Once you learn how to make this easy vegan tartar sauce recipe, you'll never buy it at the store store again. It's creamy and bright thanks to mayo, mustard, pickle juice and lemons; and ready in only 5 minutes! Delicious with vegan fish sticks and vegan fish tacos, it elevates baked veggies, sandwiches, and burgers too.
Just like most vegan sauces and condiments, making your own vegan tartar sauce is super quick and easy and it's way better than store bought varieties.
Ingredients for Dairy-free Tartar Sauce
This plant-based tartar sauce uses vegan mayonnaise (no eggs) and dijon mustard to make the creamy base.
These are the other key ingredients you'll need:
Vegan Mayo: I use Vegenaise (find it in the refrigerated aisle), but any vegan mayo will work.
Dijon Mustard: adds a tangy depth of flavor.
Dill Pickles & Capers: add a salty, briny flavor.
Lemon Juice: (fresh is best) for brightness to lighten the tartar sauce and add tanginess.
Fresh Herbs: chopped dill and parsley add freshness and enhance the sauce flavors.
Ingredient Substitutions & Variations
This vegan tartar sauce is super versatile, here's a few ideas for customizing ingredients to suit your personal preference (or what you have on hand):
Mix up the pickles: dill pickles are classic, but gherkin pickles, bread and butter pickles or sweet relish are good subs. They add all the crunch with a hint of sweetness.
Go garlicky: fresh (minced) garlic is optional (but our family loves it).
Make it lighter: sub a combination of half vegan sour cream and half vegan mayo.
Play with the herbs: chopped chives are a delicious flavor complement to tartar sauce.
Spice it up: horseradish adds a potent punch of spicy flavor (freshly grated or prepared horseradish).
Add some heat: a tablespoon (or two) of sriracha adds a nice kick of heat to this tartar sauce.
How to Make 5 Minute Tartar Sauce
Are you ready to get started? Let's do it . . .
- Chop the pickles, shallots, garlic, herbs.
- Whisk all the ingredients together in a small bowl or jar.
- Chill - store in the fridge until ready to use. The tartar sauce will thicken up as it chills.
How to Serve Vegan Tartar Sauce
Other than seafood and vegan fish tacos, here are a few ways to enjoy homemade tartar sauce:
Grilled or roasted veggies: jazz up your roasted cauliflower, carrots, crispy Brussels sprouts or corn on the cob with a drizzle of homemade tartar sauce.
More Vegan Sauces
If you love this vegan sauce, here's a few more I think you'll enjoy:
- Tahini Sauce Recipe
- Cilantro Lime Cashew Cream
- Easy Vegan Romesco Sauce
- Irresistible Spicy Peanut Sauce
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Easy Vegan Tartar Sauce Recipe
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- ½ cup Vegenaise (or any vegan mayonnaise)
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon pickle juice
- 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice (to taste)
- 2-4 tablespoons dill pickles, small dice
- 1 tablespoon shallots, minced
- 2-3 teaspoons capers, minced
- freshly cracked black pepper and sea salt (to taste)
- 1-2 tablespoons parsley/dill, chopped
Optional Add Ins
- 2 teaspoons prepared horseradish sauce
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon chives, chopped
- In a small bowl whisk together the vegan mayonnaise, mustard, pickle juice, and lemon juice.
- Add the chopped dill pickles, shallots, and capers to the mayo. Stir to combine.
- Taste and correct seasoning adding salt and pepper, fresh chopped herbs, and horseradish if you want a spicy kick.
- Chill in fridge until ready to use.
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