This CRAZY simple tartar sauce is just 5 ingredients and a total snap to make! Chances are, you already have the ingredients needed to make this delicious dipping sauce. Perfect for serving with your favorite fish and seafood dishes.
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Having grown up in the coastal North East, I have a lot of thoughts and experience in the realm of seafood and, specifically, tartar sauce.
Much of what you see online are somewhat bourgeois in comparison to what I have grown up dipping my fried clams into. While they are all delicious and flavor packed, they don’t match up to the simple, plain, and tangy sauce served at my favorite fish and chip trucks.
This simple sauce is inspired by this longing. With just 5 of the most basic ingredients, this is the classic North East fish and chip truck tartar sauce. It’s perfect for dipping with your favorite fish and seafood dishes, and a total cinch to make.
- Mayonnaise: You want to use a good quality, real mayonnaise like Hellmann’s or Duke’s.
- Relish: To ensure there is a balance of sweetness, I recommend using sweet relish. If you need to limit sugar, you can use dill pickle relish in place of the sweet relish.
- Lemon juice: Freshly squeezed lemon juice is strongly preferred for this recipe, but you can use bottled lemon juice if that’s what you have on hand.
- Onion powder: Many recipes call for freshly diced onion. To keep this simple and easy to prepare, onion powder is used instead.
- Black pepper: Just a bit of black pepper is needed for seasoning.
How to Make a Simple Tartar Sauce
To get started, combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl.
Use a rubber spatula to mix the sauce together until smooth and uniform.
Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap or an airtight lid. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving, if possible. This will help the flavors meld together.
Serving and Storage
To serve, taste and adjust any seasonings according to your liking. Scoop small portions onto the serving plate, or serve in small sauce bowls.
Store your remaining sauce in the fridge in an airtight container or tightly covered with plastic wrap. Consume within 1 week and keep refrigerated.
Keto and Low Carb Tartar Sauce: Use dill pickle relish in place of the sweet relish called for in the recipe. Add a pinch or two, to taste, of a keto approved sweetener like stevia, swerve, or monk fruit.
Tartar Sauce with Miracle Whip: To make tartar sauce without mayonnaise, omit the lemon juice and substitute miracle whip for the mayonnaise.
How to make tartar sauce without pickles: Many recipes call for chopped pickles, but you can also use sweet or dill relish (which we do in this recipe).
Store bought sauce is good, as long as it is refrigerated, until the “sell by” or “expiration” date listed on the bottle.
Keep refrigerated in a tightly wrapped or airtight container. Consume within 1 week.
National Tartar Sauce Day
For any of you who are curious, National Tartar Sauce Day is the Friday after Lent begins.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t need a specific day to tell me to enjoy tartar sauce. I love it all year round with my favorite fish dishes (like Air Fryer Salmon Patties).
What to Serve With Tartar Sauce:
- Crispy Pan Fried Fish – Recipe Tin Eats
- Air Fryer Salmon Patties (coming soon)
- Best British Fish and Chips – The Daring Gourmet
- Clam Shake Style Fried Clams – Leite’s Culinaria
And to drink, try:
- 1 cup real mayonnaise
- 1 1/2 tablespoon sweet relish
- 2-3 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Add all of the ingredients to a small bowl. Use a rubber spatula to combine the ingredients until smooth and uniform.
- Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap or transfer to an airtight container. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving, if possible. This will give the flavors a chance to develop.
- Taste and adjust seasonings according to your preferences.
- Serve and enjoy!
Keep your tartar sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Consume within 1 week.
Serve your simple tartar sauce with your favorite fish and seafood dishes. Remove each portion of sauce from the container before serving to avoid contamination and keep the sauce fresh for as long as possible.
Serving Size:Approx. 2 tablespoons
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 153Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 9mgSodium: 159mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 0g