Although it’s tempting to eat your brats as they come, it’s much better to serve them with some proper delicious side dishes! In this article I’ll go over the best side dishes to serve with brats.
First, what is a brat? A brat (or bratwurst) is a German sausage made from pork or veal, which contains herbs and spices including nutmeg and marjoram.
There are several different varieties from different regions of Germany. If you have only tried “classic” sausages, I definitely recommend giving brats a go!
So, what goes well with plump and juicy brats? Here are my top twenty side dishes. Some of them are traditional German fare, while others are a little bit more contemporary!
Which side dishes will you choose for your next cookout?
It’s not technically a side dish, but I couldn’t have a list without mentioning mustard!
Mustard has a delicious vinegary tang that can cut through the fattiness of your beer brats.
The choice of mustard is entirely up to you, but I like a good quality wholegrain mustard to give my brats a spicy kick!
Whichever of these dishes you go for, don’t forget to have a portion of mustard on the side!
Want to eat your brat on the go or without a plate? Pop it into a hard roll!
These sweet buns are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. The crispy exterior will stop your buns from going soggy, making them the perfect option for a BBQ or cookout!
Did you know that (depending on where in the world you are), hard rolls are sometimes known as Kaiser or Vienna rolls?
Pretzel rolls are an excellent option for brats too. They have a similar composition to hard rolls, with a unique brown and salty crust.
Sauerkraut is a traditional German side dish made of fermented cabbage. It’s sour, crunchy and very flavorsome!
Although it is famous as a dish in Germany, sauerkraut has its roots in China, and is thought to be over 2,000 years old!
As well as being tasty, sauerkraut is excellent for your health too. It is full of friendly bacteria that help your digestive system and give your immune system a boost.
So, you can enjoy a tasty treat and be healthy at the same time too!
You can make your own at home or buy a jar from the store. If you make it at home, you need to make it about three days in advance, but the longer you leave it, the better it becomes!
My top tip is to pop your sauerkraut on the grill for a few minutes before you are ready to eat to give it an extra bit of color and crispness!
Creamy Cucumber Salad
Sour cream, cucumber, red onions and dill come together in this light salad to create a fresh and vibrant side dish for your bratwurst dinner.
Did you know that cucumbers are made of 96% water? This makes this cucumber salad incredibly refreshing on a hot summer day!
Looking for a carb-filled sensation to go with your brats? Try some cheese-topped fries.
Crispy crunchy fries and velvety melted cheese are a perfect combo to a bratwurst. Just cook your fries, add some cheese and pop them under the grill, so the cheese goes all gooey.
Cheddar is a great cheese to use for this side dish, but why not try mixing it up with blue cheese, mozzarella or Monterey Jack too?
Enjoy with a cool and refreshing glass of German beer for the ultimate experience!
Fancy some kartoffelpuffer? That’s the German name for potato pancakes!
These crispy treats are very similar to potato latkes and rosti. Grate your potatoes, combine with eggs, onion, flour and herbs and fry them up on the skillet.
These pancakes go with everything, but I love them topped with sour cream and chives or applesauce. They’re the perfect side for your brats!
Mac And Cheese
Who doesn’t love a creamy, gooey bowl of mac and cheese? This childhood favorite is the ultimate comfort food and makes a wonderful accompaniment to bratwurst.
Add breadcrumbs and extra cheese and pop under the grill for a few minutes before you serve. The breadcrumbs and cheese will come together to make a crispy topping.
Want to feel like a kid again? Chop up your brats and stir them into the mac and cheese!
Why not complement your meaty brats with a summery vegetable kebab?
Grill umami-loaded mushrooms, crisp bell peppers and sweet tomatoes on the BBQ and serve them with your bratwurst. Why not try with a honey mustard glaze to add an extra element of flavor?
Alternative veggies you can use include onions, courgette/zucchini and squash. Use whatever is in season!
Cooking sliced onions with sugar releases the sweetness and makes them the perfect accompaniment to a savory brat.
My top tip is to add a splash of balsamic vinegar before you serve to give some extra acidity and a delicious jam-like texture.
A BBQ favorite, this combination of crisp carrots, crunchy cabbage and creamy mayonnaise makes an appealing contrast to your bratwurst dish.
If you’re not a fan of mayo, try it with a base of zingy tangy mustard, apple cider vinegar and extra virgin olive oil instead.
Make your own or buy a portion of coleslaw from your local store, the choice is yours!
Roasting cauliflower florets brings out their intense sweetness, making them a great compliment to a meaty brat dinner.
I love grating a bit of parmesan on my cauliflower and grilling it before serving, so it goes all crispy!
Fluffy potatoes, tangy mustard and creamy mayonnaise come together to make this gorgeous accompaniment for your grilled brats. Season liberally with fresh chives before you dig in.
Looking to add a German twist to your potato salad? Use unpeeled potatoes and replace the mayo with vinegar and bacon fat. Don’t forget to serve it hot rather than cold!
Corn On The Cob
Is there anything nicer than an ear of fresh and sweet corn on the cob, dripping in butter?
If you’re looking for a delicious side dish to go alongside your beer brats, give corn on the cob a try.
The bonus is that you can grill your corn on the cob at the same time as your brats, saving on the washing up!
Another traditional German dish, spaetzle are egg noodles that are often served with meat dishes. If you’ve not had them before, they’re a bit like little gnocchi!
You can buy them at the grocery store, but they are easy to make at home. All you need are flour, eggs, water and salt!
Spaetzle are lovely served with beer brats, but they’re also good with pork chops, steaks and stews.
Baked beans are a hearty and healthy side to go alongside your bratwurst.
You can use tinned ones, but to make your BBQ extra special, why not make your own? I love homemade baked beans with smoky paprika, sweet maple syrup and fatty pieces of bacon!
Sweet Potato Fries
If standard fries aren’t your thing, try your brats with a portion of sweet potato fries instead.
These bright orange spuds are full of fiber and vitamin A, making them a healthy alternative to go alongside your brats.
If you want a healthy side to go with your brats, you can’t go wrong with a portion of sour red cabbage.
Eat like the Germans do and cook your cabbage down with vinegar, sugar, spices and a little bit of beer! In the winter you can also add chopped apples and roasted chestnuts for a fabulous seasonal flavor.
Stewed White Beans
If you’re looking for a hearty winter dish, stewed white beans are an excellent accompaniment to your brats.
Think of this dish as a deconstructed cassoulet!
Cook haricot or cannellini beans with onions, carrots, tomatoes and celery. Season with herbs and simmer together until everything is tender and succulent.
Everything tastes better with bacon, and brats are no exception!
Crumble some smoky bacon over the top of your brats or even better, wrap your brat in a rasher of bacon before you put it on the grill for a supreme taste experience!
Last but no means least on my list, bratwurst and beer are a match made in heaven!
You can’t go wrong with a pilsner, IPA or lager – these beers are light and fizzy and will complement the rich meaty taste of your brat.
In fact, why not go the whole hog (pun intended) and soak your brats in beer to add an extra element of flavor before you put them on the grill?
I hope you enjoyed my guide to what goes good with brats!
Was your favorite side on this list? Are there any side dishes that you haven’t tried that you are looking forward to giving a go? Or any ones you love that weren’t mentioned?
Let me know in the comments!