If you’re looking for the ultimate brats recipe, you’ve found it! This beer-braised bratwurst recipe makes a great addition to a fun barbecue. You could also whip them up for a quick and easy weeknight dinner. This hearty dish knocks traditional burgers and hot dogs out of the park!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Simplicity: Easy-to-follow steps make this recipe perfect for cooks of all levels.
  • Flavorful: The combination of beer-braised bratwurst and caramelized onions creates a rich, savory taste.
  • Customizable: Easily adjust toppings and sides to cater to different tastes.
  • Comfort Food: Offers a warm, satisfying meal that’s ideal for cozy evenings.
  • Quick Preparation: Ready in under 30 minutes, making it a great option for busy nights.

Overhead view of beer braised bratwurst and onions on toasted buns.

Enjoy beer braised bratwurst and onions for a backyard barbecue, Oktoberfest celebration, or a quick and delicious dinner. These perfect brats are browned and braised in beer, sautéed in onions, and are oh so flavorful!

To bring out the flavor in the sausages, we brown them first. We do this to hold onto all of those delicious aromas that get released from the meat as it cooks. You can also serve them straight from the hot and juicy beer bath. They’re much tastier than shriveled-up sausages that have been hanging out on the grill to dry up. The toasted bun for serving takes this dish up a notch. Smear them with stone ground mustard, and place the bratwurst on top with some of the tender onions. It’s a flavor party that you’re all invited to!

Ingredient Breakdown and Substitutes

  • Bratwurst Sausages: The star of the show! These German sausages come packed with a rich blend of pork, beef, or veal. Want something different? Try Italian sausage for a herby kick or kielbasa for a smoky vibe.
  • Cooking Oil: Our little secret to perfectly browned sausages. If you’re out of cooking oil, no worries – butter works wonders for flavor, or you can grab any neutral oil like canola.
  • Onions: These beauties transform in the pan, giving that irresistible sweet and deep flavor. Use yellow or white onions, or try a sweeter note with sweet Vidalia onions.
  • Beer (Pilsner): Here’s where the magic happens! A good pilsner adds depth and earthiness. But if beer’s not your cup of tea, you’ve got options: non-alcoholic beer, chicken broth for savory goodness, or apple juice for a touch of sweetness.
  • Garlic: A little garlic goes a long way in pumping up the flavor. In a pinch, garlic powder can save the day. Use 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder to replace 1 tablespoon minced garlic.
  • Buns: They’re not just a vehicle for the bratwurst; they’re part of the experience. Feel free to swap in pretzel rolls for a twist or gluten-free buns to keep everyone happy.
  • Stone-Ground Mustard: This isn’t just any mustard; it’s got texture and a bold flavor that loves to mingle with bratwurst. But hey, if you’re in a mood for change, try Dijon for a sharper bite or honey mustard for a sweet note.

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of beer is best for this recipe?

Opt for a pilsner to achieve the best flavor in your beer brats. Brands like Miller, Budweiser, PBR, and Heineken are great choices. While craft beers are tempting, they’re better enjoyed as a drink rather than in this dish.

Can I substitute something else for beer?

Yes, you can use non-alcoholic beer, chicken broth, or apple juice as substitutes. However, remember that cooking with beer adds a unique earthiness to the dish, and all the alcohol evaporates during cooking.

What type of bratwurst should I use?

Choose unprepared bratwurst, preferably from a butcher. Avoid pre-cooked or beer-braised options available in supermarkets for the best results.

Is it possible to make this recipe on the grill?

Absolutely! Brown the brats on the grill, and cook the onions in a grill-safe skillet or Dutch oven. Add beer and then the brats, letting them cook together for about 10 minutes or until ready to serve.

How can I prevent the bratwurst from drying out?

By following the recipe’s method of browning the brats first and then cooking them in the beer and onion mixture before serving, your bratwurst should remain juicy and delicious.

Serving Suggestions

  • Classic Sides: Pair your bratwurst with traditional sides like sauerkraut, creamy potato salad, or sweet and tangy coleslaw.
  • Roasted Veggies: For a healthier twist, serve with roasted vegetables like carrots or Brussels sprouts.
  • German Potato Pancakes: Embrace the German theme and serve your bratwurst with crispy potato pancakes and a dollop of sour cream or applesauce.
  • Warm German Potato Salad: A warm potato salad, made with bacon, vinegar, and mustard, can be a heartwarming side that pairs perfectly with the bratwurst.
  • Pretzel Rolls: Swap out the regular buns for pretzel rolls to add a delightful twist and a chewy texture to your meal.
Overhead view of bratwurst and onions in a cast iron skillet.

Topping Ideas

  • Mustards Galore: Experiment with different mustards, like spicy brown, Dijon, or honey mustard, to find your favorite pairing.
  • Sautéed Mushrooms: Top your bratwurst with sautéed mushrooms for an earthy, umami-packed addition.
  • Caramelized Onions: Add extra caramelized onions for more sweetness and depth of flavor.
  • Cheese Please: Sprinkle some shredded cheese such as Swiss, cheddar, or gouda on top of your bratwurst for a melty, gooey experience.
  • Pickled Red Onions: For a zesty and vibrant topping, try pickled red onions. They add a nice tang and crunch.
  • Fresh Herbs: A sprinkle of fresh herbs like parsley or chives can add a pop of color and a fresh flavor contrast.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

If you have any leftovers, you can store them in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 3-4 days. You can also store them (again in an airtight container) in the freezer where they will keep for up to 4 months.

Reheat In the Microwave: When you’re ready for round two, grab a microwave-safe dish and place your leftovers in it. Add just a splash of water (it helps keep the bratwurst moist). Heat them up in 30-second bursts until they’re warmed through.

Reheat In the Oven: Prefer the oven? Sure thing! Preheat it to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Once it’s up to temperature, pop your leftovers in for about 10 minutes or until they’re heated to your liking.

More Easy Dinner Ideas

Watch the video below where Caytlin will walk you through every step of this recipe. Sometimes it helps to have a visual, and we’ve always got you covered with our cooking show. You can find the complete collection of recipes on YouTube, Facebook Watch, or our Facebook Page, or right here on our website with their corresponding recipes.