10 Easy 1000 Calorie Meals

Some links in this article are affiliate links, which means we earn from qualifying purchases. Learn more.

While it is typically not common practice to consume 1000 calories in one sitting, there are certain instances where it may be beneficial.

You can eat 1000 calories in a meal if you’re trying to cut down meal frequency, or if your schedule doesn’t allow you to eat small frequent meals throughout the day. But when you’re consuming large-calorie meals, it’s important to pay attention to the macronutrient and micronutrient content of the food you’re eating.

Keep in mind that consuming extremely high-calorie meals can come with some negative side effects for certain individuals. For example, eating a calorie-dense, high-volume meal could result in digestive issues or feelings of fatigue and sluggishness.

 In this article, I will discuss:

  • Why and when it’s okay to consume 1000 calories in a meal
  • Who should be eating 1000 calories per meal
  • Tips on how to get 1000 calories per meal
  • Examples of 1000 calorie meals

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.

In those scenarios, 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 at 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.

How to Get 1000 Calories per Meal? 6 Tips

how to get 1000 calories per meal 6 tips

If you are aiming to consume 1000 calories in a meal, there are certain practices that you can implement to help you reach your goal.

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

  • Add extra oil when cooking your vegetables
  • Use high-calorie condiments and spreads
  • Add nuts and seeds to your meals
  • Opt for fattier cuts of meat and fish
  • Go for full-fat dairy
  • Don’t fill up on low-calorie foods

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.

1000 Calorie Meals: 10 Examples

1. Bacon and Eggs with Toast

bacon and eggs with toast - 1040 calories

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 - 988 calories

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 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 - 1000 calories

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. Roast Beef Sandwich with a Cobb Salad

 roast beef sandwich with a cobb salad - 1015 calories

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

5. Burger and Fries

burger and fries - 1007 calories

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

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

spaghetti and meat sauce with garlic bread and caesar salad - 1022 calories

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 thatit 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

7. Pizza and Coleslaw Salad

pizza and coleslaw salad - 1015 calories

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

8. 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

9. TBone Steak with a Loaded Baked Potato

t-bone steak with a loaded baked potato - 1016 calories

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

10. Salmon and Quinoa Salad

salmon and quinoa salad - 1007 calories

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

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:

About The Author


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.