This Homemade Tartar Sauce is the perfect pairing for all your favorite seafood. It’s delightfully creamy and full of fresh flavor, with earthy dill, bright lemon, and plenty of crisp, tart pickles!
Easy Homemade Tartar Sauce
Once you try this easy Tartar Sauce recipe, you’ll never want the store-bought stuff again! There’s just no comparison. This classic seafood dip is creamy, bright, and perfectly tart – the best homemade version out there!
The best part about making this at home is that you can completely customize it to your own preferences. Not a fan of dill pickles? Use bread and butter pickles, or even a spicy pickle. Add some more Dijon to give it extra kick, or leave it out for a milder sauce. The possibilities are endless.
Plus – this comes together in only 10 minutes! How awesome is that?!
What is Tartar Sauce?
Tartar sauce is a creamy, tangy mayonnaise-based condiment served with seafood, like shrimp, fried oysters, calamari, fish sandwiches, and fish & chips.
The main ingredients are mayonnaise and pickles, plus lemon juice, for a flavor that’s tangy, savory & sweet, all in one.
You’ll often find herbs such as dill or tarragon in tartar sauce, as well as other pickled items like capers or olives.
Less than 10 ingredients make up this easy tartar sauce recipe. Pickles, relish, dill, and a few other ingredients give it a varied, robust flavor that will make you almost want to eat it by the spoonful!
- Mayonnaise – Mayonnaise is the base of the tartar sauce. It makes the sauce creamy and rich.
- Dill pickles – I love the crunch and tart flavor that dill pickles add to this recipe. If you prefer bread & butter pickles for a sweeter flavor, use those instead. A spicy pickle would also be fun!
- Pickle relish – We’re using a combination of chopped pickles and pickle relish to add even more texture and flavor. Pickle relish adds a bit of sweetness and spice to the sauce.
- Lemon – Lemon goes so naturally with seafood. It adds acidity and freshness to brighten the creamy tartar sauce.
- Fresh dill – Fresh dill enhances the flavor of the pickles and pairs perfectly with seafood.
- Dijon mustard – A little Dijon adds a touch of heat and that classic mustard spice that pairs deliciously with pickles.
- Green onion – Green onion adds a bit of earthy fresh onion flavor.
- Salt & pepper
While I’ve chosen the ingredients for my favorite best flavor, there are other possibilities for what to include in your homemade tartar sauce to change the profile up a bit.
- Use different pickles. While dill pickles are most commonly used, bread & butter pickles, sweet pickles, or spicy pickles can also be used.
- Add capers. For a salty, tangy undertone try adding some capers.
- Stir in chopped onions. For even more variety in texture and flavor, mince a bit of onion (the smaller the better!) and throw that into the mix.
- Try adding Worcestershire sauce. For a more savory flavor, add a splash of Worcestershire sauce.
- Lighten it up. If you want a lighter version, try using light mayonnaise or yogurt. The flavor and creaminess will obviously be different, but it is an option if you want to experiment.
How to Make Tartar Sauce
Homemade tartar sauce is so easy to make, and really helps to elevate the eating experience.
- Combine the ingredients. Stir everything together in a bowl, adding salt and pepper to taste.
- Chill. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes or so, to give the flavors time to meld.
What to Serve It With
Tartar sauce pairs well with pretty much any seafood. Many people think of it mostly with fried or battered seafood, but it’s great with fish and seafood that’s grilled, roasted, and sautéed as well.
Think salmon patties, crab cakes, beer battered fish, fish sandwiches, popcorn shrimp, and grilled shrimp.
I’ve been making this sauce quite frequently to go with my air fryer shrimp. This easy shrimp recipe has become a go-to party appetizer – and a fun light Friday night meal for Blake and I. When we’re prepping together, both the shrimp and tartar sauce can be ready in about 30 minutes!
How Long Will This Last?
Homemade tartar sauce will keep well for up to 5 days in the fridge. Store in an airtight container and stir before serving.
Can I Make This in Advance?
In my opinion, the flavor is even better after the sauce has chilled for a day, so you can definitely make this in advance!
More Sauce Recipes:
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- 1 cup mayonnaise – I recommend Hellman’s
- ½ cup finely chopped dill pickles
- ¼ cup dill pickle relish (see notes)
- ½ lemon, juiced
- 2 teaspoons roughly chopped fresh dill
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 green onion, thinly sliced
- Kosher salt & ground black pepper, as needed
- In a medium bowl, stir together all the ingredients until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- If you have time, cover the tartar sauce and place it in the fridge to rest for 30 minutes. This will help all the flavors come together. If you’re in a rush, feel free to serve it immediately - it will still be delicious!
This can be made a day in advance.
Store leftovers in a covered container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 102Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 6mgSodium: 190mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Nutritionix. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your own favorite calculator.