkey Meatball Soup recipe?

You can still make a soup that is really hearty, but use a slotted spoon and eat the meat and vegetables, leaving the broth behind.

Cooking meat in broth can also make the meat soft, moist and tender which is a post-op patients dream!

Note, if all meat seems dry and uncomfortable to you it might be more related to your bite size. Keep bites to the size of a black bean, especially when it’s dense meat.

I also like this recipe because it’s fast in the Instant Pot® and has amazing flavor. Especially the broth…

Didn’t you just tell me not to have the broth?

Here is what I would tell my members (or my patients). You can have the broth up until your first bite of the meat. Once you have the meat, focus on the food only.

In my practice, you can have liquid up until your first bite. Liquid moves through the pouch quicker but you can start with some broth unless you are early out of surgery and it makes you feel uncomfortable to have broth before your food.

Otherwise, broth first then eat the meat with a fork next. Focus on the meatballs and enjoy some veggies along the way.

You could even but the soup through a strainer and save the broth to sip on another time!

Looking for more Instant Pot Bariatric Surgery recipes?

Check out my eBook! This book is free to Premier Access Members or can be purchased without a membership. Click here for more information.

Turkey Meatball Soup can be made in Instant Pot or Crockpot and is high in protein, low carb for bariatric surgery patients

Turkey Meatball Soup

Course: Main Course, Main Dish
Cuisine: American, Pressure Cooker
Keyword: Dairy Free, Instant Pot
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 238kcal
Author: Steph Wagner
Ground turkey meatballs in savory broth and veggies for a high protein and low carb weight loss surgery meal. Can be made in the Pressure Cooker or Slow Cooker
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  • Pressure Cooker
  • Slow Cooker



  • 1/4 cup onion grated over cheese grater
  • 1 lb ground turkey 93% lean or greater
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese reduced fat
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp minced garlic dried
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt


  • 1/2 cup onion diced
  • 2 stalks celery diced
  • 1 cup carrot diced
  • 1 medium zucchini diced
  • 15 oz diced tomatoes canned
  • 28 oz chicken broth low sodium
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • .5 lemon


  • Start with prepping meatballs. Using a cheese grater over a large mixing bowl, grate an onion until it yields 1/4 cup. Add ground turkey, parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, minced garlic, onion powder, salt and pepper. Mix well until formed.
  • Using a cookie scoop or a large spoon, form into meatballs about 1.5 inches in size. Refrigerate until other ingredients are ready.
  • Chop remaining onion, carrots, celery and zucchini.

For pressure cooker

  • Start with saute mode and a spray of olive oil. Saute chopped onion for 2 minutes then tun off. Add other chopped veggies plus diced tomato and chicken broth. Add meatballs, pressing into the liquid.
  • Close lid and move valve to sealed position. Select manual pressure for 10 minutes. Quick release when finished.
  • Remove lid and add lemon juice and spinach. Stir spinach in to allow wilting. Serve.

For Slow Cooker

  • Add diced onion, carrot, celery, zucchini, diced tomatoes, broth and meatballs to a slow cooker. Cook on low for 6 hours.
  • Remove lid and add spinach. Replace lid for 5 minutes. Add lemon juice and serve.


The nutrition information includes all ingredients. However, for bariatric surgery patients I recommend focusing on the meatball and some vegetables, limited broth.  This means not all ingredients are consumed equally. Use your best judgement when journaling for what you truly ate.


Calories: 238kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 1123mg | Potassium: 1132mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 7165IU | Vitamin C: 49mg | Calcium: 197mg | Iron: 3mg
Nutrition Facts
Turkey Meatball Soup
Amount Per Serving
Calories 238 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Fat 6g9%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Cholesterol 70mg23%
Sodium 1123mg49%
Potassium 1132mg32%
Carbohydrates 16g5%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 7g8%
Protein 34g68%
Vitamin A 7165IU143%
Vitamin C 49mg59%
Calcium 197mg20%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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