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38 High-Calorie Meal Prep Ideas To Aid Weight Gain And Muscle Building

When it comes to building muscle or gaining weight for the first time, one of the biggest hurdles is figuring out how to consume sufficient calories to support your fitness goals in a healthy way. A proven approach to overcome this challenge is meal prep, which enables you to portion control, save time, and effortlessly track your macronutrients. As we know that obtaining adequate calories for muscle growth can be daunting, we’ve curated 38 high-calorie meal prep ideas to help you achieve your fitness objectives without compromising on taste or nutrition.

38 High-Calorie Meal Prep Ideas

Steak Burrito Bowl

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A single serving of this delectable combination of grilled steak, black beans, peppers, onions, cheese, avocado, and rice packs an impressive 1412 calories. But what’s truly noteworthy is the abundance of protein and fiber it provides. To make meal prep a breeze, consider portioning out each ingredient into separate containers for a quick and easy burrito bowl that can be enjoyed at any time.

Tex-Mex Breakfast Bowls

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With a calorie count of 465 per serving, Tex-Mex breakfast bowls offer a delectable and adaptable morning meal option that’s chock-full of flavour, protein, and fibre. These nutritious bowls are remarkably easy to tailor to one’s personal taste preferences, making them an ideal choice for those seeking a satisfying and healthy start to the day.

Chicken Pot Pie

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Indulge in the ultimate comfort food experience, packed with 747 calories, courtesy of its rich filling of chicken and vegetables. This dish is an ideal pre-workout meal option, providing sustained energy to fuel your exercises. To make it even more convenient, portion it out and freeze for a speedy and satisfying meal on hectic days.

Loaded Baked Potato

When it comes to a satisfying and nutritious meal, baked potatoes are an excellent option. With just 695 calories per serving, this dish is a great way to support a healthy weight gain. Simply load your potato with rich butter, melted cheese, crispy bacon bits, and a dollop of sour cream for a flavorful and filling treat that will leave you feeling full and content.


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Satisfying with its rich flavors and textures, this comforting casserole packs 613 calories per serving. A harmonious union of tender pasta, savory meat sauce, and melted cheese makes for a truly indulgent meal, ideal for both lunch and dinner.

Turkey Bacon Wrap

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Indulge in the convenience of a quick and satisfying meal with this easy-to-assemble wrap, clocking in at 661 calories. Feel free to customize your filling with a combination of sliced turkey, crispy bacon, fresh lettuce, melted cheese, or any other ingredients that suit your taste buds.

Shrimp and Broccoli Alfredo

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Rich in protein and complex carbohydrates, this creamy shrimp and broccoli Alfredo boasts an impressive 603 calories, making it an ideal choice for a post-workout snack that’s designed to fuel your body’s recovery. To prepare this satisfying meal, start by cooking the pasta, succulent shrimp, and crisp broccoli separately, then refrigerate them until you’re ready to reheat everything with the creamy Alfredo sauce, resulting in a quick and easy snack that’s perfect for busy days.

Chorizo and Potato Breakfast Bowls

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A nutritious breakfast that packs 478 kilocalories per serving, these Chorizo and Potato Breakfast Bowls strike the right balance between rich chorizo, creamy potatoes, and crunchy fresh toppings, making them an ideal way to kick-start your morning with a sense of satisfaction and a burst of flavor.

Meatball Subs

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When it comes to refueling after a workout, this iconic American recipe is an excellent choice. With its combination of savory meatballs, soft sub rolls, and tangy tomato sauce, it’s no wonder why this dish has become a post-workout staple for many. To bring this classic together, you’ll need cooked meatballs, a few sub rolls, and a rich tomato sauce. For added convenience, consider warming up the meatballs and sauce ahead of time, then assembling the subs as needed to ensure a satisfying meal that’s both delicious and filling.

Tuna Salad

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When combined with creamy mayonnaise, crunchy onion, and fresh celery, tuna becomes a nutrient-rich powerhouse of energy. With its impressive calorie count of 345 per serving, this delectable mixture is the perfect fuel for a quick pick-me-up or a satisfying snack on-the-go. Simply add your favorite seasonings to give it an extra boost of flavor, then store it in the fridge for a convenient and healthy option whenever you need it.

Classic Bacon Cheeseburger

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With a whopping 719 calories, a classic cheeseburger boasting crispy bacon, fresh lettuce, and juicy tomato is an indulgent yet satisfying lunch choice. Opt to craft this burger at home by combining your preferred meats, or treat yourself to a convenient pickup from your go-to fast food establishment.

Chicken Brown Rice Bowl

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With a calorie count of 455, chicken brown rice bowls offer a nutritious and flavorful solution for any time of day. This versatile dish is akin to a culinary blank slate, waiting to be customized with an array of savory flavors and textures. Whether you’re in the mood for something light and easy or hearty and filling, this bowl can be tailored to suit your taste buds.

Mac n’ Cheese

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Savor the warmth and satisfaction of this indulgent dish, boasting a calorie count of 665 per serving. As a reliable go-to option for a quiet evening at home, this classic comfort food can be made in bulk, then efficiently portioned out into individual containers for convenient reheating throughout the week.

Chicken Alfredo Pasta

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Indulge in the rich flavors of creamy chicken Alfredo pasta, a satisfying high-calorie meal that’s perfect for those looking to boost their energy levels. By cooking the chicken, pasta, and Alfredo sauce ahead of time, you can enjoy a stress-free reheat when hunger strikes, making it an ideal option for busy days or lazy evenings.

Beef Chili

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Savoring a warm, satisfying bowl of beef chili served over rice can be the perfect way to unwind after a long day. This nutrient-dense meal, packed with protein, beans, and veggies, offers a remarkable combination that not only supports weight gain but also fosters muscle growth. With an impressive calorie count of 655, this comforting dish is sure to hit the spot.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich

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A peanut butter and jelly sandwich proves to be an uncomplicated yet satisfying option for a high-calorie meal, offering 305 calories per serving. With this simple recipe, you can prepare multiple sandwiches in advance, allowing you to effortlessly grab and go throughout the day.

Chocolate Protein Smoothie

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Quenching nutritional needs with ease, protein smoothies deliver a substantial caloric intake in a flash. By blending together almond milk, protein powder, ripe banana, creamy peanut butter, and your preferred fruits, you can craft a concoction that not only satisfies your sweet tooth but also fuels your body with 506 kcal worth of energy.

Quinoa Salad with Chickpeas

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A nutrient-dense salad composed of quinoa, chickpeas, and an assortment of vegetables not only provides a wealth of essential nutrients but also boasts a considerable caloric count of 448 per serving. This hearty dish is perfect for meal prep, as it can be stored in containers and easily reheated for a satisfying lunch or dinner option.

Grilled Cheese Sandwich

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With approximately 807 calories per serving, this straightforward recipe offers a satisfying solution for a comforting, indulgent meal that’s ready in no time. The best part? It’s easy to prepare multiple servings in advance, allowing you to store them in the refrigerator and enjoy them at your convenience throughout the day.

Spaghetti Bolognese

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With a whopping 510 calories per serving, this iconic spaghetti Bolognese recipe is a robust and satisfying meal option that lends itself perfectly to batch cooking and freezing – ideal for busy nights when you need a comforting, high-calorie dinner that’s just as flavorful as it is filling.

Pulled Pork Sandwich

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Savoring the rich flavors of a classic pulled pork sandwich, this recipe yields 670 calories. The tender slow-cooked pork, infused with the deep notes of barbecue sauce, is the perfect match made in heaven. To ensure optimal reheating and storage, store the pulled pork separately from the buns and sauce in airtight containers, allowing for easy reassembly whenever your cravings strike.

Potato Salad

Indulge in a delectable potato salad that’s packed with protein-rich boiled eggs, smoky bacon, and a velvety dressing. This satisfying side dish or main course is best prepared ahead of time, allowing the bold flavors to harmonize and intensify for an unforgettable dining experience.

Whole-wheat Bagels with Cream Cheese and Jam

Satisfying and effortless, bagels provide an excellent means of meeting daily caloric needs. When paired with a substantial serving of cream cheese and jam, this classic combination becomes an ideal solution for those seeking a speedy yet nutritious meal option.

Mashed Potatoes and Gravy

Satisfyingly creamy mashed potatoes, when combined with a rich and savory gravy, form a match made in heaven that’s perfect as a comforting side dish. What’s more, you can easily meal prep these components to enjoy them at a moment’s notice, turning every day into a indulgent treat.

Carnitas Tacos

Indulge in the rich flavors of carnitas, tenderly cooked and infused with a medley of spices, by incorporating this slow-cooked pork into your tacos. Simply warm up the tortillas and then customize with your favorite toppings to savor a truly satisfying culinary experience.

Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry

A nutritious twist on traditional stir-fries, this recipe combines the sweetness of carrots, the crunch of broccoli, and the comfort of fluffy rice. By pre-cooking the rice, broccoli, and beef beforehand, you’ll be able to quickly reheat and serve a satisfying meal at lunch or dinner time, making it an ideal option for those looking for a healthy, hassle-free cooking experience.

Baked Chicken Thighs

Planning ahead can be a game-changer for busy days when a swift and satisfying lunch or dinner is crucial. One strategy is to season and bake chicken thighs in advance, allowing you to simply reheat them whenever the need arises. This approach not only saves time but also guarantees a consistent level of doneness and flavor. By investing a little extra effort upfront, you can reap the benefits of a convenient, protein-rich meal that’s always ready when hunger strikes.

Greek Yogurt Parfait

Indulge in the creamy goodness of Greek yogurt, boasting not only probiotics but also an impressive protein content – making it an exemplary choice for kick-starting your day on a wholesome note. Combine it with your preferred fruits and a crunchy granola for a delightfully nutritious breakfast that’s both satisfying and nourishing.

Loaded Nachos

Transform a plate of loaded nachos into a convenient and satisfying snack or meal by combining cheese, ground beef, salsa, and your preferred toppings. To make it even more appealing, simply reheat the nachos to bring out their rich flavors and textures.

Veggie and Cheese Quesadillas

Transform the humble quesadilla into a satisfying meal by crafting vegetable and cheese-filled masterpieces, then portion them out for a stress-free and flavorful dining experience that’s sure to please.

Sausage and Peppers

Savory sausages paired with sweet bell peppers create a dish that’s as satisfying as it is filling. By preparing it ahead of time, you can easily reheat this flavorful meal for a speedy lunch or dinner solution.

Tofu and Vegetable Stir-Fry

Incorporating a vibrant mix of vegetables into a tofu stir-fry creates a nutritious and filling meal option. To streamline cooking, prepare the tofu and vegetables ahead of time and simply reheat them as needed.

Salmon with Quinoa

When it comes to seafood options, salmon is an excellent choice. Not only is it a nutrient-dense food, but it’s also a significant source of energy. When combined with quinoa, a protein-rich whole grain, this duo forms a well-rounded and satisfying meal that not only satisfies our hunger but also provides our bodies with the necessary fuel to keep us going throughout the day.

Beef Stroganoff

Indulge in a comforting bowl of beef stroganoff, featuring succulent strips of beef smothered in a rich and creamy sauce. To make your life easier, prepare the beef, sauce, and noodles ahead of time to whip up a satisfying meal in no time.

Baked Ziti

Indulge in the comforting goodness of baked ziti, where layers of pasta, rich cheese, and tangy tomato sauce meld together in perfect harmony. This satisfying dish is also incredibly versatile – simply portion it out and reheat whenever the mood strikes for a cozy treat.

BBQ Pulled Chicken

Transforming slow-cooked, shredded chicken in tangy BBQ sauce into the ultimate sandwich filling is a culinary game-changer. This versatile recipe allows you to prepare a generous quantity ahead of time, providing endless possibilities for satisfying your cravings whenever and however you please.

Lemon Garlic Shrimp Pasta

For a satisfying and nutritious meal that’s ready in no time, look no further than a zesty shrimp and pasta combination. To preserve the delicate flavors of both ingredients, cook the shrimp and pasta individually to prevent them from losing their freshness. This approach ensures that each component retains its unique character and texture, resulting in a dish that’s not only quick but also packed with flavor.

Roast Beef and Mashed Potatoes

Elevate your meal prep game by combining the comforting classic of roast beef and mashed potatoes, a high-calorie combination that’s both satisfying and efficient to prepare on busy days. When it comes to building muscle and strength, consuming enough calories is crucial, making meal prep a valuable tool for achieving success. With this extensive list of 38 high-calorie meal prep ideas, you’ll discover the ease and satisfaction that comes with planning your meals in advance. By experimenting with these recipes, you’ll find that hitting your daily macros and consuming extra calories can be not only nutritious but also mouth-wateringly delicious.