Healthy Alternatives to Tartar Sauce

by Julie Christensen ; Updated July 18, 2017

Plate of fried fish, french fries, and tartar sauce.

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Tart, yet creamy, tartar sauce is a traditional accompaniment to fish dishes, but it packs a hefty 400 calories and 44 grams of fat per 1/4 cup serving. Look for commercial low-fat tartar sauce, or make your own. Better yet, skip the traditional mayonnaise tartar sauce altogether and use healthy, flavorful substitutes.

Low-Fat Tartar Sauce Substitute

Blend 1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt and 1/2 cup nonfat cottage cheese in a blender until smooth. Add 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 tablespoon minced red onion, 1 tablespoon sweet or dill pickle relish and 1 tablespoon minced, fresh parsley. This non-fat alternative has only 35 calories per 1/4 cup serving and zero grams fat. It also boasts 5 grams protein.


Marinate fish before cooking to add flavor and color, and you won't even miss the tartar sauce. Combine vinegar, lime juice or soy sauce with a bit of olive oil, and add seasonings, such as garlic, chile peppers, parsley, marjoram or chives. Marinate the fish for at least two hours before cooking to soak up the flavors of the marinade.

Salsas and Chutneys

Grill fresh fish with herbs, sea salt and a splash of olive oil. Serve it with a fresh salsa made from your choice of tomatoes, chiles, black beans, corn, mangoes or even pineapple. For a sweet-sour taste, try chutneys, such as green tomato chutney or mango chutney.

Splash of Flavor

Serve grilled or fried fish with lemon wedges for a simple splash of flavor. Take a cue from the English and serve battered fish with potato wedges and a bit of malt vinegar for a slightly bitter, refreshing taste.