Tartar Sauce Recipe

5 from 7 votes
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Forget about store bought, once you make this homemade tartar sauce recipe you will never buy it again. 

Try serving this with shrimp, french fries, fish sticks or even these mini crab cakes

Bowl of tartar sauce with fish sticks

My family calls me the condiment queen. I love to dip my food in a sauces like ketchup, BBQ sauce, ranch and especially this tartar sauce from scratch. It has so much flavor without all of the preservatives that dip from the store contains. 

What is it?

This classic dipping sauce is the perfect thing to use, especially with fried foods. The name comes from the French sauce tartare and it’s essentially an aioli or mayonnaise based sauce.

Capers, pickles, lemon, mayonnaise and parsley

What is it made of?

  • Mayonnaise – The base to this delicious sauce. I like to use full fat but low fat would also work. 
  • Pickles – Diced, crunchy pickles add a nice dill flavor. If you prefer sweet, you could substitute pickle relish.
  • Lemon juice – Balances out the everything with a nice bright flavor. 
  • Capers – Add a unique flavor and texture. 
  • Optional : Ground black pepper or horseradish

How to make

Scroll down for full printable recipe, ingredients and video.

  1. Stir: Mix all of the ingredients together and be sure to let it chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour to let the flavors come together. 

steps to making sauce, mayo, pickles, capers and lemon juice

Recipe tips

  • Make sure to chop the pickles really small. 
  • Don’t have fresh parsley, substitute for 1/4 teaspoon of dried or use fresh dill.
  • Allow to sit in the refrigerator before serving to ensure the flavors come together.

How long does it last?

This recipe will last for about a week if you keep it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Just give it a good stir when ready to eat.

What are the best pickles to use?

I really like the taste of classic dill pickles. They have the perfect amount of tang that works well with this recipe. You could use gherkins, pickle relish or bread and butter pickles for a little sweetness. 

Tartar sauce in a bowl with fish sticks

More recipes to enjoy

If you are a condiment fan like me, be sure to give these recipes a try. 

***Make this recipe? Feel free to leave a comment and rating below.

Bowl with tartar sauce and fish sticks
5 from 7 votes

Tartar Sauce Recipe

By Heather
Easy homemade tartar sauce recipe.
Prep: 5 minutes
Total: 5 minutes
Servings: 8


  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup chopped dill pickle or pickle relish
  • 1 teaspoon pickle juice
  • 1 tablespoon drained capers
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley


  • Mix together mayonnaise, pickles, pickle juice, capers, lemon juice and parsley.
  • Optional, add 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper.


YouTube video


Calories: 192kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 12mg | Sodium: 267mg | Potassium: 11mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 29IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 5mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
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