Looking for vegan gains? Or just trying to maintain your weight while maintaining a very active lifestyle? From snacks to meals, this list of high calorie vegan recipes, foods, and tips packs a high calorie punch sure to help you meet your goals. And for the first time ever, I’ll share my 2,000+ calorie chocolate vegan smoothie.
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This may surprise some of you, but not all those eating a vegan diet are interested in weight loss.
Some are actually looking to gain weight or build muscle mass, just without animal products. Others are just trying to maintain their body weight while still getting in that 20-mile bike ride.
Whatever your reason, every body is a great body and nobody should be ashamed of any body.
Read on for our best high-calorie foods, vegan meal ideas, recipes, and tips.
Oh, and for the first time anywhere I’ve included the recipe for my 2,000+ calorie chocolate peanut butter smoothie.
Tips and Tricks for Vegan Weight Gain
Here are some quick tips and tricks I use for high-calorie vegan eating!
Fats are where it’s at.
I said what I said. Per gram, fats contain more than twice the amount of calories as carbs or protein. And not all fats are unhealthy. Think about high fat vegan foods like avocado.
Alter Your Viewpoint.
Approach every meal with a “What can I add to this to add more calories?” attitude. Simply adding a handful of dates and a couple spoons of peanut butter to your breakfast can quickly add an extra 300-400 calories.
Saute your veggies and such in vegan butter or oils.
As I said, fats are where it’s at on a plant-based diet. Adding one tablespoon of vegan butter will add 100 calories to a cup of white rice, which is around 200 calories on its own. And no, not all oils are bad for you.
Peanut Butter Sandwiches on Wheat Bread.
A great and filling complete protein, high calorie snack. If you’re looking for weight gains, eat peanut butter sandwiches on wheat bread.
It’s a quick 260 calories and 15 grams of protein. Try a peanut butter sandwich and glass of oat milk before bed for an easy 400 calories. Easy peasy.
Eat dried fruit.
I love fresh fruits to snack on, but sometimes I’ll add dried fruit to my day because it’s higher in calories than its water-logged counterparts.
Snack on Hummus.
Rice and Beans.
Beans and rice bowls are one of my favorite plant-based foods.
It may not seem like it, but one cup of black beans and one cup of cooked rice with a sliced avocado mixed in is over 700 calories. What’s more, add a few tortillas and a little salsa and you’re over 1,000.
High Calorie Vegan Foods
This is a simple list of plant-based high calorie foods I like to keep in the house to give me a quick boost when needed. With these by my side, I make sure there are plenty of opportunities to get enough calories in my day.
Nuts and Seeds
Peanut Butter, Nut Butters, and Tahini – At just under 100 calories per tablespoon, peanut butter or other nut butters like almond butter are an easy and great way to add some extra calories. Add to smoothies and oatmeal, or just do what I do and eat it by the spoonful.
Nuts – Especially macadamia nuts, walnuts, and pecans which contain right around 200 calories per 1 ounce serving. Nuts may just be my favorite way to up my daily calorie intake.
Seeds – Chia seeds and hemp seeds are great ways to add calories. Put them in smoothies, sprinkle them on oatmeal, make jam with them, etc. In addition to these, sesame seeds or sunflower seeds can be used to top a variety of savory dishes and salads and add a delicious flavor!
Canned Coconut Milk – A can of full fat coconut milk contains around 600 calories. I really like to use coconut milk in smoothies. But I also love the extra caloric jump coconut milk gives to some of our vegetable heavy and otherwise low calorie soups and stews.
Oat Milk – I don’t know if this is considered high calorie, but it is the highest calorie of the plant milks coming in at 120-130 calories per cup.
Grains & Legumes
White and Brown Rice – Skip the cauliflower rice. If you want gains, you want grains. Coming in at a little less than quinoa, 1 cup of cooked white rice has 206 calories and 1 cup of brown rice contains 216 calories. But if you add a couple tablespoons of vegan butter and a little soy sauce, you easily go over 400 calories.
Canned beans and legumes – One cup of canned black beans contains around 240 calories.
Tofu – A block of tofu has 350-400 calories per block. It’s also a great source of protein, calcium, manganese, magnesium, iron, and vitamin A. Check out our Is Tofu Vegan post for more information and lots of great recipes.
Avocado – One medium avocado contains almost 250 calories. A single large avocado contains 325 calories. Avocados are a great source of healthy fats. Toss them in smoothies, eat them with a spoon, or go ahead and treat yourself to that extra guacamole.
Dates – On average, 1 date has just under 25 calories. Medjool dates are higher in calories. Throw four or five in a smoothie, or just eat half a dozen with some white rice or quinoa and some bananas and other fruit for a great and easy breakfast.
More High-Calorie Plant Foods
Bagels and Rolls – Dense carbs offer higher calories than regular bread. A single bagel can range from 200-400 calories and more! For a great high calorie breakfast or snack, try peanut butter and sliced banana on a cinnamon raisin bagel with a side of quinoa and dates.
Plant butters and oils – Vegan butter and olive oil or avocado oil are simple high calorie additions you can add to just about everything.
Protein bars and Plant-Based Protein Powder – A great snack or addition to meals or vegan smoothies. I love Clif bars and especially the Builders Bar from Clif. The Builders Bar is 300 calories and 20 g protein in a simple grab and go bar.
High Calorie Vegan Recipes (Meal Ideas)
These are a few of my favorite high calorie plant-based meals on our blog for some vegan meal plan inspiration. Again, you can add to or alter the sides or serving quantities to fit your needs.
Vegan Breakfast Casserole (360-720 calories)
Eggless and dairy free, taste-tested and omni-approved, everyone is just going to love it! One small slice is around 360 calories, but a large slice is 720 calories!.
Baked Vegan Mac and Cheese (568 calories)
It’s easy to make, contains no cashews, and is the perfect make-ahead lunch to take to work or school.
Vegan Stuffed Shells (659 calories)
These easy baked Vegan Stuffed Shells pack a ton of flavor, plant-based protein, and 659 calories per serving!
Tender pasta shells are loaded with a blend of tofu ricotta and garlicky spinach then smothered in a flavorful pasta sauce before baking until bubbly.
Serve with vegan garlic bread for a high-calorie vegan dinner.
Vegan Linguine and Clam Sauce (701 calories per serving)
After you try this easy linguine and vegan clam sauce, it is sure to be making a weekly visit to your dinner table!
Linguine pasta is tossed in a buttery white wine and lemon sauce with plump pieces of soy curl “clams” and capers. Serve with vegan garlic bread for a splendid high-calorie vegan recipe for Sunday dinner.
TVP Meatballs (106 calories per meatball)
Unlike other vegan meatball recipes, these Gardein meatball copycats DO NOT fall apart or turn to mush in your mouth.
Cook them in marinara sauce and serve as a plant-based spaghetti and meatballs served with garlic bread or make a vegan meatball sandwich with dairy-free mozzarella!
Creamy Avocado Barley Risotto (435 calories)
This Avocado Pesto Barley Risotto is an easy, quick, and slightly different take on classic risotto perfect for busy weeknights!
Vegan Chicken Parm (784 calories)
This is the BEST vegan chicken parmesan recipe!
Make your own vegan chicken cutlets with frozen and thawed tofu, marinate them in a garlic and chickeny flavor bath, then bread and bake them with a peppery crust.
Melt some dairy free mozzarella on top and serve it over pasta or put it on a nice roll as a vegan chicken parm sandwich with plenty of marinara.
Vegan Meatloaf (650 calories)
Nothing quite says comfort food the way meatloaf does, and you’re going to love this simple recipe for our super tasty vegan meatloaf!
Furthermore, at 650 calories for 4 slices, it’s an amazing high-calorie vegan dinner.
Vegan Chicken Cutlet (379 calories)
These vegan breaded chicken cutlets are as delicious as they are versatile.
Using our “Tofu Freezer Trick” to create the perfect meaty texture, extra firm tofu is marinated in this vegan cutlets recipe in classic Italian chicken flavors, breaded, and baked to perfection.
Serve these tender tofu cutlets with any pasta dish or salad for an instant calorie boost!
High-Calorie Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie
Finally, I am sharing my special 32ish-ounce chocolate “milkshake” smoothie that really packs a caloric punch.
Drink it as or in addition to your breakfast. Or have it as a dessert at night so the calories really have a chance to settle in as you sleep.
This decadent and somewhat healthy drink comes in at 2,265 calories on the low side of its calorie count. It can easily exceed 3,000 calories.
- 1 can full fat coconut milk – 600 calories (c)
- 3-4 bananas – 315-420 c
- 1 medium avocado – 250 c
- 1/2 -1 cup peanut butter – 750-1,500 c
- 1/2 cup dry oats – 150 c
- 1-2 tablespoon cocoa powder – 12-24 c
- 6-10 dates – 138-230 c (Medjool dates are higher calorie)
- 1-2 tablespoons maple syrup or molasses – 50-100 calories for the syrup or 60-120 for the molasses
- Ice and water – 0 calories. (Sub oat milk for extra calories.)
- If your dates are dry, you’ll want to soak them in hot water before blending for best results.
- Add a scoop or two of vegan protein powder if your looking to up your protein intake!
What vegan food is high in calories?
How can a vegan consume more calories?
It’s pretty easy to consume more calories beyond just “eating more”. Seeking out foods that are higher in caloric content can help you meet your weight gain needs.
Can you gain weight being vegan?
Yes, you can absolutely gain weight as a vegan. Not every person is the same however. For vegan weight gain, grains, seeds, avocado, oils, and nut butters are your friends.
What vegan snacks have a lot of calories?
High calorie vegan snacks include peanut butter, nuts, dried fruit, protein bars and more!
I hope you found this article informative and helpful in meeting your needs for healthy weight gain and that you’re now armed with a host of new high calorie vegan recipes to try!
And lastly, if you have any questions or would like to leave a comment with your favorite high calorie vegan foods, you can do so below.