Does Tartar Sauce Contain Dairy? (Answered)

Fried Fish with Tartar Sauce

Tartar sauce is a creamy, tangy condiment commonly used to accompany seafood dishes such as fish and chips or crab cakes. Typically, it includes ingredients like mayonnaise, pickles, onions, and seasonings.

The focus of this article is to provide information on the ingredients commonly found in tartar sauce, with a specific emphasis on whether or not it contains dairy. Let’s get into it!

Is There Dairy In Store-Bought Tartar Sauce?

In short, it is uncommon for store-bought tartar sauce to have dairy in it.

Tartar sauces found in grocery stores typically contain soybean oil, distilled vinegar, eggs, onion, lemon juice, and pickles or relish as its primary ingredients. It is not normal for dairy products to be in this type of sauce.

By reviewing the list of products in the table below, it becomes evident how unusual it is for dairy to be included in tartar sauce. Not one of the products featured contains dairy. The common food allergen in all of them is egg.

While not the norm, some tartar sauces out there may contain dairy. It is important to read the ingredients on the product label if you want to avoid food allergens like dairy. This includes checking the ingredients/allergens of the products below considering ingredients can change at any time.

Tartar SauceDairy Ingredients
(Yes or No)?
Louisiana NoEggs
Frisch’s – OriginalNoEggs
Captain Toady’s – Tasty TartarNoEggs
Bookbinder’s – TraditionalNoEggs
Gold’s – Zesty Tartar SauceNoEggs
Primal Kitchen – Avocado Oil Tartar SauceNoEggs
McCormick’s – Fat Free Tartar SauceNoEggs
Duke’s NoEggs
Atlantic – Lemon Dill Tartar SauceNoEggs
Hill Country FareNoEggs
Market PantryNoEggs
Great ValueNoEggs
365 Whole Foods – Organic Tartar SauceNoSoy, Eggs
We did not verify if any of the above sauces had the potential to come indirectly in contact with dairy due to cross-contamination at the factory.

Homemade Tartar Sauce & Dairy

The benefit of putting in the labor to make your own tartar sauce is that you control the ingredients. You can ensure that it does not contain any unwanted ingredients, including monitoring for undesirable ingredients accidentally making their way into the sauce.

The good news is that there are plenty of dairy-free tartar sauce recipes available online. The typical recipe calls for simple, non-dairy ingredients to make it such as mayonnaise, pickles, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. You don’t even need to specifically search for “non-dairy tartar sauce” since dairy is not a common ingredient in it.

Is Tartar Sauce Vegan?

No, tartar sauce is not typically vegan. As we indicated above, eggs are in tartar sauce. Vegans do not consume any foods that are derived from animals including milk and eggs.

Be aware that if you see a tartar sauce recipe call for mayonnaise, the mayonnaise is likely made with eggs. However, there are certainly vegan mayo products that can be used to make it. Two examples are Plant Perfect and Sir Kensington’s Vegan Mayo.

Is There Lactose In Tartar Sauce?

Lactose is a type of sugar found in milk and dairy products. It is made up of two simple sugar molecules called glucose and galactose. It is broken down in the body by an enzyme called lactase. Lactose intolerance typically occurs when the body fails to produce enough lactase to properly break down the lactose.

So, as long as the tartar sauce does not have dairy, it will not have lactose. In other words, most tartar sauces are lactose-free.

Does McDonald’s Tartar Sauce Have Dairy?

According to the McDonald’s website, its tartar sauce does not contain dairy. The only noted allergen in it is egg. Of course, review its ingredients before you eat to ensure that it does not contain dairy or other potential undesirable ingredients for your diet.