Celebrate Oktoberfest with a twist on traditional brats

Oct 2, 2012 at 5:30 p.m. ET

If there is Oktoberfest fun everywhere, you can be sure it's beer and brats season! It's easy to hold your own celebration using one (or all) of these three festival-inspired recipes.

Beer-braised brats

It's that time of year. Grab a sweater and a beer and enjoy the great fall-inspired foods of the season. Oktoberfest events are happening everywhere, but why go out when you can host your own food festival for friends and family at home? Check out these brats recipes that'll make your guests think they're celebrating in Bavaria.

Dip into this recipe for beer cheese soup >>

You can buy beef or pork brats as well as veggie-based varieties, too. If you're unsure how long to cook different types of meat, check the USDA's guidelines for the safe minimum internal temperatures.

Beer-braised brats with onions

This is a simple recipe with loads of great flavor. Use your favorite German lager or an Oktoberfest beer — all the rage right now — to stay true to the season. Cooking the brats with beer will keep them moist and flavorful.

Serves 6


  • 6 brats
  • 2 medium yellow onions, cut in slices
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (12 ounce) bottle of beer
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 6 brat-sized buns
  • Favorite mustard spread (optional)


  1. Add the oil to a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. When hot, add the brats and cook on all sides to brown them. Remove from pan and set aside.
  2. Add the butter to the pan. When melted, add the onion slices and salt and pepper. Stir to coat. Reduce heat to low and cook for approximately 10 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and thyme and cook for approximately two minutes.
  4. Add the brats (onions should be browned by this point) and turn heat to medium-high.
  5. Add the beer and cook for approximately five minutes or until almost all the liquid has cooked down.
  6. Serve the brats in buns topped with onions. Add your favorite mustard.

Try this recipe for beer-battered grilled cheese sandwiches >>

Grilled Reuben-style brats

Turn a favorite deli-style sandwich into an Oktoberfest hit. This recipe for grilled Reuben-style brats is piled high with sauerkraut and other goodies for great taste.

Serves 6


  • 6 brats
  • 6-8 tablespoons Thousand Island dressing
  • 12 ounces prepared sauerkraut
  • 10 ounces shredded Swiss cheese
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 6 rye hoagie-style rolls, or your favorite hot dog-style buns


  1. In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the Thousand Island dressing, sauerkraut and black pepper. Set aside.
  2. Preheat your grill according to cooking directions on brats package, then cook until done.
  3. Just before your brats are finished cooking, split the buns in half lengthwise, brush with the melted butter and place on grill, just until slightly toasted.
  4. Remove both brats and buns from the grill and keep warm.
  5. Add about 2 ounces of sauerkraut to the bottom of each bun, add the brat, then top with the Swiss cheese, about 1-1/2 ounces per brat.

Try this recipe for sausage and sauerkraut casserole >>

Brats with apples, onions and peppers

Here is a recipe that gives you options: Serve brats with buns if you like, or top mashed potatoes with the brats and apple mixture. The choice is yours!

Serves 6


  • 6 brats
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 1 yellow onion, cut in slices
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut in slices
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large apple, peeled and diced
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper


  1. Add the butter to a large saute pan over medium heat. When melted, add the onion and cook, stirring, until the onions soften. Add the apple juice and cook until most of the liquid evaporates.
  2. Add the apples and bell pepper to the onions. Season with the salt and pepper, stir and cook until both the apples and pepper soften.
  3. Keep the mixture warm until you're ready to serve.
  4. Preheat your grill according to cooking directions on brats package, then cook until done.
  5. Options: Serve brats in buns topped with the apple mixture, or over mashed potatoes topped with the apple mixture.

Enjoy the season!

More Oktoberfest-worthy recipes

Oktoberfest stew
A skinny, easy Oktoberfest menu
Decadent desserts made with beer