Oktoberfest! Beer gardens! Lederhosen!
Among all things beloved about Germany, for me, Bratwurst tops the list.
This delicious German sausage can be made from beef or veal but is commonly made from pork.
Give me a sausage in a soft roll with traditional bratwurst toppings, or mix it up with creative bratwurst toppings, and I’m happy either way.
One bite, a sip of beer, and I’m ready to polka!
I like complementary tastes and textures, so this list is heavy on pickled veg to cut through the oiliness of the sausage.
I am not saying that I’m above a little cheese, of course.
You’ll never struggle with ideas for what to put on Bratwurst after reading our list of toppers.
So stick with me:
Let’s explore the wonderful world of sausage and what makes the best bratwurst toppings.
Traditional and Creative Bratwurst Toppings: 15 Expected Favorites and Thrilling Surprises
When I think of German sausage, sauerkraut immediately comes to mind.
Its distinctive sour taste cuts through the oily sausage, providing a perfect counterpoint.
I’ve been reading about the health benefits of pickled and fermented foods lately, and sauerkraut is a superstar.
Being nutritious, good for your digestion, and an immunity booster, are just some of the benefits.
Check out the full list and instructions on how to make it below. Making your own is straightforward and gives you all the beneficial probiotics.
These probiotics don’t make it through pasteurization.
So look for unpasteurized sauerkraut if you choose to buy some already prepared.
Ok, I realize this isn’t a traditional topping, but I’m on a roll.
While we’re at it with fermented vegetables, let’s turn up the heat! Making Kimchi at home allows you to control how spicy it will be.
The ingredients are readily available, it’s high in fiber and low in fat and calories and loaded with vitamins.
It’s one of the world’s healthiest foods, according to Health Magazine and a great way to use up leftover brats!
Visit foodiewithfamily.com to give this recipe a spin.
3. Pickled Onions
If you’ve never tried pickled onions, you’re in for a treat!
You’ll want to start with white vinegar or malt vinegar for complimentary tastes.
Any variety of onions and any type of vinegar will work so you can experiment to find what you like best. It’s fast too, only about 15 minutes.
4. Pickled Peppers
There’s a reason Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers, and we couldn’t leave the pickled veg idea without one more delicious option for you.
You can buy pickled pepperoncini or pickled jalapeno slices already prepared, but making your pickled peppers and veg gives you more variety and options.
Chilipeppermadness.com can show you how easy these are to make.
5. Chili Beans
I have confessed my love for chili beans.
We have a thing going on.
Chili beans poured over your bratwurst fresh off the grill, nestled into a soft roll, covered in melted cheddar and maybe some pickled peppers, can’t be beat.
6. Crushed Tortilla, Potato Chips, or Fritos
Let’s not pretend this is a healthy suggestion. I’d choose white or yellow corn chips or thick-cut kettle chips.
You want the chips to retain their crunch, so don’t use wimpy chips.
I’d use regular chips instead of any of the specialty flavors. Fritos are in a class by themselves; they’ll stand up to anything in terms of taste and sturdiness.
7. Sriracha Coleslaw
I love a good crunchy coleslaw with a kick! You can lay this down as a base in the roll and plop your Brat right on top.
This is a great way to get your greens!
This creamy recipe uses vegan mayo, but regular mayo would be delicious too.
Get over to createmindfully.com for healthy, gluten-free, and vegan recipes galore.
8. Spicy Vinegar Coleslaw
There are lots of choices for coleslaw with vinegar instead of a mayonnaise base. I prefer the cleaner taste and the punch of spicy vinegar.
Line your bun with this as above.
A dusting of chili flakes or a squirt of mustard, and I’d be ready to dig in.
Check out downshiftology.com for fresh, simple, and seasonal recipes
9. Easy Cheese Curds
So I like the idea of cheese curds on Bratwurst, but when I saw how hard they are to make from scratch, I ran out of enthusiasm.
An idea that should work better and be a million times easier is to use large curd cottage cheese.
I’d line a strainer with cheesecloth and empty the cottage cheese into the strainer on top of the cheesecloth.
Let the cottage cheese drain for about 30 minutes and see if you get an acceptable result.
You may want to give them a little rinse with salted water, but give this a try.
10. Fried Garlic Chips
We all love chips, and these little beauties will add crunch and punch to your Bratwurst.
You may become addicted and want to add these to everything you cook; they’re that good!
I use olive oil to fry them and dress them in pink Himalayan salt.
Don’t blame me if you become obsessed with them! Re-use the garlic oil for other dishes!
Here’s a how-to video
11. Salsa! Salsa! Salsa! Red, Green, and Pico De Gallo
Salsa is easy to make and makes everything better!
Everyone knows and loves red salsa, but don’t miss out on the salsa verde!
Try making this yourself if you can find fresh tomatillos. If you’re lucky enough to have a Mexican market in your town, you’ll find all these ingredients easily.
This recipe uses roasted tomatillos, jalapeno, and white onion along with cilantro, garlic, and lime juice.
You can always buy prepared salsa verde, but if you can get the ingredients, try making it from scratch.
Pico de Gallo is made with chopped tomatoes, white onion, serrano peppers, and cilantro.
I’d serve this with the vegan sour cream or cheese sauce like Ragu, for a fresh and creamy combo that can’t be beat.
12. Basil and Pineapple Salsa
This recipe uses gorgeous Thai flavors, and you won’t believe how good it will be atop your Bratwurst.
Basil and pineapple are an inspired combination, and this healthy salsa is full of fruit and veg!
The spicy dressing uses shallots, chilis, garlic, ginger, with lime juice and fish sauce.
The salsa has cucumber, pineapple, coconut, shallots, ginger, chili, and tons of fresh Thai basil for a flavor bomb that will explode like fireworks.
13. Mashed Garlic With Olive Oil and Salt
Get ready for a surprise!
If you’ve never had raw garlic, you’ll be thrilled with how spicy and flavorful it is.
14. French’s Onions
I wouldn’t recommend something out of a can under normal circumstances, but these are the exceptions.
You might be familiar with these crunchy treats that top the holiday green bean casserole, but they’re delicious any time of the year.
15. Apple and Onion Chutney
This sweet and savory pairing makes for an excellent match for your Brat. It would be great layered into your roll as a base for the sausage.
Motherwouldknow.com has some excellent money-saving home cooking ideas like this chutney.
Additional Pairing Ideas: Set up a Topping/Condiment Bar!
Know what’s fun for guests?
Surprise, variety, and choices!
What to put on Bratwurst?
How about an area for the basics first? Ketchup, yellow mustard, dijon mustard, country-style mustard, mayonnaise, sriracha, Tabasco (red and green), and salt and pepper.
Then you can move to more exotic choices, clearly labeled in their bottles, or marked in squeeze bottles for easy dispensing.
Put out vinaigrette, salad dressings, specialty oils and vinegar, garlic mayo, and other flavored mayos like wasabi or sriracha.
Group your dry ingredients.
Set out small bowls of crushed corn chips, potato chips, or Fritos for sprinkling over the brats, offer the fried garlic chips this way, along with the crispy onions.
Think about presentation and group similar condiments together, but we’ll guarantee your guests will love having a chance to check out new tastes.
Having a chance to try a variety of different toppings and condiments is thrilling to guests as long as the choices are clearly labeled, and they have a chance to try the sauce before committing!
We’ve given you recipes for how to make traditional bratwurst toppings, favorites that have withstood the test of time like sauerkraut, chili beans, and pickled peppers.
You can also see our list of what goes well with bratwurst if you want to expand your meal add-ons even more.
We’ve also given you creative bratwurst toppings and slightly crazy toppers like Kimchi, basil and pineapple salsa, and mashed raw garlic paste.
You could serve these individually, but why not create a tasting bar for your toppings and condiments and let guests experiment and serve themselves?
It’s a great way to encourage your guests to get creative and enjoy trying new things.
This will bring a little bit of Germany to your grilling party and get your guests together, trying new toppings and condiments. I’m ready to polka, are you?
What to Put on Brats
- Pickled Onions
- Pickled Peppers
- Chili Beans
- Crushed Tortilla
- Sriracha Coleslaw
- Vinegar Coleslaw
- Cheese Curds
- Garlic Chips
- Pineapple Salsa
- Mashed Garlic
- French’s Onions
- Onion Chutney
- Choose your desired Bratwurst topping recipe.
- Gather and organize needed ingredients.
- Create tasty Bratwurst toppings to complete your meal!