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Homemade tartar sauce is so easy to make yourself. With freshly squeezed lemon and chopped dill, it tastes so much better than anything you can buy.
Homemade Tartar Sauce
Tartar Sauce is essential when preparing fish or seafood recipes. The creamy, tangy taste perfectly complements crab cakes, fish and chips, or fish that is baked, grilled, or fried. Be sure to give the tartar sauce some time to chill in the refrigerator. This enhances the taste this easy tartar sauce recipe of the sauce by giving all of the flavors time to blend.
Homemade Tartar Sauce turns even boring oven baked fish sticks into a creamy delight! We came up with this recipe when we made our scrumptious Fish and Chips. We’ve tried so many store bought and restaurant served tartar sauces over the years, and we definitely prefer the zesty flavor of this homemade version. It’s all about using the freshest ingredients for this recipe. Believe us, it makes all the difference! Plus, it’s so easy to make and costs much less than most store bought brands. Give it a try for yourself; we promise you’ll love it!
What is Tartar Sauce?
Tartar sauce is a creamy condiment with a mayonnaise base (for a lower fat option, plain Greek yogurt can also be used as a base). Dill, lemon, onion powder, dill or sweet pickles (butter pickles work too), and pickle relish are added to the base to make a tangy and tart dip for fish and seafood. You can also add capers, a dash or two of extra salt or dijon mustard for additional flavor. It’s obviously a perfect side for most fish recipes, but you can also serve a small bowl of tartar sauce with vegetables to use for dip!
Best Ingredients to Use for Homemade Tartar Sauce
- For the very best flavor, use fresh squeezed lemon and fresh dill. There’s just something so fresh and light about using juice from a real lemon. For maximum juice, roll it on the counter for a few seconds before slicing in half and squeeze cut side up, to avoid getting seeds in the sauce. Or you can microwave your lemon for about 10 seconds, which really gets those tangy juices flowing.
- Dill weed loses its freshness quickly, so if you’re purchasing dill, use it with a day or two of purchase. If you grow dill in your garden, pick it just before you plant to use it in a recipe. The dill leaves will wilt and lose their flavor if kept in the fridge too long.
- Don’t worry about too much dill overpowering the dish. The dill weed has such a mild flavor that you can add quite a bit if you choose.
- When chopping fresh dill leaves, remove the feathery fern-like leaves and stems from the thick center stem. Discard the stem, then use a sharp chopping knife to mince the leaves to the desired consistency.
- If you don’t have fresh dill available, use dried dill! Be sure to crush the dill leaves between your fingers before adding to the tartar sauce, which will bring out more of the flavor.
- Use a good quality mayonnaise; it makes a huge difference in the taste of the sauce. We really love Best Foods or Hellman’s Mayo, but use whatever you prefer.
- If you want to make tartar sauce without mayo or miracle whip, try using plain Greek yogurt. It’ll also give it a boost of protein.
More Delicious Seafood Recipes
We have lots of tasty fish and seafood dishes that you are going to love! There are so many great ways to cook up fish and use this homemade tartar sauce. Try a few of our favorites:
- Cilantro-Lime Halibut
- Crab Cakes
- Easy Fish Tacos
- Father’s Day Herb Salmon
- Grilled Mahi Mahi Tacos
- Halibut Tacos
- Parmesan-Crusted Tilapia
- Pecan Crusted Salmon
Homemade Tartar Sauce
- In a medium size bowl, combine mayo, lemon juice, chopped dill pickles and dill weed, and pepper.
- Stir until thoroughly combined.
- Chill in refrigerator for at least 1 hour. The longer, the better. Flavors will get stronger with more time.
- Stir before serving. Great as a dip or dressing with seafood!