Whether you’ve had your wisdom tooth out or a root canal, you might need to eat just soft foods after oral surgery. This article reviews the best soft foods to eat after oral surgery, including some recipes.

Mango smoothie in a Mason jar.

Best soft foods after oral surgery 

1. Soups or broth

Almost all the foods you enjoy can be quickly and easily turned into soup – all you need is a good blender! Just combine the meat, vegetables, or grains of your choice with a tasty broth, stock, or even water, then blend to the desired consistency. 

Homemade soup is nutrient-dense, too, and can be very satisfying. Just make sure the soup isn’t too hot if you are going to eat it after surgery. Lukewarm is probably best to ensure you don’t cause any bleeding.

Try these recipes for: Instant Pot Carrot Ginger Soup, 3-Ingredient Butternut Squash Soup, or Dairy-Free Potato Soup.

instant pot carrot ginger soup in a serving ladle.

2. Eggs

Packed with protein, eggs will keep you feeling full and can be prepared in lots of different ways, so there’s no need to get bored. 

Try poaching, scrambling, frying or boiling, or combining eggs with cheese and seasonings to create soft and delicious omelets.

Over medium eggs are a great choice too, but you may need to cut them into small bites so avoid too much chewing. My personal favorite is Air Fryer Soft Boiled Eggs.

three cooked eggs served on table

3. Mashed potatoes

Use a potato ricer or food processor to create creamy, lump-free mashed potato, which tastes even better with a little butter, milk, or sour cream stirred in. Be sure to use dairy-free alternatives if you are on a dairy-free diet.

But there are lots of other ways to make mashed potatoes even MORE appealing and nutritious! Try stirring in grated cheese, pesto, salsa, roasted and pureed garlic, fresh herbs, or soft, cooked vegetables.

Try these recipes: Whole30 Mashed Potatoes, Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes, or Instant Pot Mashed Sweet Potatoes.

4. Oatmeal

Not just for breakfast, oatmeal makes a hearty meal at any time of the day. If you prefer it sweet, then add easy-to-eat extras like ripe banana, soft berries, applesauce, or even smooth peanut butter. Try my recipe for Overnight Protein Oats.

For a savory twist, cook your oatmeal in broth or plain water, add seasonings and stir in your choice of cheese, avocado, or soft, cooked vegetables. 

bowl of overnight oats with blueberries.

5. Smoothies

Easy to prepare, smoothies can be made just the way you like them and are a great way to consume plenty of nutrients! 

Using ingredients such as ripe strawberries and bananas is a great way to create sweet smoothies without adding refined sugar. Pair them with anything from calcium-rich yogurt to your favorite dairy or nut milk. 

For savory smoothies, try blending raw ingredients like tomatoes, melons, cucumber, and fresh spinach with water, fruit juice, or vegetable juice.

See my complete list of dairy-free smoothies.

two glasses of orange strawberry smoothie.

6. Tofu

Nutrient-rich tofu is great for keeping you full and it is relatively bland in taste, meaning you can mix it with anything you choose! 

Silken tofu is the softest variety, although even firm tofu is soft and is similar in texture to feta cheese. Try adding it to soups or smoothies, or make a tofu scramble by breaking up firm tofu and cooking it in a little oil with your choice of seasonings.

7. Hummus

A tasty mixture of chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, and seasonings, hummus is ideal served on something very soft if you are recovering from oral surgery. You can even eat it plain.

There are lots of different varieties available or you can even make your own. Try adding ingredients like roasted garlic, cooked, pureed beets, or roasted red peppers to the basic hummus recipe for an interesting and flavorful twist.

See my related posts on what to eat with hummus and is hummus gluten-free?

bowl of hummus on counter.

8. Meatloaf

There are a few things you can do when preparing meatloaf to ensure it is deliciously tender and as soft as possible.

Make sure that the meat you use contains around 20% fat – any leaner and it will be dry and difficult to eat. Try adding gently cooked veggies to the meat and take care not to compress the loaf too much so that its texture remains loose. 

If you are recovering from oral surgery, make sure to cut the meatloaf into small bites and be careful when chewing. See my recipes for Gluten-Free Meatloaf, Air Fryer Meatloaf, or Chicken Meatloaf.

gluten free meatloaf on plate.

9. Tuna

Low in calories and high in protein, tuna is a great food to eat at any time, but it’s ideal for a soft food diet. 

Canned tuna in particular is very easy to mash and can be added to scrambled eggs, or mixed with mashed avocado or Greek yogurt for a simple tuna salad.

Or, try these recipes for Healthy Tuna Pasta Salad or Salmon Salad with Mayo.

10. Deli meats

Because they are made from restructured meat that becomes pliable and soft during processing, deli meats are usually easy to eat and allow you all the flavor of unprocessed meat without the firmer texture. 

Some are easier to consume than others, though, and whereas sliced ham, bologna, chicken, and mortadella tend to be the softest, meats like salami and pepperoni can be firmer and should be sliced thinly.

11. Avocadoes

Avocadoes are a great source of healthy fats and have a lovely buttery texture that’s very easy to manage. You can add avocado to smoothies – both sweet and savory – or mash it and mix it with flaked fish or very well cooked, finely chopped chicken. 

You can even mix it with mashed banana and freeze it to create a delicious sugar-free, dairy-free ice cream while your mouth heals.

See my recipes for Creamy Avocado Spread or Avocado Chocolate Smoothie.

two glasses of avocado smoothie.

12. Fish

Fish have a naturally soft texture once cooked that makes them very easy to flake. All fish are high in protein, but oily fish like sardines, mackerel, and salmon give you the benefits of omega 3 fatty acids too. 

Try creating a simple fish pie by combining several different varieties of fish in a white or cheese sauce, then topping it with creamy mashed potato.

Or, try these recipes for Instant Pot Salmon and Rice or Air Fryer Salmon.

13. Pasta

Pasta needs very little chewing and there are so many varieties available that you can include it in several meals without getting bored. 

Try mixing cooked pasta with pesto or stirring it into a delicious cheesy sauce (you can also make a dairy-free cheese sauce if you are on a dairy-free diet). 

Alternatively, look for pre-made ravioli or tortellini with a soft filling. These are usually soft enough that they don’t require heavy chewing that can hurt when you’re recovering from oral surgery like having a tooth pulled.

Try these recipes for Dairy-Free Pesto Pasta, Gluten-Free Pasta Salad, or Cheesecake Factory Tomato Basil Pasta Copycat.

A bowl of spaghetti and marinara.

14. Popsicles

Popsicles are not just easy to eat – they are also very soothing when you’ve had dental work done! 

Try to avoid shop-bought varieties that can be high in sugars and artificial ingredients and instead prepare your own with fresh, tasty ingredients such as pureed fruits and sugar-free juices. Using naturally sweet fruits is a good way to ensure your popsicles taste great while being good for you too.

Try these recipes for Banana Popsicles, Cherry Coconut Popsicles, Mango Popsicles, or Pomegranate Lime Popsicles.

15. Ice cream or milkshake

Following a soft food diet is the perfect excuse to enjoy lots of yummy ice cream or to use it to create wonderful milkshakes. 

Depending on the flavors, you may like to add some pureed fruit for some extra vitamins and minerals.

Try these recipes for Coconut Shake, Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream, Dairy-Free Mango Ice Cream, or Vegan Peach Ice Cream.

16. Cottage cheese

Made from fresh cheese curds, cottage cheese is packed with protein and has such a delicate flavor that you can combine it with sweet or savory ingredients. 

Try mixing it with tuna or shreds of smoked salmon for lunch, or combining it with fruit for dessert – cottage cheese and pineapple is especially good! 

If you find the curds unappealing or difficult to chew, blend the cottage cheese before you use it and it will develop a similar texture to Greek yogurt.

Cottage cheese is not appropriate for dairy-free diets, unfortunately.

17. Pudding

The custard-like texture of pudding goes down very easily and there are so many different ways to prepare it that you can have a different flavor each day! 

The easiest option is to use instant pudding powders that come in all sorts of flavors, many of which are sugar-free. You can also make your own, healthy pudding by blending bananas with peanut butter and oats, then adding flavorings like cocoa powder and vanilla.

See my article on how to substitute milk in instant pudding.

A parfait cup of vanilla pudding.

18. Cooked carrots

Carrots are a great source of nutrients, with just half a cup providing a whopping 73% of your daily requirement of vitamin A

While they can be boiled until soft, the best way to preserve their nutrients is to steam them. Alternatively, try wrapping them in foil with a touch of lemon juice and thyme then baking them, which really intensifies their natural sweetness.

Or, see my recipes for Instant Pot Carrots, Instant Pot Potatoes and Carrots, or Air Fryer Carrots.

19. Ripe bananas

Bananas are the perfect snack to enjoy at any time of the day and their high fiber content helps you feel full. 

Because they are so sweet, they taste amazing mixed with fruits that are more tart. Try stewing fresh rhubarb, for example, then swirling in pureed banana – the contrast is delicious.

See my other ideas for gluten-free and dairy-free snacks.

20. Baby food

Commercial baby food provides a ready-made option for a soft food diet. 

Fortunately, the options are not as limited as they once were and baby food flavors these days tend to be quite sophisticated and varied. Unless you would prefer a totally smooth puree, look for stage 3 baby foods that offer a little texture and a wider variety of ingredients.

21. Guacamole

Delicious served as a topping over refried beans or rice, basic guacamole is made from mashed avocado, lime or lemon juice, and a touch of salt. 

Optional extras include red onion, chili, tomato, and cilantro. If you decide to add any of these, either chop them finely or puree the entire mixture together.

22. Refried beans

These are not beans that have been cooked twice – instead, the word “refried” comes from their Spanish name frijoles refritos (well fried beans). 

Wholesome and hearty, the beans are available in cans or you can make your own at home. Try using them to top a fried egg and finish off with a handful of grated cheese or homemade guacamole for a tasty and satisfying meal.

23. Sweet potatoes

Preparing whole sweet potatoes can be as easy as piercing the skins with a fork then popping them in the oven to bake until soft. 

Try filling a split, baked sweet potato with scrambled eggs and mashed avocado for a savory meal. Or top it with sliced banana, then warm a little smooth peanut butter and drizzle it over the top for a decadent treat!

See my recipes for Instant Pot Sweet Potatoes.

cooked sweet potato on table.

24. Baked beans

Because they are so high in protein, baked beans make a satisfying meal. For an extra boost of flavor, stir in a handful of grated cheese until melted, or mix with finely sliced frankfurters. 

While canned baked beans are a quick and easy shortcut, making your own baked beans is fun and gives you the option to use less sugar than contained in the commercial variety.

25. Ripe mango

Luscious and juicy, mangoes are packed with vitamin C and have a high natural sugar content, so eating them feels like a real treat! 

In addition to enjoying them just as they are, you can put them in smoothies, caramelize them on the grill and top with ice cream, or even use them to add a fruity twist to soups.

Foods to avoid after oral surgery

Avoid anything that may be difficult to chew, particularly meats like steaks and chops, and anything that is dry and crumbly. This would include foods like cookies, potato chips, popcorn, pretzels, bagels, and crusty bread.

You may also prefer to avoid citrus juices or foods containing a lot of spice, as these may cause pain. Experts also recommend that you avoid alcohol completely after oral surgery.

Conclusions

Although you may feel daunted by the thought of being restricted to a soft food diet, the good news is that there are plenty of delicious options you can enjoy. Try to include as many protein-rich foods as possible to help you heal more quickly and check that all foods are comfortably warm – not hot – to avoid any discomfort.

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Note: this post is for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. Please consult your healthcare provider for recommendations related to your individual situation.