Red Lobster Tartar Sauce Copycat Recipe

Red Lobster is known for its delicious tartar sauce, but it is hard to get some extra to go. You can make some copycat Red Lobster tartar sauce at home.

homemade Red Lobster tartar sauce and fish sticks on a serving tray

Red Lobster is known for its delicious tartar sauce and many people think it’s the best tartar sauce out there. However, it’s not easy to get some extra to go. Now you can solve this problem by making some copycat Red Lobster tartar sauce at home.

Nothing enhances the flavor of seafood like tartar sauce. It’s the perfect condiment for everything from fried or baked fish to crab cakes.

This copycat Red Lobster tartar sauce recipe takes a basic tartar sauce and raises it to the next level. This is a very simple homemade tartar sauce recipe using mayonnaise, diced white onion, chopped carrots, and pickle relish. The onions add a more distinctive bite and the carrots give you a little bit of sweetness to soften the overall sharpness of the sauce.

This combination of ingredients makes for a slightly sweet tartar sauce that has a pleasing crunch to it. The chopped carrots add a nice texture that you are going to love.

How to Make Red Lobster Tartar Sauce From Scratch?

To make this copycat Red Lobster tartar sauce recipe, you simply combine all of the ingredients in a bowl, then refrigerate for at least thirty minutes before serving. That’s it! Easy to make and no cooking involved. Once you try this simple recipe, you won’t ever go back to premade tartar sauce from the store!

A Brief History of Tartar Sauce

American tartar sauce is quite different from the original French recipe. During the 18th century, sauce tartare began to appear on menus and in cookbooks as an accompaniment to the dish known as beef tartare, a highly spiced raw minced beef dish.

Sauce tartare called for nothing more than mayonnaise mixed with minced chives and shallots. Soon the sauce made its way across the Channel where the British found it went exceedingly well with fried seafood.

Over time, the British created their own version of the sauce made from mayonnaise, capers, gherkin pickles, dill, and lemon juice, and renamed it tartare sauce.

In the 1920s, Hellmann’s combined relish with its famous mayonnaise and sold it as tartar sauce nationwide. Hellmann’s version of the sauce soon became the standard on this side of the Atlantic.

Up Your Tartar Sauce Game By Making Your Own Mayonnaise

While you can use prepared mayonnaise from a jar, homemade mayonnaise will make the best tartar sauce ever with an unmatched flavor. If you want to try making mayonnaise at home, it is straightforward:

  1. Place the yolk of a room-temperature egg in the bowl of a food processor. Add a teaspoon each of fresh lemon juice and seedless Dijon mustard.
  2. Run the food processor at the lowest setting until everything is completely combined. With the food processor still running, slowly start to drizzle in 1 cup of a neutral oil, such as grapeseed or canola. Continue until all the oil is gone.
  3. Scrape down the bowl and season the mayonnaise with a pinch of salt and another teaspoon of lemon juice.

Extra Tips For Making and Serving Tartar Sauce

  • It is best to make this a couple of hours ahead of serving. This way all of the flavors will mingle together. It is even better when you make it the day or evening before.
  • Keep the flavor and reduce the sharpness of the onions by chopping them as per the recipe and then soaking them in ice water for 10 minutes. Make sure to dry them thoroughly before using them. Soaking onions helps to mellow them out while adding a bit of extra firmness.
  • Serving tartar sauce at room temperature will enhance its flavor. Take the tartar sauce out of the fridge 15 to 20 minutes before serving.

What’s in Red Lobster Tartar Sauce?

You might wonder what is in this recipe. It is very simple: you use mayonnaise, chopped white onion, pickle relish, and chopped carrots.

This combination together makes for a slightly sweet tartar sauce that is has a nice crunch to it. The carrot adds a nice texture to the tartar sauce that you are going to love.

Red Lobster Tartar Sauce Recipe Ingredients

Here’s a list of what you need:

  • Mayonnaise
  • White onion
  • Carrot
  • Sweet pickle relish
  • Sugar
  • Salt
Red Lobster tartar sauce ingredients on a tray

How to Make Red Lobster Tartar Sauce

  • Put all the ingredients in a bowl.
    Red Lobster tartar sauce ingredients in a bowl.
  • Stir until thoroughly combined.
  • Then refrigerate the sauce for at least 30 minutes before serving.

That’s it! Easy to make and no cooking involved.

a bowl of homemade Red Lobster tartar sauce and fried fish

How Long Can You Store Homemade Tartar Sauce?

You can keep this homemade tartar sauce for up to seven days in the refrigerator. Store it in an airtight container.

a bowl of homemade Red Lobster tartar sauce on a tray with fish sticks

Extra Tips For Making and Serving Tartar Sauce

  • Keep the flavor and reduce the sharpness of onions by chopping them as per the recipe and then soaking the onions in ice water for ten minutes. Make sure to dry them thoroughly before using them. Soaking onions helps to mellow them out while adding a bit of extra firmness.
  • Serving tartar sauce at room temperature will enhance its flavor. Take the tartar sauce out of the fridge 15 to 20 minutes before serving. Remember to put any leftover sauce in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator. Use up your remaining tartar sauce within a few days.

Tartar sauce is so wonderfully diverse. It’s a delicious dipping sauce and sandwich spread. This tartar sauce tastes wonderful with fried fish, baked fish, on fish sandwiches, and it even tastes great on a hamburger.

What Is a Good Substitute for Tartar Sauce?

  • Greek Yogurt: If you want a sauce without mayonnaise, you can substitute nonfat Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt has a similar appearance and texture to mayonnaise. It also provides a milder tart taste than mayonnaise’s acidic tang.
  • Yogurt and Cottage Cheese: Combine 1/2 cup nonfat cottage cheese and 1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt until smooth. Add 1 tablespoon each of minced red onion, sweet or dill pickle relish, lemon juice, and minced fresh parsley.
  • Aioli: Traditional aioli uses a combination of oil and garlic. You can add seasonings to it (e.g., dill and lemon zest) and convert it to a garlicky type of tartar sauce.
  • Cucumber Sauce: Try a cucumber sauce made with fat-free yogurt and light mayonnaise. Use 1/3 cup of yogurt and 1/4 cup of mayonnaise for every 1 cup of freshly chopped cucumber. Season with mustard, chopped onions, lemon juice, and salt, and chill thoroughly before serving.
  • For more healthy alternatives to tartar sauce, click on this link. Quora can also give you some good ideas.
homemade tartar sauce and fried fish on a serving tray

More Red Lobster Copycat Recipes

Go ahead and make a batch of our Red Lobster Tartar Sauce copycat recipe, then try out these:

Be sure to check out more of my easy sauce recipes and the best Red Lobster recipes here on CopyKat!

homemade Red Lobster tartar sauce and fish sticks on a serving tray

Red Lobster Tartar Sauce Copycat Recipe

You can recreate the classic Red Lobster Tartar sauce at home.
4.64 from 11 votes
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
Course: Seafood
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Red Lobster Recipes, Red Lobster Tartar Sauce, Tartar Sauce
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 135kcal

Ingredients

  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 ½ tablespoons white onions chopped
  • 1 tablespoon carrot finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish do not use dill relish
  • 1 ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Instructions

  • Place all ingredients in a small bowl.
  • Stir to thoroughly combine.
  • It is best if you make and store this sauce in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes before serving.

Notes

You can keep this homemade tartar sauce for 7 days in the refrigerator.

Nutrition

Calories: 135kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 0g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 244mg | Potassium: 8mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 430IU | Vitamin C: 0.3mg | Iron: 0.1mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home, and CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. James

    3 stars
    Decent recipe, but not an exact copy of RL’s tarter sauce. I doubled the ingredients in order to produce enough for my family. However I did find it a bit on the salty side, therefore I would reduce the amount of salt I use if I were to make this again. The brands I used were Hellmann’s Real Mayonnaise, Vlasic Sweet Pickle Relish, locally sourced vidalia onion, Bolthouse Farms Organic Baby Cut carrots, Morton iodized table salt & Pioneer sugar in case people wonder the brand(s) & quality of ingredients I used.

    • Crystal Brown

      3 stars
      This recipe is a good start, but RL’s tartar sauce definitely has garlic included. I added in about 1/2 of a minced clove of garlic and that was very close to being a copy cat in my opinion.

  2. Janet

    Been going to RL for years. Our first date was there. We’ll soon be married 45 yrs. I’ve been making my version of RL tartar sauce for years but didn’t think of adding sugar. And why did you say not to use dill relish? Does it ruin the flavor because of sugar in recipe?

    • Stephanie

      Dill relish has a different flavor than what is needed in this recipe. Don’t get me wrong, I love dill relish, but I think it isn’t what is needed to get the flavor just right.

  3. Pam C

    5 stars
    I have looked for a recipe for RL’s tartar sauce unsuccessfully and stumbled across yours. I am looking forward to trying it. I am surprised there is no lemon juice in this. I may add that after trying this. Thanks for the recipe!

  4. GS Willi

    I like the recipe, with some slight modifications. The onions can overwhelm the taste. I cut the amount onions in half, made the mayo 1/3 cup, added an extra 1/3 cup of relish and doubled the carrots.

    I eat Red lobster quite frequent. In our area, they sell the tartar sauce by the pint. However, since I travel a lot its good to now have their tartar sauce recipe.

    Thanks

  5. Lucys

    Never having had Red Lobster tarter sauce, I cannot comment. But….have you had the Lubys tarter sauce? If you could recreate, I would be in heaven. It would go so well with your LJS beer battered fish! That is just the best tarter sauce ever. Keep up the great work! Just discovered this site, it’s got some great ideas!

  6. Dottie Ashmore

    I am a livid Red Lobster . Love their Tartar Sauce. BUT, I coierce the waiters to sell me a large quart of their sauce!!!!! I treat it like gold – rationing out the portions to make it last. It does sound so very simple…..gonna have it all the time. (I don’t think they even charge me for the Qt.)

  7. Christy

    5 stars
    I loved Red Lobster’s tartar sauce. I tried making it on my own but couldn’t figure it out. The secret is sugar! Who would have thought? Thank you. I will make it this way from now on.

  8. Peggy

    I have opened every link on this page, it just takes me back to this page…..where is the recipe? Is it just mayo, carrots and sweet relish? What are the quantities?

  9. Sylvia

    Now that we have the tartar sauce recipe, how about a recipe for the Samuel Adams beer battered fish? PLEASE!

  10. Pam

    I have to confess that my family is not big fish eaters so tarter sauce is not something we have… but my sister would love this recipe and I plan on sending her a link to this blog post. Copycat recipes are wonderful.

  11. Angela

    My mom loves that Red Lobster tartar sauce so much. I’ll most definitely be surprising her with this. Thanks!

  12. Cynthia

    I love Red Lobster and love their tarter sauce too. I really enjoy making condiments at home, so I will have to try this recipe. I have never put carrots or sugar in my tarter sauce recipe before. Now I know the secret!

  13. Tiffany

    Not a huge tarter sauce person so I don’t think i have ever tried red Lobster’s. Though I love copycat recipes because it makes it less painful to stay on a budget and eat at home!

  14. Shirley

    I don’t believe I’ve ever put tarter sauce on a hamburger before but I’m willing to give it a try! We haven’t been to Red Lobster in a while. Now I want to go and yes, I’ll have their tarter sauce with my shrimp and fish! I’m saving your recipe to try at home.

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