Learn how to make Hollandaise Sauce the traditional way, with a whisk! With a little patience, anyone can do it, and you’ll be so happy you did.

Making hollandaise sauce in a glass bowl.

I know people love to make Hollandaise in a blender or even in the microwave. But not everything needs a short cut, and sometimes you’ll find satisfaction in the process.

Is Hollandaise temperamental? Yes, it is. Is it easy to mess up? Yes, that’s true too. But with a little practice, you can figure out not only how to make it, but how to bring it back from certain death.

Table of Contents
  1. Ingredient notes
  2. Step-by-step instructions
  3. Recipe tips and variations
  4. How to Make Hollandaise Sauce Recipe

Ingredient notes

  • Clarified butter: To clarify butter, melt the butter over low heat (do not boil). Skim off the foamy milk solids that rise to the top. Ladle the remaining butterfat from the saucepan in to a second (clean) saucepan or another vessel for holding. Be sure to leave the water in the bottom of the original saucepan (it will look like a white, milky substance).

Step-by-step instructions

  1. Set a glass or metal bowl over a pot of gently simmering water (about 180 degrees; do not let the water touch the bowl). Add the egg yolks to the bowl. Using a metal whisk or wire whip, whisk the yolks constantly without overcooking the yolks. You’ll know the yolks have thickened enough when you can draw a line through the yolks and yolks stay put. The line does not fill in.
Making hollandaise sauce in a glass bowl.
  1. Remove from heat and immediately stir in lemon juice. Off the heat, set a kitchen towel over pot of water and set bowl on top. Starting with just a few drops at a time, whisk in the warmed clarified butter.
Making hollandaise sauce in a glass bowl.
  1. Once the emulsion has formed, you can add butter more quickly.
Making hollandaise sauce in a glass bowl.
  1. Once all the butter has been added, taste for seasonings. Add salt and tabasco or cayenne pepper if desired.
Making hollandaise sauce in a glass bowl.
  1. Use immediately or set aside in a warm (but not hot) place for up to 1 hour. If the sauce appears to thick, whisk in a few drops of warm water until desired consistency is reached.
Making hollandaise sauce in a glass bowl.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This recipe makes 12 ounces hollandaise sauce, enough for 4 (3-ounce) servings (enough to make 2 Eggs Benedict stacks per person).
  • Make ahead: The Hollandaise sauce can be made up to 1 hour in advance. Keep in a warm (but not hot) place.
  • Grainy or curdled: It probably got too hot. Try pulling it off the double-boiler immediately to cool it down or stir in a small amount of cool water
  • Emulsion isn’t forming: The yolks might be too hot or too cold, the butter might be too hot or too cold, you added too much butter too fast, or didn’t whisk quickly enough.
  • Pale pink yolks: You may have left the whites in with the yolks.
  • Breaking: If your Hollandaise was perfect, but now it’s breaking, it may have gotten too hot.
Eggs benedict on a white plate.

Perfect recipes for hollandaise

Making hollandaise sauce in a glass bowl.

How to Make Hollandaise Sauce

Learn how to make Hollandaise Sauce the traditional way, with a whisk! With a little patience, anyone can do it, and you'll be so happy you did.
5 from 4 votes
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Servings 4 servings
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Calories 540

Ingredients 

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 8 ounces clarified butter warm (see note 1)
  • Salt to taste
  • Tabasco sauce or cayenne pepper, to taste

Instructions 

  • Set a glass or metal bowl over a pot of gently simmering water (do not let the water touch the bowl).
  • Add egg yolks to bowl. Using a metal whisk or wire whip, whisk the yolks constantly without overcooking the yolks. You’ll know the yolks have thickened enough when you can draw a line through the yolks and yolks stay put. The line does not fill in.
  • Remove from heat and immediately stir in lemon juice. Off the heat, set a kitchen towel over pot of water and set bowl on top.
  • Starting with just a few drops at a time, whisk in the warmed clarified butter. Once the emulsion has formed, you can add butter more quickly.
  • Once all the butter has been added, taste for seasonings. Add salt and tabasco or cayenne pepper if desired.
  • Use immediately or set aside in a warm (but not hot) place for up to 1 hour. If the sauce appears to thick, whisk in a few drops of warm water until desired consistency is reached.

Recipe Video

Notes

  1. Clarified butter: To clarify butter, melt the butter over low heat (do not boil). Skim off the foamy milk solids that rise to the top. Ladle the remaining butterfat from the saucepan in to a second (clean) saucepan or another vessel for holding. Be sure to leave the water in the bottom of the original saucepan (it will look like a white, milky substance).
  2. Yield: This recipe makes 12 ounces hollandaise sauce, enough for 4 (3-ounce) servings (enough to make 2 Eggs Benedict stacks per person).
  3. Make ahead: The Hollandaise sauce can be made up to 1 hour in advance. Keep in a warm (but not hot) place.
  4. Grainy or curdled: It probably got too hot. Try pulling it off the double-boiler immediately to cool it down or stir in a small amount of cool water
  5. Emulsion isn’t forming: The yolks might be too hot or too cold, the butter might be too hot or too cold, you added too much butter too fast, or didn’t whisk quickly enough.
  6. Pale pink yolks: You may have left the whites in with the yolks.
  7. Breaking: If your Hollandaise was perfect, but now it’s breaking, it may have gotten too hot.

Nutrition

Serving: 3ozCalories: 540kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 2gFat: 60gSaturated Fat: 36gCholesterol: 292mgSodium: 8mgPotassium: 16mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 195IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 18mgIron: 1mg
Tried this Recipe? Pin it for Later!Mention @CulinaryHill or tag #CulinaryHill!

Culinary School Secrets
Pro-level tricks to transform your cooking!

Meggan Hill

I’m the Executive Chef and head of the Culinary Hill Test Kitchen. Every recipe is developed, tested, and approved just for you.

You May Also Like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Comments

    1. Hi Pippa, it’s up to you! I usually use salted because that is what I have on hand. – Meggan

  1. What a beautiful, rich hollandaise sauce! Love all things eggs benedict and asparagus. Thanks for this classic recipe!5 stars

  2. First time attempting this, the eggs turned grainy and over cooked.  I didn’t give up. Tried again and made sure that water pot wasn’t too hot, and that helped to keep the yolks smooth.  Patience is required for sure but it was delicious!  Seasoned with a hint of paprika and it looked restaurant worthy! Thanks for the detailed tips for this recipe.  

  3. If your sauce breaks, you can usually revive it by putting in a bit of heavy whipping cream and whisking it through. Like magic, it comes back to life. 

  4. Thanks for a great idea on how to kick breakfast up a notch by using the best pork prep on earth with hollindaise sauce (who’d a thunk it?)  including that beautiful, steamed asparagus with more hollandaise.

    Referring to myself, one can Google anything and sound smart. So, in that regard, I’ll be blending techie with tradition.

    I have double boilers but (and you’re going to get after me about this):

    Since egg yolks set at roughly 158°, I’ll be making my  whipped yolks, water, salt and pepper, sous vide @ 145° for 30 minutes worry free (techie) then whisking the mix with the lemon juice and warm ghee (tradition).

    I mean I have the darned thing so why not use it?  Right?  ;-))5 stars