What to eat with bratwurst! These delicious, quick side dishes will turn a basic brat and sauerkraut dinner into something spectacular!
Whether you’re hosting a backyard BBQ, having friends over to watch some ball games, or having an Oktoberfest themed dinner, brats are always a crowd pleaser.
Bratwurst are delicious German sausages, prepared with completely different spices than Italian sausage or polish sausage.
Some people boil them in beer, and others throw them on a charcoal grill.
If the weather isn’t cooperating and you want to cook them inside, you can saute them in a cast iron skillet over medium heat with olive oil, bacon grease, chicken broth, or even apple cider vinegar.
One of the best ways to serve brats is with sauerkraut, but you may be looking for other ideas for what goes well with brats.
So here’s a complete list of the best side dishes for bratwurst!
What to Serve with Brats
The tangy, sour nature of sauerkraut makes it the perfect complement to brats.
Kraut is actually really nutritious, and contains lots of beneficial bacteria that’s key to good gut health.
It’s a German staple that you easily pick up premade in a jar at the grocery store.
Or if you’re feeling more ambitious or frugal, you can make homemade sauerkraut yourself!
2. German potato salad
Authentic German potato salad is made with a vinegar-based dressing, and is usually served warm.
Consider serving this beloved German dish next time you’re eating brats!
Spaetzle if ones of those traditional German sides that are perfect for brats. They’re egg noodles that are often tossed in melted butter.
This quick side dish is ready in under 15 minutes, but everyone at the dinner table will be so impressed!
4. Homemade applesauce
The sweetness of applesauce really goes well with brats.
You can buy it already prepared, but there’s no replacement for chunky homemade applesauce.
It comes together with just 4 inexpensive ingredients!
5. Mashed potatoes
Creamy mashed potatoes are the perfect complement for bratwurst.
Russet potatoes and milk, butter, salt and pepper is really all you need, though you can certainly doctor them up for a variety of flavor profiles.
6. Corn on the cob
If you’re serving grilled brats, you can easily throw some corn on the cob on the grill as well.
The sweetness of the corn will pair well with the sausages, and give everyone that quintessential summer dinner feel.
Crunchy, flavorful, creamy and slightly sweet coleslaw is an easy, make-ahead side dish that’s perfect for lunch or dinner.
And the cabbage element makes it feel German!
8. Root vegetables
Roasted root vegetables, such as carrots, radishes, beets, parsnips, turnips will add a healthier twist on your bratwurst dinner.
A little olive oil and rosemary will make them flavorful, and all you have to do is chop and throw them on a sheet tray in the oven.
9. Baked beans
A summer barbecue just isn’t complete with baked beans.
You can doctor up a store-bought can of beans, and keep them warm in your crockpot, to make it really easy!
10. Potato wedges
Another cheap side dish idea is potato wedges.
Simply cut a Russet potato into wedges, then toss in a tablespoon of olive oil and salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika.
Then bake them in the air fryer or on a sheet tray in the oven.
11. German pasta salad
Nudelsalat, also known as German pasta salad, is one of the most popular salads in Germany.
It’s often served at BBQs and parties, and it makes a good side dish for brats and sauerkraut!
12. Creamy cucumber salad
Cucumber salad is a light, refreshing side, making it the perfect compliment to buttery brats.
It’s made with just a few inexpensive ingredients, and you can make it hours ahead of time, or even the day before, to let the flavors really develop.
13. Bell peppers and onions
If you want a twist on traditional sauerkraut as a side, consider serving sauteed peppers and onions.
They go really well with brats, and can even be cooked all together in a large skillet.
14. German potato pancakes
German potato pancakes are the perfect side dish to eat with bratwurst.
They’re made from shredded potatoes and onions, and a couple other ingredients.
They’re seriously SO tasty!
15. Bean salad
If you’ve never tried three bean salad, you’re going to be surprised by how good it actually tastes.
It’s served cold, in a vinegar-based dressing, which makes it a great choice to serve with brats at a BBQ.
16. Grilled mushroom kabobs
Grilled mushrooms are super tasty, and it’s easier to cook them if they’re skewered.
You can marinade them in balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, and garlic to add lots of extra flavor.
17. Macaroni salad
A quintessential side dish for any barbecue is macaroni salad, and it pairs well with brats too!
It comes together with inexpensive ingredients and can be easily prepared in advance.
18. Sweet potato fries
A slightly healthier twist on french fries is sweet potato fries.
You can bake them in the oven or air fryer, or even use a premade bag from the freezer section of your grocery store.
You can even make them sweet or savory by changing up the seasoning!
19. Green beans with tomatoes and onion
This green bean recipe makes plain green beans SO much more delicious.
You can even serve it at room temperature if that’s more convenient.
20. Cheesy potatoes
Your guests will never be mad about being served cheesy potatoes, trust me.
You can make them in the slow cooker if it’s a hot day, and keep them warm until everyone’s ready to heat.
21. Red cabbage
Sweet and sour red cabbage is a fun German twist on traditional sauerkraut.
It has just 4 ingredients and is ready in under 30 minutes!
22. Cauliflower mash
For those eating a low carb or keto diet, mashed cauliflower is a lower calorie option to mashed potatoes, while still being a hearty side dish.
It has a similar texture and appearance to potatoes, so maybe no one will even know they’re eating cauliflower.
23. Onion rings
Even if you’ve never eaten onion rings with brats, consider how good it’ll be!
You can certainly make your own in the deep fryer or air fryer, or just bake up some from the freezer section of the grocery store.
24. Fruit salad
There’s just something special about a fruit salad.
Maybe because it feels fancy like a restaurant.
You can customize it based on your favorite fruits, or by what’s on sale or in season.
25. Soft pretzels
It doesn’t get more German than soft pretzels.
Feel free to make them from scratch, or take some help from the grocery store.
Set out a couple kinds of mustard, and everyone can use it with the brats AND the pretzels.
26. Brussels sprouts salad
Before you roll your eyes, brussels sprouts can actually be made to taste good!
This brussels sprouts salad recipe calls for tart apples, feta, and pomegranate, making it the perfect combination for brats.
These pan fried potatoes, known in Germany as bratkartoffeln or cottage fries, have bacon, onion, and fresh herbs.
They’re super delicious, and your bratwurst menu will be greatly improved by their presence.
The sweet, comfort food nature of cornbread makes it a delicious side to serve with brats and sauerkraut.
Storebought Jiffy makes it super easy!
29. Bacon pea salad
Bacon pea salad is a simple summer side dish that everyone loves.
Sweet peas, bacon, cheddar, and red onion and an easy dressing somehow come together to make magic.
30. American potato salad
You just can’t go wrong with serving potato salad at a BBQ.
It’s so creamy and comforting, which makes it a perfect choice to eat with brats.
31. Green salad
Most guests appreciate it when you serve a green salad.
It could be a traditional tossed salad, a caesar salad, or you could set out a big bowl of lettuce alongside some different toppings and dressing as a ‘salad bar.’
32. French fries
Almost everyone is a sucker for french fries!
If you’re serving handheld brats on buns for dinner, fries might mean that you don’t even have to set out silverware.
33. Corn salad
Fresh corn salad is not only delicious and inexpensive, but it’s a nice twist on corn on the cob that tastes so good in the summer.
It only has a few ingredients, and can be made well ahead of time.
34. Macaroni and cheese
No one is ever mad to see mac and cheese on the menu!
It’s comforting and classic, and would be a great side dish for brats.
35. Grilled veggies
Roasted or grilled vegetables are not only nutritious, but they’re super easy to make.
Choose your favorites or whatever’s in season, and cook them on a grill mat outside, or on a sheet pan in the oven.
Brussels sprouts, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, bell peppers, or onions are all excellent options!
36. Potato chips
It doesn’t get any easier than opening a bag of potato chips!
The crunch makes it the perfect accompaniment to tender bratwurst, and is a fun addition to a casual dinner.
If you’re feeling ambitious you can even make homemade potato chips.
You could even serve some French dip alongside it!
Sauteed yellow squash is a delicious stovetop recipe that won’t heat up your kitchen on summer days.
Or you can grill sliced squash in a foil packet, or slice them longways to get a nice char.
38. Spinach strawberry salad
Strawberry salad is SO refreshing, and a surprising crowd favorite.
And it’s the perfect way to use some of those summer strawberries!
39. Red potatoes
Garlic herb roasted red potatoes are unbelievably delicious AND simple to make.
Their flavor profile compliments bratwurst super well, and everyone will marvel how tasty they are!
Even if you’re serving brats and sauerkraut, some people prefer to eat them on a bun.
A top-sliced bun that’s sturdy enough to hold the bratwurst is key.
The best buns for brats are:
- Classic sub or Italian bun
- Pretzel bun
- Brioche roll
- Hot dog buns
- Potato bun
- Hawaiian hot dog bun
- Johnsonville brat bun
41. Hot dogs
Since you’ll already have buns and condiments on hand, you might as well pick up a package of hot dogs as well.
Some people won’t prefer the flavor profile of brats, so it’s nice to have another option for them.
42. Cold beer
Even if you cook your brats in beer, be sure to have cold, drinkable beer to offer too!
A lager or pilsner is best for cooking, though a hoppy IPA is ideal for drinking.
Or a red, stout, or pilsner will complement the salty bratwurst really well.
Condiments and toppings for bratwurst
Be sure to have some delicious toppings and condiments on hand for your bratwurst dinner.
The best bratwurst toppings are:
- Stone ground mustard
- Grilled onions
Ready to serve brats for dinner?
I hope these bratwurst menu ideas have given you lots of inspiration for what to make with brats for dinner.
These bratwurst sides will really help complete the meal, and everyone will be talking about it for weeks to come!
1. Choose 1-3 bratwurst side dishes
2. Gather the ingredients to prepare them
3. Serve a delicious bratwurst dinner!
1. Choose 1-3 bratwurst side dishes