How To Make The Best Tartar Sauce


You may have eaten store-bought tartar sauce or dipped your fish in it at a restaurant, but have you ever wondered how to make tartar sauce at home? It’s easier to make than you’d think and far better than the kind you get out of a bottle.

What Is Tartar Sauce?

tartar sauce

Tartar sauce is a cold sauce that is usually eaten with fish. It is made of mayo and chopped seasonings, including pickles, capers, and dill.

The origins of tartar sauce aren’t clear to historians, but it likely comes from France, where it was initially spelled tartare sauce.

tartar sauce

How To Make The Best Tartar Sauce

Tartar sauce is a cold sauce that is usually eaten with fish. It is made of mayo and chopped seasonings, including pickles, capers, and dill. The origins of tartar sauce aren’t clear to historians, but it likely comes from France, where it was initially spelled tartare sauce.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine French
Servings 3
Calories 70 kcal


  • 1 cup Pickles
  • 1 cup Mayonnaise
  • ¾ teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoons Salt
  • ½ teaspoons Black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 Lemon, juiced
  • 2 teaspoons Dill finely chopped


  • Finely chop 1 cup of pickles.
  • Dry the pickles by placing them on a paper towel and squeezing them. Removing the extra moisture will keep your tartar sauce from watering down.
  • Juice one lemon to get about two tablespoons of juice. Make sure you don’t have any seeds in your juice before mixing everything together.
  • Finely chop two teaspoons of fresh dill.
  • Mix all your ingredients together in a bowl.
Keyword homemade tarter sauce, tartar sauce

Tartar sauce will last in your fridge in an airtight container for about two weeks. You should avoid freezing your tartar sauce, as it will cause ingredients in the mayo to separate and create an odd texture. 

What Can You Add to Tartar Sauce?

Tartar sauce is delicious, but if you want to mix it up, there are dozens of ways to change the recipe. Here are a few of the best methods to change up your tartar sauce.

tartar sauce


To Cut the Vinegar

Some people add one teaspoon of sugar to cut the acidity in tartar sauce. Sugar is a popular ingredient in many acidic dishes, including some tomato sauces. 

Another sweet way to cut the vinegar taste in the tartar sauce is to add a single tablespoon of honey, which has many health benefits

You can also remove some of the vinegar flavors by removing Worcestershire sauce from the ingredients list.

To Add Some Spice

Spicy tartar sauce can add a new depth to otherwise mild fish dishes. There are three ways to add spice to a tartar sauce.

First, you can add cayenne pepper. Cayenne pepper seasoning is not only the perfect warm heat for dishes and mayo sauces, but it’s also surprisingly full of nutrients. If you want to add cayenne pepper seasoning to this recipe, start with one teaspoon and increase the amount until it’s to your taste.

The second way to add heat to your tartar sauce is to use a spicy pickle instead of a standard dill pickle. Some people make homemade spicy pickles, but if you don’t want to make a pickle just to make a sauce, they’re also usually available for purchase in most grocery stores.

The last way to add spice to your tartar sauce is to add tabasco sauce (or another hot sauce if you prefer). If you want to try this out, start with one teaspoon. You can continue to add more until it’s to your liking. 

Other Things People Add to Tartar Sauce

Capers are commonly added to tartar sauce in the UK. Adding capers will add an extra punch of acid and salt, so it’s best to taste it before you serve if you add capers. One teaspoon of capers is the perfect amount if you want to add it to this recipe.

While it might seem odd, some people like to add finely chopped hard-boiled eggs to their tartar sauce. Eggs will add an extra depth of creaminess to your sauce, as well as some extra protein. If you want to add an egg to this recipe, you can use one hard-boiled egg.

Onion and shallot are often added to tartar sauce. The key to adding onion or shallot is chopping it as finely as possible to ensure no one gets a large bite of raw onion when eating. If you don’t want to (or can’t) chop it finely enough, you can use onion powder instead. If you add onion or shallot to this recipe, use one tablespoon.

tartar sauce

Garlic will also add a pleasant aroma to the tartar sauce. As with the onions and shallots, the key to adding garlic is to chop it very finely. You can also use garlic powder. Whether you use power or fresh garlic, you can add one tablespoon to this recipe. 

Tips & Tricks for Tartar Sauce

Here are some tips and tricks you should keep in mind if you want to make your own tartar sauce:

  • As a mayo-based sauce, tartar sauce can be calorie-dense. If you want to lighten it up, you can use light mayo or Miracle Whip. 
  • The finer you chop your ingredients, the smoother and more even your tartar sauce will taste. A finer chop will let the flavors blend, stopping you from getting a large chunk of pickle in the middle of a creamy bite. 
  • If you don’t have access to fresh dill, jarred or frozen seasonings will do the job just fine.
  • If you don’t have dill available, parsley works fine as an alternative.

Nutrition Information of Tartar Sauce

The nutritional information for tartar sauce will depend on the kind of mayo that you use. In general, tartar sauce has about 70 calories per tablespoon. The calorie count will change if you use a lighter mayo, add sugar, or vary any ingredients to suit your taste. 


tartar sauce is simple to make and tastes better when it’s made at home—not to mention the various ways you can mix it up.

Tartar sauce adds the perfect creamy, tangy flavor and the mildness of fish. It’s especially popular with fish and chips in the UK, and once you try the homemade version, you will understand why.

Join the Conversation

  1. mommacharity says:

    My husband loved this.

  2. HealthyEating2014 says:

    I made this. It was delicious.

  3. This is amazing!!!! It’s so easy to make!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

Recipesnation © Copyright 2022. All rights reserved.