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

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter with easy, delicious, and fresh recipes and receive our eCookbook with 16 of our most loved recipes for free! Click Go to signup for free!

80 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Scott April 1, 2021, 3:12 pm

    Great recipe! Made to the letter. Loved it, but its easy tweak, for those who don’t have capers or may prefer it sweeter. Just taste as you go. And let it set up in the frig for a least 30 minutes. I’ve made this several times and I always get compliments. Thanks for the recipe.

  • TJ March 27, 2021, 2:35 pm

    Tried today as I was out of store variety. What a great simple recipe for tartar sauce. Better than the store brands. Thanks. You saved the day.

  • Karen Armstrong March 17, 2021, 10:10 pm

    This sauce is so quick and easy and just delicious! I add just a wee bit more worcestershire and a little lemon rind but that’s just me.

  • Susan DeLeo March 17, 2021, 7:29 pm

    I made this out of desperation…needed tartar sauce ASAP. This recipe was excellent.Used dill pickle relish. Added a pinch of sugar. Was out of capers…but they were not necessary. It was amazing even before the 30 minute wait time. Thank you.

  • Kathleen E Burman March 11, 2021, 12:49 pm

    Came across this receipe one night when I made fish without realizing we were out of tartar sauce. My husband now will not use any other tartar sauce. Only thing I changed up was I used dill relish instead of pickles but was delish!

  • Nansea February 13, 2021, 3:47 pm

    Made this with blackened fish and it is delicious! Never had Dijon in tarter sauce but it really gives it a great flavor! Will be making it again and again. Thank you

  • Lynn February 12, 2021, 2:17 pm

    Excellent! I didn’t even wait the 30 minutes and it was good. Fast and easy to make. Didnt use capers and used pickle relish instead of pickles. This is the best recipe I have found for tarter sauce. You won’t be disappointed.

  • Shannon Phillips January 24, 2021, 5:44 pm

    Just made this tartar sauce for my EXTREMELY picky husband and he LOVED it!! Although I do not prefer tartar sauce, I appreciated how easy the recipe was! Definitely will make this again!

  • John A O'Hern January 11, 2021, 11:36 am

    Made this last night to go with some salmon patties. Was absolutely wonderful. Haven’t had a decent tarter sauce in a long long time. Just perfect. Thanks so much.

  • Paulette Hamilton January 10, 2021, 10:20 pm

    Such a flavorsome receipe. Love it. Can’t wait to have it with my fish cakes tonight. Thank you.

  • Dianne January 2, 2021, 8:02 pm

    Thank you – most helpful and it sounds yummy😋😋

  • Anthony C. Romeo December 24, 2020, 7:01 pm

    Excellent recipe, very fresh tasting, really tasty! I didn’t have all the ingredients on hand, left out the dill, capers and substituted a dash of A1 in place of Worcestershire, but it was wonderful non the less. Thank you.

  • Brandi December 19, 2020, 11:57 pm

    Legit. Best. Tartar. Ever. So grateful. Utterly impressed. Thank you immensely.

  • Jackie Heda December 17, 2020, 8:13 pm

    Love your ingredients. I don’t usually follow recipes, but I always look at few recipes before I cook and include the ingredients I consider to be optimal. Yours fit the ultimate flavor profile I was looking for!

  • Tom J November 15, 2020, 5:58 am

    Oh my goodness. Every so often you look up a recipe for a common “staple” you haven’t made in a while to remind yourself the rough recipe and find one with a couple of nuances like the worcestshire and lemon in this one. And those little extra additions make it an entirely new and mind blowing experience. This tartare is something else. I’m salivating just thinking about it 2 hours after eating it with beer bartered flathead. I feel like a Spanish conquistador who just tried chocolate for the first time. Thank you for sharing this one!

    • RWH January 29, 2021, 1:09 am

      Best Review Ever!


Leave a Comment/Review

All comments are moderated before appearing on the site. Thank you so much for waiting. First time commenting? Please review our Comment Guidelines. You must be at least 16 years old to post a comment. All comments are governed by our Privacy Policy & Terms.

* Required fields (Email address will not be published)

Did you make it? How was it?:


Previous Post: Next Post: