Skip to Content

How to Make Tartar Sauce without Relish

Whether you don’t like relish or you just ran out and need a quick fix, it’s actually really easy to make tartar sauce without relish.

You’ll never have to be without that tasty seafood accompaniment again!

How to Make Tartar Sauce without Relish

In this post, we’ll cover how to make tartar sauce without relish.

How to Make Tartar Sauce without Relish

Tartar Sauce without Relish

It’s no secret that tartar sauce is a staple of fish fry culture.

So if you’re making fried fish and you don’t have relish, what do you do?

Don’t panic!

You can make your own tartar sauce without it!

First, gather your ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon minced parsley (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (optional)

Now, follow these steps:

  1. Hard-boil your egg.
  2. Once the egg has cooled, cut it open and scoop out the yolk. Put it in a bowl. 
  3. Add the mayonnaise, sour cream, and any optional ingredients you’re using to the bowl. 
  4. Stir thoroughly so that all of your ingredients are well-mixed together. 

That’s it!

Your tartar sauce is ready to serve!

The Problem with Relish in Tartar Sauce

Relish is a great addition to tartar sauce, but you may find that you want to substitute it with something else!

This can be due to different reasons:

  1. For example, if you’re making the tartar sauce on short notice, you may not have relish on hand. You can still make a great tartar sauce by substituting something else that’s already in your fridge.
  2. Also, relish can be made using a variety of ingredients. Some people like dill relish (which is made with pickles) while others prefer sweet relish (made with cucumbers). If you prefer one type of relish over another, you might want to substitute it with a different ingredient so as to achieve the flavor profile you’re seeking.
  3. Finally, some people are allergic to certain ingredients that are often found in relishes (such as onions), and will need to use another base for their tartar sauce. Whatever your reason for wanting to substitute your tartar sauce’s relish, know that there are many great alternatives!

Why We Use Relish in Tartar Sauce

Tartar sauce is a condiment that’s served with seafood, particularly fried fish.

It’s a pale yellow or white color, and it’s typically made from mayonnaise mixed with something called “relish.”

Relish is a condiment made from pickled cucumbers and other vegetables.

The relish gives the tartar sauce some tanginess, so it helps to balance out the creaminess of the mayonnaise.

What Else Can You Add to Tartar Sauce if You Don’t Have Relish?

Have no fear—if you don’t have relish, there are still a few things you can do to whip up some delicious tartar sauce!

Let’s talk about some alternatives.

One option is to use hot sauce.

You can put as much in as your heart desires, or just a little bit for that extra kick of spice.

Another option is to add Worcestershire sauce.

This will give the tartar sauce a tangy flavor with a little less bite than hot sauce and many other spices you could use instead of relish.

If you want to go for something really different, try adding fruit like strawberries or raspberries for a sweet twist on the usual tartar sauce!


Can you use ketchup to make tartar sauce?

Yes, you can!

Ketchup and tartar sauce are similar in that they’re both a type of condiment that can be served with fish.

But their ingredients and flavors are very different.

Ketchup is made with tomato paste and vinegar, while tartar sauce is made with mayonnaise and pickles.

Tartar sauce has a sour flavor, while ketchup is sweet.

If you want to use ketchup to make tartar sauce, you need to add ingredients that will make it more sour and less sweet.

You could try putting a small amount of lemon juice in your ketchup to start: add just a drop of lemon juice at a time until you get the right flavor balance for your taste.

Can you use mustard to make tartar sauce?

You can absolutely use mustard to make tartar sauce.

The key to making good tartar sauce is to have a few things: mayonnaise, relish, and something acidic.

Lemon juice works well, but you can also use vinegar (or even pickle juice). If your relish has sugar in it, you probably won’t need anything extra for flavor.

One reason I recommend mustard is that not only does it add an acidity that’s similar to lemon juice or vinegar, but it also adds flavor (unlike lemon juice or vinegar).

If your relish doesn’t have sugar in it, the mustard will help provide the sweetness you’ll want in your tartar sauce.

Mustard alone isn’t enough to make a delicious tartar sauce on its own—you need the other ingredients too—but it’s a great addition when you’re trying to get that perfect taste.

And bonus points if you’re using whole grain mustard!

Can you use onions to make tartar sauce?

Sure, you can use onions to make tartar sauce!

In fact, any kind of raw onion will work. We have a recipe for tartar sauce that calls for ½ cup of finely chopped red onion, which is what we usually use, but we’ve also made it with white and yellow onions.

You can even substitute shallots if you want! When you’re mincing or chopping the onion or shallot, go for about ¼ inch pieces—a bit bigger than minced garlic.

You could also use green onions in place of regular onions if you wanted to add some extra oniony flavor without the raw bite.

Don’t chop the green part unless the recipe calls for it—save it for garnish at the end.

Can I substitute pickles for relish in tartar sauce?

Yes, you can substitute pickles for relish in tartar sauce!

They have a similar flavor profile, so they’ll taste great together.

Pickles and relish are both made of cucumbers, but pickles are fermented, while relish is not.

Pickles also contain garlic and vinegar, which gives them a more pungent flavor than relish does.

If you want to make a substitution for that reason, you could do so by adding some garlic or vinegar to the tartar sauce mixture.

Tartar Sauce

How to Make Tartar Sauce without Relish

Nowadays, it seems like everything is made with pickle relish. But not everyone loves relish, which is a shame.
That's why we've decided to come up with a recipe for tartar sauce without relish.
That way, you can enjoy an easy-to-make condiment that tastes great and is used on so many delicious foods—even if you're not a fan of pickle relish!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Sauce
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people
Calories 295 kcal


  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • fresh parsley (optional)


  • In a medium bowl, combine the egg yolk and lemon juice.
  • Whisk together until combined.
  • Add salt and pepper and mix thoroughly.
  • If you're using fresh parsley, finely chop it up and add to your sauce now.
  • Mix well again, making sure everything is well-combined.
  • Chill for about an hour before serving for best results!
Keyword How to Make Tartar Sauce without Relish
Benjamin Happy Muncher

Hi, I'm Benjamin. I love cooking, long walks, and my girlfriend! Here you’ll find simple and delicious recipes that you can make in 30 minutes or less.