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

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Tartar Sauce Recipe Video

Making the Best Homemade Tartar Sauce

This better than store-bought tartar sauce is incredibly simple to make. You probably already have most of the ingredients you need to make it in your kitchen. We love this sauce served next to homemade fish sticks and our favorite crab cakes.

More: See our creamy honey mustard sauce recipe! It’s perfect with fish sticks or chicken nuggets.

Dipping a fish stick into homemade tartar sauce

Tartar Sauce Ingredients

The full recipe is below, but here is a quick overview of each ingredient. Here is what you will need to make tartar sauce from scratch:

Mayonnaise provides a 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 out the sauce making it 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 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 brings the sauce together. We only add a dash. We add Worcestershire sauce to dressings and sauces quite a bit. We use it to make this homemade ranch.

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.

For the best tartar sauce, refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes. It gets better and better overtime.

FAQ: Can I make the sauce lighter in calories? 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.

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.

Best Homemade Tartar Sauce

How to Make the Best Tartar Sauce

  • PREP
  • TOTAL

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

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

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

Directions

    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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136 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Martin November 23, 2022, 12:07 am

    Something undefinably satisfying about cooking your own food, especially when it turns out better than expected! I added garlic powder and it was a great sauce.

    Reply
  • Martin November 23, 2022, 12:05 am

    Agreed! Something undefinably satisfying about cooking your own food, especially when it turns out better than expected!

    Reply
  • RKG October 20, 2022, 5:18 pm

    I made this for some fried Cod. Excellent recipe!!! The only thing I would change is the picture on this page. I thought there was a hair on my tablet screen, but it is in the sauce in the picture.

    Reply
  • Mary Carolyn Blake October 18, 2022, 11:34 pm

    A friend gave me a plate of fried catfish this morning. I didn’t have anything to dress it with so I chose this recipe. This tartar sauce is authentic like I remember from a Galveston restaurant I went to when I was a child. This is a keeper!

    Reply
  • Patrice October 1, 2022, 10:45 pm

    Used salad pickles in place of dill pickles which worked well for me since it was a little on the salty side with capers, and salt. Added onions because I mixed up recipes but it worked well in it. Next time I’d use a little more salad pickles, no salt and less capers. Loved this recipe and recognizing cooking at home is so worth it!

    Reply
  • Millie Adcock-Ellisor September 9, 2022, 6:05 pm

    Thank you. I need to start cooking every thing I eat.

    Reply
    • Martin November 23, 2022, 12:05 am

      Agreed! Something undefinably satisfying about cooking your own food, especially when it turns out better than expected!

      Reply
  • Lynn September 6, 2022, 12:07 pm

    Wow! This tarter sauce is terrific! We will never buy a jar of tarter sauce again! Easy to make and quick, and love th3 capers and dill in it!

    Reply
  • Tracy August 9, 2022, 1:52 pm

    So good!

    Reply

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