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Homemade Tartar Sauce Recipe

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Homemade tartar sauce is super easy to make, which is why I rarely purchase it already made. You only need a few ingredients that you probably already have.

Easy Tartar Sauce for Fish and Other Seafood

Small bowl of tartar sauce with a spoon and towel

Tartar sauce is delicious on seafood, such as this pecan-crusted fish that I make or these tasty salmon patties from Back to My Southern Roots.

The sauce adds a creamy texture to whatever you put it on. After you make it the first time, you can adjust the ingredients to suit your own taste.

Although you can purchase it already made, there is no need since it’s so easy to make from scratch.

It only takes a few minutes, and you can whip it up while the fish cooks. Or you can prepare it in advance and stick it in the fridge to chill for a while.

Homemade Tartar Sauce Ingredients

As I already mentioned, you don’t need many ingredients. In fact, you can get by with only three or four.

But I like to add a little bit more for extra flavor. I use mayonnaise, mustard, sweet pickle relish, and lemon or lime juice.

Lemon, sweet pickle relish, mustard, and mayonnaise

You can also add cayenne, Old Bay seasoning, dill, Italian seasoning blend, or any other seasonings you enjoy.

Also, if you prefer dill pickles over sweet, swap them out. Or you might want to mix a little of both to add even more depth of flavor.

However, if you want to go the other way and make it sweeter, add a little sugar or honey.

My motto in the kitchen is to take a basic recipe and make it your own. If your family likes your adjustments, make sure you jot down the recipe so you always have it.

I’m all about experimenting in the kitchen. In fact, that’s how new recipes get their start.

If you have kids or grandkids, they’ll cherish your recipes. In fact, some of the foods my grandmothers cooked are still among my favorites.

For the exact measurements of each ingredient and full directions on how to make this tartar sauce, go to the recipe card at the bottom of the page. You can even print out the card by using the “print” button.

How to Make Homemade Tartar Sauce

This is so easy anyone can do it in about 5 minutes.

First, in a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, mustard, and pickle relish. If you don’t like sweet pickles, use dill pickle relish.

Mayonnaise, mustard, and pickle relish in a bowl before mixing

Stir until well mixed.

It’s actually good enough to serve now, but I like to add another ingredient.

Mayonnaise, mustard, and relish mixed

Next, add the lemon or lime juice.

This ingredient is optional, but I think that a little bit of it adds a lot of flavor.

Lemon juice added to the mixture

If you want to add any other seasonings, you can do so at any time. You can also make a couple of flavors of tartar sauce to suit different people’s tastes.

I chose to add some Old Bay seasoning because I’m going to serve it with a very mild fish.

Old Bay seasoning beside basic tartar sauce mixture

After you sprinkle a little on top, stir it into the mixture.

Then taste it to see if you need to add more.

Old Bay seasoning sprinkled over tartar sauce mixture before stirring

Finally, refrigerate the tartar sauce until you’re ready to use it.

I think it’s best after a couple of hours, when all the flavors have had a chance to hang out together.

Homemade tartar sauce, spoon, and towel on a cheese board

It should be good for up to a couple of days.

However, you probably won’t have any left after the first day.

Bowl of homemade tartar sauce

More Recipes

Another seafood you might want to serve this tartar sauce is these Nashville fish fingers from South Your mouth. The sauce will add another delicious element to the dish.

Speaking of fish, I make this delicious parmesan pesto tilapia. The combination of flavors eliminates the need for any sauce, but you can still add more if you like.

Although we love all kinds of seafood at our house, we also enjoy a variety of other food. One of our most recent favorites is this savory beef and rice casserole. I like it because it’s easy to make.

Another recipe we enjoy is this Italian chicken zucchini casserole. It delivers a powerful flavor with only a few ingredients.

See this recipe shared at Weekend Potluck, Meal Plan Monday, and Full Plate Thursday.

Yield: 4 servings

Homemade Tartar Sauce

Bowl of tartar sauce

Serve this homemade tartar sauce with any type of fish.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes


  • 1/3 cup of mayonnaise
  • 1/2 teaspoon of prepared mustard
  • 1 tablespoon of sweet pickle relish
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon or lime juice


    1. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, mustard, and pickle relish. Stir until it is well mixed.
    2. Add the lemon or lime juice and stir again.
    3. If you want to add more seasonings, do it now.


If you want to add more flavor to your tartar sauce, try cayenne, Old Bay seasoning, dill, Italian seasoning blend, or any other spice you enjoy. Start out with a pinch of extra seasoning and add if you think you need more.

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Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 132Total Fat 14gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 11gCholesterol 8mgSodium 153mgCarbohydrates 3gFiber 0gSugar 1gProtein 0g

The nutrition information is a product of online calculators. I try to provide true and accurate information, but these numbers are estimates.

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