Homemade Tartar Sauce made with mayonnaise, dill pickles and fresh dill, lemon juice, dijon mustard, and capers. So easy to make and way better than any of the jarred stuff you’ll find at the store, you’ll love this tangy, creamy, delicious tartar sauce recipe.
The Best Tartar Sauce
Some things taste better when they’re homemade. Tartar sauce, for example, is one of those things. The store-bought stuff, promising flavor and freshness, was always such a letdown that I finally decided one day to make my own.
This amazing (and flavorful) homemade tartar sauce will take you just 5 minutes to make. Perfect with all of your favorite fish and seafood recipes, it’s made with a handful of simple ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry or refrigerator.
What is Tartar Sauce?
From the French word sauce tartare, tartar sauce is tangy, delicious, and perfectly creamy. This staple condiment, perfectly paired with all of your favorite fried finger foods and seafood dishes, is easily made with pantry essentials such as mayonnaise, dill relish, pickle relish, fresh herbs, capers, shallots, and even jalapeño.
What’s in Tartar Sauce
In this recipe, you’ll find,
- Full-fat mayonnaise
- Dill pickle
- Fresh dill
- Fresh lemon juice
- Dijon mustard
- Salt and Pepper
The key to achieving delicious tartar sauce is by finding a perfectly balanced creamy tanginess (or piquancy), without it being overly sweet or overly tart.
To help reach this, I ditch the bread-and-butter pickles or sweet pickle relish (too sweet) and swapped it with finely chopped dill pickles or dill pickle relish. I also add a small teaspoon of sugar – not necessarily for sweetness, but just to balance some of the tartness.
- Fresh parsley in place of fresh dill
- Pickle juice
- Hot sauce (like Tabasco) for heat
- Horseradish for kick
How to Make Tartar Sauce
Stir together the mayonnaise, dill pickle, fresh chopped dill, lemon juice, sugar, dijon mustard, and capers in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and add additional lemon juice or lemon zest, if desired. Mix again and refrigerate until ready to serve and enjoy.
For best results, chill in the refrigerator for at least 2-3 hours, or up to overnight before serving.
How to Serve
Perfect for dipping, dunking, and scooping onto all of your favorite recipes. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
- Grilled fish
- Fried fish
- Pan-seared fish
- Fish sticks
- Crab cakes
- French Fries
- Chicken poppers or Chicken Tenders
- Onion rings
- Fish sandwiches
- Fish tacos
- Roasted Potatoes
- Fried calamari
- Tuna salad
How Long Does Tartar Sauce Last?
Homemade tartar sauce will last for up to 5-7 days when stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.
It is not recommended that you freeze tartar sauce as the base is made of mayonnaise which will separate after thawing.
Have you tried making this Homemade Tartar Sauce Recipe?
Tell me about it in the comments below! I always love to hear your thoughts. And tag me #theforkedspoon on Instagram if you’ve made any of my recipes, I always love to see what you’re cooking in the kitchen.
Tartar Sauce Recipe
- 1 cup mayonnaise - (full-fat recommended)
- ¼ cup dill pickle - drained and finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh dill - minced
- 2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoon capers - drained and chopped
- salt + black pepper - to taste
- Stir together the mayonnaise, dill pickle, fresh dill, lemon juice, sugar, dijon mustard, and capers in a small bowl. Mix thoroughly until fully combined.
- Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- For a little heat, add 2-3 drops of Tabasco sauce to your tartar sauce. Refrigerate until ready to serve and enjoy.
- I have not tried making this recipe with dried dill, so I can’t say for sure how it will taste, but if that’s all you have and you’ll like to add some, start with 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of dried dill for every one tablespoon of fresh dill.
- Keep leftovers stored in a sealed container and in the refrigerator. Best enjoyed within 5 days. Freezing is not recommended.
- Nutrition facts are per (1) tablespoon of tartar sauce.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.)
Made this tonight for our fish. My husband who is is a store bought only tartar sauce kinda guy, actually ate this tartar sauce and was impressed! I did not have any fresh dill and added a dried lemony dill mix and it was fabulous. I also used dill pickle relish. Will be keeping this recipe around for sure!!
Thanks for sharing!
Jessica Randhawa says
Thanks for the great feedback, Laura 😀