Homemade Tartar Sauce

Tartar Sauce is so easy to make yourself, that there's really no point buying it. It's a simple stir-together recipe made of ingredients you probably already have in your home.

Jump to Recipe (or scroll for photos and riveting information...)
Advertisement - Continue Below
A small jar of tartar sauce on a blue countertop.

Easy Tartar Sauce

If you’re like me, you don’t really have tartar sauce that often – certainly not often enough to keep a jar or a tube of it in the refrigerator taking up space. Luckily, homemade tartar sauce is extraordinarily easy to make and this recipe makes just a small quantity of it – just enough for that meal of fish and chips that you’ve been craving. 

All the ingredients for tartar sauce on a blue countertop with a spatula and a reamer.

Ingredients for Tartar Sauce

The ingredients for homemade tartar sauce are very simple: mayonnaise, sweet pickles, lemon juice, salt and pepper. The mayonnaise is the most important ingredient because it makes up the bulk of the sauce. These days, different brands of mayo have very different flavors and everyone has an opinion on which one is the best. Since the flavor of the mayo is so prevalent, it’s important to pick the one that you like best. 

Tartar sauce mixed in a bowl with ingredients around.

Stir it Up!

In the photo above, I used homemade mayonnaise because I’m a sucker for homemade mayo. It is a little looser than store-bought mayonnaise, however, so the finished tartar sauce will also be looser in consistency. That’s neither bad nor good, but expect your tartar sauce with store-bought mayonnaise to be thicker than mine.

Air fryer fish sticks on a parchment lined plate with coleslaw and a lemon wedge.

What to Serve with Homemade Tartar Sauce

Of course, fish and chips are at the top of the “goes will with tartar sauce” list. You could make Sheet Pan Fish and Chips in your oven, or try the Beer-Battered Fish and Chips out of the air fryer. If you’re munching with the kids, try these Air Fryer Fish Sticks with tartar sauce instead of ketchup. You can serve tartar sauce with any fish fillet, but it’s also nice as a dip for vegetables or a great addition to deviled eggs. If you like tartar sauce, chances are you’ll like it pretty much anywhere!

Tartar Sauce

  • Prep Time: 5 m
  • Total Time: 5 m
  • Servings:
    makes ½ cup


  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped sweet pickles
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  2. Store in a jar or airtight container for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.

Advertisement - Continue Below
Advertisement - Continue Below
Advertisement - Continue Below

Comments (11)Post a Reply

  1. 5 stars
    I’m from New England originally and the only difference between. Your tartar sauce and what I grew up making is we used sweet pickle relish. Perfect texture. Otherwise the same. Why buy tartar sauce, right?

  2. This sounds delicious but I do not own an air fryer. Can I make it the same way and just sautéed in the fry pan?

    1. This is a recipe for tartar sauce where there is no cooking involved. If you are referring to the fish sticks, you can fry them in some oil on the stovetop, or you can bake them in the oven at 375°F for about 15 to 20 minutes.

  3. 3 stars
    The best tasting tartar sauce has mustard in it! Yet no one ever adds it! LOL Just a squirt or two, depending on how much you are making makes a world of difference :). I don’t add lemon juice but I do mayo, dill relish, mustard and a touch of vinegar (apple cider if I have it and if not, I’ll use white vinegar). Try it – you’ll like it! 🙂 🙂 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *