Bratwurst and Sauerkraut

$6.26 recipe / $1.25 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
5 from 37 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 37 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 minutes
Cook 30 minutes
Total 45 minutes

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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Comments

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  1. Oh my word! I liked sauerkraut before but this makes me love it! This recipe mellows the sauerkraut and just makes it so….yummy! You have to try it to believe it.

  2. Wonderful preparation and ingredients for brats. Did not have good fresh brats, used Johnsonville precooked brats and did not have caraway seed, used fresh dill and fresh celery. Made as described and voila, superb. Will be made again after chasing down some fresh locally made brats and caraway seeds. Who’s got it better???? No body… Thanks for the recipe Beth.

  3. Made this recipe New Year’s Day and my family loved it so I’m making it again this week. Easy and delicious. I added extra apple slices. Thanks.

  4. Made this tonight and it was very quick and easy. Added just a touch of brown sugar to the sauerkraut. Everyone in my family enjoyed it! Thank you

  5. I’m not a normally a sausage and sauerkraut fan, but this was delicious! A quick and easy way to cook raw sausage, this dish was full of flavor.

  6. Easy and delicious! With some instant mashed potatoes on the side, no sweat. Bought chicken brats from the farmer’s market that pair perfectly.

  7. We made our own sauerkraut this year and I’m always looking for new recipes. This was delicious and I will definitely make it again. I did use fennel seeds since I didn’t have caraway seeds but other than that I stayed true to your recipe.

  8. I used beer in place of the chicken broth and kept everything else as instructed.
    This recipe is super easy and 100% yummy!

  9. Referred to this recipe for dinner to cater to our German exchange student. She said it was perfect. I had everything but the caraway seeds, and we served it with mashed potatoes (from scratch, not instant potatoes).

  10. How would you make this for larger group? We are taking a lunch to the nursing home (Octoberfest) and feeding about 64 residents. Is there a way to make in a roaster?

    1. Unfortunately, I’ve never cooked such a large quantity, so I’d need to test it out before offering a recommendation.

  11. Very good, simple, and quick to make. Sons and I enjoyed it. I didn’t have an apple and had to substitute bouillon for the broth but it still was very good. We had it on toasted hot dog rolls. Sons said to save the recipe.

  12. Super easy and delicious! I tried both suggested serving types- one with the bratwurst on a brioche bun, and one with a bunless bratwurst alongside mashed potatoes. Both were fantastic!