What Is Hollandaise Sauce?

Hollandaise sauce, or Dutch sauce, is one of the five "mother sauces" of French cuisine. It's made with butter, water, lemon juice, and thickened with egg yolks and can be seasoned with salt, white pepper or cayenne pepper.

Hollandaise sauce in a white bowl with a wooden spoon

How Is Hollandaise Sauce Used?

Hollandaise sauce has a creamy, lemony butter taste that is delicious when drizzled over eggs benedict, the dish where it's most commonly found. The sauce goes well over other egg dishes, too, as well as vegetables, fish and seafood.

eggs benedict with hollandaise sauce on a white plate
Olga Nayashkova/Shutterstock

How Can I Make My Own Hollandaise Sauce?

Making your own Hollandaise sauce is simple, and all you need is a handful of ingredients.


  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • A pinch of cayenne pepper
  • A pinch of salt


  • In a stainless steel bowl, whisk the egg yolks and lemon juice together until the mixture is thickened and doubled in volume
  • In a saucepan, bring water to a boil
  • Place the bowl over the saucepan, making sure the water is not touching the bottom of the bowl
  • Whist rapidly, taking care that the eggs don't get too hot and begin to scramble
  • Slowly pour in the melted butter and continue to whisk until the sauce is once again thickened and doubled in volume
  • Remove from heat and whisk in the cayenne and salt

Hollandaise sauce is very difficult to store -- it can only be kept refrigerated for a day or two, and does not freeze well. If you have excess sauce, try to use it immediately or just throw it out.

cooking eggs benedict in a bowl with ingredients and a whisk
Rimma Bondarenko/Shutterstock
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