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Homemade Tartar Sauce

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Homemade Tartar Sauce is a delicious condiment that is so easy to make and comes together in under 5 minutes. With just 6 simple ingredients, you’ll want to keep it in the fridge all the time. 

finished tartar sauce in glass jar

It’s no secret that I never learned to cook until I was an adult. And when I did learn, I relied almost exclusively on store-bought sauces because I believed that sauces were difficult to make. Since pre-made sauces were so readily available at the grocery, there was no need to tempt fate.

One of the very first sauces I mastered was for my Asian Quinoa Meatballs. Once I realized my fears were unfounded, I was on a mission. They almost always taste better, I know exactly what’s in them, and I can make what I need so there’s less waste.

Last summer I made a fabulous Coconut Milk Ranch Dressing, and I recently made my first Italian sauce, Easy Homemade Marinara Sauce.

Whenever I eat fried fish, I need to have tartar sauce for dipping. It’s kind of like ketchup for french fries. But I also have this bad habit with store-bought sauces. I buy them with great plans to create numerous recipes to use it all. Then it sits in the fridge, at most half-used, until I clean out the fridge and throw the expired sauce away.

So one day at the grocery store I looked at the tartar sauce ingredients and decided I could make my own Homemade Tartar Sauce

WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS
  • It’s an easy recipe with only 6 ingredients
  • You know exactly what’s in it, and you can make just the amount you need
  • It’s a great condiment for a wide variety of dishes
overhead shot of tartar sauce with closeup of sauce on spoon
INGREDIENT TIPS FOR HOMEMADE TARTAR SAUCE

Use real mayonnaise or Avocado Oil Mayo. I usually use avocado oil mayo, but when I’m feeling indulgent I’ll use Duke’s Mayonnaise because I love the taste.  

Do not use imitation mayo, as it completely changes the flavor of the sauce

Greek yogurt adds such a wonderful tart bite. It’s also a great way to lighten up the sauce, rather than using all mayonnaise.

I always have Bread & Butter Pickles in the fridge, so that’s what I use. But really any tart pickle will do the trick

I tried fresh garlic, but it’s a little too powerful for Homemade Tartar Sauce. So I use garlic powder, and it adds just the right amount of flavor.

Lemons are plentiful all year long and inexpensive, so use real lemon juice and zest. And when you’re done with the lemons, toss them in the garbage disposal for a natural cleaner.

It’s rare to find big bunches of fresh dill at the grocery store, but most stores do sell it in small packages in the “convenience” section of the produce aisle.

Let Homemade Tartar Sauce rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before using. This allows the flavors to fully develop.

STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTIONS FOR HOMEMADE TARTAR SAUCE

Chop pickles into very small dice (PIC 1), and mince fresh dill (PIC 2)

shots of pickles; pickle slices on left, diced pickles on right
overhead shots of dill; dill leaves on left, minced dill on right

In a medium bowl, combine mayonnaise, Greek yogurt, pickles, and fresh dill (PIC 3). Squeeze in fresh lemon juice, and mix well to combine

overhead shot of all tartar sauce ingredients in bowl with ingredients listed
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS: 

Can I make substitutions? Of course you can, and below are a few simple tips to make the recipe your own:

  • Add minced onions or shallots
  • Use Capers or Pickle Relish instead of pickles
  • Swap out fresh parsley and/or chives for the fresh dill
  • Add a little Dijon Mustard
  • Instead of garlic powder, try some smashed roasted garlic

Is tartar sauce just for seafood? Not even close! Try it with french fries, hush puppies, as a sandwich spread, or even with deviled eggs. Be creative!

How long will Homemade Tartar Sauce last? 2-3 weeks in the fridge in an airtight container. Mix well before using each time, just in case the ingredients have begun to separate.

picture of tartar sauce in sealed Mason jar for storage in fridge
WHAT TO SERVE WITH HOMEMADE TARTAR SAUCE
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Homemade Tartar Sauce

Homemade Tartar Sauce

Yield: 8 ounces
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Homemade Tartar Sauce is a delicious condiment that is so easy to make and ready in under 5 minutes. With just 6 simple ingredients, you'll want to keep it in the fridge all the time. It's most commonly used with fried seafood, but it's also great with french fries, as a sandwich spread, or even with deviled eggs. 

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, combine mayonnaise, yogurt, pickles, garlic powder, dill, and lemon juice. Mix well
  2. Store in fridge for 30 minutes before using, to develop flavors

Notes

Do not use imitation mayo! This will completely change the flavor of the sauce. You can use Real Mayonnaise or Avocado Oil Mayo. For the real mayonnaise you can use full-fat, light or fat free.

Let the sauce rest for at least 30 minutes, so the flavors can develop

Keep extra sauce in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks

Mix well before using each time

Substitution ideas

  • Add minced onions or shallots
  • Use Capers or Pickle Relish instead of pickles
  • Swap out fresh parsley and/or chives for the fresh dill 
  • Add a little Dijon Mustard
  • Instead of garlic powder, try smashed roasted garlic
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1oz
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 121Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 6mgSodium: 116mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 0gSugar: 4gProtein: 2g

Nutrient values are estimates only. Variations may occur due to product availability and food preparation. Nutrition may vary based on methods of preparation, origin and freshness of ingredients, etc

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Jacquelyn Hastert

Monday 18th of March 2019

Homemade tartar sauce is the best and you have timed this perfectly with lent! Whenever I can toss out the jar and make homemade I do so.

Karyl

Wednesday 27th of March 2019

Thanks Jacquelyn! I have a jar of it in my fridge right now, and just keep making excuses to make fish so I can use it!

Deseree

Monday 18th of March 2019

Just in time for all the fish I’ll be eating during lent. I’ll be mixing it up this week.

Karyl

Wednesday 27th of March 2019

Thanks Deseree! I hope you love it as much as I do

Leanne | Crumb Top Baking

Sunday 17th of March 2019

I never thought to make homemade tartar sauce. Love how easy this is! This would be perfect on top of homemade salmon burgers that I make. I definitely need to keep this stashed in my fridge!

Amanda Mason

Sunday 17th of March 2019

I hated tartar sauce as a child and teen but as an adult I can't live without it! Love dill and loving that this is only 6 ingredients!! How long with this keep in the fridge? Definitely making this!!

Pearl Rodrigues

Saturday 16th of March 2019

I love tartar sauce when served with fish fingers however never tried making it myself. But this looks so easy and I have all the ingredients required to make it so giving it a shot

Karyl

Wednesday 27th of March 2019

Thanks Pearl! I hope you love it as much as I do

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