How To Make Tartar Sauce

A French sauce spelled tartare sauce in South Africa, New Zealand, the UK, Australia, and other parts of the Commonwealth is a common condiment. It is served with seafood dishes such as clam strips, fish sandwiches, fish and chips, fish fingers, fried oysters, and other dishes including French fries or schnitzels. There are a lot of varieties of tartar sauce such as spicy tartar sauce, healthy tartar sauce, sweet dill tartar sauce, and much more. 

Tartar sauce is a condiment or dip sauce that can be used for as long as six months. It can happen only if you keep it refrigerated. You can use it for seafood dips or other dishes. 

How To Make Tartar Sauce

1. Tartar Sauce Origin 

Tartar sauce got its name from French Sauce Tartare. It is named after a tribe known as Tatar. Tatar is an umbrella term used for different Turkic ethnic groups. They came from Eurasian Steppe to occupy the parts of Russia and Ukraine. Tartars were the ones to introduce Hamburg Steak. It was a minced mean that was eaten raw. The sauce used on Hamburg Steak was known as Tartar Sauce. 

2. Tartar Sauce Ingredients 

The main ingredients of Tartar sauce are:

  • Mayonnaise
  • Egg yolk 
  • Mustard 
  • Vinegar 
  • Bitartrate
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic 
  • Lemon juice 
  • Pickles 
  • Tarragon 

All of the ingredients mentioned above are not added in one place, but a mixture of the ingredients can be used to make a tartar sauce. In the UK, the tartar recipe includes gherkins, capers, dill, and lemon juice. In US recipes, tartar sauce is prepared with onions or chives, dill pickles, and fresh parsley. 

Olives and chopped hard-boiled eggs are added for making tartar sauce. Also, cocktail onions and Dijon Mustard are added with the main ingredients. Tartar sauce is almost like Remoulade with mayonnaise as the main ingredient. The yellowish color of remoulade comes from curry, piccalilli, or pickles. Also, it contains paprika, capers, horseradish, anchovies, and other items used for serving meat. 

Nutrition Facts

All of the values are based on a 2,000-calorie diet. The values could be lower or higher depending on the consumption and need for calories in daily life. 

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Tartar Recipes

1. Making Tartar Sauce from Scratch

You probably have all the ingredients in your kitchen to make tartar sauce from scratch. 

  • Mayonnaise: It is the main ingredient and provides a creamy base. To make tartar sauce, store-bought mayonnaise would be perfect for the best tartar sauce. Otherwise, you can use homemade mayonnaise
  • Pickles: Pickles are added to the tartar sauce for crunch and flavor. You can use dill pickles. Also, refrigerated Claussen pickles would be perfect for the tartar sauce. If you want a sweet style, you can use sweet pickles or bread and butter. 
  • Fresh Lemon Juice: Using fresh lemon juice in the tartar sauce recipe is essential. It thins the sauce out. It makes the sauce perfect for consistent dipping. Also, it gives tartar sauce a fresh and spicy flavor, zestier. 
  • Capers: Capers are an optional ingredient in tartar sauce making. Plus, you are not always having them in your kitchen. You can add capers in tartar sauce for more flavor. When it is mixed with lemon and herbs, it works wonders. 
  • Fresh or dried dill: Fresh or dried dill is added to tartar sauce because of the flavor and importance of the sauce. If you are not having dill; you can use parsley that is a good alternative. 
  • Worcestershire Sauce: It is not a usual ingredient added to tartar sauce. You can add only a dash to bring the sauce together. 
  • Dijon Mustard: Another optional ingredient that is highly recommended by professional chefs for tartar sauce. 

A few seconds of stirring in every recipe will give you a creamy and delicious tartar sauce. If you want to make it perfect for serving, you can refrigerate it for 30 minutes before serving. With time, it gets better and better. 

2. Homemade Tartar Recipe 

If you are frustrated with the store-bought tartar sauce, then you can make a homemade tartar sauce. It is easy to make and fresh with nutritious ingredients. 


  • Mayonnaise – 1 cup 
  • Dill pickles – 1 cup, finely chopped 
  • Dill – 1 tbsp, fresh or frozen
  • Fresh parsley – 1 tbsp, finely chopped
  • Lemon juice – 1 tsp 
  • Sugar – 1 tsp 
  • Black pepper – 1/4 tsp, freshly ground 
  • Onion – 2 tbsp, finely chopped 


The making of tartar sauce can be complicated and it needs focus. All you have to do is, combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Then stir it well to combine all the ingredients. You can add lemon juice or pickles if you like. The tartar sauce is ready to serve. You can serve it with crab cakes, fish sticks, and salmon cakes. 

3. Quick Tartar Recipe with Mustard 

You can make a quick tartar sauce at home for fish and chips or fish sticks. 


  • Mayonnaise – 1 cup 
  • Sweet pickle relish – 2 tsp 
  • Yellow mustard – 1 tsp, prepared 
  • Lemon juice – 1 tsp 


No extra effort or method is required to make a tartar sauce. Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and serve it. It is an easy, quick, and tasty recipe. You can use it for fish sticks or fish and chips. 

4. Difference Between Tartar Sauce and Remoulade

Mayonnaise is the common ingredient of most of the world’s cherished sauces such as tartar sauce, aioli sauce, tartar sauce, and remoulade. Remoulade represents the chef’s intentions. In the world of recipes, remoulade is a customizable condiment and you can enjoy its various flavors. The difference between tartar sauce and remoulade is as following:

  • The tartar sauce was often described as a kind of remoulade but the mustard replaces the traditional anchovies
  • Tartar sauce is usually having fewer components than remoulade. It consists of mayonnaise, sweeter pickles like cornichons, and chopped capers. 
  • Remoulade recipes are having a wide variety of herbs along with hot sauce or vinegar. 

 Substitute of Tartar Sauce

You can use healthier substitutes for making tartar sauce. For a lighter sauce and fewer calories, you can use the following substitutes:

1. Light Mayonnaise 

If you are not a fan of the texture or taste of nonfat dairy products, you can use a healthy alternative for homemade tartar sauce known as light mayonnaise. A regular tablespoon of mayonnaise contains 10 grams of total fat and 1.1 grams of saturated fat. On the other hand, light mayonnaise contains only 3 grams of total fat and 0.5 grams of saturated fat. 

2. Mix Mayo and Yogurt

For a traditional taste, you can combine plain yogurt and canola oil-based mayonnaise. Also, instead of using 1/2 cup of plain yogurt, you can use Greek-style yogurt. You can use nonfat yogurt or sour cream for the base of the sauce. 

Tartar Sauce – A Quick and Traditional Condiment

Tartar sauce finds its origin in France. It was introduced by Tatar people as a condiment or dip for seafood and other French dishes. It is a mayonnaise-based sauce with other ingredients. To make a tartar sauce, you need basic ingredients that are always available in your kitchen. Within 5 minutes, you will be having a tartar sauce ready for fish and chips, fish sticks, fried oysters, and other kinds of seafood!