Quick Tartar Sauce


This quick tartar sauce only uses 4 ingredients you most likely already have on hand. Perfect side for fish sticks or fish and chips.

Prep Time:
5 mins
Total Time:
5 mins
1 cup

Tartar sauce is the perfect companion to seafood. With just four ingredients, this tartar sauce recipe comes together so quickly and easily. All you need is five minutes and you'll have a creamy and flavorful dipping sauce ready for any fish, oyster, or crab cake dish, or even veggies and pita bread. You might never need to buy another bottle of tartar sauce again.

a low angle, close up view of a small bowl of tartar sauce sitting in front of a platter of perfectly fried fish.
Dotdash Meredith Food Studio

What is Tartar Sauce?

Tartar sauce is a cold dipping sauce that is usually served alongside seafood, mainly fish. It's a creamy condiment that is known for its rich and tangy flavor.

Tartar sauce is a staple condiment at many seafood restaurants because it's mostly used for fried fish and fried oysters. But it can also be used as a dipping sauce for sandwiches and roasted veggies or as a salad dressing.

Tartar Sauce Ingredients

Wondering what's in tartar sauce? It's typically made with mayonnaise, chopped pickles or relish, lemon juice, and herbs (like tarragon and dill). There are also a handful of optional ingredients you can add that take the tartar sauce's flavor to the next level. For example, this recipe includes yellow mustard. Other ingredients may include capers, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, olives, or onion.

How to Make Tartar Sauce

Making homemade tartar sauce is quite simple. All you have to do is mix all your ingredients together in a bowl — then your sauce is ready to go. You should refrigerate the sauce for at least 30 minutes before serving.

The relish (or pickles, if that's what you're using) will make the sauce a little chunky, so you can puree your sauce in a food processor or blender for a smoother consistency.

What Is the Origin of Tartar Sauce?

Tartar sauce's roots are difficult to track. It's believed that tartar sauce originated in France after the 18th century because France first invented mayonnaise, which is a main ingredient in tartar sauce.

The name might just be an even bigger mystery. Many people think tartar sauce was named after the Tatars, who also may have lent their name to steak tartare. It's thought that the French based the sauce's name off their spelling of Tatar, which is tartare. That's why it's called sauce tartare in France, tartare sauce in the U.K. and other parts of the Commonwealth, and tartar sauce in the U.S.

How Long Does Tartar Sauce Last?

When stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, homemade tartar sauce should stay fresh for up to two weeks.

Allrecipes Community Tips and Praise

"This was super easy! We ran out of store-bought stuff, so I made this quick. I didn't have relish, so I threw a couple forkfuls of hamburger pickles into the Ninja, added the mayo, mustard, and lemon juice to the chopped pickles, and it was perfect. I might never buy store-bought again," says Tracy Robinson.

"This was, without a doubt, the easiest and most tasty tartar sauce I've had- period. The base flavor is great because it isn't just a bland mayo with sweet pickles, it actually has mustard to spice it up. I can't say enough good about it except to mention that it keeps amazingly well too," raves Mina Y.

"It is definitely quick, and very tasty. I always have these ingredients on hand, so I will use this recipe again and again! If you prefer your tartar sauce with a dill flavor, just use dill relish instead of sweet," according to Pam Ziegler Lutz.

Editorial contributions by Bailey Fink


  • 1 cup mayonnaise

  • 2 teaspoons sweet pickle relish

  • 1 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard

  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice


  1. Gather all ingredients.

    a top down view of ingredients for a homemade tartar sauce

    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

  2. Stir mayonnaise, relish, mustard, and lemon juice together in a bowl.

    all ingredients for a homemade tartar sauce in a clear mixing bowl.

    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

    a quick homemade tartar sauce combined in a glass mixing bowl.

    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

200 Calories
22g Fat
1g Carbs
0g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Calories 200
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 22g 28%
Saturated Fat 3g 17%
Cholesterol 10mg 3%
Sodium 174mg 8%
Total Carbohydrate 1g 1%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 0mg 2%
Calcium 2mg 0%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 5mg 0%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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