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Midwestern Grilled Bratwurst Sandwiches with Caraway Sauerkraut


Ask a Wisconsin purist -- tradition demands that these sausages be served on a toasted hard roll (not a hot dog bun), with butter, spicy mustard (not ketchup), sweet pickles (not lettuce), and sauerkraut.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

Source: Everyday Food, July/August 2007


  • Oil, for grates
  • 1 tablespoon butter, plus more for rolls (optional)
  • 1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sauerkraut, well drained
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 4 precooked bratwurst sausages (3 ounces each)
  • 4 hard rolls, halved horizontally
  • 1/4 cup spicy brown mustard
  • 1/2 cup bread-and-butter pickles
  • Potato chips, for serving


  1. Heat grill to medium-low; lightly oil grates. In a medium saucepan, heat butter over medium. Add onion, and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Add sauerkraut, sugar, caraway seeds, and 1/2 cup water; season with salt and pepper. Simmer until sauerkraut is heated through, 3 to 5 minutes; set aside.

  2. Grill sausages, turning frequently, until golden brown and warmed through, 10 to 12 minutes.

  3. Grill rolls, cut side down, until warm, 1 to 2 minutes. Spread lightly with butter, if using, and mustard. Halve sausages lengthwise; fill each roll with 2 halves and pickles. Serve with sauerkraut and potato chips.


This recipe calls for easy-to-find precooked brats (look near the other sausages). For fresh ones, increase the grilling time by 5 minutes, until they're cooked through.

Reviews Add a comment

  • toobusy
    20 SEP, 2012 must have gotten this recipe from a stadium food self-respecting Wisconsinite would use pre-cooked pkged brats! If you meant precook fresh brats, saute plenty of onions & peppers, store brats & veggies then take to tailgate & reheat them in beer on the grill - that could work
  • Wausau
    15 DEC, 2010
    Gross! How can you even mention pre-cooked brats and Wisconsin purist in the same sentence? How is tha possible!! The best brats are never precooked. I prefer Johnsonville brats but your local butcher may also be a good choice. I only grill them on the BBQ and turn them frequetly. WHen they are around 170F I serve them right away.
  • SassiCook
    29 JUN, 2010
    Please! No pre-cooked Brats at a REAL Wisconsin cookout! The process is this: Grill the Brats until done. On a side burner, have a simmering pot of beer with sliced onions (peppers, too, if you like). As the Brats are done, put them in the beer pot. They will stay moist (assuming you did NOT prick them with a fork) and warm for the life of the cookout.
  • mayers
    5 AUG, 2009
    Where is the beer? You can't have Brats that aren't soaked in onions and beer.
  • welove2cook
    4 JUL, 2008
    Delicious sandwich. We will definitely make bratwurst with these accompaniments again.