Hollandaise sauce is a classic French sauce made from butter, egg yolks, lemon juice, and salt.
It has a creamy, velvety texture and its flavor is both subtly tangy and richly buttery.
The sauce is ideal for pouring over fish or adding to a simple steamed vegetable dish to make it something special.
Hollandaise is one of the five mother sauces of the classical French kitchen but can easily be made at home with right ingredients and advanced culinary skills.
For those without the time or experience to make this classic, there are alternatives that can be used in its place – here are five of the best substitutes for hollandaise sauce.
What is Hollandaise Sauce?
Hollandaise sauce is a classic French sauce made from melted butter, egg yolks, and lemon juice.
The ingredients are blended together over a low heat until the mixture is creamy and fluffy.
Hollandaise is best known for being served on eggs benedict but is also used as an accompaniment to fish, veggies, and morsels of meat – providing a rich, creamy flavor to enhance the underlying dish.
The process of creating Hollandaise has historically been tricky – requiring careful technique to prevent it from breaking or curdling.
This process can be so challenging that some cooks choose to purchase it pre-made instead of attempting to prepare it themselves.
But fortunately there are several alternatives that can be used in place of traditional Hollandaise – both store-bought and created with common pantry staples.
Whether you’re out of egg yolks or avoiding cholesterol, you can use any one of these five easy substitutes for classic Hollandaise.
How to Make and Serve Hollandaise Sauce?
Hollandaise sauce is one of the classic “mother sauces” of French cuisine.
It is a rich, creamy sauce made with egg yolks, melted butter, and lemon juice.
Hollandaise sauce is often served over asparagus, fish dishes, and eggs Benedict.
Here’s how to make hollandaise sauce:
- 4 egg yolks.
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice.
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter.
- Pinch of salt.
- Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional).
- Fill a small saucepan with 1 inch of water and bring it to a low simmer. Place a heatproof bowl on top pf the pan making sure that the bowl does not touch the water.
- 2. Add the egg yolks and lemon juice to the bowl and whisk them together until they’re pale yellow in color and thickened slightly – about 3 minutes.
- 3. Add in chunks of cold butter slowly while whisking constantly until melted then incorporate it fully into the mixture – about 2 minutes. The sauce should be light, airy, and creamy at this point.
- 4. Remove from heat and season with salt or pepper if desired or add more lemon juice for more acidity if needed. Serve warm over your favorite dish.
5 Best Hollandaise Sauce Substitutes to Consider
This creamy sauce is often served with eggs Benedict or asparagus topped with hollandaise sauce.
Unfortunately, this decadent sauce can be quite difficult to make correctly and many home chefs opt for ready-made options instead.
If you’re looking for a possibile substitute for hollandaise sauce, here are 5 of the most common options:
1 – Béchamel Sauce
Béchamel sauce is a basic white sauce that begins with a roux (butter and flour) simmered together.
Milk is added to the roux, and the mixture is simmered until it thickens.
Seasonings are added to complete the sauce.
This creamy, savory sauce can be used as a substitute on many dishes that call for hollandaise sauce.
The addition of cheese or herbs can change the flavor considerably.
For an extra special holiday meal, try these variations:
- Cheese Béchamel Sauce – Use ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese for an irresistible flavor.
- Herb Béchamel Sauce – Try stirring in 2 teaspoons each of thyme, basil, rosemary and oregano for an herbaceous twist.
2 – Bearnaise Sauce
Bearnaise sauce is a similar emulsified sauce made with clarified butter, egg yolks, shallots, tarragon, white wine vinegar and peppercorns.
To make Bearnaise sauce, there is an extra step of reducing the vinegar, white wine and shallots first.
This reduction adds a deeper flavor to the sauce which makes it very similar to Hollandaise in both looks and taste.
Obviously this makes it a great substitute.
Generally Bearnaise Sauce pairs better with grilled fish or beef as opposed to eggs or vegetable dishes that often pair well with Hollandaise.
3 – Avocado Sauce
Avocado sauce is an excellent Hollandaise substitute that is full of healthy fats, creamy and packed with flavor.
You can prepare it quickly by combining mashed avocado with garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and sour cream.
The natural flavor of avocado is enhanced by the other ingredients for a delicious and nutritious sauce perfect to serve over cooked vegetables and proteins like fish or chicken.
This recipe can also be modified to create a vegan version that is just as flavorful without dairy products.
4 – Cashew Cream Sauce
Cashew cream sauce makes an excellent substitute for a hollandaise sauce.
Cashew cream is made using one part raw, unsalted cashews that have been soaked in water.
This is combined with a small amount of nutritional yeast and some seasonings of your choice such as garlic, onion powder or even ground mustard, and then blended together in a blender or food processor until it reaches the desired consistency.
The end result is a thick, creamy sauce that has a delightfully nutty flavor – perfect for smothering over steamed vegetables or replacing classic hollandaise in any recipe.
5 – Yogurt Cheese Sauce
Yogurt cheese sauce offers the distinctive creamy texture of hollandaise without the tang of traditional yogurts.
To make yogurt cheese sauce, mix plain, full-fat yogurt with a few tablespoons of Greek-style yogurt and strain it in a sieve or cheesecloth to remove any excess liquid.
What’s left is a thick, spreadable cheese that can be used as a substitute for hollandaise.
It works especially well when mixed with Dijon mustard and livened up with some crushed garlic and fresh herbs for extra flavor.
Paired with grilled fish or asparagus, this simple sauce makes an excellent quick saucing option when time is scarce.
To sum it up, hollandaise sauce is a traditional French sauce made with butter, egg yolks, and lemon juice or vinegar.
Though delicious and versatile, it can be tricky to make and isn’t suitable for those on a plant-based diet.
Fortunately, there are several tasty substitutions for hollandaise sauce that provide similar flavor and creaminess without the need for butter or eggs.
From vegan versions used in plant-based recipes to dairy-free variations featuring olive oil and tahini, there’s something to suit every dietary preference.
Whether you’re looking for something to top your Eggs Benedict with or just trying to add flavor to your next meal, these five alternatives are sure to hit the spot.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Hollandaise Sauce?
Hollandaise sauce is an emulsified egg-based sauce that is traditionally served with seafood, vegetables, and eggs Benedict.
It is usually made with butter, egg yolks, a little bit of acid (usually lemon juice), and salt and pepper.
What are the 5 Best Substitutes for Hollandaise Sauce?
The 5 best substitutes for Hollandaise sauce are mayonnaise, Bearnaise sauce, yogurt sauce, cheese sauce, and mustard vinaigrette.
Is Hollandaise Sauce Healthy?
Hollandaise sauce is not typically considered a healthy food choice due to its high fat content from the butter.
However, it can be enjoyed in moderation as part of a balanced diet.
Carrie is a food writer and editor with more than 15 years of experience. She has worked for some of the biggest names in the food industry, including Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, and Martha Stewart Living.
As the Editor in Chief of IntroChicago.com, Carrie oversees all of the content on the site. She also manages the team of contributing writers and editors, who help to create delicious recipes, helpful tips, and informative articles that you’ll find on the site.
A native of the Chicago area, Carrie is passionate about all things food. She loves trying new restaurants and experimenting with new recipes in her kitchen. She’s also a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, so she knows a thing or two about food!