Quick and Easy Beer Bratwurst (With Variations)

Beer Brats

The Spruce

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 25 mins
Total: 30 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
334 Calories
26g Fat
9g Carbs
12g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 334
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 26g 34%
Saturated Fat 9g 44%
Cholesterol 63mg 21%
Sodium 725mg 32%
Total Carbohydrate 9g 3%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 12g
Vitamin C 3mg 17%
Calcium 39mg 3%
Iron 1mg 4%
Potassium 395mg 8%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

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 unsalted 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.

    Beer Brats Recipe ingredients
     The Spruce
  2. In a large Dutch oven, heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil or butter.

    Olive oil in a skillet
     The Spruce
  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.

    Bratwurst cooked in a pan
     The Spruce
  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.

    Sliced onion in a skillet
    The Spruce 
  5. Cook, stirring often until onions are limp and golden, but not brown.

    Sauteed onions in a skillet
     The Spruce
  6. Return the bratwurst to the onions and add the beer.

    Bratwurst and onions in a skillet
     The Spruce
  7. Cook over medium heat, turning midway through until the beer has cooked down to a syrup—about 12 to 15 minutes.

    Bratwurst and onions in a skillet
     The Spruce
  8. Bratwurst may be served on buns with the onions or as an entrée.

    Beer Brats on a plate
     The Spruce


  • 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 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.