Grilled Polish Sausage and Sauerkraut

Here’s how to cook great grilled Polish sausage with sauerkraut and onions! Grill, then simmer with beer and caraway seeds for more flavor. It’s a perfect summer BBQ staple.

Grilled Polish Sausage
Elise Bauer

Attention sausage and sauerkraut lovers! I think it's time we had our own fan club, don't you?

I nominate my Minnesota-raised father as the honorary chairman of that club. All I have to do is mention the words sausage and sauerkraut, and it doesn't seem to matter what else is involved. He's all over it.

In this case, when I mentioned we were grilling polish sausages and then simmering them in beer with sauerkraut and onions, he couldn't get here fast enough.

Polish Sausage with Sauerkraut—A Summer Standby

Sauerkraut and sausage are great summer grilling party food because you can keep those polish sausages simmering for a couple of hours on the grill, ensuring you have hot food ready throughout the party.

From what I understand, this dish is a summer standby in Wisconsin and Minnesota. Dad thinks it's pretty common in Nebraska too.

I'm just happy it made its way to Northern California. My patio, to be specific. Enjoy!

What Sausage Is Best for This Recipe?

Use either kielbasa or bratwurst in this recipe. Both are types of sausage. Kielbasa is a sausage of Polish origin that's commonly made with pork or a combination of pork and beef, seasoned with spices such as garlic, marjoram, and paprika. Bratwurst is a sausage of German origin (yes, this is a recipe for Polish sausage, but this German version is equally delicious in this dish) that's commonly made with pork and veal, seasoned with spices such as ginger, nutmeg, coriander, or caraway.

Can You Use Non-Alcoholic Beer in This Recipe?

You can use non-alcoholic beer, or NA beer in this recipe, and there are many options of NA beer to choose from that will add the flavor needed. But, be aware that non-alcoholic beer isn't always truly alcohol free. By law, it can contain up to 0.5% alcohol by volume (ABV). That small amount of alcohol is not enough to get anyone drunk or even tipsy, but those who are completely abstaining may want to stay away from non-alcoholic beer.

Perfect Sides for Sauerkraut and Sausage

From the Editors Of Simply Recipes

Grilled Polish Sausage and Sauerkraut

Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 60 mins
Total Time 65 mins
Servings 4 to 6 servings

We recommend jarred fresh sauerkraut (like Bubbies), which you can find in the refrigerated section of the grocery store. If you don't have a grill, or this isn't grilling season, you can also put all ingredients into a casserole dish and bake in a 350°F oven for 1 1/2 hours.

Ingredients

  • 2 to 3 pounds sausage, either kielbasa or bratwurst

  • 1 to 2 (12 ounce) cans light (not dark) beer

  • 2 to 3 cups sauerkraut

  • 2 medium yellow onions, thickly sliced

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed

  • 1 tablespoon caraway seed

  • Mustard, for serving

Method

  1. Prepare the grill:

    Heat the grill to medium heat.

  2. Grill the sausages:

    Place sausages on the heated grill and allow them to brown well. Be patient; do not be tempted to grill the links over high heat or they will break open and the juices and fat will drain into the grill. (They may break open anyway, but they'll break less if you cook them slowly.)

    How to cook polish sausage on the grill
    Elise Bauer
  3. Heat the beer with celery seed, caraway seeds, and salt:

    While the sausages are cooking, put an aluminum grilling pan on a cooler part of the grill and pour in the beer. Stir in the celery and caraway seeds and salt. Bring to a simmer. (This may require covering the grill.)

  4. Add the sausages and sauerkraut:

    Once the sausages are browned add the sausages, sauerkraut, and sauerkraut juices to the pan with the beer.

    How to cook polish sausages on grill with sauerkraut
    Elise Bauer
    Sauerkraut and sausage on the grill
    Elise Bauer
  5. Grill the onions:

    Paint the sliced onion with the vegetable oil and grill on direct heat. If your grates are too wide, and you think you will lose too much onion through the grates, you can either skip the grilling part and put the onions directly into the beer bath.

    Or, you can cut the onions in halves or quarters and grill them that way. Then slice them and add them to the beer.

  6. Cover the grill and simmer:

    Simmer (not boil) for 30 minutes to 2 hours before serving. Cut the sausages into serving sized pieces before serving.

    Polish sausage on the grill with sauerkraut and onion
    Elise Bauer

    Serve as is in a bowl or on a plate, or in a sandwich roll. Serve with mustard on the side.

Grilled Polish Sausage
Elise Bauer
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
854 Calories
70g Fat
21g Carbs
30g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 854
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 70g 90%
Saturated Fat 23g 113%
Cholesterol 165mg 55%
Sodium 3390mg 147%
Total Carbohydrate 21g 8%
Dietary Fiber 4g 13%
Total Sugars 9g
Protein 30g
Vitamin C 49mg 245%
Calcium 146mg 11%
Iron 4mg 22%
Potassium 948mg 20%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.