This wonderfully creamy and tangy homemade tartar sauce is ready in 15 minutes.
It's easy to make, keeps well in the fridge, and can be paired with many seafood dishes.
I don't typically feel that seafood dishes "need" a sauce, but I make an exception for this one because it's so flavorful.
This homemade tartar sauce is so easy to make! Since we eat a lot of seafood, I make it often - about every other week. It keeps well in the fridge for several days, another big plus.
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this recipe. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
- Mayonnaise: I use avocado oil mayonnaise, usually by Chosen Foods.
- Dijon mustard: This classic French mustard is creamier and less vinegary than yellow mustard. I highly recommend using it in this recipe.
- Lemon juice: Just a teaspoon. It's best to use fresh-squeezed lemon juice.
- To season: Salt, pepper, dried dill, and cayenne pepper. The cayenne adds a layer of flavor. It doesn't make the sauce spicy.
- Diced dill pickles and capers: For the best texture, you want small dice, not a rough chop.
- You can replace the mayonnaise with sour cream. It's excellent, although I prefer the richness and flavor of mayonnaise.
- Greek yogurt also works in this recipe, though again, mayonnaise is better, and so is sour cream. You can omit the lemon if you use yogurt since it's naturally tangy.
- For an extra kick, you can replace the capers or dill pickles with finely diced pickled jalapenos. My husband is a fan of this version.
- You can also make it spicy with a teaspoon of hot sauce or ½ teaspoon of red pepper flakes.
Homemade Tartar Sauce Instructions
Scroll down to the recipe card for detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps for making this recipe:
Simply mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl. I like to start with the mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice, and seasonings:
Mix in the dill pickles and capers:
Cover the mixture and chill it for about 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld. Give the sauce one more stir before serving.
You can use the sauce immediately, but it's even better if you let it rest for 30 minutes before serving it. This allows the flavors to meld and improves the flavor.
This is a tangy and flavorful mayonnaise-based sauce, traditionally served with seafood. The classic ingredients include mayonnaise, pickles, capers, and herbs.
Yes, as long as you use whole-milk yogurt. This sauce should be rich and creamy. Low-fat yogurt will not work.
Another option is to use sour cream. I tried it and liked it a lot - it's creamy and tasty.
This sauce is typically served at room temperature or chilled. This is one of its advantages - you can make it ahead of time and refrigerate it until it's time to eat. Just remember to give it an extra stir before serving.
I prefer dill pickles. I like this sauce to be tangy and spiced, not sweet. But this is purely a matter of taste, so you should try and see what you like best!
So as you can see, you have quite a few options for using this sauce! It never lasts long in our house.
This sauce keeps quite well, though not as long as a commercial sauce. You can keep it in the fridge, in an airtight container, for up to 7 days. Stir it again before using it.
I don't recommend freezing this sauce. It will separate and become grainy when thawed.
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Homemade Tartar Sauce
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice freshly squeezed
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon dried dill
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon dill pickles finely diced
- 1 tablespoon capers
- In a small bowl, use a small rubber spatula to mix the mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice, salt, pepper, dill, and (if using) cayenne.
- Fold in the pickles and capers.
- Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.