Homemade Tartar Sauce

We came up with this Homemade Tartar Sauce when we made our yummy fish and chips recipe.  We have tried many store bought and restaurant served tartar sauces over the years, and we definitely prefer the freshness of this homemade version.

Homemade Tartar Sauce Recipe

Who knew making your own homemade tartar sauce was so easy and tastes so much better than anything you can buy!  I love the combo of the lemon and dill flavors, it was the perfect dip for our fish.


For the best flavor, use fresh squeezed lemon juice and fresh dill.  There are some helpful things to remember when using fresh dill.  Dill weed loses it’s freshness quickly, so pick or purchase it within a day or two of using it in a recipe.  The dill leaves will wilt and lose their flavor if kept in the fridge too long.  Also, you can use a generous amount of dill in a recipe and not worry about the dill flavor overpowering the dish.  When chopping fresh dill leaves, remove the feathery fern-like leaves and stems from the thick center stem. Discard the stem. Use a sharp chopping knife to mince the leaves, to the desired consistency.


If you don’t have fresh dill available, dried dill can also be used.  When using dried dill, be sure to crush the dill between your hands before adding to the tartar sauce.  Crushing the dill leaves will bring out more of the dill flavor.  You can also use a mortar and pestle to accomplish the same thing.


We will definitely be making our own tartar sauce from here on out.  Please, please – use a good quality mayonnaise, it makes a huge difference in the taste of the sauce, I prefer Best Foods mayo.  And if you haven’t tried our recipe for fish and chips, it is a must try!  You can find the recipe HERE.

Serves 6-8

Homemade Tartar Sauce

This fresh and easy Homemade Tartar Sauce goes perfectly with Fish and Chips as well as other seafood dishes.

10 minPrep Time

10 minTotal Time

Save Recipe


  • 1 cup Best Foods (or Hellmann's) Mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 to 3 Tbsp finely chopped dill pickle
  • 2 tsp. finely chopped dill weed
  • 1/4 tsp pepper


  • Combine all ingredients and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.


  1. linda payne says:

    Instead of chopping up pickles I just use relish, and one day we were out of relish and my daughter had to eat store bought tarter sauce and she was like this is the worst stuff ever. I think it’s one of those things when you start making home made you can’t go back to store bought

  2. southerngirl says:

    This is wonderful, but I added just a tad of grated onion too. An alternate sauce I learned on a trip to the Philippines that is quite good for fish, and a nice change once in a while is:
    1/2 cup good Mayo, 1/2 teaspoon prepared mustard, 1/2 teaspoon of garlic (very finely minced or pressed thru garlic press). That’s all. Just mix well together and since the Mayo and mustard are already kept in the frig the mix is ready to serve. Hope you will give it a try.

    • Cylinda says:

      Oh yea, I’m going to try this tonight!!! Just got back from a fishing trip in Fla. fresh Snook…

  3. Marysue says:

    I love, love, LOVE homemade tartar sauce! I also prefer dill to sweet, and I add finely minced sweet onion, some finely chopped capers, and a little dried tarragon, crushed between my fingers…and it is KICK butt good

  4. Helene Wood says:

    I just use mayo and sweet pickle relish, its great. I always put lemon on seafood, but I will try it in the tarter sauce and in one of the comments it said capers, that sounds great also.

  5. Stephanie says:

    Finely minced onions, and minced capers are a must for tartar sauce—add them next time you make this and see!

    • Echo says:

      Great idea! I’ll try it!

  6. Debbie says:

    I agree with adding the minced capers and onion. Penzey’s makes a nice mix called Sunny Paris and I also add some of that. So good!

    • Erica says:

      YUM! Great idea! I love the idea of capers!

  7. buckthorne says:

    Recipe is great. One thing I always do on mayo recipes is go halves with sour cream. Makes it a little ‘cleaner/less heavy’ taste or whatever.

    • Echo says:

      I love that idea! Thanks for sharing the tip!

  8. marc Eleish says:

    I really enjoy a homade of tartar sauce.

    • Emily says:

      Me too, and I LOVE this one!

  9. Carrie says:

    i love this recipe!! So simple and very tasty!! How long does it keep in the fridge?
    Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Emily says:

      Thank you! It should last about 2 weeks in the fridge.

  10. Deborrah says:

    I have an uncle who is a chef, and when he taught me to make tartar sauce he used shallot instead of onion or garlic. Try it!

  11. Trina Cllarise Hershberger-Roszell says:

    My momma, from Blevins, Ark., only fed us dill tarter sauce. We did, and still do, eat it right out of the container! Who needs fish? Right! Here you go….do ENJOY!!!! 1 1/2 C Best foods Mayo, 1small jar baby dills, chopped to you’re liking, 1/2 a white onion chopped fine, less if it is strong, a clove or two of garlic,chopped fine, a sprig or two of fresh dill fronds chopped fine, a bit of fresh ground pepper, and a squeeze of lemon from the tree in the backyard. Chill awhile. Ready to eat on its own, also wonderful with fried fish!! .. Fresh is best but I’ve made do with what I’ve had and its the best.I’m 52 and have never eaten store bought…Thank you my momma…Geta Jo Theobolt Hershberger. I love YOU! Your daughter… Trina Clarise Hershberger-Roszell

  12. Danny says:

    I just go by Luby’s and buy some. Can not be any better!

  13. Sonya says:

    Try adding a dash of Worcestershire. Very good too.

  14. Fozzy says:

    Hellmans? Y’all must be damn Yankees. The only mayo that exists is Duke’s by God mayo.

  15. Danny says:

    Ya”ll try any of the above – plus: chopped egg yolk / white (instead of black) pepper. Will never go back !

    • Erica says:

      Never heard of using egg yolk– will definitely give it a try! Thanks!

  16. sheila lynchy says:

    love tartan sauce but never made it .so thanks I will defo be making this. one ..

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