tartar sauce substitute

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Are you looking for a suitable substitute for tartar sauce? If you are, then you’ll be glad you clicked on this post.

tartar sauce substitute

Tartar sauce is a thick paste that is popularly used as a dipping sauce, or for tacos, burgers, fish sandwiches, fish sticks, crab cakes, and even barbecue and stir-fries.

This sauce has many variations, but it is usually made using mayonnaise, dijon mustard,  lemon juice, dill pickles, black pepper, relish, and capers. This sauce is usually semi-savory with a bit of tartness.

But what if you are out of tartar sauce or want to change things up and try something different? You may be wondering if there are any suitable substitutes.

Thankfully, there are many ways to replace tartar sauce. I’ve tried many of them and I will share them here with you today. Most of these tartar sauce alternatives make sense because they’re made with similar ingredients to tartar or, they or can be used successfully in recipes that would otherwise call for tartar.

So, keep reading to learn about these 7 easy alternatives to tartar sauce. You’ll even find a super simple DIY tartar sauce recipe option too! 

Best substitutes for tartar sauce

Garlic Aioli 

Garlic Aioli 

Garlic aioli is a sauce made with ingredients like mayo, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Therefore, aioli makes a very suitable substitute for tartar sauce as they’re made with similar ingredients.

Garlic aioli is basically mayo that has been generously flavored with garlic, so it does have different notes than tartar and it has a more intense garlic flavor, but it works great as a dipping sauce for just about anything. 

Remoulade sauce

Remoulade sauce is a sauce that is basically a cross between tartar sauce and thousand island dressing. This sauce has many different variations, but it is usually a mayo-based sauce with ingredients like mayonnaise, mustard, sweet paprika, Cajun seasoning, horseradish, pickle juice, hot sauce, and your favorite herbs.

Remoulade sauce is spicy, tangy, and creamy and is great for use as a dip for fried catfish, crab cakes, po boys, fries, and more.

Tzatziki Sauce

tzatziki sauce

Tzatziki Sauce also known as tarator is another sauce that can be used as an alternative to tartar sauce. This sauce is made using ingredients like grated cucumbers, Greek yogurt, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, dill, and salt. 

This sauce has no mayo, but some of the ingredients are quite similar and it tastes creamy with hints of lemon, garlic, and cucumbers. Use this sauce for dipping veggies, and slathered on sandwiches and it is great with fish!

Thousand island dressing

Thousand island dressing

Another easy replacement for tartar sauce is Thousand Island dressing. This sauce is made with a mayo base and secondary ingredients like olive oil, lemon or orange juice, paprika, mustard, ketchup, sweet pickle relish, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, chili sauce, and Tabasco sauce. 

It is tangy and zesty and will work for sandwiches, burgers, as a dip for vegetables, fries, and more.

Sriracha mayo sauce

If you happen to have a creamy sriracha mayo sauce in your pantry, then this sauce is also a good tartar sauce substitute. Sriracha mayo sauce is made from mayonnaise, sriracha and sometimes garlic and lemon juice for extra flavor.

This sauce is lightly spicy so if you don’t mind a bit of heat, this is something you should definitely consider using in place of tartar sauce.

Sriracha mayo sauce goes great with sandwiches, wraps, fish tacos, and salads, as a creamy dipping sauce for fries, raw veggies, and even fried chicken!



Hummus, which is made with ingredients like chickpeas, tahini, garlic, lemon juice, paprika, cumin, olive oil, and salt, can also be used as an alternative to tartar sauce.

Hummus, which is suitable for vegan or dairy-free eaters is a creamy, garlicky, and tangy sauce and can be used as a dip for vegetables and fruits, spread on wraps, burgers, and sandwiches, and even used in salads and pasta dishes! 

Tahini sauce

Tahini sauce is another good replacement for tartar sauce. Tahini sauce has many variations, but it generally includes garlic, tahini paste, lime juice, water, and herbs.

Tahini sauce has a more earthy and nutty flavor, but for people who are vegan or dairy-free, tahini is a suitable alternative to tartar sauce. Use tahini sauce as a dip for veggies, for salad dressings, burgers, sandwiches, and more.

DIY Tartar

Last but not least, if you have no store-bought tartar sauce in your kitchen you can whip up a quick homemade tartar sauce recipe if you have mayonnaise, dill pickles, dill weedlemon juice, and freshly cracked black pepper in your kitchen.

A homemade tartar is a perfect substitute if you don’t like store-bought condiments or if you’ve just run out. You can find an easy DIY tartar sauce recipe here. 

These are some of the best substitutes for tartar sauce. Every single sauce listed above can be used to effectively replace tartar in many recipes including sandwiches, burgers, as a dip for fried foods, veggies, or even tacos!

It should be noted that every item listed here except the DIY tartar sauce recipe has a different flavor to store-bought tartar sauce, nonetheless, they will work as great stand-ins, if not in terms of flavor, then in terms of usage. 

Check out these simple yum yum sauce alternatives or these simple alfredo sauce substitutes too.

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