A Step-by-Step Easy Recipe How to Make Tartar Sauce

Welcome to the world of tartar sauce! If you’re a seafood lover, you’re in for a treat. Tartar sauce is a versatile and delightful condiment that enhances the flavors of your favorite fish and seafood dishes. Whether you’re enjoying crispy fish and chips, succulent grilled shrimp, or a perfectly seared salmon fillet, tartar sauce is the perfect companion.

Making your own tartar sauce at home allows you to customize the flavors and achieve a freshness that surpasses store-bought options. In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of creating a delectable tartar sauce from scratch. You’ll learn the secrets to achieving that perfect balance of creaminess, tanginess, and a hint of zesty goodness.

What is Tartar Sauce?

Before we embark on our tartar sauce-making journey, let’s take a moment to understand this delectable condiment. Tartar sauce is a cool and creamy sauce that serves as a popular accompaniment to seafood dishes. It is known for its tangy and zesty flavor profile, which beautifully complements the natural sweetness and delicate texture of seafood.

At its core, tartar sauce consists of a mayonnaise-based mixture infused with a variety of ingredients. While the exact recipe may vary, common additions include finely chopped pickles or gherkins, capers, onions, fresh lemon juice, and a selection of herbs and spices. The combination of these elements creates a harmonious blend of flavors that adds a delightful contrast to seafood’s richness.

The origin of tartar sauce can be traced back to various culinary traditions, but it gained prominence in Western cuisines, particularly in seafood-centric regions. Today, it has

Traditional Tartar Sauce Recipe

Step 1:
Gather the following ingredients:

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped pickles
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped capers
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon fresh dill, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Step 2:
In a mixing bowl, combine the mayonnaise, finely chopped pickles, capers, onion, fresh lemon juice, Dijon mustard, and fresh dill.

Step 3:
Mix the ingredients well until they are thoroughly incorporated. Taste the mixture and add salt and pepper according to your preference. Remember to season conservatively at first, as you can always add more later.

Step 4:
Once the tartar sauce is well-mixed and seasoned, cover the bowl and refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes. This allows the flavors to meld together and develop their full potential.

Step 5:
After refrigeration, give the tartar sauce a final taste test and adjust the seasoning if needed.

Step 6:
Your traditional tartar sauce is now ready to be enjoyed! Serve it alongside your favorite seafood dishes such as fried fish, grilled shrimp, or fish tacos. Store any remaining sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Quick and Easy Tartar Sauce Recipe

Step 1:
Gather the following ingredients:

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Step 2:
In a bowl, combine the mayonnaise, sweet pickle relish, freshly squeezed lemon juice, and Dijon mustard. Mix them together until well combined.

Step 3:
Taste the mixture and season with salt and pepper according to your preference. Remember to start with a small amount of seasoning and adjust as needed.

Step 4:
Once the tartar sauce is well mixed and seasoned, cover the bowl and refrigerate it for at least 15 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.

Step 5:
After refrigeration, give the tartar sauce a quick stir and taste it again. Adjust the seasoning if necessary.

Step 6:
Your quick and easy tartar sauce is now ready to enhance your seafood dishes! Serve it alongside fish and chips, fish sandwiches, or any other seafood delicacy you desire. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.

This simplified recipe provides a convenient option for those who crave tartar sauce but have limited time. Feel free to experiment with additional ingredients such as chopped capers, minced onion, or fresh herbs to customize the flavor to your liking.

Homemade Tartar Sauce Ingredients

To create your own homemade tartar sauce, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • Mayonnaise:
    1 cup
  • Pickles or Gherkins:
    2 tablespoons, finely chopped
  • Capers:
    1 tablespoon, finely chopped
  • Onion:
    1 tablespoon, finely chopped
  • Fresh Lemon Juice:
    1 tablespoon
  • Dijon Mustard:
    1 teaspoon
  • Fresh Dill:
    1 teaspoon, chopped
  • Salt and Pepper:
    to taste

Mayonnaise serves as the creamy base of the tartar sauce, providing a smooth and luscious texture. For the tangy and flavorful elements, finely chopped pickles or gherkins, capers, and onions are incorporated. These ingredients add a delightful crunch and zesty bite to the sauce.

Fresh lemon juice contributes a vibrant citrusy note, enhancing the overall tanginess. Dijon mustard provides a subtle kick and depth of flavor. Fresh dill, with its herbaceous and slightly sweet taste, adds a refreshing touch to the sauce.

Lastly, salt and pepper are used to season the tartar sauce according to personal preference. It’s advisable to start with a modest amount of seasoning and adjust accordingly, as you can always add more later.

Step-by-Step Guide to Making Tartar Sauce

Step 1:
Gather all the ingredients listed in the recipe, including mayonnaise, pickles or gherkins, capers, onion, fresh lemon juice, Dijon mustard, fresh dill, salt, and pepper.

Step 2:
In a mixing bowl, combine 1 cup of mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons of finely chopped pickles or gherkins, 1 tablespoon of finely chopped capers, 1 tablespoon of finely chopped onion, 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice, 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard, and 1 teaspoon of fresh dill.

Step 3:
Mix all the ingredients together until they are well combined. Ensure that the chopped pickles, capers, and onions are evenly distributed throughout the mixture.

Step 4:
Taste the tartar sauce and season it with salt and pepper according to your preference. Start with a small amount and gradually add more if desired, tasting as you go.

Step 5:
Once the sauce is seasoned to your liking, cover the bowl with plastic wrap or transfer it to an airtight container.

Step 6:
Refrigerate the tartar sauce for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together and develop. This chilling time also helps the sauce to thicken slightly.

Step 7:
After the refrigeration period, give the tartar sauce a final taste test and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

Variations and Additions to Tartar Sauce

Tartar sauce is a versatile condiment that invites experimentation and customization. Once you have mastered the traditional tartar sauce recipe, you can explore various variations and additions to suit your taste preferences. Here are some ideas to elevate your tartar sauce game:

  1. Spicy Kick:
    Add a touch of heat to your tartar sauce by incorporating ingredients like minced jalapeños or a dash of hot sauce. Adjust the amount according to your desired level of spiciness.
  2. Herb-infused:
    Experiment with different herbs to enhance the flavor profile of your tartar sauce. Consider adding fresh parsley, chives, tarragon, or basil for an aromatic twist.
  3. Sweet and Tangy:
    For a slightly sweeter and tangier tartar sauce, mix in a teaspoon of honey or a splash of pickle juice. This adds a delightful balance to the overall taste.
  4. Creamy Avocado:
    Mash half an avocado and blend it into the tartar sauce for a creamy and velvety texture. This variation adds a subtle richness and a vibrant green color.
  5. Zesty Citrus:
    Incorporate zest from a lemon or lime to infuse your tartar sauce with a bright and refreshing citrus note. This adds an extra layer of complexity to the flavor profile.
  6. Crunchy Texture:
    For those who enjoy a crunch in every bite, consider adding some finely chopped celery or grated carrot to the tartar sauce. This provides texture and a subtle sweetness.

Remember, these variations can be combined or adjusted to suit your personal taste preferences. Feel free to get creative and try new ingredients that complement your seafood dishes.

Tips for Storing Tartar Sauce

Proper storage is essential to maintain the freshness and quality of your tartar sauce. Here are some tips to help you store your tartar sauce effectively:

  1. Refrigerate promptly:
    After preparing your tartar sauce, make sure to refrigerate it promptly. This helps prevent bacterial growth and ensures food safety. Place the tartar sauce in an airtight container before placing it in the refrigerator.
  2. Seal tightly:
    When storing tartar sauce, ensure that the container is tightly sealed to prevent air and moisture from entering. This helps to maintain the flavor and consistency of the sauce.
  3. Label and date:
    To keep track of the freshness, it’s a good practice to label the container with the date it was prepared. This allows you to monitor its shelf life and use it within a reasonable timeframe.
  4. Consume within a week:
    Homemade tartar sauce is best consumed within a week of preparation. While it may still be safe to consume beyond that time, the flavors and quality may start to deteriorate.
  5. Avoid cross-contamination:
    To prevent cross-contamination, use a clean spoon or utensil every time you scoop out the tartar sauce. This helps maintain the integrity of the sauce and minimizes the risk of spoilage.
  6. Freeze for longer storage:
    If you have a surplus of tartar sauce, you can freeze it in a freezer-safe container. Ensure the container is airtight and leave some headspace for expansion. Frozen tartar sauce can be stored for up to 2-3 months. Thaw it in the refrigerator before using and give it a good stir to regain its consistency.

By following these storage tips, you can enjoy your homemade tartar sauce for an extended period while ensuring its freshness and quality. Now that you know how to store your tartar sauce properly, let’s move on to the next section.

Serving Suggestions and Pairings

Tartar sauce is a versatile condiment that pairs well with a variety of seafood dishes. Here are some serving suggestions and pairing ideas to enhance your culinary experience:

  1. Fish and Chips:
    Tartar sauce is a classic accompaniment to fish and chips. Serve it alongside crispy battered fish and golden fries for a delightful combination of flavors and textures.
  2. Seafood Burgers:
    Whether it’s a salmon burger, shrimp burger, or a fish fillet sandwich, tartar sauce adds a creamy and tangy element that complements the savory seafood patty. Spread it on the bun or serve it on the side for dipping.
  3. Grilled Seafood:
    Brush tartar sauce onto grilled fish, shrimp, or scallops for a burst of flavor. The creamy and tangy sauce pairs well with the smoky and charred notes from the grill.
  4. Seafood Tacos:
    Create a refreshing twist on your favorite seafood tacos by topping them with tartar sauce. The creamy sauce adds a cool and zesty element that balances the spices and flavors in the tacos.
  5. Seafood Salad:
    Use tartar sauce as a dressing for seafood salads. Its creamy consistency coats the ingredients, enhancing their flavors while adding a tangy kick.
  6. Seafood Dipping Sauce:
    Serve tartar sauce as a dipping sauce for a seafood platter. It complements a variety of seafood, such as shrimp, crab cakes, calamari, and more. The tanginess and creaminess elevate the flavors of the seafood bites.
  7. Sandwiches and Wraps:
    Spread tartar sauce on sandwiches or wraps with seafood fillings, such as tuna, lobster, or crab. It adds a creamy and tangy element, enhancing the overall taste of the sandwich.

Remember, tartar sauce is a versatile condiment, and you can experiment with various dishes to discover unique pairings that suit your taste preferences. Don’t be afraid to get creative and try it with different seafood options to find your perfect combination.


Congratulations on mastering the art of making tartar sauce! By following the step-by-step guide, exploring variations, and learning about storage and serving suggestions, you are now equipped to create and enjoy this versatile condiment.

Homemade tartar sauce allows you to tailor the flavors to your liking and elevate your seafood dishes to new heights. Whether you prefer the traditional recipe or enjoy experimenting with different ingredients, tartar sauce adds a tangy, creamy, and zesty touch that enhances the overall dining experience.

Remember to use fresh ingredients, adjust the seasoning to taste, and refrigerate any leftovers promptly. With proper storage and creativity, your homemade tartar sauce will continue to bring joy and flavor to your meals.

So, the next time you savor a delicious fish and chips platter, grilled seafood, or a seafood sandwich, reach for your homemade tartar sauce and relish in the satisfaction of creating a condiment that perfectly complements your dish.

Now it’s time to put your knowledge into practice and let your taste buds rejoice with the delectable tang of homemade tartar sauce. Enjoy your culinary adventures, and may your seafood dishes always be accompanied by a delightful dollop of tartar sauce!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the content of tartar sauce?
A: Tartar sauce typically consists of mayonnaise as a base, combined with ingredients such as pickles or gherkins, capers, onions, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, and fresh herbs. These ingredients contribute to the tangy and creamy flavor profile of tartar sauce.

Q: What can I use if I don’t have tartar sauce?
A: If you don’t have tartar sauce on hand, you can create a simple alternative by mixing mayonnaise with chopped pickles or gherkins, a squeeze of lemon juice, and a pinch of salt. This makeshift version can provide a similar flavor profile in a pinch.

Q: Is tartare sauce the same as tartar sauce?
A: While the names may sound similar, tartare sauce and tartar sauce are different condiments. Tartare sauce is a cold sauce typically made with mayonnaise, capers, gherkins, and various herbs, often used as a condiment for steak tartare. On the other hand, tartar sauce, as discussed in this article, is a mayonnaise-based sauce commonly served with seafood dishes.

Q: Why is tartar sauce so good?
A: Tartar sauce is highly regarded for its delicious taste due to its creamy texture, tangy flavor, and the combination of ingredients like pickles, capers, and onions. These elements provide a pleasant contrast and enhance the overall experience of consuming seafood dishes.

Q: Is tartar sauce halal?
A: The halal status of tartar sauce can vary depending on the ingredients used. It is essential to check the specific brand or recipe to ensure that the ingredients used are halal certified or permissible according to Islamic dietary guidelines.

Q: How does Gordon Ramsay make tartar sauce?
A: Gordon Ramsay’s tartar sauce recipe typically includes ingredients such as mayonnaise, cornichons (small pickles), capers, fresh chives, fresh parsley, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, and seasoning. His recipe emphasizes the importance of finely chopping the ingredients for a well-balanced texture.

Q: Why is it called tartar sauce?
A: The origin of the name “tartar sauce” is not definitive. One theory suggests that it was named after the Tatar people, who were known for their love of savory and tangy foods. Another theory suggests it may be linked to the word “tartare,” which refers to raw or lightly cooked food, as tartar sauce often accompanies seafood.

Q: Does tartar sauce contain garlic?
A: Traditional tartar sauce recipes do not typically include garlic. However, variations and personal preferences may lead to the addition of garlic in some homemade recipes. It’s always a good idea to check the specific recipe or inquire about the ingredients if you have concerns about garlic content.

A Step-by-Step Easy Recipe How to Make Tartar Sauce