Lightened Tartar Sauce

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Christina Ross
Christina Ross
I'm a human being on planet earth. I've lived hundreds of lifetimes. In this incarnation I'm here to advance medicine.

I’ve been meaning to introduce more fish into my cooking routine for a while now. Choosing fruits of the sea can be a bit intimidating, what with all the guidelines regarding sustainable species, mercury levels, and other health-related concerns. Although I order a variety of seafood when dining out, I typically stick with purchasing shrimp, wild Alaskan salmon, and canned albacore tuna at the grocery store. Needless to say, I wanted to break out of my routine fish-buying rut.

Lightened Tarter Sauce

Enter tilapia from Trader Joe’s frozen foods section. Affordable, sustainable, healthful, and neutral-tasting, tilapia is the perfect blank canvas on which to add your favorite flavors. For this particular meal, I chose to feature a homemade lightened tartar sauce draped across grilled tilapia filets and tucked into a whole wheat sub roll. A mere tablespoon of canola oil mayonnaise mixed into plain Greek yogurt provided enough of a rich tang for my taste, but you could stir in an additional tablespoon if you’d like. The finely chopped dill pickle and red onion contributed not only a welcomed crunch to the otherwise smooth sauce, but also a nice “kick” when paired with freshly squeezed lemon juice and garlic powder.

As the warm weather draws near, I can envision many homemade seafood meals accompanied by this light & fresh tartar sauce: lump meat crab cakes, pan-sauteed wild Alaskan halibut or cod, skewered shrimp… there’s an ocean of possibilities!

Lightened Tarter Sauce

Lightened Tarter Sauce

NameLightened Tartar Sauce
Prep Time10 minutes
Cooking Time0 minutes
Total Time10 minutes
Servings8 servings
Yield1 cup


  1. 1 Tbsp canola oil mayonnaise (I like the Spectrum brand)
  2. 1/2 cup plain 2% Greek yogurt
  3. 1 medium Kosher dill pickle, finely chopped
  4. 2 Tbsp finely chopped red onion
  5. 1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  6. 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  7. freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Combine mayonnaise and Greek yogurt in a small bowl. Mix thoroughly to combine.

Stir in remaining ingredients. Chill until ready to serve.

Gather Your Ingredients

Before you start, make sure you have all the ingredients on hand. This recipe uses Greek yogurt and light mayonnaise as a base to create a creamy texture with fewer calories than traditional tartar sauce.

Mix the Base

In a mixing bowl, combine the Greek yogurt and light mayonnaise. This combination provides the creaminess you crave in tartar sauce without all the excess fat. Mix them together until well combined.

Add Flavor and Texture

Next, it’s time to add the flavor and texture-enhancing ingredients. Stir in the chopped dill pickles, finely chopped capers, minced garlic, Dijon mustard, and fresh lemon juice. These ingredients bring a tangy, briny, and slightly spicy kick to the sauce.

Season to Taste

Season the sauce with salt and black pepper to taste. Remember that pickles and capers are naturally salty, so be cautious not to overdo it with the salt.

Freshen Up with Dill

To give your lightened tartar sauce that fresh, herby flavor, add in the chopped fresh dill or dried dill if that’s what you have on hand. Stir it into the mixture until evenly distributed.

Chill and Serve

Once everything is well combined, cover the bowl and refrigerate your lightened tartar sauce for at least 30 minutes. This time allows the flavors to meld together for a more delightful taste.

Serve and Enjoy

When you’re ready to enjoy your lightened tartar sauce, serve it alongside your favorite dishes. It’s a fantastic accompaniment to fish and chips, seafood, grilled chicken, or as a dip for fresh vegetables. The creamy, tangy, and slightly zesty flavors will elevate your meal without weighing it down.

Estimated Nutrition Per Serving

Please note that the nutrition values provided here are approximate and can vary based on the specific brands of ingredients used and portion sizes.

  • Calories: 25 kcal
  • Total Fat: 1 g
    • Saturated Fat: 0 g
    • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 2 mg
  • Sodium: 160 mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 2 g
    • Dietary Fiber: 0 g
    • Sugars: 1 g
  • Protein: 2 g
  • Vitamin D: 0%
  • Calcium: 2%
  • Iron: 0%
  • Potassium: 25 mg

Keep in mind that these nutritional values are based on a standard serving size and may vary depending on your actual portion size and the specific brands of ingredients you use. It’s always a good idea to check the labels on your ingredients for the most accurate nutritional information. Enjoy your lightened tartar sauce while keeping your nutrition goals in mind!

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