Bratwurst is one of Germany’s best gifts to the rest of the world, and I’m eternally grateful for it. Bratwursts are smoky, savory, garlicky, and essentially everything you want in a sausage.
Brats are commonly topped with ketchup and mustard, and while that’s good, you know you can do better!
Give your brats a bit more excitement by experimenting with your toppings! Brats are forgiving and will taste great with just about anything, so it’s easy to mix and match ingredients and come up with some delicious combos.
But if you’re not in the mood to explore the pantry, don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. Transform your brats with these 14 delectable toppings and they’ll never be more satisfying.
Stone Ground Mustard
Let’s start with the basics. You can’t buy brats without getting mustard too. You just can’t, it’s an unspoken rule in the world of sausages.
And when I say mustard, I’m not talking about the yellow mustard you get for your regular groceries. I’m talking about stone-ground mustard. The coarseness of this condiment gives a wonderful contrast to the smoothness of the brat.
When getting stone-ground mustard, I suggest picking either Inglehoffer or Plochman’s.
Onions may seem like such a simple ingredient, but brats are already so yummy, you don’t need anything grand to elevate its flavors.
Onions have such a sharp, unique flavor, they work as a spectacular garnish whether raw or sauteed.
But if you really want to bring out the natural sweetness of onions, I suggest you grill them. This will caramelize the onions and make them taste phenomenal on top of your bratwurst! It’s the perfect sweet and savory combination.
And you know what else pairs well with caramelized onions? Melted Gruyere! Ooh la la.
Here’s another classic pairing: bratwurst and sauerkraut. If you’re a bratwurst traditionalist, you won’t be able to eat your sausage without this fermented cabbage dish.
Aside from giving your brat a tangy contrast, sauerkraut is also good for the body! Did you know that it has the same amount of good bacteria as yogurt?
If you want to make things even more interesting, you can make your own sauerkraut instead of getting it from the store. Be sure to grill or saute sauerkraut before topping your brats, this will make it taste even more epic.
Because nothing beats this good-old-fashioned tomato-based condiment. You can’t have a cookout without ketchup.
Pickle relish is sweet, sour, and crunchy – everything a brat isn’t. So if you think about it, relish completes a bratwurst. Together they form a glorious combination of wonderful flavors and textures.
Beef, beans, tomatoes, and cheese on top of bratwurst? Yes please! This Texas staple not only tastes great on its own but is also a fantastic topping to brats!
Whoever thought German and Southern cuisine could work so well together?
Pulled pork is sweet and tender, while coleslaw is slightly tart and crispy. Together they make a delicious topping to bratwurst. This mouth-watering combination of sweet, salty, savory, and tangy is like fireworks in your mouth!
Oh, and if you want to give your coleslaw another layer of sweetness and crunchiness, add some pineapple chunks to it. It will give your meal an additional depth of flavor and texture, taking it to a whole new level of goodness.
And speaking of pineapple, you can also top your bratwurst with some Mexican salsa infused with this tropical fruit. Top your brats with some teriyaki sauce too for that extra Asian feel!
When it comes to sausages, you can never go wrong with melted cheese. I am a self-proclaimed cheese addict, so this is my go-to topping for brats.
And when I’m feeling extra hungry, I don’t just top my bratwurst with cheese, I go the extra mile and make some macaroni and cheese!
Just picture it – umami mac and cheese on top of a juicy, smokey bratwurst. Now that’s something else.
If you want to give your German dish a Japanese flair, opt for a wasabi mayo topping! It’s a fabulous way to jazz up your brats, especially if you want to heat things up a little.
This pungent condiment is strong, though, so you don’t want to add too much of it to your mayo. Start with half a tablespoon per one cup of mayo. Mix until combined and keep adding more until you get your desired flavor.
Banh Mi Toppings
We’ve already covered Southern and Japanese toppings, now it’s time for a Vietnamese fusion.
Make a banh mi slaw by combining cucumbers, radishes, carrots, onions, and cilantro. Then coat them in a little bit of jalapeno sauce, and you’re all set!
Bacon and Apple Sauce
Bacon is savory and smoky, just like bratwurst. That’s why the two form a beautiful pair!
And to cut through that savory flavor, whip up some sweet apple sauce to go with. If you don’t have the time, just open up a jar!
This addition may seem way too simple, but it’s effective. Jalapenos can pack a punch, and they’re all you need to give your brats a nice kick.
But if you feel it’s a bit lacking, top them together with Swiss cheese, mustard, and caramelized onions. Fabulous.
Beer and Onions
You can’t get any more German than flavoring your bratwurst with beer and onions. This traditional approach is so good, you just have to try it.
To prepare, just saute some sliced yellow onions until they caramelize. Then cook the onions and your brats in your favorite beer to give them that distinct flavor.
I prefer a light pale ale because it sweetens as they cook, making your brats and onions taste so delightful.