High Calorie Smoothies for Weight Gain

High calorie smoothies are a great way to add calories and get an extra boost of nutrition. When someone is experiencing unintended weight loss or just needs to gain a few pounds, calories are the answer.

Sometimes it’s hard to get additional calories from regular meals. Adding a high calorie smoothie is a great option to maximize intake. It can be easy to sip on a weight gain smoothie in between meals.

I am a big fan of both high calorie shakes and smoothies. High calorie smoothies are often packed more vitamins and minerals. The key is providing a high calorie beverage that someone will actually drink. Whether it’s a smoothie or a shake there are so many options.

How to Make a High Calorie Smoothie

It’s pretty simple to get started. You just need to add a bunch of ingredients into a good blender. Experiment with what works best. Add more liquid if it’s too thick. Add more solid ingredients if it’s too thin.

How to Make a High Calorie Smoothies photo of blender and text that's included in article

Here are some basic ingredients to add to your high calorie smoothies:

  1. Vegetables
  2. Fruits
  3. Liquid
  4. Dairy
  5. Nuts/ Seeds
  6. Add ins

Let’s review some examples of what you add to a smoothie. We’ll end with some sample recipes to get you going! Keep in mind these are just some ideas.


Vegetables for Smoothies

Most vegetables are actually quite low in calories. But they do provide a ton of vitamins and minerals. And they can add some fun taste and even color to a smoothie.

Graphic showing vegetables to add to smoothiesHere are some vegetables to add to smoothies:

  • Avocados
  • Carrots
  • Spinach
  • Kale

Avocados reign as the highest calorie option here. They are high in heart healthy fats. And they will give a creamy taste to any smoothie. Carrots add a hint of sweetness. And greens often have a minimal taste, but add a nutrient boost.

Fruits for Smoothies

Fruits can be moderately high in calories but are also jam packed with vitamins and minerals.

Graphic showing fruits to add to smoothiesHere are some fruits to add to smoothies:

  • Strawberries
  • Bananas
  • Pineapple
  • Apple
  • Orange
  • Berries

The banana is a great high calorie option. There are around 100 calories in a medium sized banana. It will give some creaminess to a smoothie and tastes good. Sky is really the limit for fruits to add to a smoothie. There are a ton of different options!

Liquids for Smoothies

All smoothie needs some liquids to get them blended up and ready to drink. We do not want to add water to high calorie smoothies. Water has no calories. We want to make sure every ingredient that goes into the blender is high in calories.

Graphic showing liquids to add to smoothiesHere are some liquids to add to smoothies with calories:

  • Whole milk
  • Half and half
  • Soy milk
  • Orange juice
  • Apple juice
  • Cranberry juice
  • Pineapple juice

Half and Half has the most calories of the options listed. It will make the smoothie very creamy and borderline on a milk shake. But any juice or milk option will do here! Some plant-based milks are lower in calories- try to pick the options with the most calories.

Dairy for Smoothies

Dairy products can be high in calories if we use the whole fat options. A couple of dairy items were listed in the liquids section above, but let’s cover some more dairy options you can add.

Graphic showing dairy to add to smoothiesHere are some liquids to add to smoothies with calories:

  • Yogurt
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Ice-cream
  • Sherbet

Be sure to read the nutrition labels and get the options with the HIGHEST number of calories.  Often times dairy products are sold as “light” or lower in calories… a majority of the public isn’t looking to gain weight. Food marketers are often targeting weight loss in dairy products.

Nuts/ Seeds for Smoothies

Nuts and seeds are high in heart healthy fats. This is a great option if you have a good blender. If you don’t have the strongest blender and don’t want too much texture, use powdered nuts/seed or pre-made nut or seed butters.

Graphic showing nuts and seeds to add to smoothiesHere are some nuts/seeds to add to smoothies:

  • Peanut butter
  • Almond butter
  • Walnuts
  • Almonds
  • Flax seed
  • Chia seed

Flax and chia seed are high in omega-3 fats. Peanut butter is super high in calories and a tasty edition to a smoothie- depending on the ingredients.

Add ins for Weight Gain Smoothies

But wait, there’s more! Here are some high calorie add ins that don’t necessarily fit into the categories above.

Graphic showing add ins (protein powders, honey, oats) to add to weight gain smoothiesHere is other high calorie add ins for weight gain smoothies.

  • Protein powder
  • Powdered milk
  • Honey
  • Oats
  • Instant breakfast
  • Coconut cream

The protein powder will add an extra boost of protein if needed. Honey will add some sweetness along with calories. And oats, while it may seem like a strange ingredient, will add some extra fiber and fun taste. You can use powdered oats, soak oats in liquid 10-20 minutes before blending, or even use raw oats if you don’t mind the texture (they will get ground and softer when you blend).

High Calorie Smoothie Recipes for Weight Gain

So how can you incorporate these ingredients into a tasty smoothie? Here are some sample recipes for weight gain to get you started!

High Calorie Smoothie Recipes for Weight Gain

Green Smoothie

Estimated Calories: 515

  • 1 medium avocado
  • 1 cup pineapple
  • ½ medium apple
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 cup apple Juice

Strawberry Banana Smoothie

Estimated Calories: 650

  • 2 cups strawberries
  • 1 medium banana
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp chia seed
  • 1 Tbsp honey

Blueberry Blast Smoothie

Estimated Calories: 465

  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 medium banana
  • ½ cup vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup cranberry juice
  • 1 Tbsp ground flax seed

Pineapple Coconut Smoothie

Estimated Calories: 525

  • 1 cup pineapple
  • 1 medium banana
  • ½ cup coconut cream
  • 1 cup pineapple juice

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Smoothie

Estimated Calories: 730

  • ¼ cup powdered oats
  • 1 medium banana
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • ¼ cup peanut butter
  • 1 Tbsp honey

Photos of smoothies


High Calorie Smoothies Pro Tip: Frozen juice

Tips for more calories: freeze juiceBefore I wrap up the post, I wanted to share a high calorie pro tip. Some people like their smoothies cold. Using frozen fruit is a great way to make a cold frozen smoothie. Some people use ice too. But ice is water. Water has no calories. Don’t use ice.

Instead, you can freeze juice in an ice-cube tray and use this for your smoothies. It will provide an ice-cold frozen smoothie and you won’t be wasting any volume. It will be jam packed with calories!

P.S. You can freeze milk or half and half too.

High Calorie Shakes

If you are interested in learning more about high calorie shakes, check out my free resource on RD2RD Marketplace High Calorie Shakes. It includes The King of Calories recipe with a whopping 1200 calories! And it’s delicious! You can also purchase the High Calories SHAKES e-Cookbook which contains 25 delicious recipes, color photos, and tips for weight gain.


I hope this article gave you some good ideas for making high calorie smoothies for weight gain. It’s really pretty easy once you get the hang of it. And if you are a caregiver for older adults, be sure to check out my blog post Weight Gain Smoothies: Stopping Unintended Weight Loss in Older Adults.

How to Make High Calorie Smoothies Inforgraphic

High Calorie Smoothies Pinterest

53 thoughts on “High Calorie Smoothies for Weight Gain”

  1. Great information, the only thing is I’m allergic to bananas and so many shake/smoothie recipes call for them. Struggling to find an alternative.

    1. This may sound strange… but, try replacing banana with avocado. It is high in calories and gives a creamy taste (bananas often make a smoothie taste creamier). Good luck!!

  2. Wow!!!
    You have made this so easy for me thank you. My husband had bowel surgery and they removed quite a bit.
    Everything he eats and drinks goes straight through him.
    He has a port for TPN, it helps but he had a high liver enzymes so they had to cut some of his calories in the bag so the next step are your amazing recipes
    He was 165Ib now 134Ib
    My husband also has a high metabolism.
    Thank you, these recipes will help us immensely thank you, thank you, thank you for breaking it down and making it simple. I truly appreciate you, this is amazing, thank you once again.
    Sincerely grateful,
    Deb Gleason

  3. My wife 92, 120 lbs, has MCI and does not eat! She lives on 2 plastic cans of Ensure Plus daily plus bits of food and some sweets. I think smoothies might help. Do you have any suggestions for a diet plan?

    1. You are correct! I tend to list an avocado under the vegetable category just because of how it is used in meal preparation (ex. in salads and savory dishes) similar to tomatoes. 🙂

  4. Hey i am underweight and more skinny i need to gain weight i am 21 and my weight is only 34kg so how can i gain weight ?

    1. There are a lot of variables that come in to play for answering this question. It takes 3500 calories to gain 1 pound. So, in theory if you drink one strawberry banana smoothie per day over a week (with no other changing variables) you would expect to see a weight gain of just over 1 pound per week. I hope this helps!

  5. Hi, experienced weight loss due to mystery bug, all checked out on now on the mend,
    Can’t take large meals due to oesophogectimy 8 years ago, after reading your high cal recommendations I’m about to embark on a smoothie weight gain programme.
    Many thanks for the advice.

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