Kwik Trip meal ideas, from roast chicken dinner to cheese curd snack
Kwik Travel is a Wisconsin institution.
Founded in 1965 in Eau Claire, it has its head office in La Crosse and, since wedding pictures to recurring references by Charlie Berens, comedian from Wisconsinhe has secured his place in the hearts of the people of Wisconsin.
I’m on board with Kwik Trip love. I stop here often for morning coffee – and am delighted to once again enjoy its annual pumpkin spice infusion.
When my daughters were younger, it was a regular after-school excursion; they would choose a drink and a snack, and we would relax in the café area telling me about their day. And last Mother’s Day, when my sister and I told my mom we wanted to take her to lunch, she instead asked that we stop at Kwik Trip for a coffee to take back to her porch while we sipped and we were chatting.
Although I’ve always liked Kwik Trip for its coffee and snacks, I don’t usually use it as a grocery store. But since the school year started and my schedule got busier, I realized that Kwik Trip is closer to home than my usual grocery store. I also became aware of the variety of options for making a quick dinner.
After some research I discovered a reason why I noticed more meal choices. While donuts, hot meals, salads, sandwiches and produce have been in stores since the early 2000s, Kwik Trip’s fresh fried chicken and takeout only arrived in 2019 and 2020.
I’ve been on a few trips to Kwik Trip recently, picked up several foods to try out with my family, and put together meal ideas that I can make using just Kwik Trip food.
Kwik Trip meal for a busy weeknight
Grilled chicken: Whole roast or rotisserie chickens are my favorite for a busy weeknight. I usually buy them at Pick ‘n Save, but since Kwik Trip is closer to home, I was glad to see I could get one there. My daughter Wendy and I loved the chicken, which was flavorful and juicy even after reheating it.
Little bread: My husband often picks these up on his own Kwik Trip snack errands. They are soft and go well with butter; we didn’t even need to warm them up.
Prepared Caesar salad: A lower container holds romaine lettuce, with chicken and parmesan in separate containers on top. This setup prevents the ingredients from getting soggy. I thought it would be a typical gas station salad, but the lettuce was surprisingly fresh and the chicken flavorful. I recommend combining two of them for a family.
Yogurt parfait: The yogurt parfait had vanilla yogurt and strawberries mixed together, with granola in a separate container to be mixed afterwards. I realized this on my second visit to Kwik Trip, during which Wendy accompanied me. She said she missed the parfaits we used to get at McDonald’s and wanted to see how it compared. It was less sweet than the McDonald’s version but still had enough sweetness to make a healthy dessert.
Fried chicken: Kwik Trip offers hot and cold versions of many of its prepared meals. The cold option worked well when I picked up fried chicken one morning after dropping my kids off at school. I didn’t want to reheat it for fear of drying it out, so we ate it cold, picnic style. It was juicy and well seasoned.
Sushi: It was a wildcard as I’ve never eaten sushi at the gas station and admittedly it sounds a bit scary. But it’s not just any gas station; it’s Kwik Trip! I went very basic with the California roll. It’s packaged like grocery store deli counter sushi, with rolls in a container and packets of wasabi, ginger, and soy sauce on top, and a handy compartment to place them. The rolls are smaller than standard deli counter sushi (and smaller than typical sushi restaurants), but they were delicious.
Kwik Trip meal for a moderately relaxed weeknight or weekend
When I have enough time to cook instead of just reheat, that’s what my family loves about a Kwik Trip meal.
Sloppy Joes and Buns: I usually make sloppy joes from scratch, so I didn’t know it was possible to buy sloppy joe meat already seasoned and ready. Kwik Trip sells cooked meat with sloppy joe sauce that just needs to be reheated.
Baked potatoes with sour cream
salad made with lettuce, mushrooms, tomatoes and other vegetables.
And here are some other meals for those moderately relaxed times:
Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin: It was a shock when I saw it. Yes, I had seen the ground beef, chicken breasts, brats, even the steak at Kwik Trip. But the bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin looked so fancy, and it was only $1.99. When I asked Wendy if I was reading the price correctly, she responded with a shrug. I followed the directions for reheating it in a pan and we all agreed it was delicious. Although Wendy pointed out that it was hard to go wrong with the double pork, I was still impressed. The portion is small, but with a reasonable number of sides it could be a good main dish for two people and taste great for something delicious for three or four people. And, if you only cook for yourself, this is a great option.
Fresh meat like brats, steak, burger patties, and chicken breasts
Pizza: Kwik Trip offers frozen pizzas, hot pizza slices and take-out pizzas. I saw the take out pizza again a few years ago at a gustatory pizza party. My friends and family didn’t like the pizza, which they thought had too much sauce, but if sauce is your thing, worth a try.
Tacos : It’s the same as sloppy meat to me; when we have tacos, I usually cook the meat and mix my own spices. But Kwik Trip’s Seasoned and Ready Taco Meat is super convenient. With lettuce, tomatoes, shredded cheese, sour cream, and taco shells — all available at Kwik Trip — it’s an easy meal to make.
Kwik Trip meal to replace fast food
I mentioned that my local Kwik Trip is closer to home than the grocery store. It’s also closer than most fast food restaurants. This makes Kwik Trip a great choice and a nice change of pace for our Friday nights when we typically eat fast food at home while watching a movie. Here is what my family would choose for it.
Chicken Tenders: These tasted very similar to fried chicken – Kwik Trip does a good job of seasoning the chicken. These are sold alone or accompanied by waffle fries.
Cheese curds : When I saw Kwik Trip had cheese curds and pointed it out to my daughter, she nodded. “Can we really say we’re from Wisconsin if we don’t try cheese curds?” she asked. A very reasonable question. It’s an embarrassing admission – Wisconsin girl that I am – but I’m not a big fan of cheese curds. But – a girl from Wisconsin that I am – I appreciated that they smelled like State Fair food. My husband is our family cheese curd connoisseur and he loved them. We all thought they were a little too breaded, but the flavor was good.
Frozen drinks: I think a fast food meal needs a special drink to go with it. Kwik Trip’s self-serve drink stations have always fascinated my daughters and me. Their favorites are the Arctic Slushes (Blue Moon Frost), and I’m drawn to the specialty coffees, including Frappés and Macchiatos. Kwik Trip also has machines for fruit smoothies and chocolate shakes.
Additional options for fast food type meals include burgers or cheeseburgers; sandwiches, including fried chicken and waffles, barbecue pork chops and fish with cheese; chicken wings; hot dogs, pizza slices and burritos.
Kwik Trip Snack
When we have people over for game night, or sometimes just for our own family dinner, we like to make a meal out of snacks. This is especially a good idea for us, since most of Kwik Trip’s prepared foods are not safe for my oldest daughter, who has food allergies. (Note: Kwik Trip has a sign on its door to alert people to the possibility of cross-contamination from major allergens in its prepared foods.)
For these meals, my family would choose sausages, sliced fruit, vegetable platters, and a variety of crackers, blocks or slices of cheese, pretzels, chips and dips, salsa, and guacamole.
Sick Meal Kwik Trip
When my family members are sick, I take advantage of Kwik Trip’s proximity to my home. It’s convenient because they contain Tylenol, Advil, cold and allergy medicine, Pepto Bismol, cough drops and throat lozenges. For food, I researched soothing foods for sore throats, bland foods for upset stomachs, and novel foods to entice people with suppressed appetites to eat something. Here is what I usually choose:
Soup: Kwik Trip carries fresh hot soup as well as refrigerated bags of soup to reheat on the stovetop. And canned soups are in the grocery section. I warmed up a bag of chilled chicken and wild rice soup. Wendy loves rice and she’s been enjoying chicken noodle soup at restaurants lately. However, she peeked into the jar and said there were too many vegetables for her. And there were quite a few vegetables: carrots, celery and mushrooms, as well as chicken and wild rice. A lot of vegetables is not a fault for me; that’s how I like my soup. If I had to do it again, I would add salt and pepper. The flavors were good, but it was a bit bland.
Crackers such as Saltines, Ritz and Goldfish
Bland foods like Cheerios, bread, and rice
Popsicles and lollipops for sore throats
Drinks : Kwik Trip has plenty of drink options in the refrigerated section, with different juices, water, and sodas (we always get Sprite and Gatorade when someone’s sick.) The drink stations are handy for soothing sore throats, with cold granitas and fountain drinks, and hot tea and coffee.