Slow Cooked Brats with Onion and Apple Sauerkraut

Did anyone else enjoy their first football weekend of the season? In our house, we are divided. Some of us root for the Ravens (go B-more!), and some of us root for the Steelers (I won’t name names). Rivalries are fun; especially when fun bets are placed like a new cutting board or a criterion DVD. There’s something in the air that makes football Sundays extra delightful. Carbs are always available. Naps should always be taken. Everything should be finger food. No one wants to watch a game having to fork and knife something on their laps. Too stressful. Too. Much. Work. I don’t know if you have noticed but I’ve been trying really hard (like really, really hard) to come up with football friendly recipes. As a kid, my mom would always lay out a beach blanket in front of the football game and bring us picnic food. It was brilliant. Let’s keep that tradition going. Nothing too complicated, just simple, eat with your hands, kind of food. You get it.

Now, these brats were delish. BUT, these brats were also hard to photograph. I need grace here. Thank you. Back to the brats! There was so much flavor going on and the best part is: they hang out in a slow cooker all day until they are ready for some football munchin’, beer drinkin’, love. They are so tender, you wouldn’t need to give them the fork and knife treatment if you didn’t want to eat them with buns. But, buns make these finger food friendly so I highly recommend eating these on buns. Oh! Don’t forget the yellow mustard! Or spicy brown if that’s more your flow!

Our ingredient line up:

From Top Left to Right: Bratwursts, sauerkraut, fresh thyme, onion, maple syrup, brown sugar (mine started to melt and I have no idea why), apple, and buns.

Our onions and apples are cooked. The sauerkraut is added. Then here comes the hard part: throw it into the slow cooker.

Then, we sear our brats for color. I’m sorry if this photo is too provocative for you. Brats also go into the slow cooker and, are, you guess it, slow cooked.

These brats are great for game day. Start ’em early and keep them warm in your slow cooker until ready to eat. They are sweet and savory with that wonderful fermented sauerkraut flavor. Happy brats making!

Print Recipe

Slow Cooked Brats with Onion and Apple Saukraut

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours



Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours



  1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add butter or olive oil. Once hot, add onions. Cook until translucent, stirring every couple of minutes for about 10 minutes, then add the apple, brown sugar, 1 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp of pepper. Let onions and apple cook for another 10 minutes.

  2. Add sauerkraut, red pepper flake, and thyme. Stir and taste for seasoning. I added 2 tsp of salt and 1 tsp of pepper. Place mixture at the bottom of the slow cooker.

  3. In the same skillet over high heat, brown brats on all sides, about 5 minutes. Add seared brats to the saurkraut mixture. Pour the maple syrup on top.

  4. Cook on High for 4 hours or if need be, cook on low for 6-8 hours.
    These could also be ready in 2 hours if needed. Serve with buns and sauerkraut.

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1 Comment on Slow Cooked Brats with Onion and Apple Sauerkraut

  1. your husband
    September 9, 2014 at 1:59 pm (3 years ago)

    Go Steelers! Go Brats!


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