Whole30 Tartar Sauce

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Tartar sauce in a white bowl on a marble table

A few weeks ago I was looking to make a new traditional crab cake recipe and thought it would be perfect with a little tartar or remoulade sauce. To my dismay, nearly every recipe included relish or pickles! As a lot of us know it’s really difficult to find pickles without coloring, additives, or preservatives of some sort. Don’t even get me started on the jarred tartar sauces out there. That’s when I got the idea to make my own by just using fresh cucumber – super simple, right? This recipe for Whole30 tartar sauce is not only paleo, but also migraine-friendly.

Don’t worry, the traditional crab cake recipe is coming and I’m thrilled to be able to make one that’s migraine-safe by using a dumbed down version of Old Bay seasoning. But I’m easing back into this whole blog thing after I just cooked over 90 recipes in 4 weeks, ok?

My personal favorite mayo is Sir Kensingtons Organic, but Primal Kitchen is also another popular brand and a paleo option. You can also make your own

Questionable Capers

As for the capers, if you’re on a migraine diet, these can be questionable since they’re pickled flower buds and not exactly fresh. If you’ve tried olives and done well with them, you can typically find good capers that are just packed in just water and vinegar. Here’s a post that explains a little more on that subject!

I like to use this sauce on grilled seafood or fish and even burgers. Enjoy!

Seared salmon topped with tartar sauce on a grey plate

And don’t miss it on these migraine-friendly Maryland Crab Cakes.

Whole30 Tartar Sauce - without the additives in dill pickles, this is perfect for a fresh and easy take on the traditional sauce. #tartarsauce #seafood

5 from 1 vote
Tartar sauce in a white bowl on a marble table
Whole30 Tartar Sauce
Prep Time
10 mins

Made without pre-packaged dill pickles, this quick and easy recipe is perfect for those who are trying to avoid additives or MSG in their diet. Serve with grilled fish, seafood, or burgers. This recipe makes roughly 1/2 cup of tartar sauce.

Course: Condiment, Sauce
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Paleo, Tartar Sauce, Whole30
Servings: 4 people
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise *see post for recommendations
  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped seedless cucumber
  • 1 teaspoon grainy mustard *If you can't find a compliant brand, try 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1 tablespoon chopped capers (optional for migraine diets)
  • freshly cracked pepper and kosher salt to taste
  1. In a medium bowl, combine the chopped cucumber with distilled white vinegar. Let it sit for 10 minutes. Add other ingredients and stir to combine, tasting to see if it needs any seasonings. I personally always add pepper, but prefer it without salt unless you're not using capers. Place it back in the fridge and allow it to chill for at least 30 minutes for the flavors to combine.

Alicia was diagnosed with Chronic Vestibular Migraine in 2016 and has been able to successfully manage her symptoms through medication, supplements, lifestyle changes, and the Heal Your Headache Diet by Dr. David Buchholz from Johns Hopkins. She's the owner of The Dizzy Cook.


  1. Jill

    Welcome back Alicia!!
    We’ve missed you! x


    1. Alicia

      Aw thanks, Jill!! Haha! Feels good to be posting recipes I’m not obsessing over!


      1. Jill

        Can’t wait to see your cookbook!!!


  2. Georganne Oldenburg

    I just wanted to thank you for all the effort you put into your website. The information on food sources such as the mayo you like is very helpful for me. I just spent 2 hours at the grocery store tonight reading labels trying to come up with a salad dressing I could use and things I could eat. When I got home I saw this post and I was pleasantly surprised that I had read the label of the very same organic mayo you recommended. I passed it up so that I could come home and check my list of “yes” and “no” foods. It’s expensive and I didn’t want to make a costly mistake. One more time, thank you. I appreciate your assistance every day.


    1. Alicia

      Your comment made me smile, Georganne! I remember those days too and applaud you for really making the effort on this. It does get easier and you’ll be an expert in no time. 🙂 It is expensive! Who would have those the products with the most basic ingredients would be the most expensive? I think the mayos are definitely worth it but I could never bring myself to buy the tiny $7 package of safe granola…I’ll make it myself!! 🙂


  3. Pam

    5 stars
    Thanks, i just made this! I used my own homemade “quick pickles” in there! I’m excited to try it tonight with some HYH safe ‘fish nuggets” I found at Trader Joe’s! I’ve been missing tartar sauce and tried to make it myself before and it never came out right!
    I’m excited for your crab cake recipe next!


    1. Alicia

      Oh fish nuggets – that’s a great idea! I still miss the lemon, but I thought this was pretty tasty. 🙂


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