Easy Tartar Sauce

This recipe for creamy tartar sauce couldn’t be easier. Mayonnaise, sour cream, pickles, capers and fresh onion make this the perfect sauce to serve with fish.

Tartar sauce ingredients

As a child I couldn’t stand tartar sauce. I didn’t like the consistency and it always tasted so sweet. It was only once I grew up that I realized the tartar sauce most restaurants serve is just not very good. When you make it yourself, you control the sweetness and can add all the sharp, acidic bits that make proper tartar sauce as great as it is.

What’s in tartar sauce?

  • Mayonnaise. I like using Hellman’s but use any mayo you like.
  • Sour Cream. Adding sour cream adds extra creaminess to the finished sauce.
  • Pickles. Use any pickles you like. I love a good dill pickle and find the flavor works really well here.
  • Capers. I do NOT skimp on capers. I love a good caper and their salty-brininess works so well in the creamy sauce and with fish.
  • Fresh onion. Dice the onion as finely as you can. No one wants to find a big chunk of raw onion in their sauce.
  • Herbs. I keep it simple and add only chopped parsley but dill, tarragon and even chervil will be delicious in this sauce.
  • Lemon juice. A few drops of fresh lemon juice makes a big difference to the finished sauce.
  • Salt and pepper. 
Easy Tartar sauce with fish and chips

How to make tartar sauce

It’s as simple as chopping the pickles and onion into fine dice and giving the capers a rough chop. Add to a large mixing bowl then add the chopped parsley. Add the mayonnaise, sour cream and lemon juice then mix well. Taste and season to taste with salt and pepper before serving.

Does tartar sauce have dairy?

You could leave the sour cream out if you wanted to keep this sauce dairy-free. Use only mayo or a sour cream alternative instead.

How to store tartar sauce

It can be made up to 5 days ahead. Keep the finished sauce in an airtight container in the fridge. I do not recommend freezing this sauce and it really isn’t necessary as it is so quick to make.

Creamy tartar sauce

Serving suggestions

  1. White wine garlic salmon
  2. Easy lemon butter baked fish
  3. Easy Cajun Air Fryer Fish
  4. Easy lemon pepper shrimp

Easy sauce recipes

  1. Lemon butter sauce
  2. Peanut sauce
  3. Honey-mustard dipping sauce
  4. 5 minute salsa
  5. Easy Greek Tzatziki
Tartar sauce ingredients

Easy tartar sauce

This recipe for creamy tartar sauce couldn't be easier. Mayonnaise, sour cream, pickles, capers and onion make this the perfect sauce to serve with fish.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Sauce, Side Dish
Cuisine: French
Keyword: Homemade tartar sauce, Tartar sauce, Tartar sauce recipe
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Calories: 66kcal
Author: Alida Ryder
Servings: 6


  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup dill pickles finely chopped
  • 1 small onion finely diced
  • 3 tbsp capers roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp parsley finely chopped
  • 1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • salt to taste


  • Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl.
  • Mix well. Taste and season to taste before serving.


Calories: 66kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 481mg | Potassium: 84mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 186IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 1mg

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