Homemade Tartar Sauce

Once you've experienced homemade tartar sauce such as this, there's no going back to the commercial stuff made with corn syrup and preservatives. No way.

Homemade Tartar Sauce Recipe

Commercial tartar sauce tends to be crammed full of corn syrup and preservatives. Whereas this easy homemade tartar sauce recipe contains nothing but loveliness—mayonnaise, pickles, capers, parsley, lemon, and onion. So what do you dab homemade tartar sauce on? Well, fish ‘n’ chips, natch. Fish sticks, of course. It certainly wouldn’t be terrible with baked fish. A dab would be lovely with fish baked in parchment, too. We could go on, but it’s your turn. Go fish. This recipe has been updated. Originally published March 5, 2014.Renee Schettler Rossi

Homemade Tartar Sauce Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 10 M
  • 10 M
  • Makes about 1 1/3 cups


  • 1 cup store bought or homemade mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons minced dill pickles (in a pinch, you can swap in bread-and-butter pickles)
  • 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and chopped (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon minced flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, or more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon grated onion*


  • 1. Mix the mayonnaise, pickle, capers, parsley, lemon juice, and onion together in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate until chilled through, at least an hour and preferably overnight. (You can stash the tartar sauce in the fridge for up to 1 week.)


  • Grated onion is a wonderful way to add flavor to homemade sauces, dressings, and dips. People don’t even know it’s in there, but it really enhances the flavor. Grating an onion is as simple as it sounds. Simply peel the skin from an onion. Trim away the stem end, but leave the root intact. Hold the stem end of the onion against the fine side of a box grater or cheese grater and grate over a bowl. You may need to scoop the pulp off the inside of the grater with your fingertips. You can store grated onion pulp, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. The flavor and pungency will diminish over time.
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