Does Tartar Sauce Need To Be Refrigerated? Answered!

6 mins read
does tartar sauce need to be refrigerated

Do you have a jar of Tartar sauce that you’re not sure how to store? Have you been wondering, does it go in the fridge, or does it need to be stored somewhere else? We’ll be answering a popularly asked question: does Tartar sauce need to be refrigerated?

Tartar sauce should not be refrigerated, especially if it is still unopened. Although refrigeration is generally recommended, especially once opened, for flavor and texture preservation. In general, refrigerating the sauce allows it to stay at its peak for longer.

The majority of the time, whether you refrigerate or not, depends on how long you expect to keep the sauce. Some people may not consume Tartar sauce on a regular basis, but they want to keep it on hand. In that case, refrigeration is a no-brainer.

For those who are reading, you may have finished the jar in a week or two, or you may have accidentally left it out. You’ll be fine either way. Nonetheless, let us now address the most frequently asked questions about storing and preserving this delectably creamy sauce.

What is Tartar Sauce?

what is tartar sauce

Tartar sauce is made of mayonnaise, capers, chopped pickles, and herbs like dill and tarragon. Before heading straight to your key concerns with Tartar sauce, it’s important to explain what the sauce is.

Tartar sauce, as the name implies, is a thick, creamy, cold condiment that is mostly off-white in color. On the surface, it appears to be vanilla pudding that has been flavored with herbs and other ingredients. Tartar sauce, while slightly sweet, does not taste like pudding. Tartar sauce is typically served with fried seafood dishes such as fried clams or fried calamari as a condiment.

Tartar sauce may be unfamiliar to you, but it is widely available and simple to prepare. This sauce isn’t complicated, but it packs a tasty punch that’s difficult to forget. It can also be added to sandwiches or served over steak tartare to create an equally delicious dish. And, because tartar sauce can be made in a variety of ways with various herbs and add-ins, there is no hard and fast rule.

How Long Can Tartar Sauce Be Left Out?

how long can tartar sauce be left out

Tartar sauce is a cold dipping sauce served with seafood like fish. This sauce is creamy and known for its tangy and rich flavor. Now, I’ll be answering a question I’ve heard a lot from people. How long can Tartar sauce be left out?

Tartar sauce can be left out for several hours to several months, depending on the brand, recipe, and how long it is left out.

Is the Tartar sauce left out in the open? Is it still sealed and inside the bottle/jar? Is this left out in a warm and mild area of the house, or is it kept in a cool and dark cupboard? You should definitely be asking yourself questions like this. That is why the answer has such a wide range.

However, a sauce left out at room temperature on a plate, in a bowl, or in a serving dish will last for 6-18 hours. That is until the quality deteriorates. As we will see shortly, it should still be safe. However, it will not taste very good after that. 

But, if you keep the sauce out of the fridge but concealed, it will usually last for a few months. You might get even more if you are entirely lucky.

Does Tartar Sauce Need To Be Refrigerated?

does tartar sauce need to be refrigerated

Tartar sauce is popularly used in seafood restaurants. You can use it for your fried oysters and fried fish. Storing your tartar sauce properly will help ensure it stays fresh until you want to use it. Do you have some Tartar sauce at home? Or did you just purchase a Tartar sauce? Are you wondering if you need to refrigerate your tartar sauce to ensure it stays fresh?

If the tartar sauce is still sealed, it doesn’t need to be refrigerated. To keep the sauce’s flavor and consistency, it must be refrigerated after opening.

The way this dressing is stored generally affects how long it will keep; therefore, if you want your condiments to last as long as possible, keep them in the refrigerator and well covered at all times. To maintain the maximum quality, it should be refrigerated continually for roughly six months.

French cuisine’s tartar sauce is a herb- and occasionally lemon-flavored mayonnaise or aioli mixture. It goes incredibly well with seafood and is typically served with “fish and chips.” It can also be used as a burger topping or a dipping sauce for fried chicken.

Does Tartar Sauce Go Bad If Not Refrigerated?

Does Tartar Sauce Go Bad If Not Refrigerated

Have you been wondering what will happen to your Tartar sauce if you don’t refrigerate it? Are you wondering if it will go bad?

If tartar sauce is not refrigerated, it will lose its flavor and consistency over time, deteriorating in quality. However, this is not a sauce that will necessarily go bad in terms of safety. This is due to the ingredients used to make the sauce. Tartar sauce is primarily made up of mayonnaise, vinegar, and salt. There are numerous natural preservatives in there.

Furthermore, many brands and recipes may call for additional preservatives. And this simply means that Tartar sauce keeps well outside of the refrigerator. Particularly if it is still unopened. However, it still performs admirably when opened but sealed. So long as it is kept out of direct sunlight and in a cupboard/drawer or other enclosed space at room temperature.

How Long Does Tartar Sauce Last?

how long does tartar sauce last

After getting your favorite Tartar sauce, or even before getting a Tartar sauce, it is important that you know how long it can last.

Tartar sauce typically has a shelf life of 3-6 months once opened, depending on its quality and freshness. Unopened bottles and jars, on the other hand, can keep their freshness for 1-2 years after being packaged.

One thing to keep in mind is that different Tartar sauce brands/recipes may use different ingredients. And this can result in more or less acidity, which ultimately determines how long this sauce will last. Even with refrigeration, some sauce may be consumed within 2-3 months. Others may be fine after 4-5 months if not refrigerated.

It’s something you should be aware of and mindful of. Having said that, refrigeration is generally the best method of preservation. This sauce lasts longer when stored at cooler temperatures, such as those provided by a refrigerator.

How Can You Tell If Tartar Sauce Is Bad?

How Can You Tell If Tartar Sauce Is Bad

Tartar sauce is a rich, flavorful seafood condiment best served with fried chips, fried chicken, and seafood. Are you curious to learn how to tell when your Tartar sauce is bad? Well, I’ll be giving you a tip here.

The best way to tell if a Tartar sauce has gone bad is to look and smell it. You should notice that the sauce’s consistency has changed, its color has changed, or it smells slightly sour or more pungent than it did previously.

There’s also the taste test; it won’t taste as good, and it might even be slightly too acidic or strong. If you notice any of these symptoms, you should replace your Tartar sauce. It won’t make you sick, but you won’t get as much out of it as you would from a new bottle/jar. Again, refrigeration will help to slow the process of this sauce’s deterioration.

Can You Freeze Tartar Sauce?

can you freeze tartar sauce

Tartar sauce is a sauce made from lemon juice, capers, pickles, mayonnaise, and herbs. With proper storage, you can retain its freshness. By now, you should be aware of whether or not you can refrigerate your tartar sauce. But, can you freeze it for fear that it might go bad?

Tartar sauce cannot stay in the freezer for long. The mayonnaise will usually separate, rendering the sauce unappealing and inedible. In fact, if you looked at a bottle/jar or even contacted a Tartar sauce manufacturer directly, you would quickly discover that they do not recommend freezing this sauce. It could even be written on the packaging.

Nonetheless, it all comes down to the mayonnaise, the sauce’s base that simply does not freeze well. As a result, if you made your own Tartar sauce, you could actually freeze the majority of the recipe – all of the other ingredients. Then simply thaw everything and combine it with your unfrozen and refrigerated mayonnaise. Tartar sauce would be ready in no time.

Best Tartar Sauce

  1. Trader Joe’s Tartar Sauce

Tartar sauce from Trader Joe’s is both sweet and tangy. It has a strong flavor. It has a nice, mouth-watering flavor and a strong piquancy. Because this tartar is made with extra virgin olive oil, it has a bold, rich, slightly bitter flavor. There’s also some rosemary oleoresin in it, which I assume is to help preserve the tartar sauce itself, so there’s some rosemary flavor at the end. It’s actually quite pleasant. Tartar sauce from Trader Joe’s is fatty, herby, and deliciously balanced.

This is tangier than sweet. That’s great news. There is sugar in this, so the sweetness is present, but it is secondary to the rest of the relish. Because this is very thick, you may struggle to get the right amount on your meal if you only want a touch of tartar sauce.


  • Delicious as a great vegetable dip.
  • Tangy accompaniment to seafood. 
  • Gluten-free.


  • Expensive.


Refrigerating Tartar sauce is usually a good idea. It should mean that your sauce lasts longer and maintains its peak flavor and texture. What person wouldn’t want that?

However, if you have an unopened bottle of Tartar sauce, don’t have enough fridge space, forgot to refrigerate, or have other preferences, you can leave this out of the fridge as well.

Simply keep it closed and out of direct sunlight. After all, you probably bought this sauce at room temperature, right? If in doubt, toss it out.

error: Content is protected !!