Homemade Tartar Sauce is ready in minutes with just 5 ingredients, absolutely delicious, and essential for all the fish fries in your life.

Tartar sauce in a small clear portion cup.

A mayo-based sauce that’s loaded with chopped pickles and lemon juice is exactly what you need for your next fish fry. This recipe is as close as it gets to the kind served throughout Wisconsin at Friday fish fries all over the state.

It’s creamy, lemony, briny, crunchy, and absolutely outstanding on breaded, battered, and even baked fish of any kind.

Table of Contents
  1. Recipe ingredients
  2. Ingredient notes
  3. Instructions
  4. Recipe tips and variations
  5. Tartar Sauce Recipe

Recipe ingredients

Ingredient notes

  • Pickles: I love a crunchy dill pickle (Milwaukee’s brand petite kosher dill pickles, if you can find them). Substitute sweet gherkins or pickle relish to taste, if you prefer that.
  • Lemon juice: Or substitute lime juice, vinegar, olive juice, or more pickle juice.

Instructions

  • Mix the mayo, pickles, pickle juice, lemon juice, and minced onion together in a small bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep chilled until ready to eat.
Beer battered cod, fries, tartar sauce and a lemon wedge on a plate.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: One batch of the recipe makes approximately 1 ¼ cups of tartar sauce.
  • Storage: Keep the sauce in the refrigerator until you’re ready to eat.
  • Leftovers: Store any leftover sauce in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.
  • Make ahead: Can definitely be made a day or two before you need it (the flavors will have more time to blend).
  • Add-ins: It won’t be classic, but it will still be delicious! Try minced fresh herbs like parsley, chives, or dill. Or try capers, chopped olives, sliced scallions, a squirt of mustard, or a dash of hot sauce.

Fish Fry Menu

Tartar sauce in a small clear portion cup.

Tartar Sauce

Homemade Tartar Sauce is ready in minutes with just 5 ingredients, absolutely delicious, and essential for all the fish fries in your life.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 mins
Total Time 5 mins
Servings 4 servings
Course Pantry
Cuisine American
Calories 197

Ingredients 

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2/3 cup dill pickles minced (see note 1)
  • 3 tablespoons onion minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice from ½ lemon
  • 1 tablespoon dill pickle juice
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions 

  • In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, pickles, onion, and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper (I like ¼ teaspoon salt and ⅛ teaspoon pepper). Cover and chill until serving time.

Recipe Video

Notes

  1. Pickles: I love a crunchy dill pickle (Milwaukee’s brand petite kosher dill pickles, if you can find them). Substitute sweet gherkins or pickle relish to taste, if you prefer that.
  2. Lemon juice: Or substitute lime juice, vinegar, olive juice, or more pickle juice.
  3. Yield: One batch of the recipe makes approximately 1 ¼ cups of tartar sauce.
  4. Storage: Keep the sauce in the refrigerator until you’re ready to eat.
  5. Leftovers: Store any leftover sauce in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.
  6. Make ahead: Can definitely be made a day or two before you need it (the flavors will have more time to blend).
  7. Add-ins: It won’t be classic, but it will still be delicious! Try minced fresh herbs like parsley, chives, or dill. Or try capers, chopped olives, sliced scallions, a squirt of mustard, or a dash of hot sauce.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.25cupCalories: 197kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 1gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 12mgSodium: 387mgPotassium: 33mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 62IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 10mgIron: 1mg
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Meggan Hill

I’m the Executive Chef and head of the Culinary Hill Test Kitchen. Every recipe is developed, tested, and approved just for you.

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