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20 High-Calorie Meals That Are Nutritious

Need up those calories for your fitness goals? Here are high-calorie meals that are rich in nutrients, flavors, and are fun to make.
high calorie meals

Are you looking to gain some weight? If so, you probably know that you need to eat more calories.

But foods that are higher in calories tend to be bad for you. Things like french fries, ice cream, and potato chips.

And as much as you want to gain weight, you don’t want to risk your health either. So, what is the solution?

High-calorie meals that are nutritious!

Today, I’m sharing 20 High-Calorie Meals that will help you gain weight, and that are good for you too.

So, what are you waiting for? Let’s get cooking!

1. Vegan Cobb Salad Recipe

Vegan Cobb Salad

Credit: yumveganlunchideas.com

Looking for some vegan eats to gain weight and increase muscle? This salad should do the trick.

It’s yummy and super filling- it’s nothing like your typical salad. It’s packed with seitan “chicken”, bacon-flavored chickpeas, and creamy avocado.

And let’s not forget about the veggies. You have 5 different veggies: romaine lettuce, carrots, cherry tomatoes, sweet corn, and red cabbage.

So, you have tons of added nutrition too. The homemade vegan ranch dressing is the icing on top of the cake, ahem, salad.

What you’ll love about this salad is that it contains a ton of protein. Just one serving contains a whopping 104 grams of protein.

A lot of this protein comes from the seitan. Seitan is a vegan substitute made from vital wheat gluten.

Besides being high in protein, seitan is also rich in selenium, a powerful antioxidant.

Now, you can buy seitan already made at your local health food store. But to save money, you can make your own if you have some vital wheat gluten on hand.

If you need to stock up on some, you can get some here.

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 1003
  • Fats: 38g
  • Protein: 104g
  • Carbs: 72g
  • Fiber: 21g
  • Sugar: 16g

Recipe

2. Cauliflower Mac & Cheese With Chicken Thighs

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

Credit: easyanddelish.com

Life can be stressful. And when stress hits, all you want to do is kick back and chomp on some good old comfort food.

But the very definition of comfort food is carbs and more carbs. And this is a problem if you’re on a low carb diet.

This cauliflower mac & cheese dish is a great low carb alternative to traditional mac & cheese. One serving contains only 7 grams of net carbs.

It’s creamy, comforting, and has nicely seared crispy skin-on chicken thighs. Yum!

In fact, I prefer this dish to the traditional mac & cheese because the cauliflower adds a lot of freshness.

Besides being low in carbs, cauliflower is pretty nutritious too.

Cauliflower is an excellent source of vitamin C, which helps boost your immune system.

It is also rich in the antioxidant sulforaphane, which has many health benefits.

Besides being tasty, this dish is also easy to make. In fact, all it takes is only 30 minutes, and you have dinner on the table.

Now, that’s my kind of dish.

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 983
  • Fats: 88g
  • Protein: 41g
  • Carbs: 8g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Sugar: 2g

Recipe

3. Salmon Meal Prep With Veggies

Salmon Meal Prep

Credit: allnutritious.com

Besides veggies, fish is another food we should be eating more of. That’s because fish, particularly fatty fish like salmon, contains lots of omega-3s.

Omega-3s are good not only for your heart but your brain too. So, pile on that fish.

This salmon meal prep dish is as good to look at, as it is to eat. The sweetness of the beets and sweet potatoes plays off the meatiness of the salmon… It’s a match made in foodie heaven.

Besides being tasty and nutritious, this dish is also perfect for meal prep. All you need is 10 minutes of prep time, and then you let your oven do the baking… Easy, peasy.

To keep your food fresh longer, just make sure to store it in airtight food storage containers. I recommend these ones because they are sustainable that will leak into your food.

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 806
  • Fats: 45g
  • Protein: 54g
  • Carbs: 53g
  • Fiber: 13g
  • Sugar: 16g

Recipe

4. Steak Fajita Salad

Steak Fajita Salad

Credit: oursaltykitchen.com

Looking for a tasty way to enjoy your veggies? Have some steak fajita salad… After all, everything tastes better with steak, right?

This steak fajita salad is packed with flavor. That’s because you use a ton of spices for the steak rub; 8 to be exact.

So, you definitely won’t need any barbecue sauce to ramp up the flavor. And the veggies are tasty too… That’s because you saute them in steak grease. Yum!

And let’s not forget about the homemade cilantro lime vinaigrette. It’s so good… Much better than that bottled stuff.

Besides being delicious, this salad is good for you too. One serving provides a whopping 40% of your daily fiber needs.

And since it takes only 30 minutes to make, it’s perfect for those busy weeknights. Bon appetit!

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 726
  • Fats: 62g
  • Protein: 34g
  • Carbs: 20g
  • Fiber: 10g
  • Sugar: 23g

Recipe

5. German Hunter Cabbage Stew

German Hunter Cabbage Stew

Credit: all-thats-jas.com

When it’s cold outside, all you want to do is sit by the fireplace. And eat some stick-to-your-ribs stew.

This cabbage stew is pretty hearty. That’s because it’s packed with bacon, kielbasa sausage, and ground beef.

It’s also packed with cabbage. Cabbage is an excellent source of vitamins C and K.

It also contains several antioxidants that may help reduce inflammation. So, eat up that cabbage!

What I love most about this dish is that it’s a one-pot dish. So, you don’t have a ton of pots and pans to wash at the end.

Now, this dish contains ground beef, which has a high carbon footprint. So, you may want to eat it less often, or use ground pork instead.

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 742
  • Fats: 52g
  • Protein: 38g
  • Carbs: 32g
  • Fiber: 9g
  • Sugar: 9g

Recipe

6. Pecan Chicken Recipe

Pecan Chicken

Credit: oursaltykitchen.com

I’m a big fan of chicken, as I’m sure many of you are too. But, after a while, chicken can get kind of boring.

So, if you’re looking to jazz up your chicken dinners, this is a great option.

Juicy, tender chicken breasts are coated in crispy crushed pecans, along with warm spices such as nutmeg, ginger, and paprika.

Accompanied with creamy, buttery cauliflower mash and lightly seasoned, roasted sweet potato wedges.

It’s truly a party for your taste buds. And not only will your tummy be happy, but your immune system will also be happy too.

That’s because this dish contains tons of Vitamin A and Vitamin C, which help boost your immune system. It even provides a good dose of calcium too.

This dish is quite well rounded, so it makes for a great Sunday night dinner. Winner, winner, chicken dinner.

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 721
  • Fats: 52g
  • Protein: 44g
  • Carbs: 28g
  • Fiber: 10g
  • Sugar: 8g

Recipe

7. 30-Minute Pork Fajita Bowls

Pork Fajita Bowls

Credit: easyanddelish.com

We all live busy lives, me included. So, the last thing you want to do at the end of a long day is a slave in the kitchen.

These pork fajita bowls are ready in a jiffy. They take under 30 minutes to make- 27 to be exact.

These Fajita Bowls scream Tex-Mex. You have nicely sauteed pork chop strips along with sauteed green, yellow, and red bell peppers.

All served with creamy avocado slices and jalapeno peppers. Not a fan of the heat? Just skip the jalapenos.

What I love most about this dish is that it’s a one-skillet dish. So, once you’re done eating, you can just kick back and relax.

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 700
  • Fats: 45g
  • Protein: 52g
  • Carbs: 27g
  • Fiber: 12g
  • Sugar: 7g

Recipe

8. Korean Seitan Sandwich

Korean Seitan Sandwich

Credit: yumveganlunchideas.com

Do you like all things spicy? Then given this Korean Seitan sandwich a try.

The seitan “steak” strips are super flavorful. They have a nice balance of sweet, savory, umami, and heat.

The vegan kimchi adds extra spiciness. Your mouth will be on fire… In a good way.

Besides being tasty, kimchi is very nutritious. Kimchi is rich in a number of vitamins and minerals, including Vitamins K and C, iron, and folate.

It also contains probiotics which have many health benefits.

You can get kimchi at Korean supermarkets. When buying it, beware: it often contains fish sauce.

So, if you want vegan kimchi, make sure you read the label properly. Or, you can stock up on vegan kimchi here.

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 981
  • Fats: 40g
  • Protein: 41g
  • Carbs: 142g
  • Fiber: 7g
  • Sugar: 22g

Recipe

9. Thai Red Curry Chicken

Thai Red Curry Chicken

Credit: mealpreponfleek.com

Craving takeout? Have this instead!

On the menu is tender chicken in a creamy, tangy sauce. The red peppers add color and freshness to the dish.

While the cauliflower rice is a welcome, and healthy alternative to white rice.

For extra convenience, you can simply buy prepackaged cauliflower rice here. Or, to save money, you can make your own.

Making it is pretty simple. Just cut your cauliflower into pieces, and pulse the pieces in a food processor until rice-like. This food processor should do the trick.

Besides being yummy, this curry chicken is good for you too. It contains a lot of protein, which helps build muscle.

And it contains a ton of fiber from all the veggies. In fact, one serving provides more than 80% of your daily fiber needs…Now, that’s a whole lotta fiber!

Check out more healthy recipes that incorporate pantry foods here.

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 646
  • Fats: 26g
  • Protein: 37g
  • Carbs: 42g
  • Fiber: 21g
  • Sugar: 0g

Recipe

10. Chicken Meatballs With Quinoa & Curried Cauliflower

Chicken Meatballs With Quinoa

Credit: bbcgoodfood.com

Love meatballs and pasta? This dish is for you.

It’s a healthy take on meatballs and pasta. The meatballs are nice and spicy.

The turmeric and cumin add an Indian twist, while the cinnamon adds some warmth and sweetness.

Meanwhile, the dill and spring onions add some freshness. These ain’t your momma’s meatballs.

What I like most about these meatballs is that they’re made with minced chicken, not beef. So, they have less of a carbon footprint.

Also, instead of eating them with pasta, you’re eating them with quinoa. Quinoa is a grain that is packed with a ton of protein.

In fact, one cup of cooked quinoa contains 8.1 grams of protein. It is also rich in manganese, magnesium, and phosphorus.

So, it’s good for your bones as well. If you’d like to give it a try, you can get some here.

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 697
  • Fats: 23g
  • Protein: 72g
  • Carbs: 44g
  • Fiber: 9g
  • Sugar: 14g

Recipe

11. Sheet Pan Salmon Burgers

Salmon Burgers

Credit: mealpreponfleek.com

Summer is the perfect time for relaxing on the deck. And eating some burgers and fries.

But eating burgers doesn’t have to be unhealthy. And this sheet pan salmon burger proves this.

These salmon burgers are moist and packed with flavor. And the sweet potato fries are lightly seasoned with salt and black pepper, so the sweetness of the sweet potatoes shine through.

The creamy roasted red pepper aioli is great for dunking your fries in. Much more elegant than ketchup.

Besides being high in protein, salmon contains tons of omega-3s. So, it’s good for your brain and your heart.

It is also an excellent source of selenium, a powerful antioxidant.

So, the next time you want to reach for a hamburger, have these instead.

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 649
  • Fats: 48.4g
  • Protein: 30.5g
  • Carbs: 22.2g
  • Fiber: 4.5g
  • Sugar: 0g

Recipe

12.  Parmesan Crusted Pork Chops

Parmesan Crusted Pork Chops

Credit: cushyspa.com

Are you trying to gain weight and muscle on a keto diet? Then you’ll love this dish.

It contains a whopping 55 grams of fat. So, it’s sure to keep you in ketosis.

And it only contains 4.8 grams of net carbs. Double win!

These parmesan crusted pork chops are lip-smacking good. They’re nice and juicy and coated in a delicious coating of Parmesan cheese and crushed pork rinds.

So, you have all the crispiness of regular batter, but without all the carbs.

To make it a meal, you can serve them with some steamed veggies… Just make sure they’re low carbs. Good options include steamed cauliflower or broccoli.

This steamer basket is great for steaming the veggies.

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 766
  • Fats: 55g
  • Protein: 63g
  • Carbs: 5.1g
  • Fiber: 0.3g
  • Sugar: 0.2g

Recipe

13. Sheet Pan Chimichurri Chicken & Veggies

Chimichurri Chicken

Credit: mealpreponfleek.com

Want to enjoy a well-balanced meal without all the fuss? Try this sheet pan meal!

You have your starch, veggies, and protein all prepared on one pan. It doesn’t get much easier or yummier than this.

Tender, juicy chicken thighs are accompanied with lightly seasoned mini gold potatoes, and green beans.

The chimichurri sauce really puts this meal over the top. It’s savory, tangy, and fragrant with a hint of heat. If you like it hotter, you can simply add more red chili pepper flakes.

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 649
  • Fats: 44.7g
  • Protein: 37.6g
  • Carbs: 28.8g
  • Fiber: 4.4g
  • Sugar: 0g

Recipe

14. Spring Chicken Paella

Chicken Paella

Credit: bbcgoodfood.com

Craving the tastes of Spain? This dish is for you.

It’s packed with delicious goodness. From the aromatic rice to the crispy skin-on chicken thighs.

And the fresh peas add tons of nutrition and freshness. This isn’t your typical paella.

You’ll be using a number of fresh herbs, including dill, mint, and parsley. So, you may have some leftover herbs lying in your fridge after making this dish.

To keep my fresh herbs from getting rotten, I like to freeze them. To freeze your fresh herbs, simply place them in a good freezer bag.

I use these reusable freezer bags. Check out more healthy freezer meals here.

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 660
  • Fats: 20g
  • Protein: 41g
  • Carbs: 79g
  • Fiber: 10g
  • Sugar: 5g

Recipe

15. High Protein Cauliflower Gratin

Cauliflower Gratin

Credit: cookforyourlife.org

Are you feeling down in the dumps? Tuck into this high protein cauliflower gratin.

It’s cheesy, yummy, and just plain comforting. And because it contains cauliflower, it’s a healthier option than say, mac, and cheese.

Making it is pretty simple. Just layer some steamed cauliflower and sauteed shallots in a greased baking dish.

Next, blend some cheese, milk, salt, and nutmeg. Then pour your cheese mixture over your cauliflower, and top with cheese and breadcrumbs.

Finally, bake for about 25 minutes.

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 686
  • Fats: 51g
  • Protein: 25g
  • Carbs: 36g
  • Fiber: 5g
  • Sugar: 9g

Recipe

16. Mushroom Carnitas Burrito Bowls

Mushroom Carnitas Burrito Bowls

Credit: mealpreponfleek.com

Craving carnitas, but want to ditch the meat? These mushroom carnitas burrito bowls are a great option.

These mushrooms carnitas are meaty and packed with flavor. That’s because you marinate the mushrooms first, so the mushrooms absorb the flavor of the marinade.

For the marinade, you’ll be using 5 different spices. So, get out your measuring spoons! I like these spoons here because they don’t rust or get stained.

The Burrito bowls are pretty hearty too. They’re filled with sweet corn, juicy tomatoes, sweet red onions, black beans, crispy romaine lettuce, creamy avocados, briny black olives, and of course, fresh jalapenos for some Latin heat.

And let’s not forget the vegan Pepper Jack cheese either. These Burrito bowls are sure to transport you to Mexico.

Check out more high protein vegetarian recipes like this!

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 647
  • Fats: 46.3g
  • Protein: 19.6g
  • Carbs: 44.7g
  • Fiber: 13.2g
  • Sugar: 0g

Recipe

17. Spicy Shrimp White Bean Soup

Shrimp White Bean Soup

Credit: cookforyourlife.org

When it’s cold and dreary, all you want to do is bunker down. And eat some piping hot soup.

This shrimp white bean soup is velvety, spicy, and oh, so comforting. And the shrimp is plump and succulent…perfect for popping in your mouth.

Besides being delicious, shrimp is extremely nutritious. It’s an excellent source of selenium, a powerful antioxidant.

It is also a good source of iodine, which you need for thyroid health. So, eat up that shrimp!

To make the soup nice and smooth, you’ll need to blend some up the soup. To stay safe, it’s best to use an immersion blender. If you don’t have one, there’s a pretty good deal on this high-quality one here.

This soup is a meal on its own. But if you like, you can serve it with some crusty bread.

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 638
  • Fats: 34g
  • Protein: 33g
  • Carbs: 53g
  • Fiber: 7g
  • Sugar: 13g

Recipe

18. Chicken Shawarma Bowls

Chicken Shawarma Bowls

Credit: oursaltykitchen.com

Craving Mediterranean food? You’re in for a treat with these chicken shawarma bowls!

The flavors are amazing and right on point. Tender, juicy, flavorful chicken is drizzled with a creamy, tangy tahini dressing.

All accompanied with lemon-flavored cauliflower tabouleh, pickled red onions, and kalamata olives. It’s an explosion of flavor.

Now, this meal takes one hour to make- not including the marinating time. So, you may want to make it over the weekend when you have more time on your hands.

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 787
  • Fats: 57g
  • Protein: 46g
  • Carbs: 18g
  • Fiber: 6g
  • Sugar: 4g

Recipe

19. Chicken Stew With Kale & Broccoli

Chicken Stew With Kale

Credit: cookforyourlife.org

Do you have a cold? This stew may be exactly what the doctor ordered!

It’s packed with chicken breast, carrots, and kale, along with cannellini beans. So, not only do you have tons of protein, but vitamins and minerals too.

Kale is an excellent source of vitamins A and C, which help boost your immune system. Meanwhile, carrots contain tons of vitamin A too.

Making this stew is pretty easy. All it takes is 30 minutes, and you’ll have a stew that is nice and soothing.

You could also make this recipe in a slow cooker!

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 649
  • Fats: 29g
  • Protein: 47g
  • Carbs: 56g
  • Fiber: 12g
  • Sugar: 11g

Recipe

20. Pesto-Crusted Cod With Puy Lentils

Pesto-Crusted Cod

Credit: bbcgoodfood.com

Sometimes, or let’s face it-most times, you just want to have dinner ready in a jiffy. This dish is for those times.

It takes under 30 minutes to make. So, it takes even less time than takeout.

The flakiness of the cod complements the nuttiness of the pesto. And the red chilies add some heat.

The tomatoes add a nice acidity and freshness. Meanwhile, the lentils add texture, as well as extra protein.

This dish uses homemade pesto. To make it, all you need to do is add basil leaves, garlic cloves, pine nuts, lemon juice and seasoning, and pulse in a food processor.

However, for extra convenience, you can just use premade pesto like this one here. Buon appetito!

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 672
  • Fats: 37g
  • Protein: 45g
  • Carbs: 34g
  • Fiber: 11g
  • Sugar: 7g

Recipe

Conclusion

Did you like any of these high-calorie meals? Which one is your favorite? Feel free to share!

Laura

Sunday 21st of February 2021

Hi, All of your recipes sound fantastic. I need more guidance about portion size. Trying to help my daughter gain weight...and I need to know how much food a serving is. many thanks!

Karo @ AllNutritious

Monday 22nd of February 2021

Hi Laura,

if you click on the link that says 'recipe', you'll get to the website where the full recipe is. There you'll see how large a portion is exactly. From what I see, it's a size of what would fit into a regular-sized meal prep box or a regular-sized bowl. So, the portions are pretty normal for one serving. These recipes are designated to be high calorie, so just regular portions you would usually have will do. :) As for my own recipes: 3. Salmon Meal Prep With Veggies - one regular-sized meal prep box 12. Parmesan Crusted Pork Chops - one chop with some salad

Also, for gaining weight - I recommend incorporating some of these foods into your meals: sweet potatoes, legumes, carrots, beets, plenty of fruit, buckwheat, brown rice, corn, wheat, barley, oats, quinoa. Just looks for foods that are high in complex carbs, and obviously don't forget to add protein and fats. But, carbs are really what's going to help you gain some weight.