3 Ingredient Tartar Sauce

3 ingredient tartar sauce
3 ingredient tartar sauce

Tartar sauce, a beloved accompaniment for seafood dishes, doesn’t require you to be a gourmet chef to whip it up. With only three simple ingredients, you can easily create a homemade tartar sauce that rivals the flavors of your favorite restaurant. This easy recipe will save you time while still impressing your family and friends with its rich taste.

Tartar Sauce

Preparing this 3-ingredient tartar sauce is a breeze! It comes together quickly, allowing you to focus on the rest of the meal. The sauce’s versatility makes it the perfect complement to fish, shrimp, and even non-seafood dishes. Best of all, this homemade sauce is made with ingredients you likely already have in your pantry, so there’s no need for an extra trip to the store.

With this easy tartar sauce recipe, you’ll never want to purchase store-bought tartar again. Get ready to elevate your seafood dishes to a new level with this delicious sauce.

Why You Will Love This Recipe

  • So Quick! This 3-ingredient tartar sauce takes just a couple of minutes to make.
  • Adjustable Recipe. You can easily add other ingredients to make it taste just the way you want or even make spicy tartar sauce!
  • Low-Cost Condiment. Since this recipe uses only a few basic ingredients, you won’t have to spend a lot of money to make this delicious, budget-friendly sauce, and it’s cheaper than a bottle of prepared sauce.
  • Versatile Sauce for Meals. It isn’t just for fish and seafood. You can use it on sandwiches, burgers, or even as a dipping sauce for fries, veggies, and so much more.


This super easy recipe only takes 3 ingredients to make, and you probably have all of them in your kitchen right now. Be sure to check the recipe card for the quantities of each ingredient.

  • Mayonnaise: The main component of this simple sauce recipe is mayonnaise. It provides a creamy base that binds the other ingredients together and creates a smooth texture.
  • Sweet Pickle Relish: It provides a crunchy and tangy element to the sauce. You can also simply add chopped sweet pickles instead.
  • Lemon Juice: Adds a tangy and refreshing flavor to the sauce. Although you can use bottled lemon juice, fresh lemon juice tastes better. Keep in mind you can adjust the amount of lemon juice to your preference, ensuring the perfect level of tanginess.


Substitutions and Variations

Don’t have the correct ingredients on hand? Or want to change something up? Here are some helpful tips for you to change this 3-ingredient tartar sauce.

  • Add Seasoning: To enhance flavors and balance the tang from the lemon juice and relish, feel free to add a little salt, pepper, or sugar to taste.
  • Herbs and Spices: Herbs and spices are a quick and easy way to enhance your sauce. Consider adding some onion flakes, fresh dill, fresh chives, fresh tarragon, fresh parsley, sour cream, or minced garlic.
  • Other flavors: Capers, grated onion, and diced olives are other salty and savory flavors that work well to change up your tartar.
  • Less Sweet: Skip sweet pickle relish and use dill pickle relish instead for a sauce that isn’t as sweet.
  • Spicy Tartar Sauce: Add a bit of chili pepper flakes, diced jalapeno pepper, homemade hot pepper sauce, hot sauce, jalapeno powder, smoked jalapeno powder, or chipotle powder to the mayo mixture for a bit of heat.

How to Make Tartar Sauce

Creating the perfect homemade tartar sauce is easier than you might think, and you’ll love being able to control the taste and texture. Here’s a glimpse of how easy it is to make!

  1. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.
  2. Place the sauce in an airtight container and refrigerate for at least an hour. This will allow the flavors to meld together.

Hint: If your sauce is too thin and runny, try adding more mayonnaise or refrigerating the sauce for a few hours or overnight. The chilling process helps to thicken the sauce and allows the flavors to meld together better.

If you love recipes like this, you may also enjoy this Kraft Copycat Tartar Sauce.


Store the sauce for up to a week in an airtight container. Remember to use a clean utensil every time you use it to ensure the sauce isn’t contaminated.

What to Serve with Tartar Sauce

This creamy sauce is not only perfect with seafood dishes but also tastes great with so many other foods. Here are some of our favorites.

  • Different types of seafood: Serve it up with steak and crab legs, smoked crab cakes, Red Lobster crab cakes, crab cake sandwich, smoked salmon cakes, smoked clams, or smoked catfish.
  • Serve it as a dipping sauce for frozen chicken fries in the air fryer, french fries, air fryer baby potatoes, air fryer frozen sweet potato fries, or fresh veggies.
  • Great with shrimp! Enjoy it with instant pot shrimp, broiled lemon garlic shrimp, coconut shrimp, shrimp kebabs, or bacon-wrapped shrimp.
  • More than for just fried fish! Consider it as a sauce for almond-crusted walleye or smoked whitefish.
  • Great with air fryer chicken! Try it with air fryer Tyson crispy chicken strips, air fryer Tyson chicken nuggets, air fryer chicken tenders, air fryer bacon-wrapped chicken tenderloins, air fryer frozen popcorn chicken, or air fryer fried chicken thighs.


Here are some tips to make your 3-ingredient sauce even more delicious and enjoyable:

  • Adjust the Consistency: If it’s too thin, add more mayonnaise or refrigerate the sauce for some time. The chilling process often helps to thicken the sauce while also allowing the flavors to meld together better.
  • Chill Before Serving: For better consistency and flavor, allow your sauce to chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving.
  • Experiment with Flavors: You can add different ingredients to see which combination works best for your taste buds.
  • Enjoy it with more than seafood: It’s a versatile condiment. Not only for seafood but also on sandwiches, hamburgers, or as a dipping sauce for fries and vegetables.
  • Nothing beats the flavor of homemade tartar sauce: You get to make it to your exact tastes!


Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about this better than Hellmann’s tartar sauce.

  1. Can I store this tartar sauce for a longer period?
    It’s best to consume the sauce within a week. The flavors and texture may deteriorate if stored for an extended period.

  2. Can I use reduced-fat mayonnaise for this recipe?
    Yes, you can use reduced-fat mayonnaise, but keep in mind that it might alter the taste and texture slightly.


Making homemade tartar sauce with just three simple ingredients is a game-changer for elevating your seafood dishes and adding a burst of flavor. This versatile sauce can be enjoyed with various dishes like fish, seafood, sandwiches, and more. With the ability to customize the flavors and the convenience of using pantry staples, there’s no reason to settle for store-bought tartar sauce anymore.

So next time you’re craving some tartar sauce, give this easy recipe a try. Your taste buds will thank you!

For more culinary inspiration and delightful recipes, visit Takeout Food, your go-to resource for all things food-related. Happy cooking!

Article by Takeout Food

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