fbpx
Vegan Liftz is a community-supported website. We may earn a small commission on purchases made through our links. Learn more.

High-Calorie Plant-Based Meals

Jason Hughes
Published by Jason Hughes
Fact checked by Markus Oliver, BHSc FACT CHECKED
Last updated: May 10, 2022

With veganism becoming one of the fastest-growing dietary lifestyles, you may have found yourself struggling to put on, or even maintain, weight. Going vegan is extremely important for the environment and our bodies, (even those with chronic health such as diabetes) but should not cause us to sacrifice our goals and healthy image. Here we discuss some high calorie plant based meals.

While some turn to veganism for the complimentary weight loss effect of increased vegetable intake and decreased dairy and meat, this does not mean that all vegans fit the lanky or skinny stereotype. There are even vegan bodybuilders that easily follow the diet and their bodyweight goals.

Today we're going to go over 12 high-calorie vegan meals that are simple to make, won't break the bank, and most importantly, will help towards maintaining or increasing your desired body weight. But first, let's go over some lifestyle tips and foods to avoid.

How to Avoid Losing Too Much Weight on a Vegan Diet

Veganism isn't all Kale and Spinach. Much like any other dietary lifestyle, ensuring you do not lose too much weight relies on five principles.

  1. Make sure you are eating enough calories by counting or estimating your meals.
  2. Incorporating carbohydrates, fats, and proteins into your plant-based diet. Some healthy fats include avocados, nuts, and seeds.
  3. Getting enough fiber. Most green veggies, like broccoli and spinach, contain this, but you can also add any fiber supplement.
  4. Incorporate snacks, and eat more often. For example, those who are used to intermittent fasting for losing weight eat only a few times a day. Try eating every 3-4 hours and including snacks between meals.
  5. Diversity. Learn new recipes and switch them up to look forward to your next meal. We list 12 recipes below in this article.

Unhealthy Vegan Foods

With the growing trend in veganism, some companies market their food substitutes in hopes of making sales, but they are not necessarily the best foods. Some frozen fake meat substitutes, for example, contain a lot of sodium and fat. Other unhealthy foods may include tofu meats, coconut yogurt, other frozen meals, and veggie chips.

Incorporate snacks and eat more often. For example, those who are used to intermittent fasting for losing weight eat only a few times a day. Try eating every 3-4 hours and including snacks between meals.

Signs of an Unhealthy Vegan

Veganism isn't a magic cure to every ailment, although it does seem that way because it balances our society's overindulgence and overproduction of animal products. Cutting out these calorie-dense foods and forgetting to incorporate all food groups can cause some health problems, even as a vegan. This can include:

  • hair and nail growth decline
  • irregular cycles
  • lack of sleep
  • upset digestive tract

These are often due to a lack of vitamins, proteins, and healthy fats which some vegans forget to incorporate into their diet.

12 Calorie Dense Vegan Plant-Based Foods

Below are some fun and easy-to-make high-calorie vegan recipes to keep your meals exciting, and more importantly, full of those good calories and fats that may be missing.

Quinoa bowl

This powerful recipe includes fiber, fats, protein, and flavor. Quinoa bowls can contain anything in them (as long as you don't forget the quinoa) but some great additions and substitutes are avocados, kale, butternut squash/sweet potato, cauliflower, spices, maple syrup, and spinach. Still not feeling full? Add some almonds, walnuts, and chia seeds to feel full longer.

Vegan Sweet and Savory Curry

Veganism doesn't mean cutting the spice and embracing it! If you love your meals hot and creamy, curry is the way to go. This can all be combined in one pan or using an instant pot. Key ingredients are butternut squash (pumpkin or sweet potato works fine as well), onion, ginger, turmeric, coriander, tomatoes, spinach, and chili flakes. For your cream base, you can use oat or coconut milk as a substitute for regular. This dish is high in fiber and protein and contains many vitamins, including most of your daily dose of vitamin K.

Thai Buddha Bowl

Looking for a calorie-dense meal that is high in potassium, iron, and vitamin A? Bowls are the best way to get your nutrient needs in a short amount of time. Combine roasted sweet potatoes, Thai peanut sauce, quinoa/rice, and cooked carrots into a bowl. Season with ginger, rosemary, lime, chili, and any other sauces that excite your taste buds.

Roasted Broccoli Bowl

This non-gluten bowl is hearty and contains many minerals like magnesium and phosphorus that aid in bone and tissue building, as well as help your mood. Combining roasted broccoli, chickpeas and spinach is very healthy, but can sometimes be too bitter. This recipe adds tomatoes, maple syrup, lime red pepper flakes, and soy sauce to add sweetness, spice, and some umami to your meal.

One-Pot Potato Coconut Curry

Nothing is better than not having to do too many dishes, right? Combining chickpeas, potatoes, peas, a creamy base, and some coconut is an extremely delicious burst of flavor to add to your repertoire. Extremely high in fiber and protein, this calorie-dense vegan recipe is sure to satisfy.

Vegan Sausage

This one can arguably taste much better than its meat counterpart, and most importantly, can be easily made at home with ingredients that you have available. Combine delicious foods that are high in protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals in a compact food item that can be added to any dish. Vegan sausage can include chickpeas, pinto beans, mushrooms, pecans and spiced to perfection. Rolling and forming can be fun and interactive.

One-Pot Hummus Pasta

Roasted-Red-Pepper-HummusNo list could ever be complete without a pasta dish! Like most dishes, this one is high in fiber but contains 60% or more of your daily Vitamin A and C needs. Eating this boosts your immunity and can even cure your cold. The only cooking involved is boiling the pasta! Add olives, sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, and spices, then tie it all together with the creamy hummus You can even make your own hummus for added flavor and to lighten the budget.

Vegan Protein Salad Bowl

Bodybuilding or looking to maintain your muscle? This protein-heavy dish is nutty, savory, and creamy, and is also rich in calories and healthy fats. The dish combines staples such as tofu, tempeh, spinach, and hemp seeds, tied together with wonderful tahini, garlic powder, and soy sauce. Add avocado and maple syrup for added flavor and healthy fats.

Hearty Vegan Potato Gnocchi Stew

A comforting recipe for those colder days, or when feeling under the weather, stews are a great pick-me-up that is easy to cook and combines many different delicious ingredients and spices. Potato gnocchi, onions, peas, tomatoes, thyme, and other Italian-inspired flavors are sure to make this a delight at your next tasting. if available, Jackfruit is an amazing meat substitute that mimics its consistency and is high in vitamins and flavor.

Vegan Cheeseburger Wraps

Yes, that is correct. Vegan cheese is definitely a thing, and can even be made at home, sometimes more delicious than its dairy counterpart. Wraps are amazing comfort food that can even be eaten by meat-lovers that are looking to get their feet wet into veganism. This high-calorie and high protein recipe includes delicious vegan cheese and meat substitutes with garlic, onions, and vegan Worcestershire sauce for an excellent pick-me-up and filling meal.

Air Fryer Pizza

vegan pizzaNothing is as versatile as baking your own pizza. Making it at home with your desired ingredients, including the dough, can ensure you have the desired amount of calories per serving. Sundried tomatoes, vegan cheese, oil, vegan sausage, arugula and spinach make a great-tasting high-calorie pizza that you and your loved ones can easily enjoy.

Mushroom Risotto

Rice, like quinoa, is an excellent calorie-dense vegan starch that you can easily cook and add to your cuisine. Gourmet mushroom risotto can be found at many fine-dining establishments and is very simple to make. Common ingredients are mushrooms, white wine, shallots and chives. Substitute the original olive oil/butter with any oil of your choosing, and some vegan cheese.

FAQs

What are the most fattening vegan foods?

The fattiest foods are higher in protein and healthy fats, so foods that contain these are a great bet. This includes avocado, nuts and nut butter, quinoa, legumes, olive/coconut oil, and rice. Be careful not to overindulge in coconut oil and fat, as it contains high traces of saturated fats which are less healthy.

What are the highest calorie plant-based milks?

The highest calorie plant-based milk would be coconut milk, especially higher fat coconut milk. Oat milk is a great alternative if you are looking for extra protein, with banana and cashew milk being great high-calorie substitutes that contain potassium.

What are the best high-calorie vegan desserts?

Desserts are popular ways of introducing more fats and calories into your diet as the natural sweetness, fats and butters make for great high-calorie meals. Dessert recipes such as pumpkin pie, cinnamon rolls, dark chocolate, and vegan cookies can be found here.


About the author