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Tartar Sauce

The best tartar sauce should be creamy and balanced—and definitely not gloppy.

Published Sept. 1, 2008. Appears in Cook's Country TV Season 2: Surefire Seafood

UpdateMarch 2020
Our favorite tartar sauce by Legal Seafoods is now being produced by Stonewall Kitchen. We will be retesting soon. Until we are able to confirm that we still recommend this product, we recommend our runner-up, McCormick Original Tartar Sauce.
See Everything We Tested

What You Need To Know

The French created tartar sauce as a simple mayonnaise with a few chopped gherkins mixed in. These days, the condiment is just as likely to come loaded with flavorful additions ranging from horseradish and onions to capers, cabbage, and celery. We sampled eight brands against our own homemade version to find a worthy sauce.

None truly compared to homemade. Most tasted gloppy and saccharine, though we found two acceptable stand-ins. One sample stood apart for its creamy, nicely balanced base chock full of tasty bits of cucumber, onion, cabbage, celery—even red bell pepper—and a second sample was almost as good.

Everything We Tested

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The mission of America’s Test Kitchen Reviews is to find the best equipment and ingredients for the home cook through rigorous, hands-on testing.