Tartar Sauce

Once you learn how to make tartar sauce, you'll never buy it at the store again! This lightened-up version is super creamy, tangy, and delicious.

Tartar sauce

When I told Jack I was working on a homemade tartar sauce recipe, he replied, “Oh, are you using cream of tartar?” I immediately burst out laughing, but I really can’t blame him for his mistake. I mean, tartar sauce is creamy. It kind of makes sense, right?

In reality, the two have nothing to do with one another. Cream of tartar is a powdery baking ingredient that you’d find in sweets like cookies or meringues. Tartar sauce, on the other hand, is super savory, rich, and tangy. It’s typically served with seafood, but trust me – this delicious condiment can do so much more. Lately, I’ve been using it as a dip for my crispy air fryer cauliflower, and the leftovers never go to waste. We slather the sauce on sandwiches, pile it onto baked potatoes, and dollop it onto grilled veggies. You’ll find more serving suggestions in the post below. But really, anytime you feel like a dish needs a rich, tangy pop of flavor, you can make this tartar sauce recipe to brighten it up.

Yogurt, mayonnaise, capers, chives, mustard, lemon, garlic, and onion powder

Tartar Sauce Recipe Ingredients

Mayonnaise is the primary ingredient in traditional tartar sauce, but I lighten mine up by using a mix of mayo and Greek yogurt. The yogurt makes this recipe for tartar sauce extra-tangy and creamy. These other key ingredients amp up the flavor even more:

  • Lemon juice – It makes the sauce nice and bright.
  • Capers and diced dill pickles – They add salty, briny flavor.
  • Dijon mustard – It adds extra tang and a peppery bite.
  • Fresh garlic and onion powder – For sharp, savory depth of flavor.
  • And sea salt  – To make all the flavors pop!

Find the complete recipe with measurements below.

Hands stirring homemade tartar sauce with spatula

How to Make Tartar Sauce

Ready to cook? Here’s what you need to do:

  • First, prep the ingredients. Dice the pickles, mince the capers, grate the garlic, and measure the mayo, yogurt, onion powder, and mustard.
  • Then, mix it all together! Add the ingredients to a small bowl, and stir until everything is thoroughly combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper, garnish with fresh chives, and enjoy.

That’s it!

Homemade tartar sauce recipe

Homemade Tartar Sauce Serving Suggestions

Tartar sauce is traditionally served with seafood dishes like crab cakes and fish and chips, but in our house, we eat it with veggies instead! Here are a few of our favorite ways to enjoy it:

How do you like to use homemade tartar sauce? Let me know in the comments!

Easy tartar sauce

More Favorite Sauces and Spreads

If you love this recipe, try one of these yummy sauces next:

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Tartar Sauce

rate this recipe:
5 from 13 votes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Serves 4 to 6
This homemade tartar sauce recipe is creamy, tangy, and super easy to make! See the post above for my favorite ways to serve it.



  • In a small bowl, stir together the mayo, yogurt, lemon juice, capers, pickles, mustard, garlic, onion powder, and pepper. Season to taste with pinches of salt.
  • Garnish with chives, if desired, and serve using any of the suggestions in the post above.



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Rate this recipe (after making it)

  1. Nicole K

    5 stars
    Terrific recipe! I agree with you that it will lift more than fish and chips (which I make every once in a while for a weekend treat and made this to go with my recent batch). It’s delicious with roasted veggies. I’ve never commented on your recipes but wanted to tell you how much I love your site. We’re omnivores but eat a lot of veg-based meals and I think your recipes and ideas are thoughtful, creative and joyful, but also so useful. Thank you for sharing them all!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Nicole, I’m so happy to hear you’ve been enjoying the recipes!

  2. Teri

    5 stars
    I used kew pie Mayo and skipped the capers since I was out. Still delicious. Trying to recreate Paia fish market tartar. Definitely a keeper. Can’t wait to try with capers. Thanks for the great recipe!

  3. Anna

    This was too liquidy for me.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Anna, what type of yogurt did you use?

  4. Jennifer Chavis

    I love tarter sauce on French fries!!

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.