How To Make Tartar Sauce In Just 5 Minutes

Dalstrong Professional Chef's Kitchen Apron - Sous Team 6"Dalstrong Professional Chef's Kitchen Apron - Sous Team 6"

Quick Steps Overview: Homemade Tartar Sauce Recipe

  1. Gather all tools and ingredients 
  2. Add ingredients to a bowl
  3. Combine well
  4. Chill the sauce
  5. Serve with favorite sides
  6. Store in the refrigerator 

When things get a little fishy, the only thing left to do is whip up some creamy tartar sauce. Not only is this a perfect companion for all things seafood but it also comes together quickly and easily. All you need is 5 minutes and you will have a creamy dipping sauce ready for any fish, oyster, crab cake dish, or even veggies and pita bread. 

1. What Is Tartar Sauce?

Simply put, tartar sauce is a cold dipping sauce that is usually served with seafood, mainly fish. This creamy condiment is known for its rich and tangy flavor profile and adds a boost of flavor to otherwise fairly bland fried fish sticks, beer battered fish, crab cakes, and even oysters. While this sauce pairs beautifully with any seafood dish, you can also use it as a dipping sauce for sandwiches, potato wedges, roasted veggies, or even as a salad dressing.

A common homemade tartar sauce recipe calls for some mayonnaise, chopped pickles or relish, lemon juice, and herbs like dill and tarragon. There are also some other ingredients like yellow mustard, capers, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, olives, and onions (or onion powder) that you can add to the sauce to take the recipe to the next level.

Utility Knife 5.5" Omega Series | DalstrongUtility Knife 5.5" Omega Series | Dalstrong

2. Tools You Will Need

Making tartar sauce is super simple but here are some tools that will make this an easier and hassle-free process. 

  • Cutting Board: A sturdy cutting board will help you chop up the ingredients finely and give you the perfect tartar sauce.
  • Apron: An apron will act as a shield, protecting you from unwanted kitchen splatters, heat, and other messes.
  • Sharp Knife: You will need a razor-sharp boning knife or filet knife to cut and debone delicate meats like fish and to chop herbs like parsley and dill. 
  • A bowl: A medium-sized bowl will be required to add all the ingredients and combine them. Make sure the bowl isn't too small or the ingredients might start overflowing from the bowl, making a mess. 

3. Homemade Tartar Sauce Recipe

Whether you’re dripping or drizzling, here’s an easy homemade tartar sauce recipe that will pair well with anything you cook up. 

Prep Time: 5 Mins
Cook Time: 5 Mins
Total: 10 Mins
Servings: 16


  • 1 cup Mayonnaise
  • ½ cup Dill Pickles (finely chopped)
  • 2 teaspoons Pickle Juice
  • 1 tablespoon Fresh Dill (finely, chopped fresh)
  • 1 teaspoon Fresh Lemon Juice
  • ½ teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • ½ teaspoon Salt
  • ¼ teaspoon Black Pepper (freshly ground)
  • 1 teaspoon Sugar (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Gather all tools and ingredients. Set up the cooking counter by assembling all the tools and ingredients required to make tartar sauce.
  2. Add ingredients to a bowl. In a medium-sized bowl, add all the ingredients listed above. 
  3. Combine well. Mix up the ingredients until combined well.
  4. Chill the sauce. Refrigerate the sauce for at least 1-2 hours before serving it so all the flavors have a chance to meld together.
  5. Serve with favorite sides. Serve the tartar sauce with crispy fried fish fingers, crab cakes, potato wedges, or even sandwiches.
  6. Store in the refrigerator. Store the tartar sauce in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks in an air-tight container.

4. Nutrition Facts

Homemade Tartar Sauce Recipe



Total Fat


Saturated Fat






Dietary Fiber














5. Keto Tartar Sauce Recipe

Here’s another easy tartar sauce recipe for those bitten by the keto-bug.

Prep Time: 5 Mins
Total: 5 Mins
Servings: 16


  • 1 cup Mayonnaise
  • 6 tablespoons Dill Pickles (diced finely)
  • 1 tablespoon Granulated Sweetener (to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons Lemon Juice (or pickle juice)
  • 2 teaspoons Fresh Dill
  • 2 teaspoons Fresh Parsley
  • ¼ teaspoon Sea Salt (to taste)
  • ¼ teaspoon Black Pepper (to taste)

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Assemble all the tools and ingredients required to make tartar sauce.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, stir all the ingredients together. If desired, adjust salt, pepper, and sweetener to taste.
  3. Refrigerate the sauce for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to develop.
  4. Serve the tartar sauce with keto-fried fish, keto fries, deviled eggs, roasted veggies, or a BLT sub.
  5. Store in the refrigerator. This gluten-free keto tartar sauce tastes better after it’s had some time to chill and let the flavors develop. Store the tartar sauce in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Do not freeze it because the ingredients will start to separate.

6. Low-Calorie Tartar Sauce Recipe

For those working hard to get in shape and still wanting to enjoy a creamy side of tartar, here’s an easy tartar sauce recipe that is low-calories and pairs wonderfully with your seafood preparations.

Prep Time: 5 Mins
Total: 10 Mins
Servings: 1 Cup


  • ½ cup Non-fat Plain Yogurt (or Greek Yogurt)
  • ¼ cup Fat-Free Mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Sweet Pickle Relish (drained)
  • 2 teaspoons Onion (dried, minced)
  • 1 teaspoon Parsley Flakes (dried)
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
  • 2 drops Hot Sauce

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Gather all tools and ingredients. Assemble all the tools and ingredients required to make tartar sauce.
  2. Add ingredients to a bowl. In a medium-sized bowl, stir all the ingredients together and combine well.
  3. Cover and Chill. Refrigerate the sauce for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to develop.
  4. Serve. Serve cold and fresh tartar sauce with air-fried fish sticks, sandwiches, or even roasted vegetables.

7. Tips To Make Creamy Homemade Tartar Sauce

  • To lighten the recipe, you can use half mayo-half sour cream or plain greek yogurt. 
  • Dill pickle relish makes the process quicker but you can also use a food processor to finely chop pickles if you don’t want to chop them up. 
  • Do not forget to let the sauce rest for 30 minutes before you serve it. This will allow the fresh dill, dill pickles, capers, mayo, and other ingredients to combine well and develop flavor. 
  • You can also replace the lemon juice with pickle juice to add a boost of acidity and flavor to the sauce. 
  • Capers are a more traditional ingredient in tartar sauce. I highly recommend using them for this sauce as it adds a nice boost of flavor. 

8. Best Knives For Deboning Fish

1. Curved Filet Knife 6” | Gladiator Series - Dalstrong

Curved Fillet Knife 6” | Gladiator Series - Dalstrong

This filet knife is exceptionally designed to filet, debone, de-scale, trip, and butterfly all manner of fish and poultry. The ultra-sharp 2.0mm thin blade is a master at gliding easily and precisely along the bone and smoothly under the skin of any meat placed in front of it. The curved blade ends in a pointed tip, allowing you to easily work around cartilage, bone, and joints while the rock hollow divots on the blade ensure minimal flash damage and food stuck on. 


  • The 6” filet knife is ideal for all your meal prep as the razor-sharp blade cuts through almost everything placed in front of it with maximum accuracy. 
  • The knife features a beautiful, ergonomic handle that is carefully designed for maximum comfort and maneuverability. 
  • The tall blade height gives knuckles clearance to assist with food prep and other chopping activities. 
  • The blade is low maintenance and cleans easily. 


  • If you are a seasoned chef who knows how to handle professional blades, you can go for a knife with a longer blade. 
  • If you are a cook who handles large chunks of meat frequently, you might need a slightly longer blade to be able to cut through in easy, quick motions. 
  • The narrow blade of this knife makes it difficult to scoop food to transfer from the cutting board to the pan or pot. 

2. Filet & Boning Knife 6.5” | Phantom Series - Dalstrong

Fillet & Boning Knife 6.5” | Phantom Series - Dalstrong


This is an essential kitchen tool that comes in handy for deboning beef, pork, fish, and other wild game. The beauty of this knife is that its curved, narrow, and ultra-sharp blade gets in close to the bone and in between joints and skin with ease. The blade of this knife is painstakingly hand sharpened using the traditional “honbazuke method”, ensuring swift, effortless cuts.  


  • The rock hollow divots on the blade of the knife minimize friction and stuck-on food. 
  • The tapered blade of this knife is designed for enhanced durability and flexibility when performing delicate kitchen tasks like deboning fish. 
  • The hand-polished spine of the blade has a smooth finish, ensuring superior pinch grip comfort. 
  • The blade is also ice-tempered, ensuring excellent resilience and amazing edge retention, making sure the knife lasts you a lifetime. 


  • The price tag on this knife might not make it every chef or cook's first choice of tool. 
  • The blade might seem too small for those chefs that are used to working with professional blades for their daily kitchen tasks. 
  • If you are a chef with a bold sense of style and are looking for a blade that will be a head-turner in the kitchen, you can take a look at some of the other filet knives available. 

3. Boning Knife 6” | Quantum Series - Dalstrong

Boning Knife 6" Quantum 1 Series | Dalstrong

Here’s a knife that has been meticulously crafted and proudly engineered for exceptional performance and control. Carefully designed to withstand the harsh environments of a modern kitchen, this knife vouches to work tirelessly by your side all day long. The extra-durable steel also creates a blade pattern that reduces drag and increases efficiency in the kitchen.


  • The blade of this knife is made of precision-forged, ultra-sharp, wear-resistant, single-piece high carbon steel making sure that this knife lasts you for generations to come. 
  • The painstakingly hand-sharpened blade helps maintain the perfect balance between blade sharpness and maximum resilience.  
  • The tall blade height provides knuckle clearance to assist with food preparations and other kitchen duties. 
  • The handle of this knife is impervious to heat, cold, and moisture and cleans easily, making it a very low-maintenance kitchen tool. 


  • The handle of this blade can get a little slippery on use. 
  • This short-bladed knife might not cut through big chunks of meat with as much ease and precision. In that case, you can go for a knife with a longer blade length. 
  • If you don’t work with fish that often, this knife might not be the ideal blade to invest in. 

4. Boning Knife 6.5” | Crusader Series - Dalstrong

Boning Knife 6.5" Crusader Series | NSF Certified | Dalstrong 

This boning knife is an unrivaled addition to the arsenal of any home cook or professional chef that works with fish often. The narrow blade shape and slightly flexible design allow you to glide smoothly along the contours or bones, effortlessly separating meat without tearing any of it. The stunningly designed, all-steel knife offers a minimalist aesthetic with unobtrusive beauty.


  • The edge of the blade is painstakingly honed by expert craftsmen to 16-18 degrees, ensuring clean, and precise cuts with excellent edge retention and ease of sharpening. 
  • The blade of the knife is tempered with an intense heat treatment followed by a deep-freeze nitrogen cooling process that enhances the knife’s hardness and flexibility. 
  • The stylized groove along the knife offers added benefits or reduces friction and stuck on food while also lightening the knife and improving balance. 


  • The all-steel handle of this knife can get slippery on use and might not be the preferred choice of all chefs or cooks. 
  • This knife has a very minimalistic aesthetic. If you are someone with a bolder sense of style, you can also take a look at the other boning knives

5. Boning Knife 8” | Shogun Series - Dalstrong

Boning Knife 8" Shogun Series ELITE | Dalstrong 

This expertly handcrafted blade does the job of deboning pork, beef, and other wild game and fileting fish with ease. With a slightly longer than normal blade length over your typical boning knife, this blade acts as an extension of the arms, performing long, single slices on even the largest cuts of meat. The 67 layers of premium high-carbon stainless steel add strength, durability, and stain resistance to the knife, ensuring that it lasts for a long time.


  • The tapered bolster provides ‘zero-balance’ balance, finger protection and encourages a natural and comfortable pinch grip, reducing wrist fatigue and allowing you to go on for longer.
  • The blade's non-stick properties minimize slicing resistance and ensure damage-free flesh. 
  • The blade is super easy to clean and store, making it a low-maintenance tool. 
  • The knife is rust-resistant, making sure it lasts longer. 


  • The knife comes with a heavy price tag that might not make this everyone’s first choice, however, if you cook often, then this investment is worth it. 
  • If you are new to cooking, you might want to start with a shorter blade length and that would be less daunting and safer to use. 
  • The narrow blade of this knife does not allow you to scoop and transfer food from the cutting board to the pot or plate. 

9. Frequently Asked Questions

What can I use instead of tartar sauce?

If you don’t have anything, simple mayonnaise can be a great alternative to tartar sauce. Tartar sauce and mayo have the same base taste. Use the same amount of mayonnaise for tartar sauce for your dipping sauce, fish filets, sandwich, salad, etc. 

What is McDonald’s tartar sauce made of? 

According to McDonald’s website, the ingredients for the actual tartar sauce that goes on the Filet-O-Fish include soybean oil, dill relish, calcium chloride, spice extractives, polysorbate 80, egg yolks, water, onions, distilled vinegar, sugar, spice, salt, xanthan gum, potassium sorbate, and parsley. 

Is tartar sauce the same as mayonnaise? 

People often confuse the two but here’s what you need to know. Mayonnaise is an emulsion of oil, lemon juice or vinegar, and egg yolk. Tartar sauce is a condiment made of mayonnaise, lemon juice, capers, pickles (sometimes sweet pickles), and herbs like dill. Mayo and tartar sauce can be served with fish sticks, crab cakes, burgers, roasted vegetables, sandwiches, and much more. 

Shop Dalstrong Knives Today

Written by Himani Vaid
Toronto-based food nerd turned food storyteller, Himani is a connoisseur of all things delish. Currently, busy thinking about what to eat next.

How To Make Tartar Sauce In Just 5 Minutes

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