The Best Sausage Toppings You Haven't Tried Yet

four sausage and ingredient pairings
four sausage and ingredient pairings - Static Media / Shutterstock / Getty

When it comes to choosing toppings for sausages, most of us tend to stick to the classics, like ketchup or pickles. But why are we simply settling for the ordinary when there's a world of other exciting pairings to try? Sausages have a rich, savory taste that provides the perfect canvas for a whole host of delicious, creative toppings.

We've done some digging to bring you a diverse selection of must-try sausage toppings, each bringing its own unique flavors and textures to complement your meaty feast. From the sweetness of caramelized onions to the spicy kick of jalapeños, we've got something for everyone. Have you ever thought about pairing your sausage with broccoli rabe or a gooey cheese sauce? How about enjoying sausage with some grilled pineapple, or incorporating the bold flavors of kimchi? These combinations might sound unusual at first, but they're sure to transform the humble sausage into something surprisingly palatable.

If you're looking to add some excitement to your next summer barbecue or cozy dinner at home, you're in the right place. Here are sixteen fantastic sausage toppings you might not have tried yet, but definitely should.

Read more: 6 Canned Meats You Should Buy And 6 You Shouldn't

Caramelized Onions

caramelized onions in frying pan
caramelized onions in frying pan - Mindstyle/Getty Images

Caramelized onions are a game-changer for adding flavor to sausages. They're a topping that works wonders, with a rich sweetness and aromatic taste that pairs beautifully with the savory, juicy taste of sausages.

To make perfect caramelized onions, start by slicing a couple of large onions thinly. Add oil to a skillet over medium heat and add the onions. Once they've been sautéed for about five minutes and have softened up nicely, it's time to turn the heat down and cook the onions low and slow. You can add a good sprinkling of salt at this point too. For the best results, you'll want to cook the onions for about an hour, stirring them every few minutes or so. The result will be wonderfully tender, golden, caramelized onions that are oozing with flavor.

Once they're ready, simply spoon the onions on top of your freshly grilled or pan-fried sausages for the ultimate sweet and savory combination. A rich onion or beef gravy can make a great addition to this pairing, too.

Honey Mustard

bowl of honey mustard
bowl of honey mustard - Liliia Bila/Getty Images

It's a much-loved duo, but have you tried it on sausages? Honey and mustard is a combination often found in salad dressings and dipping sauces, but this combination can bring the perfect balance of sweetness and tang to your sausages too.

Whipping up a honey and mustard topping is super simple. Start with your favorite variety of mustard -- perhaps Dijon, whole grain, or yellow mustard. You'll then simply need to mix equal parts of mustard and honey in a small bowl. This can, of course, be adjusted if you prefer a sweeter, or tangier flavor.

Drizzle the honey mustard mixture generously over your sausages when they are almost done cooking. If you're pan-frying or baking the sausages in the oven, just pour it right over the top and continue to cook for the final few minutes. If you're grilling the sausages, you may find it easier to brush the mixture on, or simply add it once you've removed them from the grill.

Broccoli Rabe

bunch of broccoli rabe
bunch of broccoli rabe - Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

You might have tried sautéed peppers as a topping for your sausages, but there's a new veggie in town. Broccoli rabe, also known as rapini, is a leafy green vegetable with a slightly bitter, nutty taste. Surprisingly, this veggie is actually more closely related to turnips than broccoli.

To prepare broccoli rabe as an accompaniment to sausages, first blanch this green veggie. To do this, trim away the ends and separate or cut the greens into bite-sized pieces. Blanch the broccoli rabe pieces by dropping them into a pot of boiling salted water for one minute, before swiftly removing them from heat and draining them. They should be bright green and tender.

Next, prepare your sausages in a frying pan with some oil. Then, add some garlic and red pepper flakes for extra flavor. Finally, add the blanched and drained broccoli rabe. It will mix with the flavors in the pan, helping to flavor the vegetable.


hot dog with sauerkraut
hot dog with sauerkraut - Lauripatterson/Getty Images

This traditional German condiment is a topping that you've likely already seen piled upon a Bratwurst or a hot dog. Sauerkraut is made from fermented cabbage, with a distinct tangy flavor and crunchy texture, and it can provide a wonderfully refreshing contrast to the richness of these meat dishes.

If you'd like to try adding sauerkraut to your sausages, you can either buy it ready-made from the store or make your own. The latter is a fun and rewarding process that requires a little patience, though the prep itself is relatively simple.

Start with a fresh cabbage, thinly sliced. Place the cabbage in a large bowl and sprinkle it with salt. Then, you'll need to combine the cabbage with a mixture of vinegar, caraway seeds, and fennel seeds, and cook this on the stovetop for 40 minutes. Once it's ready, transfer everything to a jar, cool it, and refrigerate it. Now it's time to wait and let those flavors develop! The longer you leave the sauerkraut to ferment, the more sour and tangy it will become. About two weeks is recommended.

Garlic Aioli

bowl of aioli
bowl of aioli - Etorres69/Getty Images

It's creamy, it's packed with garlicky flavor, and it's the perfect topping for your sausages. Even better, garlic aioli is easy to make and it works beautifully with a variety of different sausages.

To make your own garlic aioli, you'll need a few simple ingredients: garlic, egg yolks, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, and olive oil. You can use a food processor or blender to mix everything up. Just pop everything in the bowl (except for the olive oil) and blitz until you have a smooth paste. Then, you will want to slowly stream in the olive oil whilst blending, until you have a smooth and creamy aioli.

Spoon a generous dollop of this garlicky condiment on top of your sausages and let the amazing flavors unfold. If you are making hot dogs, you can also spread the aioli right onto the buns before filling them with the sausages.

Swiss Cheese

wedge of Swiss cheese
wedge of Swiss cheese - Yeti studio/Shutterstock

Shredded cheeses like cheddar or Monterey Jack are popular additions to sausages, but Swiss cheese is something a little different that can bring a whole other dimension of flavor and texture to a sausage dish. Swiss cheese has a mild, slightly nutty flavor and smooth texture. It melts beautifully too, creating a delicious, creamy layer on top of the sausage.

If opting for a Swiss cheese sausage topping, your best bet is placing the cheese right on top of sausages when they're fresh off the grill or out of the pan. You can even place the cheese-topped sausages under the broiler for a couple of minutes if you want to get the cheese extra bubbly and browned.

The mild taste of the cheese won't overpower the flavor of your sausages, it'll simply enhance the savory goodness of the meat. Swiss cheese is an excellent match for a classic Bratwurst, an Italian sausage, or even a spicy andouille sausage.

Diced Jalapeños

hot dog with pickled jalapeños
hot dog with pickled jalapeños - Lauripatterson/Getty Images

If you love a little heat with your meat, diced jalapeños are a sausage topping you need to try. These vibrant green peppers bring a fresh, spicy kick that can bring some excitement to every bite of your sausage dinner.

Dicing jalapeños is pretty straightforward. Just cut off the stems and remember to remove the seeds and white parts if you prefer a milder heat. Or, for more spice, leave some seeds in. You can either finely dice them into tiny pieces for even distribution of heat, or slice them into rounds for fun presentation.

Jalapeños will work wonderfully paired with a variety of sausages, from hot Italian sausage to smoky chorizo. Giving the diced peppers a quick sauté before adding them to the sausage is a great option too. Try combining them with a little butter, chopped onions, and minced garlic for extra savory flavor. To save time, store-bought pickled jalapeños also make a delicious topping that you can simply add straight from the jar.


bowl of sriracha sauce
bowl of sriracha sauce - SUNG MIN/Shutterstock

This beloved spicy sauce is often used to add heat to dips or marinades, or it's simply drizzled over meals for an extra kick. Sriracha is super versatile, and another fantastic addition to sausages. It certainly boasts a good level of fiery flavor, whilst also providing a hint of sweetness — a wonderful combination for rich, juicy sausages.

Adding this tasty topping is pretty simple. Just go ahead and drizzle that sriracha over the top of your cooked sausages. The boldness of the sauce really takes the taste of the meat to another level of deliciousness. Plus, its vibrant red color looks super appealing too.

If you prefer a slightly milder, creamier sauce but still want to add some spice to the sausages, try whipping up a sriracha mayonnaise. The creaminess of the mayo is the perfect cooling balancer for the hot sauce, providing richness whilst toning down the heat a little.


coleslaw close up
coleslaw close up - Arina P Habich/Shutterstock

Since sausages can be quite rich and fatty, adding something fresh and crunchy to them can provide the perfect contrast. We love piling coleslaw on top of warm sausage, with its creamy texture and tangy taste serving as a delicious complement to the meat.

Coleslaw is another topping that's readily available to buy in stores, though again you can also opt to make it fresh. You'll need a mixture of veggies, typically red cabbage, green cabbage, and carrots. These should first be finely shredded up, which you can either do by hand or in a food processor. Then, simply mix the shredded veg with some mayo, apple cider vinegar, salt, and pepper in a bowl and toss everything well. Pop it in the fridge until you're ready to serve.

This is a great one to make up in a big batch and serve at a summer barbecue or buffet. Lay out the bowl of coleslaw and let your guests tuck in, adding it to their sausages as they please.

Pulled Pork

plate of pulled pork
plate of pulled pork - FoodAndPhoto/Shutterstock

What could be better to add to your sausages than even more meat? Whilst pulled pork and sausages start off in the same form, they're two completely different variations of pork meat, with differing textures and flavor profiles. Yet, they still complement each other wonderfully.

Pulled pork is incredibly tender and juicy, typically cooked low and slow to give it that amazing succulent texture. It also tends to be infused with rich, smoky flavors such as barbecue sauce or liquid smoke. And combining it with sausages is an excellent idea. Piled on top of them, pulled pork adds a hearty and indulgent element to sausages that can make them taste extra special.

Making a batch of flavorful pulled pork at home is a super satisfying experience (that makes your kitchen smell amazing too!). You'll need boneless pork shoulder roast and a range of spices and seasonings. These are open to customization but typically include things like smoked paprika, garlic powder, brown sugar, liquid smoke, and Worcestershire sauce. You'll want to season the pork with the dry spices, before searing it in a Dutch oven. Then, pour in some chicken broth and other wet ingredients and bring it to a boil. Place the lid on and pop it in the oven, where it will slow roast for two hours. The final step is skimming away any excess fat and pulling the pork apart into glorious juicy shreds.

Cheese Sauce

cheese sauce on fork
cheese sauce on fork - juana22/Shutterstock

Placing slices of cheese on top of your sausages can be a wonderful option, but why not go one step further and whip up an ooey gooey cheese sauce to pour over them? It's indulgent, rich, and flavorful, and another fantastic way to transform your sausages.

You can create an easy homemade cheese sauce with just a few simple ingredients. First, melt butter in a saucepan, sprinkle in some flour, and mix to form a roux. Then, add a little minced garlic for an extra flavor boost, stirring this for 30 seconds or so until aromatic. Now you can add milk, pouring gradually and whisking until you have a thick, creamy sauce. Once the sauce is bubbling nicely, add in a dollop of Dijon mustard and your shredded cheeses of choice. We love to use a combination of cheddar and Parmesan. Season with any extra salt and pepper to taste, and this cheesy delight is ready to pour over your cooked sausages.


bowl of kimchi
bowl of kimchi - Ollo/Getty Images

When it comes to fermented foods, we know that sauerkraut is often used as a sausage topping, but kimchi is another flavorful option to try. This bold and spicy fermented condiment can bring a unique twist to sausages, adding a lively kick and plenty of umami flavor.

You can find this gut-friendly food at the store or make your own from scratch. Kimchi is typically made with napa cabbage, which is sliced up, soaked in salty water, and dried, before combining with a spicy, aromatic paste. Once transferred to a sealed jar, it's best to leave the kimchi at room temperature for a few days to get the fermentation process going, then you can pop it in the fridge for up to two weeks.

Then, the next time you're preparing a delicious sausage dinner, grab your jar of kimchi and spoon a generous helping right on top of it. It'll add a wonderful crunch, tang, and freshness to the meat.

Grilled Pineapple

grilled pineapple rings
grilled pineapple rings - Elena Veselova/Shutterstock

An unexpected yet totally tasty topping for your sausages is sweet and succulent grilled pineapple. Bringing a tropical twist to your meat, its unique sweet and tart flavor is the ultimate match for the deeply savory sausages.

Before grilling, slice your pineapple up into rings or large chunks. Heat up the grill, and lightly oil the grates. Next, place on those pineapple pieces. Cook them until nicely softened — about five minutes, then turn them over and continue cooking for another two to three minutes until golden and slightly charred. Drape the tender pineapple pieces over the top of your sausages for an incredible sweet and savory pairing.

Grilling fruit can really amp up its sweetness, since the heat helps to caramelize those natural sugars. If you're not a pineapple fan, other fruits can also work brilliantly alongside sausages, such as apples, plums, peaches, or pears. Just make sure to chop them into large enough pieces or use a grill basket so they don't fall through the grates.


sautéed mushrooms in pan
sautéed mushrooms in pan - Rudisill/Getty Images

Earthy and robust, mushrooms make another delicious and nutritious sausage topping. Their somewhat meaty texture works brilliantly, blending with each bite of sausage seamlessly and adding even more savory flavor.

The simplest way to prepare mushrooms as a sausage topping is by sautéing them. You can do this by tossing sliced mushrooms into a frying pan with a little butter and oil. We also love to add plenty of minced garlic, some salt and pepper, and a splash of soy sauce and white wine for extra depth of flavor. A scattering of fresh parsley won't go amiss either. Grilling the mushrooms is a great option too. Just pop the whole mushrooms right onto the oiled grill plates and allow them to get juicy and charred. The best type of mushrooms for grilling are those with larger caps since they won't fall through the grates.

Once the mushrooms are tender and browned, spoon them over the sausages and dig in. This one is such a mouth-watering combination, that it's great served with a side of fluffy mashed potatoes or sandwiched in a crusty baguette.

Homemade Applesauce

bowl of applesauce
bowl of applesauce - Adao/Shutterstock

Another way to add a wonderful sweet contrast to your sausages is with a homemade applesauce. Unlike store-bought applesauce, which is generally smooth in texture and often contains other additives, making your own applesauce allows you to leave in some whole chunks of apple and use only simple, fresh ingredients.

First, peel, core, and dice up some apples. Honeycrisp or Fuji are two great apples varieties to go for here. Then, simply pop the apple chunks in a pan with some water, sugar, and lemon juice and simmer until softened. You can even add a pinch of cinnamon or cloves for extra spicy flavor if desired. After about half an hour of cooking, the sauce should be ready and the apples should retain a nice chunkiness. The result is a naturally sweet and fruity sauce with a little bite, that can work equally well spooned on top of your sausages as it can added to sweet desserts.

A Balsamic Reduction

bowl of balsamic glaze
bowl of balsamic glaze - New Africa/Shutterstock

Savory sausages and sweet and tart balsamic are a match made in heaven. Balsamic vinegar often features as an ingredient in marinades for sausage dishes, but a balsamic reduction can also make a rather delicious addition to cooked sausages when drizzled right on top. So, what is a balsamic reduction? Well, it's simply balsamic vinegar that has been cooked down and reduced into a thicker, almost syrupy glaze. It has a much sweeter and less acidic flavor than balsamic vinegar, so it's mellow enough to use as a standalone condiment.

To make a balsamic reduction, add a cup of balsamic vinegar to a saucepan. Bring it to a boil, then reduce it to a simmer and let it bubble until thickened. This should take about 15 minutes, though keep in mind it will also thicken further as it cools. You can store the finished balsamic reduction in the fridge until ready to use.

A great way to use this sweet and tangy reduction is in sausage sandwiches or hot dogs, since you can get all the wonderful flavors of balsamic without the runny consistency of balsamic vinegar, which would make your bread rather soggy!

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