How To Make Tartar Sauce Without Relish?




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Tartar sauce is a classic condiment that’s often associated with seafood. While the traditional recipe calls for relish, some people might not have it on hand or may not like the taste of it. But fear not, making tartar sauce without relish is easy and still provides that classic tangy flavor.

What is Tartar Sauce?

Tartar sauce is a creamy, tangy sauce that’s traditionally served with seafood dishes like fish and chips, crab cakes, and shrimp. It’s typically made with mayonnaise, chopped pickles or relish, and other ingredients like onions, capers, and lemon juice.


  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons chopped dill pickles
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Step-by-step Instructions to Make Tartar Sauce without Relish

here are some detailed step-by-step instructions to make tartar sauce without relish:

Step 1: Gather Your Ingredients

The first step in making tartar sauce without relish is to gather your ingredients. You will need mayonnaise, dill pickles, capers, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, salt, and black pepper. Make sure all of your ingredients are fresh and of good quality.

Step 2: Finely Chop the Dill Pickles

Once you have your ingredients, take the dill pickles and chop them finely. You can use a food processor or chop them by hand with a knife. Be sure to remove any excess liquid from the pickles, as this can make your tartar sauce watery.

Step 3: Add the Capers

After you have chopped the dill pickles, add the capers to the mixture. Capers are small, pickled flower buds that add a tangy, briny flavor to tartar sauce. Like the pickles, chop the capers finely.

Step 4: Mix the Mayonnaise and Mustard

In a separate bowl, mix together the mayonnaise and Dijon mustard. This will form the base of your tartar sauce.

Step 5: Add the Lemon Juice and Seasonings

Next, add the lemon juice, salt, and black pepper to the mayonnaise mixture. The lemon juice adds a bright, citrusy flavor, while the salt and pepper help to balance the other flavors.

Step 6: Stir in the Pickles and Capers

After the seasonings are mixed in, add the chopped pickles and capers to the mayonnaise mixture. Stir everything together until well combined.

Step 7: Adjust the Seasonings

Once everything is mixed together, taste the tartar sauce and adjust the seasonings as needed. If it’s too tangy, add more mayonnaise. If it’s too thick, add a splash of water to thin it out.

Step 8: Chill the Tartar Sauce

Finally, chill the tartar sauce in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving. This allows the flavors to meld together and makes the tartar sauce even more delicious.

And that’s it! With these easy step-by-step instructions, you can make delicious tartar sauce without relish. Use it as a condiment for seafood dishes or as a spread for sandwiches.

Tips for Making the Perfect Tartar Sauce without Relish

  • Use high-quality mayonnaise. This is the base of your tartar sauce, so using a good-quality mayonnaise will make a big difference in the taste and texture of your sauce.
  • Don’t skip the lemon juice. It provides a tangy flavor that pairs well with seafood.
  • Use fresh garlic. It adds a delicious flavor and aroma to your tartar sauce.
  • Adjust the ingredients to your taste. If you prefer a stronger mustard flavor, add more Dijon mustard. If you prefer a creamier sauce, add more mayonnaise.
  • Use a whisk to mix the ingredients. This will ensure that everything is well combined and the sauce is smooth.

Alternative Variations of Tartar Sauce without Relish

If you want to switch things up or add a twist to your tartar sauce, here are some alternative variations:

  • Use chopped capers instead of pickles for a briny flavor.
  • Add finely chopped shallots or red onions for a more intense flavor.
  • Use Greek yogurt or sour cream instead of mayonnaise for a lighter version.
  • Add fresh herbs like parsley or dill for a pop of freshness.

Serving Suggestions

Tartar sauce is traditionally served with seafood dishes, but it can also be used as a spread for sandwiches or as a dipping sauce for vegetables. Here are some serving suggestions:

  • Fish and chips
  • Crab cakes
  • Shrimp cocktail
  • Lobster rolls
  • Tuna
  • Fried calamari
  • Grilled salmon
  • Fried catfish
  • Tuna melt sandwich
  • Vegetable platter dip
  • Falafel wrap

Storing Tartar Sauce

Tartar sauce can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. It’s important to note that the longer it sits, the more the flavors will meld together, resulting in a stronger taste.


Can I use sweet pickles instead of dill pickles in tartar sauce?

You can, but keep in mind that sweet pickles will result in a sweeter and less tangy flavor.

Can I use other types of mustard besides Dijon?

Yes, you can use whole grain or spicy mustard for a different flavor.

Can I make tartar sauce ahead of time?

Yes, tartar sauce can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Can I freeze tartar sauce?

It’s not recommended to freeze tartar sauce as the mayonnaise can separate and change in texture.

Can I use sour cream instead of mayonnaise?

Yes, you can use sour cream for a lighter version of tartar sauce, but keep in mind that it will result in a different taste and texture.


Making tartar sauce without relish is easy and delicious! With just a few simple ingredients, you can have a tangy and creamy condiment that’s perfect for seafood or as a spread for sandwiches. Experiment with different variations and adjust the ingredients to your taste.

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