Luscious Hollandaise Sauce Recipe (A Breakfast Must-Have)

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Hollandaise sauce recipe: a smooth, buttery blend that elevates any dish. If you’re worried about bland flavors, this sauce ensures your meals stand out. I recommend trying it over poached eggs or asparagus. It’s one of the easiest ways to enhance a dish’s taste. But, as with all sauces, it is best to use it in moderation.

Hollandaise sauce, often hailed as the crowning glory of many dishes, can be a game-changer in the culinary world. On a recent trip to a quaint European café, I was reminded of its transformative power. 

Picture this: a sunlit terrace in Paris, and my plate bore an exquisite dish with a golden, velvety layer of Hollandaise sauce. The flavor was nothing short of transformative. But, many fear the complexity of preparing this sauce. Friends fret over getting the perfect consistency and the right tangy zing

You’re not alone if you’re worried about mastering this delectable sauce. However, I suggest a simple plan to ensure your Hollandaise stands out. You’ll always be on the right path by following specific techniques and choosing quality ingredients. 

I recommend embarking on this journey; it’s one of the easiest ways to bring a taste of my European travels to your kitchen.

What Is Hollandaise Sauce Recipe?

Hollandaise sauce is a classic French sauce made primarily from butter, egg yolks, and lemon juice or vinegar. It’s known for its creamy, buttery texture and subtle tang. When prepared correctly, it has a smooth and velvety consistency. 

One of the five French “mother sauces,” Hollandaise is often paired with dishes like Eggs Benedict, asparagus, and poached fish. If you’re worried about its richness, it’s best to use it sparingly. However, when added, it ensures your dish gets a luxurious touch.

History Of Hollandaise Sauce Recipe

The exact origins of Hollandaise sauce recipe are a bit murky. Still, its name suggests a Dutch origin, hinting at a connection to the Netherlands. However, it’s the French who popularized and refined it. The earliest written reference can be traced back to a French cookbook in the 17th century. 

While it’s uncertain who the exact inventor was, the sauce has become a staple of French cuisine. On a visit to a renowned restaurant in Paris, I was told that Hollandaise is a testament to French culinary finesse. Over the centuries, chefs have adopted and adapted it worldwide, but its roots remain deeply French.

Interesting Facts About Hollandaise Sauce Recipe

  • Hollandaise is one of the five “mother sauces” in French cuisine, fundamental to classical cooking.
  • It can be the base for many other sauces; for instance, add tarragon, and you get Béarnaise sauce.
  • Maintaining the right temperature is crucial. Too hot, and you’ll end up with scrambled eggs; too cold, and it won’t emulsify.
  • While usually paired with breakfast dishes like Eggs Benedict, it’s versatile and can enhance dinners.
  • Some chefs use clarified butter for a more stable sauce.
  • If you’re worried about breaking the sauce, adding a teaspoon of cold water and whisking vigorously can often resolve the issue.
  • Its velvety texture and rich taste make it one of the most sought-after sauces in high-end restaurants.

What Are The Regional Adaptations Of This Sauce?

  • Béarnaise: A French variant with tarragon and shallots.
  • Mousseline: Hollandaise with whipped cream folded in, prevalent in some European regions.
  • Noisette: A variation where the butter is browned first, giving a nutty flavor.
  • In some Middle Eastern countries, spices like sumac or za’atar might be incorporated for an exotic twist.
  • Scandinavian adaptations sometimes include dill, aligning with their love for fish dishes.
  • In North America, especially in Southern regions, a dash of hot sauce or cayenne might be added for a kick.
  • Some Asian versions might infuse it with lemongrass or ginger, reflecting local flavors.

What Will Make You Love This Hollandaise Sauce Recipe?

Hollandaise sauce is a symphony of flavors and textures that can captivate any palate. Its creamy consistency ensures your dishes achieve a luxurious texture. The delicate balance between buttery richness and a hint of acidity from lemon or vinegar is truly mesmerizing. 

When made right, it envelops your taste buds in a velvety embrace. If you’re worried about pairing, Hollandaise is incredibly versatile. It’s one of the easiest ways to elevate a breakfast dish, seafood entrée, or even a simple vegetable side. 

Its adaptability allows it to embrace and enhance a variety of ingredients. Whether it’s the first or the hundredth time, this sauce continually offers a gastronomic experience that’s hard to resist. I recommend trying it to understand its allure truly.

Ingredients List 

Egg yolks3
Lemon (juiced)1/2
Cold water1 teaspoon
Salt1 teaspoon
Ground black pepper1 teaspoon
Butter1/2 cup

Ingredient Tips

  • Egg Yolks: Ensure they’re fresh. Older yolks can affect consistency.
  • Lemon: Use fresh lemons for the best tang. Bottled juice can alter the taste.
  • Cold Water: Helps prevent the eggs from scrambling when heat is introduced.
  • Salt: Opt for fine salt; it dissolves more easily.
  • Black Pepper: Freshly ground pepper gives a more vibrant flavor.
  • Butter: Use unsalted butter to control the saltiness. Ensure it’s melted and warm, not hot.

What Are The Variations Of Hollandaise Sauce Recipe?

  • Béarnaise Sauce: Enhanced with shallots, chervil, peppercorns, and tarragon.
  • Mousseline Sauce: Lightened by folding in whipped heavy cream.
  • Noisette: Made with browned butter for a nuttier flavor.
  • Dijon Hollandaise: Incorporates Dijon mustard for an added kick.
  • Avocado Hollandaise: Blends in ripe avocado for a creamy, healthier twist.
  • Saffron Hollandaise: Infused with saffron for a rich color and distinct aroma.
  • Orange Hollandaise: Features orange zest and juice, making it a lovely pairing with seafood.
  • Chili Hollandaise: Spiced up with red chili flakes or hot sauce.

Recipe Directions 

Cooking Method

  • Whisk together the lemon juice, egg yolks, cold water, pepper, and salt in a small bowl until smooth and slightly frothy.
  • In a saucepan on low heat, melt the butter. Ensure the butter is warm but not boiling.
  • Gradually whisk the yolk mixture into the melted butter in the saucepan, combining them steadily to avoid curdling.
  • Continue whisking the mixture over low heat for approximately 8 minutes. The sauce should gradually thicken to a velvety consistency.
  • Once the desired thickness, remove from heat.
  • Serve immediately for the best texture and flavor. It pairs wonderfully with dishes like Eggs Benedict, poached fish, or steamed asparagus.

Scaling The Recipe 

Scaling Up

  • Ingredients: Double or triple ingredients proportionally.
  • Whisking Time: You’ll need to whisk longer, ensuring even heat distribution.
  • Butter: Introduce melted butter slowly to maintain emulsification.

Scaling Down

  • Ingredients: Halve or reduce by a third.
  • Whisking Time: Reduce slightly, but keep a close eye on consistency.
  • Butter: Still, introduce it gradually to avoid breaking the sauce.

Can This Sauce Be Used As A Marinade, Dipping Sauce, Or Dressing For Salads?

Hollandaise sauce, with its velvety texture and rich flavor, is traditionally seen atop dishes like Eggs Benedict or asparagus. However, its versatility extends beyond these classic uses. As a marinade, its creamy consistency might not penetrate meat deeply. 

Still, it can certainly add flavor to delicate seafood like fish filets. It’s excellent with artichokes, grilled vegetables, or fried foods as a dipping sauce. For salad dressings, one might find it too rich and thick on its own, but it can be thinned with a bit more lemon juice or vinegar. 

I recommend experimenting with it in different culinary scenarios. Remember, though, its richness means it’s best to use in moderation.

What Are The Best Dishes To Accompany Hollandaise Sauce Recipe?

  • Eggs Benedict: The classic pairing, where the sauce enhances the poached eggs and ham.
  • Asparagus: Steamed or grilled, the sauce adds a rich layer of flavor.
  • Poached Fish: Delicate fish benefits from its buttery goodness.
  • Steamed Vegetables: Broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts become instantly luxurious.
  • Roast Chicken: Drizzling Hollandaise adds a gourmet touch.
  • Filet Mignon: A bit unconventional, but the sauce can elevate this dish.
  • Potatoes: Whether roasted, boiled, or as a potato cake, they’re enhanced by the sauce.
  • Artichokes: Perfect for dipping leaves or drizzling over the heart.
  • Sandwiches: Some gourmet sandwiches use Hollandaise as a spread.
  • Crab Cakes: The sauce pairs wonderfully, adding a zesty, creamy dimension.

What Are Some Classic Dishes That Feature Hollandaise Sauce?

  • Eggs Benedict: Poached eggs, ham, or bacon, on an English muffin draped in Hollandaise.
  • Eggs Florentine: A variation of Eggs Benedict, but with spinach replacing the ham.
  • Asparagus Hollandaise: Tender steamed asparagus topped with the sauce.
  • Oeufs en Cocotte: Baked eggs with Hollandaise.
  • Salmon with Hollandaise: Often poached salmon.
  • Artichokes à la Barigoule: Artichokes served with Hollandaise on the side for dipping.
  • Veal Oscar: Veal, crabmeat, and asparagus, all cloaked in Hollandaise.
  • Eggs Sardou: Poached eggs on artichoke bottoms with spinach and Hollandaise.

What Are The Key Flavor Profiles And Taste Sensations That Hollandaise Sauce Offers?

  • Creaminess: Derived from butter and egg yolks, it offers a smooth and velvety mouthfeel.
  • Tanginess: Adding lemon juice or vinegar provides a sharp, zesty contrast.
  • Buttery Richness: Integral to Hollandaise, this imparts a deep, indulgent quality.
  • Slight Saltiness: Seasoned with salt, it enhances the overall flavors.
  • Mild Heat: Ground black pepper adds a subtle warmth without overpowering.
  • Egg-based Undertone: The yolks give a gentle depth and richness.
  • Brightness: The acidity ensures the sauce isn’t too heavy, balancing the richness.

Can This Sauce Be Stored And Preserved For Future Use? What Is Its Shelf Life?

  • Refrigeration: Pour it into an airtight container and refrigerate. It can last for 1-2 days. But there’s a chance it may separate or become too thick upon reheating.
  • Reheating: Warm it gently over a double boiler, whisking constantly. Avoid direct heat to prevent curdling.
  • Freezing: Not recommended. The emulsion can break when thawed, leading to an unappealing texture.
  • Shelf Life: Consuming it within a day ensures the best taste and consistency.

What Are The Substitutes For Hollandaise Sauce?

  • Béarnaise Sauce: Similar base but with added tarragon and shallots.
  • Crème Fraîche with Lemon: Offers tanginess and creaminess akin to Hollandaise.
  • Mayonnaise Base: Mixed with lemon juice and mustard for a similar texture.
  • Greek Yogurt and Lemon: A healthier alternative with a creamy consistency.
  • Avocado Hollandaise: Uses ripe avocado for creaminess and health benefits.
  • Sour Cream and Dijon: Provides a tangy and creamy alternative.
  • Mock Hollandaise: Made with milk, butter, and cornstarch for a similar feel.
  • Vegan Hollandaise: Uses tofu or cashews as a base, perfect for those avoiding eggs and dairy.
  • Lemon Butter Sauce: A simpler option with buttery and tangy notes.

How To Adjust The Consistency Of The Sauce?

  • Too Thick: If the sauce becomes overly dense, whisk in a few drops of warm water or lemon juice until you achieve the desired consistency.
  • Too Thin: Continue whisking over low heat. The gentle cooking will help thicken it. Ensure it doesn’t get too hot to avoid scrambling.
  • Broken or Separated: Whisk in a teaspoon of cold water if the sauce breaks. If that doesn’t resolve the issue, start with a fresh yolk in a bowl and gradually whisk the broken sauce into it.
  • Texture: Always aim for a smooth, pourable consistency, similar to heavy cream.

Should We Serve The Sauce Cold Or Warm? 

Hollandaise sauce is traditionally served warm. The warmth accentuates its velvety, creamy texture and allows it to meld seamlessly with the dishes it accompanies. Serving it cold can cause it to thicken and lose its desired consistency. 

However, it can be adapted accordingly if you’re using it in a particular dish that calls for a colder presentation. Suppose you’re worried about the sauce becoming too cool. In that case, it’s best to prepare it before serving and use a double boiler or bain-marie to keep it at the right temperature. 

Always ensure it doesn’t become too hot, or it might break. Serving Hollandaise warm usually brings out its complete flavor profile and luxurious texture.

Nutritional Values

Hollandaise sauce recipe is rich in fats, primarily from butter and egg yolks. A typical serving delivers approximately 140 calories, most from 15 grams of total fat, including 8 grams of saturated fat. It contains around 115 mg of cholesterol and 220 mg of sodium. 

Carbohydrates are minimal, typically around 1 gram, offering about 2 grams of protein. Additionally, it provides vitamin A, with some recipes contributing calcium. Given its rich profile, moderation is advised.

What Are The Total Calories In Hollandaise Sauce?

The total calories in Hollandaise sauce primarily come from butter and egg yolks. A typical serving of Hollandaise sauce (about 1/4 cup) usually contains 200 to 250 calories. The exact count depends on the specific recipe and ingredients used. 

The bulk of these calories comes from fats due to the butter and yolks. If you’re concerned about calorie intake, it’s best to consume Hollandaise in moderation and check the specific nutritional information for your recipe.

Dietary Restrictions Of The Hollandaise Sauce

  • High Fat: It’s rich in butter and egg yolks, making it high in fat.
  • Cholesterol: Egg yolks contribute to cholesterol.
  • Dairy: Contains butter, making it unsuitable for lactose-intolerant or dairy-allergic individuals.
  • Vegetarian: Suitable for ovo-lacto vegetarians but not for vegans.
  • Gluten: Generally gluten-free, but always check ingredient sources.
  • Low-Carb/Keto: Compatible due to high fat and low carb content.
  • Paleo: Not strictly paleo because of dairy (butter).
  • Eggs: Contains egg yolks, a potential allergen.

Nutrition Table 

What Are The Common Mistakes While Making This Sauce?

  • Overheating: Too much heat can cause the egg yolks to scramble.
  • Adding Butter Too Quickly: This can break the emulsion, leading to a curdled or separated sauce.
  • Not Whisking Enough: Continuous whisking is essential to ensure a smooth emulsion.
  • Using Cold Ingredients: Ingredients at room temperature mix more effectively.
  • Not Using Fresh Lemon Juice: Bottled lemon juice can alter the desired taste.
  • Over-thickening: If the sauce gets too thick, it can lose its velvety consistency.
  • Inconsistent Butter Temperature: Butter that’s too hot or cold can disrupt the emulsion.
  • Skipping Straining: Straining lemon juice prevents seeds or pulp from entering the sauce.
  • Insufficient Seasoning: It’s essential to taste and adjust seasoning for a balanced flavor.
  • Not Serving Immediately: Hollandaise is best enjoyed fresh; if left for too long, it can change in consistency or flavor.

What Are Some Creative Uses Of Leftover Sauce?

  • Pasta Sauce Base: Mix with pasta and grilled vegetables.
  • Baked Potato Topping: Drizzle over hot baked potatoes.
  • Sandwich Spread: Adds richness to cold sandwiches.
  • Vegetable Dip: Thin it out and use it for raw veggies.
  • Casserole Ingredient: Mix into a breakfast casserole with eggs and veggies.
  • Seafood Topper: Drizzle over grilled shrimp or scallops.
  • Savory Crepes Filling: Use as a base for chicken or vegetable-filled crepes.
  • Grilled Cheese Elevator: Spread inside a grilled cheese sandwich.
  • Pizza Base: Instead of tomato sauce, spread a thin layer on the pizza crust.
  • Rice or Quinoa Dressing: Mix into cooked grains for extra flavor.

Special Tools & Equipment Needed

  • Whisk: Essential for creating a smooth emulsion.
  • Double Boiler or Bain-Marie: Helps to gently heat the mixture without direct contact with the flame, preventing curdling.
  • Heatproof Bowl: Use this over simmering water if you don’t have a double boiler.
  • Saucepan: To melt butter and maintain a steady heat source.
  • Strainer: To ensure no seeds or pulp from the lemon juice get into the sauce.
  • Thermometer: To monitor the sauce’s temperature and prevent overheating.
  • Measuring Spoons: For precise ingredient amounts.
  • Measuring Cups: For accurate liquid measurements.
  • Rubber Spatula: Helps in folding and mixing without breaking the emulsion.
  • Airtight Container: Useful for storing any leftover sauce in the refrigerator.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Can I Use Any Type Of Cheese For This Sauce?

While the recipe suggests a particular cheese, experiment with different types. However, some cheeses melt better than others, so choose accordingly.

My Sauce Is Too Thick. How Can I Thin It Out?

If the sauce becomes too thick, gently stir milk over low heat until you achieve the desired consistency.

How Can I Store Leftover Cheese Sauce?

Store any leftover sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Use within 3-4 days for the best flavor and consistency.

Can I Reheat The Sauce?

Yes, reheat the sauce over low heat, stirring continuously to prevent it from burning. If it thickens too much upon reheating, add a splash of milk.

Can I Add Other Seasonings Or Ingredients To This Sauce?

Absolutely! Feel free to experiment by adding herbs, spices, or even ingredients like sautéed onions or diced tomatoes to tailor the sauce to your preferences.

Luscious Hollandaise Sauce Recipe (A Breakfast Must-Have)

5 from 7 votes
Course: Hot Sauces


Prep time


Cooking time



30 – 35

Ferment/Rest Time


Hollandaise sauce is a luxurious, buttery, tangy sauce made from emulsified butter, egg yolks, and lemon juice. It boasts a velvety texture and is a classic accompaniment to dishes like Eggs Benedict and asparagus.


  • 3 3 Egg yolks

  • 1/2 1/2 Lemon (juiced)

  • 1 teaspoon 1 Cold water

  • 1 teaspoon 1 Salt

  • 1 teaspoon 1 Ground black pepper

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 Butter

Step-By-Step Directions

  • Preparation: Gather all ingredients and have them measured and ready.
  • Cornstarch Slurry: In a small bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup of milk and cornstarch until smooth. Ensure there are no lumps. Set this mixture aside for later.
  • Melt the Cheese: Place it over low heat in a medium saucepan. Pour in 2 cups of milk and add the cheese. Allow the cheese to melt slowly, stirring occasionally to ensure even melting and to prevent the milk and cheese from scalding.
  • Seasoning: Once the cheese has fully melted into the milk, stir in the garlic, salt, and red pepper. Mix until everything is well combined.
  • Add Color: If desired, stir the food coloring to achieve the preferred color. Mix thoroughly to ensure an even hue throughout the sauce.
  • Thicken the Sauce: Reintroduce the previously set-aside cornstarch mixture to the saucepan. Stir it into the melted cheese mixture continuously. The sauce will start to thicken as the cornstarch activates with heat.
  • Final Cook: Continue to cook for 2-3 minutes on low heat, stirring constantly until the sauce reaches your desired consistency.
  • Serve: Once done, remove from heat and serve immediately. The sauce is perfect for nachos, drizzling over vegetables, or as a base for mac and cheese.

Recipe Video


  • Hollandaise is temperature-sensitive. Too much heat can break the sauce, while too little won’t achieve the desired consistency.
  • Fresh lemon juice is vital; bottled varieties may alter the taste.
  • If the sauce breaks or curdles, whisking in a teaspoon of cold water can sometimes salvage it.
  • The sauce doesn’t store for long due to its delicate nature. If you need to keep it, refrigerate it and use it within a day, reheating it gently over a double boiler.
  • Always serve warm to enjoy its rich and creamy texture best.

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