The 50 Highest Calorie Dense Vegan Foods


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.

The Highest Calorie Vegan Foods Per 100 Grams

I’ve compiled nutritional data for just about every food that’s vegan using the USDA’s nutritional database.

Below, I’ve compiled a thorough list of the top calorie-dense vegan foods in terms of calories per 100 grams of each food.

Food Energy (kcal)
Macadamia nut 718
Pecans 691
Pine nuts 673
Brazil nut 659
Walnut 655
Hazelnut 628
Sunflower seeds 584
Almonds 580
Cashew 574
Sesame seeds 574
Peanuts 567
Pistachio nuts 559
Hemp seeds 553
Flaxseed 534
Chia seeds 487
Pumpkin seeds 445
Oats 389
Vital wheat gluten 370
Coconut meat 354
Buckwheat groats 346
Rye grain 338
Wheat flour (whole-grain) 332
Seaweed (dried) 286
Date 277
Chestnut 245
Avocado 167
Chickpeas 164
Cassava 160
Durian 147
Soybeans 141

Nuts and seeds are the most calorie dense vegan foods by far, although grains (on a dry basis) are fairly high in calories as well.

The 50 Highest Calorie Vegan Foods Per Typical Serving

For this second table, I’ve tried to define a “normal” serving of each food and resorted the data.

Even though there are a lot of similarities, this list may be more practical for you.

Food Serving Energy (kcal)
Oats (dried) 1 cup 607
Rye grain 1 cup 571
Buckwheat groats 1 cup 567
Macadamia nut 0.5 cup 481
Pine nuts 0.5 cup 454
Durian 0.5 durian 442
Brazil nut 0.5 cup 438
Hazelnut 0.5 cup 424
Peanuts 0.5 cup 414
Sesame seeds 0.5 cup 413
Cashew 0.5 cup 393
Walnut 0.5 cup 383
Vital wheat gluten 100 g 370
Coconut meat 0.25 coconut 351
Pistachio nuts 0.5 cup 344
Pecans 0.5 cup 342
Wheat flour (whole-grain) 100 g 332
Date 5 dates 332
Plantain 1 plantain 329
Cassava 0.5 root 326
Almonds 1/2 cup 313
Adzuki beans 1 cup 294
Pumpkin seeds 1 cup 285
Chickpeas 1 cup 269
Navy beans 1 cup 255
White potato 1 large 255
Soybeans 1 cup 254
Amaranth 1 cup 251
Pummelo 1 fruit 231
Lentils 1 cup 230
Black beans 1 cup 227
Avocado 1 avocado 227
Kidney beans 1 cup 225
Quinoa 1 cup 222
Mung bean 1 cup 212
Lima beans 1 cup 209
Rice 1 cup 205
Mango 1 fruit 202
Barley 1 cup 193
Fava bean 1 cup 187
Melon 0.5 melon 180
Chestnut 0.5 cup 175
Hemp seeds 3 tbsp 166
Cowpeas 1 cup 160
Jackfruit 1 cup 157
Chia seeds 3 tbsp 146
Eggplant 1 eggplant 137
Farro 1 cup 133
Corn 1 ear 123

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


At the very top of the list are oats and rye grain.

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 that well, 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.

Potential Downsides of Eating Foods High in Calories

Aside from the obvious side effect of weight gain, which you might even be looking for, there are some other potential downsides from eating too much of some of these foods on this page.

  • Stomach issues – If you aren’t used to eating foods that are high in fat, you may experience stomach problems, ranging from minor discomfort to diarrheas.
  • Negative impact on blood sugar – If you focus too much on grains, especially refined grains, it can have a negative effect on blood sugar control. Carbohydrates can cause spikes in blood sugar, having short-term effects on energy levels, but also long-term risks like diabetes if you over consume them.
  • Inflammation – While small servings of nuts are fine, most nuts have poor ratios of omega 3 to 6 fats, which can lead to inflammation if you overconsume them.

About the author

Dale Cudmore

Your friendly neighborhood vegan from Toronto. I've spent over 6 years as a freelance nutrition writer and researcher. During this time, I've tested over 50 vegan protein powders, and over 100 other types of vegan supplements.

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