The 50 Highest Calorie Dense Vegan Foods

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Adopting a vegan diet often goes one of 2 ways.

Either you eat too many calories if you rely on vegan processed and prepared foods (junk for the most part).

Or, you might not have much of an appetite if you focus on whole foods because of the big increase in fiber that’s typical. This is potentially dangerous if you’re significantly under eating, and can lead to things like fainting.

So if you’re looking to gain weight, you need to focus on calorie dense vegan foods.

Clearly you’re trying to do that since you’re here.

I’ve compiled a thorough list of the top 50 vegan foods in terms of most calories per serving.

A Table of the 50 Highest Calorie Vegan Foods

Let’s start with the table before looking at any trends:

FoodServingEnergy (kcal)
Oats1 cup607
Rye grain1 cup571
Buckwheat groats1 cup567
Macadamia nut0.5 cup481
Pine nuts0.5 cup454
Durian0.5 durian442
Brazil nut0.5 cup438
Hazelnut0.5 cup424
Peanuts0.5 cup414
Sesame seeds0.5 cup413
Cashew0.5 cup393
Walnut0.5 cup383
Vital wheat gluten100 g370
Coconut meat0.25 coconut351
Pistachio nuts0.5 cup344
Pecans0.5 cup342
Wheat flour (whole-grain)100 g332
Date5 dates332
Plantain1 plantain329
Cassava0.5 root326
Almonds1/2 cup313
Adzuki beans1 cup294
Pumpkin seeds1 cup285
Chickpeas1 cup269
Navy beans1 cup255
White potato1 large255
Soybeans1 cup254
Amaranth1 cup251
Pummelo1 fruit231
Lentils1 cup230
Black beans1 cup227
Avocado1 avocado227
Kidney beans1 cup225
Quinoa1 cup222
Mung bean1 cup212
Lima beans1 cup209
Rice1 cup205
Mango1 fruit202
Barley1 cup193
Fava bean1 cup187
Melon0.5 melon180
Chestnut0.5 cup175
Hemp seeds3 tbsp166
Cowpeas1 cup160
Jackfruit1 cup157
Chia seeds3 tbsp146
Eggplant1 eggplant137
Farro1 cup133
Corn1 ear123

Which Types of Vegan Foods Have the Most Calories?

If you’re a little overwhelmed by that table, we can break it up by grouping together similar foods.

To me, there are 3 main groups.

1. Grain Products

oats

At the very top of the list are oats and rye grain (which you’ll find in rye bread – shocking).

These are obviously loaded in carbohydrates, with a bit of protein.

While not super nutritious overall, they’re great if you’re struggling to eat enough calories and already have your nutrition mostly taken care of.

Grains don’t really fill you up, so it’s easy to eat as much as you need.

One special mention – seitan: If you haven’t had seitan before, it’s a vegan meat substitute made from vital wheat gluten (the protein in wheat). Not only is it high calorie, it’s almost all protein.

If you don’t have any sensitivity to gluten, seitan should be a staple in any bulking diet.

2. Nuts and Seeds

If you’re looking to get more fat and calories in your diet, nuts are amazing.

Just half a cup of nuts or seeds give you more calories than beans, which sucks on a cut, but is great for gaining weight.

Here’s a short list of the best nuts and seeds highest in calories from the table above:

  • Macadamia nut
  • Pine nuts
  • Brazil nut
  • Hazelnut
  • Peanuts
  • Cashews
  • Sesame seeds
  • Walnuts

The one big downside is that nuts in general have a terrible omega 3 to 6 ratio, so you may want to be mindful of eating too many. Some nuts are better than others for that.

You can also try to balance it out with a vegan omega 3 supplement.

3. Legumes (i.e. Beans + Lentils)

Finally, beans are a decent source of calories, which are mostly carbohydrates and protein.

All the legumes are pretty close together on the list above:

  • Adzuki beans
  • Chickpeas
  • Navy beans
  • White potato
  • Soybeans
  • Lentils
  • Black beans

The one big potential downside is that beans have a lot of fiber. They are one of the best vegan sources of fiber overall.

This makes it hard to eat a lot of them, which may mean you’ll fall short of your calorie goals. I’d focus on grains and nuts if this is an issue.

So that’s all I have for you here. Hopefully the table of the best calorie dense vegan foods and this brief analysis helps you manage your weight easier. If you have any questions, leave them below.

About the author

Dale Cudmore

Your friendly neighborhood vegan from Toronto. Chemical engineer turned semi-professional soccer player and freelance nutrition writer. I've been vegan for years and try to make life easier for others by sharing what I've learned.

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