No matter the summer holiday – whether it be Memorial Day, Juneteenth, Fourth of July, or Labor Day – everyone deserves to participate in cookout season. We know dietary restrictions can make group meals feel rather, well, empty. But if you’re struggling with pancreatic disease, don’t worry; this pancreas-friendly burger and delectable seasonal sorbet are sure to fill you up at your next cookout!

To better plan meals, it’s first important to understand a little background about pancreatitis and basic nutritional guidelines for the disease.

Understanding and Managing the Condition

Pancreatitis describes an inflammation of the pancreas. It can cause significant discomfort, pain, and impact to daily life. It’s crucial to manage this condition through a combination of medical treatment, lifestyle changes, and dietary modifications.

Powerful Pancreas Points:

  • Low-fat and easily digestible foods are recommended. Avoid fried, greasy foods and other full-fat products.
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables but choose low-fiber options. High-fiber diets can cause constipation and gastrointestinal discomfort.
  • Staying well-hydrated is essential. This helps with gastrointestinal motility and flushing the pancreas.
  • Maintain regular checkups. Monitoring your condition with healthcare providers ensures effective management. Remember, prevention is always the best medicine.

Keeping in mind these few guidelines will help you make better food-fueling choices, leading to an even better outlook on life. Now without further delay, onto the delicious part!

Pancreas-Pleasing Patties


For the Burgers:

  • 1 lb (450g) lean ground turkey, chicken, or ground beef
  • ½ – 1 small zucchini, grated
  • ½ – 1 small carrot, grated
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Low-fat grilling spray

For the Toppings:

  • 1 ripe avocado, sliced
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • Lettuce leaves
  • Red onion, boiled for 5 minutes and sliced
  • Whole grain or multigrain burger buns (optional, depending on tolerance)
  • Mustard or a small amount of low-fat mayonnaise (optional)

1. Prepare the Patties: In a large bowl, combine the ground meat, grated zucchini, grated carrot, parsley, garlic, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Mix the ingredients until well combined. Then divide the mixture into equal portions (about 4 for standard burgers) and shape into patties.

2. Grill the Patties: Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Spray the grill grates with cooking spray to prevent sticking. Grill patties for about 5-6 minutes per side, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (75°C) and the patties are no longer pink inside (for turkey or chicken burgers).

3. Prepare the Toppings: While the patties are grilling, slice the avocado and tomato. Wash and dry the lettuce leaves.

4. Assemble the Burgers: If using, lightly toast the whole grain or multigrain burger buns on the grill. A large lettuce leaf can be substituted to make a lettuce wrap if preferred. If using buns, place a lettuce leaf on the bottom half. Place the grilled patty on top of the lettuce. Add the avocado and tomato slices. Add a small amount of mustard or low-fat mayonnaise if desired. Finally, finish the burger by adding the top bun or folding the lettuce around the burger.

5. Serve: Serve the burgers immediately, with a side of fresh salad or grilled vegetables for a complete, well-rounded meal. Enjoy!

Finished burger featuring a Pancreas-Pleasing Patty
Completed Burger Featuring a Pancreas-Pleasing Patty

Summer Sunshine Sorbet

  • 2 cups fresh or frozen fruit (e.g., berries, mango, or peach)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons honey or a sugar substitute
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, to taste
  • A pinch of salt
Summer Peach Sorbet - Pancreatitis Friendly
Summer Sunshine Sorbet – Peach

1. Prepare the Fruit: If using fresh fruit, wash, peel, and chop into small pieces. If using frozen fruit, let thaw slightly.

2. Blend: In a blender or food processor, combine the fruit, water, honey (or sugar substitute), lemon juice, and salt. Blend until smooth.

3. Strain (Optional): For a smoother texture, you can strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve to remove seeds or pulp.

4. Chill: Pour the mixture into a shallow container and place it in the freezer. Allow it to freeze for about 2-3 hours, stirring every 30 minutes to break up any large ice crystals and ensure an even texture.

5. Serve: Once the sorbet is fully frozen and has a smooth, scoopable texture, serve it in bowls or cones. Enjoy!

  • Berries, peaches, and mangoes are great low-fiber fruit options.
  • If you need to control your sugar intake, use a sugar substitute like stevia instead of honey.