A twist on classic potato skins, these Oktoberfest potato skins bring a little festive fun to mealtime with loads of savory, earthy flavor. Crispy potato skins are stuffed with a filling of beer-braised caramelized onions and bratwurst sausage, plus a sprinkle of tangy sauerkraut and melted cheese for a potato skins recipe with a deliciously German slant!
Brimming with the Festive Flavors of Oktoberfest
One of our favorite fall activities for years now has been attending a local Oktoberfest celebration in a neighboring town.
It's always such a fun and boisterous occasion, with people drinking good beer, kids running around with friends, dachshunds dressed in little lederhosen outfits walking around with their owners, and of course, lots of very yummy food!
Ah, the food of Oktoberfest...
It's all about “savory”, what with glistening bratwurst sausages sputtering on the grill, loads of sauerkraut, caramelized onions and beer being added to the mix—truly fun and wonderfully tasty!
So, to keep the fun and the spirit, not to mention the flavor of Oktoberfest going in our household, I love to prepare these Oktoberfest potato skins filled with a combo of beer-braised caramelized onions and bratwurst sausage, and topped with sauerkraut.
And since no potato skins recipe is complete without cheese, of course, I add a touch of creamy Gruyere or even white cheddar to create that creamy, melty topping.
This potato skins recipe is such a fun way to celebrate Oktoberfest in our own home!
My Oktoberfest Potato Skins Recipe
This festive take on potato skins starts out just like any other, and that's by baking off the potatoes...
I like to use russet potatoes here, opting for a size that's medium or a little on the smaller size, so they're are not too large.
First, I scrub and oil the potatoes, then I roast them until nice and tender. Once roasted, I cut them in half and scoop out the flesh, leaving a bit of a border next to the skin.
I like to lightly butter the inside of the potato skin for additional flavor, place it under the broiler for a moment or two, then flip to allow the skins to get a little crispy as well before adding my filling.
And speaking of the filling...
For that, I love a classic bratwurst! I simply caramelize the slices, then chop those into smaller bits. I add the bratwurst to some caramelized onions, then pour in a good Oktoberfest-inspired lager to bubble up and reduce, for added flavor.
All of this deliciousness gets piled into each potato skin, then topped with a small sprinkle of either Gruyere cheese or sharp white cheddar (or a combo of the two, if you can find it), to create that gooey, cheesy exterior!
Here's a sneak peek at my Oktoberfest potato skins recipe: (or just jump to the full recipe...)
- To get started, I bake off my potatoes until tender.
- While my potatoes bake, I prep my filling (full preparation instructions are below).
- Once the potatoes are tender, I prepare them for the filling.
- I assemble the Oktoberfest potato skins by spooning some filling into each potato skin, then topping with cheese and allowing that to melt under the broiler.
- To finish, I garnish each potato skin with some cool and tangy sauerkraut.
Oktoberfest Potato Skins
by Ingrid Beer
These festive Oktoberfest potato skins are brimming with bratwurst, beer-braised onions, sauerkraut and melted cheese!
Yield: 8 potato skins
Nutrition Info: 475 calories per potato skin
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
Total time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
- 4 russet potatoes, scrubbed and dried
- Olive oil or avocado oil
- Black pepper
- 2 Bratwurst sausage links, sliced into circles
- 2 large onions, quartered and sliced thinly
- ½ cup lager (Oktoberfest variety, if desired)
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- ½ cup grated Gruyere or white cheddar cheese
- ½ cup sauerkraut
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- Begin by gathering and prepping all of your ingredients according to the ingredient list above to have ready and organized for use.
- Preheat the oven to 400°, line a baking sheet with foil, and place a wire rack over the baking sheet.
- Place your potatoes into a large bowl, and drizzle a bit of oil over them, plus a couple of pinches of salt and pepper, and rub the oil/seasoning into their skins.
- Place the potatoes onto the wire rack set over the baking sheet, and bake the potatoes for 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until tender when pierced with knife. Remove from oven and allow them to cool just until they can be handled.
- While the potatoes bake, place a large, non-stick pan over medium-high heat; drizzle a small amount of oil (about 1 to 2 teaspoons) into pan, and add in the bratwurst slices in a single layer. Allow the slices to brown on that first side for about 3 to 4 minutes, then flip the slices and brown on the other side, until completely cooked through. Drain in a paper towel-lined bowl, and set aside for a moment.
- Drain the grease from pan leaving about 1 to 2 tablespoons (you may not have much to drain, depending on how fatty the brat slices were), and with the heat still on, add in the sliced onions plus a pinch or two of salt and pepper. Allow the onions to caramelize to a deep golden-brown, for about 20 to 25 minutes on a medium-low heat, stirring frequently.
- While the onions caramelize, chop the cooked bratwurst slices into small bits.
- Once the onions are caramelized, add the chopped bratwurst bits back into the pan with the onions, and stir to combine. Add in the lager, and allow the beer to reduce for a moment and become glossy and just slightly thickened. Turn off the heat, and check to see if any more salt or pepper are needed, and set aside keeping the mixture warm.
- When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut the potatoes in half lengthwise, and carefully scoop out most of the flesh leaving about ¼ to ½ inch border of potato. Reserve the flesh for another use.
- Brush some of the melted butter onto the inside of each potato (and add a couple of pinches of salt and pepper), as well as onto the skins, and place back on the rack, flesh-side up. Place under the broiler to brown for several moments, and once inside is slightly browned, flip the potato and crisp the skins for a couple of moments.
- Fill each crispy potato skin with the bratwurst/onion mixture, and sprinkle with a little of the grated cheese. Return under the broiler to melt the cheese for just a few seconds, then finish the skins by topping with a pinch or two of the sauerkraut and a twist of the pepper, and enjoy while hot.
Tips & Tidbits for my Oktoberfest Potato Skins recipe:
- Russet potatoes for that classic potato skin flavor: I opt for russet potatoes here, and when choosing them, I pick out potatoes that are on the small to medium side. This way, you can serve a nice sized meal with 2 potato skins per person, or more of an appetizer size portion with one potato skin.
- Bratwurst sausage for that taste of Oktoberfest: You can pretty much use any sausage you'd like for this recipe, including kielbasa, smoked beef sausage, turkey, andouille, etc., but to keep with the Oktoberfest theme here, I'm using classic bratwurst, and cutting it into slices before caramelizing—so tasty!
- Oktoberfest lager, or your favorite beer: I like to choose an interesting looking Oktoberfest lager to use for this recipe, or any lager-style of beer. But feel free to use any beer that you would normally enjoy with bratwurst!
Craving more cozy, savory recipes? Check out my Oktoberfest Stew with Lager, or my recipes for Harvest Stew with Smoked Sausage, Sausage Soup, Potato Leek Soup, or even my recipe for Hungarian Red Potato Goulash with Smoked Sausage!
Cook's Note: This recipe was originally published in 2014, and has been updated with even more love!