This wonderfully creamy and tangy homemade tartar sauce is ready in just 15 minutes.
It's easy to make, keeps well in the fridge, and pairs well 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.
My homemade version is so easy to make! Since we eat a lot of seafood, I make it quite often - about every other week. It keeps well in the fridge for several days, which is another big plus of this recipe.
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this tasty sauce. 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.
- Dijon mustard: This classic French mustard is creamier and less vinegary than yellow mustard. I highly recommend using it in this recipe. It does make a difference.
- Lemon juice: just a teaspoon. It's best to use fresh-squeezed lemon juice.
- To season: I use salt, pepper, dried dill, and cayenne pepper. I love including cayenne because it adds an extra layer of flavor. It doesn't actually make the sauce spicy.
- Diced dill pickles and capers: For the best texture, you definitely want a small dice here, not a rough chop.
- You can replace the mayonnaise with sour cream. It's very good, although personally, I prefer the richness and flavor of mayonnaise.
- Greek yogurt can also work. If you use it, you can omit the lemon, since yogurt is naturally tangy.
- For an extra kick, you can replace the capers or the dill pickles with finely diced pickled jalapenos.
- 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 mayo, mustard, lemon juice, and seasonings.
Then I 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 right away, 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 sauce's flavor.
This is a tangy and very flavorful mayonnaise-based sauce, traditionally served with seafood dishes. The classic ingredients include mayonnaise, pickles, capers, and herbs.
Absolutely! But make sure to use whole-milk yogurt. This sauce should be rich and creamy. Low-fat yogurt will not work.
Another tasty option is to use sour cream. I tried it and liked it a lot - it's so creamy and tasty.
This sauce is typically served at room temperature or chilled. This is actually 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 definitely 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!
This flavorful sauce is lovely with any seafood dish. I usually serve it with crab cakes, tuna cakes, and salmon patties.
It also pairs beautifully with simply boiled shrimp, in lieu of cocktail sauce. And it goes really well with keto-fried fish.
But you don't have to limit yourself to seafood! This creamy, flavorful sauce goes well with roasted vegetables, chicken nuggets, and even skirt steak or other grilled meats.
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, of course. You can keep it in the fridge, in an airtight container, for up to 7 days. Just make sure to stir it again before using it.
I don't recommend freezing this sauce. It will separate and become grainy after thawing.
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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, with a small spatula, mix the mayonnaise with the mustard, lemon juice, salt, pepper, dill, and cayenne if using.
- Fold in the pickles and capers.
- Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes, to allow the flavors to meld.
Add Your Own Notes
Nutrition per Serving
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