Tartar sauce may have a reputation of being paired with seafood, but it actually goes well with many other dishes, too. The slightly tangy taste and creamy consistency are hard to resist, and once you try it out, you may find yourself pleasantly surprised. However, tartar sauces look similar to one another, and it may be difficult to figure out how to choose a good one.
Don't worry - you'll find many suggestions on how to choose a good tartar sauce in our buying guide. Frisch's Tartar Sauce won our top prize because it has an original taste, goes well with many dishes, and is the same sauce that is used in the Big Boy restaurant chain! If you want to know more, check out the rest of the products in our top 10 list.
The name “Tartar” comes from the French sauce Tartare, and the origin is the eastern part of France. Tartar sauce is usually made with egg yolk, oil, mustard, vinegar, lemon juice, pickles, parsley, onion, and sugar. It’s rich, creamy, and pairs well with fried fish, shrimp, and other seafood dishes.
While it's not known exactly when tartar sauce was first invented, we do know that similar recipes existed in Medieval times. We also know that Hellman's (the mayonnaise brand) introduced the first commercialized version in the 1920s. Now you can enjoy it pretty much anywhere!
The tartar sauces in the following list are different in terms of flavor, ingredients, and packaging.
|Main ingredients||Soybean oil, pickles, egg yolk, onions, salt, spices|
|Type of packaging||Glass jar|
|Main ingredients||Parsley, soybean oil, pickles, eggs, paprika, spice, garlic|
|Type of packaging||Plastic bottle|
|Flavor||Lemon, capers, herbs and spices|
|Main ingredients||Turmeric, paprika, peppers, celery, eggs, cucumber, mustard seed|
|Type of packaging||Plastic bottle|
|Main ingredients||Soybean oil, sweet relish, egg yolk, mustard flour, lemon juice concentrate|
|Type of packaging||Packet|
|Main ingredients||Sweet relish, egg yolks, white vinegar, garlic powder, ground mustard seed|
|Type of packaging||Glass bottle|
|Main ingredients||Soybean oil, dill relish, egg yolk, distilled vinegar, natural spice|
|Type of packaging||Glass bottle|
365 Everyday Value
Louisiana Fish Fry
Original Tartar Sauce
Seafood Tartar Sauce
Enjoy a Restaurant's Featured Tartar Sauce at Home
A Mild Sweetness With Crispy and Crunchy Pickle Bits
An Award-Wining Sauce Made With Dill
Convenient Packaging Perfect for Lunch Boxes
An Organic Option With Sweet Cucumber Relish
Creamy, With a Hint of Spice
|Amount||16 oz.||12 oz.||11.5 oz.||0.42 oz.||10 oz.||10.5 oz.|
|Flavor||Traditional||Traditional||Lemon, capers, herbs and spices||Traditional||Traditional||Cajun|
|Main ingredients||Soybean oil, pickles, egg yolk, onions, salt, spices||Parsley, soybean oil, pickles, eggs, paprika, spice, garlic||Turmeric, paprika, peppers, celery, eggs, cucumber, mustard seed||Soybean oil, sweet relish, egg yolk, mustard flour, lemon juice concentrate||Sweet relish, egg yolks, white vinegar, garlic powder, ground mustard seed||Soybean oil, dill relish, egg yolk, distilled vinegar, natural spice|
|Type of packaging||Glass jar||Plastic bottle||Plastic bottle||Packet||Glass bottle||Glass bottle|
There are four main things to consider when buying a tartar sauce: flavor, expiration date, ingredients, and packaging. In this buying guide, we'll discuss those factor in detail, so read on!
Most tartar sauces are made with the same ingredients for the base. But some products already contain extra ingredients to offer you different flavors.
Spicy ingredients such as mustard seed, jalapeno, and horseradish add some heat to the sauce, while herbs like turmeric, cilantro, dill, parsley, and tarragon help improve aroma and flavor. There is also tartar sauce made with lemon juice for extra tang.
If you prefer your sauce to have a lot of texture, look for a product that contains chopped pickles, cucumbers, or onions. Those ingredients not only enhance the flavor profile of the sauce but also give it some crunch.
However, if you just want something simple, go for a traditional recipe made with basic ingredients like egg yolks, aioli, and seasonings. With a classic sauce, you can freely add extra ingredients and seasonings to your taste.
In general, an unopened bottle of tartar sauce has a shelf life between 12 to 18 months. We suggest you check the words “best by” and “best before” on the label. Even though it can’t guarantee the specific date for safe consumption, you’ll at least know the estimated date for its best taste and quality.
Once opened, it usually lasts for about six months in the refrigerator. But sometimes it can go bad before the expiration date, too! This depends on how well you store the product. We suggest you store it in a dry and cool area to maintain quality.
How can you tell when it’s time to throw out your sauce? If you notice mold or a change in taste, texture, color, or smell, then it is probably time to toss it!
Three main popular types of packaging are plastic bottles, glass jars, and packets. If you're looking for a single serving, we suggest you choose packets. They're one-time use, so you don’t need to worry about having too much leftover sauce (but you do have to worry about leftover trash!).
But if you want to buy in a larger quantity, we suggest you choose a plastic squeeze bottle. A glass jar is heavy and may be difficult to use and store compared with other packaging types. But the good thing about glass containers is they're usually free from chemicals like BPA.
Most tartar sauces on the market contain artificial ingredients, additives, and preservatives such as corn syrup or xanthan gum. These ingredients are generally considered to be safe ingredients if consumed in a small amount.
However, some people are more sensitive than others and can have reactions to additives even in only a small amount. Thus, we suggest you look for organic tartar sauce that contains natural ingredients.
Whether it’s an organic or non-organic product, we suggest you always read all the listed ingredients before buying.
Making tartar sauce by yourself is very easy and requires only a few ingredients. Plus, you can adjust the flavor and add different seasonings based on what you like, too. We have chosen the easiest and quickest tartar sauce recipe that requires only five minutes and nine ingredients. Here is the recipe from SweetySalado!
Since there are many types of dipping sauces, we have selected three popular sauces that pair well with different snacks and foods. If you want to know how to choose a good one, don't forget to check these articles out as well!
Although tartar sauces may look the same, they're different in many ways and now you know what needs to be considered to buy a good tartar sauce. Besides choosing your favorite flavor, make sure to think about texture as well!
A thick texture usually goes well with main dishes like fish and chips. But if you want a versatile tartar sauce, we suggest you choose one with a thinner texture that you can use for a salad dressing, too. We hope you find this article useful in helping you make an easier decision. Now you're ready to find your favorite tartar sauce. Enjoy your meal!
Author: Apinya Masuda
If you find your tartar sauce to be a bit bland, consider adding some extra seasonings to spice things up a little. This chili powder, recommended by plant-based food blogger Anisha Chandra, will give a delicious kick of heat to your sauce.
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