15 Healthy High-Calorie Lunch Ideas

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by Alena Schowalter
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Amp up your calories midday with these delicious high-calorie recipes. This list features curries, sandwiches, tacos, shawarma bowls, and more, all having over 500 calories per serving!

Searching for a filling meal that will carry you through the rest of your day? These high-calorie lunches are selected with satisfaction in mind!

Explore tasty, calorie-dense lunches that will make your mouth water and tame your rumbling tummy.

Some recipes reach nearly 1,000 calories per serving! Great for meal prep, bulking, and weight gain.

Check out our high-calorie meals and high-protein meals next.

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High-Calorie Lunch Ideas

One-Pot Potato Coconut Curry
During busy weeknights, nothing is more convenient and comforting than a creamy one-pot coconut curry! This high-calorie vegan dinner requires only basic ingredients like potatoes, peas, chickpeas, chopped veggies of your choice, curry paste and coconut milk. It’s bursting with protein and flavor!
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Closeup of woman in grey shirt holding bowl with finished vegan curry in front of her
Mediterranean Pasta Salad
This colorful vegan pasta salad is made with gluten-free macaroni, protein-packed quinoa and chickpeas, fresh veggies, briny artichokes and a creamy higher-calorie yogurt and tahini dressing! Make it even richer by adding oily sun-dried tomatoes or an extra dollop of tahini.
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white tables with three glass containers containing colorful vegan quinoa pasta salad with tomatoes, bell pepper and basil
Roasted Vegetable Shawarma
Do you like sheet-pan dinners? This flavorful vegetable shawarma is a 40-minute vegan recipe that works either as a colorful bowl or when served in some pita bread — which would be the higher calorie version, of course. Load up on veggies without feeling hungry again soon!
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Photo credit: playswellwithbutter.com
03 Roasted Vegetable Sheet Pan Shawarma
Vegan Cheese Pasta Bake
If you want to make a filling high-calorie vegan meal for your whole family, try this cheesy pasta bake! It’s the ultimate crowd-pleaser, great for weeknights and super easy to make. Loaded with flavor from Italian herbs, roasted tomatoes and fresh garlic, this dinner turns out really creamy thanks to the vegan mozzarella and vegan parmesan!
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Photo credit: jessicainthekitchen.com
04 Vegan Pasta Bake
Loaded Vegan Taco Salad
This vegan taco salad features delicious lentil taco meat, tortilla chips, avocado, tomato, corn, beans and a quick and easy vegan sour cream. It’s easily customizable to whatever you have available and can be meal prepped for a quick lunch or dinner! It doesn’t skimp on protein, healthy fats, essential nutrients or calories.
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Photo credit: runningonrealfood.com
05 lentil vegan taco salad
Easy One-Pot Hummus Pasta
In a hurry? Make this 30-minute one-pot hummus pasta with fresh basil! It’s an easy-to-clean, scrumptious and higher calorie meal that requires only super basic ingredients. Simply use any veggies of your choice to add to your pasta and store any leftovers in the fridge for up to 5 days!
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Photo credit: marleysmenu.com
06 Hummus Pasta
Creamy Vegan Korma with Tofu
Brimming with flavor and calorie-dense vegan foods, this creamy korma is a wonderful 30-minute weeknight meal. With high-protein tofu, peas and a deliciously spiced sauce, this curry is rich and totally family-approved!
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Photo credit: forkfulofplants.com
07 Vegan Shahi Korma
Coconut Curry Meatballs Soup
If you love meatballs and curry, try this flavorful high-calorie soup! Combining the best of two worlds, it’s a match made in heaven with chewy protein-packed balls floating in creamy coconut sauce and served over rice. Try this filling plant-based meal!
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Photo credit: www.foodbymaria.com
08 Plant Based Coconut Curry Meatballs
Simple Vegan Lentil Bolognese
Not only packed with protein but also high in calories, this simple vegan bolognese is ready in only 20 minutes and so delicious! Full of flavor, essential nutrients and even freezable, it’s a great go-to family-friendly meal you can create from basic pantry ingredients.
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Photo credit: sarahsveganguide.com
09 lentil bolognese
Vegan Beef Stroganoff
This creamy vegan beef stroganoff recipe is thick, filling and ready in 30 minutes! High-fat coconut cream turns into stroganoff-flavored goodness thanks to spices like soy sauce, nutritional yeast, lemon juice and mustard. This recipe packs over 600 calories in a small serving!
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Photo credit: www.rescuedogkitchen.com
10 beef stroganoff
Loaded Vegan Tofu Sandwich
Want to bring some high-calorie vegan food to work or school? Make this baked tofu sandwich with roasted red peppers and creamy avocado! Pack everything between two slices of sourdough bread, add a handful of greens and enjoy your perfectly balanced and filling lunch.
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Photo credit: www.fromthecomfortofmybowl.com
11 vegan baked tofu sandwich
Red Pepper Chorizo Pasta
This delicious pasta dish is made with caramelized sweet peppers, flavorful sauce, accented with sharp capers and smokey vegan chorizo. When you encounter some intense comfort food cravings, this crowd-pleasing recipe will surely hit the spot!
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Photo credit: theveganlarder.com
12 Red Pepper and Chorizo Pasta
Vegan Pepper Steak with Rice
Vegan steak served over rice is one of those recipes everyone loves! It has all the right flavors, is undetectably plant-based and super satisfying. Just use your favorite vegan beef replacement and cook it on the stove in a flavorful sauce for around 40 minutes total.
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Photo credit: veganinthefreezer.com
13 Vegan Steak with Rice
Spicy Vegan Buffalo Pizza
This scrumptious vegan buffalo pizza is loaded with spicy soy curls, cooling vegan ranch and an extra hot sauce for the most fiery pizza there is! Customizable to your preferred level of hotness, you can either use soy curls, marinated tofu, chickpeas or buffalo cauliflower for the topping. Sprinkle with some vegan cheese shreds for added calories!
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Photo credit: www.thecuriouschickpea.com
vegan buffalo pizza
Vegan Black Bean Burrito Bowl
Get your Mexican food fix with these beautiful sweet potato and black bean burrito bowls! If you can’t be bothered to make a proper vegan bean burrito, just throw all of your fillings in a large bowl, top with delicious creamy tahini sauce and call it a day. Be sure to add a good amount of avocado, protein-packed chickpeas and perhaps some cheese shreds!
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Photo credit: eatwithclarity.com
15 burrito bowl
Vegan Tempeh Picadillo
This flavorful high-calorie vegan dinner is made with tempeh, lentils, potatoes and cooked with spices in a hearty tomato base. We love the delicious add-ins from olives to capers, raisins, garlic, smoked paprika and fresh herbs! Serve over rice or use as a taco filling.
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Photo credit: www.runningtothekitchen.com
16 Vegan Picadillo
Vegan Baked Mac And Cheese
Who doesn’t love some comforting baked vegan mac and cheese? This take on a classic dish comes with delicious salty “bacon” bits, a super creamy cashew sauce and a handful of broccoli florets for added nutrients. Use soy milk in the sauce for more protein and don’t skimp on your favorite vegan cheese for the topping!
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Photo credit: veganpunks.com
17 Baked Vegan mac
Vegan Cheeseburger Wraps
Speaking of vegan cheese, these 30-minute cheeseburger wraps are probably our favorite high-calorie and protein-packed dinner idea! With a whopping 566 calories and 28 grams of protein, this filling family-friendly recipe is truly crowd-pleasing and perfect for those looking to gain some weight.
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Photo credit: makeitdairyfree.com
18 vegan cheeseburger wrap
Easy Avocado Pesto Pasta
Pesto pasta is a classic and super easy dinner idea that will never go out of style! While our protein-packed vegan pesto pasta is completely oil-free and not super calorie-dense, traditional olive oil pesto packs a whole lot of calories into a small portion. This flavorful homemade vegan pesto is made with ripe avocados, garlic, basil, pistachios and olive oil — serve over pasta for the perfect quick vegan dinner.
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Photo credit: plantbasedonabudget.com
19 Avocado Pesto
Vegan African Peanut Stew
Another creamy and flavorful one-pot vegan dinner is this healthy African peanut stew loaded with meaty soy curls! Calling for basic ingredients such as garlic, ginger, potatoes, tomatoes, coconut milk and peanut butter, it’s incredibly delicious, accessible and family-friendly. Add any veggies of your liking and finish with a spritz of lime juice and fresh herbs!
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Photo credit: veggiesociety.com
Plant Based Peanut Stew with Soy Curls
10-Minute Walnut Meat Tacos
If you need vegan dinner on the table like now, make these super quick no-cook walnut meat tacos! They are a great alternative to beef and pack a punch of protein and healthy fats. Topped with creamy cashew sour cream, this easy recipe is suitable for vegans and meat-eaters alike!
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Photo credit: www.vnutritionandwellness.com
21 walnut meat tacos
Creamy Vegan Au Gratin Potatoes
Not just perfect during the holiday season, this creamy casserole dish made with whole foods is one of our favorite filling dinner ideas! Potatoes baked in creamy cashew cheese sauce is the perfect comfort food for cozy weeknights and can be served with a side salad or vegan lentil loaf.
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Photo credit: www.veganosity.com
22 Vegan Potato Gratin
The Creamiest Vegan Fettuccine Alfredo
You can never have too much pasta, right? This 30-minute vegan fettuccine Alfredo dish is perfectly creamy, cheesy and rich. Made with a cauliflower cashew sauce, it hides a serving of vegetables while still offering a good amount of calories!
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Photo credit: happykitchen.rocks
23 Vegan Fettuccine Alfredo

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15 High-Calorie Lunch Ideas

by Alena Schowalter
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Amp up your calories midday with these delicious high-calorie recipes. This list features curries, sandwiches, tacos, shawarma bowls, and more, all having over 500 calories per serving!
Serves 1


Loaded Sandwich

  • 2 slices of bread
  • 1 tbsp vegan mayo
  • cup hummus
  • ½ avocado sliced
  • 2 leaves lettuce
  • 3 olives halved
  • Onion thinly sliced (optional)


  • Make a sandwich using the listed ingredients. Add some vegan cheese or bean burger patty to bump up the calories even more!
  • Store in a container and bring with you to school or work for lunch.


  • Use your favorite high-calorie spread for this sandwich.
  • Spinach and cucumber can also be added.
  • Find 15 more high-calorie lunch ideas in the article above.
Course: Diet
Cuisine: American
Nutrition Facts
15 High-Calorie Lunch Ideas
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat
Polyunsaturated Fat
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated automatically, their accuracy is not guaranteed.
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Hi, I'm Alena Schowalter — a Certified Vegan Nutritionist who has been a vegetarian since childhood and vegan since 2012. Together with my husband, I founded nutriciously in 2015 and have been guiding thousands of people through different transition stages toward a healthy plant-based diet. I enjoy discussions around vegan ethics, walks through nature, and creating new recipes. Read more about us here.

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