How to Make the Best Tartar Sauce

This easy homemade tartar sauce is better than anything you can buy at the store. It’s extra creamy and perfect for serving next to your favorite seafood dishes. Jump to the Easy Homemade Tartar Sauce Recipe or watch our quick recipe video showing you how we make it.

Watch Us Make the Recipe

Making the Best Homemade Tartar Sauce

This better than store-bought tartar sauce is incredibly simple to make and you probably already have most of the ingredients you need to make it in your kitchen.

Dipping a fish stick into homemade tartar sauce

Here’s what you will need to make tartar sauce from scratch:

  • Mayonnaise provides the creamy base. You can use store-bought mayo or for the best tartar sauce, try making your own mayonnaise.
  • Pickles add crunch and flavor to the sauce. We use dill pickles and particularly enjoy the refrigerated Claussen pickles for this. For a sweeter style, try bread and butter or sweet pickles instead.
  • Fresh lemon juice is essential for the best tartar sauce. It thins the sauce out so that it’s the perfect consistency for dipping and adds a fresh, zesty flavor.
  • Capers are an optional ingredient since we don’t always have them in the fridge, but they add even more flavor and work wonders when mixed with the lemon and herbs.
  • Fresh or dried dill is a must for us. If you don’t have dill, parsley is a good alternative.
  • Worcestershire sauce is an unusual ingredient, but it really brings the sauce together. We only add a dash.
  • Dijon mustard is another optional ingredient, but if you have it on hand, we highly recommend it.
The Ingredients You Need For Homemade Tartar Sauce

Just a few seconds of stirring turns the sauce into a creamy and delicious mixture. Then, for the best tartar sauce, refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes. It gets better and better overtime.

For a lighter sauce with fewer calories, you can swap the mayonnaise for light mayo or plain yogurt.

How Long Will Homemade Tartar Sauce Last

Here’s the great news, this easy homemade tartar sauce lasts for about a week when stored in the fridge. We love making a double batch so we can enjoy it throughout the week.

Best Homemade Tartar Sauce

How to Make the Best Tartar Sauce

  • PREP

This easy homemade tartar sauce is extra creamy and perfect when served next to shrimp, fish sticks, crab cakes, and even roasted veggies.

Makes about 3/4 cup

You Will Need

1/2 cup mayonnaise, try homemade mayonnaise

1 small dill pickle, chopped very small (3 tablespoons)

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste

1 tablespoon capers, chopped, optional

1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill or 1 teaspoon dried dill

1/2 to 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard, optional

Salt and fresh ground black pepper


    Combine the mayonnaise, pickles, lemon juice, capers, dill, Worcestershire sauce, and mustard in a small bowl and stir until well blended and creamy.

    Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Taste then adjust with additional lemon juice, salt, and pepper. For the best flavor, cover and store in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

    Keep, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for one week.

Adam and Joanne's Tips

  • Nutrition facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA database to calculate approximate values.

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #inspiredtaste — We love to see your creations on Instagram and Facebook! Find us: @inspiredtaste

Nutrition Per Serving: Serving Size 1 tablespoon / Calories 64 / Total Fat 6.9g / Saturated Fat 1.1g / Cholesterol 3.9mg / Sodium 103.8mg / Carbohydrate 0.3g / Dietary Fiber 0.1g / Total Sugars 0.1g / Protein 0.1g
AUTHOR: Adam and Joanne Gallagher

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48 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Beth D. July 4, 2020, 2:10 pm

    This sauce is outstanding!! Great flavor and far better than the store bought! So easy to make too! Thanks for the recipe that I will keep on hand.

  • Jenny June 30, 2020, 12:48 pm

    Oh my this sauce is delicious!!! you cant even compare to a store bought! I’m not a big fan of tartar sauce but this is something else, addictive!! thanks for the recipe

  • Debra June 25, 2020, 5:00 pm

    This was very delicious. Even my tartar sauce hating husband loved it. We had fish three nights in a row because we loved the sauce so much. The fresh dill and the pickles add the amazing taste and the lemon is perfect for the fish. My go to recipe for eating fish.

  • Dawn Wolf June 25, 2020, 10:05 am

    For tartar sauce I usually just slap together sweet pickle relish with mayo, maybe lemon. My husband asked for tartar sauce with fish we were having, so I thought I would look up to see if there were any special recipes. This looked different with dill instead of sweet pickle. I was NOT expecting to like it so much! We didn’t have capers, but it was still delicious.

  • Diego June 11, 2020, 6:13 pm

    I kept mine really simple, because I didn’t have all of the ingredients. But i just cut up a pickle, added it to mayo with a little bit of the pickle juice, and mixed it all with half a lemon and it really did taste quite a bit like tartar sauce! Added it to a fish fillet sandwich I baked in the oven. Was going for an elevated take on the fillet-o-fish from McDonald’s.

  • Kay June 3, 2020, 2:22 pm

    Brilliant tartar sauce! Who’d have thought worcestershire sauce would work in this recipe! Didn’t have Dijon mustard so used a small amount of English mustard. Really nice.

  • David Schneider June 1, 2020, 6:35 pm

    Love your recipes – especially because you don’t add lots of sugar like other recipe sites. You rely on herbs and spices for flavor.

  • Karen May 27, 2020, 6:38 pm

    I just made this for the 4th time. So fresh and tasty. It is my go-to tartar sauce — no more store bought jars for me.

  • Noreen Gamble May 23, 2020, 2:39 pm

    This tartar sauce is delicious! The perfect topping for my fish taco’s. Thank you!

  • Margo May 9, 2020, 3:30 pm

    Hubby immediately said this is a keeper! And he is right. It’s the perfect balance of tangy, creamy, and with a little crunch. Because of the current COVID quarantine issue I didn’t have capers, and had to use the following substitutions: miracle whip (don’t judge me lol), sweet relish, bottle lemon juice and tarragon with a little celery seed (in place of Dill), and then held my breath for 2 hrs until supper time. It was even better the next day as previously stated. P.S. Hubby added a drizzle of sriracha because I can’t do spice & he thought that was perfect with it.

  • Pinky May 6, 2020, 6:17 pm

    This recipe is soo good!! I did not have the pickles on hand, so I used sweet pickle relish (drained). The flavors were great! Yummy

  • Florence Jackson May 4, 2020, 11:02 am

    This is the best tartar sauce I’ve had. Love the easy and quick recipe!

  • Aaron May 2, 2020, 9:39 pm

    I am from AL so fried fish with tartar sauce is something that I know pretty well. I cooked an ahi tuna steak for dinner tonight and decided to try my hand at whipping up some homemade tartar sauce to go with it and found this recipe. This is an excellent recipe. May be the best tartar sauce I’ve ever had. After dinner I printed this recipe out to add to my collection. Will definitely make again.

  • Virginia Gramley May 1, 2020, 5:29 pm

    I love this sight it’s very ituative love reading all opinions I’m raised Italian so want a try these …..ty.


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