Quick and Easy Beer Bratwurst (With Variations)

Bratwurst with Sauerkraut and Pretzel
Wilfried Krecichwost/Photodisc/Getty Images
  • Total: 30 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 25 mins
  • Yield: 6 servings

Popular at tailgate and Super Bowl parties, beer brats are good year-round. It is hard to believe you only need four simple ingredients to make this quick and tasty dish. Once you realize how easy it is, you won't buy your beer brats at the meat counter again.

There is no secret to beer brats, you're simply going to finish cooking the sausage in beer reduction. If your family loves onions, use two instead of one. It's nearly impossible to have too many onion slices for bratwurst.


  • 2 teaspoons olive oil (or butter, divided)
  • 6 bratwurst
  • 1 large sweet onion (sliced into 1/4-inch rings)
  • 6 ounces beer

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a large Dutch oven, heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil or butter.

  3. Brown the bratwurst until they're a deep golden brown. Do not puncture the sausages or they will become dry. Remove to a platter.

  4. To the drippings, add the remaining teaspoon of olive oil or butter and the sweet onion rings. Toss the onions to coat them with the oil.

  5. Cook, stirring often until onions are limp and golden, but not brown.

  6. Return the bratwurst to the onions and add the beer.

  7. Cook over medium heat, turning midway through until the beer has cooked down to a syrup - about 12 to 15 minutes.

  8. Bratwurst may be served on buns with the onions or as an entrée.


  • Do not restrict yourself to bratwurst. This method works great with hot dogs, Italian sausage, knockwurst, or just about any link sausage.
  • Use any beer you like. A dark beer gives a the bratwurst a richer flavor, but a standard commercial lager is a little milder for those who aren't brew enthusiasts.
  • Prepare the brats ahead of time, then heat them back up on the grill later to give them that signature grill mark.
  • While this recipe is easy on the stove, it can work on a grill in cast iron as well.

Recipe Variations

  • Instant pot variation: Set the Instant Pot to sauté and heat the olive oil or butter. Sauté the onions until translucent, and then turn the sauté setting off. Add the brats and the beer, place the lid on the instant pot, and set to high pressure for 5 minutes. Quick-release the lid and serve.
  • Apple cider variation: Replace the 8 ounces of beer with 8 ounces of hard or regular apple cider. For an extra bit of flavor, sauté sliced apples with the onions.