How many calories are in a Johnsonville original brat?

Quick Answer

A Johnsonville original brat contains 280 calories per link. This is based on the nutrition information provided by Johnsonville for their original bratwurst sausage links.

Calculating Calories in a Johnsonville Original Brat

To determine how many calories are in a Johnsonville original brat, we need to look at the nutrition facts label provided by the manufacturer Johnsonville. This will give us the calorie content per serving size.

For their original bratwurst sausage links, Johnsonville lists the serving size as 1 link (85g). Each serving contains 280 calories, 260 of which come from fat.

Therefore, if you eat one Johnsonville original brat link, you are consuming 280 calories.

Nutrition Facts for Johnsonville Original Brat

Here are the complete nutrition facts for a Johnsonville original brat, according to the Johnsonville website:

Serving Size 1 link (85g)
Calories 280
Calories from Fat 260
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 28g
Saturated Fat 11g
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 45mg
Sodium 680mg
Total Carbohydrates 2g
Dietary Fiber 0g
Sugars 0g
Protein 13g

As you can see, the serving size of one 85g link contains 280 total calories. So if you eat one Johnsonville original bratwurst sausage link, you are consuming 280 calories.

Johnsonville Original Brat Ingredients

The calorie and nutrition content of a Johnsonville original brat comes from its ingredients.

According to the Johnsonville website, the ingredients for their original brat are:

– Pork
– Water
– Salt
– Spices
– Corn syrup solids
– Dextrose
– Flavorings
– Sodium erythorbate
– Sodium nitrite

Pork is the primary ingredient, which contributes protein and fat. Water adds moisture. Salt provides flavor. Spices and flavorings also enhance the taste.

The corn syrup solids, dextrose, sodium erythorbate and sodium nitrite are curing agents that help preserve the sausage and retain its color and flavor.

When combined and cooked, these ingredients make the signature Johnsonville brat that provides 280 calories per link.

Comparing Calories to Other Sausages

How does the 280 calories in a Johnsonville original brat compare to other popular sausage options?

Here is a calorie comparison per link or serving size:

Sausage Calories
Johnsonville Original Brat 280
Pork Sausage Link 180
Chicken Apple Sausage 70
Italian Sausage Link 260

As you can see, the Johnsonville original brat contains more calories per link than a basic pork sausage link. However, it’s comparable to a traditional Italian sausage link.

Chicken or turkey sausages tend to be lower in calories than traditional pork and beef sausages. So a chicken apple sausage has far fewer calories than a brat.

In terms of fat and protein content, brats are similar to Italian sausage and other pork sausages. The key difference that impacts the calories is the larger serving size of the brat.

Tips for Enjoying Johnsonville Brats while Managing Calories

Here are some tips for enjoying Johnsonville original brats as part of a healthy diet:

– Pay attention to portion size. Stick to 1 link versus eating 2 or more brats, which doubles or triples the calories.

– Load up your brat with healthy toppings like sauerkraut, grilled onions and peppers, mustard and other vegetables. This adds flavor and volume while minimizing additional calories.

– Swap out the traditional brat bun for a lettuce wrap or eat your brat with a fork and knife. This saves you about 100 calories from the bread.

– Balance your meal with lower calorie sides like a salad, coleslaw or light potato salad. Don’t just eat the brat by itself.

– Grill or pan fry your brats to allow some of the fat to cook off. Don’t deep fry them.

– Limit condiments like ketchup and mayo or choose low-fat options in small amounts to prevent overdoing the added calories.

With some mindful choices and reasonable portions, you can still enjoy the signature taste of Johnsonville brats even when watching your calorie intake. A single original brat contains 280 calories, so as an occasional treat or part of a balanced plate, they can fit into a healthy diet.

Nutritional Benefits of Johnsonville Brats

While Johnsonville original brats are high in calories and fat compared to some other sausage options, they do provide some nutritional value:

– Source of Protein – Each brat link contains 13g of protein from pork. Protein helps maintain and repair muscles while also keeping you feeling full.

– Iron – The pork in brats provides a good amount of the mineral iron with about 1mg per link. Iron carrying oxygen through the blood to cells.

– B Vitamins – Pork contains vitamins like niacin, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12. These assist with energy metabolism and red blood cell production.

– Zinc – Zinc helps support the immune system and growth and development. Pork provides about 10% of your daily needs per serving.

So in moderation, Johnsonville brats can add some nutritional value from pork as well as flavor to your eating plan. Just balance them out with plenty of veggies, fruits, whole grains and other lean protein sources.

Cooking Methods for Johnsonville Brats

Johnsonville brats can be prepared in different ways, which slightly alters the calories and fat content. Here are some common cooking methods:

– Grilling – Grill brats over medium heat, turning frequently, for about 12-15 minutes until browned and cooked through. The fat will drip away, creating a crispy exterior.

– Pan Frying – Cook brats in a skillet with a small amount of oil over medium-high heat until browned. Pour off excess fat.

– Boiling – Boil brats in beer, broth or water for about 5 minutes until cooked through. This allows fat to render out.

– Broiling – Place brats on a broiler pan and broil for 15 minutes, flipping halfway through. The high heat caramelizes the exterior.

– Deep Frying – Submerge brats in hot oil for 2-3 minutes until browned and crispy. Not recommended for health due to high fat absorption.

Grilling, pan frying or broiling are your best options for enjoying brats while limiting excess calories from fat. Avoid deep frying them for the leanest preparation.

Calories in Different Serving Sizes of Johnsonville Brats

We’ve established that one original Johnsonville brat link contains 280 calories. But what if you eat more than one brat at a time?

Here are the calories in different serving sizes of Johnsonville original brats:

Serving Size Calories
1 brat link (85g) 280
2 brat links (170g) 560
3 brat links (255g) 840
4 brat links (340g) 1120

The calories scale up directly with the serving size. Eating two links doubles the calories to 560, three links triples them to 840, and so on.

A standard package of Johnsonville original brats contains 4 links. So if consuming the entire package, you would be eating 1,120 calories total.

When planning your meal, be mindful of the total brats you are cooking and eating. Stick to one, or a half brat split with a partner, to control your portion and calorie intake.

Calories in Cooked Bratwurst vs Raw

Does cooking your Johnsonville brats change the calorie content at all?

There is little difference in calories comparing raw bratwurst versus cooked:

– Raw brat calories: 280 calories per 85g link
– Cooked brat calories: 280 calories per 85g link

The number of calories remains the same whether the brat is raw or cooked.

Cooking does render out some of the fat, but the overall macronutrient profile stays generally the same from raw to cooked. Any minor differences get rounded out in the final nutrition labeling.

This makes it easy to count your calories – you can use the label information to track your intake whether your brats are raw in the pack or grilled hot off the barbecue.

High Calorie and Low Calorie Ways to Serve Brats

How you serve and top your Johnsonville brat can significantly increase or decrease the total calories.

Here are some high calorie ways that can turn a 280 calorie brat into a much heftier meal:

– On a bun with condiments like mayo and ketchup
– Loaded brat with sauteed onions, bacon, avocado
– Nacho brat with tortilla chips, cheese, salsa
– Mac and cheese brat bake
– Beer brats swimming in onions and beer

On the other hand, you can create lower calorie brat meals by:

– Serving without a bun in a lettuce wrap or with a fork and knife
– Loading with raw vegetable toppings like sauerkraut, tomatoes, spinach
– Pairing with a salad or roasted vegetable side dish
– Splitting with a partner so you each eat half a brat
– Skewering with veggies for grilled kabobs

Personal preference and creativity in preparation can keep brats feeling like an indulgence while still keeping your meal relatively balanced.

Calories in Additional Johnsonville Brat Flavors

We’ve focused so far on the original Johnsonville bratwurst. But Johnsonville makes additional flavors that each have slight differences in calories and nutrition profiles.

Here are the calories in some of the other Johnsonville brat options per link:

Johnsonville Brat Flavor Calories
Original Brat 280
Cheddar Brat 300
Italian Brat 300
Chicken Apple Brat 180
Jalapeno Cheddar Brat 300
Stadium Brat 280

The flavored beef brats like cheddar, Italian and jalapeno contain about 300 calories each. The chicken apple brat is lower at 180 calories. And the classic stadium brat matches the original at 280 calories per link.

So flavor preferences may play a small role in your brat calorie intake. But for most standard pork brats, you can expect around 280 calories in a Johnsonville link.

Calories in Bratwurst vs Hot Dogs

Bratwurst and hot dogs have similar origins as German sausages often served on buns. How do their calories compare?

The calories in brats versus hot dogs depend a lot on the specific type. But in general:

– Original bratwurst tends to be higher in calories than an original hot dog. A brat link averages 280 calories versus about 180 calories for a standard hot dog.

– Wider jumbo brats and hot dogs can be similar in calories. A large brat may have 280-300 calories while a jumbo hot dog has about 230 calories.

– The fillers matter. Hot dogs sometimes contain more binders and fillers than traditional brats, which lower calories. But some brats do contain fillers too.

– Ingredients differ. Hot dogs use more poultry and turkey typically along with flavorings. Brats focus on pork.

– Condiments add calories to both. Toppings like cheese, bacon, mayo and chili can quickly increase calories.

So while the exact calorie counts vary, brats do typically contain more calories per link than hot dogs on average based on size, ingredients and minimal fillers. But preparation technique and toppings impact the totals too.

Low Carb Bratwurst Options

One final option if you’re really looking to limit calories and carbs is to choose a low carb bratwurst alternative.

Some brands like Aidells now make low carb sausage options. Here is the nutrition compare for 85g servings:

Johnsonville Original Brat Aidells Chicken & Apple Low Carb Brat
Calories 280 190
Fat 28g 8g
Carbs 2g 1g
Protein 13g 18g

As you can see, the low carb chicken brat has significantly fewer calories and fat grams, while providing more protein. The carbs are cut down to just 1g per link.

This shows that you can still enjoy brats while meeting low carb, keto or other diet goals by selecting alternative versions with less fat and refined carbs. Check brands like Aidells, Applegate and Wellshire Farms for quality low carb sausage options.


To summarize, a standard Johnsonville original bratwurst link contains 280 calories. This comes primarily from the pork and fat content in a 85g serving.

While brats are high in calories and fat compared to some other sausage options, they can still fit into a balanced diet in moderation. Focus on sensible single portion sizes. Opt for healthy cooking methods and vegetable-based toppings and sides. You can also find lower calorie and carb alternatives for an occasional brat indulgence.

Leave a Comment