What Does Hollandaise Sauce Taste Like?

hollandaise sauce tasteDo you know the five mother sauces of French haute cuisine? Hollandaise sauce is one of them. A small spoonful of Hollandaise sauce has enough power to make a dish rich and luxurious. Add a little Hollandaise sauce to your favorite Steak or Egg Benedict, and see how flavorful your dish can be. This delicate gourmet sauce really does seem to bring the best out of a dish. So what does it exactly taste like? Are you not sure whether you’re going to like it or not? I’m here to answer all of your questions. So just sit back, relax, and keep reading about Hollandaise sauce.

What does Hollandaise Sauce taste like?

Contemplating making Hollandaise sauce or thinking about ordering a dish that comes with this sauce? Know that, Hollandaise sauce has a rich buttery, eggy, and lemony taste to it. Besides warm butter, egg yolks, and lemon juice, salt, white pepper, and cayenne pepper are added to give it a nice kick. When you pair this sauce with a dish, you can taste the salty and peppery melted yolks with a hint of tanginess from the lemon juice.

If it has a dash of hot sauce mixed in it, this may taste a bit hot and spicy, but not too much. Most restaurants avoid hot sauce to keep the taste nice and simple. A little neutral in flavor is what it should be tasted like to give room for the dish you’re pairing it with. Many say that Hollandaise is a bit too bland for them to put on food. This happens when the dish you’re pairing the sauce with already lacks flavors.

One time a few of my friends brunched out together and we had the chance to try hollandaise sauce with eggs benny. I had the most surprising twist in its taste. Instead of lemon juice, orange juice was added to that and it was topped with some lemon zest. This made the sauce a bit sweet and less tarty, but 100% mind-blowing! However, one of my friends ruined the mood by saying, “it tastes like warm mayo” which is completely untrue. Don’t believe him and try it yourself!

Another time, I had the chance to have this sauce in a steakhouse. The chef added a dash of Worchestershire sauce to this creamy Hollandaise sauce and let me tell you, it tasted heavenly! Honestly, I can eat this sauce with any dish— fries, veggies, salad, literally anything! And, no one can stop me, haha!

How would you describe Hollandaise sauce?

If you ask me to describe the sauce in the simplest way possible, I’d say, it feels like “a creamy savory custard with a hint of pepper and lemon.” If you sauce you are having has cayenne in it, you can feel “the bite”. If you take a spoonful of this sauce in your mouth, Hollandaise will taste like a buttery scrambled egg with a little tart and a hint of mild spiciness. What I love is that the sauce doesn’t feel too oily even though it is made from emulsified egg yolks and unsalted butter.

Does Hollandaise taste like mayo?

In terms of taste Hollandaise and Mayonnaise have significant dissimilarities. As we know mayo is made with egg yolks and oil. Oppositely, Hollandaise is made with egg yolks and unsalted butter. The cooking procedure is also pretty different. We know that mayonnaise has a mild, clean flavor with a touch of subtle eggy flavor, and a slight tangy undertone. This flavor description does sound like that I’m describing Hollandaise, but Hollandaise sauce is tangier because of the lemon juice and pretty mouthful due to the butter.

In terms of consistency, mayo has a luxuriously creamy and thick texture. Hollandaise has a similar texture, but it is a bit runnier and easily spreadable. That’s why it is easy to drizzle this sauce on poached fish or vegetables like steamed asparagus. Oh yes! You can even use this sauce on pastas, Canadian bacon or ham, Salad Niçoise, and they will get even more delicious!

Does Hollandaise sauce taste eggy?

Yes, Hollandaise tastes a little eggy, but not in a bad way. Do you know how our breaths smell bad after eating a boiled egg? Yeah, that’s not how eggy Hollandaise is. You can taste creamy, tarty egginess with a bit of acid. Don’t worry, the acid won’t taste too overpowering. It will just give the Hollandaise sauce a nice tang to balance out the taste of butter and egg yolk. Also, it prevents the sauce from tasting boring. A nice balance of tanginess is what made this sauce so popular and perfect for pairing with dishes.

What is similar to Hollandaise sauce?

Are you not sure how to make your own Hollandaise sauce? Don’t worry, you can always substitute it with its child Bearnaise sauce. Many say that the revolutionized Bearnaise sauce is much tastier than Hollandaise sauce. But we all have different taste buds, so lets agree to disagree. Some of the other substitutes are mock hollandaise that is gluten-free, and the yogurt hollandaise sauce.

How does Hollandaise sauce break?

Hollandaise is a delicate sauce, made thick by the proteins of the egg yolks and fatty melted butter. While making this dish, if you overcook or overheat, the egg yolk gets cooked and the sauce becomes clumped. So the egg yolks need to be handled carefully. To avoid this from reoccurring, make sure you use a double boiler to heat the egg yolks gently and prevent them from overcooking.

Another reason your Hollandaise is breaking is adding excessive butter or adding it a bit too quickly. You need to add the butter gradually as you keep on whisking the yolks. If you add way more than you should have, the sauce won’t get creamy and thick and it will soon become oily at room temperature like heated melted butter which is totally inedible.


This authentic French sauce is extremely versatile. Pair it with any dish you think is right. I have even dipped my french fries in Hollandaise sauce and still loved it very much. So add your creativity and see all the possibilities yourself. I hope you really enjoy the taste of Hollandaise sauce. As always, Bon Appetit!