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
  • 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

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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59 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Neo May 1, 2020, 1:19 pm

    This really tasted great! Amazing!

    Reply
  • Kim Martin April 29, 2020, 7:55 pm

    I was short on store bought tartar sauce so decided to give it a whirl. I was pleasantly surprised. Didn’t have capers but used the other ingredients. Very good. I don’t think I’ll ever buy from a store again.Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  • Bronwen April 21, 2020, 10:29 pm

    Simple and tasty! Nice complex flavor. I didn’t have dill so I subbed out celery seeds which worked great.

    Reply
  • Rachel Dalinka April 20, 2020, 11:32 am

    Made this tartar sauce as an accompaniment to your gluten free fish sticks. Both were easy to make and delicious! I really enjoy your site, thank you!

    Reply
  • Cujolito April 17, 2020, 4:54 pm

    Someone say “Fish Tacos”

    Reply
  • Tommy April 15, 2020, 4:09 pm

    I am from Louisiana and this is a fantastic tarter sauce. I have added a dash of Tabasco occasionally just to give it a little zing.

    Reply
  • Brian Lowery April 12, 2020, 4:17 pm

    This is a great recipe! I love the tartness! Only bit of sweet is from the lemon. I don’tike sweet Tartar sauce.. Tartar sauce is supposed to be Tart!! Modifications: I added 1/4 cup organic sour cream, I used Dill Relish, it’s what I had. If you sub these remember to be careful of adding too much salt. Dill Relish is already salty.

    Reply
  • Jill April 11, 2020, 10:27 pm

    I followed this recipe, but left out of the dill and added half a shallot. The shallot totally sealed the deal. It was delicious!

    Reply
  • Veronica April 11, 2020, 4:39 pm

    I only like tartar sauce on fish sandwiches – thanks to the lovely fillet-o-fish at McDonalds. This tartar sauce is definitely elevated my homemade fried fish sandwich. My tastebuds are still happy at the delightful zing this recipe added. Thank you!

    Reply
  • Izzy April 10, 2020, 1:07 pm

    I normally am satisfied with store bought tartar sauce. Almost out of my store bought and seeing that we are under quarantine, a store trip was a definite NO. I prepared this recipe and, at first, I thought it was a bust (somewhat) because it tasted far too much like glorified mayonnaise! The next day, HOWEVER, this tartar sauce is a symphony of taste and flavor! It is simply delicious! Sans the capers, I prepared the recipe by doubling all of the ingredients. In my view, it does not require or need any salt whatsoever. This is a keeper! Tip: Prepare well in advance -days before even- so that this glorious gem has time for its flavors to meld.. you won’t be disappointed!

    Reply
  • Misty Oakley April 9, 2020, 11:37 pm

    Love, love, love this recipe. I was out of dill pickles so I used 1 bread and butter pickle. I only had dried dill weed but still tased wonderful. Also used the Dijon mustard. So great! Thank you for sharing. I had this tartar sauce with salmon patties.

    Reply
  • smilin April 8, 2020, 6:20 pm

    great sauce made last night. Later on I had french fries and mixed half and half with ketchup and yum what a delicous sauce for dipping fries. Going to do the same with a salad tonight.

    Reply
  • Penny April 6, 2020, 7:02 pm

    Just made this and it’s sitting in the fridge waiting for supper. I’ve tried a few variations of tartar sauce but this recipe is hands down the best tasting I’ve ever had! Will definitely use again and do believe it would have paired perfectly with the cucumber sandwich with tzatziki for some odd reason. Thanks for the recipe

    Reply
  • Sarah H April 5, 2020, 1:48 pm

    I didn’t have capers, dijon, or fresh lemon, but this was still excellent! My husband tells me to never take a chance on a 5 star recipe with few reviews, but I’m so glad I did! Definitely saving this recipe!

    Reply
  • AJ March 30, 2020, 7:13 pm

    The wife made fish sticks tonight but sadly there was no tartar sauce. The rest of the family was happy with catsup but not me. I came across this fantastic recipe and thankfully we had everything except the fresh lemons (used bottled) and capers. The recipe was super easy and REALLY tasty. The only negative is that wish I made more since the family ended up stealing most of it after having a taste.

    Reply

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