Whenever I see bratwurst, I am reminded of my lovely grandma (God rest her soul) and all the wonderful memories we shared together. She made the best brats and would always make me choose the topping, saying;
“Toppings are the best part of the meal!”
I always chose sauerkraut or onions, but she challenged me to try something new each time.
Now that I have my own grill, I often host BBQs in my yard to keep my grandma’s memories alive. And I still love choosing the toppings for brats!
Most times, I choose unconventional toppings like mango salsa or guacamole just to honor grandma. However, there are still some traditionalists in the family who would go for sauerkraut or onions (or both!).
If you’re ever grilling bratwurst and wondering what to serve with them, read on for my list of delicious sides that will surely make your mouth water.
Best Bratwurst Toppings
- Sriracha Coleslaw
- Pickled Peppers
- Basil and Pineapple Salsa
- Crushed Tortilla, Potato Chips, or Fritos
- French’s Onions
- Stone Ground Mustard
- Apple and Onion Chutney
- Spicy Vinegar Coleslaw
- Pickle Relish
- Basil and Pineapple Salsa
This was one of the risky choices I made for my grandma, and it ended up being one of her favorites.
I love kimchi because of its sour, spicy, and umami flavors. When paired with bratwurst, the kimchi provides a lovely crunch and freshness to cut through the richness of the sausage.
The most amazing thing about kimchi is that it’s so easy to make at home! If you’ve never made kimchi before, I highly recommend giving it a try. You can find the recipe online.
Finally, there is no need to be afraid of the fermentation process, kimchi is a very forgiving dish. So, go ahead, be brave and try something new!
This is another delightful dish because it has the perfect balance of spice, sweetness, and acidity.
The sriracha adds just the right amount of heat, while the coleslaw itself provides a lovely crunch and creaminess. The addition of carrots and onion gives it a touch of pungent-sweet and the vinegar cuts through the richness of the sausage.
I love this dish because it is so easy to make and can be made ahead of time. It also keeps well in the fridge, so you can make a big batch and have it on hand for your next BBQ.
These are my go-to toppings for any grilled sausage.
I love the tangy, slightly sweet flavor of pickled peppers and they add a lovely crunch to the dish.
This is the best way to use up any extra peppers you may have in the fridge. You don’t want to miss out on this flavor bomb!
Plus, they are so easy to make! Just mix your favorite peppers with vinegar, sugar, and salt. Let them sit for at least an hour (or overnight if you have the time) and voila! You’ve got pickled peppers.
Basil and Pineapple Salsa
This is a fun and tropical twist on a classic salsa.
The sweetness of the pineapple pairs perfectly with the savory sausage, while the basil adds a lovely brightness to the dish.
If you have some extra time, grill the pineapple before adding it to the salsa. It will bring out even more of the natural sweetness and make the dish even more amazing.
Crushed Tortilla, Potato Chips, or Fritos
I love the crunch that these toppings add to the dish. They also soak up any extra juices from the sausage, making them even more flavorful.
I usually go for tortilla chips because I love the way they absorb the flavors of the dish. But, feel free to use whatever you have on hand.
If you are on the lookout for something new, try crushing up some plantain chips. They add a lovely sweetness to the dish that is sure to please. And when you’re done, you can enjoy the chips as a snack.
These are a must-have for any bratwurst lover.
When I was younger, I was stuck up on only eating only a few traditional toppings. But, one day my grandpa introduced me to French’s onions and I was hooked.
The sweetness of the onions pairs perfectly with the savory sausage and the crunch is an added bonus. Plus, you don’t need exceptional cooking skills to make this topping. Just open a can and you’re good to go.
The onions add a lovely sweetness and crunch to the dish. You don’t want to miss this.
Stone Ground Mustard
This is my favorite mustard for any grilled sausage.
It has a lovely tangy flavor that pairs well with the richness of the bratwurst. I also love the grainy texture of the mustard, it adds an extra layer of texture to the dish.
Plus, it’s so easy to make! Just mix together mustard seeds, vinegar, and water. Let it sit for at least an hour (or overnight if you have the time) and voila! You’ve got stone ground mustard.
Whether you like your mustard mild or spicy, one thing I know is this is a great topping for any grilled sausage, including brats.
Apple and Onion Chutney
You don’t always have to keep the basics basic. I know that onions and apples (apart) aren’t the most exciting toppings, but trust me when I say they are delicious together on grilled sausage.
The sweetness of the apples pairs perfectly with the savory sausage, while the onions add a lovely depth of flavor.
If you have some extra time, cook the chutney down until it is nice and thick. You will thank me later.
This is a sign that I’m getting old. I remember when I was younger, ketchup was my go-to topping for any grilled sausage.
But, as I’ve gotten older, my tastes have changed and I now prefer more complex flavor profiles. That being said, ketchup is still a great option for those who are looking for a classic taste.
If you are more inclined to experiment, try making your own ketchup. It’s actually quite easy and you can tailor it to your own taste preferences.
Spicy Vinegar Coleslaw
This is one delicious and easy way to add some spice to your grilled sausage.
The coleslaw mix is already pre-made, so all you have to do is add a little bit of vinegar and hot sauce. That’s it!
If you want to take it one step further, try adding in some diced jalapeños or serrano peppers. But, be warned, this will make the dish quite spicy.
Whether you prefer it subtle or spicy, this is a fantastic method to add some heat and taste to your grilled sausage.
And if you do not like spicy food at all, it really doesn’t matter. Just remember that you determine the heat level of any meal. Especially if you’re the one making it.
Have you ever tried pickle relish on your grilled sausage? If not, you’re missing out.
Sweet pickles complement the salty sausage. Plus, the extra crunch is a welcomed addition. The thing I find most fascinating about pickle relish is how easy it is to make.
I love how it feels on the tongue, the delicate balance of sweet and sour.
If you have never tried pickle relish on your grilled sausage, I urge you to give it a try. You won’t regret it.
It would be a crime for me to finish this list without paying tribute to the big dill. Sauerkraut is a must-have condiment for grilled sausage, in my opinion.
It is the number one way for a German to eat their sausage. The sour, salty, and slightly sweet flavors of the kraut are the perfect complement to the richness of the sausage.
The acidity of the sauerkraut cuts through the richness of the sausage. Plus, it’s packed with probiotics which are great for your gut health.
And if you’re feeling adventurous, try making your own sauerkraut. It’s actually quite easy and the results are worth it.
This is a classic topping for grilled sausage and for good reason. There’s a 100% chance that you’ll love it. This combo has been eaten for what? Thousands of years? Millions? Who knows.
But what I do know is that it’s tried and tested kinda delicious and if you haven’t tried it, you’re missing out.
Basil and Pineapple Salsa
There is no way I can talk about what goes good on grilled sausage without mentioning this amazing pineapple salsa.
The sweetness of the pineapple pairs perfectly with the savory sausage. Plus, the basil adds a nice depth of flavor.
This is one of my favorite toppings for grilled sausage because it is so easy to make and it always tastes great.
Additionally, I share a special memory connected to my grandma making this pineapple salsa. She would always make a big batch and can it.
That way, we could enjoy it all year long. And let me tell you, there is nothing better than eating this pineapple salsa on a hot summer day. I’m so convinced!
Additional Topping Ideas
Start with the basics, like ketchup, yellow mustard, dijon mustard, country-style mustard, mayonnaise, sriracha, Tabasco (red and green), and salt and pepper.
For a Japanese flair, you could consider wasabi mayo and banh mi toppings, for a Vietnamese take.
Bacon and apple sauce or jalapenos would also be a fantastic pairing!
If you like it cheesy, try easy cheese curds. For a bit of crunch, add in some fried garlic chips or pickled onions. Chili beans would also make a great addition to your grilled sausage
Then you can move to more exotic choices, clearly labelled 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.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some easy side dishes for brats?
Some easy side dishes for brats include sauerkraut, pickle relish, and French’s onions. These toppings are easy to make and add a variety of flavors to your grilled sausage.
What is the best way to cook bratwurst?
The best way to cook bratwurst is to grill it. This will give the sausage a nice char and infuse it with smoky flavors.
How do you know when bratwurst is cooked?
Bratwurst is cooked when it reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a meat thermometer to check the temperature of the sausage before eating
What goes good with beer brats?
Beer brats are traditionally served with sauerkraut, mustard and beer. However, there are a variety of other toppings that go well with beer brats. Try some of the toppings listed in this article to find your favorite.
What is the difference between bratwurst and sausage?
Bratwurst is a type of sausage that is originally from Germany and typically made from pork, beef or veal. Sausage is a generic term that can refer to any type of meat that has been ground and seasoned. Bratwurst is usually served grilled or roasted, while sausage can be cooked in a variety of ways.
There’s nothing quite like a good BBQ. The smell of grilled meat in the air, the sound of laughter and music in the background – it’s truly a special experience.
And what would a BBQ be without bratwurst? This unique German sausage is a favorite among many and can be enjoyed with a variety of delicious toppings.
So next time you’re planning a BBQ, be sure to try some of the toppings listed in this article. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed. And most importantly, don’t forget the beer!