Learn how to make a homemade tartar sauce that will have you making fish for dinner just so you have an excuse to eat more of this tasty sauce. This popular condiment has so much flavor compared to the bottled sauce you find at the store, and it's so easy to make in minutes with very simple ingredients.
While I have always enjoyed eating fish, my husband and my children were a bit harder to get on board. When my children were younger, I made them homemade fish fingers which I baked in the oven. They quickly became a family favorite.
My kids are all grown up, and now I make Air Fryer Fish Sticks, but old habits die hard, and the homemade tartar sauce I would bribe them with is still a standard condiment every time I cook fish.
This homemade tartar sauce is so tasty that I even serve it with shrimp. Especially when we gather friends for a Low Country Shrimp Boil, a bowl of tartar sauce is served right alongside cocktail sauce. I've even been known to use this flavorful sauce as a dip for the boiled potatoes.
If you've been using bottled tartar sauce in the past, you will be shocked at how easy and how flavorful homemade tartar sauce can be. This easy recipe makes the perfect classic tartar sauce to use on all your fish sandwiches and other seafood dishes.
- Mayonnaise – It's what gives this sauce it's creamy texture. Use your favorite brand of mayo. You could also substitute Miracle Whip or Plain Greek Yogurt.
- Dill Pickles – Chopped dill pickles give the tarter sauce that tangy flavor you love.
- Fresh Herbs – Fresh dill and parsley give the tarter sauce a mild herby flavor that really compliments fish.
- Lemon Juice – Adds a bright, zesty flavor. A small amount goes a long way.
- Sugar – Just a touch of sweetness to balance the acid of the lemon and pickles. You can omit it if desired.
- Black Pepper – Season with fresh black pepper.
See recipe card below for exact amounts
How To Make Homemade Tartar Sauce
- Combine all of the ingredients in a medium-sized bowl.
2. Mix with a spoon until well combined and creamy.
Hint: For a smoother, less chunky tartar sauce, chop your ingredients smaller or pulse the whole mixture a few times in a food processor or with a stick blender.
- Mayo - use miracle whip or plain unsweetened Greek yogurt instead.
- Herbs - Use dried herbs if you don't have access to fresh herbs.
- Make It Sweeter - Dill pickles give this homemade tartar sauce a slightly tart and sour flavor. If you prefer something a little sweeter, try using bread and butter pickles.
- Add Zing - Want a little extra zing in your tarter sauce? Add capers, a bit of Dijon mustard and a splash of Worcestershire sauce. The extra flavor is incredible.
- Add Heat - You can easily add a bit of heat by adding a bit of diced jalapeno. Add more or less depending on how hot you like it.
Store leftover tartar sauce in a mason jar or airtight container in the fridge for up to a week, possibly a little longer.
Make a double batch because not only can you serve this homemade tartar sauce with fish sticks, it goes well with grilled and broiled fish, fish or salmon cakes and can even be used as a dip for French fries or onion rings.
Mix leftover tartar sauce with canned tuna or salmon for a tasty salad that can be served over lettuce or as a sandwich.
- Don't leave mayonnaise-based food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods.
See more guidelines at USDA.gov.
More Sauce Recipes
- Homemade Bang Bang Sauce
- Easy Italian Marinara Sauce
- Sweet Chili Sauce from It's Not Complicated
- Homemade Buffalo Sauce from Go Cook Yummy
If you like this Easy Tartar Sauce recipe, please leave a 5-star rating below.
Homemade Tartar Sauce
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- ½ cup finely chopped dill pickles
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped dill
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Add all ingredients to a medium sized bowl. Mix well until creamy and well combined. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
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