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Classic Tartar Sauce

Total Time

Prep/Total Time: 10 min.


1 cup

Updated: Apr. 21, 2023
You'll never buy the jarred stuff again once you've tried this homemade tartar sauce recipe! —Michelle Stromko, Darlington, Maryland


  • 2/3 cup chopped dill pickles
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped onion
  • Dash pepper


  1. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients. Cover and refrigerate until serving.

Tartar Sauce Tips

What do you serve with tartar sauce?

Tartar sauce is a creamy, tangy dipping sauce or condiment that pairs well with seafood, especially fish fry recipes like fish and chips. Try homemade tartar sauce with fish sticks, crab cakes, salmon patties or fried oysters. But you don't have to stick to seafood. Tartar sauce works as a spread for a sandwich or burger or as a dip for fresh vegetables or pita chips. You can also use your tartar sauce as a condiment for crispy fried chicken.

Do you need to refrigerate tartar sauce before serving it?

While you can serve this sauce directly after making it, we do recommend refrigerating the tartar sauce for at least 2 hours to let the flavors develop. Refrigerating the sauce helps keep it at its peak flavor and freshness for longer.

How long does homemade tartar sauce last?

This homemade tartar sauce will keep well in the refrigerator for up to a week if stored in an airtight container or jar.

Why is it called tartar sauce?

Tartar sauce originated in France as sauce tartare, named after the Tatars who settled in Ukraine and parts of Russia. The French, in producing this mayonnaise or aioli sauce, may have based the "tartar" moniker upon their spelling of the Tatar name, which was Tartare.

Is there gluten in tartar sauce?

Tartar sauce is typically made of mayonnaise, chopped pickles or gherkins, and onions, capers or fresh parsley, so it should be gluten-free. For those who follow a GF diet, always check the label to verify that the mayonnaise you are using is gluten-free.

—Ellie Crowley, Taste of Home Culinary Assistant

Nutrition Facts

2 tablespoons: 93 calories, 10g fat (2g saturated fat), 1mg cholesterol, 167mg sodium, 1g carbohydrate (0 sugars, 0 fiber), 0 protein.

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