Can you freeze tartar sauce?

In this article, we will answer the question “Can you freeze tartar sauce?”, and how to freeze tartar sauce?

Learn more about the shelf-life and the spoilage signs of the tartar sauce in the article below.

Can you freeze tartar sauce?

No, you cannot freeze tartar sauce. Most of the store-bought brands mention a label warning that says “Do not freeze” on the bottle of the tartar sauce. This is because tartar sauce does not freeze well. 

The heavy separation due to the presence of mayonnaise as one of the ingredients ruins the texture of the sauce upon thawing. 

If you are determined to freeze your tartar sauce, we recommend making it at home omitting mayonnaise. After thawing, you can add the mayonnaise back in.

What is tartar sauce?

Tartar sauce has found its origins in French Cuisine and is served alongside baked, fried, or grilled fish. Homemade tartar sauce has a richer taste and texture as compared to its store-bought counterparts.

The basic ingredients of this cold sauce include hard-boiled egg yolks, vinegar/lemon juice, vegetable oil, garlic/pickles/green onions, etc. Some people substitute the egg yolks for mayonnaise but the sauce tastes better with egg yolks.

How to freeze tartar sauce?

Grab a glass bowl and a mason jar to get started. You do not need any fancy tools to safely store tartar sauce in the freezer.

Make portions 

Divide the sauce into small portions so that they can be preserved in the mason jars. This allows you to thaw just the right amount of sauce at a time. 

For storing a big batch of tartar sauce, you can use a big glass bowl if portioning is not the problem.


Make sure the glass jar has a tight seal to protect the sauce from foreign particles and drying. Test the integrity of the jar lids. 

If the lids are faulty, you can use a plastic sheet as a makeshift seal. Then put the glass jars at the back of the freezer, where it is the coldest.

Label and freeze

Put a clear label on the glass jars or bowl before you freeze them. This helps you in the identification of the product after it is frozen. 

It also helps you keep track of the shelf-life of the frozen product. You would realize that labeling is a very common and important practice if you often freeze a lot of other types of food. Last but not least make sure your freezer can maintain a steady temperature of -20℉.

How to defrost frozen tartar sauce?

Ideally, the frozen tartar sauce should be defrosted in the fridge. This takes about 30-40 minutes. But if you have not got much time on your hands, there is a quick thawing method you could use. 

Fill a bowl with warm or lukewarm water and place the frozen glass jar of the tartar sauce in it. Wait until the sauce is completely defrosted. This method only takes about 15-20 minutes to fully thaw your tartar sauce.

Before you opt for this method, make sure the glass container does not have any cracks or holes through the water may leech into the jar. 

Just to be safe, you can put the glass jar in a freezer bag before you put it in the water for thawing.

How long does tartar sauce last?

As long as it is stored correctly, tartar sauce lasts way past its expiry. An unopened bottle of tartar sauce has a shelf-life of 1 year or more if kept in a cool and dry place. Homemade tartar sauce shouldn’t be kept for more than several days in the fridge.

Once opened, tartar sauce must be sealed tightly at all times and stored in the fridge. Refrigerated and tightly sealed tartar sauce will last up to 6 months. However, this is only an estimation of how long the tartar sauce will remain in its prime.

Can you refreeze tartar sauce?

We do not recommend refreezing tartar sauce. Each freezing and thawing cycle harms the texture and taste of the tartar sauce. If you do not want any significant changes in the quality of the tartar sauce, you better not freeze it more than once. 

How to tell if the tartar sauce has gone bad?

Liquid separation in the tartar sauce is a quality defect. Such a tartar sauce won’t have the best taste but it won’t be a safety hazard either. If you decide to discard this sauce, we understand why.

If the separation is coupled with other signs of spoilage such as bad odor, organic fuzzy growth, or a weird taste, you should not think twice before discarding the sauce.


In this article, we answered the question “Can you freeze tartar sauce?”, and how to freeze tartar sauce?


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