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When it comes to crispy fried foods, tartar sauce is the perfect accentuation. If you want to recreate those signature fast food fried fish sandwiches, it’s a must. But who knows what those weird artificial ingredients are in the store-bought versions? Make this homemade tartar sauce recipe for more flavor and better health for your happy family!

Best Tartar Sauce Recipe

Creamy and tangy, tartar sauce makes a great dip for all kinds of goodies. Once I figured out how to make an old fashioned tartar sauce recipe myself, I’ve never bought it from the condiment aisle ever again and now neither will you!

Easy Tartar Sauce Recipe

This easy tartar sauce recipe takes only 5 minutes to make! From there, you can use it on so many wonderful things. Make a big batch or keep it small to keep it fresh if you’re not going to use it that often.

Homemade Tartar Sauce Ingredients

  • Mayonnaise – the creamy base you start with.
  • Sweet relish – to give it a slight sweetness with crispy chunks. You can also substitute dill pickles if you do not have sweet relish.
  • Capers – ah, the savory element is all here.
  • Lemon juice – use fresh to add that tang.
  • Worcestershire sauce – a key element in rounding out the rest of the flavors.

How do you Make Tartar Sauce?

Simply round up all the ingredients and mix them together. Add salt and pepper to taste and you’re ready to serve your homemade tartar sauce.

Got tartar sauce?

Is tartar sauce the same as mayonnaise?

No, it’s not, though tartar sauce is typically made with mayonnaise as the base.

Who makes the best tartar sauce?

With this recipe, it will be you that makes the best tartar sauce. You can always buy it ready-made from Hellman’s or Kraft, but it will taste so much better when you mix it up fresh yourself.

Expert Tips and Tricks for the Perfect Homemade Tartar Sauce Recipe

  • Choose quality ingredients. Always!
  • Don’t skip the lemon. It adds that tang that cuts up the creaminess of the mayo.
  • Use both the sweet relish and the capers. This balances the flavor between sweet and savory so neither is too cloying. Making a tartar sauce recipe with capers really takes it to the next level!

Is tartar sauce made with cream of tartar?

Some recipes do use cream of tartar to make tartar sauce. This recipe does not include it as an ingredient. It is not a mandatory requirement of making tartar sauce to include cream of tartar.

What to Serve with Tartar Sauce

Fried foods go great with tartar sauce, especially seafood. Fried fish, clam strips, shrimp, crab cakes and fish sticks. Even a grilled fish sandwich is a match with tartar sauce. Hushpuppies and fries are fun to dip in this sauce too.

How can I make store bought tartar sauce better?

Adding capers plus the brine will make any store-bought tartar sauce taste way better off the bat. Additionally, a pop of coarse-grained mustard may be able to help, especially if you don’t have any capers.

What is a good substitute for tartar sauce?

You can use mayonnaise and aioli if you’d prefer instead of tartar sauce.

How to Store Tartar Sauce

Since it contains mayonnaise, tartar sauce must go in the refrigerator. If you’re serving it at a gathering, only portion out a small bit and refill as needed to keep it from spoiling.

How Long Does Tartar Sauce Last?

When you put it in an airtight container, your tartar sauce will last up to 2 weeks. If you’re making it for an event, make it the day before so all the flavors have a chance to meld.

Can You Freeze Tartar Sauce?

Tartar sauce isn’t the best item to freeze because of the mayonnaise. It will separate some.

How to Thaw Frozen Tartar Sauce?

It’s not recommended you freeze it in the first place. If you do go against the grain, freeze the other ingredients sans mayo, then thaw them in the fridge. Once thawed, you can add in mayonnaise.

Watch How To Make Tartar Sauce (Video)

Easy Classic Tartar Sauce Recipe

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 10 servings
Calories 34
This homemade easy tartar sauce recipe is simple to make and is so much better than store bought. Its creamy, delicious and goes well with a variety of seafood dishes!


  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tbsp sweet relish
  • 1 tbsp capers
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper


  • Stir all ingredients in a small bowl until thoroughly combined. Add the salt and pepper to taste.
Calories: 34kcal
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American


Calories: 34kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 2mg | Sodium: 264mg | Potassium: 5mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 63IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Iron: 1mg

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Author Megan Miller

I’m a mom of two, food and wine lover, and recipe creation enthusiast. Good food brings families together. Which is why I’m devoted to sharing my best recipes that are simple enough for even the beginner cook that your family will love!

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