Trying to get your bulk on this season? Here are 10 dirty bulking foods that will not only be tasty but get those calories and protein in to get your muscles growing.
Before we start, read my dirty bulking guide to ensure you’re doing it right!
Let’s get into it!
#1 – Pizza
Pizza is #1 on this list and for good reason. In fact, I wrote a whole article dedicated called Is Pizza Good For Bulking? just to share this super bulking food.
But, hands down, pizza is the one of the BEST dirty bulking foods out there. First of all, it’s relatively cheap. Frozen pizzas at a Walmart or Target can run you like $3 each. Sure that’s not dirt-cheap, but that’s pretty cost-effective for the nutrition.
These pizzas can easily pack 1400 calories in them, giving you 60-70g of protein. Furthermore, there is a ton of carbs for recovering from your workout.
But let’s not glance over the best part of this: pizza tastes amazing. There’s no way to argue that! I don’t think anybody will be complaining about eating pizza during their bulk.
And if you lift with friends, it’s an awesome food to share with them too. (me and ian bulk hard, we run up the Domino’s Pizza bill to $50 and seriously bulk)
But hey, I find if you’re looking to buy two pizzas and a dessert it will only run you like $15 at pizzahut/dominos- might be worth a shot!
Overall, tons of calories and protein in one of the tastiest foods ever made. So, choose pizza as the king of dirty bulking foods.
#2 – Burgers
When I was younger I found myself working at a McDonald’s. McDonald’s actually produces some of the best food when it comes to bodybuilding.
That’ why I wrote: McDonald’s and Bodybuilding, the best foods to eat for bodybuilding.
But I am surprised more bodybuilders don’t recommend burgers as one of the best dirty bulking foods out there.
Simply put, you can get around 1,000 calories and 50-60g of protein at just about any fast food place for $5-6.
McDonald’s usually does a 2 for $5 deal during the winter to boost sales. So I recommend buying two-quarter pounders with cheese for $5, you get around 1,000 calories / 60g of protein all with incredible taste!
But seriously, go to any fast food place and they will usually have some 1/2 lb of beef burger combination that will easily get that muscle growth going.
#3 – Ice Cream
Ice cream is one of those forbidden dirty bulking foods. Many people shun it for no reason.
Don’t fret though, Ice Cream is incredibly good for bulking. Just ask Rich Piana, who ate it basically every day in his series “Bigger By The Day”. And yes, you already know I wrote a whole article Is Ice Cream Good For Bulking?
Here’s the thing, ice cream gives you a ton of protein and calories in a super-compact form. And it’s super easy to get 1-2 pints of ice cream down your stomach and not even think twice. You can’t say that if you tried to eat two steaks.
Plus, ice cream probably tastes the best out of all food on this list. The sugariness, flavor, candy, and everything just makes it irresistible even to the most disciplined dieter.
Regardless, you can get a decent amount of protein and a ton of calories fast. And trust me, nobody hates ice cream.
If you’re looking for recommendations, I find that the Coldstone Creamery max size cookie dough flavor is like incredible. And it packs like 1500 calories.
#4 – Peanut Butter
Peanut butter is just a classic when it comes to dirty bulking foods. For two tablespoons of peanut butter, you can get 190 calories and 7g of protein.
Two tablespoons! That is an incredible calorie per gram volume. You can eat like a spoonful of peanut butter and get 400-500 calories instantly. Put this in a blender with your protein shake, or even just on toast- and you’re adding a ton of calories that are easy to consume.
Plus, peanut butter tastes amazing, I haven’t met somebody that hates peanut butter yet.
Even something like peanut butter toast can put a ton of calories and protein in you fast. Plus, it tastes amazing!
#5 – Candy Bars
Ahaha, this is a somewhat newer bodybuilding gimmick that has come up. People have said, “After your workout, have a candy bar- it just tastes so much better”.
And truthfully, they aren’t that far from the truth. Candy bars have a ton of sugar and carbohydrates to seriously replenish you after a tough workout. That 200 calorie chocolate bar can actually do a lot in restoring your glycogen stores so your body can start building muscle.
Because remember, after a workout, your body needs to FIRST restore the glycogen stores BEFORE it can build muscle. This is why bodybuilders like Rich Piana have always told you to drink a protein shake or eat something like oatmeal within 30 minutes of your workout.
Plus, candy bars are super easy to pack and eat. And well, they taste really good. (I would hope so- that’s the whole point of candy…)
However, I wouldn’t overdo this. It’s no secret that a ton of sugar isn’t great for you, so I would keep it in moderation.
#6 – Mozzarella Sticks
Mozzarella sticks are one of my sweet spots. And they aren’t actually that hard to make.
Most people avoid these because they think they need a complicated fryer with oil set up. Actually, I wrote a specific post about the Nuwave Air Fryer, a cheap air fryer that will cook mozzarella sticks like they’re from a restaurant- without the need for unhealthy oil.
These things pack a ton of calories and protein, plus they’re super tasty. It’s something like 200 calories and 13g of protein for three mozzarella sticks.
Furthermore, they’re just super good and easy to make. Toss them in the air fryer for like 10 minutes and you’ll have great food. Plus, there’s a lot of calcium in it to strengthen your bones to support your MASSIVE muscles.
#7 – Milk
Milk is not something you thought you’d see on here, did you? On this dirty bulking foods list, milk probably wasn’t something that you thought would be a ‘tasty’ food- if you will.
But the truth is, milk can be used in combination to make so many things ‘viable’ for dirty bulking.
Think of milkshakes, oatmeal, overnight oats, etc.
But here’s the thing: milk is super cheap and is avaliable everywhere.
When I worked at a hospital, a huge problem was actually trying to get my protein in for the day. 10-12 hour shifts with very short breaks made it hard to ensure I was eating enough protein for my body to use.
Thankfully, I always was able to get a few bottles of milk for free and drink it every 2-3 hours to ensure my muscles could keep repairing with that nice 13g protein boost.
Plus, it can actually taste really good. I recommend adding Nesquik Chocolate Powder to your milk if you don’t like the taste of normal milk. If you’re lactose intolerant, I highly recommend Fairlife milk, as it tastes great and gives 13g of protein per serving! (I only drink fairlife!)
#8 – Burritos
Burritos are definitely one of the kings for dirty bulking foods.
Do you like Chipotle? I got good news for you! Chipotle is one of the best foods for bulking.
Here’s the thing: burritos are one of the best foods for bulking namely because of how it’s built.
First, you get a flour tortilla, and depending on the tortilla used you can easily get 5-8g of protein just in the tortilla itself. (Use a whole grain tortilla for best results)
Secondly, you put a ton of vegetables and rice in there. As we all know, rice is very good for bodybuilding. And needless to say, vegetables are good too.
Lastly, you put LOTS of meat in the burrito. Beef, steak, whatever. This is obviously very high protein and great for building muscle due to the amino acid content of meat.
This ends up with you getting a ton of calories and protein for a very low price. And who doesn’t like burritos?
So go to your local chipotle, taco bell, qdoba, whatever and run up that menu!
#9 – Subs (Subway, Jimmy Johns)
Not a lot of people realize that subway, jimmy johns, jersey mike’s, quiznos, firehouse subs, and other sub sandwich places are REALLY good for bodybuilding.
I’ve honestly never seen a bodybuilder go to one of these places and I’m not sure why. Sure, it’s not the best protein per calorie ratio, but it’s certainly far better than most places.
And like I said, it is certainly far better than most places. For $10 I can get a sub that is over 1500 calories with 75g of protein in it. (That’s the #7 Turkey and Provolone at Jersey Mikes)
Plus, it tastes incredible and fills me up for the next few hours. That means I can focus on school/work and not be hungry until my next mealtime. Also, it means that I can quickly refuel after a tough and grueling workout so I’m not like a zombie all day.
And like seriously guys, it’s pretty cheap to get a pretty decent meal at these places.
Toss in two cookies and a drink for like $1 more and you can easily push 2,000 calories just from a quick meal run. And that is going to help you put on size and muscle.
And lastly, there’s really something for everybody there. Hot subs, cold subs, different types of meat, etc. You really can’t go wrong.
#10 – Chicken Tenders
Chicken tenders HAD to make the list. I mean seriously, these are the SECRET bulking food that NOBODY talks about.
It’s literally chicken in handheld bites, and yet you NEVER see bodybuilders out there going to Raising Cane’s after a workout.
That’s their loss. You can ask any of my friends, but we run up the raising cane’s drive-through after our workout. Everything is cook to order there.
In Minnesota, it’s $6.65 for the chicken tender sandwich combo, and that gives 1,140 calories and 50g of protein.
Get the caniac combo for a few bucks more and you’re sitting at 1800 calories and 90g of protein.
And again, chicken tenders are just literally like handheld protein bites. The nutrition of each chicken tender there is 140 calories and 13g of protein. Plus, it’s DELICIOUS.
So I highly recommend you go and get chicken tenders as one of your “go-to” dirty bulking foods. Get some BBQ sauce or canes sauce with it and start racking up those calories.
And trust me, your muscles will thank you for it.
Conclusion of 10 Best Dirty Bulking Foods
Overall, if you’re looking for some of the best dirty bulking foods to boost your muscle growth, here you are.
Take it from me, I drop money on fast food like I get cashback. (I don’t get cashback, I am really poor from all this spending)
But honestly, I did work at a lot of fast food places growing up so I know my stuff well. And these really are your best options to get some great tasting food fast, and food that your muscles will appreciate too.