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These high calorie vegan foods are a must to add to your recipes for healthy vegan weight gain and maintaining those vegan curves!
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I wrote extensively about vegan weight gain, giving 7 detailed tips on how to become a thick vegan.
In this article, I detailed specific staple foods that are key for gaining weight on a vegan diet plus recipes that incorporate these high calorie foods.
This is the place for you if:
- you lost too much weight going vegan and want your curves back
- you are trying to maintain your while transitioning to a vegan
- you are into fitness and looking to increase gains while eating plant based
- you a want to make sure you are getting enough calories (not under eating) for overall health
Though it would benefit you to read the entire article, feel free to use the table of contents to jump to the section you desire.
Are there Really Vegan Foods to Gain Weight?
Yes and no.
No because healthy vegan weight gain is overall about calories in vs calories out on a basic level. If you eat more calories than you burn, you will gain weight.
Yes because there are certain foods that are high in calories that can help aide you to reaching your overall high calorie goals.
So always keep in mind there are no super magical foods that can help you gain weight or get a bigger butt. High calorie foods just help you consume a high calorie diet, which in turn helps you achieve vegan weight gain.
Density in all 3 Macronutrients
Macronutrients are nutrients humans consume in relatively large quantities and all food groups contain them. The three macronutrients are fats, carbohydrates, and protein.
Fats typically are high calorie dense foods in general which is why most of the foods on this list are high in healthy fats. However, there are some plant based carbohydrates and protein based foods that are high in calories and I have listed those foods below as well.
(Please note that in plant based nutrition, the macros over lap so just because I listed something as a fat source, does not mean it doesn't contain carbs, protein, and other micronutrients).
High Calorie Vegan Foods
High Calorie Vegan Fat Sources
In my vegan calorie dense foods article, I focus mainly on fats because, fats are the the most calorie dense foods out of all the other macro nutrients. One gram of fat contains 9 calories.
A common mistake I see is women that want to maintain or gain weight simply not eating enough of these foods in their plant based diet.
Give or take, healthy fats should make up about 20% of your vegan weight gain diet or aim for 0.4g of fat per body weight in pounds. This means if weigh 130lbs, I multiply that by 0.4 which gives me 52 grams of fat I should have per day.
1. Whole Nuts
Whole nuts haven't been processed into any form (as in nut butters or nut milks) and typically enjoyed as a snack. They are super high in calories. For instance, just ¼ cup of cashews has 187 calories.
Different types of whole nuts you can include in your vegan weight gain diet::
- Brazil Nuts
- cashews (a legume categorized as a nut)
- peanuts (another legume but categorized as a nut)
- pine nuts
Recipes including whole nuts:
2. Nut Butters
Nut butters are processed from whole nuts in a very concentrated form, and are super packed with calories.
They are a STAPLE here at Vegan With Curves because they were a CRUCIAL component in helping me gain healthy weight in the beginning. For instance, just 2 tablespoons of peanut butter has 200 calories!
Different type of nut butters you can include in your vegan weight gain diet:
- almond butter
- Brazil Nut Butter (very rare to find but suitable for "alkaline" vegans)
- cashew butter
- peanut butter
- pecan butter (rare to find)
- walnuts (rare to find but suitable for "alkaline" vegans)
Recipes including nut butters:
- peanut butter banana steel cut oats
- chickpea peanut butter curry
- peanut butter banana ice cream
- vegan peanut butter cups
3. Whole Seeds
Just like whole nuts, whole seeds haven't been processed into any form (as in seed butters or seed milks). They are typically allergy free for most people and easier to digest than whole nuts.
They are also super high in calories. For instance, just ¼ cup of pumpkin seeds has 180 calories.
Different type of whole seeds you can include in your vegan weight gain diet:
- chia seeds
- pumpkin seeds
- sacha inchi seeds
- sesame seeds
- sunflower seeds
Recipes including whole seeds:
4. Seed Butters
Just like nut butters, seed butters are processed from whole seeds in a very concentrated form, and are super packed with calories.
Most seeds cannot be made into butters but the ones that can, give a great alternative if you are allergic to nuts. An
For instance, just 2 tablespoons of sunflower seed butter has 200 calories!
Different type of seed butters you can include in your vegan weight gain diet:
- pumpkin seed butter
- sunflower seed butter
Recipes on how to make seed butters (most recipes above for nut butters can be substituted with sunflower seed butter):
Ahh who doesn't love the creamy avocado?! We sure do here on Vegan With Curves because a medium size avocado will get you a whooping 230!
Avocados are a high fat fruit and are great to give additional calories to a green smoothie, raw salad, or use as a mayo substitute.
Different types of avocados you can include in your vegan weight gain diet:
- Gwen Avocados
- Hass Avocados (the most common one you find in the stores)
- Pinkertons Avocados
Recipes including avocados:
- vegan avocado chocolate mousse
- avocado chocolate ice cream
- vegan guacamole
- vegan corn salad
- avocado vegan mango salsa
While olives are an acquired taste for some, I personally love them! I get super excited at the olive bar in Whole Foods! And if you are big on a Mediterranean Vegan Diet, olives are no stranger to your weekly meals.
Another high fat fruit that is small but packed with calories. For instance, just 4 kalamata olives has 90 calories!
Different types of olives you can include in your vegan weight gain diet:
- Arbequina Olives
- Castelvetrano Green Olives
- Gordal Green Olives
- Kalamata Olives
Recipes including olives:
7. Coconut Milk
Coconut milk can sometimes get a bad rep because it is a saturated fat. However, saturated fats are more heat stable making for very rich, cream base dishes.
Plus a small amount of saturated fat in your diet is not necessary a bad thing (outside of anyone dealing with serious heart issues). You can read more about that in this Saturated Fat in Coconut Milk article. In ⅓ cup of canned coconut milk, you will get 120 calories.
Different types of coconut milks you can include in your vegan weight gain diet:
- culinary/canned coconut milk (best used as a thicken agent for cooking)
- carton coconut milk (can be used in smoothies or cereals)
- homemade coconut milk (typically made with fresh coconut meat which is high in calories in itself)
Recipes including coconut milk:
- dairy free mac and cheese
- vegan yellow split bean soup
- vegan white bean soup
- kamut pasta
- sweet potato chickpea pasta
- chickpea peanut butter curry
Oils and vegan butters are very high in calories and they are mainly isolated components of fats. For instance, 1 tablespoon of olive oil contains 120 calories.
They are typically used for cooking and adding to homemade condiments like vegan mayo and salad dressings. They are not to be relied on as main sources of high calorie foods as they are highly processed. If you are oil free, you don't have to use them at all.
Different types of oils you can include in your vegan weight gain diet:
- avocado oil
- coconut oil
- grapeseed oil
- olive oil
- peanut oil (great in stir fries)
- toasted sesame seed oil (also great in stir fries)
- vegan butters
Recipes including oil:
High Calorie Vegan Carbohydrate Sources
Carbs are crucial in healthy vegan weight gain. They are your body's main source of energy. The are not as dense as fats, as 1 gram of carbs contain 4 calories instead of 9.
But they are still very KEY to your weight gain goals. And their some carb based sources that can pack ALOT of calories.
Give or take, carbohydrates should make up about 50-60% of your vegan weight gain diet or aim for 1-2g of carbs per body weight in pounds. This means if weigh 130lbs, I multiply that by 1 and 2, which gives me a range of 130 - 260 grams of carbs I should have per day.
9. Sweet Fresh Fruit
Fruit can be very low in calories due to it's high water content. However, they are typically denser than vegetables. Some sweet fresh fruit (not including the fatty fruits mentioned above like avocados and olives) pack on a TON of calories due to it's natural high sugar content.
I find the less water the fruit naturally has, the more calorie dense it is. For instance, 1 medium banana contains 105 calories!
Different types of sweet fresh fruit you can include in your vegan weight gain diet:
Recipes including sweet fresh fruit:
10. Dried Fruit
Dried fruit are extremely calorically dense because water is removed from the fruit and sugars are concentrated boosting the calories up in such small volumes.
But due to its high sugar content, dried fruit should be consumed sparingly. I love adding them to smoothies for a natural sweetener, oatmeal, and trail mixes. Two Medjool Dates contain 137 calories
Different types of dried fruit you can include in your vegan weight gain diet:
- dried cranberries
- dried coconut flakes
Recipes including dried fruit:
11. Fresh Fruit Juices
Fruit juices are typically calorically dense because fiber is removed from the fruit and sugars are concentrated in the water. Also because it is easier to consume a lot of juice without getting full.
But just like dried fruit, fruit juices should be consume sparingly due to it's high sugar content. It is always best to consume flash pasteurized juice or juice that you juice yourself with a little bit of veggies to balance out the sugar.
I personally like adding it to my smoothies to give it some flavor. One cup of apple juice contains 113 calories!
Different types of fruit juices you can include in your vegan weight gain diet:
- pineapple juice
- orange juice
- apple juice
- mango juice
Recipes for fruit juices:
Outside of peanut butter, I have to give credit to the mighty potato for these vegan curves! These little spuds are not only affordable but keep you full for a very long time. One baked sweet potato has 103 calories.
Different types of potatoes you can include in your vegan weight gain diet:
- sweet potatoes
- Japanese White Sweet Potatoes
- baby red potatoes
- Gold Yukon Potatoes
- russet potatoes
- purple potatoes
Recipes including potatoes:
- creamy vegan mashed potatoes
- vegan stuffed sweet potatoes
- vegan candied yams
- country fried potatoes
- dairy free nacho cheese
- sweet potato chickpea curry
Pasta is a great filling addition to vegan weight gain diet plan.
There are healthier variety of different pastas to eat outside of your standard refined white pasta. For instance, 1 cup of kamut pasta has 210 calories!
Different types of pastas you can include in your vegan weight gain diet:
- kamut pasta
- spelt pasta
- gluten free pasta
- sprouted wheat pasta
Recipes including pastas:
High Calorie Vegan Protein Sources
Just like carbs, protein is not as dense as fats, as 1 gram of protein contain 4 calories instead of 9.
But in in order to build nice glutes you need two main things: working out and protein!
Give or take, protein should make up about 30% of your vegan weight gain diet or aim for 0.7-1g of protein per body weight in pounds. This means if weigh 130lbs, I multiply that by 0.7 and 1, which gives me a range of 91 - 130 grams of protein I should have per day.
14. Vegan Protein Smoothies
I LOVE protein smoothies because there is no better way to pack in calories than to blend a whole bunch of tasty ingredients together.
This is where vegan protein powders comes in handy. Not all smoothies have to included protein powders, but it is a WONDERFUL additional for a quick high concentrated dose of amino acids (protein) specifically after a workout. For instance, 1 serving of protein powder has 150 calories!
Keep in mind that vegan protein powders are supplements and are not to be solely relied on as your go to source for nutrition.
Different types of pastas you can include in your vegan weight gain diet:
Vegan protein smoothies recipes:
Once again, eating these foods alone will not give you your desired results. There are no quick fixes.
But coupled with a good strength training program, consistency over time, and an overall high calorie diet, and you are well on your way to becoming a your own vegan with curves!
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Update Notes: This post was originally published on November 8, 2016, but was republished with new photos and new tips on August 17, 2022.
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Medical Disclaimer: The following article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to prescribe or treat any type of medical condition or disease. You should always consult a license and/or certified professional before starting any dietary or workout program. This article is not intended for people with eating disorders, pregnant women, women who are nursing, infants, or children. Consult a qualified healthcare professional for personalized medical and physical advice. Please read our nutritional and fitness disclaimers.