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Healthy Alternatives to Tartar Sauce

author image Julie Christensen
Julie Christensen is a food writer, caterer, and mom-chef. She's the creator of, dedicated to family fun and delicious food, and released a book titled "More Than Pot Roast: Fast, Fresh Slow Cooker Recipes."
Healthy Alternatives to Tartar Sauce
Plate of fried fish, french fries, and tartar sauce. Photo Credit: Jupiterimages/ Images

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.

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Low-Fat Tartar Sauce Substitute

Yogurt in bowl with leaf and greens.
Yogurt in bowl with leaf and greens. Photo Credit: John Foxx/Stockbyte/Getty Images

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.


Marinated tuna on a grill.
Marinated tuna on a grill. Photo Credit: Eising/Photodisc/Getty Images

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

Bowl of salsa on table.
Bowl of salsa on table. Photo Credit: Kim Carson/Photodisc/Getty Images

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

Lemons and lemon wedges.
Lemons and lemon wedges. Photo Credit: Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

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.

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