This healthy tartar sauce is packed with flavor but seriously lightened up, using a mix of Greek yogurt and light mayonnaise. This recipe uses dill relish for an easy homemade tartar sauce that can be customized to your liking.
I'll start by saying: I love condiments. I have some fries with my ketchup, some chips with my salsa, some pasta with my sauce...all of it.
More is more when it comes to my culinary accoutrements.
One condiment among many that I can't get enough of is tartar sauce, though the flavors can be hit or miss for me (more on that later). It's clearly the option for a variety of seafood dishes like fish and chips, fried shrimp, etc. And using it as a dipping sauce for french fries? Perfection.
Problem is, tartar sauce isn't the lightest food out there. In fact it's traditionally a mayonnaise-heavy sauce that packs in the calories. And a one tablespoon serving size? I just don't see that happening on my plate.
To continue garnishing my food with wild abandon, I've taken to making a homemade light tartar sauce to accompany the many batches of baked tuna cakes and baked salmon patties we've been eating lately.
Reasons to Love This Recipe
- Using a blend of light mayonnaise and plain Greek yogurt, this dill tartar sauce features a tangy, bold flavor and matches the creamy, slightly crunchy consistency of standard tartar sauce varieties...
- ...and it does it all with less fat and calories per generous serving.
- It has easy prep. There's no need to chop slippery pickles as using relish takes care of that in a snap.
- Light Mayonnaise: This contains less than half of the fat, saturated fat, and calories of regular mayonnaise while still providing a thick and creamy base for this light tartar sauce.
- Greek Yogurt: This cuts the fat and calories significantly, even when compared to light mayonnaise. I'll use whatever plain Greek yogurt variety I have on hand, usually full-fat or low-fat.
- Dill Relish: Adding a good amount of relish (one-quarter cup) allows the dill flavor to mask the distinct tang that yogurt has and truly helps hide the fact that this tartar sauce is lightened up.
- Lemon Juice: Freshly-squeezed provides the brightest flavor over bottled.
- Dried Dill: This amplifies and rounds out the dill flavor even more.
- Sugar: Just one-half teaspoon of granulated sugar tempers the sharper flavors and balances the sauce.
All you'll really need to do to prep is to squeeze a lemon and dice an onion, thanks to the shortcut of using jarred relish instead of whole pickles. Then it's as easy as stirring together all of the ingredients in a bowl and adjusting the seasonings to taste.
While you can serve it right away, I like to let it hang out for an hour or so (refrigerated, of course) so all of the flavors can meld. This recipe is a good one to make ahead.
The result is you'll get a thick and creamy healthy tartar sauce that doesn't lack flavor or texture.
Saying that this sauce is both creamy and has texture...I hope that makes sense. Just that it won't be too gloopy and you won't risk having a spoonful in which you won't get any relish or onion. There's a lot of flavor in all parts of this sauce.
Sweet or Dill Relish in Tartar Sauce?
One easy way to really switch up this homemade tartar sauce recipe is by using a different variety of relish.
My household is firmly in the dill relish camp so that's what we use and love when we make tartar sauce. That said, if you know you and your crowd like tartar sauce made with sweet relish better, then by all means use that instead.
Just keep in mind that sweet relish has more calories (around twenty calories per tablespoon) than dill (zero calories per tablespoon), so the nutritional info estimate given at the bottom of the recipe card will differ.
- The photos you see in this post are for a double batch of tartar sauce, which served a crowd. The recipe as written is a more manageable size for a meal, though the ingredients are easily able to be doubled if you require more for whatever you're serving.
- This homemade tartar sauce recipe is very forgiving, and you can increase/decrease/add/omit ingredients as you like. I recommend tasting as you go so you can really make this your own.
Healthy baked tuna cakes, as seen in the above photo, are a perfect pairing for light tartar sauce. They're super easy to make and wonderfully golden-brown without any pan-frying necessary. Tartar sauce also pairs well with fish and chips, fried shrimp, or as a dipping sauce for french fries (my personal favorite).
Store homemade tartar sauce in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for around one week.
If you’ve enjoyed this recipe, I’d love for you to leave a star rating in the recipe card and/or a comment review below!
Healthy Tartar Sauce
- ¼ cup light mayonnaise
- ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
- ¼ cup dill relish
- 1 Tablespoon finely diced onion
- ¾ teaspoon lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon dried dill
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Pinch of salt or to taste
- Whisk together the light mayonnaise and Greek yogurt in a medium bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir until combined.
- Take a taste and see if you'd like to add more of anything: relish, salt, etc.
- Once the flavors are to your liking, refrigerate until serving. This sauce will be ready to serve right away, but benefits by an hour or so of refrigeration, at least, to really allow the flavors to meld. Homemade tartar sauce will stay in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to one week.
- Greek yogurt: Use your preferred fat percentage. I usually make this with full-fat or low-fat (whatever I have on hand) and don't find there to be much difference.
- Dill relish: If you don't have this on hand, you can finely chop dill pickles and measure out one-quarter cup.
- Lemon juice: Freshly-squeezed is recommended for the brightest flavor.
Nutritional information is provided as an estimate. As it can vary due to many factors (brands used, quantities, etc.), we cannot guarantee its accuracy.Food Safety and Nutrition Disclaimer
You are my favorite person today. I just prepared your tuna fish cakes. I’m already drooling. There are 12(!) resting in the refrigerator before I bake/broil them. After cooking, will 6 freeze well? I added a dash of cayenne and turmeric (good for my health). I am going to make your healthy tartar sauce shortly. I love all your marvelous details - please keep doing that! I must keep track of calcium and calories daily so you’re helping me tremendously! THANK YOU!
Hi Mel, why thank you so much! I have frozen them before and they reheat well (I use the oven). Your seasonings sound like an excellent addition! I hope you enjoy. 🙂