Classic Tartar Sauce

16 servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes

Classic Tartar Sauce made with just a few ingredients and in just a few minutes, you’ll never buy bottled sauce again!

You’ll love this tartar sauce with our Crispy Baked Fish Sticks, Beer Battered Fish and even for your kids on Beer Battered Crispy Fish Tacos. It is the PERFECT swap for the bottled sauce.


Classic Tartar Sauce wasn’t a recipe I sought out to learn for the heck of it one day. A few years ago we had some pretty bad luck with our fridge and it didn’t end so well for all the food inside.

So I cleaned it out completely and had to start over. A month or so later, I had made some fried shrimp and of course I hadn’t thought to replace my jar of tartar sauce that seemed to live on the door of my fridge forever.

So off to the internet I went! I found a few recipes and made them all, at once, because yes, I am a food scientist at heart. Also, I love GOOD tartar sauce, and no offense to the pre-made variety, but we can do better.

Fish Stick dipped in Tartar Sauce

This Classic Tartar Sauce was a version of all three of them that I sort of randomly came up with and it makes for the PERFECT tartar sauce replacement. I haven’t bought another jar of tartar sauce since.

The recipe, if you can even call it one, is so simple that the only thing I want to warn you about is that you really want to give it a bit of time to rest so the flavors can really come together. If you don’t you basically just have pickle mayo, which is fine, but it won’t taste like tartar sauce.

I’ve seen a few other variations of Classic Tartar Sauce on the web which you can totally incorporate into your recipe:

  • Instead of dill pickles you can chop up bread and butter pickles.
  • Instead of pickles, you can use sweet relish.
  • Instead of pickle juice you can use ½ the amount of lemon juice.
  • Instead of minced onion, use ½ teaspoon of onion powder.
  • If you really still don’t want to make your own, this is the prepared one I loved.

We’re going to serve this tartar sauce on all the delicious seafood we can eat this summer including Coconut Shrimp and more.

Tartar Sauce in white bowl with fish sticks in background

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Classic Tartar Sauce

Classic Tartar Sauce made with just a few ingredients and in just a few minutes, you'll free up space on your fridge door and never buy bottled sauce again!
Yield 16 servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Sauce
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 2 cups mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons dill pickles minced
  • 2 tablespoons pickle juice
  • 2 tablespoons minced onion


  • Mix ingredients together in a small bowl.
  • Chill in refrigerator for at least 2-3 hours for the best flavor.


Calories: 96kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 6mg | Sodium: 103mg | Potassium: 3mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 10IU | Calcium: 1mg

Tartar Sauce with homemade fish sticks

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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    1. Tartar sauce should be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for about a week. Of course if it starts to smell wonky, I would toss.

  1. I didn’t have any pickles for some strange reason, so substituted sweet relish and red wine vinegar. Came out delicious! Thank you for the recipe!

  2. Made it for dinner tonight but used sweet pickle relish instead because I didn’t have dill. It was delicious

  3. I made this using Vlasic Bread and Butter pickles and white onion. I used Hellman’s mayonnaise, four tablespoons onion, four tablespoons pickles, and only one tablespoon of pickle juice. It was so easy and with the added chopped onions and pickles, it was the texture our family prefers. Thanks for such an easy recipe that is so delicious.

  4. Nice recipe ,tartar sauce,if you don’t have dill relish you can use sweet relish to keep the texture and a little white distilled vinegar to give you your dill taste. Also the vinegar will make the tartar sauce last a little longer.

  5. I use Miracle Whip and Dill Relish and that’s it. My husband doesn’t care for tartar sauce and I don’t care for sweet relish. I will add a little bit of onion powder the next time I make some.

  6. Delish!!! I don’t think I will ever go back. I made some changes. I used sweet relish and added some garlic powder to mine 🙂

  7. Taking those same ingredients, I always add a little sugar, and a Tbs. of finely shredded carrot = Red Lobster Tartar Sauce recipe.

  8. I might have missed it, sorry if I did. I was wondering how long this will keep in the fridge? This is really good! I do not care for the bottled brands .
    Thank you

    1. This homemade tartar sauce recipe will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to one week. This sauce is something you’ll want to make fresh for your seafood dishes, but you can certainly save any extra for a few days without any problems.