Easy Recipes for Tartar Sauce

Tartar sauce is a simple dressing for fish that anyone can make. And it doesn’t cost very much, either.  It can be made ahead of time, which is usually the best idea in terms of flavor.  If you’re in a hurry, you can make it and serve it right away.

Tartar sauce can be served with any type of fish you happen to be making but is usually best served with breaded fish.  The sauce is thick and fish that’s plain doesn’t stand up to it as well as the breaded kind does.

The good thing about tartar sauce is most people usually have all the ingredients on hand that they’ll need to mix it up.  And you can really use whatever you like in it. So, if you love a certain brand of mayo or a certain type of pickle relish, you can use that.  Homemade mayo would be great in tartar sauce but it will bring the cost up a bit.  It will certainly up the flavor but will take more time. too.

You can jazz this up a bit with minced fresh garlic. Adding chopped fresh parsley will give it a nice color.  Tartar sauce can be an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink type of recipe.  It just depends on what you like and what you have in your kitchen.

While you can add onion powder, as noted in the recipe below, real onion is so much better. Only use the onion powder if you’re short on time or out of real onions.

Some recipes call for a squeeze or two of fresh lemon in the sauce but fish tastes better when you squeeze the lemon on the it and then, add the tartar sauce.

Depending on how many people you’re serving, this recipe can be doubled or  halved very easily.  

1 cup of mayonnaise
2 tablespoons of pickle relish
1 tablespoon of finely diced onion
1/4 of a teaspoon of onion powder
a dash of pepper

In a medium mixing bowl, stir the mayo, pickle relish and onion or onion powder together.  It’s best to really mix it up well with a fork to thin it out.  The juice from the pickle relish will help thin the sauce out a bit.   Once you’ve mixed it up, sprinkle a dash or two of pepper on top.

It’s best to serve tartar sauce in a small bowl rather than dressing the fish when you plate the food.  That way people can put as much or as little as they want on their fish. Most kids will adore this with their fish sticks but adults like it on “real” fish, too.