Germany is arguably the sausage capital of the world! If you have found the perfect sausage recipe for dinner tonight but are looking for some sides to go with it, here are some of my favorites!
It’s no secret that Germany is known for its sausage. From bratwurst to frankfurters, you’re sure to find some sort of sausage available for sale on the streets of Germany, often served with classic sides like authentic German potato salad and cold beer. It’s the perfect combination. One of the best ways to experience Germany may be through a German bratwurst.
Place a warm savory bratwurst in a crusty roll and top it with mustard and you’ve got a delicious, simple meal that is easy to enjoy on the go and a classic German food.
If you are going through an effort to prepare authentic German sausages at home, you may want to add more to your meal than bread and condiments. That’s where these side dishes come in.
What’s great about German sausages is there are literally hundreds of varieties. With so much variety you can easily find one to go with just about any side you are craving. Here I’m sharing ___ of my favorite side dishes to accompany a hot German sausage so you can find the perfect side dish to add to your dinner table!
Germany is, of course, the birthplace of German sausage. There are actually more than 1,500 varieties of sausage in Germany including bratwurst, beer sausage (bierwurst), blood sausage (blutwurst), red sausage (rote wurst), and even tea sausage (teewurst).
The German word “brat” actually means “chopped” while “braten” means “fry”. Thus “bratwurst” translates roughly to “fry sausage”. It is typically poached and then pan fried or grilled.
It’s believed that sausage was first created by poor Germans who would save every scrap of meat and every piece of the animal to be made into bratwurst. They could be made any size and saved well, which made them perfect to get through long winters and tough times.
As they became more popular, chefs began to make them for royalty, using only the finest cuts of meat. During royal celebrations, people in the streets would gather to make and share their own version of the beloved German dish.
Over time sausage has become a German staple and the pride of German cuisine. There are even shops in Germany, called Wurstladen, that specialize in making many different varieties of sausage, each with its own delicious flavor.
There are so many different kinds of German sausage, but what gives them all a uniquely German flavor are the spices used. Of course, there may be different spices used depending on the type of German sausage, but German sausages are usually made with a mixture of pork and veal seasoned with black pepper, marjoram, nutmeg, coriander, mustard seeds, thyme, and caraway.
While they may look similar in the grocery store, German sausages are different greatly from Italian sausages. Italian sausages are usually flavored with fennel, anise, and rosemary. Italian sausage is traditionally much sweeter than German sausages, which tend to be more savory.
Traditional German sausages are seasoned with salt, marjoram, thyme, mustard seeds, caraway seeds, coriander, and nutmeg.
Bratwurst is a general term for German sausages. Often it is shortened to brat or brats. “Wurst” is the German word for “sausage” while “brat” means “ground or fried meat”. While there are more than 1,500 varieties of sausage in Germany, outside of Germany they are usually all referred to as Bratwurst.
Yes, casings used to make German sausages are edible and can be eaten. These casings help to hold the shape of the sausage and also trap in all the juice and flavor during cooking.
Bratwursts are the most popular German sausage, but you may also find beer sausage, weisswurst, blutwurst, leberwurst and frankfurter wurstchen for sale.
There are many different methods for cooking German sausages. The most popular option is to pan-fry them or grill them. You could also bake them in the oven, deep fry them or cook them in an air fryer or pressure cooker.
While you can’t really go wrong with any of these methods, many chefs recommend boiling your sausages for a few minutes and then finishing them with pan frying or grilling. This method infuses the sausage with a little extra moisture to ensure they are moist and juicy on the inside and crispy on the outside.
German sausages that are sold by street vendors are usually sold on crusty bread, with mustard and possibly pickles. If enjoying them at home, they are usually served with German potato salad and mustard.
Yes. German sausages are typically made with raw meat and should be cooked before being eaten. You may find sausages for sale that have been smoked or pre-cooked, but in general, you should plan to cook your sausage.
If you are grilling a bratwurst you should expect it to take much longer than American hot dogs. Grilling a bratwurst usually takes about 20 minutes. You’ll know it is done when it is mostly firm and crispy on the outside.
If you are still unsure if your brat is done, you can poke a small hole into the center with a metal rod, remove the metal rod and see if it feels hot to the touch to determine if your sausage is cooked through.
Be careful not to slice the brat open too soon as this will release the juice and could result in a dry sausage.
You do not need to (and should not) poke a hole in the casing of a sausage before cooking. That casing helps to seal in the fat and amazing flavor of the sausage, resulting in a sausage that is juicy and delicious.
If you are pan frying your sausages they will eventually release their own grease as they cook, but you may need a tablespoon of oil in the pan to begin with to get the cooking process started. A little bit of bacon grease also makes for very flavorful sausages.
- The most popular kind of German sausage is bratwurst and this recipe from The Daring Gourmet makes it easy to have homemade bratwurst at home.
- If you don’t have the equipment to make German sausages in casings, this easy recipe from Quick German Recipes makes sausage-making much simpler by creating patties instead of links like a typical bratwurst sausage.
- Beer sausages are a popular choice for Oktoberfest and this recipe from Culinary Ginger helps bring the celebration into your home.
- Sausage in general is not considered a “healthy” food but when you make your own at home you get to control what goes into it.
- Sausage making requires some special equipment so be sure and do your research before giving it a try.
What to Serve With German Sausage
There are so many ways to enjoy German sausage! Here are some of my favorites
Toppings: Grainy mustard, relish, balsamic vinegar, sour cream, roasted yellow onions, sauteed peppers
Traditional German Sides: sauerkraut, potato salad, potato pancakes, spaetzle, pretzels, sour red cabbage
Other Sides: Mashed potatoes, green beans, baked beans, corn on the cob, roasted potatoes, brussels sprouts, french fries, sweet potatoes, sweet potato fries, homemade applesauce, pasta salad, creamy cucumber salad, potato chips
Drinks: Beer, apple juice
Recipes To Serve with German Sausage
German Potato Salad
Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
Garlic Redskin Mashed Potatoes
Instant Pot Corn on the Cob
Instant Pot Brussels Sprouts
Instant Pot Sweet Potatoes
Sweet Potato Fritters
Instant Pot Pasta Salad
Creamy German Cucumber Salad (aka Gurkensalat)! This refreshing and simple side dish recipe is a family favorite. It features thinly sliced cucumbers in the most delicious sour cream dressing. SO GOOD!
Red Cabbage Sauerkraut
If you love the tangy flavor from fermented foods you are going to love this homemade red cabbage sauerkraut.
Garlicky Roasted Potatoes
These garlicky roasted potatoes are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. They’re easy to make and delicious. These potatoes pair well with a wide variety of main courses and make a great side dish for the holidays.
German Celery Root Salad
German celery root salad is a perfect balance of earthy and nutty celery roots, tossed in a simple tangy dressing. It’s a light and healthy side dish to complement any meal.
German Fried Cabbage with Bacon
Sweet, sour and salty, this German fried cabbage recipe is made even better with bacon! Simple to make, it’s a great side for Oktoberfest or any weeknight dinner.
German Dill Potato Salad
Packed with fresh dill and made with a flavorful, tangy vinegar make this German Dill Potato Salad a bright, fresh summer potato salad that’s vegan, gluten-free, and perfect for all outdoor gatherings!
Homemade Potato Chips
Making your own Homemade Potato Chips from scratch is easier than you think and so rewarding. It may take a little bit of time, but once you know how to make your own potato chips, you’ll know it’s worth the extra work!
Hot German Potato Salad
This Bavarian-style Hot German Potato Salad is a scrumptious blend of sweet, tangy, bacony goodness. Tried-and-true heirloom recipe; serve warm or cold.
Rye Sourdough Spaetzle
This amazing Sourdough Spaetzle with caramelized cipollini, sauteed mushrooms, and tabasco shallots is a delicious, uptown side dish for any German feast.
Easy Sauerkraut Salad
This Sauerkraut Salad is quick and easy to make! Served cold, this salad is your classic sauerkraut with the addition of carrots, onions, diced apple, and just a little bit of oil and some common spices – plus caraway seeds!
Homemade German Spaetzle
Homemade German Spaetzle is part noodles, part dumplings, and they go with practically anything! Saute them in butter, add cheese, or cover them in the sauce! This is one of my favorite traditional German recipes!
Homemade German Pretzels
In only two hours you can make these authentic German Pretzels. Enjoy them with Obatzda (German cheese dip) and a cold beer.
Authentic Bavarian Potato Salad with Bacon
This traditional Bavarian Potato Salad is a delicious side with warm potatoes, crisp bacon, and a rich, bright bacon dressing with sautéed onions, fresh herbs, and vinegar. Serve it with traditional German mains for dinner or at your next gathering!
Caramelized Onions and Mushrooms
This Caramelized Onions and Mushrooms recipe is an easy way to add deeply savory, sweet, rich flavor to everything from burgers to soups to breakfast dishes. The key is patience and a bit of olive oil for a delicious, soft, craveable result.
You’d be surprised how much a couple of simple additions brighten up plain beans, but that’s exactly the case with these speckbohnen, German green beans. They make a tasty side for Oktoberfest or any meal.
Bratkartoffeln, or baked potatoes with bacon and onion, is a German potato dish. This easy one-pot recipe is amazing as a lunch or a simple dinner.
German Cauliflower Salad
With all the sweet, tang, and bacon goodness that’s in its traditional counterpart, this German Cauliflower Salad is crunchy, delicious, and packed with flavor!
Apple Fennel Salad
A delicious and refreshing recipe, this apple fennel salad is the perfect mix of light and crispy with sweet and peppery for the ultimate side salad.
Roasted Carrots and Asparagus with Lemon Dressing
This Roasted Carrots and Asparagus recipe is an easy side dish to take you from winter to spring. This easy healthy side dish is made with caramelized carrots and fresh crisp asparagus drizzled with a tangy lemon dressing.