Recipes for Unique Types of Tartar Sauce

Updated on August 17, 2017
Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty collects various recipes from past generations and is interested in early American History, the Civil War, and the 19th century.

Fish and chips traditionally wrapped in white paper and newspaper.
Fish and chips traditionally wrapped in white paper and newspaper. | Source

Tatar Sauce and Its Disguises

Tartar sauce and some unique variations of it have become available in many food stores, from the corner farmer's market and neighborhood grocery to huge chain supermarkets and big box stores like Walmart.

In the last couple of decades, the types of tartar and similar sauce on store shelves has become diverse.

Standard Sauce Ingredients

Gherkins, sweet pickles, or bread and butter pickles can be found in at least three sandwich and meat sauces. These include

  • Tartar Sauce,
  • Thousand Island Dressing, and
  • Big Mac Sauce.

The last type of sandwich dressing, which has some similarities to the first time, is trademarked by McDonald's and during the years I worked as a company manager, using the sauce on any other sandwich could void the trademark. If customers wanted Mac Sauce on a hamburger or fish sandwich, we were required to provide it as a small cup of sauce on the side. At home, some cooks add ketchup to tartar sauce for a close approximation.

As a child, I did not like sauces of any kind. Dill pickles, mustard, and maybe a slice of tomato comprised my limit.

Finally, in high school, I was able to enjoy ketchup and tartar sauce, after watching my father put them in everything from scrambled eggs to bean soup. All that was odd to me, but both condiments were good on fish sticks and french fries, though.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Sun Dried Tomato and Avocado Pizza. Try the avocado tartar sauce listed below for dipping with this meal.Half-Lobster Half-Fish Pizza. Customers often like tartar sauce or one of its variations on this dish.
Sun Dried Tomato and Avocado Pizza. Try the avocado tartar sauce listed below for dipping with this meal.
Sun Dried Tomato and Avocado Pizza. Try the avocado tartar sauce listed below for dipping with this meal. | Source
Half-Lobster Half-Fish Pizza. Customers often like tartar sauce or one of its variations on this dish.
Half-Lobster Half-Fish Pizza. Customers often like tartar sauce or one of its variations on this dish. | Source

Tartar Sauce on Pizza

Pizza sauce was unpalatable to me as a child and I never knew what spaghetti sauce was, since my family never ate spaghetti. During the first years away form home, condiments and sauces became a realty.

The first pizza I ever saw came out of a box: Chef Boy-Ar-Dee. It had only a tiny can of tomato sauce and some grated cheese. Today, even pizzas are available with toppings usually reserved for fish and with sauces very similar to the recipes provided below.

Chef Boy-Ar-Dee, probably not suitable for today's diverse sauces. I last saw one of these on the grocery store self around the early 1980s. It was not yet a frozen pizza, but a dough mix with sauce and grated cheese.
Chef Boy-Ar-Dee, probably not suitable for today's diverse sauces. I last saw one of these on the grocery store self around the early 1980s. It was not yet a frozen pizza, but a dough mix with sauce and grated cheese. | Source

Easiest Recipes and Variations

Easy Fish Condiment

For very fast tartar sauce, scoop out a cup of mayonnaise into a bowl, add 4 tablespoons of sweet pickle relish, and stir in 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Let the mixture sit in the refrigerator under cover to meld flavors for about an hour, if you have the time.

A Favorite Simple Version

My go-to variation for this fast and easy recipe is to add dill relish or any type of chutney instead of the sweet relish. Hot pickle pr pickled-veggie relish is great! if you cannot find something similar, chop up some hot pickles you find in the condiment department of your supermarket.

A refreshing alternative is to use dill relish and lime juice instead of sweet relish and lemon juice.

Easy Replica Mac Sauce

For a fast faux version of the "special sauce", add a little ketchup to the tartar sauce and mix it well. The real condiment has several ingredients you don't need if you're in a hurry.

"Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce. cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun." -- At my city's McDonald's stores, we had to memorize this ingredient list and recite it when asked!

The Big Mac in America.
The Big Mac in America. | Source

Invented in Pennsylvania in 1967, the Big Mac originally contained 810 calories, reduced to 550 in the nutrition-conscious 2010s.

It was a patented, trademarked sandwich and workers could not put ketchup or mustard on it, or else void the patent. They could give you ketchup packets, or a souffle cup of tartar sauce.

Unique Sauce Recipes

Cilantro Lime Tartar Sauce

Try the cilantro based sauce on a rice cake with a little salmon and a spring of dill.
Try the cilantro based sauce on a rice cake with a little salmon and a spring of dill. | Source
Prep time: 15 min
Ready in: 15 min
Yields: A little over 1.5 Cups.
  • 1/2 Cup each mayonnaise and sour cream, Regular or low fat (recipe for Mayo at end of this article)
  • 1/4 Cup Dill, kosher dill, or hot pickles, chopped
  • 1/4 Cup red onions, diced
  • 1/2 Cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 Medium-sized Fresh Jalepeno chili pepper, seeded and diced
  1. Stir ingredients together in a mixing bowl.
  2. Taste and add salt and/or pepper if needed, to taste.
  3. Cover and place bowl in refrigerator for an hour to blend flavors.

Avocado Variation Condiment

Use the recipe below to make a refreshing spread for dark breads and add any of you favorite meats and vegetables.
Use the recipe below to make a refreshing spread for dark breads and add any of you favorite meats and vegetables. | Source

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup mayonnaise; or use 1/2 Cup mayo and 1/2 Cup sour cream or plain yogurt
  • 1/8 tsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 1/3 Cup sweet white or yellow onion, chopped fine
  • 1/2 Cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Medium-sized ripe Hass avocado
  • 2 Tbsp dill pickles, chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste, if desired

Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl, cover and refrigerate one hour or overnight.

Note: for a change, I leave out the pickles altogether or substitute lime juice for the lemon juice, and have a different sort of guacamole at the end. It is another variation on tartar sauce.

Thousand Island Dressing Choices

Thousand Island Dressing. This condiment is served at Crown Burgers, headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Thousand Island Dressing. This condiment is served at Crown Burgers, headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah. | Source

Ingredients

A quick sauce recipe contains

  • 1 Cup mayo
  • 1/4 Cup ketchup
  • 1/4 Cup sweet relish. Sometimes I like to use dill relish instead, or to chop a dill pickle.

A fancier version of this dressing also includes:

  • 1 large hard-boiled egg, chopped fine
  • 1 Tbsp each of chopped black olives, green bell pepper, white onion, and fresh chives. Sometimes I use red onion instead of white onion.
  • 1 tsp white vinegar

Instructions

  1. Mix all of the ingredients together at once and place the mixture into a covered bowl or salad dressing bottle and refrigerate.

Make Your Own Mayonnaise

Stacy says she likes to use up leftover egg yolks in her mayo.
Stacy says she likes to use up leftover egg yolks in her mayo. | Source

Ingredients

  • 1 large or extra large egg
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 Cup vegetable oil or olive oil
  • 4 tsp white vinegar

Instructions

  1. In a food blender, place contents of one large egg and a tablespoon of Dijon mustard.
  2. Place the lid on the blender and remove the center section of the lid.
  3. Turn the blender on the LOW setting and pour 1 Cup of vegetable oil slowly into the center opening of the lid. turn blender OFF.
  4. Add 4 tsp white vinegar and PULSE the blender until mixture is smooth and well mixed.
  5. Place mayo in a covered container and refrigerate.

Note: add salt and pepper, to taste, if you like.

Fish and Chips. This remains a favorite meal to serve with the original sauce or any of its variations.
Fish and Chips. This remains a favorite meal to serve with the original sauce or any of its variations. | Source

Questions & Answers

    © 2013 Patty Inglish MS

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      • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

        Patty Inglish MS 

        5 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

        Hi Victoria Lynn - The cilatro-lime sauce is also good as a type of salad dressing. I cut up a lot of celery and add a few sliced radishes, a few avocado chunks, then add a little of the clintro-lime tartar sauce. Tasty and crunchy!

      • Victoria Lynn profile image

        Victoria Lynn 

        5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

        Yum, I love all these ideas! When I was a kid, my mom would make our tartar sauce with mayo (actually, I think it was Miracle Whip, which I don't use anymore), sweet pickle relish, and a dash of mustard. I think the lemon juice would make a more authentic tartar sauce.

        I love the cilantro and lime recipe. A must try! I'm pinning these recipes, for sure!

      • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

        Patty Inglish MS 

        5 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

        I am so glad you like these recipes, tilsontitan!

      • tillsontitan profile image

        Mary Craig 

        5 years ago from New York

        Nothing like making your own! You've listed some great recipes to do just that for some things so simple no one would even think of them.

        I must admit in a pinch I've made my own tartar sauce so I know how handy this hub is going to be.

        Voted up, useful, and interesting.

      • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

        Patty Inglish MS 

        5 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

        Thanks for sharing these recipes around, Rusticliving - great for July 4th I think. :)

      • Rusticliving profile image

        Elizabeth Rayen 

        5 years ago from California

        Hi Patty! These look great! I am always looking for great sauces to add to my burgers, fish and other meats. The Cilantro-Lime Tartar Sauce looks soooo yummy! Thank you for sharing. Up & Shared!--♥

      • Abby Campbell profile image

        Dr Abby Campbell 

        5 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

        Mmmm... thank you for the different types of tartar sauce recipes, Patty. I'm looking forward to trying some out. The avocado one sounds terrific! :-)

      • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

        Patty Inglish MS 

        5 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

        I hoipe you like them , MsDora! I'm going to have some for lunch :)

      • MsDora profile image

        Dora Weithers 

        5 years ago from The Caribbean

        Voted Up! This is another article I could keep as a reference guide for those recipe variations. Avocada Tartar sounds very interesting. Thanks!

      • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

        Patty Inglish MS 

        5 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

        These are actually pretty fun to make, too. Of course, I would probably like Lime in almost anything.

      • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

        Claudia Mitchell 

        5 years ago

        These sound good and I like the addition of different ingredients for a twist. My mother used to add some curry powder to her tartar sauce and that was always a hit too.

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