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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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 when served with the sauce.
How to Make the Best Tartar Sauce
This easy homemade tartar sauce is extra creamy and perfect when served next to shrimp, fish sticks, crab cakes, and even roasted veggies.
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.