This past month has been a tough one for me coming down with a killer sore throat. We’re talking a whole week of super sore swallowing-sharp-pointy-things feeling soreness. And while chicken noodle soup is great for a couple of days, I got very tired of eating the same thing for every meal beyond a day or so.
I ate a lot of soups. I ate a lot of plain buttered pasta (which coincidentally is one of my favorite comfort foods). But beyond that, I had to get creative. Why? Because I was craving variety, and vegetables. My body just needed a wider variety of nutrition than I was getting, and I knew it would help me heal and feel better more quickly.
I really had to strategize what I could eat when balancing my pain level – crunchy and scratchy foods just wouldn’t do here – and soups were my go-to easy to swallow sick day food. I started out with chicken noodle and smooth butternut squash soups and was ready to move onto something new.
I ended up at Whole Foods one afternoon to pick up some more soup for myself for dinner (and pizza for Dave), and stumbled across a whole Thanksgiving meal on the hot bar. So, I snagged some mashed sweet potatoes, creamed spinach and kale, turkey with gravy, and of course the softest most amazing stuffing. I couldn’t wait to eat this for dinner, and as it was lunchtime I sat down immediately after paying to devour this meal.
And sitting there, eating my delicious soft lunch, I realized I can’t have been the only person out there wanting more diverse and delicious food while sick with a sore throat.
Which brings me to this list. I hope this will help you out if you’re looking for ideas for what to eat with a sore throat.
For me, saltier and savory foods felt the best and most comforting to my sore throat. That and ice water. Don’t be afraid to try a few different things to see what feels best to you.
Best Foods for A Sore Throat
- Soup – chicken soup, of course, but also consider pureed vegetable soups like split pea, butternut, and if it’s not too acidic for your throat, tomato soup.
- Pasta – Any soft pasta is fantastic the first day or so for a severe sore throat. Especially this amazing star pasta.
- Mac and cheese — bonus points in the nutrition scorecard if you make it with pumpkin or butternut squash.
- Mashed potatoes – soft, comforting, and not pasta!
- Smoothies – depending on your pain level, you could get away with some slightly acidic fruit in here. Otherwise, stick to more mild fruits like banana and mango. Add some protein powder for an extra nutritious boost.
- Scrambled eggs — the king of soft proteins!
- Soft cooked vegetables — think mashed sweet potatoes and butternut squash, or creamed spinach.
- Stuffing — bread soaked and baked in broth that makes it fluffy and soft sounds perfect to me. Just watch out for crunchy or chunkier mix-ins like celery and nuts.
- Soft or shredded meats – chicken & turkey are great if you find you can handle the chicken in chicken noodle soup.
- Yogurt – Greek yogurt for extra protein, or regular yogurt too. Just look out for anything too chunky from large pieces of fruit or mix ins like granola which are likely to irritate an already scratchy throat.
- Popsicles – cold, refreshing, and if you look for ones made with 100% fruit you’re definitely pumping up the nutrition here too.