Become a Writer Advertise With Us

There have been posts far and wide about cooking in college and making the most out of your grocery shopping but the truth is that you have that meal plan for a reason. Cafeterias on campus are notorious for having exceptionally bad food and the school that I attend is no exception. Unfortunately we can’t all go to Hogwarts where there is an endless feast ready for us. Instead muggles have to survive on cafeteria food and here are some food hacks that will help you do it.

1.) The College Crepe

photo credit: flossyflotsam via photopin cc

I would venture a guess and say that most college campuses do not offer crepes on a regular basis. To create this delicious treat all you need is a tortilla, some fruit, and basically anything located at the dessert bar. Crepes can be made out of anything so take a look around the cafeteria to get some inspiration.

2.) Steamed Veggies

steamed veggies
 photo credit: whologwhy via photopin cc

Sure you can find veggies waiting for you in line but by the time you get to them they look rather sad and pathetic. Instead of eating lifeless, limp veggies take some raw broccoli out of the salad bar and microwave it with a little water to achieve crunchy steamed veggies. Your taste buds will appreciate a little extra work.

3.) Turn fruit into a dessert

bananas and honey
photo credit: futurowoman via photopin cc

This is an easy snack to prepare in the cafeteria. Take a banana and chop it up into a bowl, add some honey over top of it and include some cinnamon. If you want to get creative add some of your own toppings that you find around the dessert bar.

4.) Trail Mix

Trail Mix
photo credit: Mark_W via photopin cc

Can’t stay long in the cafeteria? No sweat, trail mix is an easy snack to make and it will keep your stomach happy as you go through your day of classes. Find some dessert toppings and mix them with raisins or nuts that you can find in the salad bar. In order to complete the trail mix be sure to add your favorite cereal. Put all of the ingredients in a bag and you’re good to go.

5.) Banana+Peanut Butter+Cereal=Heaven

photo credit: IAN RANSLEY DESIGN + ILLUSTRATION via photopin cc

This is by far one of my favorite things to create in the cafeteria and part of it is because it requires minimal effort. The title says it all. Grab a banana, dip into peanut butter and then dip into your choice of cereal. The best type of cereal to use is rice krispies due its small size but I would be willing to guess that other choices of cereal could work as well.

6.) Pizza Bagel

pizza bagel
photo credit: LizLemonCooks via photopin cc

Instead of going to the store and buying frozen pizza bagels you can take a trip to your cafeteria and let your meal plan take care of it. All you have to do is microwave a toasted bagel that is loaded with sauce from the pasta line and cheese from the salad line. This simple meal is a slight upgrade from regular pizza and easy enough to create in a few minutes.

7. Pasta Primavera

pasta primavera

 photo credit: mealmakeovermoms via photopin cc

Pasta can go either way in the cafeteria. Some days it is on point and needs little help but on other occasions it is plain boring and needs a little extra something. You can create pasta primavera in your own cafeteria but adding extra vegetables from your salad bar to the oodles of noodles. Go crazy and keeping adding more cheese and mix in some olive oil.

8.) Ice Cream Sandwich

ice cream sandwich
photo credit: Malingering via photopin cc

Never underestimate the power of ice cream sandwich. You may have overlooked this food hack in the past but I have included it in this list because it combines two dear loves of mine. The combination of chocolate chip cooks with some vanilla ice cream is the perfect dessert after a long day of classes. Don’t think about the calories, just do it.

9.) Quesadillas


photo credit: via photopin cc

Oh where would I be without my quesadillas? In my darkest times at the cafeteria I could always depend on quesadillas to fill my stomach. All you need is a tortilla with some cheese and veggies from the salad bar and viola! You now have the perfect cafeteria meal.

10.) Baked Potatoes

Baked Potatoes
photo credit: naokomc via photopin cc

You can transform your boring baked potatoes into little masterpieces by mashing the insides and stuffing it with cheese and bacon bits and anything else that your heart desires. Do not settle for what is served to you in the cafeteria! Instead take every boring dish as a chance to become the next world renowned food artist.

What are some of your food hacks?