Recipes for Unique Types of Tartar Sauce
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.
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.
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!
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
- 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
- Stir ingredients together in a mixing bowl.
- Taste and add salt and/or pepper if needed, to taste.
- Cover and place bowl in refrigerator for an hour to blend flavors.
Avocado Variation Condiment
- 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
- 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
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
- 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
- 1 large or extra large egg
- 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 Cup vegetable oil or olive oil
- 4 tsp white vinegar
- In a food blender, place contents of one large egg and a tablespoon of Dijon mustard.
- Place the lid on the blender and remove the center section of the lid.
- 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.
- Add 4 tsp white vinegar and PULSE the blender until mixture is smooth and well mixed.
- Place mayo in a covered container and refrigerate.
Note: add salt and pepper, to taste, if you like.
Questions & Answers
© 2013 Patty Inglish MS