Whether you’re looking to throw together a quick and tasty weeknight dinner, or gearing up for a gathering complete with lots of cold beer, this easy German Sausage and Potato Sheet Pan Dinner is exactly what you need. Crispy potatoes and flavorful German-style sausage roasted up in the oven, and served along side an Easy Purple Sauerkraut and a Smoky Beer Cheese. You can have it all on the table in under an hour, and make any occasion feel like Oktoberfest.
When I was in college, I was lucky enough to get to study abroad in Europe for a semester. I traveled A LOT over those few short months, but one of my favorite and most memorable adventures was a trip I took with my now fiancé to Munich for Oktoberfest — like, the real deal. There were people drunk by the time we got in line at 9am, and the revelry continued all day and well into the night. Let’s just say a lot of beer was consumed. Thankfully there was plenty of sausage, potatoes, pretzels and sauerkraut to be found to help soak up all that alcohol.
Since then, I’ve been to a few knockoff Oktoberfest celebrations in the states. Every time, I go looking for the sausages, the sauerkraut, hopefully some mustard to drown it all in… the whole nine yards. I can’t help myself, maybe it’s because I’ve got German ancestors on both sides of my family.
Anyways, Avu and I recently went to a little German-inspired town a few hours outside Seattle to celebrate what would have been our wedding weekend (thanks COVID). We did NOT anticipate the crowd that would be there this year. So we ended up skipping out on some stuff because it was too hard to socially distance. Therefore, I came home with a craving for all that German pub food I was preparing to chow down on all weekend, but did not get my fill on.
So that’s where the inspiration for these recipes was born. It’s an easy sheet pan sausage and potato dinner that can easily be whipped up on any night of the week, and served alongside your favorite mustard. Add some sauerkraut, and maybe some beer cheese, and you’ve got a full spread to host your own Oktoberfest right at home (just don’t forget the beer!).
Below I’ve included the simple steps to put this sheet pan dinner together, as well as the recipes for an Easy Purple Sauerkraut and a Smoky Beer Cheese, both of which can be ready to go in under half an hour. I’ve also included some ideas for variations on this dinner, because really you can turn a sausage and potato sheet pan into anything you want it to be.
Crack open your favorite beer and keep scrolling for the recipes!
Easy Sausage and Potato Sheet Pan
You only need a few simple ingredients to put together this tasty sheet pan dinner. It starts with sausage and potatoes, of course.
Start with about a pound of baby potatoes. I like to use a bag of Potato Medley, which usually includes Yukon gold, red skinned, and purple potatoes. A whole bag of baby Yukon’s would also work well, but I love all the colors this time of year.
Halve all the potatoes and spread them out on a rimmed sheet pan. As usual, I cover my pans with foil because I’m so lazy about clean up! Once you’ve got your potatoes laid out, drizzle some vegetable oil over them. Sprinkle some garlic powder, salt and pepper all over. Then toss the potatoes until they’re all coated.
Pop them in a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes, then remove them from the oven. Use some tongs or a spatula to toss the potatoes around a little bit. This will help them get even crispier as they finish cooking.
To the sheet pan, add your German-style sausage. I love a good Bratwurst, so that’s what I used for this recipe. But other varieties of German sausage, like Knackwurst or Frankfurter, or even Polish Kielbasa, would be delicious. You can slice them up before adding them to the sheet pan, or roast the sausage links whole.
Add the sheet pan back to the oven for another 20 minutes. The potatoes will get nice and crispy, and the sausage will get hot, juicy and slightly browned on the outside. Serve this up immediately with your favorite mustard. My hands down top choice is Trader Joe’s Honey Pale Ale Mustard because it’s the perfect balance of tangy and a little bit sweet. I also highly recommend whipping up some easy DIY sauerkraut and beer cheese on the side, perfect for dunking the potatoes into. Keep scrolling for those recipes!
Quick and colorful Sauerkraut
You can make this Easy Purple Sauerkraut in just 20 minutes. I use red and green cabbage for this side dish, as well as some red onion. The end result is a gorgeous purple sauerkraut with flavors as bright as the color.
Start by adding equal parts shredded green and purple cabbage to a large pot. Slice up half a red onion and throw it in as well. Sprinkle some celery seed, garlic powder and whole mustard seeds over the mixture, which will add tons of flavor as the veggies cook down.
Finally, add the liquid. Which will be equal parts distilled white vinegar and apple cider vinegar. If you only have 1 of those, that’s also totally fine. Finish by adding a cup of water to the pot.
Brings the mixture to a boil. Then lower the heat, cover the pot, and simmer everything for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. The veggies will cook down, soak up the vinegar and spices, and quickly pickle, turning into sauerkraut.
After about 15-20 minutes, turn off the heat and let the sauerkraut cool. Then you can serve it up, or put it in mason jars or another air-tight food storage container to go in the fridge. Since this is a fermented food, it will stay good for up to 2 months. It also provides a ton of health benefits because of its anti-fungal, anti-oxidant, anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Super simple Smoky Beer Cheese
This recipe for spicy, creamy, smoky beer cheese couldn’t get any easier and it’s so. darn. good. The cheese sauce combined sharp cheddar, smoked Gouda and mozzarella for the perfect balance of cheesy flavors and melty texture. To that, crisp light beer and a blend of spices are added, making for such a delicious cheese dip, you won’t be able to put the pretzels down.
This cheese sauce starts follows the basic methods for making a roux to a béchamel sauce, with a few flavor twists added. Start by melting butter in a saucepan. Once it starts to bubble, sprinkle in some flour and the spices — garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, ground mustard, and a pinch of cayenne (if you want). Whisk all that over medium heat until the color darkens and you know the flour is cooking.
Then toss in a spoonful of Dijon, and slowly add about a cup of your favorite light or amber beer. I usually go with a German Hefeweizen, which is golden in color and has a nice, sharp, flavor, but not a lot of hops. But honestly any kind of pale ale, lager, Pilsner, or Amber beer will do just fine. To that, also stir in a little milk to add some creaminess to the sauce. Once all that is combined and smooth and bubbling, lower the heat and add in the cheese. I use equal parts shredded Cheddar and Smoked Gouda, and then half as much Mozzarella. Stir the beer cheese for several minutes over that low heat until the sauce is thick and smooth.
You can store the leftover cheese in the fridge for up to a week. It will thicken a lot as it cools, but will go right back to its gooey texture when reheated in the microwave or on the stove.
Possible Variations for this German-Inspired Meal
There are plenty of ways you can customize this sheet pan dinner to make it your own… beyond changing out the sausage or swapping out the potatoes (sweet potatoes or squash could also work if you are trying to make this dish a little more diet-friendly). A couple ideas include…
- Add some fall/winter veggies to roast alongside the sausage and potatoes (or in place of the potatoes). Tasty options include sliced apples, carrots and celery, brussels sprouts, broccoli, or kale.
- Add some apple and/or fennel to the sauerkraut for even more depth of flavor, and a seasonal kick.
- Get creative with your spreads and sides. Try serving up some mayo or aioli to go with the potatoes, or a spicy curry ketchup.
- I usually grab some soft pretzels to serve with this meal. But you could also add some warm crusty bread on the side. Also great for dipping if you make the beer cheese sauce.
- Instead of sauerkraut, keep it simple and serve up your favorite store-bought pickles on the side (or serve both!).
- For a sweet and savory combo, make a simple apple cider reduction to drizzle over your sausage and potatoes, or dip them into.
Let me know if you give this German Sausage and Potato Sheet Pan Dinner, the Easy Purple Sauerkraut, or the Smoky Beer Cheese a try! I love to hear from you in the comments, or tag me on instagram @eat.think.live and let me see your creation! Plus, you can check out the rest of my recipes HERE.
German Sausage Sheet Pan Dinner
- 1 Pound Baby Potatoes Halved
- 1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
- 1 Tsp Garlic Powder
- Salt & Pepper To Taste
- 4 Links German-Style Sausage (like Bratwurst or Kielbasa) Sliced if desired
- For serving on the side: mustard of your choice, purple sauerkraut, smoky beer cheese, and soft pretzels
- Preheat the oven to 400F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil if desired.
- Spread the potato halves out on the baking sheet. Drizzle with the vegetable oil, sprinkle on the garlic powder, plus a generous pinch of salt and pepper to your taste. Toss to combine everything.
- Bake potatoes for 20 minutes. Remove sheet pan from oven and use tongs to toss the potatoes around a little bit. Add the sausage to the sheet pan with the potatoes and return to the oven for another 20 minutes until the potatoes are crispy and the sausage are starting to brown.
- Serve the sausage and potatoes with your favorite mustard on the side. Optional: serve purple sauerkraut and smoky beer cheese on the side as well along with some soft pretzels.
Easy Purple Sauerkraut
- 1 Cup Shredded Green Cabbage
- 1 Cup Shredded Purple Cabbage
- 1/2 Red Onion Sliced
- 1/2 Cup Distilled White Vinegar
- 1/2 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 Cup Water
- 1/2 Tsp Celery Seed
- 1/2 Tsp Garlic Powder
- 1/2 Tsp Mustard Seeds
- 1 Tsp Salt
- 1 Tsp Black Pepper
- Add all the ingredients to a pot over medium high heat. Bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat, cover the pot with a lid and simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let cool.
- Sauerkraut can be kept in a mason jar or an air-tight storage container for up to 2 months.
Smoky Stovetop Beer Cheese
- 2 Tbsp Butter
- 1 1/2 Tbsp All-Purpose Flour
- 1/2 Tsp Garlic Powder
- 1/2 Tsp Onion Powder
- 1/2 Tsp Smoked Paprika
- 1/2 Tsp Ground Mustard
- 1/4 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
- 1 Tsp Dijon Mustard
- 1 Cup Light or Amber Beer
- 1/2 Cup Milk
- 1/2 Cup Shredded Cheddar
- 1/2 Cup Shredded Smoked Gouda
- 1/4 Cup Shredded Mozzarella
- Salt & Pepper To Taste
- Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and the spiced and cook, whisking frequently, for about 2-3 minutes until the color starts to darken.
- Whisk in the mustard. Then slowly add the beer and milk, stirring constantly. Cook for another 2 minutes until the mixture starts to bubble.
- Turn heat all the way to low and then add in all the shredded cheeses. Stir until everything is combined and continue warming over low heat, stirring frequently, until the cheese sauce is thick, silky and smooth. Make sure to taste season with salt and pepper to your taste before serving.
- Serve immediately with pretzels, chips, sausage, french fries (or roasted potatoes) or veggies.