Healthy Tartar Sauce

Create a Healthy Tartar Sauce with this creamy and delicious homemade version! A wholesome condiment recipe made from scratch that pairs well with all of your favorite seafood dishes.

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A small dish of healthy tartar sauce.

This healthy tartar sauce recipe is made weekly at our house for fish Fridays. Other favorites include this Spicy Dipping Sauce and this White BBQ Sauce. Check out all of Healthy Dips and Sauces for more inspiration!

Why YOU will love this recipe

  • By making your own condiments like this tartar sauce, you have control over the ingredients and can avoid any unwanted preservatives or additives. We use homemade mayo; the entire recipe is made from healthy, whole foods.
  • Creating this sauce at home allows for complete customization, where you can adjust the flavors, tanginess, creaminess, and texture to match your personal preferences.
  • Making this recipe is really easy. Just a bit of chopping and stirring, and you are ready to serve.
  • It is an excellent low-carbohydrate sauce perfect for keto, low-carb, or Whole30 diets.
  • This tartar sauce is also naturally gluten-free and dairy-free. Bonus!
A small side dish of healthy tartar sauce on a counter.

Ingredients

  • mayonnaise -we use our Homemade Lemon Mayonnaise for this recipe. If you haven’t tried making your own mayo, we highly encourage you to try it. It is surprisingly easy and so much healthier – and rewarding!
  • lemon juice – freshly squeezed lemon adds that hint of acidity to balance the creaminess of the mayo. If you don’t have fresh lemon you can substitute white vinegar.
  • dill – you can use fresh dill or dried dill. Whatever you have on hand!
  • pickles – chopped dill pickles are the heart and soul of any homemade tartar sauce. You could also substitute relish instead.
  • pickle juice – this is optional but adds a nice salty punch. And it is right there in the pickle jar! Why not use it?
  • salt and black pepper to taste
Ingredients on a counter.

Equipment

  • small mixing bowl
  • cutting board and a sharp knife – for slicing open the lemon and chopping the pickles.
  • lemon juicer
  • spoon or spatula for stirring – both work well, but we love using a small spatula for scraping down the sides.
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Instructions

Scroll to the recipe card at the bottom for the FULL recipe details.

Step 1

First, start by adding the mayonnaise to a small mixing bowl.

Step 2

Next, juice a lemon and add a tablespoon of fresh juice to the bowl with the mayonnaise.

Step 3

Then, finely chop the pickles and add them to the mixture.

Step 4

Next, add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl.

Ingredients in a bowl.

Step 5

Finally, stir everything in the bowl well to combine.

Give it a taste test, and add salt and/or pepper to taste.

Ingredients being mixed in a bowl.

Expert tip

Don’t skip using the pickle juice. The acidity of the brine helps cut through the richness of the mayonnaise, making the tartar sauce more balanced.

Highly recommended!

Overhead image of a small dish of healthy tartar sauce.

Recipe variations

  • If you want a lighter version, try substituting plain Greek yogurt as part or all of the mayo. Using Greek yogurt is lower in calories and fat yet higher in protein, making it a great swap.
  • Add a bit of a sharp and salty element to the creamy sauce with a teaspoon Dijon mustard and a tablespoon or two of capers.
  • Create a flavorful garden herb version using freshly chopped herbs such as dill, parsley, tarragon, and green onion or chives.
  • Add ingredients like hot sauce, finely chopped jalapeños, or crushed red pepper flakes to make a spicy tartar sauce. We absolutely love this Pepperoncini Relish recipe to add some kick.

Serving suggestions

  • It is a classic sauce to serve with fish and chips – we enjoy it with this quick and easy air fryer cod and oven-baked french fries.
  • Drop a generous dollop on top of crab cakes, salmon patties, or even fish sticks or fish sandwiches for the kids!
  • Make a tasty seafood appetizer platter with breaded shrimp, calamari, scallops, and this healthy tartar sauce for dipping.
  • While tartar sauce is generally synonymous with seafood dishes it is also delicious with other proteins such as grilled chicken or baked chicken like these Gluten Free Chicken Tenders.

FAQS

Is homemade tartar sauce better than store-bought?

We vote yes! Homemade tartar sauce allows you to control the quality of ingredients, and it can often be fresher and more flavorful than store-bought options.

Can I make tartar sauce in advance?

Yes, you can make tartar sauce in advance and store it in the refrigerator. In fact, allowing the flavors to meld together for a few hours can only enhance the taste.

Storage tips

  • Keep this sauce in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a week. Stir well before serving.
  • We do not recommend freezing this homemade tartar sauce. Freezing and then thawing really changes the texture, and it loses the creamy appeal of the sauce. It can also impact the flavors as well. It is best enjoyed within a few days of making it.
Overhead image of a dish of healthy tartar sauce.

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A small dish of healthy tartar sauce.

Healthy Tartar Sauce

Sharon Rhodes
Create a Healthy Tartar Sauce with this creamy and delicious homemade version! A wholesome condiment recipe, made from scratch that pairs well with all of your favorite seafood dishes.
5 from 8 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Condiment
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 193 kcal

Ingredients
  

Instructions
 

  • Add all of the ingredients into a small mixing bowl.
  • Stir everything together well to combine. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve immediately or keep in the fridge until serving.

Video

Notes

Storage tips

  • Keep this sauce in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a week. Stir well before serving.
  • We do not recommend freezing this homemade tartar sauce. Freezing and then thawing really changes the texture and it loses the creamy appeal of the sauce. It can also impact the flavors as well. It is best enjoyed within a few days of making it.

Nutrition

Calories: 193kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 0.4gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 13gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 12mgSodium: 268mgPotassium: 26mgFiber: 0.1gSugar: 0.4gVitamin A: 46IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 11mgIron: 0.1mg
Keyword healthy tartar sauce
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7 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I recently made this tartar sauce, and it turned out so creamy and delicious! A perfect condiment! I will definitely make more of this again!

  2. 5 stars
    I love how fresh and delicious this homemade tartar sauce is! I made some to dip fishsticks into for lunch today and I can’t wait to make it again.

  3. 5 stars
    Made this healthy tartar sauce, and it’s a winner for us seafood lovers! Creamy, tangy, and with just the right amount of dill – it complements fish dishes perfectly.

  4. 5 stars
    This was really easy and a great balance to my kids fish stick dinner last night, haha! I’m definitely also keeping that mayo recipe in my back pocket. So much better than storebought and less $$.

  5. 5 stars
    I have always loved tartar sauce and this recipe was perfect with my fish fry I made this week! I liked the tanginess and creaminess. Def going to be a keeper recipe!

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