Most of you have likely savored a classic eggs Benedict, the brunch staple with a poached egg atop Canadian bacon and a toasted English muffin, smothered in a smooth sauce that’s both creamy and zesty with bright lemon flavor: hollandaise sauce.
The traditional way of making this delicious sauce is on the stove top, but my high speed blender method takes all of the work out of it. You’ll be whipping up this sauce on the regular with this recipe — like you’re the next Julia Child.
Keep this recipe on the ready for the next time you want to recreate your favorite restaurants eggs Benedict, or you want to elevate proteins and veggies with a drool-worthy, savory sauce.
What is Hollandaise Sauce?
Hollandaise is one of the five mother sauces. It’s a creamy sauce that relies on its richness from egg yolks.
This simple sauce is flavored primarily with lemon juice. We also use a touch of cayenne to give it a kick of spice and a dollop of Dijon mustard to round out the flavors.
What Is Emulsification?
Emulsification is the successful combination of fat with a water-based substance. There’s a lot of science-speak that could be used to explain it, but the bottom line is that for a hollandaise sauce, the egg yolks and lemon juice combine with the butter to create a cohesive sauce thanks to the lecithin in the egg yolks.
Eggs regularly act as an emulsifier. In hollandaise sauce, they combine with butter, and the two permanently adhere once blended, so the sauce sticks together perfectly. A well-known opposite of this reaction would be oil and water, which notoriously will not combine for an extended period of time.
Why You’ll Love Hollandaise Sauce
There’s no reason not love this easy sauce with a handful of simple ingredients you can quickly grab at any of your local grocery stores.
- Easy – Just use your blender and mix these ingredients together! One dish for cleanup means more time for relaxing over your meal or with your guests.
- Versatile – This sauce is made for more than just eggs. Use it to dress up all kinds of proteins and veggies.
- Customizable – Add any number of ingredients to dress up this simple sauce.
Ingredients For Classic Hollandaise Sauce
These easy ingredients come together so quickly for a beautiful sauce that will take your eggs or other dishes to the next level.
- Egg yolks – Egg yolks are the base of this rich sauce. Be sure to save your leftover egg whites for another recipe.
- Fresh lemon juice – Fresh lemon juice adds the brightness to this creamy sauce. You can also add white wine vinegar if you prefer.
- Dijon mustard – Dijon mustard imparts earthy and zesty flavor.
- Lemon zest – Zest adds more concentrated lemon flavor.
- Coarse kosher salt – Salt balances the sauce while enhancing the lemon, mustard, and cayenne.
- Cayenne pepper – Cayenne brings just a touch of fiery heat — it doesn’t make the sauce too spicy, but it elevates it so it has a subtle spiciness.
- Unsalted butter or clarified butter (melted) – Butter adds even more richness to this classic sauce.
How to Make This Easy Hollandaise Sauce Recipe
Who knew it could be so easy to make such an elegant sauce?
- Blend. Add the egg yolks, lemon juice, mustard, lemon zest, salt, and cayenne to a high-speed blender and mix briefly. Be sure to scrape down the sides to incorporate all ingredients.
- Melt. In a microwave, melt the butter or clarified butter (ghee) in a microwave-safe container in intervals to ensure that you do not overcook.
- Emulsify. While mixing, gradually add the butter in a steady stream through the blender lid until emulsified.
- Serve. Once the air bubbles rise to the top, the sauce is ready to serve.
What To Serve With Hollandaise Sauce
While eggs Benedict is the classic dish served with hollandaise sauce, you can also drizzle it over veggies like asparagus, grilled potatoes, or broccolini. We also enjoy upgrading baked chicken, crab cakes, or quiche with this slightly citrusy sauce. It also terrific spooned over homemade sourdough bread or homemade biscuits.
Common Hollandaise Sauce Problems
- Grainy Sauce. The biggest problem encountered by home chefs is a sauce that becomes too hot and, therefore, grainy — we largely avoid that problem in this recipe by only using a blender (rather than a stovetop method), but you can also steer clear of it by not overheating your butter when melting.
- Broken Sauce. Hot melted butter will cause big problems, breaking your sauce (and your spirit). The best way to sidestep this problem is to avoid letting your hollandaise sauce break by very slowly microwaving your butter and allowing it rest a little bit before adding it to the other ingredients.
- Thin Sauce. Another problem that can occur with a blender hollandaise is that it is too thin. If that’s the case, heat your hollandaise in a double-boiler and stir until the sauce thickens.
- Separate. Finally, the sauce can actually separate if the butter is added too quickly — this is what we also call a broken sauce (it’s very similar to the grainy issue). Take the time to gradually add the butter to avoid this issue.
Variations On This Hollandaise Recipe
While the classic sauce is always crave-worthy, to you can also create your own rendition.
- Cheese – Add grated cheese like parmesan or pecorino to give the sauce a nutty flavor.
- Fresh herbs – Add tarragon, rosemary, or chives to give herbaceous flavor to the sauce.
- Heat – Add more heat by increasing the cayenne pepper powder or adding crushed red pepper flakes.
- Tomato – Add sundried tomatoes or diced tomatoes for bright flavor.
- Umami – Incorporate umami flavor with diced mushrooms or a dash of Worcestershire.
- White pepper – For floral notes that still bring the heat, you can use white pepper instead of cayenne.
Storage and Freezing
Store this sauce in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
Refrigerator: Store hollandaise sauce, once it comes to room temperature, in a resealable bag or sealed jar for up to 2 days.
Freezer: Freeze this sauce for up to 1 month.
Common Questions About Homemade Hollandaise Sauce
Hollandaise sauce is like a cousin to Bearnaise. They’re similar, but Bearnaise sauce has black pepper, tarragon leaves, and shallots.
Hollandaise sauce’s most forward flavor is lemon, but it is a delicate, creamy sauce that also has a very subtle spice from either pepper or cayenne.
Hollandaise sauce is popular because of its versatility as a creamy sauce that can elevate nearly any meal.
Other Savory Sauces
Easy Hollandaise Sauce
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter or clarified butter melted
- In a high-speed blender, mix the egg yolks, lemon juice, mustard, lemon zest, salt and cayenne for 10-20 seconds. Scrape down the sides.
- Melt the butter or clarified butter (ghee) in a microwave-safe measuring cup with a pouring spout covered in plastic wrap. Melt for 30-40 seconds.
- With the blender on, slowly pour the butter in a steady stream into the blender until emulsified, about 1 minute.
- Allow to sit for the air bubbles to come to the top. Use while hot.
- If you’ve tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or star ratings.