3,500 Calorie Meal Plan

Maintaining a balanced and healthy diet is crucial for overall well-being. For those looking at weight gain as a primary goal, 3,500 calories falls within the total caloric intake for what may be needed to reach this goal.

But what does a 3,500 calorie diet look like, and is it healthy?

In this short article, we will explore the benefits of a 3,500 calorie diet, as well as provide you with a printable 3,500 calorie diet plan.

Please note: This is just a day’s example of a 3,500 calorie meal plan. For a fully personalized plan that suits you and your goals, with hundreds of individual and delicious recipes, be sure to check out our Macro Calculator and Meal Plan Generator and let us do all the work for you!

Who should follow a 3,500 calorie diet?

If you’re focused on prioritizing weight gain, a diet that aims for an average of 3,500 calories can be a highly effective approach. This calorie level provides ample energy to support your daily activities and exercise routines, while creating a caloric surplus that encourages weight gain.

However! It’s important to keep in mind that everyone’s calorie requirements are unique. Therefore, determining the appropriate daily calorie intake based on your specific goals, whether it be losing fat, building muscle, or adopting a healthy lifestyle, is paramount for success.

Is 3,500 Calories a Day Healthy?

A well-planned 3,500 calorie diet, incorporating a diverse range of foods, can promote healthy eating habits. Of course, this amount of calories should only be followed by individuals with a high level of activity.

If following this style of meal plan creates unwanted weight gain, it may be necessary to reduce total calories consumed accordingly.

Realized that perhaps you need to be eating fewer calories? Try one of these free meal plans:

3,200 Calorie Meal Plan
3,300 Calorie Meal Plan
3,400 Calorie Meal Plan

Printable 3,500 Calorie Meal Plan

We have created a printable version of a 3,500 calorie meal plan for you to download, use and enjoy.

This meal plan includes delicious and healthy recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks, with easy-to-follow preparation instructions as well as a grocery list. Click the blue text to download the 3,500 calorie meal plan pdf or continue reading to see all of the recipes.

What Does a 3,500 Calorie Diet Look Like?

Spaced out over 5 meals (3 main meals and 2 snacks) this micronutrient-loaded meal plan aims to create the calorie surplus necessary in promoting weight gain. By following a meal plan similar to this, you can expect to meet the acceptable breakdown of macronutrients needed for your goals, as well as optimal health.

Here is an example 3,500 calorie meal plan:

Provides 3,510 kcal, 171g Protein (19%), 289g Carbs (33%), 192g Fat (48%) per day.


Avocado and Spinach Quesadillas

Calories and Macros

940 Calories
43g Protein (18%)
67.3g Carbohydrates (28%)
56.2g Fat (53%)


4 Eggs
1/2 Avocado
45 grams Feta Cheese
30 grams Spinach
3 Whole Wheat Tortillas
1 1/2 tsp Olive Oil
1 tbsp Parsley


Step 1: Slice the avocado and cherry tomatoes

Step 2: Heat your pan over a medium temperature and add the olive oil.

Step 3: Scramble your eggs in a small frying pan and set aside

Step 4: Place 1 tortilla in another small frying pan and on one half, lay the crumbled cheese, scrambled egg, a few avocado slices, fresh spinach and top with more cheese

Step 5: Fold over the tortilla and flip when the bottom is brown. Use a spatula to press down to get the cheese to stick together

Step 6: Remove from pan and repeat with the other tortilla. Slice when ready to eat, YUM!


Quinoa, Egg, and Smoked Salmon Salad

Calories and Macros

1,018 Calories
44.6g Protein (17%)
101.8g Carbohydrates (39%)
49.5g Fat (43%)


135 grams Quinoa
300 ml Vegetable stock
40 grams Arugula (Rocket)
3/4 Avocado
1 1/2 tsp Dried Parsley
1 wedge Lemon
3 tsp Olive Oil
60 grams Smoked Salmon
2 Eggs


Step 1: Bring the vegetable stock to boil in a sexy saucepan and then add your quinoa. 

Step 2: Allow to cook for 10 – 12 minutes adding more water if when necessary to soften the quinoa. 

Step 3: On the side, heat a small pan over a medium heat. 

Step 4: Add half of the olive oil and lightly fry the egg to preferred doneness. 

Step 5: While the egg’s a fryin’, cube the avocado and finely slice the parsley. Oh yeahhhhh.

Step 6: In a bowl, mix the cooked quinoa with the rocket, parsley, cubed avocado, and smoked salmon (just tear it apart with your hands when adding). 

Step 7: Lay the egg on top, drizzle with some lemon juice, spice up with a little salt and pepper, and you’re away!


Grilled Salmon and Egg Salad Meal Prep!

Calories and Macros

937 Calories
54.8g Protein (23%)
53.3g Carbohydrates (22%)
57.5g Fat (54%)


160 grams Atlantic Salmon
75 grams Mixed Salad Leaves
100 grams Green Beans (snap beans)
2 Eggs
1 tsp Paprika
15 Almonds
1 tsp Garlic Powder
4 tsp Olive Oil
2 wedges Lemon


Step 1: Preheat your grill to a medium-high heat and place 2 pots of water on 2 stovetops to boil.

Step 2: In the meantime, take out a bowl and combine the salmon fillet and green beans with the paprika, garlic powder, ½ the olive oil and a little salt and pepper. 

Step 3: On a sheet of baking paper, place your salmon fillet and green beans under the grill and let cook for around 6 minutes per side. Allow your salmon to cook evenly by flipping once or twice to cook through. 

Step 4: While the salmon cooks, cube the sweet potatoes and place in one pot of boiling water. Gently lower your egg into the second pot of boiling water.  

Step 5: After about 6 minutes, drain your potatoes and bring a frying pan to a medium-high heat on the now vacant stove. 

Step 6: Add the remaining olive oil and the potatoes to the hot pan and cook to crisp evenly around the edges. 

Step 7: Take the salmon out, it should be close to finished now, and allow to cool on a plate. 

Step 8: Remove your egg (using a spoon) from the boiling water and transfer to a bowl. Place the bowl under a cool tap and allow the cold water to cool the egg (this prevents the yolk from turning grey, and stops the cooking process). 

Step 9: Once the potatoes have crispened a little, remove from the heat and allow everything to cool. Patience is a virtue. 

Step 10: Layer the lettuce in a meal prep container, followed by the salmon, the egg (halved), the sweet potatoes, the green beans and top off with some almonds and a drizzle of lemon juice.


Snack 1

Smoked Salmon, Avocado Toast Delight

Your toasty companion that will keep powering through the day, just like a salmon. 

Calories and Macros

282 Calories
13.2g Protein (18%)
27.5g Carbohydrates (38%)
14.2g Fat (44%)


1 1/2 slices Whole Grain Bread
1/2 Avocado
30 grams Smoked Salmon
20 grams Red Onion


Step 1: Place your bread into a toaster and let things heat up while you scoop out the avocado and mash it in a bowl using a fork.

Step 2: Season the avocado with a little salt and pepper and finely slice the red onion on the side.

Step 3: Once the bread has made the wonderful transformation into its crunchy counterpart, spread the avocado on top. 

Step 4: Layer the red onion and smoked salmon on top with a squeeze of lemon and voilà!

Snack 2

Banana Peanut Butter Greek Yogurt Bowl

Calories and Macros

333 Calories
15.7g Protein (18%)
39.3g Carbohydrates (45%)
14.6g Fat (37%)


110 grams Greek Yogurt (whole milk)
1 Banana
15 grams Chia Seeds
1 pinch Ground Nutmeg
1/2 tbsp Peanut Butter (smooth)


Step 1: Put the Greek Yogurt in a small mixing or serving bowl, and top with sliced banana.

Step 2: Melt the peanut butter in the microwave for 30-40 seconds and drizzle on top of the bananas.

Step 3: Lastly, sprinkle with chia seeds and nutmeg. Now you’re ready to enjoy!

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