homemade tartar sauce

How to Make Quick Tartar Sauce

5/5 (3)
20 mins
Vadim Rachok
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Recipe Ingredients Video Nutrition
7 / 10
Health score
Gluten free dishLow Carb DishNut Free DishVegetarian Dish

Homemade tartar sauce is a versatile and tasteful condiment that beautifully complements a variety of seafood dishes. Known for its creamy texture and tangy flavor, this classic sauce is easy to make with basic ingredients found in your kitchen. Making the tartar sauce at home allows you to adjust the flavors to your liking, ensuring a perfect balance of creaminess, tanginess, and a refreshing zing.

Homemade tartar sauce is a game-changer for elevating your seafood dishes! The creamy, tangy goodness adds a burst of flavor. Don't forget, freshness is key – whip it up in minutes and savor the difference.

What is Tartar Sauce?

Tartar sauce is a commonly enjoyed condiment that is often served with seafood dishes. Its versatility and refreshing flavor make it the perfect complement to such dishes. 

You can make it at home in just 20 minutes. It’s made from a base of mayonnaise or aioli mixed with various ingredients such as chopped pickles or cornichons, capers, fresh herbs such as parsley or dill, and lemon juice or vinegar. 

Making your own tartar sauce at home is incredibly easy and offers a number of advantages over store-bought options. First and foremost, making your own tartar sauce allows you to control the quality and freshness of the ingredients you use. You can customize the taste to your liking by adjusting the level of heat, creaminess, and seasoning. Homemade remoulade is also free of artificial preservatives, additives, and excessive sodium often found in commercial varieties.

Tartar Sauce Ingredients

  • Chicken Eggs (Yolks): Yolks provide emulsifying properties to help bind ingredients together and create a creamy texture.
  • Sunflower Oil: Used as a base oil to emulsify the sauce and add smoothness.
  • Pickled Cucumber: Balances the richness of the other ingredients and adds tang and a refreshing crunch to the sauce.
  • Mustard: Adds a tangy and slightly spicy flavor that enhances the overall flavor profile of the sauce.
  • Garlic: Provides a subtle garlic aroma and flavor that complements the other savory elements.
  • Dill: Adds complexity and brightness to the sauce with a fresh, herbaceous note.
  • Capers: Offer a salty and slightly acidic flavor that helps cut through the richness of the sauce and adds depth of flavor.
  • Wine Vinegar: Balances the richness of the other ingredients and adds acidity and brightness to the sauce.
  • Sugar: Provides a hint of sweetness to help balance the acidity of the sauce and enhance the overall flavor profile.
  • Salt and Pepper: Seasonings that enhance the flavors of other ingredients and provide a balanced flavor.

How to Make Tartar Sauce

Tar Tar Recipe Step By Step 1-4

Tar Tar Recipe Step By Step 7

  1. First, pour the sunflower oil into a bowl and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  2. Then, mix egg yolks with mustard, salt, pepper, sugar, and wine vinegar. 
  3. Cut the pickled cucumbers into small cubes, finely chop the capers and dill.  
  4. Then, pour the oil into the egg-mustard mixture in a thin stream, stirring constantly with a whisk until the oil thickens.
  5. Add the chopped ingredients. Add salt and sugar to taste.

Chef Recipe Tips:

  • You can add another 1,8-2,5 ounces (50-70 g) of Greek yogurt to make the sauce less fatty. 
  • The wine vinegar can be replaced with lemon juice. 
  • Store the sauce in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
  • If the sauce is too thick, add a little brine. 

how can i make tartar sauce

What Is the Origin of Tartar Sauce?

The exact origin of tartar sauce is not definitively documented. It’s believed that tartar sauce originated in France after the invention of mayonnaise in the 18th century, as mayonnaise is a key ingredient in tartar sauce. The sauce probably became popular in the 19th century, primarily as a condiment for seafood dishes. Over time, variations of tartar sauce have appeared around the world, each containing different ingredients according to regional preferences.

The term “tartar sauce” comes from the French word “tartre,” which means “gravel” or “stone. Legend has it that fishermen created this sauce to mask the taste of fish stored in ice and used it as a condiment.

How to Store Tartar Sauce?

Pour the tartar sauce into an airtight container and refrigerate immediately to store and preserve its freshness. Cooling the sauce will help to slow the growth of bacteria and maintain the quality of the sauce. Always use clean utensils when scooping out the tartar sauce to avoid contamination, and close the container tightly after each use to minimize exposure to the air. For the best taste and quality, it is important to check the expiration date and consume the sauce before it expires. Store tartar sauce in the refrigerator away from raw meat, seafood, or other potentially contaminating ingredients. This will help prevent cross-contamination. By following these storage tips, you can help keep your tartar sauce fresh and full of flavor for as long as possible.

how to make tartar sauce

Can Tartar Sauce be Freeze?

It is better not to freeze the tartar sauce due to its mayonnaise base. Freezing affects its texture and quality. Thus, It’s best to consume tartar sauce fresh. Thus, it is better to store your tartar sauce in the refrigerator. Thanks to this, it will be kept fresh for 5 days.

What to Serve with Tartar Sauce

Tartar sauce adds a tangy, creamy flavor to a variety of seafood and fried foods. Some popular options to serve with tartar sauce include

  • Fried seafood: Fried fish, shrimp, calamari, or crab cakes are a classic accompaniment to tartar sauce.
  • Fish sandwiches: For a delicious flavor boost, add tartar sauce to fish sandwiches or sliders.
  • Seafood platters: Serve shrimp, oysters, clams, or crab legs with tartar sauce as a dipping sauce for a seafood platter.
  • Fish and chips: Drizzle tartar sauce over crispy fish and chips or serve as a dipping sauce.
  • Grilled seafood: Use tartar sauce as a condiment for grilled fish or crab skewers.
  • Appetizers: Offer tartar sauce as a dipping sauce for starters such as fried pickles, onion rings, or potato wedges.

In this case, a lot depends on the type of mayonnaise you use as the base for this sauce. If you've made your own homemade mayonnaise from egg yolks and oil, that's the ideal choice. If you're buying ready-made mayonnaise at the supermarket, I would recommend checking the ingredients listed on the packaging: it should be simple, containing a minimal number of ingredients, especially without various additives, preservatives, and flavor enhancers. If you're watching your figure and want to make this sauce lower in calories, opt for low-fat mayonnaise (25-35%).

Jenny Dobrynina
Jenny Dobrynina
Nutrition Editor
Health score:
7 / 10
How to Make Quick Tartar Sauce
5/5 (3)
Author:Vadim Rachok
Tartar sauce - Perfect side to your favorite seafood dishes.
homemade tartar sauce
Prep Time:
15 mins
Cook Time:
5 mins
Total Time:
20 mins
The ingredients you need:
3 pcs chicken eggs (yolks)
14 ounces (400 g) sunflower oil
3 ounces (90 g) pickled cucumber
0,7 ounces (20 g) mustard
1 small clove garlic
1 small bunch dill
0,7 ounces (20 g) capers
0,2 ounces wine vinegar
0,6 ounces (18 g) sugar
0,1 ounces (3-4 g) salt
Let’s start !

Pour the sunflower oil into a bowl and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.


Mix egg yolks with mustard, salt, pepper, sugar, and wine vinegar. 


Cut the pickled cucumbers into small cubes, finely chop the capers and dill.  


Pour the oil into the egg-mustard mixture in a thin stream, stirring constantly with a whisk until the oil thickens.


Add the chopped ingredients. Add salt and sugar to taste.

Nutrition Information
Servings Per Recipe: 6 Calories: 3920
% Daily Value *
 % Daily Value *
Total Fat 22g28%
Saturated Fat 3g17%
Cholesterol 10mg3%
Sodium 174mg8%
Total Carbohydrate 1g1%
Total Sugars 1g 
Protein 0g 
Vitamin C 0mg2%
Calcium 2mg0%
Iron 0mg1%
Potassium 5mg0%

* 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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Watch How To Make It

For an extra touch, infuse your tartar sauce with finely chopped tarragon or chives. These herbs bring a subtle complexity, enhancing the overall freshness. Experiment and find your signature twist! 🌿✨

Vadim Rachok
Vadim Rachok
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