Learn how to make tartar sauce with this easy recipe. In 5 minutes you’ll have a rich, tangy, and creamy homemade tartar sauce to pair with your favorite dish.
I don’t know about you, but I like to make as much as I can right here at home since relying on grocery stores these days can be disappointing. So my latest recipe for homemade tartar sauce will save you from that disappointment and keep your family smiling.
And it truly is really easy. All you need to do is gather the ingredients and mix them together. It takes an eclectic mix of tangy, zesty, and spicy ingredients to make tartar sauce. This includes mayonnaise, dill pickle, lemon juice, paprika, Worcestershire sauce, and Dijon mustard. But combined, they make a deliciously creamy and flavorful Southern tartar sauce.
I bet your next supper featuring fried catfish or a similar will just be begging for some homemade tartar sauce to give them that little extra something-something. And don’t get me started on how much I love dipping my favorite fries in this stuff! Try it with our roasted sweet potato wedges, parmesan oven fries, or baked zucchini fries and your life will never be the same again!
But be careful with this y’all. You just might not ever want to buy store-bought sauce ever again. Now enough of that, let’s get to this easy tartar sauce. If you want to skip ahead to the printable recipe card, they may even be a video down there with step-by-step visual instructions too. I’ve got all bases covered for y’all today!
- Chopped dill pickles
- Lemon juice (you can use lime juice if you are feeling a little crazy ☺)
- Worcestershire sauce
- Dijon mustard
- Salt and black pepper
- Chopped fresh dill or parsley (optional)
How to Make Tartar Sauce
Combine the mayonnaise, pickles, lemon juice, paprika, dill, Worcestershire sauce, and mustard in a small bowl.
Stir until well blended and creamy.
Add a bit of salt and pepper.
Taste and if you are so inclined this is where you add more lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
I like to let the flavors set in so I recommend covering this bad boy tight and storing it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
But if you have time, I highly recommend storing overnight to let all the different flavors mingle together.
Mmm, nothing better than homemade tartar sauce and my parmesan oven fries!
Leftover tartar sauce can last up to a week in the fridge. Simply store it in an airtight container like a mason jar. I don’t recommend freezing.
- Feel free to add more lemon juice or lime juice after a little taste test.
- For a lighter sauce, use light mayonnaise, Greek yogurt, sour cream, or plain yogurt.
- Here are a few more optional additions and variations to make this recipe your own:
- 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar.
- 2 tablespoons of finely chopped or grated onion.
- 2 tablespoons of finely chopped green onion.
- 1 teaspoon of chopped capers.
- 1 tablespoon of finely chopped olives.
- Substitute the chopped pickle with a couple of tablespoons of sweet pickle relish.
- The optional fresh herbs could be fresh dill (or dried dill), fresh parsley, or fresh tarragon.
What is basic tartar sauce made of?
Tartar sauce is a condiment made of mayonnaise, chopped pickles or relish, capers, lemon juice, and fresh herbs like tarragon or dill. It’s typically served with seafood like fish and chips or fried oysters.
Does tartar sauce taste like mayo?
While the sauce does have a creamy mayo base, it’s definitely tangier than ordinary mayo thanks to the addition of lemon juice, fresh dill, and chopped pickle.
What do you serve with this homemade tartar sauce recipe?
I did include a few serving suggestions at the beginning of this post. But this sauce pairs perfectly with your favorite seafood, like fried cod fillets, catfish, , fried fish sticks for the kids, or my Southern salmon patties. Make your own McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish burger with our homemade sauce and your favorite type of fish fillet fried.
You can also use it as a dipping sauce with your favorite Southern side dishes, like ranch-fried chicken tenders, fried green tomatoes, onion ring chaffles, sweet potato wedges, or hush puppies.
Is tartar sauce only for fish?
Absolutely not! As you can see above, transform this sauce into a tartar dip and enjoy it with your favorite Southern sides.
How do you make spicy tartar sauce?
This sauce already has a bit of a kick thanks to the paprika. But if you want to take spicy tartar sauce to the next level, you can substitute the paprika for 1.5 teaspoons of Cajun seasoning or cayenne pepper or 1 tablespoon of the hot sauce of your choice. This might be Sriracha or Tabasco. Start small and adjust according to taste. You may even want to go even spicier!
Can you make tartar sauce with a different type of mustard?
Absolutely. Tartar sauce with mustard can include Dijon mustard, spicy mustard, wholegrain mustard, or regular yellow mustard. The choice is yours.
What is Mcdonald’s tartar sauce made of?
You only need 4 ingredients for this copycat recipe: mayonnaise, sugar, pickle relish, and finely chopped white onion. It has the same base as this recipe but with a more sweet than savory undertone.
Should this sauce be warm or cold?
It tastes best when served chilled.
How do I make the sauce thinner?
If you don’t like the sauce’s thick and chunky consistency (thank you, chopped pickle), you can easily puree it using a food processor, blender, or immersion blender. Just combine all of the ingredients, blend them, and then adjust the seasonings according to your taste.
Here are some more delectable dips and sauces:
Comeback Sauce (3 Ingredients Only)
Homemade Thousand Island Dressing
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup chopped dill pickle
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice or lime juice
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 to 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
- salt and black pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh dill or parsley optional
- Combine the mayonnaise, pickles, lemon juice, paprika, dill, Worcestershire sauce, and mustard in a small bowl and stir until well blended and creamy.1/2 cup mayonnaise, 1/2 cup chopped dill pickle, 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice, 1 tsp paprika, 1/2 to 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard, 1 tbsp chopped fresh dill or parsley
- Add a bit of salt and pepper. Taste and if you are so inclined this is where you add more lemon juice, salt, and pepper.salt and black pepper to taste
- I like to let the flavors set in so I recommend covering this bad boy tight and storing it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Can last up to a week in the fridge.
I don’t like tartar sauce but my husband does, but would have to leave out the parsley and try the dill
I think this sounds better than the recipe I have. I will try it soon.
I can’t wait to try this! Especially with a few added capers. Its really going to jazz up our fish lunches.
love tartar sauce cant wait try it always wanted to make homemade sauce thankyou
I’m not a huge fan of tarter sauce but this one looks pretty good. I prefer malt vinegar with my fish.
My recipe for homemade tartar sauce is very similar but I use sweet pickle relish in place of the dill pickles but I still use fresh dill. I enjoy the sweet and savory combination.
When making it to use with shrimp, I use smoked paprika rather than the plain.