Best Homemade 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.

Watch the Video

Tartar Sauce Recipe Video

This easy tartar sauce is quick to make and flavorful, making it better than store-bought tartar sauce. You probably already have most of the ingredients you need to make it in your kitchen.

We love this sauce served next to poached salmon, homemade fish sticks, and our favorite crab cakes.

Dipping a fish stick into homemade tartar sauce

Key Ingredients

  • Mayonnaise provides our creamy base. You can use store-bought mayo or for the best tartar sauce, try making your own mayonnaise. While I prefer the richness of full-fat mayo, you can substitute the mayonnaise for light mayo or plain yogurt for a lower calorie sauce.
  • Pickles add crunch and flavor to the sauce. We use dill pickles and particularly enjoy these homemade pickles or 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 out the sauce making it the perfect consistency for dipping, and adds a fresh zesty flavor.
  • Capers add texture and so much flavor to our tartar sauce. I think this is one of those ingredients that really makes this sauce better than what you can find at the store.
  • 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 brings the sauce together. We only add a dash. We add Worcestershire sauce to dressings and sauces quite a bit. We even use it to make this homemade ranch.
  • Dijon mustard adds extra flavor and tang. I love it.

How to Make the Best Tartar Sauce

If you can chop and stir a few ingredients together, you can make tartar sauce. I’ve always been disappointed with store-bought tartar sauce, so taking a few tips from our favorite seafood restaurants, we devised a recipe of our own. I’ve never looked back.

You’ll add everything to a bowl and stir them until well blended. Just a few seconds of stirring turns the sauce into a creamy and delicious sauce. Then, I place it into the fridge for at least 30 minutes since this does get better overtime.

best tartar sauce ingredients - what you need for homemade  tartar sauce

What to Serve with Tartar Sauce

Skip store-bought sauce and serve it next to these easy homemade fish sticks, easy baked popcorn chicken, these perfectly roasted shrimp, or oven-baked salmon.

Tartar sauce is a must when making our Maryland-style crab cakes.

I love to serve tartar sauce with roasted vegetables. I especially love dunking baked sweet potato fries or these oven-baked potato wedges into the sauce. Roasted cauliflower is also delicious.

More Homemade Sauce Recipes

Best Homemade Tartar Sauce

Best Homemade Tartar Sauce

  • PREP

I love this tartar sauce recipe so much. I’ve always been disappointed with store-bought tartar sauce, so I was so excited when we figured out a way to make tartar sauce at home.

Makes about 3/4 cup

Watch Us Make the Recipe

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, but recommended

1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill or 1 teaspoon dried dill

1/2 to 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard, optional, but recommended

Salt and fresh ground black pepper


    1Combine the mayonnaise, pickles, lemon juice, capers, dill, Worcestershire sauce, and mustard in a small bowl and stir until well blended and creamy.

    2Season 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.

    3Keep, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for one week.

Adam and Joanne's Tips

  • How long does homemade tartar sauce last? This easy sauce lasts for about a week when stored in the fridge. We love making a double batch to enjoy it throughout the week. Past that, and you lose the fresh flavor from the lemon.
  • The nutrition facts provided below are estimates.
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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163 comments… Leave a Review
  • Julie Schultz April 21, 2024, 2:55 pm

    Over the top tartar sauce! The capers are a game changer! I no longer need to search for the perfect tartar sauce recipe. This is IT!

  • Tom April 15, 2024, 4:02 pm

    Made some of your tartar sauce tonight to go with grilled grouper, cornbread, Mac and cheese, and coleslaw. It was the perfect compliment to the fish, and very happy I tried it!

  • Chloe April 9, 2024, 7:50 pm

    I’ve made this a dozen times. Perfect on pan-fried tilipia and so much more delicious than store bought.

  • Karen March 28, 2024, 4:23 pm

    Just made this, so tasty, it will be on repeat.Love your recipes, thank you!

  • Rita February 26, 2024, 8:03 pm

    I love this recipe! It’s so simple and adaptable if you lack one of the ingredients. It is delicious!

    • Joanne February 27, 2024, 7:14 pm

      Hi Rita, We are so happy you enjoy the recipe so much. Thanks for coming back!

  • Ivy February 20, 2024, 4:02 pm

    Best tartar sauce in the world! I knew I wanted something other than Mayo and pickle register, and I came across this recipe. I never thought of adding capers to tartar sauce, and it’s a game changer! I didn’t have any lemons, so I used a splash of the caper juice from the jar. Outstanding!

    • Joanne February 20, 2024, 6:34 pm

      So glad you loved it! Capers really do take tartar sauce to the next level.

  • Eliz December 15, 2023, 5:11 pm

    The best !!! You two must spend a ton of time developing testing trying a lot of work for sure but it definitely pays off Cus this tartar is the best! Never disappointed with IT. Thank you again

  • Anne Hart October 27, 2023, 6:46 pm

    That’s fantastic! I didnt have lemon juice but had frozen zest & its yummy! Thanks so much

  • April September 22, 2023, 12:07 am

    This was excellent. I followed the recipe exactly and it turned out perfect. This is my new go to.

    • Adam September 23, 2023, 12:49 am

      Hi April, We are thrilled that you gave our recipe a try. Thanks for coming back, it means so much.

  • John Maggs August 28, 2023, 2:27 pm

    We ran out of TJ’s, and made this which is my now go to for Tartar Sauce. The Dijon and Worcestershire were a great addition. I’ll have to check with the boss about the garlic though!!

  • Michele August 22, 2023, 9:10 pm

    Made this in a pinch when I cooked fish and realized I had no sauce. It was delicious, and I didn’t even have time for it to sit a while and let the flavors blend. I had everything but dill pickles so had to sub pickle relish, otherwise followed exactly. Thank you for posting!

  • Lisa July 31, 2023, 3:15 am

    Made it and it was delicious. It makes quite runny, but thickens in the fridge. Love that there is a bite to it. I had no dijon but I have added it to the shopping list!

  • Oskar July 19, 2023, 6:17 pm

    Really good.

  • Linda June 23, 2023, 6:17 pm

    I just have a question. Since everything is this is canned except the lemon juice, why then does it say lasts only about a week? I’m confused by that. BUT, I’m going to make this the next time we have seafood. Everyone is right in saying the store bought is very bland. I’m glad your recipe has capers. I add them to the boring store bought stuff!

    • Joanne February 27, 2024, 7:16 pm

      Hi Linda, The pickles and capers last longer in their jars since they are covered by the brine. You might get a slightly longer shelf-life, but you are going to lose the fresh flavors past a week.

  • Noxie May 21, 2023, 2:00 pm

    Excellent recipe all the family loved with my breaded cod filets! Made it as directed and only added two crushed garlic cloves because I am constitutionally required to do so. Thank you!

    • Sarah May 21, 2023, 9:28 pm

      Constitutionally required! Hahahaha! Same! I made this and also added crushed garlic and I loved it. I did add sweet pickle relish because I’m married and compromises happen. Love it!


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