Turn on the grill for this Chicago-Style Brats Recipe! All the fresh and tangy ingredients of ripe tomatoes, diced onions, kosher pickles, and spicy peppers on top of a grilled bratwurst that’s perfect for sharing with family and friends.
This Chicago-Style Brats Recipe is sponsored by Johnsonville, but all opinions and text are my own.
This may sound crazy, but a hot dog is not the first thing I think about putting inside of a hot dog bun. I’m just not a huge fan of the frankfurter. You know what I am a huge fan of? Bratwurst.
Love the rich, spicy, full on porky sausage goodness, all wrapped up in a natural casing that has a definite snap to it. Grilled, pan fried, or steamed in a nice hot bath of my favorite beer with lots of onions floating around for good measure. It doesn’t matter how the brats are cooked, I love them every way possible!
In my travels, I will say if I’m ever going to eat a hot dog, I’m a sucker for a Chicago-style hot dog. It’s got a ton of awesome fresh ingredients with different tastes, textures and even temperatures.
The crunch of the pickle, the coolness of the fresh tomato, the spicy bite of the pickled sport pepper…I even like the little poppy seeds that stick in your teeth. Those wonderful tasty ingredients make me forget there’s a hot dog underneath it all.
So when I was given the opportunity to work with Johnsonville and their brats, I jumped at the chance and turned some inspiration into a little Midwestern mashup with this Chicago-Style Brats recipe (and I’m always up for a good ol’ bratwurst recipe or grilling recipe).
The slightly smoky, slightly spicy pork Johnsonville Brat is the ideal combination with all the fresh fixings. Wisconsin meets the Windy City in this (not so) classic combination.
A Chicago-Style Bratwurst Recipe
This brat recipe is the perfect compliment to celebrate Bratsgiving (aka National Bratwurst Day) that falls on August 16th of every year. I love bratwurst so much, I already added this holiday to my “Favorite Holidays” list. For all interested parties, here’s my current list:
- Thanksgiving (Lots of tasty food)
- Halloween (Lots of scary movies and candy)
- Christmas (Lots of presents)
- Bratsgiving (Lots of Brats)
Nothing says lovin’ like a big ol’ plate of brats, so celebrate National Bratwurst Day by grilling up a new Johnsonville flavor while hosting your very own Bratsgiving for family and friends with this easy Chicago-Style Brats Recipe! Also, don’t forget to share your brat party photos on social media with the tag #Bratsgiving.
Try my recipe for Mexican Street Corn Potato Salad for a deliciously different take on the classic side.
- 1 19 oz package of Johnsonville Brats, any variety but Naturals line preferred
- 5 poppyseed hot dog buns
- yellow mustard
- sweet pickle relish
- 1 small onion , diced
- 1 medium ripe tomato , cut into 10 thin wedges
- 5 kosher style pickle spears
- 10 pickled sport peppers (or substitute a favorite pickled spicy pepper)
- celery salt
Prepare brats according to package directions.
Lightly steam or grill the buns, then put a cooked brat in each bun, top with desired amount of the mustard, relish, and onions. Place two tomato wedges on one side of each bratwurst and place one pickle spear on the other side. Top with two sport or pickled spicy peppers and a dash of celery salt.
I couldn't find the traditional Chicago-Style poppyseed buns or sport peppers where I live, so I substituted fresh unseeded buns from our local bakery and pickled jalapenos from my garden for this recipe. Next time, I'll bake my own poppyseed buns and will mail order a jar of sport peppers from Chicago!