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

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


    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
  • Elizabeth Middleton July 15, 2022, 12:33 pm

    Hi Adam and Joanne. Thanks for the great recipes 😋 I just made the Mayo, Tartar Sauce and Fish Sticks. It came out so good I never tried making so many items at one short. I guess because it was so easy and simple Love it 😀

  • Shannon June 8, 2022, 1:38 pm

    Great recipe, my new go to for tarter sauce! Was out of dijon so just used a small squirt of yellow mustard.

  • Kenna Chapin June 4, 2022, 9:13 pm

    Very good! Fresh and easy! I added some dashes of Tabasco and we dipped our waffle fries in also!

  • MissyG May 14, 2022, 10:23 pm

    Had to make some Tartar Sauce last minute and found this recipe online. Loved it!! I didn’t have Capers on hand or pickles, so I put in pickle relish instead and omitted the Capers. Oh, I also didn’t add salt as I didn’t feel it needed it. I can’t wait to try it with all the proper ingredients next time! I saved this recipe to my recipe box at onetsp(dot)com, I love that thing and will be using this recipe over and over again. It was perfect. Thank you!

  • Sue R May 5, 2022, 2:38 am

    Great recipe! I had some Japanese style mayo to use up and it worked very well. Had it with fish husband caught and filleted. Pinned it. Thanks!

  • Gina April 28, 2022, 8:08 pm

    My go to recipe for tartar sauce. I don’t change a thing and have used both fresh and dried dill. Just the best! Family says it’s better than any store bought and can compete with our fav restaurants sauce.

  • Glory April 7, 2022, 7:30 pm

    This was quite lovely! I wasn’t brave enough to try the capers (maybe next time), but I had enough homemade mayo left from the last batch to start it off right.A couple of things I may have done differently. I did use dill pickles, but used dill baby gerkins since they tend to be firmer and easier to chop. Added a really nice flavor. Didn’t have the regular Dijon, so substituted my Trader Joe’s whole grain Dijon mustard. Gave it more of a rustic look and taste which was fine to me!

  • Mary April 3, 2022, 9:54 am

    I made this this morning and it turned out great, thanks for the recipe.

  • Brenda Elias March 28, 2022, 9:13 pm

    I made this tonight. Family loved it. Thx for sharing.

  • JoAnne Woolever March 18, 2022, 4:07 pm

    Sometimes I had finely chopped marinated artichoke hearts and a little Tabasco (to your own taste). A local Restaurant, in Anchorage, AK, makes it this way and I could just eat it with a spoon!

  • Jenifer March 15, 2022, 7:19 pm

    Just made this tonight ahead of time for our crab cakes tomorrow. Love addition of Worcestershire and Dijon! Really like this combination already, and like a lot of food, letting it come together over night I’m sure will be even better. Cannot wait to have time to look at your blog!!!! And add it to my bookmarks. Thxs

  • Terry Doyle February 26, 2022, 4:25 pm

    Made this Tartar Sauce tonight for friends coming to dinner. Excellent

  • Jill February 21, 2022, 9:49 pm

    This is really good. There’s a few more ingredients Than I’ve seen previously so I thought I’d give it a go.
    It’s a keeper. Definitely a keeper.

  • Margy C February 14, 2022, 7:16 pm

    Really Really good..light and perfect with beer battered cod..I will use it for my fish, and crabcakes. Didn’t have capers but used everything else. A really good keeper. Thanks!!

  • Logan January 29, 2022, 6:03 pm

    Omg. Amazing!! Changed it slightly and added smoked paprika! Delish and a crowd pleaser!!


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