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

Best Homemade Tartar Sauce

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.

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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127 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Joanne Hooff January 16, 2022, 2:47 pm

    Thanks for sharing this recipe. Tonight is football, fish and chips. I’m going to smother the fish and chips in this delicious tarter sauce. Made it exactly as written except doubled the recipe and threw it all in the blender for a few seconds. I’m sure the flavors will blend and come to a happy place by tonight!

    Reply
  • Kelly January 16, 2022, 12:26 am

    WOW! What a crowd pleaser this recipe is. The family and I couldn’t get enough of it. Now I’m asked to make it all the time when serving fish. Make a double batch because it won’t last long!

    Reply
  • Michael Homiak January 8, 2022, 10:52 pm

    Excellent recipe, with a little different taste than most others. The capers add a nice touch. Make sure you let it sit for at least 30 minutes. I tasted it when it was first done, and thought it was just ok…let it sit, and now it’s the bomb.Thank you!

    Reply
  • Clare January 4, 2022, 10:43 am

    Excellent recipe. Ingredients in everyone’s cupboard!! So simple and yet so delicious. Thank you for sharing.

    Reply
  • Johnny Chef! December 11, 2021, 7:36 pm

    Made this Recipe as it was written..I tasted it and indeed it’s a keeper! .. My fresh Cod is cooking on the Grill w Salt,Pepper, Seafood Seasoning w Lemon and Dillweed..Can hardly wait to try it out once my Cod is baked in Alum foil on the grill..I bet the Tartar will be better tomorrow as well being it will have marinated..

    Reply
  • Tina Haverly November 21, 2021, 6:55 pm

    You need to use the lemon zest…watch those puckers get pinched! Lol For me…it’s a given…I use the zest WHENEVER I use citrus.

    Reply
  • Ed Mathis November 1, 2021, 3:29 pm

    I am getting ready to make your tartar sauce.

    Reply
  • Don Rebhuhn October 12, 2021, 4:34 pm

    Loved it

    Reply
  • GUY HOLM October 10, 2021, 3:17 pm

    Made without any adjustments. Just looking for a good solid go to Tartar Sauce recipe. Found it! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  • Kansas September 24, 2021, 7:47 pm

    Listen. I’ve been making my own tarter sauce for years and have always enjoyed it over any store bought or restaurant ones. Tonight on a whim I decided to see what the internet had to offer. Your recipe was the first that I clicked on and after ready your thoughts and seeing the incredible list of ingredients, I was committed! Even better, I had everything on hand! WOW!!! This recipe blows me away and should be sold nationwide! It’s so delicious. Thank YOU!

    Reply
  • Belinda September 16, 2021, 9:32 pm

    Hey There. Want you to know I made this for my deli made crab cakes that are delish. Though I’m a Mayo lover I’m trying to eat more Mediterranean like so I I substituted Greek yogurt for mayo and honestly it tasted terrific!! I think I’ll make my tarter sauce this way going forward because as I said it TASTED Good!!!! ThankYou ThankYou for this simple and sooo good Tarter sauce receipe:-)!

    Reply
    • MissyG May 14, 2022, 10:17 pm

      I can see where you were going with this as I’ve done similar substitutions with Mayo before. Thanks for the option 🙂 I don’t know that I’ll try it 1to1 Greek yogurt for Mayo, but maybe cutting the mayo ¼ to a ½ the measurement and adding the Greek yogurt might prove to be interesting from time to time. I’ll give it try next time just for a change up. Thanks! I’d like to note this recipe is Da Bomb as is though!

      Reply
  • Robby peke September 14, 2021, 5:28 pm

    I really appreciate because its all in details.

    Reply
  • Lisa September 2, 2021, 4:24 pm

    Made this today exactly as stated in the recipe. Served with battered cod. It is excellent. Thank you for sharing!!

    Reply
  • Felecia Williams August 27, 2021, 7:50 pm

    I just made this today to have with fried fish. It was wonderful! Thank you for sharing.

    Reply
  • Rachel M August 14, 2021, 7:41 pm

    Ditto ALL 5 star reviews. This is THE best tartar sauce I’ve had! Thank you for making my King Salmon extra tasty. YUM

    Reply

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