Rutgers Dining is one of only about 50 colleges and universities to be accepted into Menus of Change.

At the core of Menus of Change are the Principles of Healthy, Sustainable Menus. These provide chefs and foodservice leaders with menu and recipe guidance related to health and sustainability, along with business strategies that integrate both environmental and nutrition science imperatives.

As a member, Rutgers Dining Services is working to incorporate the principles of Menus of Change – which call for making vegetables, whole grains, nuts and beans the center of the plate, serving less red meat while offering a greater variety of seafood, and reducing added sugar and salt – into much of what is available in the dining halls.

In addition, Rutgers Dining is also a part of The Menus of Change University Research Collaborative, which is a working group of leading scholars, foodservice business leaders, and executive chefs from invited colleges and universities who are accelerating efforts to move Americans toward healthier, more sustainable, plant-forward diets.


  • Have a question about how your food is made? Simply ask to speak with a Dining Hall Manager. Ingredients and nutrition info are accessible daily on our online menus.

  • In the summer Dining Services purchases about 95% locally sourced fresh produce.

  • Dining Services purchases various produce (fruits, vegetables, and herbs) from the Cook Student Sustainable Farm to support local farm practices which are responsible and sustainable.

  • Check out plant-based, globally inspired dishes like Steamed Veggie Dumplings over Coconut Brown Basmati Rice with Edamame and Roasted Kale, Sweet Potato Falafel Burgers with Root Vegetable Slaw, and Meaty Mushroom “Bolognese” over Whole Wheat Penne.

  • Dining Services cooks most dining hall menu items from scratch, using whole and minimally processed foods.

  • You can find everyday, healthful food items featured throughout the dining halls. Join us by tasting our new healthful menu items and learning how they are made during monthly Menus of Change Culinary Demonstrations in the dining hall near you.

  • Healthy can be flavorful too! Check out these creatively named, healthy food items that lead with flavor: Whole Grain Flatbread with Arugula, Pesto, Tomato, Peppers, Turkey Bacon and Smoked Mozzarella and Poached Salmon on 7-Grain Bread with Dill Egg-less Mayo, Watercress, Cucumber, and Pickled Onions.

  • Dining Services is all about food quality. Over the past year we have improved the quality of food items offered at take-out, leading to a healthy reduction in portion sizes.

  • Our expert chefs work with ingredients from diverse cultural backgrounds to create healthful versions of traditional dishes. Try Asian inspired cuisine like Grilled Lemon Grass Shrimp over Sesame Broccolini, Bok Choy, and Soba Noodles and Mediterranean influenced dishes like Roasted Halal Lamb with Goat Cheese, Spearmint Pesto and Spinach on 7-Grain Bread.

  • The use of energy efficient equipment, LED lightbulbs, a Vegawatt generator and multiple food waste digesters makes for a greener more sustainable dining space.

  • Filling half your plate with produce has never been easier. Try Eggplant Manicotti over Zucchini Noodles with Fire Roasted Tomato Sauce, Cauliflower Fried Rice, and Grilled Vegetable Pitas.

  • Say hello to whole intact grains with our Grain and Fruit Pancakes, Warm Apple and Quinoa Bowls, Whole Grain Flatbread Pizza and Harvest Grain Salads.

  • When it comes to veggies, variety is best. Vary your spud selection by choosing items like Baked Sweet Potato Fries and Purple Potato Hash instead of fried French fries and hash browns.

  • Fuel up on plant protein by making legumes and nuts the star of your plate. For starters, try our Beet and Bean Burgers, Falafel, Grilled Tofu, or a dollop of Hummus.

  • Healthy fats found in olive oil, canola oil, fish, nuts, seeds, and avocados are offered throughout the dining halls. Dining Services cooks mainly with 100% olive oil, 100% canola oil, or a blend of the two.

  • The days of low fat are over. Instead, incorporate healthy fats into your meals. Add some olive oil and vinegar to your sandwich or salad, try one of our sustainably sourced fish like salmon, tilapia, or dogfish, and top that stir-fry with some avocado.

  • Dining Services sources a variety of sustainable seafood such as tilapia, dogfish, and salmon. These fish are caught off the coast of New Jersey and New England.

  • A little dairy goes a long way. Looking to cut back? Dining Services offers an assortment of dairy-free alternatives like soy and rice milks and a variety of cheeses.

  • For all the egg lovers out there, yes, Dining Services uses local, cage-free eggs; but let’s try not to over-do it. Next time you’re at the omelet station, try increasing your vegetable-to-egg ratio or mix up your breakfast routine altogether by choosing whole grain cereals, oatmeal, or yogurt.

  • Treat yourself once in a while without making every day like Chocolate Fantasy. To help you out, Dining Services is working with the Rutgers Bakery in an effort to introduce healthier dessert offerings.

  • Lookout when plant and animal proteins combine forces in our signature 50% Blended Mushroom and Beef Burger. Less meat certainly does not mean less flavor.

  • Dining Services has been incorporating new recipes where low or even no salt is added. Fresh herbs and spices are being utilized instead to enhance flavor.

  • New tripled filtered water dispensers in each dining hall offer high quality ambient, chilled, and sparkling water to replace those sugary drinks.

  • Get creative with healthy drinks by adding fresh fruit and herbs to your seltzer, water, or tea for added flavor without added sugar. Try mixing lemon in tea, watermelon and lime in seltzer, or strawberry and basil in water.