Return to top
featured in… The Huffington Post CookingLight Reader's Digest Women's Health BuzzFeed Glamour Whole Foods Oprah Winfrey Network CNN Food Network Healthline Shape

Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Anjali Shah

Vegan Tartar Sauce

This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Please read my disclosure.

This homemade vegan tartar sauce is a delicious twist on the traditional tartar sauce, packed with so much flavor that you’ll never go back to the store-bought version. This creamy condiment is a tasty blend of vegan mayo, fresh dill, and finely chopped dill pickles, which gives it a classic flavor that’s hard to resist.

Homemade vegan tartar sauce served in a white bowl, with sweet potato fries on the side.

Vegan tartar sauce is the perfect dip for parties or a topping for sandwiches or baked potatoes. It’s easy to whip together any day of the week to add a little something extra special to your meal! 

This vegan recipe is a great substitution for regular tartar sauce! It’s perfect if you are looking to follow a vegan diet or if you just want to make an eggless tartar sauce. It goes well with fresh veggies, a fish and chip supper, fish sandwiches, vegan crab cakes, seafood dishes, vegan nuggets, or vegan fish sticks. 

This classic condiment is tangy with a hint of sweetness that you’ll want to put on all your vegan, vegetarian, or (if you eat meat) fish dishes from now on. Once you make your own dairy free tartar sauce, you won’t even want to try the traditional non-vegan version.

The best part? This easy vegan tartar sauce recipe is not only healthier than the store-bought versions but also customizable. You can adjust the thickness and seasoning to your liking. Plus, you can make different vegan versions of this homemade recipe to suit your tastes and preferences. 

So, next time you plan a vegan fish and chip supper or need a creamy dip for your vegetables, keep this recipe in mind! It’s seriously one of the best vegan sauces that offers the classic tartar sauce flavor and creamy texture too. 

👩🏽‍🍳 Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Plant-Based: This plant based tartar sauce is a dream come true for those following a whole foods plant based diet. Made with vegan mayo, fresh dill, and zesty lemon juice, this sauce is completely free from any animal products and offers a burst of flavor in each bite.
  • Quick And Easy: With just a few simple ingredients and a quick stir, you have a creamy, tangy sauce ready to accompany your favorite dishes. No fancy techniques or obscure ingredients here – just easy, delicious food.
  • Gluten-Free: This tartar sauce without mayo is not just dairy-free, it is also gluten-free. It is a great choice for those with dietary restrictions or anyone looking to reduce their gluten intake.
  • Simple Ingredients: This homemade version uses ingredients that are easy to find in any grocery store, and you may already have them in your pantry. Plus, it is a wonderful way to use up those leftover dill pickles!
  • Variety Of Uses: This sauce isn’t just for vegan fish sticks. It is a versatile condiment that can be used as a dip for fresh vegetables, a spread for sandwiches, or as a topping for vegan crab cakes. The possibilities are endless!
  • Better Than Store-Bought: Once you’ve tried this homemade vegan tartar sauce recipe, you’ll never want to go back to the store-bought version. It is healthier, customizable, and truly one of the best tartar sauce recipes for great results every single time. 

Latest Recipe Video!

🥘 Ingredients

Making your own vegan tartar sauce is easier than you think, and the ingredients are as simple as they come. You’ll find everything you need at your local grocery store, or you may already have these staples in your pantry!

Ingredients for easy vegan tartar sauce recipe on a wooden background.
  • Vegan Mayonnaise: This is the main ingredient that forms the creamy base of our egg free tartar sauce recipe. Vegan mayo mimics the classic flavor and texture of traditional mayonnaise but without any animal products. It’s the secret ingredient that makes this sauce so deliciously smooth and satisfying.
  • Lemon Juice: A squeeze of fresh lemon juice adds a bright, tangy note to the sauce. It cuts through the richness of the vegan mayo, giving the sauce a balanced flavor profile that’s not too heavy or overpowering.
  • Salt & Pepper: These two classic seasonings enhance the flavors of the other ingredients and bring out their best. A touch of sea salt and a dash of freshly ground black pepper makes all the difference in this vegan tartar sauce recipe.
  • Fresh Dill: Fresh dill adds a wonderful herby freshness to this homemade sauce. It is a classic ingredient in tartar sauce, and its unique flavor sets this sauce apart from other creamy dips. Plus, it pairs perfectly with the tangy pickles and lemon juice.
  • Capers: These tiny, tangy morsels add a pop of briny flavor to the sauce. They’re a secret ingredient that takes this non dairy tartar sauce to the next level, adding complexity and depth to the overall flavor.
  • Dill Pickles: Finely chopped dill pickles bring crunch, tang, and a hint of sweetness to our sauce. They’re a traditional ingredient in tartar sauce, and their distinctive flavor is a key part of this sauce’s classic appeal.

🍲 Ingredient Substitutions

  • Vegan Mayonnaise: If you can’t find your favorite brand of vegan mayo at your local grocery store, you can easily make your own vegan mayo at home with a food processor, silken tofu, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, and a hint of sweetness from maple syrup.
  • Lemon Juice: If you don’t have fresh lemons on hand, you can substitute with apple cider vinegar for a similar tangy flavor.
  • Fresh Dill: If fresh dill isn’t available, dried dill can be used as a substitute. Use half the amount of dried dill as you would fresh since dried herbs are more potent.
  • Capers: If you’re not a fan of caper’s distinctive taste, you can use dill pickles or dill relish instead.
  • Dill Pickles: If you don’t have dill pickles, you can use sweet relish or even pickle relish for a similar crunch and flavor.

🔪 How To Make Vegan Tartar Sauce

Are you ready to take your vegan fish dishes to the next level? Here’s how to make your own vegan tartare sauce that’s better than the classic version! For more detailed instructions and nutrition facts, see the recipe card at the end of this post.

Prepare The Ingredients: Chop the pickles and capers, measure out the salt and pepper, prepare the vegan mayo, cut and juice the lemon, and dice the fresh dill.

Combine Ingredients: Add all ingredients into a mixing bowl. Whisk it all together or use a food processor to make it smooth. 

ingredients for sauce combined in a bowl

Adjust Consistency: If the sauce is too thick, add a little water until your desired consistency is obtained. Remember, a creamy condiment like tartar sauce should be thick enough to cling to your vegan fish sticks or vegan crab cakes.

Season To Taste & Rest Before Serving: Don’t forget to do a taste test and adjust the seasoning to your liking. A pinch of sea salt or a dash of extra lemon juice can add just the right amount of zing. Allow the sauce to sit, covered, in the fridge for at least an hour before serving. This will enhance the flavors and make your sauce even more delicious. Enjoy with your favorite fish-like food!

ingredients for sauce combined in a bowl

💭 Expert Tips

  • Make Your Own Vegan Mayo: If you can’t find vegan mayonnaise at your local grocery store, don’t worry! You can easily make homemade vegan mayo following our instructions above!
  • Use Fresh Dill For A Classic Flavor: Fresh dill is a key ingredient in traditional tartar sauce, and it is no different for vegan versions. Fresh dill adds a unique flavor profile that dried dill just can’t replicate.
  • Adjust The Thickness Of Your Sauce: If your vegan tartar sauce is too thick for your liking, simply add a little water until the desired consistency is obtained. Remember, it is easier to thin a sauce than it is to thicken it, so add the water gradually!
  • Make Ahead: You can make this homemade tartar sauce ahead of time and store it in the fridge. The flavors will meld together, resulting in a more flavorful sauce when you’re ready to serve it.
  • Chunky Vs. Smooth Consistency: If you prefer a chunky sauce, simply stir the ingredients together. If you prefer a smoother tartar sauce, simply blend the ingredients in a food processor. This is especially useful if you’re using the sauce as a salad dressing or a topping for a fish sandwich.

📖 Variations

  • Herb Infusion: Fresh dill gives this sauce its classic flavor. But why not experiment with other fresh herbs? Try adding dried dill, thyme, tarragon, chives, parsley, or chervil for a unique twist. Remember to adjust the seasoning to balance the flavors.
  • Seasoning Twist: Besides salt and pepper, you can also enhance the flavor of your sauce with onion powder or garlic powder. Or, switch up the regular salt with sea salt for a more refined taste. You can also add in minced shallots, or even olives!
  • Convenient Add-Ins: If you’re short on time, use dill relish or sweet pickle relish instead of chopping whole dill pickles. Or, for a creamier texture, try adding silken tofu to your sauce. To add some different flavors to your tartar sauce, try using Dijon mustard, yellow mustard, apple cider vinegar, or maple syrup for a little bit of sweetness.
  • Make It Spicy: Add chopped jalapeños, a dash of hot sauce, or a pinch of cayenne pepper to spice up your vegan tartar sauce. Adjust the spice level to your liking.

🍽 Serving Suggestions

This sauce is not only a creamy condiment with tons of flavor, but it is also incredibly versatile. Whether you’re spicing up your vegan fish sticks or adding a tangy twist to your salads, this sauce is a game-changer. Here are some of our favorite serving suggestions:

  • With Vegan Seafood: This vegan tartar sauce with no mayo is the perfect accompaniment for vegan fish dishes. Try it with vegan fish sticks, vegan fish tacos, vegan crab cakes, or even a vegan fish sandwich for a classic flavor that takes your meal to the next level.
  • Salads: Want to shake up your salad dressing? Use this sauce as a creamy dressing for your fresh veggies. It adds a hint of sweetness and a tangy kick that will make your salad stand out.
  • Dipping Sauce: This dairy free tartar sauce is a great dip for a variety of snacks. Use it as a creamy dip for vegan gluten free chicken nuggets, onion rings, air fryer frozen french fries, air fried sweet potato fries, or even raw veggies. The dill pickles and fresh dill in the sauce add a refreshing tang that compliments the savory snacks perfectly.
  • Sandwich Spread: Next time you’re making a sandwich, swap out your regular mayo for our vegan tartar sauce. It will add a tangy twist to your regular sandwich and elevate its flavor.

🙌 Dietary Adaptations

This recipe is already plant-based, dairy-free, and gluten-free, making it an excellent choice for those with various dietary restrictions. You don’t need to make any changes to the recipe to fit any of these dietary specifications. 

To Make A Low-Fat Version: Use a lighter vegan mayo or substitute part of the mayo with silken tofu for a lower-fat option.

🫙 Storage Directions

  • To Refrigerate: Store your homemade sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will stay fresh and flavorful for up to five days.
  • To Freeze: This vegan sauce can also be frozen. Pour the sauce into an ice cube tray and freeze. Once frozen, transfer the sauce cubes into a freezer bag for easy storage. This allows you to thaw exactly the amount you need, without having to defrost a large container.
  • To Reheat: If you’ve frozen your tartar sauce, simply let it thaw in the fridge overnight or at room temperature for a couple of hours. The small frozen squares will come to room temperature much more quickly than a larger block. Once thawed, give it a good stir before serving.

❓Recipe FAQs

Is tartar sauce and mayonnaise the same thing?

No, they are not the same. Mayonnaise serves as the creamy, rich foundation for tartar sauce, but tartar sauce also includes other ingredients that give it its distinctive tangy flavor, such as dill pickles, caper, and fresh dill.

Is tartar sauce vegan?

Unfortunately no, regular tartar sauce isn’t vegan because it’s made with regular mayo, which has eggs in it.

Does tartar sauce have dairy in it?

Traditional tartar sauce does include eggs, but no other dairy products. However, in this vegan tartar sauce recipe, we’ve replaced the regular mayonnaise with vegan mayo, so it is completely dairy-free and egg free too!

Is tartar sauce healthy?

Yes, tartar sauce can be healthy! It all depends on the kind of mayonnaise you use. If you opt for an organic or vegan mayo that doesn’t contain processed ingredients, your tartar sauce will be all-natural and a little healthier too. Just keep in mind that, because it is made with mayo, it is relatively high in calories, so moderation is key.

Homemade vegan tartar sauce served in a white bowl, with sweet potato fries on the side.

🫕 More Delicious Sauce And Dip Recipes! 

Want to Save This Recipe?

Enter your email & I’ll send it to your inbox. Plus, get great new recipes from me every week!

Save Recipe

By submitting this form, you consent to receive emails from The Picky Eater.

Love this vegan recipe? Please leave a 5-star rating 🌟 in the recipe below and/or a review in the comments section further down the page!

You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM, and PINTEREST to see more delicious, healthy, family-friendly food, and if you have any questions, I’m here to help!

📋 Recipe Card

🎥 Watch How to Make It

https://youtu.be/VkkteuLDEh8
Homemade vegan tartar sauce served in a white bowl, with sweet potato fries on the side.
Print Recipe
5 from 9 votes

Vegan Tartar Sauce

This homemade vegan tartar sauce is a delicious twist on the traditional tartar sauce, packed with so much flavor that you'll never go back to the store-bought version. This creamy condiment is a tasty blend of vegan mayo, fresh dill, and finely chopped dill pickles, which gives it a classic flavor that's hard to resist.
Prep Time5 minutes
Total Time5 minutes
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: American
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 10
Calories: 144kcal
Author: Anjali Shah

Ingredients

  • 1 cup vegan mayonnaise
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh dill
  • 1 tbsp chopped capers
  • ¼ cup finely chopped dill pickles
Shop Ingredients on Jupiter

Instructions

  • Add all ingredients into a mixing bowl, mix until well combined.
  • Adjust the thickness by adding a little water until desired consistency is obtained.
  • Adjust seasoning to taste.
  • Allow the sauce to sit, covered, in the fridge for at least an hour before serving to enhance the flavors.
  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 6 days.

Notes

  • Fresh dill is best to use however dried dill can be used as a substitute if fresh isn’t available.
  • If you want to keep this dipping sauce chunky, all you need to do is stir the ingredients together. If you want a smoother version, use your food processor or blender to puree it. This works well if you’re using it as a topping for a fish sandwich or even a salad dressing. 
  • You can make this ahead of time and store it before serving – it will only become more flavorful as the ingredients have a chance to blend together!
  • Take this recipe to the next level with minced shallots, olives, parsley, or other herbs. 

Nutrition

Serving: 2tbsp | Calories: 144kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 159mg | Potassium: 3mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g

16 responses to “Vegan Tartar Sauce”

  1. I love a good tartar sauce, and I am so glad that you shared this recipe! I am definitely going to give it a go this weekend, thank you so much for sharing 🙂5 stars

  2. I made this recipe for some cod I cooked last night. It was perfect. Creamy with just the right hint of dill flavor.5 stars

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




Subscribe to newsletter

Copyright 2024 The Picky Eater®, LLC. All rights reserved.