Creamy homemade tartar sauce is tangy, rich, and so much better than anything you can buy in a bottle! This easy vegan tartar sauce recipe comes together in just a few minutes.
Sometimes you need a little somethin’-somethin’ to take a dish to the next level. Well, this creamy, tangy tartar sauce will do just that!
Tartar sauce is a classic condiment made with mayo, pickles or relish, and other seasonings for a flavourful kick. Although tartar sauce is usually associated with seafood, the flavours here work with all kinds of dishes. You can use this tartar sauce for my vegan fish recipes like Vegan Fish Sticks or Crispy Beer-Battered Vegan Fish Tacos, but also for dipping fries and adding a little pep to veggies!
What Does Tartar Sauce Taste Like?
Tartar sauce has a tangy, rich flavor. It’s slightly sweet and sour from the mayonnaise and pickles, with an added herbal note from the dill. If you like aioli and other mayo-based sauces, you’ll probably enjoy tartar sauce too.
Why You’ll Love This Tartar Sauce Recipe
Here’s why you’ll want to make a batch of this tartar sauce ASAP!
- Creamy and tangy. The richness of the mayo in tartar sauce is balanced by the addition of citrus juice and pickles, which makes the flavour just perfect. Homemade tartar sauce is an absolute revelation if you’ve only had the bottled kind in the past!
- Simple. When you’re making dinner, you don’t want to have to spend 30 minutes on another recipe just for sauce! Tartar sauce is easy as can be—just stir everything together.
- Vegan. This tartar sauce recipe is made with plant-based mayo, which means everyone can enjoy it no matter their diet. (Even mayo haters might want to give it a try!)
Notes on Ingredients
Scroll down to the recipe card to find the ingredient quantities and recipe instructions.
- Vegan mayo – Use homemade vegan mayo or your favourite store-bought variety.
- Lemon or lime juice – Lemon juice is a more traditional choice, but I like lime juice as well.
- Pickles or sweet relish – If you use pickles, you’ll need to chop them first, so relish can save you a step.
- Dill – Fresh dill takes this vegan tartar sauce to the next level.
What Is Vegan Mayonnaise Made Of?
There are a number of different vegan mayo options available in stores, but typically they are made with a plant-based fat and an acid like lemon juice or vinegar. Some vegan mayos are made with soy or tofu, and others get their creamy texture from aquafaba, or the liquid from chickpeas. Any type of vegan mayo will work for this tartar sauce recipe.
How to Make Tartar Sauce
Here’s how easy it is to make this homemade vegan tartar sauce recipe:
- Combine. Place all of the ingredients in a small bowl and stir to combine.
- Season. Taste the tartar sauce and add more salt or adjust the ingredients as desired.
- Chill. Refrigerate the sauce until you’re ready to use.
Tips for Success
These tips will help you make sure your homemade tartar sauce turns out just right.
- Use a vegan mayo you enjoy. It’s the main ingredient here! If it’s not something you’d eat on its own, don’t use it in your tartar sauce.
- Let it sit for a bit. If you have time, chill the tartar sauce for 30 minutes before you serve it. Although it’s not absolutely necessary, a little time in the fridge helps the flavours come together.
- Don’t skip the fresh dill. Dried dill is better than nothing, but fresh dill really elevates this tartar sauce recipe.
Use vegan tartar sauce as a dip for Air Fryer Shoestring Fries, Air Fryer Potato Wedges, or Baked Carrot Fries. It’s also delicious with vegan seafood recipes like Vegan Crab Cakes, or use it to jazz up my Easy Grillable Veggie Burgers. You can even use it for dipping fresh veggies!
To tweak the flavour of your vegan tartar sauce, try adding one or more of these ingredients:
- Chopped capers
- Thinly sliced green onions
- Hot sauce
- Dijon mustard
- Grated red onion or shallots
How to Store
Store homemade tartar sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. Stir well before using.
Can You Freeze Tartar Sauce?
While traditional tartar sauce cannot be frozen, vegan tartar sauce can be! Transfer it to an airtight container or freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Let it thaw in the refrigerator, then stir before you use it.
More Vegan Sauces and Dips
- Roasted Garlic White Bean Dip
- Vegan Alfredo Sauce
- Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip
- Beet Hummus
- Thai Peanut Sauce
Enjoy friends! If you make this vegan tartar sauce, please snap a photo and tag #jessicainthekitchen on Instagram! We’d also love it if you would leave a comment below, and give the recipe a rating! Thanks so much!
- ½ cup vegan mayo, 112g
- 1 teaspoon lemon or lime juice
- 1 tablespoon chopped pickles or sweet relish
- A pinch of salt, less than 1⁄4 teaspoon
- A pinch of pepper
- 1 tablespoon freshly chopped dill
- Stir all the ingredients together. Taste and add more salt or seasoning as preferred. Set in the fridge until you’re ready for it!
Disclaimer: Although jessicainthekitchen.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, kindly note that these are only estimates. Nutritional information may be affected based on the product type, the brand that was purchased, and in other unforeseeable ways. Jessicainthekitchen.com will not be held liable for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information. If you need to follow a specific caloric regimen, please consult your doctor first.