Creamy and tangy, this homemade tartar sauce recipe is so easy that you’ll never settle for store bought again! Spoiler: my secret ingredient is using pickled asparagus- the flavor is unreal! Bust out this recipe for your next fish fry and let the compliments roll in!
Like most of the savory sauces and dressings in our rotation, they are born out of resourcefulness. Years ago, my husband and I were making fish for dinner. When he asked me to grab the tartar sauce from the refrigerator, I realized we had none. I truly didn’t care for traditional store bought tartar sauce, so it was fine with me. My husband however was quite insistent. A quick google search showed me the basic ingredients, but I didn’t even have pickles on hand. What I did find was a large jar of pickled asparagus in the cupboard that was gifted to me for Christmas, pickled jalapenos, a little dill relish, capers, onion, and cilantro. Our favorite homemade tartar sauce was accidentally born that night and has gone through a few modifications since then.
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Ingredients used in the best tartar sauce recipe
It is very easy to substitute the ingredients used in this tartar sauce recipe to suit your personal tastes, but I always keep the ratio of mayonnaise to sour cream the same.
- Sour Cream
- Pickled asparagus
- Dill pickles, chopped, or dill relish
- Pickled jalapeno
- Cilantro (or parsley)
- Green onion (shallot, or chives)
- Lemon Juice
- Salt & Pepper
How to make the best tartar sauce
One of the easiest ways to make this tartar sauce recipe is by throwing all ingredients into a food processor and blending until smooth and creamy. Alternatively, chop or mince all ingredients into small pieces and stir together in a bowl.
It is highly recommended to let the tartar sauce chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before using so the flavors can marinate. The sauce keeps well in the refrigerator for at least 3 days.
Serving homemade tartar sauce
You’ll use more homemade tartar sauce than you would the store-bought counterpart. The recipe yields a little over 8 oz of sauce, which is perfect for about 3 people (2-3 oz per person). Serve tartar sauce with fried fish or other fried seafood. As outdoorsy Minnesotans, we love tartar sauce with wild-caught walleye or pan fish breaded in Shore Lunch!
This sauce is also excellent as the only condiment you’ll need on fish sandwiches! It pairs well with lettuce, tomato, and fried fish on a freshly toasted bun.
Love homemade sauces? Try this too!
Homemade burger sauce: This delicious homemade burger sauce has been our go-to all summer long and takes only 10 minutes to assemble. It tastes like your favorite burger joint’s “secret sauce” and is very similar to Mac Sauce or Thousand Island Dressing.
Tartar Sauce Recipe
Creamy and tangy homemade tartar sauce is so easy that you'll never settle for store bought again! My secret ingredient is using pickled asparagus instead of just pickles. The flavor of this tartar sauce is unreal. Must-have recipe for any fish fry!
- ¼ cup plus 1 Tablespoon (74g) mayonnaise
- ¼ cup sour cream
- ⅓ cup (60g) pickled asparagus, finely chopped
- 1 Tablespoon dill pickles, finely chopped, or dill relish
- 7 slices pickled jalapeno, finely chopped *optional
- 1 Tablespoon cilantro, finely chopped (substitute: parsley)
- 1 teaspoon capers, finely chopped or mashed
- 1 (22g) green onion, finely chopped (substitute: shallot, or chives)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon lemon juice
- pinch salt & pepper, to taste
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir until well combined. Alternatively, add all pickled ingredients, garlic, and herbs into a food processor until well minced, 15-30 seconds, and add mayo, sour cream, and remaining ingredients pulse until well combined.
Cover the sauce bowl with plastic wrap or airtight lid. Let chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or longer to marinate. Sauce is best served cold.
*Storing homemade tartar sauce: keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days for best results.
*Serving sizes: 2-3 oz/per person