Spicy Tartar Sauce Recipe – A Creamy And Zesty Flavor Fusion

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Introducing our Spicy Tartar Sauce Recipe — a fusion of creamy mayonnaise, zesty pickles, tangy capers, and fiery jalapeños. Crafted in mere minutes, it embodies the essence of bold and spicy perfection. Versatile and swift, it’s your ticket to enhancing meals effortlessly. Customize the heat to your liking, making it uniquely yours. A blend of fresh ingredients guarantees a burst of boldness with every spoonful.

If you’re worried about the same bland tartar sauce dominating your dishes, you’re not alone. I was disappointed when my fish filets were paired with a lifeless dip. The problem? Most tartar sauces lack a kick that satisfies the taste buds. 

Spicy Tartar Sauce Recipe

But there’s a twist waiting for you. I suggest adding a bit of spice to elevate the experience. I recommend trying my Spicy Tartar Sauce recipe. It’s one of the easiest ways to resolve this issue.

 Following this plan will ensure your meals are both zesty and flavorful. Give your dishes the accompaniment they deserve!

What Is The Spicy Tartar Sauce Recipe?

The Spicy Tartar Sauce is a variation of the classic tartar sauce, enhanced with spicy ingredients. I recommend this sauce for those who seek a bit more kick in their condiments.

It combines mayonnaise, pickles, capers, and other traditional components with spicy elements like hot sauce or chili flakes. 

This ensures your sauce retains its creamy base but is warmly heated. It’s best to serve with seafood dishes, especially fried fish. Adjust the spiciness if you’re worried about overpowering your main course. 

History Of Spicy Tartar Sauce Recipe

The origin of tartar sauce traces back to the French, named after the Tatar people of Central Asia. The classic sauce usually consists of mayonnaise, pickles, and other ingredients.

However, the Spicy Tartar Sauce variation doesn’t have a specific inventor. Over time, as people sought more flavors, spicy ingredients got incorporated.

I suggest considering it a global contribution, where various cultures added their spin. Today, while we can’t credit a single individual, we owe this delectable variation to a collective culinary evolution.

Interesting Facts About Spicy Tartar Sauce Recipe

  • Zesty Twist: Spicy tartar sauce is a fiery variation of the classic tartar sauce, featuring added heat from ingredients like hot sauce or jalapeños.
  • Customizable Heat: You can control the spiciness of the sauce by adjusting the quantity of chili or hot sauce to suit your taste.
  • Seafood Companion: It’s a popular condiment for seafood dishes like fried fish, shrimp, and calamari, adding a tangy and spicy kick.
  • Homemade Versatility: Making it at home allows for creative customization with ingredients like pickles, capers, and herbs.
  • Burger Booster: The spicy tartar sauce recipe also pairs wonderfully with burgers, sandwiches, and even as a dipping sauce for fries.
  • Global Flair: Different cultures have their variations, like Mexican-inspired spicy tartar with jalapeños and cilantro.
Spicy Tartar Sauce Recipe

What Are The Regional Adaptations Of This Sauce?

Spicy Tartar Sauce, like many condiments, has seen regional adaptations:

  • Asian Twist: Incorporates wasabi or Sriracha, giving different heat and complexity.
  • Mexican Variation: I recommend the addition of jalapeños and lime zest for a zesty kick.
  • Southern US: Often introduces Creole seasoning and hot sauce, which ensures your sauce has a warm, peppery flavor.
  • Mediterranean Version: Infused with spicy olives or harissa, offering a rich, tangy heat.
  • Indian Fusion: Uses green chilies and a touch of curry powder.

What Will Make You Love This Spicy Tartar Sauce Recipe?

You’ll love this Spicy Tartar Sauce recipe for its perfect blend of flavors. It’s one of the easiest ways to add zing to your meals.

Unlike traditional tartar sauces, this one ensures your dishes won’t be mundane. I recommend it for its versatile pairing capability. 

Whether you plan to serve it with a simple fish stick or a gourmet seafood platter, the sauce enhances the experience.

Fear not if you’re worried about the overpowering heat; the spice compliments do not overshadow.

It’s best to try it once, and you’ll always prefer this tangy twist. It’s the simple touch your seafood has been waiting for.

Spicy Tartar Sauce Recipe

Ingredients List

Reduced-fat mayonnaise2 cups
Hard-cooked egg, peeled and chopped1
Onion, minced1/4
Dill pickle relish2 tablespoons
Cayenne pepper2 teaspoons
Seasoned salt1 teaspoon

Ingredient Tips 

  • Mayonnaise: Opt for a quality brand, as it’s the base of the sauce. If you’re worried about calories, reduced-fat versions work well.
  • Hard-cooked egg: Ensure it’s finely chopped. Large chunks might disrupt the sauce’s consistency.
  • Onion: I recommend using red onion for a milder flavor. However, white or yellow works if you prefer a sharper taste.
  • Dill pickle relish: Ensure it’s well-drained; excess liquid might make your sauce runny.
  • Cayenne pepper: Adjust according to your heat preference. It’s best to start with less and add more as needed.
  • Seasoned salt: Use sparingly, as other ingredients contribute to the sauce’s saltiness.

What Are The Variations Of Spicy Tartar Sauce Recipe?

The Spicy Tartar Sauce recipe is versatile, allowing for numerous variations:

  • Asian-Inspired: Incorporate wasabi or Sriracha for a distinct fiery twist.
  • Creamy Avocado: Blend in ripe avocado for a creamy, mild flavor that compliments the heat.
  • Smoky Chipotle: Add minced chipotle peppers for a smoky, spicy undertone.
  • Lemon Zest: For a citrusy kick, sprinkle in some lemon zest. It balances the heat beautifully.
  • Herb-Infused: Incorporate fresh herbs like cilantro or parsley. They not only add flavor but also a vibrant color.
  • Garlic Boost: If you’re a garlic lover, minced fresh garlic enhances the depth of flavor.
Ingredient Tips 

Recipe Directions

Cooking Method

  • In a mixing bowl, stir the onion, mayonnaise, egg, relish, cayenne pepper, and seasoned salt until well combined.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a lid.
  • Place the mixture in the refrigerator and chill until you’re ready to serve.

Ferment Method

Not applicable to this recipe. I recommend letting the sauce sit in the fridge for at least an hour. It ensures your sauce’s flavors are well-blended and intensified.

Scaling The Spicy Tartar Sauce Recipe

Scaling the Spicy Tartar Sauce recipe, whether up or down, requires a bit of calculation:

  • Determine the Factor: If you plan to double the recipe, your factor is 2. If you plan to make half, your factor is 0.5.
  • List Ingredients: Write down each ingredient’s original quantity.
  • Multiply by the Factor: Multiply each ingredient’s original amount by the chosen factor.
  • Adjust Spices Carefully: While most ingredients scale linearly, spices like cayenne pepper might not. It’s best to add gradually and taste.
  • Storage: If you’re scaling up, ensure you have a container large enough.
Spicy Tartar Sauce Recipe

Can This Sauce Be Used As A Marinade, Dipping Sauce, Or Dressing For Salads And Other Dishes?

Yes, the Spicy Tartar Sauce is versatile. As a marinade, it imparts a creamy, spicy undertone to meats, especially chicken or fish.

If you’re worried about it being too thick, thin it slightly with olive oil or vinegar. As a dipping sauce, it’s one of the easiest choices for seafood dishes, fries, and finger foods, elevating their taste. 

Lastly, as a dressing, it can be drizzled over salads or used in coleslaws and potato salads. The creamy base and heat ensure your dishes have a unique twist.

I recommend experimenting with the sauce in various recipes to discover its full potential.

What Are The Best Dishes To Accompany The Spicy Tartar Sauce Recipe?

The Spicy Tartar Sauce pairs exceptionally well with a range of dishes:

  • Seafood: Think fried fish, shrimp tempura, or crab cakes. The sauce’s heat and creaminess complement the delicate flavors.
  • Sandwiches: Use it as a spread for tuna, chicken, or turkey sandwiches. It adds moisture and a spicy kick.
  • Finger Foods: Chicken strips, mozzarella sticks, and potato wedges are elevated with this dipping sauce.
  • Burgers: The sauce adds depth, whether a fish burger or a classic beef patty.
  • Salads: Drizzle it over fresh green salads or incorporate it into potato and pasta salads.
  • Grilled Meats: It serves as a refreshing side, especially with grilled chicken or fish.
Spicy Tartar Sauce

What Are Some Classic Dishes That Feature Spicy Tartar Sauce Recipe?

The Spicy Tartar Sauce recipe has found its way into many classic dishes, enhancing their flavors:

  • Fish and Chips: This British staple is often paired with tartar sauce, and the spicy version gives it a modern twist.
  • Seafood Po’Boy: A sandwich usually filled with fried seafood gets an extra kick with spicy tartar.
  • Clam Strips: Often served as an appetizer, these fried clams are elevated when dipped in the spicy sauce.
  • Tuna Melts: The sauce can be mixed into the tuna filling or spread on the bread for a spicy edge.
  • Crab Cake Sliders: Mini crab cakes in slider buns taste delightful with a dollop of spicy tartar.

What Are The Key Flavor Profiles And Taste Sensations That Spicy Tartar Sauce Recipe Offers?

The Spicy Tartar Sauce recipe delivers a symphony of flavors and sensations:

  • Creaminess: The mayonnaise base ensures your palate first encounters a rich, velvety texture.
  • Heat: Cayenne pepper introduces a warm spiciness that lingers, awakening the taste buds.
  • Tanginess: Dill pickle relish and onion provide a zesty, piquant note.
  • Saltiness: Seasoned salt amplifies the overall flavors while lending a savory edge.
  • Richness: The hard-cooked egg adds depth, giving a fuller body to the sauce.
  • Crunch: Minced onion and relish introduce a subtle crunch, contrasting the creaminess.
Tartar Sauce Recipe

Can This Sauce Be Stored And Preserved For Future Use? What Is Its Shelf Life?

Yes, the Spicy Tartar Sauce can be stored for future use. I recommend transferring it to an airtight container to retain its freshness.

Store the sauce in the refrigerator. Typically, the sauce’s shelf life is 5-7 days when stored properly. Before using, it’s best to check for any signs of spoilage, like an off-smell or mold. 

If you’re worried about prolonged use, you can also reference the preparation date on the container. While the sauce can be stored for the most vibrant flavor and best texture, I suggest using it within the first few days of preparation.

What Are The Substitutes For Spicy Tartar Sauce Recipe?

If you’re out of Spicy Tartar Sauce or seeking alternatives, there are several substitutes you can consider:

  • Classic Tartar Sauce: Without the spice, it provides a creamy, tangy profile but lacks the heat.
  • Aioli: A garlic mayonnaise offers a creamy texture with a strong garlic note. You can add some chili flakes or hot sauce to imitate the heat.
  • Spicy Mayonnaise: Mix regular mayonnaise with a hot sauce, like Sriracha.
  • Cocktail Sauce: It’s tangy and often spicy, making it a decent replacement, especially for seafood.
  • Remoulade: A flavorful condiment, it’s creamy with a hint of mustard and spice.
  • Yogurt-based Dips: Combine yogurt with spices for a lighter, tangy alternative.
Spicy Tartar Sauce Recipe

How To Adjust The Consistency Of The Sauce?

Adjusting the consistency of the Spicy Tartar Sauce is straightforward:

  • To Thicken: If the sauce is too runny, add more mayonnaise or a bit of mustard. These ingredients help in increasing the sauce’s density.
  • To Thin Out: Add a small amount of lemon juice, milk, or water. Stir well after each addition until you achieve the desired consistency.
  • Creamier Texture: Blend in some avocado or yogurt. This alters the consistency and adds a fresh, creamy taste.
  • For a Chunkier Feel: Add chopped pickles, onions, or diced bell peppers.

Should We Serve The Sauce Cold Or Warm?

The Spicy Tartar Sauce is traditionally served cold. Since its primary base is mayonnaise, serving it cold ensures the best texture and flavor retention.

Cold tartar sauce provides a refreshing contrast, especially when paired with hot dishes like fried fish or chicken strips. 

However, suppose you’re incorporating the sauce into a warm dish, like a casserole or a hot sandwich. In that case, it will naturally warm up with the dish.

I recommend always preparing and storing the sauce in the refrigerator and only taking it out when ready to serve. 

Spicy Tartar Sauce Recipe

Nutritional Values

The Spicy Tartar Sauce, primarily made of reduced-fat mayonnaise, contains calories mainly from fats. It has some protein from the hard-cooked egg and minimal carbohydrates from the onion and relish. 

Cayenne pepper introduces a negligible calorie count but might boost metabolism. The seasoned salt contributes to the sodium content. Using a specific nutrition calculator or tool for precise nutritional values is best.

What Are The Total Calories In Spicy Tartar Sauce Recipe?

Calculating the exact calorie count for your Spicy Tartar Sauce recipe requires detailed nutritional information for each ingredient. On average:

  • Reduced-fat mayonnaise: about 40 calories per tablespoon.
  • Hard-cooked egg: around 68 calories.
  • Onion, relish, cayenne pepper, and seasoned salt: a combined total of approximately 10-15 calories.

Given these rough estimates, 2 cups (32 tablespoons) of the sauce might total around 1,300 calories.

Dietary Restrictions Of The Spicy Tartar Sauce Recipe

The Spicy Tartar Sauce recipe poses specific considerations for various dietary restrictions:

  • Vegetarian: The sauce is suitable for vegetarians as it doesn’t contain meat.
  • Vegan: It’s not vegan-friendly because of the hard-cooked egg and the mayonnaise (contains eggs).
  • Gluten-Free: Typically, the ingredients are gluten-free, but it’s always best to check product labels, especially for the mayonnaise and seasoned salt.
  • Dairy-Free: The sauce doesn’t contain dairy.
  • Low-Carb: Ingredients are low in carbs, making it suitable for a low-carb diet.
  • Keto: Suitable for a keto diet due to its high-fat content.
  • Allergies: Those allergic to eggs should avoid this sauce.

Nutrition Table

Nutrition Table

What Are Common Mistakes While Making This Sauce?

While making the Spicy Tartar Sauce, there are a few common mistakes to be wary of:

  • Overmixing: Excessive stirring can lead to a thinner consistency.
  • Skimping on Chilling: It’s best to let the sauce chill before serving to meld the flavors.
  • Using Regular Salt: Swapping seasoned salt with regular salt can make the sauce taste bland.
  • Uneven Ingredient Sizes: Not finely chopping the egg or onion can lead to an inconsistent texture.
  • Overdoing the Heat: Too much cayenne can overpower the other flavors. It’s best to add gradually.
  • Using Expired Mayonnaise: This can affect the sauce’s flavor and safety.
  • Not Tasting as You Go: Always taste and adjust the seasoning to ensure a balanced flavor profile.

What Are Some Creative Uses Of Leftover Sauce?

If you have leftover Spicy Tartar Sauce, consider these creative uses:

  • Dress up Pasta Salads: Mix into cold pasta salads for a creamy, spicy twist.
  • Spread for Wraps: Enhance chicken, shrimp, or veggie wraps.
  • Elevate Deviled Eggs: Replace the usual mayonnaise mix with this sauce.
  • Boost Breakfast: Add a dollop to scrambled eggs or omelets.
  • Taco Topping: Drizzle on fish or shrimp tacos for added zest.
  • Grilled Meat Glaze: Brush on chicken or fish while grilling.
  • Pizza Base: Use as a unique base for seafood pizzas.
  • Soup Enhancer: Stir into chowders or seafood soups for a spicy kick.
Leftover Sauce

Special Tools & Equipment Needed

  • Mixing Bowl: A medium-sized bowl is essential to combine all the ingredients.
  • Whisk or Spoon: To blend the ingredients smoothly and ensure an even distribution of flavors.
  • Measuring Cups & Spoons: Precise measurements ensure consistent taste and texture.
  • Knife & Cutting Board: Necessary for finely chopping the hard-cooked egg and mincing the onion.
  • Airtight Container: For storing the sauce in the refrigerator and ensuring it remains fresh.
  • Fine Mesh Strainer: If you plan to drain liquid from the relish or other ingredients.
  • Grater or Zester: Useful to add fresh lemon zest for an extra layer of flavor.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Spicy Real Tartar Sauce Made Of?

Spicy Real Tartar Sauce is primarily made of reduced-fat mayonnaise, hard-cooked egg, onion, dill pickle relish, cayenne pepper, and seasoned salt. These ingredients blend to give it a creamy texture with a spicy kick.

Is Tartar Sauce Healthy For You?

In moderation, tartar sauce can be a part of a balanced diet. However, it’s high in fats due to the mayonnaise base. Opting for reduced-fat mayonnaise can make it a bit healthier. As always, it’s best to consume in moderation and consider your dietary needs.

What Flavor Is Tartar?

Tartar sauce typically has a creamy, tangy flavor due to the mayonnaise and pickle relish. Adding cayenne pepper in the spicy version introduces a heating element, while onions and seasoned salt add depth and seasoning.

Why Do People Use Tartar Sauce?

People use tartar sauce primarily as a condiment for seafood, especially fried fish. Its creamy and tangy profile complements the seafood flavors, balancing out the richness of fried dishes.

Where Is Tartar Sauce Most Popular?

Tartar sauce is popular in many Western countries, especially in the United States, Canada, and Europe. It’s often associated with seafood dishes in these regions and is a staple in many seafood restaurants.

Spicy Tartar Sauce Recipe – A Creamy And Zesty Flavor Fusion

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Recipe by Lana Rivera Course: Hot Sauces


Prep time




Ferment/Rest Time



This Spicy Tartar Sauce combines the creaminess of reduced-fat mayonnaise with the zest of dill pickle relish and a kick from cayenne pepper. Enhanced by seasoned salt and complemented by minced onion and chopped hard-cooked egg, it offers a flavorful twist on a classic condiment. Perfect for elevating seafood dishes or as a zesty spread for sandwiches.


  • 2 cups 2 Reduced-fat mayonnaise

  • 1 1 Hard-cooked egg

  • 1/4 1/4 Onion, minced

  • 2 tablespoons 2 Dill pickle relish

  • 2 teaspoons 2 Cayenne pepper

  • 1 teaspoons 1 Seasoned salt

Step-By-Step Directions 

  • Take a mixing bowl and place it on a flat surface.
  • Add 2 cups of reduced-fat mayonnaise to the bowl.
  • Chop the hard-cooked egg finely and add it to the bowl.
  • Mince 1/4 of an onion and incorporate it into the mixture.
  • Stir in 2 tablespoons of dill pickle relish.
  • Add 2 teaspoons of cayenne pepper for that spicy kick.
  • Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of seasoned salt and mix thoroughly.
  • Using a whisk or spoon, blend the ingredients until well combined.
  • Cover the bowl with a lid or plastic wrap.
  • Place the sauce in the refrigerator and chill until ready to serve.

Recipe Video


  • Adjust the cayenne pepper according to your heat preference.
  • For an added tang, consider a splash of lemon juice or vinegar.
  • Ensure the hard-cooked egg is finely chopped for a smooth consistency.
  • A splash of milk or water can adjust the consistency if the sauce appears too thick.
  • Always taste and adjust the seasoning before serving.
  • Refrigerating for at least an hour helps meld flavors.
  • If you’re worried about sodium, opt for low-sodium seasoned salt or adjust the quantity used.

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