Total Time
Prep 5 mins
Cook 0 mins

Some people think tartar sauce is no big deal. But I've tasted some pretty darn bad versions (and I have yet to try a store-bought version that tastes good), so here's my favorite: my mom's recipe. The most important thing about tartar sauce, in my opinion, is that it be not at all sweet, but savory and rich instead (if you like sweet tartar sauce, this isn't the recipe for you).

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 12 cup mayonnaise (Best Foods, Hellmann's, or Vegenaise)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon grated dill pickle
  • 1 teaspoon dried onion flakes
  • 1 teaspoon chives (optional)
  • balsamic vinegar, to taste


  1. Mix together the mayo, lemon juice, dill pickles (NOT sweet pickles), onion flakes, and chives (if using).
  2. Stir well.
  3. Stir in 3-4 drops of balsamic vinegar, taste, and add more if you like.
  4. Serve with any kind of fish.
  5. Refrigerate any leftovers in tightly covered container.
  6. Note: although Mom doesn't add the balsamic, herself, I love it and add it regularly. Just don't tell her. ;).
Most Helpful

Well, I really liked this AFTER I added a heaping tablespoon of sweet pickle relish. It was a little too sour for me. Thanks for sharing!

LizAnn February 12, 2004

You should put this on the shelves at the store. You will put everyone out of business! I absolutely love it, it's simple and it has NOTHING to do with the other versions I've tried(and hated). Thank you for sharing, I am steeling your recipe and making it forever mine ;)

Jujucooks November 23, 2011

Hi Julesong! This is the first time I've ever made homemade tartar sauce. It was out of necessity, but I don't see any reason to buy it premade anymore. I used fresh grated onion because I didn't have dried, but that just meant I got to use it right away. It was delicious!!!

GinnyP June 13, 2003