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Does Tartar Sauce Have Dairy?

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Are you looking to avoid or reduce dairy in your diet? Well, where does this leave Tartar sauce? Can you safely consume it or is it another thing to add to your forbidden list? Well, here is what you will want to know.

So, does tartar sauce have dairy? Tartar sauce does not contain dairy. While it may contain other allergens, most brands and recipes of the sauce do not contain any milk or milk-based products.

I understand why you ask this question.

Besides, tartar sauce does not only visually look like it may contain milk or milk products, but it’s very creamy in texture, consistency, and taste too.

But thankfully, this sauce does not contain any.

At all.

That is for most brands and traditional recipes, mind.

Let us now take a look at what ingredients usually make up this delicious sauce before moving on to other potential allergens.

You may not be out of the woods yet!

So keep reading.

What Is Tartar Sauce Usually Made Of?

Tartar sauce is usually made from mayonnaise (a blend of egg yolk, vinegar, and oil) with other ingredients added depending on the brand or recipe. Capers, gherkins, lemon juice, sugar, salt, and mustard are often used.

The truth is, this is a sauce that can vary quite a lot.

Traditional recipes usually call for mayonnaise as the base.

But from there, you’ll actually find some international differences.

For instance, in the US, you’ll often find tartar sauce includes dills, onions, chives, and even parsley.

In the UK, it’s much more common to see capers and gherkins.

So, the taste does differ depending on where you go and how it’s made.

I personally like that about it.

Nevertheless, either way, you will not find milk or milk-based products typically included.

And if you head over to Amazon, you can usually see what ingredients are in each brand.

Here is the ingredient list for the popular Kraft brand for instance.

Water, Chopped Pickles (Cucumbers, Distilled White Vinegar, Salt), Soybean Oil, Vinegar, Modified Food Starch, Salt, Contains Less Than 2% Of Sugar, Egg Yolks, Eggs, Dried Onions, Artificial And Natural Flavor, Spice, Mustard Flour, Xanthan Gum, Phosphoric Acid, Potassium Sorbate And Calcium Disodium Edta (To Protect Flavor), Oleoresin Paprika.

And here is the full ingredients for the Beaver brand:

Soybean Oil, Water, Cucumbers, White Distilled Vinegar, Eggs, Salt, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Lemon Juice, Onions, Mustard Seed, Sugar, Spices, Modified Corn Starch, Xanthan Gum, Garlic, Sodium Benzoate and Sorbic Acid (Preservatives), Dill Weed, Citric Acid, Celery, Capers, Peppers (Green Bell, Red Chili, Red Bell), Parsley, Natural Flavors, Calcium Disodium Edta (Retains Product Freshness), Turmeric, Paprika.

What Allergens Are In Tartar Sauce?

The main allergens to be aware of in Tartar sauce are Egg, Gluten, Wheat, Soy. Although, not all of these allergens will be present in every brand and recipe of the sauce.

So, it does depend on the context here.

If you are opting for a store-bought brand, then first and foremost you should check the label.

By law, manufacturers are required to list any allergens that could be present.

That being said, it’s always a good idea to check each ingredient closely too.

From there, contacting the manufacturer is not a bad idea either.

It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

And just consider that not all sauces need to have an allergenic ingredient to necessary prove problematic.

There is the issue of cross-contamination at preparation facilities to consider here too.

That’s why some products can be allergenic even if they do not contain that exact ingredient.

Lastly, don’t forget that allergens vary by individual.

The types, amount to cause a reaction, etc. – it is all highly individualized.

An allergy for some of you reading will differ tremendously from others.

It may be for instance that you are allergic to egg whites and not egg yolks.

Or vice versa.

So some people with an egg allergy may be able to consume all brands of tartar sauce.

Some may only be able to consume certain brands.

If in doubt, it’s generally not worth the risk.

But do get yourself checked and tested and do remain vigilant.


Tartar sauce does not typically contain dairy.

And if it does, you’re looking at a pretty experimental recipe!

That being said, as with any sauce or food, it is important to check the ingredients.

You never know.

And there could be another allergen in there that you may not respond very well to.

Thankfully, it shouldn’t be a dairy-causing one!

Does Tartar Sauce Contain Lactose?

As tartar sauce is not made from any dairy or milk-based products, it is naturally lactose-free.

Wondering what other sauces contain dairy? Check out my following guides:

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