Homemade Tartar Sauce

Just 6 ingredients and 7 minutes to make homemade Tartar Sauce with this easy recipe. Sauce comes out perfectly sweet-sour and creamy with flavor of minced capers, and sweet relish in every bite.(yum)

Your favorite seafood awaits this delicious Tartar Sauce.
Homemade Tartar Sauce
Diet Info: DF GF F LF Na LS VG V Fa

This homemade Tartar Sauce recipe is must have in very Fish lover's recipe repertoire. Just 6 ingredients and 7 minutes to make the best creamy and tangy Tartar Sauce at home. Use good quality ingredients and never buy bottled sauce again. Dairy Free. Gluten free. 

Oh, I'm also sharing easy fixes to adapt Tartar Sauce to your specific dietary needs. Healthy or vegan, I got you covered. Don't miss reading the substitutes section.

Tartar Sauce

Tartar Sauce is classic creamy mayonnaise based sauce made with capers, relish, onions. It gets sweetness from hint of sugar and hint of tang flavor from vinegar. For it's popular use as sauce with fried fish and chips, Tartar Sauce is also known as filet o fish sauce.

Easy Simple Homemade Tartar Sauce

If you often buy store-bought bottle of Tartar Sauce? Then I highly recommend trying this homemade recipe. Long ago, I started making Tartar Sauce at home for few reasons:

  1. Easy to make sauce. Almost inexpensive to make at home with pantry ingredients.
  2. Homemade sauce has clean ingredients. Everything you can pronounce. These is no need of artificial flavors or thickeners.
  3. Make as much as you want. This recipe doubles or halves easily.

Tartar Sauce Ingredients

When recipe is so simple, I always recommend to use good quality ingredients. Use a good quality mayo. If you can find Classic Mayo, even better. Or make it at home, try homemade mayonnaise recipe.

Here is the list of ingredients to make simply the best Homemade Tartar Sauce. 

  1. Mayo
  2. Cappers
  3. Relish
  4. Lime Juice or Distilled Vinegar
  5. Black Pepper
  6. Sugar
  7. Scallions or Shallot

Homemade Tartar Sauce Ingredients

Everything listed above is mostly in my pantry or refrigerator. (almost) When I don't have an ingredient, I often use a substitute (listed ahead). These are very handy and give me option to enjoy Seafood with Tartar Sauce without a grocery store trip.

Make Tartar Sauce

Making tartar sauce is as easy as preparing the sauce ingredients and mixing in a bowl. It is important to mince all ingredients very fine. This way you can taste capers, onion, black pepper, and relish in every bite. Yum!

To prepare ingredients, I drain and mince the capers. Minced capers evenly distribute briny flavor in the sauce. Since capers and relish have salt, I don't use any salt in the recipe. You can always taste and adjust salt per taste. 

Once all ingredients are minced, add to good quality mayo. Mix in. Taste and adjust lime juice/vinegar. Add salt if you prefer. That's it.

Easy homemade Tartar Sauce

Homemade Tartar sauce is ready to devour!

I have a confession. Sometimes I don't have sweet pickled relish at home. So I substitute relish with minced dill pickle mixed with 1/2 tsp sugar. It works perfectly. So if you can't find or have relish, just take it easy. Dill pickle works.

Recipes to Try with Tartar Sauce:

Try Tartar Sauce with these fish/seafood recipes on the blog:


The are so many ways you can make Tartar sauce fit your diet preference. So I decided to share the classic Tartar Sauce recipe and substitutes below. I often use these substitutes as per my pantry availability or if I'm dieting or serving a special need guest.

  1. To make Tartar Sauce without capers, replace capers with small diced green olives, or black olives, or dill pickle (unsweetened).
  2. To make Tartar Sauce without scallions, replace scallions with a small shallot onion, minced or grated.
  3. To make Tartar Sauce without sweet pickled relish, replace relish with equal amount of minced dill pickle and 1/2 tsp of sugar.
  4. Replace lime juice with lemon juice or 1 tsp distilled white vinegar.
  5. You can also replace sugar in recipe with honey or raw can sugar.
  6. For healthier Tartar Sauce, replace half of the mayo with non-fat sour cream or Greek yogurt. Please note that use freshest possible sour cream or yogurt. The already open cultured creams get sour as these sit in refrigerator. Too sour cultured cream will make extra tangy Tartar Sauce.

Vegan Tartar Sauce Looking for vegan tartar sauce? Replace mayo in this recipe with a good quality vegan mayo to make Vegan Tartar Sauce.

Tartar Sauce for Fish

Friends, making tartar sauce is easy and quick with this simple recipe. I'm sure you will love the flavors with creamy, sweet and sour sauce with briny capers, relish and onions in every bite. So delicious that you will never buy bottled sauce again. 

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Homemade Tartar Sauce

5 (5 reviews)
Homemade Tartar Sauce
Total Time: Prep Time: Cook Time: Cuisine: American () Difficulty: Easy
Yields: 1 Cup - Serves: 16
Nutrition: 72 calories per serving (Let sauce rest 15-20 minutes before use.)


Smart Swap: Use light mayonnaise to half the calories per serving.


  • 1. Prepare Ingredients Drain and mince capers, juice lime and thin chop scallions.
  • 2. Make Tartar Sauce In a medium bowl add mayonnaise, minced capers, relish, scallions, sugar, black pepper, and lime juice. Mix to combine. Let sit for at-least 15-20 minutes before use. See Note 2.
Savita's Notes:
  1. You can use minced shallot instead of scallions.
  2. For flavors to marry, let sit for at-least 15-20 minutes before use. For later use, transfer to a container with lid. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. If you prefer a little thin sauce, mix in 1-2 tbsp of water just before use.
  4. Make as much as you want. This recipe doubles or halves easily.
  5. Since capers and relish have salt, I don't use any salt in the recipe. You can always taste and adjust salt per taste. 
  6. Note: Calories calculated using Hellmann's Real Mayonnaise. Use light mayonnaise for half the calories per serving.

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10 Responses

  1. Made it with slight mods. Grated lime, no sugar but maple syrup. I’ll make variations with more garlic, tarragon plus different herbs. Chilli+lime+mustard oil I want to try with Borage and other edible flowers as garnish
  2. I just love Tartar sauce! Its so good with crab cakes or roasted potatoes. Yum!
  3. You can't beat homemade tartar sauce. So many different ways to use it too.
    Totally! I love Tartar Sauce for it's versatility.
  4. You've found my weak spot. I love tartare sauce. You can't beat it for dunking chips (fries) in.
    Oh yeah! Can't go wrong with tartar sauce and fish and chips. Yum!
  5. This look so delicious, perfect and easy recipe to follow.
    Thanks. Hayley. It is the easiest recipe ever.
  6. I love how delicious this tartar sauce is. Fantastic homemade recipe to keep handy.
    Thanks. You got it 🙌