Pull Apart Cheesy Sausage Bread. If you’ve been to this site before, you know our love affair with pull apart cheesy breads. They make an amazing and simple appetizer perfect for a crowd say for the big game in February every year with all the great commercials and sometimes a good game. I highly recommend making two of these because the first one goes so fast there will invariably be a bunch of people that miss out. Me, I like to warm one up right before kickoff, which is usually gone by the first drive and toss another one in at halftime.

Pull Apart Cheesy Sausage Bread Ingredients:

  • Six Johnsonville bratwursts or sausages (I used cheddar brats and sweet Italian sausages), divided
  • 2 sourdough rounds
  • 2 tbsp minced red pepper, divided
  • 2 tbsp minced yellow pepper, divided
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • 16 oz grated cheddar cheese, divided
  • 16 oz grated mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 3/4 lb of unsalted butter (3 sticks), divided
  • 2 tbsp ranch dressing mix, divided
  • 4 tsp chopped chives for garnish, divided (optional)

 – Makes 2 appetizers

To start this party off right, pick your sausages. For this I chose Johnsonville cheddar brats and sweet Italian sausages, but could quite easily have gone with beer brats or hot and spicy or even bulk sausage:

NOW it’s a party!

Smoke the sausage

I chose to smoke the sausages first to imbue them with some nice smoke flavor before assembling the rest of this recipe. I wasn’t entirely sure how many I needed so I went with five cheddar (right) and five sweet Italian (left), but each sourdough loaf will only handle about three sausage links:

Time to smoke that sausage

Indirect Grilling

You will notice I have coals on one side of the grill and the Johnsonville sausages on the other side. Most people cook sausages or bratwursts hot and fast which generally results in ruptured skins and those glorious juices burning up on the coals rather than delighting your taste buds. What I wanted was to have that sultry smoke penetrate the meat and add an extra layer of flavor, not leave a bunch of flavor on the bottom of the grill. I have a whole set of tips and tricks on how to properly grill brats and sausages. Now back to the recipe at hand. No more tangents.

Once the sausages are smoked to an internal temp of 165, I put them on a platter and straight into the fridge so they would firm up quickly and make it easy to cut them into thin slices:

Smoked and Sliced

Now time to prep the bread

Take a sourdough round and cut a criss cross pattern about every inch or so with a long bread knife:

Be careful not to slice through the bottom of the bread

Once you cut every inch in one direction, rotate 90 degrees and cut every inch in the other direction:

The criss cross cut is the key to this recipe

But what if you go too close to the bottom say on one side like this?


That’s where a couple sheets of aluminum foil come in handy. Form the foil into a nest and voila!

All better

Cheese. Lots of cheese.

Now it’s time to stuff that bread. You’re going to need a lot of cheese. I recommend a pound for each loaf. I used both mozzarella and cheddar but you can get as creative as you like:

That’s a lot of cheese!

Stuff both kinds of cheese into the crevices in both directions:

Cram the crevices

Now in with the slices of bratwurst and sausage. Remember, you only need about three sausages per loaf depending on how thick you slice the links:

Stuff with Sausage

Time to step away and saute the minced peppers until they are al dente (with a little crunch left). Also, combine half the butter and half the ranch seasoning in a microwave safe bowl and melt in the microwave. Spoon the minced peppers over the top of the now loaded sourdough loaf:

The peppers add color, sweet flavor and a slight crunch to every bite

Drizzle, drizzle, drizzle

Then drizzle the butter/ranch solution over the top of the sourdough:

Baste with Butter

Now give it some more cheese on top. Really load it up:

Mound with Mozzarella (and Cheddar)

Pull Apart Cheesy Sausage Bread Grilling Instructions

Place the pull apart cheesy sausage bread, foil and all, on a grill indirect. Also called two zone grilling, it means there are coals on one side and the food on the other so it doesn’t cook direct and burn. Target temp of the grill is 300 degrees. Throw in a small chunk of smoke wood but be careful, there. The cheese and the bread will soak up the smoke like a sponge. You might want to wait 15 minutes to throw the smoke wood on to keep the smoke subtle and not overpowering.

In about 30 minutes, it’s done:

Pull Apart Cheesy Sausage Bread
Time to devour

Here’s a close up right before I pulled it from the grill:

Pull Apart Cheesy Sausage Bread
How good does that look?

Bring it inside and garnish with the chopped chives and you’re ready for the big game:

Pull Apart Cheesy Sausage Bread
How much of that could you eat? Come on, be honest

But wait. Where is the gratuitous stretchy cheese shot? Oh, don’t worry. I’ve got you covered with not one:

Pull Apart Cheesy Sausage Bread
The beauty of a pull apart cheesy bread, just grab a chunk and pull
Don’t worry about getting your hands a little messy. It’s worth it!

That’s a full three gratuitous stretchy cheese pics:

Pull Apart Cheesy Sausage Bread
I had so many great shots, I couldn’t keep it to 1 or 2

Pull Apart Cheesy Sausage Bread Summary

he recipe has enough ingredients for two full appetizers. Unless you’re watching the big game with just 2 friends, I highly recommend making both.

A couple pro tips here ~ Make the bread up the night before so all you have to do is pop it on the grill (or in the oven) the day of the game. One of these will keep overnight if wrapped in foil. Also, once the bread has been picked clean, there will be nothing but the bottom that remains. Throw on some more sausage, if you have any leftover, as well as a handful of cheese and put it in the oven or on the grill for 20 minutes. Slice into manageable chunks with a pizza slicer and it’s the appetizer that keeps on giving!

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below or send me an email. 

Johnsonville Sausage compensated me for this post

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Pull Apart Cheesy Sausage Bread

Pull Apart Cheesy Sausage Bread - A bread round, criss cross sliced, stuffed with cheese, butter and savory Johnsonville sausage and smoked on the grill
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: BBQ


  • 6 Johnsonville bratwurst or sausage I used cheddar brats and sweet Italian sausages
  • 2 sourdough rounds
  • 2 tbsp red pepper minced
  • 2 tbsp yellow pepper minced
  • olive oil drizzle
  • 16 oz cheddar cheese grated
  • 16 oz mozzarella cheese grated
  • ¾ lb unsalted butter 3 sticks, divided
  • 2 tbsp ranch dressing mix divided
  • 4 tsp chives chopped for garnish, optional


  • Smoke the sausages indirect in a 300 degree grill until they reach an internal temperature of 165
  • Remove the bratwursts/sausages from the heat and place on a platter and put directly into the fridge to cool them off and firm them up for better slicing
  • Slice the bread in a criss cross pattern every inch or so but do not slice through the bottom
  • Place the bread on a couple sheets of foil and form a nest around the base
  • Stuff the crevices full of the grated cheese
  • Slice the sausages thin and place the slices in the cracks as well
  • Step away and saute the minced peppers
  • Combine the butter and the ranch seasoning and melt in a microwave
  • Spoon the minced peppers over the top and drizzle with the melted butter/ranch concoction
  • Add more cheese on the top and grill indirect at 300 for about 30 minutes
  • Place a chunk of smoke wood on the coals after about 15 minutes (optional)
  • Remove from heat and step back as the wolves, I mean guests, devour



Scott Thomas

Scott Thomas

Scott Thomas, the Original Grillin’ Fool, was sent off to college with a suitcase and a grill where he overcooked, undercooked and burned every piece of meat he could find. After thousands of failures, and quite a few successes, nearly two decades later he started a website to show step by step, picture by picture, foolproof instructions on how to make great things out of doors so that others don’t have to repeat the mistakes he’s made on the grill.
Scott Thomas

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Great looking app for game day! This will be perfect for March Madness.


Please can you tell where I can buy the cedar & maple planks from
Many thanks



You can buy them here: https://bbqhardwood.com/

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