Béarnaise Sauce Recipe (2024)



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Made it once and then again the next day made a double batch. Great in all the ways mentioned below, also over salmon or swordfish. Froze the extra from the double batch in a plastic ice cube tray; they defrosted on my countertop as I made dinner and whisked back into shape perfectly with a little lemon juice or water if a thinner sauce is desired.

Leslie Stark

great, fast way to finish this any meat or fish dish. I found that dry tarragon freshly ground into almost a powder, was as pungent as fresh, which makes it so much easier to impulsively add this finishing sauce to dinner.


Kate, I am an American who has been living outside the US for many years. I still use lots of American recipes, so need to convert butter measurements often. Here's a scale I found on a website years ago: 1 T of butter = 14g; ; half a stick (4T or 2 oz) = 57g; 1 stick (8T or 4 oz) = 113.5g. Hope this helps.


This sauce came together amazingly in a blender, no double boiler required! Follow instructions but instead of a metal bowl, put yolks and reduction in a blender. Turn the blender on and slowly pour the butter in a very thin stream, piping hot from the microwave or a saucepan. The sauce should come together by the time all of the butter is incorporated.

Hayford Peirce

It will definitely need SALT, and probably more tarragon, and why not some chopped parsley?

Some people like it runny, like a sauce, I like it pretty thick, more like a mayonnaise -- the amount of butter used will determine this....


Made this on Sat night and served over freshly picked asparagus (lightly steamed but still crunchy). My daughter and her fiancé were over for dinner and we all swooned over the flavors. It was easy to make and upped the asparagus to divine. Plenty left over to spoon over eggs the next morning. I've never made this before so I wasn't sure how long to whisk the egg mixture before adding the butter. But they transform. Not only increasing in volume but thickening and changing color. You'll KNOW.


Sam, it would be hugely helpful if you could add metric and Imperial weights to your recipes. I'm assuming 12 Tbs of butter is 180 gms. I think quite a few of your readers are outside the USA and most of us have learned to cook by weighing things. I find it more exact.
Thanks so much for all these great recipes.


I often make something that is not bearnaise sauce, but is close enough for my liking and can be assembled in a minute:

Melt a large amount of butter. Blanch some shallots. Combine blanched shallots, chopped tarragon, melted butter, white wine vinegar and a big spoonful of dijon mustard. Whisk to emulsify (the mustard acts as an emulsifier in replacement of egg yolks). Season with salt and pepper.

Philippe Barré

Red wine vinegar is great too (or a mixture of red wine vinegar and dry white wine). Use chervil in addition to tarragon, and strain the reduction. It's advisable to start the emulsion with a tablespoon of the reduction, and add more at the end of operations (otherwise the sauce may be a bit too pungent). And no need to bother clarifying or even melting the butter. You can add bits of butter straight from the fridge and whisk them in. Add freshly chopped chervil and tarragon before serving.


I have not made this recipe but have made Bearnaise sauce for years from another source. I found that putting hot water in a thermos and then draining and drying just before pouring in the sauce helps keep it warm for a little while. This is a warm/tepid sauce, not a hot sauce.


I made this tonight to go on a lovely little filet of beef for just me alone and it was marvelous. Couldn't believe I even did it! Thank you Sam, your instructions were easy and, yes a bit more salt, and I too like it a bit thicker. Will do repeat performances!

Karen L Davis

From answer.com: "How many grams are in a tablespoon? It depends on what you're measuring. ...
Grams are a unit of mass (or weight) and a tablespoon is a unit of volume. Therefore it depends entirely on what you are measuring -- it depends on the density of the substance. A tablespoon of lead will be much heavier than a tablespoon of feathers. ... Similarly, a tablespoon of butter weighs a different number of grams than a tablespoon of salt."


This is the fourth time I have attempted bearnaise, but the first time using this recipe, and I nailed it! Thank you, Sam Sifton!!!


Keep béarnaise and hollandaise warm in a bain marie.


Here's a terrific online conversion calculator, and it 'goes both ways', i.e. from US to metric and from metric to US:



This was almost perfect and had excellent flavor. It was a little runny so I ended up adding an additional egg yolk. Next time I would like to remove the shallots after cooking because the steakhouse I worked at did not keep them in there either. Otherwise delicious.


So so so good. The whole family raved about it. I used Savannah's advice-- thanks!!


I found this to be way too vinegary in flavor. It was a fail for me.


This sauce is quite easy. Made with sauteed sea scallops over boiled smashed rutabaga with rainbow chard on the side. Sooo good.

James Mignola

At the original Quatorze on 14th St in NYC I was taught to add some tomato paste and a bit of tomato puree to the tarragon reduction which, when mixed with the egg yolks while making the Hollandaise will give you a Sauce Choron; we served this with grilled salmon. We also used a combination of dried and fresh tarragon for the reduction finishing with some more freshly chopped tarragon. I also use tarragon vinegar if available.


Absolutely wonderful. Will make again and again. Perfect.


way too much white wine vinegar ...

Jim C

Pretty much perfect as written. I melted the butter in a small copper pot, and basically, as I poured the butter in, I was only pouring the clarified butter into the sauce. Stopped adding butter when it was mostly solids. Left the sauce in the bain-marie on the warming spot on the oven and gave it a whisk every few minutes as finished the rest of the meal. Ended up adding about two tablespoons of warm water to loosen it up at service.


Tasted very vinegary. Next time I would reduce the amount of white wine vinegar. Maybe replace it with white wine


I add just a small dash of Cayenne Pepper.


Only thing about this recipe that doesn’t seem right is the instruction to reduce vinegar/tarragon mixture down to a “ few tablespoons”. Well, we already start with 4 tablespoons of liquid. Shouldn’t it be reduced to about 1 tablespoon?

Lisa Barrows

That would be right if you were only reducing vinegar, but the minced shallot adds some volume

Kyra vdB

I was partly annoyed because the sauce kept on separating, Other than that, a very good sauce recipe.


Came out great! I used my little old double boiler--does anyone have these anymore? I recommend.

Marc Leinbach

Really, how are all these positive responses on here? If you are not adding at least a 1/2 a cup of dry white wine ( I prefer vermouth) to this recipe what are you reducing ......JOKE!


This sauce is LIT! Well done Sammy boy!

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Béarnaise Sauce Recipe (2024)


What is bearnaise sauce made of? ›

What Is Béarnaise? Béarnaise is a fat-in-water emulsion—in this case, butter emulsified into a reduction of white wine and vinegar flavored with shallots, tarragon, and chervil, all bound and thickened with egg yolks. It's technically a derivative of hollandaise sauce, one of the five French mother sauces.

What is the difference between hollandaise and bearnaise sauce? ›

It's what happens next that sets them apart: Hollandaise gets its acidity from lemon juice (sometimes vinegar) and is usually seasoned with salt, white pepper, and cayenne pepper. Béarnaise, meanwhile, builds upon hollandaise with white wine vinegar, shallots, tarragon, and other fresh herbs.

What are the key flavor components of a sauce béarnaise? ›

Béarnaise sauce is a piquant child of hollandaise, one of the so-called mother sauces of French cuisine. It is simply an emulsification — egg yolks and butter cut through with vinegar flavored with tarragon and shallots, with a bite of black pepper.

What are common uses for bearnaise sauce? ›

Béarnaise sauce is a delicious and creamy classic French sauce that is often made from a reduction of vinegar and wine mixed with shallots, tarragon, and (sometimes) chervil and thickened with egg yolks and butter. It's typically served with meat, fish, eggs, or vegetables.

Why is bearnaise sauce so good? ›

Flavored with tarragon, shallots, and white wine vinegar, bearnaise sauce somehow adds both creamy decadence and a pleasant acidity to cut through the fat of the beef and butter. I've included it in the family recipes section of this book/website, because for me it is closely associated with my father.

Is hollandaise or béarnaise better for steak? ›

Béarnaise Sauce is considered by many to be one of the finest sauces to serve with steaks. A variation of Hollandaise sauce, one of the 5 “mother sauces” in classical French cookery, it's notoriously difficult to make by hand.

Does eggs Benedict have hollandaise or béarnaise? ›

Hollandaise is the classic sauce for the American dish Eggs Benedict. It is one of the five mother sauces and is terrific in the dish mentioned, over asparagus, and its brother, Béarnaise sauce, is great on steak.

What are the 5 French sauces? ›

The five French mother sauces are béchamel, velouté, espagnole, hollandaise, and tomato. Developed in the 19th century by French chef Auguste Escoffier, mother sauces serve as a starting point for a variety of delicious sauces used to complement countless dishes, including veggies, fish, meat, casseroles, and pastas.

Does Ruth's Chris serve bearnaise sauce? ›

Entrée Complements SHRIMP Six additional large shrimp dusted with blackening seasoning and broiled. LOBSTER TAIL Cold water lobster tail, lightly seasoned with Cajun spices, sea salt and butter. OSCAR STYLE Jumbo lump crab cake, asparagus and homemade béarnaise sauce.

What is Sauce Béarnaise syndrome? ›

sauce béarnaise effect

a colloquial term referring to a conditioned taste aversion. If a person happens to become ill after tasting a new food, such as sauce béarnaise, they may subsequently dislike and avoid that food. Regardless of the actual cause of the illness, the sauce will be identified with it.

What are some fun facts about bearnaise sauce? ›

The recipe is a variation of Hollandaise, one of the five mother sauces of French cuisine. It was first served at the opening of the Le Pavillon Henri IV restaurant in 1836 and is named after the province of Béarn, the birthplace of Henry IV of France.

What pairs with béarnaise? ›

Béarnaise sauce is commonly paired with grilled fish or steak, but it's just as delicious on roasted vegetables or eggs Benedict. Spoon this silky, herby sauce over roasted asparagus, steamed broccoli, or grilled mushrooms for a sophisticated dinner party side.

What will happen to a Bearnaise sauce if it gets to hot? ›

Overheating spells disaster — the béarnaise will curdle. But if you take your time, you will end up with a beautiful satiny sauce that has been one of the glories of the French table since it was first created almost 200 years ago.

Can you freeze leftover Bearnaise sauce? ›

A: We do not recommend freezing Knorr Bearnaise Sauce. Leftover sauce can be refrigerated in a covered container for up to 3 days. Thank you for your feedback!

What does bearnaise sauce taste like? ›

Irresistibly creamy, buttery, and rich, béarnaise combines an herby, slightly acidic reduction of white wine, vinegar, shallots, fresh tarragon, and lemon juice with hollandaise to make a luscious sauce for spooning over grilled steak, chicken, fish, or vegetables.

Does bearnaise sauce taste like mayonnaise? ›

No, bearnaise sauce is not like mayonnaise. Mayonnaise is a mixture of eggs, oil and vinegar. Although bearnaise sauce contains eggs and oil, it also contains mustard, shallots and tarragon. These additional ingredients give bearnaise sauce a unique flavor that is unlike mayonnaise.

What is the distinct flavor of bearnaise sauce? ›

Béarnaise sauce is a variation of Hollandaise sauce, with the addition of tarragon and shallots, giving it a distinct flavor. The tarragon and shallots add a slightly tangy and herbaceous taste to Béarnaise sauce, setting it apart from the classic Hollandaise.

What does béarnaise steak sauce taste like? ›

Béarnaise sauce has a rich, creamy, and tangy flavor with a slight herbal, licorice-like note from the tarragon. The sauce is known for its velvety texture and buttery taste, and it pairs well with a variety of dishes, including steak, fish, and vegetables.

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