The Best Tartar Sauce

March 28, 2022 8 Comments

A couple of important tips is what makes this tartar sauce recipe the best.

The Best Tartar Sauce

From the recipe collection of Tara Ippolito

Isn’t tartar sauce just the best?

There’s nothing better then this creamy cool sauce with some fried food. Yum!

The flavor is so unique that it can kinda go with anything you want, though.

My family even loves it with French fries.

I always order extra tartar sauce on my fish filets from McDonald’s.

There’s a good chance that’s my favorite sandwich strictly because of the sauce.

I always order extra because I can never get enough of it.

Ordering out is fine but what if we need the sauce for something we’re making at home?

That’s no problem at all because this recipe is super easy to do.

There’s not much that goes into making it at all.

There are just a couple of important tips to follow for this sauce to be the best.

Time plays a big part in this recipe. But believe me, it will be well worth the wait for sure.

My family loves this unique dipping sauce so much! I know that if you try it you’ll love it, too

If you’re a dipper like me, you’d probably also really like this recipe for Boom Boom Sauce and Big Mac Sauce, too!

Important tips for making tartar sauce

There are a few things to remember when making tartar sauce that are very important.

The pickles and mayonnaise you choose make a big difference. Those are two big things that we’ll go over soon.

I the meantime, one thing that I want you to remember about making this tartar sauce is that is needs to sit.

Marinating is the key here.

Ideally, you would make this a day ahead of time.

If you just don’t have that kind of time, try to pop it in the fridge for at least a couple of hours.

Once all these flavors blend together it’s really going to make a big difference taste wise.

What pickles should I use for tartar sauce?

I always say that recipes are meant to be used as a guide. So make it your own.

That said, use whatever pickles you want.

BUT Dill pickles are the best for this If you ask me.Try to get a good kind, too.

I prefer Claussen but any pickles from the refrigerated section of your grocery store will do.

There’s a difference in the way they are actually pickled. Here’s a good article on MASHED.COM on why If you’re interested.

Can I use relish instead of pickles?

Yes…. and no.

Let me explain that better.

Of course you can and you’ll still get a very good tartar sauce.

But I find that relish is a bit too watery. It throws off the consistency of the sauce.

I really prefer cutting your pickles up into small pieces rather then using a relish.

That’s what you need to do to really get the best tartar sauce.

If you are going to take a shortcut try to get a dill pickle relish at least.

What mayonnaise should I use?

Use whatever kind of mayonnaise you’d like.

My favorites are Duke’s and Hellmans but really it doesn’t matter.

I just want to make sure you’re not using Miracle Whip.

Miracle whip is incredibly tangy and going to alter the taste of the tartar sauce.

So the choice is yours as long as it’s not that.

Can I use fresh dill?

Yes, absolutely. You can use fresh dill in this recipe.

It’s actually even better that way. I just didn’t have any at the time so I used dried.

That’s fine too. But if you have it, use it for sure. 

How long does tartar sauce stay fresh in the fridge?

Homemade tartar sauce can last up to 2 weeks in the fridge.

Just make sure it’s in an air tight container.

What can I use tartar sauce on?

You might want to try this tartar sauce on lots of different things. It really is the best

Here’s some inspiration:

  • Crab/ salmon cakes
  • Fish sticks
  • Fried clams
  • Fish sandwiches
  • Roasted vegetables
  • French fries

Use your imagination and put this sauce on whatever you can think of.

The best tartar sauce recipe video:

The best tartar sauce ingredients:

  • Mayonnaise
  • Dill, dry
  • Onion, minced
  • Pickles, minced
  • Lemon
  • Salt & pepper
  • Sugar


First, add your mayonnaise to a medium sized bowl.

Then add the dill

The sugar

And the onion

Next add the lemon juice, salt and pepper

Then the chopped pickles

Now stir everything together until it’s evenly combined.

After that, place the bowl in the fridge for as long as you can.

Preferably let it marinate for 24 hours but if you need it sooner that’s ok! Just make sure it marinates for at least a couple of hours in that case.

Lastly, stir the tartar sauce one more time before serving chilled. Enjoy!

The Best Tartar Sauce

I have some tips on how to make the best tartar sauce recipe ever!
Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: dipping sauce, fried fish sauce, tartar sauce, the best tartar sauce


  • 1 cup Mayonaise
  • 2 tbs Dried Dill
  • 1 tbs Sugar
  • 1 tbs Minced Onion
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1/2 Lemon, juiced
  • 1/2 cup Minced Dill Pickles


  • In a medium sized bowl, combine all of the ingredients.
  • Let the tartar sauce marinate in the fridge overnight.
  • Give it a big stir before serving. Serve Chilled and enjoy!
Tara Ippolito

About Al Dente Diva

Tara Ippolito is a self taught home cook from New Jersey and cookbook author of Fast, Simple, Delicious. Better known as “T” across social media, she makes easy to follow recipes using familiar ingredients. T uses her Tik Tok, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and Pinterest channels to share recipes and cooking tips for everyday people. Her motivation to share with her followers is simple. To inspire people to cook and become more comfortable in the kitchen.

As a wife and busy mother of two little boys she she’s always cooking fast family friendly meals. Sharing her kitchen with others that want to learn is a true passion of hers. As her social media platforms continue to grow she is committed to delivering consistently delicious content to her followers.

Al Dente Diva

Hello there! My name is T & I’m a home cook from New Jersey. I love to share easy to make recipes, cooking tips & kitchen hacks with people who love to cook like I do. My recipes are all easy to follow & use ingredients most people are familiar with. Being a busy stay at home mother of two, I have to cook delicious budget friendly meals that are fast to make. I hope you find something helpful here. Thanks for coming by.

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  • Anonymous March 28, 2022 at 6:50 pm

    Very nice

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