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German Onion Soup

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German Onion Soup has plenty of caramelized onions, beer, bratwurst, and pretzel roll croutons.

This delicious and hearty caramelized onion soup with a German flair will soon become a family favorite!

A vertical closeup of a bowl of German onion soup with a spoon, pretzel roll croutons and cheese along with a title text overlay graphic

Get MORE soup, stew, and chowder recipes:

**Please Note – The printable recipe card with detailed instructions and complete ingredient measurements for making German Onion Soup is available near the end of this post. OR click on the “jump to recipe” button (found above) to be taken directly to the recipe.


Enjoy the delicious TASTE OF GERMANY delivered straight to your home!

A bowl of German onion soup with a spoon, pretzel croutons and shredded cheese. A beer and onions are in the background.

The ingredient list:

**Note – The following lists of ingredients plus kitchen tools and equipment contain affiliate links (highlighted in blue) for your consideration and shopping convenience. #CommissionsEarned

Kitchen tools and equipment needed:

The history of this recipe:

Today’s recipe post for German soup featuring German sausage is a recipe re-do from one I shared back in 2013.

Since I wanted to update the post, I also decided to update the photos, and the croutons from rye to pretzel roll.

The result is every bit as tasty as what I shared back in 2013 and one I know your entire family will enjoy! It always gets two thumbs up from anyone who’s tried it.

How this German caramelized onion soup recipe came to be:

I first made this German-inspired soup a few years back when I started making traditional French onion soup.

However, before I knew it I had veered off course and decided to travel to Germany instead.

I’m SO glad I did because this soup is insanely delicious!!

Closeup of a spoonful of German Soup with German Sausage and onions.

Can this soup be frozen?


Store it well in a freezer-safe container (without the croutons) for up to 6 months.

Thaw the soup completely before reheating.

Do I have to use beer to make this soup?

No, but it does add to the flavor.

If you’re concerned about alcohol involvement, why not consider using a non-alcoholic beer?

Or, you can substitute extra beef stock in place of the beer, or what about a dry white wine? Those are also great options in place of the beer.

A pot of German onion soup with two smaller brown bowls.

The easy instructions:

  • In a large stockpot, heat olive oil and butter.
  • Meanwhile cut 2-3 pretzel rolls into 1″ cubes.
  • Add the cubes to the pot, stir well and cook until well browned. 
How to make German soup photo tutorial.
  • Once the croutons are well browned, remove them from the pan and set aside.
  • Add the bratwurst to the pan over brown well over medium/high heat.
  • Once brown, remove the sausage and set aside.
How to make German soup with German sausage photo tutorial.
  • Add more olive oil to the pan along with 4-5 chopped, sweet onions.
  • Cook the onions in the pan over medium heat with salt and pepper, stirring frequently, until cooked down and caramelized (about 15 minutes).
  • Once the onions are caramelized, add 3 tablespoons of flour and stir well to combine.
  • Cook an additional 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
How to make German soup with German sausage photo tutorial.
  • Add 12 ounces of beer to the cooked and caramelized onions and flour, along with 4 cups beef stock, 1 teaspoon brown sugar and 3 bay leaves.
How to make German soup with German sausage photo tutorial.
  • Grate fresh nutmeg into the pot and return the browned sausage to the soup.
  • Stir well and simmer for at least 20 minutes before serving and removing the bay leaves.
  • To serve, top each portion of soup with pretzel roll croutons and a sprinkling of Swiss cheese. Enjoy!
How to make German soup with German sausage photo tutorial.
German Onion Soup Recipe with Bratwurst and Pretzel Roll Croutons long title collage image.

Additional German-inspired recipes:

*Bratwurst Bites (pictured below, and showcased in the featured video) from (yours truly) Kudos Kitchen.

Easy Bratwurst Bites appetizers are just the thing to serve during a party or for game day. They’re also super simple to make and everybody loves them! SCORE!

Overhead photo of Crescent Wrapped Bratwurst Bites with Sauerkraut Dipping Sauce

*German Potato Dumplings from Masala Herb

*German Plum Cake (Pflaumenkuchen) from Little Sunny Kitchen

*German Bee Sting Cake (Bienenstich) (pictured below) from (yours truly) Kudos Kitchen

German Bee Sting Cake is a yeasted cake with a beautiful texture, fantastic honey flavor (hence the name), a beautifully caramelized almond topping, not to mention a thick, creamy vanilla filling.

Vertical closeup photo of a German bee sting cake with honey almonds and cream filling.

*Braised Red Cabbage from West Via Midwest

*German Cucumber Salad from Turning Back the Clock

*Knockwurst Sandwich with Sauerkraut and Munster Cheese – (pictured below) from (yours truly) Kudos Kitchen

This copycat German knockwurst sandwich is my version of a terrific sausage sandwich I’d had while on vacation in Northern Wisconsin.

Vertical closeup photo of a knockwurst sandwich on a pretzel roll with melted cheese and a German vase in the background.

*Instant Pot Sauerkraut from My Sequined Life

*German Potato Soup from Food and Journeys

*Slow Cooker Pork Ribs and Sauerkraut – (pictured below) from (yours truly) Kudos Kitchen

Nothing speaks to the flavors of a German dinner more than pork and sauerkraut. This easy recipe for German Pork Ribs with Sauerkraut for the slow cooker brings the family to the dinner table with a minimum of effort.

Closeup photo of a bowl of German Pork Ribs and Sauerkraut with carrots and mushrooms

*German Potato Pancakes from Masala Herb

*German Red Wine and Chocolate Cake from Food and Journeys

*German Spaetzle Casserole with Cheese and Crispy Onions – (pictured below) from (yours truly) Kudos Kitchen

Buttered German egg dumplings (spaetzle) are layered in a casserole dish along with shredded Gruyere cheese and crispy, crunchy onions to bring you this delicious recipe for Layered German Spaetzle Casserole with Cheese & Crispy Onions.

Closeup photo of a layered German Spaetzle casserole with a German doll in the background.

*German Onion Soup (pictured below) THIS IS THE PLACE!!

Bowl of German onion soup with a glass of beer in the background and an onion.

Below is the printable recipe card along with the nutritional information for making German Onion Soup.

A bowl of German onion soup with onions and pretzel roll in the background along with a glass of beer.

German Onion Soup

Renee - Kudos Kitchen
German Onion Soup with plenty of caramelized onions, beer, bratwurst and pretzel roll croutons will soon become a family favorite!
4.91 from 11 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Soup - Main Course
Cuisine German
Servings 10 cups
Calories 307 kcal


  • 3 pretzel rolls cut into 1" cubes
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 pound bratwurst casings removed and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 4-5 large sweet onions chopped into bite-sized chunks
  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt divided
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 12 ounces beer
  • 4 cups beef stock or broth
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 2-3 large bay leaves
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 4-5 ounces Swiss cheese shredded


  • In a large stockpot, melt 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat.
  • Add the pretzel cubes and cook, stirring frequently until golden and crunchy. *Note - watch the croutons closely as they burn quickly.
  • Remove the browned croutons and set aside.
  • Add the prepared bratwurst to the pan and increase the heat to medium/high. Brown the sausage, stirring occasionally until browned well on all sides.
  • Remove the sausage from the pan and set aside.
  • Add the remaining olive oil and butter to the stockpot along with the chopped onions.
  • Stir well and add the salt and pepper.
  • Continue cooking and stirring the onions occasionally until the onions are golden in color and reduced in volume (approximately 12-15 minutes).
  • Add the flour to the caramelized onion and cook, stirring well for 1-2 minutes.
  • Slowly add the beer and beef stock to the pot.
  • Stir in the brown sugar, bay leaves, and grated nutmeg.
  • Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the browned bratwurst back to the pot.
  • Stir well and simmer for at least 15 minutes, longer if you have the time.
  • Remove the bay leaves.
  • Serve the German Onion Soup topped with the pretzel croutons and the shredded Swiss cheese.


Tools and equipment:
serrated knife (for cutting pretzel rolls), chef's knife (for cutting onions), cutting board, large stockpot, wooden spoon, microplane (for grating nutmeg), measuring spoons


Serving: 1servingCalories: 307kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 11gFat: 26gSaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 56mgSodium: 1106mgSugar: 1g
Keyword German Onion Soup, Onion Soup
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

I sincerely hope you’ve enjoyed today’s recipe for German onion beer soup with sausage as much as I’ve enjoyed bringing it to you!

A title text overlay graphic of German onion soup with a bowl of soup, and onion, and some beer in the background.

Should you have any questions or comments regarding this recipe or anything else you’ve seen on my site, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. It is always my distinct pleasure to get back with a reply just as soon as I possibly can!

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Recipe Rating


Wednesday 22nd of July 2020

Looks so good - I want to make it for Thanksgiving if that doesn't sound too crazy! Would it be better with dark beer or a pilsner?


Wednesday 22nd of July 2020

Not crazy at all. I want to come to YOUR house for Thanksgiving!! :)


Wednesday 22nd of July 2020

Love that this soup brings me a bit of Germany while I can't travel! Love the flavors and the croutons!


Wednesday 22nd of July 2020

Right? Me too! I also go crazy for those croutons! Enjoy, Britni!


Monday 9th of September 2019

This recipe is going to be fabulous. I can tell by just reading it. I will try it tomorrow. The print button does not work on the Pinterest site. I’ll try Facebook. Perhaps I can print it from there. Yum! I can’t wait to try this.


Monday 9th of September 2019

Hi, Janis! I do hope you can print the recipe. It's one of my absolute favorites and I know you're going to love is as well. Enjoy, and thanks so much for visiting. :) Renee


Wednesday 4th of September 2019

I can see how this soup will be a hit at home! Time to take out the Brezn and Laugenstangerl. :D


Wednesday 4th of September 2019

Thanks, Helene! Whatever you say. LOL

Claudia Lamascolo

Tuesday 3rd of September 2019

This looks outstanding we just love German food, this is over the top! Love the pretzel in this too. So comforting!


Tuesday 3rd of September 2019

Thank you, Claudia! It really is a fabulous soup. I'm glad you think so too.