Bratwurst and Sauerkraut is an easy, flavorful, and comforting combination of simple ingredients like German-style bratwurst, tangy sauerkraut, onion, and sweet apple – a daring combination of flavors with incredibly delicious results.
Perfect for Oktoberfest and game day celebrations, this bratwurst and sauerkraut recipe is one of my very favorite easy dinners to enjoy throughout the fall and winter months. Serve it with creamy, buttery mashed potatoes or cheesy macaroni and cheese (or käsespätzle for a more traditional German side dish), and the whole family will be begging for more.
In this version, we’re cooking sliced apples with sauteed onions for a bit of sweetness, but if you’d prefer, swap the sliced apples with your favorite store-bought or homemade applesauce as a side.
Bratwurst vs. Sausage
Both “bratwurst” and “sausage” are types of ground meat products usually stuffed into a casing and can be made from various types of meat. While they are similar, there are key differences between them. The primary difference is that “sausage” is a general term, while “bratwurst” is a specific type of sausage originating from Germany.
So while all bratwursts are sausages, not all sausages are bratwurst.
The name “bratwurst” comes from the German words “brät-” meaning finely chopped meat, and “wurst,” meaning sausage. Bratwurst can be made from pork, beef, or veal, and popular seasonings may include a variety of herbs and spices, which can include salt, white pepper, nutmeg, coriander, caraway, and/or allspice.
How to Make Bratwurst and Sausage
Learn how to make sauerkraut here.
1. Brown the bratwurst: In a large skillet or frying pan over medium-high heat, brown the bratwurst for 8-10 minutes, turning occasionally so that they are browned on all sides. Remove the brats to a clean plate and set aside.
2. Sauté the onion and apple: Return the same pan to medium heat. Add the butter and the olive oil, and add the sliced onion and apple. Sauté for 5 minutes, stirring often, or until the onion and apples have softened.
3. Add the garlic and sauerkraut: Stir in the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds before adding the drained sauerkraut, sugar, and salt to the pan. Cook for another 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Simmer: Nestle the Bratwurst into the sauerkraut mixture, reduce the heat to low, and cover with a lid. Simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the sausages are cooked through.
5. Serve: Remove from heat and garnish with chopped parsley. Serve with brown mustard, if desired.
How to Serve
Cooked brats and kraut don’t need much extra to be a complete and satisfying meal. However, some suggestions include the following:
- A side of grainy mustard, ketchup, or mayonnaise (all very popular condiments in Germany).
- Mixed salad. This can be as simple or as complex as you’d like. When I was in Germany, their side salads typically consisted of mixed greens, chives, corn, beets, tomato, cucumber, and creamy potato salad.
- German potato salad or regular potato salad, or even macaroni salad, would pair well against the tangy sauerkraut.
- Mashed potatoes, boiled potatoes, or French fries.
- Hot dog buns
Storage and Leftovers
Transfer leftover bratwurst and sauerkraut to airtight containers and transfer to the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. To store for a more extended period of time, you may freeze the leftover bratwurst and sauerkraut. Bratwurst can be stored in the freezer for up to 2-3 months, while sauerkraut, due to its fermentation, can keep in the freezer for up to 2 years.
More Skillet Recipes
- French Onion Meatball Skillet
- Steak and Sweet Potato Skillet
- Creamy Coconut Milk Chicken Recipe (One-Skillet)
- Kielbasa and Cabbage Skillet
- Smothered Pork Chops Recipe
If you try making this Bratwurst and Sauerkraut Recipe, please leave me a comment and let me know! I always love to hear your thoughts.
Bratwurst and Sauerkraut
- 6 Bratwurst sausage
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 yellow onion - thinly sliced
- 1 large apple - cored and sliced
- 3 cloves garlic - minced
- 1 (15-ounce) can sauerkraut - well drained (or 2 cups homemade sauerkraut)
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar - or brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt - plus more to taste
- Heat a large skillet or frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the Bratwurst and brown for 8-10 minutes, turning occasionally, until they are browned on all sides. Remove the sausages from the pan and set them aside.
- Return the pan to medium heat and add the butter and olive oil. Once the butter has melted, add the sliced onion and apple to the pan and sauté for 5 minutes, or until the onion and apples have softened.
- Stir in the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds or until the garlic becomes fragrant.
- Add the drained sauerkraut to the pan, stir in the sugar and salt, and cook for another 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Nestle the Bratwurst into the sauerkraut mixture, reduce the heat to low and cover with a lid. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the sausages are cooked through and the sauerkraut has reduced a bit.
- Remove the pan from the heat and let it rest for a few minutes before garnishing with freshly chopped parsley.
- Transfer leftover bratwurst to an airtight container and keep them stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- Bratwurst should be cooked until the internal temperature registers 160 degrees F.
- The apples are optional. This recipe is delicious served with a side of Dijon mustard and homemade applesauce.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.)