3 Ingredient Tartar Sauce

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This 3 ingredient tartar sauce is full of the rich, sweet, and tangy flavors we all love about traditional tartar sauce, but it only takes 3 ingredients and almost just as little time to make!

Closeup shot of bowlful of 3 ingredient tartar sauce with lemon wedge.

I love tartar sauce with almost any kind of seafood. It is perfect with fish, shellfish, and of course, fish sticks. I also love to use it as a spread when I make battered fish sandwiches. It's equal parts easy and delicious, and that's always a big plus for me.

Why You'll Love This Recipe

  • It only uses 3 ingredients!
  • It's full of the sweet and tangy flavors we love in tartar sauce.
  • It's a great spread for sandwiches or as a dip for your favorite seafood.

Top Tip

Really stir this dip well to fully incorporate the flavors before chilling and serving.

Closeup shot of bowlful of 3 ingredient tartar sauce


It only takes a literal handful of ingredients to make this delicious tartar sauce. The best part is that you probably have all the ingredients in your kitchen already. Everything you need is right here, but you'll find the exact amounts in the recipe card at the end of the post.

  • Mayonnaise
  • Sweet relish
  • Lemon juice
Overhead shot of individual tartar sauce ingredients in bowls.


It doesn't get much easier than this recipe. All you do is mix! Normally, this is where I tell you to check the recipe card for the exact instructions, but the instructions are so simple they ARE the highlights!

1: Stir the ingredients together in a bowl.

Overhead shot of mayo, lemon juice, and sweet relish in bowl

2: Chill before serving.

3 ingredient tartar sauce in bowl

Substitutions and Variations

  • Use your favorite mayo for this recipe.
  • Use your favorite sweet relish for this recipe.
  • Try adding chopped chives for more flavor.
  • For a spicy twist, try adding red pepper flakes.


  • Bowl
  • Spoon
Closeup shot of spoonful of 3 ingredient tartar sauce.


Refrigerator: Store for up to a week in an air-tight container.

Freezer: DO NOT freeze this tartar sauce. The mayonnaise will break and won't be appetizing.

Make Ahead: This tartar sauce is better after it's been chilled for about a day. So feel free to make it in advance.

What to Serve with Tartar Sauce

This sweet and tangy tartar sauce is a classic dip for seafood options like:

  • Fish sticks
  • Fried fish
  • Crab cakes
  • Salmon patties


  • Sometimes, the liquid in the tartar sauce can rise to the top. Just give it a good stir before serving.
  • Never, never, EVER freeze this tartar sauce. Mayonnaise gets downright gross when you freeze it.
  • For the best flavor, chill this tartar sauce overnight.
Bowlful of 3 ingredient tartar sauce.


What is tartar sauce?

Tartar sauce is a mayonnaise-based condiment that's usually made with chopped pickles or relish, and herbs. Some varieties also feature various herbs or lemon juice.

What do you eat tartar sauce with?

Of course, we all think of seafood like fried fish or fish sticks. However, tartar sauce is also excellent with chicken nuggets, steak fries, French fries, and shellfish.

Why can't you freeze mayonnaise-based sauces?

Mayonnaise is an emulsion. When it thaws, that emulsion breaks, resulting in the oil and acidic ingredients floating on top of the egg yolk base. No amount of stirring will incorporate it.

More Easy Recipes

Yield: 1 1/2 cups

3 Ingredient Tartar Sauce

3 Ingredient Tartar Sauce

This 3 ingredient tartar sauce is rich, tangy, and sweet, and it only takes a few minutes to make. It's a great spread for fish or seafood.

Prep Time 2 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 2 minutes


  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup sweet relish
  • 1 tsp lemon juice


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

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 69Total Fat 7gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 6gCholesterol 4mgSodium 100mgCarbohydrates 2gFiber 0gSugar 2gProtein 0g

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