Hollandaise Sauce
Hollandaise Sauce

Hollandaise, an egg yolk and butter sauce, is easy to make at home. Use it to embellish veggies, make the perfect Eggs Benedict, or scoop up fish or chicken.

Making hollandaise was a rite of passage when I was in cooking school. We started in the kitchen and learned all the master sauces of classic French cooking, and the most exciting of them all was hollandaise.

We made it all tense and fussy, with a bowl set over a double boiler in which we gradually stirred in tiny scoops of melted clarified butter. Gallons of scrambled eggs and broken hollandaise went in the trash.

What is hollandaise?

You probably know hollandaise best as the sunshine-yellow sauce that spills over Eggs Benedict at brunch.

It’s a warm emulsion of butter and lemon juice with egg yolk acting as a buffer, adding creaminess and a creamy body. When these ingredients are carefully combined, you can coax them into a smooth sauce that’s both light and rich.

How do you make hollandaise?

Hollandaise is an emulsion. An emulsion is a suspension of one substance in another – eggs and melted butter wouldn’t normally mix, but stirring constantly and slowly adding the butter will result in a velvety, rich sauce.

Using a blender is a popular and quick way to make hollandaise. We even have a blender version on Simply Recipes. But I prefer the stovetop method because the sauce whips up to an almost mousse-like consistency.

Here are a few tips for a perfect sauce:

  • Use butter that is room temperature, not cold. Butter straight from the fridge is more likely to cause the hollandaise to break.
  • There is a lot of whipping in this recipe. You can use an electric hand mixer on medium speed or an electric whisk if you don’t want to do the whole whisking by hand.
  • whisk like you mean it. Stirring keeps the sauce from separating and gives the sauce a lighter body.
  • Use a non-reactive pan, e.g. B. stainless steel, as preparing this sauce in an aluminum pan can give it a gray tint.

Troubleshooting Hollandaise

Simple ingredients can still lead to tricky problems. I’ve identified some things that can go wrong when making hollandaise and how to fix them so you have the perfect sauce every time.

If your sauce is:

Fatty, separated or liquid: The emulsion broke and the butter is no longer suspended in the liquid. You may have added the butter too quickly, not whipped it fast enough, or the butter was too cold.

  • The repair: If it’s early in the process and you haven’t added all of the butter, you can set the sauce by gradually whisking in about a tablespoon of cold water. But if the sauce is very separated, it may not work. You can also start over with fresh yolks and water, just as if you were making the sauce from scratch, and gradually whisk the separated sauce into the new yolks (instead of butter).

Coarse or gritty: The yolks scrambled because the heat was too high.

  • The repair: There’s nothing you can do but throw the sauce away. Consider it a life lesson, start over and use a lower heat next time.

Sauce lacks body: The yolks weren’t beaten long enough in the first step of beating before adding the butter. When the yolk is properly cooked, the sauce will gain body and volume as you stir in more butter.

  • The repair: Relax. Hollandaise should be fun, not stressful. Go with the flow and your hollandaise will delight you.

Hollandaise Variations

Like many basic sauces in French cuisine, hollandaise has many variations to try.

  • Turn your hollandaise into a maltaise sauce by substituting blood orange juice for the lemon juice. And add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon finely grated blood orange zest to the sauce.
  • Add a little lemon zest for a very lemony sauce.
  • Use cayenne pepper instead of black or white pepper.
  • Add chopped fresh herbs like dill, chervil, tarragon or chives.
  • Add chopped capers or chopped gherkins.
  • Stir in a little mustard, either whole wheat or Dijon.
  • Add 1/2 to 1 tablespoon chopped chipotle in adobo sauce.

Save the remaining hollandaise

Hollandaise is one of those sauces that you want to make and serve right away. It doesn’t reheat well, nor is it the best for storage. But sometimes leftovers happen, and I’m not a fan of throwing things away.

Because life is life and you are at home and not a chef serving hollandaise to the masses, here are a few hollandaise storage and storage tips.

  • You can keep hollandaise sauce warm by letting the pan sit on a stovetop on the lowest setting for about half an hour. It could form a skin; Whisk occasionally and the skin will disappear. Do not leave it on the stove for more than 2 hours maximum.
  • I don’t recommend making it ahead of time, but you can store the leftover sauce in the fridge for up to 3 days. It’s going to be tough – after all, this sauce is mostly butter. Spread the flavorful, buttery sauce on toast like you would a flavored butter. Keep it in the fridge for no more than 3 days.
  • You can freeze hollandaise for up to 1 month. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and reheat as instructed below.
  • To reheat cold sauce: Allow leftover sauce to come to room temperature before gently warming over a double boiler and whisking. Fair warning: Hollandaise doesn’t love to be reheated. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. You have to decide if it’s worth it.

How to serve hollandaise

Honestly, some people would appreciate hollandaise served in shot glasses. But it is traditionally served with tender vegetables, seafood and beef tenderloin. Here are some serving options:

  • Steamed asparagus or broccolini
  • Eggs Benedict
  • Baked, steamed or fried fish
  • Poached Chicken
  • Sauteed scallops

More Easy Hollandaise Recipes

  • Easy Blender Sauce Hollandaise
  • Steamed asparagus with hollandaise sauce
  • How to make Eggs Benedict
  • Vegetarian Eggs Benedict with spinach and avocado

hollandaise sauce

preparation time
5 minutes

cooking time
15 minutes

total time
20 minutes

8 servings

1 cup

Most restaurants make hollandaise in a blender, which makes for a more runny sauce. This stovetop version has more body, almost like a mousse. If you’re more familiar with Blender hollandaise, you may prefer to strain the finished sauce, which thins out its body. You can also stir in warm water 1 tablespoon at a time to achieve desired consistency.


  • 10 tablespoons (142G) unsalted butterat room temperature, cut into 1 tablespoon pieces

  • 3 egg yolk

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

  • 1 tablespoon water

  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt

  • Freshly ground Black or white pepper

  • prize cayenne pepperOptional


  1. Whisk together the egg yolks, lemon juice and water:

    In a medium-heavy saucepan, combine egg yolks, lemon juice, and water. Remove from the heat until the yolk has doubled in size.

  2. Add 1 tablespoon butter and cook sauce:

    Place the pan over low heat and add 1 tablespoon butter. Cook the sauce very gently, stirring constantly, until the eggs are thick, pale and fluffy.

    The whisk should leave marks in the sauce. This can take up to 5 minutes. Don’t skimp on this step! This turns a thin, mediocre hollandaise sauce into a sensational, full-bodied sauce.

  3. Stir in remaining softened butter:

    Once the egg mixture has thickened, begin beating in the remaining softened butter, one tablespoon at a time. Make sure each addition of butter is fully incorporated into the sauce before stirring in the next bit. This can take up to 10 minutes, and you may need to cycle the pan on and off the stovetop to regulate the heat and prevent the sauce from cooking too quickly.

    As you stir in more butter, the sauce will grow in body. When you have added all the butter, reduce the heat as much as possible.

  4. Season the hollandaise as you like, taste and strain:

    Season to taste with salt and some freshly ground pepper. If you use a pinch of cayenne pepper, omit the freshly ground black pepper. It’s an intense sauce, so dip a raw vegetable like a stick of carrot in to taste and season as needed.

    If you’re serving it with something salty like ham, you might not want to season it as aggressively, but I think this sauce is better when it’s on the salty side, and I usually add a few pinches more salt.

    If you want a thinner hollandaise, you can thin the sauce using one of two methods. You can strain the seasoned sauce through a fine sieve into a large bowl. If necessary, use a rubber spatula to strain the hollandaise. You can also stir in warm water 1 tablespoon at a time to achieve desired consistency.

  5. How to keep hollandaise warm before serving and how to store it:

    You can keep the sauce on the stove for up to 30 minutes with the burner on the lowest setting. You may have to slide the pan on and off the stovetop to keep the hollandaise from overheating and cracking.

    Refrigerate leftover hollandaise within 2 hours of preparation and spread on toast within 3 days. It doesn’t warm up well, but if you decide to warm it up, do so in a water bath, beating continuously.

nutritional information (per serving)
161 calories
17g Fat
0g carbohydrates
3g protein
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Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!