A Drunken Philly Cheesesteak Grilled Bratwurst is a crowd pleaser for game day! With beer braised onions and peppers, these grilled brats have a philly cheesesteak spin – complete with creamy cheese sauce on top. Serves 4.
about this drunken philly cheesesteak grilled bratwurst
Sometimes, you just need a mashup of recipes. This recipe was born from craving a philly cheesesteak, but wanting something hot off the grill. I didn’t happen to have any steak on hand, so I reach for the bratwurst and boy was that the best stumbled upon invention I’ve ever come up with.
Vegetables braised in beer. A creamy cheese sauce. Flavorful grilled bratwurst bursting with juicy flavor. This is what takes a plain ol’ grilled brat to the next level.
This drunken philly cheesesteak grilled bratwurst is a recipe that is absolutely epic. It’s the kind of recipe you whip out for game day, for a backyard BBQ, or for a weeknight when you want to fire up the grill and are sick of just ketchup and mustard on top.
The entire recipe takes about 30 minutes to come together, but if you have all your ingredients prepped and ready to go, you can easily get it done in 15 minutes if you are cooking everything at the same time.
To me, grilled bratwurst is a game day staple, as well as a summer grilling staple! You can also count on them to please a crowd, because they are super flavorful while also being low maintenance and budget-friendly. With the beer braised vegetables and cheese sauce on top, you’ll be busting out this recipe time and time again!
bell pepper. I used two medium green bell peppers for this recipe, but you can use any color you like! Green bell peppers are the best flavor, in my opinion. However red and orange bell peppers work well here too.
onion. you will need a large sweet onion. Do not use white or red onion for this recipe.
beer. to braise the vegetables, I like to select a lighter beer like a pilsner or a lager for the flavor that it imparts. Do not use a heavier beer like a stout, porter, or barleywine as the flavor will be too sweet as it cooked down. If you prefer to skip the beer, you can use vegetable or chicken broth instead.
bratwurst. use your favorite bratwurst for this recipe! Since it has toppings, I don’t usually select a flavored brat. However I think a jalapeño or cheddar bratwurst would be really tasty. You can even use beer brats if you’d like!
buns. I always recommend selecting your favorite kind! A puffy brioche is always tasty, but you can select your favorite. The choice is up to you as to whether you’d like to toast the buns on the grill or not before assembling this recipe!
butter. all you need is unsalted butter for this recipe. If you use salted butter, be sure to hold back on the salt you add when you season the sauce at the end of cooking.
flour. I used all-purpose flour for this recipe.
garlic powder. the garlic powder you’ll use in the cheese sauce! I prefer garlic powder because it evenly distributes in the sauce versus minced garlic that will leave the sauce with little pieces in it.
milk. use any kind of milk here! Whole, 2%, or skim is great.
cheese. I like to use sharp cheddar cheese, but you can also use mild cheddar or white cheddar!
this recipe’s must haves
Finally, I love to use my Traeger grill for all my grilling and smoking needs. I used Traeger grill signature pellets for my grilled bratwurst because the flavor isn’t too powerful. Finally, a pair of grill tongs to safely get those brats on and off the grill!
here’s how to make a drunken philly cheesesteak grilled bratwurst
Heat oil over medium-high heat in a non-stick skillet. Once hot, add peppers and onion, cooking for 5 minutes until softened.
Add in the beer, cover, and cook for another 8 to 10 minutes until the vegetables are cooked through and just starting to caramelize. Remove from heat and set aside.
Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Place brats and grill for 10 to 15 minutes, turning frequently to ensure even cooking until fully cooked. Cook until the internal temperature reaches 145˚F to 150˚F to ensure it’s cooked through. You can use a gas, pellet, or charcoal grill here!
While brats are grilling, melt butter for the sauce in a saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, add flour and garlic powder, stirring constantly, and cooking for 1 minute.
Slowly whisk in the milk, cooking and stirring until the mixture comes to a light boil and starts the thicken. Reduce heat to low and stir in cheese. Whisk until cheese is melted then season to taste with salt and pepper. If you need to thin it out, you can always add in a bit more milk.
Keep warm over low heat until ready to serve.
Add grilled bratwurst to buns, then top with cooked vegetables and drizzle with cheese sauce.
tips for success
use a meat thermometer. When using a meat thermometer to make sure your grilled bratwurst is cooked through, make sure you are inserting it in the right place! Don’t pierce the casing and stick it through the middle. Instead, slide the probe into the center through the end where the casing is already open.
lower the temp if needed. If you are seeings that the brats are getting charred, but they aren’t quite cooked through, go ahead and lower the heat (or move them to the cooler side of the grill) to finish cooking. This will help you avoid a burnt bratwurst situation!
More yummy grilled bratwurst recipes to try out: BBQ Glazed Grilled Bratwurst with Spicy Bacon Peach Salsa | Spicy Bacon-Wrapped Bratwurst with Homemade Pickled Red Onions
how long do you cook a bratwurst on the grill?
Bratwurst take about 10 to 15 minutes to cook through on the grill. I cook mine over medium-high heat, turning them frequently to make sure they cook through evenly.
should I boil bratwurst before grilling?
You should never boil brats before adding them to the grill. If you do, you will find that the flavor actually leeches out of the brats. You can steam brats if you wish, as this will keep them warm and juicy. To me, it’s easiest just to grill them!
Need some more inspiration for grilling? Check out my grilling recipes page!
what to serve with grilled bratwurst
When it comes to serving up grilled brats, I am all about serving it with my favorite grilled foods! You are already firing up the grill, so why not use it to cook everything else?
Here’s some recipes to serve alongside the drunken philly cheesesteak grilled bratwurst:
Need a cocktail to pair with it? Try out any of these!
how to store and reheat grilled bratwurst
Store. Leftover grilled bratwurst can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerate for up to 5 days. The onions and peppers can also be stored in a separate airtight container in the refrigerator, for up to 3 days. Finally, the cheese sauce can be stored separately in an airtight container for up to 3 to 4 days.
Reheat. To reheat the grilled brats, place in the oven and gently warm them (or gently warm them on the grill!). For the onions and peppers, reheat these in the microwave until warmed through. The cheese sauce should be reheated over medium-low heat on the stovetop, stirring constantly until reheated. If the cheese sauce needs to be thinned out, you can add a little milk to thin it out again.
Finally, if you make this drunken philly cheesesteak grilled bratwursts recipe, please be sure to give this recipe a rating or leave a comment! I love to hear when you all make recipes, and I do take the time to respond to every single comment. Feel free to drop questions below too, if you have them!
Oh and be sure to tag me on Instagram if you make the recipe! Love being able to see these recipes come to life in your homes – it’s my favorite thing to look through those photos. It really means the world to me!
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 green bell peppers, thinly sliced
- 1/2 large sweet onion, peeled and thinly sliced
- Kosher salt, to taste
- Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup beer (I used a lager here, but pilsner works well too)
- 4 bratwursts
- 4 hot dog buns
cheddar cheese sauce
- 1 1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 Tbsp flour
- 1/8 tsp garlic powder
- 3/4 cup milk, plus more to thin if needed
- 5 oz shredded sharp cheddar cheese (1 1/4 cups)
- Kosher salt, to taste
- Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
- Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
- To make the vegetables, heat oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, sauté peppers and onion for 5 minutes, until softened. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add beer and cook, covered, for 8 to 10 minutes, until almost caramelized. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Place bratwurst on the grill and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, turning frequently for even cooking. Once fully cooked (145˚F to 150˚F internally), removed from grill.
- While the brats are grilling, melt butter for the cheese sauce in a small saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, whisk in flour and garlic powder, cooking for an additional minute while stirring constantly.
- Slowly whisk in milk. Cook, stirring frequently, until it comes to a light boil and thickens.
- Reduce heat to low and stir in cheese. Cook until cheese is melted, stirring constantly, about 3 to 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepepr to taste. If too thick, you can thin it out by adding a little milk.
- Place cooked brats in buns, then top with beer braised vegetables and cheese sauce. Serve immediately.
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