Tartar Sauce

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The ultimate seafood condiment, this creamy tartar sauce is rich, tangy, and slightly sweet.

Spoon in a bowl of tartar sauce.

Tartar sauce is a rich seafood condiment made with mayonnaise, capers, chopped pickles, minced onion, and other seasonings. If you’ve been buying it at the supermarket, you’ll be delighted when you taste this homemade version. It’s easy to whip up and tastes infinitely better than the bottled stuff. Plus, it’s composed almost entirely of pantry staples; the only ingredients you’ll need to buy fresh are a lemon and shallot. The flavor of this tartar sauce is tangy and slightly sweet, thanks to the addition of briny capers, tart lemon juice, and sweet pickled relish. Serve tartar sauce with fish and chips, fried seafood, seafood sandwiches, crab cakes, or salmon cakes.

What You’ll Need To Make Homemade Tartar Sauce

tartar sauce ingredients

Step-by-Step Instructions

Begin by mincing the shallot and capers.

minced shallots, capers, and lemons on cutting board

In a medium bowl, combine the mayonnaise, capers, shallots, lemon juice, relish, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and pepper.

tartar sauce ingredients in mixing bowl

Stir to combine.

mixed tartar sauce

Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary. Homemade tartar sauce will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Spoon in a bowl of tartar sauce.You May Also Like

Tartar Sauce

The ultimate seafood condiment, this creamy tartar sauce is rich, tangy, and slightly sweet.

Servings: 1⅓ cups
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Total Time: 15 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup mayonnaise, best quality such as Hellmann's or Duke's
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained and chopped
  • 1½ tablespoons minced shallots (from 1 small shallot)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
  • 2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
  • ¾ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, capers, shallots, lemon juice, relish, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  2. Make-Ahead Instructions: The tartar sauce will keep in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Serving size: 2 tablespoons
  • Calories: 165
  • Fat: 18 g
  • Saturated fat: 3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 2 g
  • Sugar: 1 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 0 g
  • Sodium: 205 mg
  • Cholesterol: 9 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Gluten-Free Adaptable Note

To the best of my knowledge, all of the ingredients used in this recipe are gluten-free or widely available in gluten-free versions. There is hidden gluten in many foods; if you're following a gluten-free diet or cooking for someone with gluten allergies, always read the labels of your ingredients to verify that they are gluten-free.

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Comments

  • Hi Jen,
    Love your recipes! The Shrimp Burgers look fabulous and I was looking at your Tartar Sauce recipe to do with it. I noticed you don’t list salt in the ingredients, however in the steps at the end you say to add salt. Was this an error or would it be “if needed” after tasting?
    Thank you for so many wonderful recipes!!!

    • — Maryann on April 15, 2024
    • Reply
    • So glad you like the recipes! Oops — the recipe doesn’t contain any salt; that’s a typo that I’ve fixed. Thanks so much for pointing it out!

      • — Jenn on April 16, 2024
      • Reply
  • Made this for the shrimp burgers and it was so good, making it again for some crunchy baked cod. This sauce is really delicious, more flavourful than just mayo and relish. Absolutely a must for any fish dish.

    • — Neil on January 23, 2024
    • Reply
  • I don’t know if I left a review earlier, if so, this is another tribute. Disappointed in jarred tartar sauces, I decided to make my own. So glad I found this recipe. I didn’t realize I already have the ingredients in my frig and pantry. This recipe is a perfect blend and compliments any fish served along side. It is my go to tartar sauce now.

    • — Jude on January 7, 2024
    • Reply
  • Amazing!! By far the best tarter sauce I have ever made 😋.
    Thank you so much for sharing!

    • — Susana Roeder on July 20, 2023
    • Reply
  • We took my husband to a beachside seafood shack for Father’s Day. We’d been there before and I remember enjoying their whole belly clams but feeling the tartar sauce was underwhelming compared to our favorite restaurant for clams (The Park Lunch in Newburyport, Ma). So I whipped up your tartar recipe and added a little agave (we like it a little on the sweet side). It blew the restaurant’s tartar away. To say your recipes are restaurant quality is underselling them. My husband told my mother in law he no longer gets excited to eat out because the OUAC recipes I use to make his favorite dishes at home always come out better than any restaurant. Thank you for such a stellar collection of recipes!! We adore your cookbooks as well!

    • — Shannon C on June 19, 2023
    • Reply
    • ❤️❤️

      • — Jenn on June 19, 2023
      • Reply
  • I am very particular about tartar sauce and this recipe is a 10+! I substituted Jenn’s fabulous dill pickles for the sweet pickle relish and the results are fabulous. I will never use another recipe or purchase a jar of tartar sauce from the grocery store. Once again, thank you for an excellent recipe, Jenn!

    • — Mary on April 22, 2023
    • Reply
  • Made as directed (only cut in 1/2 for 2 people). I used an immersion blender to blend it smooth and distribute the flavors more evenly ….. DELICIOUS!

    • — Cheryl J on January 6, 2023
    • Reply
  • It’s the BEST tartar sauce I’ve ever had!

    • — Robbie Medlin on June 15, 2022
    • Reply
  • Amazing recipe! I found myself craving fish and chips with tartar sauce, and didn’t want to buy any from the store because they usually include inflammatory oils. So, I whipped up some mayo with avocado oil, and made this recipe. It was delicious! Thank you for all of the amazing recipes, Jenn. I have tried many of your recipes… and I own every cookbook you wrote. All are spot on in flavor.

    • — Van on June 9, 2022
    • Reply
  • This recipe is in Jenn’s first book. I like to make the sauce more as a dressing, so I use all of the juice from a lemon. I also prefer claussen’s kosher pickles so I chop up some pickles instead of using sweet relish. I also purée it in a mini blender to get the right consistency and to blend the ingredients better.

    • — Sonia on June 9, 2022
    • Reply

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