Brats with Caramelized Onions and Cheddar Cheese Sauce

Published August 15, 2016. Updated December 2, 2018

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The end of summer is quickly drawing near and I keep asking myself how it happened so quickly. There isn’t much time left to up your grilling game and what better way to do it than with these loaded brats, packed with caramelized onions and homemade cheese sauce?

Brats with Caramelized Onions and Cheddar Cheese Sauce | Cooking Classy

An Over the Top Bratwurst Recipe!

These brats are packed with flavor and they are indeed an exciting ending to a fun summer! The caramelized onions bring a nice full flavor to the already rich taste of the Beer and Bratwurst.

The homemade cheddar cheese sauce is so creamy and delicious that you may just forget bottled cheese sauce even exists. It just finishes these off perfectly and elevates the brat to the next level.

I didn’t choose brats as one of my final grilling recipes by happenstance.

Brats with Caramelized Onions and Cheddar Cheese Sauce | Cooking Classy

Did you know that tomorrow, August 16th is National Bratwurst Day? In honor of that, Johnsonville is celebrating by creating Bratsgiving, a call to action to gather around the grill with family and friends to give the delicious gift of Brats.

Why not come up with your own Bratwurst Day tradition? It will be a great way to end the summer with family and friends year after year.

Another reason I love to cook with brats is the fact that they are so easy to cook with. The flavors are already packed in the sausage. Johnsonville Brats come in so many delicious flavors including; Beer and Bratwurst, Cheddar Brats, Firecracker Brats, Grilling Chorizo and many more!

And the topping choices are endless (some of my personal favs are the classic sauerkraut and mustard, sauteed bell peppers and onions, pickles and mustard, more mustard of any kind (spicy brown, creamy, honey mustard, dijon they all work here and of course the cheddar cheese sauce and caramelized onions are great topping choices even if you choose not to pair them together).

So, go fire up that grill and start celebrating!

Bratwurst with Caramelized Onions and Cheddar Cheese Sauce | Cooking Classy

More Grilling Recipes to Try!

Brats with Caramelized Onions and Cheddar Cheese Sauce | Cooking Classy

16 Quick & Easy 30 Minute Recipes! (plus weekly recipe updates)

5 from 1 vote

Brats with Caramelized Onions and Cheddar Cheese Sauce

Total comfort food! Beer flavored brats are layered in buns and topped with flavorful browned onions and a rich cheese sauce. Great recipe for a summer cook out!
Servings: 5
Prep25 minutes
Cook45 minutes
Ready in: 1 hour 10 minutes


Caramelized Onions

  • 3 medium yellow onions, sliced (2 lbs)
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Cheddar Cheese Sauce


  • 1 (19 oz) pkg. Johnsonville Original or Beer N' Bratwurst Brats
  • 5 brat or hoagie buns


  • For the onions: Cut the tip and root from the onions. Cut them in half and remove the skins. Slice the onion halves (going the direction from tip to root) into slices. 
  • Melt butter in a heavy stainless steel or cast iron skillet over medium heat then add olive oil. Add onions and toss to coat with butter mixture. 
  • Let cook about 40 - 45 minutes, while reducing heat to medium-low as needed if they are browning too much and stirring occasionally, about every 5 minutes. Onions should be nice and golden brown and have a rich caramelized flavor. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • For the brats: Preheat a grill over medium-low heat. Grill brats 15 - 20 minutes, turning frequently until browned and center registers 160 degrees.
  • For the cheese sauce: While brats are grilling, prepare cheese sauce. In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour and garlic powder and cook and stir constantly, 1 minute. 
  • While whisking slowly stir in milk. Cook and stir until mixture begins to lightly boil and thicken. 
  • Reduce heat to low, stir in cheddar and whisk until melted. Stir in mustard and season with salt to taste. If needed thin with a little more milk. Rewarm over warm heat if needed.
  • To assemble the sandwiches place one brat on each of the buns, top with onions and cheddar cheese sauce, serve warm.
Key Messages:

  • August 16 is National Bratwurst Day and Johnsonville is celebrating by creating Bratsgiving, a call to action to gather around the grill with family and friends to give the delicious gift of Brats.
  • Celebrate Bratsgiving with Johnsonville this season and up your grilling with a variety of Johnsonville bratwursts – both fully-cooked and fresh – available in a wide variety of flavors from Original to Cheddar to Jalapeno & Cheddar.
  • Give your friends and family the gift of Brats by hosting your own Bratsgiving Brat Frys in your backyard to celebrate the holiday.
  • Don’t forget to leave your kitchen window open on Bratsgiving Eve so that Carl the Great Bratsgiver can leave behind some delicious brats in your fridge.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Johnsonville. The opinions and text are all mine.


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  • Jenny McFadden

    My family loves this recipe-1 caramelized onion was not enough- 2 or 3 next time!

  • Kristen Tate

    These look divine! What is your recipe for slaw? I have been looking for a simple mayo one- my husband is super picky about his slaw.

  • Carrie

    My cheese sauce was a bit rubbery and not really sauce. What did I do wrong? Too much cheese?

  • Kristin

    I made these brats today in honor of my Dad’s death-iversary. He grilled brats a lot when I was a kid, so I wanted to make something that reminded me of him. These were delicious! I actually lost track of how many minutes my caramelized onions took, but it was probably at least 30 minutes. I really liked the cheddar cheese sauce. I used whole milk for that, and I added quite a bit of extra milk to thin it out to get the consistency we wanted. Also, I didn’t have any spicy brown mustard, and since that’s not an ingredient we use ever, I just added Dijon mustard instead. I added 1/2 tsp salt to the sauce. I also made this meal extra special by making homemade hot dog buns, so with everything all together, it was truly delicious. Thanks for the recipe!

  • Tori//Gringalicious

    These look absolutely divine! Perfect summertime flavors to include in every grill-out!