Homemade Tartar Sauce

SauceFish and Seafood

How to make tartar sauce with mayonnaise, dill pickles, capers, mustard, shallots, scallions, Tabasco and lemon juice. Perfect with fish or crab cakes.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Confession time. I am a lover of tartar sauce. I think the seafood eating world is divided into two camps, those who enjoy tartar sauce with their fish, and those who will have nothing to do with it. I am happily in the first camp and love nothing better than a fish fillet served with a slice of lemon, some tartar sauce, and of course, coleslaw.

Not all bottled tartar sauces are created equal however. It’s really hit or miss out there in the prepared tartar sauce world. So, I’ve made my own homemade tartar sauce. And you know what? It’s good! Really! (Assuming you like tartar sauce to begin with, otherwise move along, this one’s not for you.)

How to Make Tartar Sauce

Homemade Tartar Sauce Recipe

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: Makes about a cup and a half of tartar sauce.


  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup chopped dill pickles
  • 1 teaspoon capers, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons chopped shallots
  • 2 Tbsp chopped scallions
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 6 drops Tabasco sauce or more to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.

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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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36 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  • Jen

    Perfect. I’ll try some garlic next time.


  • Carla

    No tartar sauce is complete without Worcestershire sauce and fresh or dried dill. I might try this but will definitely be tweaking it~

  • mick bax

    Thanks for this.I am making this tonight with chopped Silverstone onions and chopped chives.
    I will be using it with oven baked chilli wedges and ribeye steak.

  • speedwell

    Fabulous recipe. I didn’t have capers or scallions, so I used a bit of extra pickle and a half an anchovy along with a handful of minced sweet onion. Fresh lemon juice makes so much difference. My husband likes parsley so I added a little fresh parsley, minced. Tartar sauce should NOT be sweet. NOT NOT NOT. Ew.

  • Doc H

    I’m getting ready to make a gallon of tarter sauce for the church’s annual fish fry and was looking for hints so I am appreciating the comments on here. My dad always made tarter sauce whenever we had fish but he didn’t use a recipe so I have had to try and figure it out as an adult without him around any more. I use Miracle Whip, sweet relish, onion, lemon juice, sugar, and mustard. I have to do it by guess as to how much of each one and do a taste test until it is close enough. I may experiment and try a couple different things.

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