1. Peanut Butter Banana Toast

For a quick, healthy breakfast dining hall recipe, head to the bread and bagel section and toast up 2 slices of your choice. Smother your toast with peanut butter, top with cinnamon and honey, and grab a banana. Wield your pro chef knife skills to thinly slice the banana, layer it on top of the toast, and voila! A sweet and delicious toast upgrade.

2. Egg and Hummus/Avocado Toast

Because really, who needs to spend $11 on avocado toast from a millennial hipster café? Although many dining halls don’t have whole avocados, try looking for smashed avocado at the sandwich station or guac from the taco station. Spread your preferred form of avocado or hummus from the sandwiches, on toast and top with a scrambled or fried egg from the omelet station. Garnish with salt, pepper, and hot sauce!

3. Breakfast Hash Bowl

Rival Chick-Fil-A’s! All you need is a visit to the continental breakfast station. Layer the day’s breakfast potato special (hash browns, home fries, or tater tots) with a scoop of scrambled eggs, your meat of choice (sausage, bacon, or chicken– crumble/chop if you dare!), and top with shredded cheese. Add a drizzle of hot sauce, mix well, and you have an easily customizable and filling meal.


1. Waffle Sandwich

Chicken and waffles, anyone? Get the best of both worlds for brunch and combine the self-serve waffle bar with the sandwich station. Whip up a waffle on the press and pile up the sandwich toppings of your choice. Make it a Monte Cristo and layer mayo, Swiss, ham, turkey, and Dijon mustard, or stack fried chicken inside and drizzle with honey.

2. Smoothie Bowl

If you’re lucky enough to have smoothies in any one of your dining halls, why not upgrade it? Pour your smoothie into a bowl and visit the yogurt toppings bar: try adding any combination of nuts (like almond slivers, pecans, peanuts, or sunflower seeds), granola, or coconut for crunch, nut butter to fill you up, honey or chocolate chips for sweetness, and fruits (like berries or banana) for something fresh.

3. BYO Pasta Salad

Made warm or cold, this dining hall recipe is versatile for any meal or snack of the day. Mix plain noodles from the pasta bar with a variety of veggies, cheese, protein, and dressing! Try visiting the salad or sandwich stations for inspo. Consider black olives, spinach, avocado, chickpeas, black beans, peppers, corn, cucumbers, red onions, and tomatoes, as well as feta, cheddar, mozzarella, and parmesan. Toss with pesto, mayo, or make your own dressing with balsamic, olive oil, and seasonings/herbs like oregano.


1. Loaded Mac & Cheese

Best enjoyed at the ungodly hours of the night at your nearest 24-hour dining hall! Start with a bowl of mac and cheese as your base and toss in protein, veggies, more cheese because why not) and some crunch. Try bacon, grilled or fried chicken, or ground beef from the taco/sandwich station; broccoli, red peppers, carrots, jalapenos, corn, red onions, tomatoes, or scallions from the salad bar; feta, bleu cheese, mozzarella, pepper jack, parmesan, cheddar, or Swiss from the salad/sandwich bar; and croutons, breadcrumbs, or fried onions to sprinkle on top.

2. Lettuce Wraps

A healthy and fresh dining hall recipe that will put P. F. Chang’s to shame! Head to the sandwich station to get full leaves of romaine (versus the shreds from the salad bar) and scoop a protein and veggies of your choice in each. Try ground beef, carrots, scallions, crispy chow mein noodles or fried onions, and soy, hoisin, ginger, or any other Asian dressing that’s available– and voila, a perfect copycat recipe!

3. Animal-Style Fries

You don’t have to fly out to California to get In-N-Out for this dining hall recipe. Layer crispy fries (curly recommended!) with queso if available, or simply top with shredded or sliced cheese (try American for the most authentic taste) and melt. Add grilled onions from the sandwich/burger station and a healthy dose of sauce– if your dining hall doesn’t have a dupe, try mixing mayo, ketchup, and relish. Other topping ideas include bacon, ground beef, ranch dressing, scallions, jalapenos, tomatoes, or sour cream.


1. Soda Float

Easily one of the easiest snacks you can make! Fill a glass with cream soda, root beer, Coke, or orange Fanta to start. Acquire either a scoop of vanilla ice cream from the ice cream bar or a prepackaged cup from the freezer and scoop into your glass. Add a crazy straw to complete the look!

2. Ice Cream Sandwich

Ben & Jerry’s dupe! From your dining hall’s bakery and/or dessert station, collect 2 cookies and ice cream: either a prepackaged cup or hand-scooped from the freezer. Stack together and make fun combos! Try 2 different cookie halves or different ice cream flavors, or even roll in toppings like sprinkles or Oreos or dip in hot fudge.