15 Easy 1000 Calorie Meals For Building Muscle

Reviewed By :

While it is typically not common to consume 1000 calories in one sitting, there are certain instances where it may be beneficial for those trying to bulk. That’s why I’ve put together this list of 1000-calorie meal ideas that are still healthy (and easy to make).

Key Takeaways 

  • A bodybuilder in a bulking phase with a high-calorie requirement (3000 calories or more per day) would benefit from consuming 1000-calorie meals. 
  • If you are eating a 1000-calorie meal, you need to balance the protein, carbs, and fats.  Aim to eat around 25-35% of your calories from protein, 45-55% from carbs, and 20-30% from fats.
  • You can increase the calories in your meal by using extra oil and high-calorie condiments, adding nuts and seeds, eating fattier cuts of meat and full-fat dairy, and avoiding low-calorie foods that will fill you up quickly.

If you are interested in reading more about specific foods that are high in calories and great for bulking, check out: 20+ Bodybuilding Foods For Bulking (That Are Still Healthy)

What Do 1000 Calories Look Like? 

Here are a few examples of what 1000 calories can look like in a meal:

a few examples of what 1000 calories can look like in a meal

15 Healthy 1000 Calorie Meals 

Breakfasts That Are 1000+ Calories 

1. Bacon and Eggs with Toast

Bacon and Eggs with Toast

A big breakfast containing high-fat bacon along with protein and fat-rich eggs will make it easy for you to reach your 1000 calorie goal. Adding a bit of cheese on top of your scrambled eggs will also help you to increase the calories in this meal.

In addition to this, adding in buttered toast will help to boost your calorie count while also providing you with essential carbohydrates that you need for optimal energy.

Ingredients and Calorie Count:

  • 5 pieces of pork bacon – 215 calories
  • 4 eggs, scrambled – 312 calories
  • 1 oz 2% cheddar cheese, shredded – 171 calories
  • 2 slices whole wheat bread, toasted – 138 calories
  • 2 tbsp butter for toast – 204 calories

TOTAL: 1040 calories

2. Protein Granola Cereal Bowl

protein granola cereal bowl

Granola cereal is packed with calories and nutrients to keep you full for hours. For example, some brands of granola may have vitamin B, vitamin E, iron, magnesium, and zinc.

Opting to use full-fat milk rather than skim milk to mix with your cereal will help to boost the calorie content.

To increase the calorie and protein content of your cereal bowl even more, you can add half a scoop of your favorite protein powder. This will also give it a little extra flavor.

While this recipe calls for 1 cup of blueberries, you could add 1 cup of strawberries or any berry of your choosing instead.

Ingredients and Calorie Count:

  • 1.5 cups of Nature Valley Protein Cereal – 550 calories
  • 1 cup blueberries – 85 calories
  • 2 cups full-fat milk – 293 calories
  • ½ scoop protein powder – 60 calories

TOTAL: 988 calories

3. High-Calorie Smoothie

high-calorie smoothie

A smoothie can be a great way to hit your 1000 calorie goal since you have the ability to manipulate the amounts and types of ingredients that you blend up.

Blending up your meals also makes it much easier to consume higher amounts of calories. It enables you to pre-digest the plant fiber in the ingredients of the smoothie (which essentially means breaking the food down to make it easier to digest).

Ingredients and Calorie Count:

  • 2 scoops of protein powder – 260 calories
  • 1 large frozen banana (roughly 136g) – 121 calories
  • 1 cup full-fat Greek yogurt – 281 calories
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter – 188 calories
  • 1 cup full-fat milk – 150 calories

TOTAL: 1000 calories

4. Hearty Chocolate Oatmeal Bowl

chocolate oatmeal bowl

Although oatmeal is commonly thought of as a diet food, you can make your morning oatmeal surprisingly high in calories to help you meet your goals.

Adding ingredients such as high-fat nut butter, full-fat milk, fruit, and protein powder not only boosts the calorie content in this meal but also ensure that you are getting a healthy balance of fat and protein to pair with the high-carb oatmeal.

Ingredients and Calorie Count:

  • 1 cup quick oats- 290 calories
  • 1 cup full-fat milk- 150 calories
  • 1 scoop chocolate protein powder – 130 calories
  • ⅓ cup dried cranberries- 113 calories
  • 2 tbsp almond butter – 196 calories
  • 1 large banana (sliced for topping)- 121 calories

TOTAL: 1000 calories

5. Protein Waffles

protein waffles

These waffles will taste like a sweet treat and pack a ton of calories while also providing a good amount of protein.

These can also be gluten free (if you use gluten-free oats) which can be helpful if you are looking for high-calorie breakfast ideas but are sensitive to gluten.

You can easily switch up the flavor of these waffles by using a different flavored protein powder, but for the purposes of this recipe, we are using a vanilla-flavored protein powder.

Ingredients and Calorie Count:

  • 1 cup quick oats (processed into a flour)- 290 calories
  • 4 oz Greek yogurt- 60 calories
  • 4 eggs – 312 calories
  • 1 scoop vanilla whey protein – 130 calories
  • ½  cup full fat milk – 75 calories
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup – 104 calories
  • ⅓ cup blueberries- 27 calories

TOTAL: 998 calories

If you are looking for more bodybuilding breakfast ideas that are lower in calories but still contain a high ratio of protein, check out the article below:

Lunch & Dinners That Are 1000+ Calories

6. Roast Beef Sandwich with a Cobb Salad

roast beef sandwich with a cobb salad

While a roast beef sandwich can traditionally pack a ton of calories, salads are not often thought of as a calorie-dense meal.

However, using creamy, high-calorie dressings and adding ingredients such as hard-boiled eggs, bacon, and cheese to your salad will increase the meal’s calorie content.

Ingredients and Calorie Count:

  • 5 oz roast beef – 241 calories
  • 6-inch whole wheat bun – 205 calories
  • 2 oz 2% cheddar cheese – 228 calories
  • 3 dill pickles – 21 calories
  • 1 cup of Cobb Salad w/ 1 cup of romaine lettuce (16 cals), 1.5 sliced hard boiled eggs (116 cals), 0.5 oz cheddar cheese (56 cals), 2 tbsp bacon bits (60 cals), 1 tbsp vinaigrette dressing (72 cals) – 320 calories

TOTAL: 1015 calories

7. Burger and Fries

burger and fries

A traditional beef burger and fries can not only help you to meet your 1000 calorie goal but it can also be made at home without all of the added ingredients that you might find at a fast-food restaurant such as Burger King.

The condiments and the toppings that you choose to add to this meal will also have an effect on the calorie count of this dish.

I provided a list of suggested toppings below. But adding another topping such as bacon, for example, can increase the calorie count by 50-100 depending on how much you add and what brand you use.

Ingredients and Calorie Count:

  • 5oz extra lean beef burger patty – 289 calories
  • 1 burger bun – 140 calories
  • 1 American Cheese slice (28oz) – 104 calories
  • 30g Yum Yum pickles – 30 calories
  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise – 94 calories
  • 2 cups of homemade fries cooked with ½ tbsp olive oil – 312 calories
  • 2 tbsp ketchup – 38 calories

TOTAL: 1007 calories

8. Spaghetti and Meat Sauce with Garlic Bread and Caesar Salad

spaghetti and meat sauce with garlic bread and caesar salad

The comforting meal of spaghetti and meat sauce packs a ton of calories, and adding garlic bread and Caesar salad on the side helps to bring this meal to around 1000 calories.

I mentioned earlier that it is important to ensure you are not getting all of your calories strictly from one source or one macronutrient when you are aiming to eat 1000 calories in one meal.

This meal is a great example of balancing out protein, carbs, and fat while also meeting your calorie goal.

Ingredients and Calorie Count:

  • 2 cups of spaghetti with meat sauce – 563 calories
  • 2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese – 43 calories
  • 2 slices of white bread – 130
  • 1.5 tbsp garlic butter for bread – 102 calories
  • 1 cup Caesar salad w/ 1 cup romaine lettuce, 1.5 tbsp caesar dressing, 1 tbsp bacon bits, 1 tbsp parmesan cheese, and 2 tbsp croutons – 184 calories

TOTAL: 1022 calories

9. Pizza and Coleslaw Salad

pizza and coleslaw salad

Since pizza is typically quite high in both fat and carbohydrates, it tends to have a lot of calories per serving.

Pizza can also contain a decent amount of protein as well depending on the toppings that you choose. Adding 4 oz of grilled or baked chicken to a pizza, for example, can add 30g of protein to your meal.

You can either order pizza from a restaurant, buy a store-bought pizza, or make your own at home from scratch. For this example, we will be looking at the calorie content of pizza and coleslaw salad coming from Pizza Hut.

Ingredients and Calorie Count:

  • 3 slices of Pizza Hut Deluxe 12” Pizza – 747 calories
  • 1 cup Pizza Hut coleslaw – 268 calories

TOTAL: 1015 calories

10. Chicken Alfredo and Roasted Asparagus

chicken alfredo and roasted asparagus

This dish provides an ample number of calories while also providing good quality protein, carbohydrates, fat, and fiber.

While roasted asparagus does not contain very many calories, cooking it with 1 tbsp of avocado oil helps to drive up the calorie content of the meal.

Ingredients and Calorie Count:

  • 2 cups chicken alfredo – 831 calories
  • 10 asparagus spears – 40 calories
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil – 124 calories

TOTAL: 995 calories

11. TBone Steak with a Loaded Baked Potato

t-bone steak with a loaded baked potato

Eating a large steak and potato dinner is an easy and delicious way to hit your 1000 calorie target. Ribeye steak has the most fat compared to other cuts of steak, making it a great choice when you are aiming to eat a higher-calorie meal.

Not only that, but eating your baked potato with loaded condiments like butter, sour cream, and bacon bits will help to ensure you are getting enough calories in your dish.

Ingredients and Calorie Count:

  • 5 oz ribeye steak – 412 calories
  • 1 large baked potato (about 369g) – 279 calories
  • 2 tbsp butter – 204 calories
  • 1 tbsp sour cream – 31 calories
  • 1 tbsp bacon bits – 33 calories
  • ½ oz shredded cheddar cheese – 57 calories

TOTAL: 1016 calories

12. Salmon and Quinoa Salad

salmon and quinoa salad

When you are eating fish while also eating high-calorie meals, salmon is the best choice since it is one of the highest-calorie fish per gram. Quinoa is a great grain to pair with salmon since it is high in quality carbohydrates and fiber.

Adding a garnish of feta cheese to your salmon and quinoa salad will help to boost the calorie content of the meal while also adding delicious flavor.

The broccoli doesn’t add a ton of calories, but it helps make this dish even more nutritious since it is high in nutrients such as chromium, magnesium, zinc, and selenium.

Ingredients and Calorie Count:

  • 6 oz salmon – 354 calories
  • 2 cups quinoa salad – 457 calories
  • 2 oz feta cheese – 150 calories
  • 1.5 cups of broccoli – 46 calories

TOTAL: 1007 calories

13. Burrito Bowl

burrito bowl

A big breakfast containing high-fat bacon along with protein and fat-rich eggs will make it easy for you to reach your 1000-calorie goal. Adding a bit of cheese on top of your scrambled eggs will also help you to increase the calories in this meal.

In addition to this, adding buttered toast will help to boost your calorie count while also providing you with essential carbohydrates that you need for optimal energy.

Ingredients and Calorie Count:

  • 5 oz ground beef – 471 calories
  • 1 cup spanish rice- 211 calories
  • ½ cup corn – 75 calories
  • ⅓ cup mild cheddar cheese – 150 calories
  • ¼ cup chopped tomatoes- 8 calories
  • ½ cup shredded lettuce- 4 calories
  • 2 Tbsp sour cream- 50 calories
  • 2 Tbsp salsa- 35 calories

TOTAL: 1004 calories

14. Pork Chops and Rice

pork chops and rice

If you are trying to increase the calories in your meal, pork chops are a great option since they tend to be higher in fat.

You increase the calorie content even further in this meal when you cook the pork chop in butter, and saute the sliced peppers in olive oil.

This meal is high in calories while being composed of whole food ingredients that contain important micronutrients for overall health. For example, bell peppers contain high amounts of Vitamin C, along with nutrients like folate and potassium.

Ingredients and Calorie Count:

  • 7 oz pork chop- 452 calories
  • 1 Tbsp butter (cook into pork chop)- 102 calories
  • 1 ¼  cup basmati rice (cooked)- 262 calories
  • 2 cups sliced red and yellow peppers – 52 calories
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil (to saute peppers) – 119 calories
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce (for rice) – 15 calories

TOTAL: 1002 calories

15. Chicken and Avocado Salad

chicken and avocado salad

You might not think that a salad could get you to your 1000-calorie goal, but think again. Salads can easily contain high amounts of calories depending on the ingredients. 

This specific salad contains high-calorie ingredients such as avocado, bacon, and full-fat cheese. It also uses a creamier caesar dressing which typically contains more calories.

This meal would be a great option to prepare the night before and take with you on the go in a Tupperware container for lunch. You could even add the dressing separately to keep your ingredients from getting soggy.

Ingredients and Calorie Count:

  • 4 chicken breast, chopped – 187 calories
  • 4 slices cooked bacon, chopped – 172 calories
  • ½ a large avocado, chopped – 160 calories
  • ⅓  cup mild cheddar cheese – 150 calories
  • 1 cup chopped celery – 15 calories
  • ½ cup chopped green onion- 15 calories
  • ¼ cup caesar salad dressing- 310 calories

TOTAL: 1009 calories

Foods That Help You Reach 1000 Calories per Meal? 

Below are 6 tips that can help you to increase the number of calories that you consume at one time:

1. Add Extra Oil When Cooking Your Vegetables

One easy and highly effective way to add a substantial number of calories to any meal is to cook your vegetables in a good quality oil.

Oil is very high in calories, specifically fat calories, while also being quite low in overall volume and fiber. This means that you will be able to add calories without filling up too quickly.

For example, if you were to steam 2 cups of broccoli, this would equal around 62 calories. But if you were to cook this broccoli in 2 tbsp of avocado oil (which is the best oil to cook with at high heat), you raise the calorie count of the broccoli to around 310 calories.

Some of the healthiest cooking oils that you can include in your diet are extra virgin coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, and avocado oil.

You can use these oils in the cooking process, or you can even use them as a dressing (e.g., using extra virgin olive oil and vinegar on a salad).

2. Use High-Calorie Condiments and Spreads

Not only does adding condiments and sauces to your food increase the calorie content of your meal, but it can also improve the taste of your meal and increase overall food satisfaction.

Some sauces contain more calories than others, so if your goal is to hit 1000 calories in a meal, it would be in your best interest to stick with higher-calorie condiments while avoiding anything that is labeled as “low sugar” or “low calorie.”

Some great examples of high-calorie food condiments are:

  • Ranch dressing – 73 calories per 1 Tbsp
  • Maple syrup – 52 calories per 1 Tbsp
  • Honey – 64 calories per 1 Tbsp
  • Mayonnaise – 94 calories per 1 Tbsp
  • Chipotle Mayo – 110 calories per 1 Tbsp

3. Add Nuts and Seeds to Your Meals

Nuts and seeds such as chia seeds pack in a ton of calories while also containing many essential nutrients that are necessary for optimal health and wellness.

When you are trying to consume 1000 calories per meal, an easy way to increase your calorie intake is to add a serving or two of nuts and seeds to your dish.

For example, approximately 1 ounce of mixed nuts contains around 173 calories while also containing significant amounts of nutrients such as selenium, magnesium, manganese, and copper.

Adding 2 ounces of mixed nuts to a salad will increase your calorie intake by roughly 346 calories. Similarly, adding 4 tbsp of ground flaxseed to your morning smoothie would increase the smoothie’s calorie count by about 148 calories.

4. Opt for Fattier Cuts of Meat and Fish

When you are choosing the protein source for your 1000-calorie meal, you should opt for cuts of meat, poultry, and fish that are higher in fat since this will ultimately increase the calorie content of your meal.

For example, 5 ounces of cooked boneless, skinless chicken breast contains about 264 calories, while 5 ounces of cooked sirloin steak contains about 345 calories. Swapping steak for chicken will help you to increase the calorie intake of your dish.

Similarly, 5 ounces of tilapia contains only 183 calories, while 5 ounces of salmon contains around 295 calories, mostly because of its higher fat content.

When you are regularly consuming fattier cuts of meat, poultry, and fish, it is best to opt for higher quality sources such as grass-fed meat and wild-caught fish, as this will have an effect on the overall quality of the fats you are consuming.

Consuming grass-fed meat, for example, has been shown to increase concentrations of polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs), which can prevent diseases in the cardiovascular system.

5. Go for Full-Fat Dairy

A super simple swap that you can make in your diet to increase the calorie content of your meal is to ditch low-fat dairy products and opt for higher calorie, full-fat dairy.

Full fat dairy also contains a good amount of high-quality protein, which is essential for building and repairing muscle tissue.

For example, if you normally eat 1 cup of plain, non-fat Greek yogurt as a part of your breakfast, you are adding about 132 calories to your meal. If you were to replace this with a full-fat version of Greek yogurt, you would be adding about 281 calories to your meal.

Similar to this, 1 cup of skim milk contains around 90 calories, whereas 1 cup of full-fat milk contains around 150 calories.

Swapping skim milk for whole milk, say in a protein shake, is an easy way to increase the number of calories you are consuming without increasing the serving size of the food that you are eating.

6. Don’t Fill Up on Low-Calorie Foods

While it is important for your overall health and vitality to consume nutrient-dense foods such as fruits and vegetables, these types of foods usually contain low amounts of calories per serving.

For this reason, it is best to not have the majority of your meal centered around low-calorie foods that are going to fill you up faster.

In particular, low-calorie vegetables such as celery, spinach, cucumber, cabbage, asparagus, green beans, and broccoli contain high amounts of nutrients and fiber but very low numbers of calories per serving.

If you do include these in your meals, try adding high-calorie oils or condiments to these foods as mentioned in the steps above.

In addition to this, you want to ensure that you are avoiding food products that are marketed as “low calorie,” such as low-calorie noodles, bread, cereal, and salad dressings.

These foods will not only make it more difficult for you to reach your calorie goal but do not contain any essential nutrients in comparison to whole fruits and veggies.

Can You Consume 1000 Calories in a Meal?

While it is more commonly encouraged for people to eat smaller, frequent meals throughout the day, there is nothing inherently wrong with eating 1000 calories in one sitting.

In fact, for certain individuals with higher caloric needs, eating 1000 calories in a meal might be necessary in order for them to meet their daily calorie requirements.

The frequency and size of your meal are not as important when you’re trying to maintain your ideal weight or trying to gain weight. Instead, you should ensure that you are eating within your daily maintenance or bulking calories on a consistent basis.

This can even apply if your goal is fat loss, since the most important thing when losing weight is eating in a consistent calorie deficit.

“You will still lose fat even if one of your meals is very big, even 1000 calories (or more), as long as you stay in a calorie deficit for the day.”

-Tom Venuto, Author of “Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle

The number of meals that you eat in a day and the size of those meals ultimately come down to personal preference.

It is important to note that if you’re in a calorie deficit because you’re trying to lose weight or if your daily calorie requirement is quite low, it will be very difficult for you to be able to eat 1000 calories in one meal.

For example, if you normally eat 1400 calories in one day, eating 1000 calories in one meal would result in you only being able to consume roughly 1.5 meals per day.

In addition to this, it is important to keep your meal balanced if you are planning to consume 1000 calories at one time and not consuming your calories from one macronutrient. 

Making sure that you eat a balanced amount of protein, fat, and carbs in your 1000 calorie meal will help to ensure stable energy, balanced blood sugar, better digestion, and will help you to feel fuller for longer.

A good rule of thumb is to aim to eat around 25-35% of your calories from protein, 45-55% from carbohydrates, and about 20-30% from fats.

Who Should Be Eating 1000 Calories per Meal?

There are a few different types of individuals that will benefit from eating 1000 calories in one meal.

Whether or not you should be eating 1000 calories in a meal will depend specifically on factors such as your typical meal frequency, your current calorie requirements, and your personal preference.

As mentioned in the above section, it will make much more sense for an individual to consume 1000 calories in one meal if they have a higher daily calorie requirement.

For example, if a large male athlete needs to eat 3000 calories to maintain his weight, he could consume 3 meals a day at 1000 calories each in order to meet his requirements.

While the individual mentioned above could break up this 3000-calorie daily requirement into several smaller meals, his schedule may not allow him to stop and eat frequently throughout the day.

Therefore, it will be important for him to ensure that he is getting in the appropriate number of calories during the times that he can stop and eat.

In addition to this, some individuals may simply prefer to eat less frequently throughout the day.

In fact, there are many people who like to practice what is known as intermittent fasting, which requires the individual to eat their calories within a time-restricted period throughout the day.

If someone was following a fasting schedule of 16 hours with an eating window of 8 hours and had a calorie requirement of 3000 calories, it would be much easier and more efficient for this individual to get their calories in with a few larger meals rather than several small meals during an 8-hour time period.

However, if you prefer to eat every few hours and feel better doing this, eating 1000-calorie meals may not be right for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Protein Should You Eat In A 1000-Calorie Meal? 

You want to get 25-35% of your calories from protein at each meal in order for it to be balanced.

This would mean that in a 1000-calorie meal, you would need to eat between 62-87 grams of protein. This is the equivalent to 8 oz of chicken breast, which contains roughly 70 grams of protein.

What to Read Next

If you’re looking for more high-calorie meal ideas, check out my other article Best 500 Calorie Bulking & Bodybuilding Meals.

I also have resources available to help you plan high-protein meals whether you’re looking to consume 50g protein meals or 30g protein meals.

If you’re more interested in full-day meal plans, check out our various bodybuilding meal plans:


Nagraj, G. S., Chouksey, A., Jaiswal, S., & Jaiswal, A. K. (2020). Chapter 1 – Broccoli. In A. K. Jaiswal (Ed.), Nutritional Composition and Antioxidant Properties of Fruits and Vegetables (pp. 5-17). Academic Press. ISBN 9780128127803. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-812780-3.00001-5.

McAfee AJ, McSorley EM, Cuskelly GJ, Fearon AM, Moss BW, Beattie JA, Wallace JM, Bonham MP, Strain JJ. Red meat from animals offered a grass diet increases plasma and platelet n-3 PUFA in healthy consumers. Br J Nutr. 2011 Jan;105(1):80-9. doi: 10.1017/S0007114510003090. PMID: 20807460.

Ander, B. P., Dupasquier, C. M., Prociuk, M. A., & Pierce, G. N. (2003). Polyunsaturated fatty acids and their effects on cardiovascular disease. Experimental and clinical cardiology, 8(4), 164–172.

Carbone, J. W., & Pasiakos, S. M. (2019). Dietary Protein and Muscle Mass: Translating Science to Application and Health Benefit. Nutrients, 11(5), 1136. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11051136

About The Author

Colby Roy

Colby Roy is a holistic health and nutrition coach. She is certified through Precision Nutrition and has a passion for all things nutrition and healing the body. More specifically, Colby likes to work with clients who want to optimize their gut health and energy levels.

Why Trust Our Content

FeastGood logo

On Staff at FeastGood.com, we have Registered Dietitians, coaches with PhDs in Human Nutrition, and internationally ranked athletes who contribute to our editorial process. This includes research, writing, editing, fact-checking, and product testing/reviews. At a bare minimum, all authors must be certified nutrition coaches by either the National Academy of Sports Medicine, International Sport Sciences Association, or Precision Nutrition. Learn more about our team here.

Have a Question?

If you have any questions or feedback about what you’ve read, you can reach out to us at info@feastgood.com. We respond to every email within 1 business day.