Oktoberfest Chili

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An Oktoberfest twist on a classic chili – spicy, hearty and flavorful, made with bratwurst and sauerkraut.

Oktoberfest Chili

This post is sponsored by Frank’s Sauerkraut All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for continuing to support the brands that make An Affair from the Heart possible.

Oktoberfest Chili - An Affair from the Heart

Can you smell it?  Oktoberfest is in the air … time for delicious foods, and beers that come around once a year.  Time for sweatshirts and football and tailgating.  Time to indulge in a new Oktoberfest recipe, made with our favorite, Frank’s Kraut!

Oktoberfest Chili

“Oktoberfest began on October 12, 1810 with the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig, who later became King Ludwig I. His marriage to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen was celebrated in Bavaria. On October 17, five days after the marriage, a large fest was held in front of the Sendlinger Tor, one of the gates leading to Munich.  Included in the festivities were horse races that became an Oktoberfest custom lasting until 1938.  In 1811 an agricultural fair was added and by 1818 beer pubs were included along with performers. It became a great tourist attraction and a way for visitors to learn about Bavaria and its people.”

Today, Oktoberfest begins in September, to take advantage of the better weather.  It begins on a Saturday in September and runs through the first weekend in October.  This year it begins on September 16 and runs through October 3, 2017.   Oktoberfest celebrations include lots of music, dancing, beer tents and of course, LOTS of German food!  {learn more about Oktoberfest and where it originated at Delaware Saengerbund Library } 

Oktoberfest Chili

This chili is perfect for celebrating, whether you are gathered at home, or at your favorite tailgate, this one needs to hit the menu this month!  It’s got traditional chili components, like lots of beans, and that heat we all crave, but it starts with bratwurst and later the addition of sauerkraut adds a fun and flavorful twist.

Oktoberfest Chili

Look at all of that goodness right there!

Oktoberfest Chili

Did you know that Sauerkraut is a natural immune booster?  One of the not-so-secret benefits of sauerkraut is the boost it gives to our immune systems. Kraut is loaded with vitamins and minerals, and has been used as a natural immune booster for centuries. Sauerkraut contains phytochemicals which are created during the fermentation process. Phytochemicals occur naturally and are beneficial byproducts of sauerkraut that help boost the immune system which leads to a decrease in a number of health problems. The common cold, skin problems, weight gain and tainted blood are all fixed by a healthy functioning immune system.  Learn More about the health benefits of including sauerkraut in your diet.

Oktoberfest Chili

If you have never had the pleasure of trying Frank’s Kraut, you really need to.  My heritage is Polish and German, and it’s the only sauerkraut my grandparents and parents ever bought.  Working with them is such a delight.  They are such an awesome company!  Interested in seeing some of the great kraut recipes we have collaborated on through the years??

Pop over and take a peek!

#AllTheKraut Recipes


overhead of Oktoberfest Chili in a white bowl
4.37 from 38 votes
Print Recipe

Oktoberfest Chili

An Oktoberfest twist on a classic chili - spicy, hearty and flavorful, made with bratwurst and sauerkraut.
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time5 minutes
Additional Time8 hours 15 minutes
Total Time8 hours 50 minutes
Cuisine: German
Keyword: Oktoberfest Chili
Servings: 10 -12
Calories: 562kcal
Author: Michaela Kenkel


  • 2 pounds fresh bratwurst links cut into 1-inch slices
  • 3 Tablespoons bacon drippings
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 1 green bell pepper diced
  • 1 jalapeno peppers diced
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 Tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon cumin
  • 3 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 1 14 ounce can Frank's sauerkraut
  • 2 14.5 ounce cans Chili Ready diced tomatoes
  • 1 15.5 ounce can Chili Beans
  • 1 15 ounce can Pinto Beans
  • 1 15 ounce can Dark Red Kidney Beans
  • 2 8 ounce cans Tomato sauce
  • 2 cups tomato juice
  • 1 12 ounce German Oktoberfest beer
  • 1/4 cup Semi-Sweet chocolate chips


  • Place the bratwurst into a large dutch oven with about 1 Tablespoon of bacon drippings over medium heat; cook and stir the bratwurst until the pieces are browned and no longer pink inside, (takes about 15 minutes). Remove from pot, set aside. Drain excess grease.
  • Place remaining bacon drippings into the dutch oven, along with the bell pepper, jalapeno pepper, and garlic and saute until the onion is translucent.Add the bratwurst back into the pot, stir in the sauerkraut, beans, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato juice, beer and spices.
  • Bring the chili to a boil, reduce the temperature to low, and stir in the chocolate until melted.
  • Simmer on low, stirring occasionally for a few hours. OR Place in your crock pot on low and let it take it's time without any work from you.


Loosely adapted from AllRecipes.com


Serving: 1g | Calories: 562kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 20g | Cholesterol: 84mg | Sodium: 2607mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 11g

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  1. We are huge fans of Franks kraut, its really the only type we eat. This savory chili is custom built for our family as out lake house is just a stones throw from the tiny hamlet of Johnsonville which is the home of the American bratwurst. Combining brats with some Franks sauerkraut is nothing short of genius and we will definitely be giving this wonderful fall dish a try!

  2. Can’t wait to try this! I always enjoy sauerkraut and as a chili? Mmmm, delish! I bet on day two it’s even better as those flavors develop. What a great recipe and new twist on a delicious meal!

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