Classic Tartar Sauce

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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.

Bowl of Tartar 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

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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 1/2 the amount of lemon juice.
  • Instead of minced onion, use 1/2 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

5 from 7 votes
  • Yield: 16 servings
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Course: Sauce
  • Cuisine: American
  • Author: Sabrina Snyder
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!


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


Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.

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

Nutrition Information

Yield: 16 servings, Amount per serving: 96 calories, Calories: 96g, Carbohydrates: 1g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 6mg, Sodium: 103mg, Potassium: 3mg, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 10g, Calcium: 1g

All images and text © for Dinner, then Dessert.

Keywords: How To Make Tartar Sauce, Tartar Sauce

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.

See more posts by Sabrina

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. I do not like sweet tarter sauce, so Ive made my own for years.
    Mayo, 2 cups, i/4 cup chopped dill pickle or dill relish, 3 tablespoons dill pickle juice, good dash of hot sauce or Cajun seasoning salt.

  2. I add fresh dill and about a tbs of lemon juice to this mixture. My favorite! I don’t really care for the sweet version.

  3. Loved this recipe but I did spiced it up a bit. Did the mayo, pickle juice and pickles. But used onion powder, garlic powder, few dashes of worcestershire, and some dill. KILLER!! Even my 1year old ate it ?

  4. Gentle suggestion, Starting your sentences with the word , “So” makes you sound less professional. Otherwise, good job.

  5. This came RIGHT in time! My daughter asked me to make her fish fingers and I was thinking of something to serve with it besides ketchup. Will give this a go, thanks!

  6. I,’m a devoted follower of your recipes. Tried many and every one came out perfectly great. Now I an going to make tartar sauce from your recipe. I made some before and it was OK but was missing something. Pickle juice?????. I will try this one of yours. Thanks for every recipe I have of yours. Carole

  7. Made this for years and years. Had a backyard full of neighborhood friends grilling fresh fish many years ago in Idaho. Guests raved about my tarter sauce. Wanted the recipe but I told them it was an old secret family recipe and couldn’t give it out to anyone upon penalty of death! (Not true…but it was all in fun and I ended up telling them how I made it.