- October 28, 2022
- 30 Minute Meals
Brats and Tots (Bratwurst Nachos Recipe)
Pair delicious seared bratwurst pieces, three-ingredient beer cheese sauce, hot and sweet peppers, and crispy tater tots to make the perfect game day bratwurst nachos. It’s the ideal leftover bratwurst recipe!
Recipe development and leftovers are a common occurrence in my house (which comes with my career choice). While I don’t love to eat the same foods day after day I feel food waste is a definite no go in my book. Especially in this economy, so we are getting wildly creative.
If you also find yourself with leftover grilled bratwurst (or just simply have a craving for this dish) and don’t want to eat another brat on a bun, try this out as a perfect appetizer that repurposes my pellet smoker brats or air fryer brat recipe and Chicago-style sweet peppers.
It’s a simple way to play on classic nachos but using other tailgate and fall favorite foods like beer brats and beer cheese. Mix and match your own toppings (but I’ll give you my favorite suggestions) to create one amazing appetizer. Let’s dive in!
Why This Recipe Works:
This recipe works well because we are combining leftover brats with crispy potatoes (aka tater tots instead of tortilla chips) to create the base of our “nachos”. From start to finish it takes about 20 minutes to heat and assemble.
Sausage and potato are the perfect complimentary pairing together but we go the extra mile with this cheddar cheese sauce poured over the top and top it off with hot and sweet peppers for the perfect dish!
- 6 inch Cast Iron Skillet or Baking Dish
- Small Pot
- Measuring Cups and Spoons
- Knife and Cutting Board
Welcome to my virtual classroom! Use the guided notes below where I often answer commonly asked questions I get from readers and cooks just like you.
This information is meant to help you have a stronger understanding of this recipe and the process so you can find success all on your own.
Ready to begin cooking? Simply jump to the recipe card below and begin.
- Bratwurst Sausage: I use leftover brats for this recipe because they are already cooked and it’s a great use of a few leftover pieces. If you want to make this with raw brats, I would fully cook them prior to making the brat nachos.
- Tater Tots: You can bake, air fry, or deep fry your tots. I usually air fry or bake mine based on the package directions. I typically use one normal-sized bag of tots to make a whole batch of nachos (about 4 cups roughly).
- Three Ingredient Beer Cheese: I often make this recipe because it’s so simple. You can also use store-bought nacho cheese sauce too if needed.
- Sweet Peppers: Check out my recipe for smoked sweet peppers. I love enjoying this with brats or Italian beef sandwiches. You can also just slice up and saute bell peppers and onions with the brats as well if desired.
- Hot Giardiniera Peppers: Another Chicago staple I always have on hand. Sometimes spicy giardiniera is hard to find depending on where you live (look near the pickles and olive section at your local grocery store or make your own) or buy it in bulk on Amazon!
- Other Garnishes: Sour Cream, Green Onions, Pickled Jalapenos (or anything else you love).
How To Make Bratwurst Nachos:
- Begin by cooking the tater tots according to the package directions. You can air fry or bake. Either method works here!
- While the tater tots are cooking and getting crispy, prep the brats. I use already-cooked brats for this recipe. Slice the bratwurst into thin round circles. Preheat the cast iron skillet to medium heat (I repurpose the skillet for the nachos) and cook the brat pieces to reheat them and get them crispy on all sides.
- Next, prep your cheese sauce. I use my beer cheese sauce recipe. Start with softened cream cheese in a pot, add the beer, and the spices. Whisk until heated through and combined and then add your cheese and stir until it’s completely melted. Once the sauce comes together remove it from the heat.
- In a baking dish or cast iron pan, layer the cooked tater tots across the bottom (you can reserve a few for the top if desired). Pour a small layer of beer cheese sauce over the tots.
- Next, add the crispy bratwurst pieces and the sweet peppers and onions over the tots.
- Pour another layer of cheese over the brats and peppers. Then top with the spicy giardiniera and any other garnishes (I like a nice dollop of sour cream). Serve and enjoy!
- If you do not have already cooked bratwurst, be sure to precook the meat fully before using it. This recipe doesn’t get baked because everything gets assembled hot.
- Use freshly grated cheese to make the sauce. It comes out so much better. Be sure to stir occasionally after you remove it from the heat and it will thicken slightly as well as it cools.
- You can top it with tater tots as a garnish too if you prefer to layer things more.
- Serve this as one large appetizer or use smaller skillets to make individual ones as well!
If you’re a fan of this recipe, check out my beer and cheddar cheese soup recipe or my crispy pork rind crusted jager schnitzel too!
Brats and Tots (Bratwurst Nachos Recipe)
- 3 Bratwurst precooked
- 6 cups Tater Tots frozen
- 1 cup Beer Cheese Sauce
- 1 cup Sweet Peppers and Onions
- 1/3 cup Hot Giardinera optional
- 2 tbsp. Sour Cream
- Chives or Green Onion garnish
- Start by cooking the tater tots according to the package instructions (baking or air frying works well here).
- Take the cooked bratwurst and slice each one into thin round pieces. Preheat a skillet over medium heat and sauté the bratwurst to help brown and sear the pieces on all sides. Add the sweet pepper and onions and allow them to reheat with the bratwurst. Once heated through and crispy, set the brat mixture aside.
- Make the beer cheese sauce according to the recipe directions. Alternatively, use a store bought nacho cheese sauce if desired and heat it up on the stove or in the microwave.
- In a cast iron skillet or baking dish, layer the crispy cooked tater tots across the bottom. Add half of the cheese sauce and pour it over the tots.
- Next, add on the crispy bratwurst pieces and sweet pepper and onion mixture over the cheese. Add the remaining cheese again over the top.
- Finish the bratwurst nachos off with the hot giardiniera if desired, a dollop of sour cream and garnish with chives or green onions and serve.