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!

40 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Rachel T. March 26, 2020, 10:58 am

    Delicious with our fried tilapia last night! Definitely saving this recipe. Thank you!

    • Assata Richards March 29, 2020, 11:41 am

      Did you use 1/2 teaspoon or 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce?

  • Brian Leahy March 20, 2020, 7:03 pm

    I’m the guy that orders every fish sandwich without tartar sauce. Maybe because no one uses this recipe. Simply fantastic. I threw all of the optionals in including honey dijon for the dijon and it is just so full of flavor. I could eat this on just about anything.

    • MojoMama April 10, 2020, 8:54 pm

      This was amazing! My son used the leftover sauce for fries. Followed recipe almost to a T. The only changes were: subbing half the Mayo with plain greek yogurt and added 1 tsp. of prepared horseradish. Included all the optional ingredients. This will be saved to my Pinterest recipe board as soon as I finish posting my comment!

  • Elissa Dellosso March 8, 2020, 10:42 am

    I never liked tartar sauce but I decided to give this recipe a shot. I LOVE IT! I used all of the ingredients except I didn’t have fresh lemons, so I had to use bottled. It came out a bit too tart, but not horribly so. Next time I’ll use fresh squeezed lemon. I considered using fresh squeezed orange juice to give it a unique taste, but, I figured I would try the recipe as is first. Can’t wait to try it on a shrimp burger for lunch today.

  • Jj February 28, 2020, 7:07 pm

    This just tastes like mayo..

  • Kyles974 February 20, 2020, 2:48 am

    This is the best tarter sauce ever! Omg! Ran out of cocktail sauce for some friend shrimp. So looked up tarter sauce. I added 1/2 mayo, about 3-4 slices off a large dill pickle chopped best I could with knife, 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon, 1 tablespoon of relish, Oh and squeezed the dill pickle for maybe like a good size pinch of juice. Sounds nasty but omg! It’s awesome!

  • Doris Lopez February 15, 2020, 10:30 am

    I tried this recipe last night to go with a fish dinner I was making for Valentine’s night. My husband who never eats target sauce loved it. My granddaughter was dipping everything on her plate I didn’t have dill but had fresh parsley. This recipe got printed and is in my recipe book.

  • Anna Melven February 3, 2020, 10:09 pm

    This is by far the best tarter sauce recipe ever!!!!

  • Chris January 28, 2020, 1:00 pm

    This was a keeper

  • Patty Pedersen January 1, 2020, 9:17 pm

    Delicious! Not too heavy in flavor to overpower the halibut, enhances the flavor. Have made this recipe twice, excellent both times. Will keep it in my recipe box, the hunt is over for a good tartar sauce.

  • EVAN B SCHENKEL December 23, 2019, 4:10 pm

    Adam and Joanne Gallagher’s tartar sauce recipe is BEYOND FANTASTIC! I discovered the recipe today and just now made a large batch for tomorrow’s big gathering for X-mas eve dinner. Fish is on the menu and I am CERTAIN many people will ask me for the recipe. Joanne and Adam, thank you very much and happy holidays!

  • Chris Parsons OBE November 25, 2019, 4:01 pm

    I live very close to a small harbor in Southern Cyprus and buy my fresh sea bream and sea bass straight from the fishing boats as soon as it’s landed. There is nothing but nothing to match this tartar sauce recipe, and believe me I’ve tried most over the years.

  • Bonnie November 12, 2019, 6:45 pm

    I needed tarter sauce for my beer battered cod sandwiches. I had all the simple ingredients. The sauce is very very good. I highly recommend you to try this sauce. Excellent!

  • Mandy Stolp October 11, 2019, 9:50 am

    By far the best tartar sauce I’ve made. Thank you so much. Was under huge pressure in our little diner at the local bowling club and goes BRILLIANTLY with our beer battered fish and chips

  • Steph July 27, 2019, 4:15 pm

    This is what I do too. Delish! A dash of tobasco and a drop of agave is a great add and fills your mouth with flavour. It spicy but balanced. Still light and added zest brings the lemon to the forefront.

  • Dianne Ellis March 1, 2019, 9:15 am

    We like a touch of horseradish in our tartar sauce too.

    • Margaret Osborn September 18, 2019, 12:03 pm

      By far the best tartar sauce that I have ever made. Made it exactly by the recipe. Have tried many different recipes over the year but this will always be my go to.

      • Joanne September 19, 2019, 5:46 pm

        That’s wonderful to read, Margaret! So happy you enjoyed the recipe.


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: