After 15 years of traditional Irish dancing, I’ve seen it all when it comes to St. Patrick’s Day. Gaping at people chug pints of green beer and go to town on a stack of green pancakes every year in celebration sometimes makes my heart and stomach hurt. And yeah, those shamrock shakes are delicious, but there’s nothing actually Irish about them. Sorry to be the one to break it to you.

This year, hide those Lucky Charms in the back of your pantry and chow down on the best of what Ireland has to offer. These recipes are super easy to make and involve inexpensive ingredients, so there are no excuses for passing off your green avocado pesto as “Irish” this year. As they say, everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, so channel the luck of those little leprechauns and get to cooking.

Breakfast: Full Breakfast


Photo by Alison Weissbrot

Start your day off right with a breakfast full of all the carbs and protein you need for a day’s worth of drinking. Customize this by preparing it with any bread you fancy, like whole wheat, rye, or gluten-free bread – this recipe is totally accommodating. Want to make it truly authentic? Get yourself some black pudding and fry it up with the sausage. If the idea of eating blood sausage freaks you out, just sub it for some white pudding – it’s basically the same thing, minus the blood.

Lunch: Colcannon Chowder


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If you make your way home in time for lunch, this chowder is a great way to refuel before round two. It’s got everything you need – vegetables, protein, and those delicious potatoes the Irish are famous for. A few substitutions can easily make this recipe vegetarian or vegan. Try subbing the sausage for your favorite veggie sausage alternative or the milk with almond milk, for instance. This ensures everyone can enjoy this flavorful and authentic Irish dish.  

Snack: Irish Soda Bread


Photo by Elena Bailoni

Because the more carbs, the better, right? This is one of the easiest bread recipes ever, and it’s so easy to tailor to anyone’s specific taste; you could throw in some raisins, caraway seeds, or even chocolate chips for a dessert feel.

Irish soda bread goes great with a little bit of butter or jam, but feel free to top your slice with anything your heart desires. I’ve heard some Nutella can spruce it up quite a bit and satisfy your sweet tooth. It may not be an “authentic” Irish topping, but I’m sure the Irish wouldn’t mind sharing the spotlight with this addictive spread.

Dinner: Crock-Pot Corned Beef and Cabbage


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Traditional Irish flavors mesh with college convenience in this crock-pot recipe. You’ll be able to skip the drive-thru and enjoy a filling meal, all for less money and hassle than waiting in the car for an artificially green-tinted milkshake. Because those lines can get pretty long.

And one for good luck: Green Thin Mint Cookie Truffles


Photo by Morgan Weinstein

I’ll admit, it would feel wrong to go all day without having at least one outrageously colored treat. This recipe combines everything you could want in a St. Patrick’s Day dessert; food coloring, cheese, and chocolate. Use up those leftover Girl Scout cookies in a way that’s much more enjoyable than just eating them straight out of the box.

You can now enjoy eating this rainbow-sprinkled truffle, and all of these tasty eats, knowing you celebrated the holiday in a way that pays tribute to the amazing heritage it celebrates. If you recreate these recipes and appreciate the abundance of food and culture the Irish have to offer, you would surely make St. Patrick himself proud.