Bratwurst and Sauerkraut

$6.26 recipe / $1.25 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
5 from 18 votes
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I don’t know if I’ve told you yet, but I’m obsessed with bratwurst. Every time I eat it, it doesn’t matter how often I eat it, I swear it’s the best thing I’ve ever tasted. I also love sauerkraut. So I don’t know why it took me so long to make Bratwurst and Sauerkraut together. It’s a classic! But now that I have, I’m probably going to be making it constantly. It’s really easy, and the leftovers are so good, so it’s an instant winner in my book.

Bratwurst and Sauerkraut on two plates, one with buns and one with mashed potatoes

What is Bratwurst?

Bratwurst is a fresh, German-style sausage made with pork, and sometimes veal or beef. It’s incredibly juicy and flavorful, and tastes great whether cooked over an open grill, roasted in the oven, or cooked in a skillet.

In Germany, you’ll find several different types of bratwurst depending on the region, but in the U.S. you’ll usually either find regular bratwurst or beer bratwurst (or “beer brats” for short). Both types will work fine in this recipe.

You’ll find bratwurst in the fresh meat department of your grocery store, near Italian sausage. Johnsonville brats are pretty common in most major grocery stores, but I also enjoy ALDI’s store brand bratwurst.

What Kind of Sauerkraut Should I Use?

I used a German-style sauerkraut purchased in a jar (ALDI’s Deutsche Küche brand), but you could use fresh refrigerated sauerkraut as well. Flavored sauerkraut, like garlic or jalapeño, would also be really awesome in this dish. The only type of sauerkraut that I would suggest avoiding is red cabbage sauerkraut only because the color would likely bleed throughout and turn everything kind of blue-ish.

How to Serve Bratwurst and Sauerkraut

There are two main ways that I would serve bratwurst in sauerkraut. First, in toasted buns with a delicious grainy mustard, and maybe some German Potato Salad on the side. Second, on a plate with the sauerkraut as a bed and a side of either mashed potatoes or potato salad. And while you’re at it, grab a cold German Beer to go with the meal! :)

Bratwurst and sauerkraut in a skillet with beer, potatoes, and mustard on the sides
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Bratwurst and Sauerkraut

5 from 18 votes
Juicy bratwurst simmering in tangy sauerkraut, sweet apples, onions, and broth is an easy and flavorful way to enjoy this German sausage.
Bratwurst and sauerkraut in a skillet with beer, potatoes, and mustard on the sides
Servings 5
Prep 15 mins
Cook 30 mins
Total 45 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow onion ($0.28)
  • 1 apple* ($0.41)
  • 2 cloves garlic ($0.16)
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil ($0.04)
  • 19 oz. bratwurst (5 links) ($3.49)
  • 24 oz. sauerkraut ($1.69)
  • 1/4 tsp caraway seeds (optional) ($0.02)
  • 1/4 tsp paprika ($0.02)
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked pepper ($0.02)
  • 1 cup chicken broth ($0.13)

Instructions 

  • Slice the onion and the apple, and mince the garlic.
  • Add the cooking oil to a large deep skillet or wide pot. Heat over medium. When the pan and oil are hot, add the bratwurst. Cook on each side until well browned (it does not need to be cooked through at this point). Remove the browned bratwurst to a clean plate.
  • Add the sliced onions, apples, and garlic to the pan and sauté for about 5 minutes, or until the onions are soft.
  • Drain the sauerkraut and add it to the skillet, along with the caraway seeds, paprika, pepper, and chicken broth. Stir to combine with the apples and onions. Nestle the browned bratwurst down into the sauerkraut.
  • Place a lid on the pan and allow the broth to come up to a simmer. Lower the heat slightly and continue to simmer the bratwurst in the sauerkraut and broth for 20 minutes, or until the bratwurst is cooked through. Serve hot.

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Notes

*Use a sweet variety of apples to compliment the sour sauerkraut. I used a Gala apple.

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 440kcalCarbohydrates: 16gProtein: 17gFat: 35gSodium: 1984mgFiber: 5g
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Bratwurst and sauerkraut on a plate with mashed potatoes and mustard

How to Make Bratwurst and Sauerkraut – Step by Step Photos

Sliced onion and apple on a cutting board

Slice one yellow onion and one apple, and mince two cloves of garlic. Use a sweet variety apple, like Gala or Fuji.

Browned bratwurst in a skillet

Add a tablespoon of cooking oil to a deep skillet or wide pot and heat over medium. Once hot, add five links of bratwurst (about 19oz.) and cook on both sides until well browned. The bratwurst does not need to be cooked through at this point. Remove the sausage to a clean plate.

onions and apples added to the skillet

Add the onions, apples, and garlic to the skillet.

sautéed onion, apple, and garlic in the skillet

Sauté the onions, apples, and garlic over medium for about five minutes, or until the onions are soft.

sauerkraut, spices, and broth added to the skillet

Drain the sauerkraut and add it to the skillet along with ¼ tsp caraway seeds, ¼ tsp paprika, ¼ tsp pepper, and 1 cup chicken broth. Stir to combine and dissolve any browned bits off the bottom of the skillet.

bratwurst added back to the skillet

Add the Bratwurst back to the skillet and nestle it down into the sauerkraut. Place a lid on the skillet and allow the broth to come to a simmer. Once simmering, lower the heat slightly and continue to simmer the bratwurst for about 20 minutes, or until it is cooked through.

bratwurst and sauerkraut on plates with beer on the sides

Serve hot with a bun or without, with some grainy mustard and a cold beer!

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  1. I have a question about the bratwurst & sauerkraut recipe. The kind I’m used to is actually already cooked, I believe…like Johnsonville. Do I still follow the recipe the same? I guess I’d just brown the brats then?

    1. Hi, there! Since we haven’t tested this recipe with pre-cooked bratwurst, I don’t feel comfortable giving you any suggestions that I can’t promise will be equally successful. Since pre-cooked brats are typically much smaller than uncooked ones, they will likely be very overcooked if following the steps as written. You can find the right kind in any grocery store — depending on the store, they may be located in the meat section rather than near the hot dogs. They will definitely have some at the deli counter. Here’s a link to what we’d suggest using, for a visual (also by Johnsonville): https://www.kroger.com/p/johnsonville-original-bratwursts/0007778200787?fulfillment=PICKUP&searchType=default_search

      I hope that helps! ~Marion :)

  2. Made this for my family for New Year’s Day and it was a big hit! I did substitute a light beer for the chicken broth and I’d say good decision.

  3. This is easy to put together. I am cooking in the oven because I’m watching football. 375 degrees for 30 minutes. I also cut some small golden potatoes in 1/2 and played them cut side down. Looks awesome and cooking all by itself. Yum.

  4. This is an excellent recipe, but using a can of beer instead of the chicken broth kicks it up a notch… or two!

  5. Our family loved this recipe! We ate it with sweet potato oven fries and homemade sauerkraut, and it was just a great, hearty autumn meal. I used a yellow apple and it paired great with the sausages. Will definitely make it again.

  6. I love this recipe. I made it using golden delicious apple the first time since that’s what I had on hand. The second Time I did use the Gala apples it did balance the flavor out just like you stated.

  7. I am making this the minute I finish making this comment. Have read several recipes. Not several, lots! And yours looks the best. I can’t wait. Having it with mashed potatoes. Thank you ! Signing up for your emails too.

  8. What brand of sauerkraut is best? It’s hard to find a good sauerkraut where I live. Thanks

    1. Beth just uses store brand. For this recipe it was Aldi’s. XOXO -Monti