Béarnaise Sauce

published Jul 21, 2021
Béarnaise Sauce

A derivative of Hollandaise sauce, Béarnaise ups the ante by adding shallots simmered in white wine vinegar, fresh cracked black pepper, and tarragon.

Makes1 cup

Prep5 minutes

Cook10 minutes

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a spoonful of Bearnaise Sauce with a green garnish sprinkled on top
Credit: Laura Rege
Bearnaise Sauce

If you’re a fan of classic French cuisine, you’ll love indulging in this rich and tangy take on Béarnaise sauce. A derivative of Hollandaise sauce, which is considered one of the five building-block sauces of French cuisine, Béarnaise ups the ante by adding shallots simmered in white wine vinegar, fresh cracked black pepper, and the unmistakable anise flavor of tarragon. Evoke the French café experience at home by generously spooning this luscious sauce over steak, french fries, asparagus, green beans, and more.

To prevent some common pitfalls of preparing Béarnaise sauce and make the whole process easier and faster, we utilized an ingenious blender method rather than the traditional one. Classically, the sauce is prepared by hand and considered a test of a chef’s skills in culinary school. The chef whisks melted butter into egg yolks slowly and carefully over a double boiler, making sure that the butter and eggs don’t separate by overheating or adding the butter too fast. In this recipe, the same ingredients and flavor come together without the stress of standing over the stovetop; we utilize the power of the blender blade, which whips up the sauce efficiently and to perfection.

Although optional, the additional lemon juice perks up the flavor of the sauce, adding an irresistible tang — and we wholeheartedly recommend it. 

What’s the Difference Between Hollandaise and Béarnaise Sauce?

While Béarnaise sauce is traditionally made using the same method as Hollandaise, a few ingredients differentiate it.

  • Béarnaise uses white wine vinegar rather than lemon juice for acidity, although a touch of optional lemon juice at the end can really perk up Béarnaise.
  • It’s finished with fresh cracked black pepper rather than cayenne pepper.
  • Béarnaise also includes the addition of shallots and tarragon.
Credit: Laura Rege
Bearnaise Sauce

What Is Béarnaise Sauce Used For?

A classic steakhouse sauce, Béarnaise is delicious drizzled over steak and seafood. You could also swap it in for Hollandaise in eggs Benedict. Try dipping french fries in it, too.

What Vegetables Go with Béarnaise Sauce?

It’s also great over crisp-tender green vegetables like asparagus, green beans, and peas. 

Can I Freeze Béarnaise Sauce?

No, Béarnaise sauce is best used right after it is made and eaten in one sitting.

Béarnaise Sauce

A derivative of Hollandaise sauce, Béarnaise ups the ante by adding shallots simmered in white wine vinegar, fresh cracked black pepper, and tarragon.

Prep time 5 minutes

Cook time 10 minutes

Makes 1 cup

Nutritional Info


  • 1

    large lemon

  • 1

    small shallot

  • 2 large sprigs

    fresh tarragon

  • 1/4 cup

    white wine vinegar

  • 1 1/2 sticks

    (6 ounces) unsalted butter

  • 3

    large egg yolks

  • 3/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Halve 1 large lemon and remove any seeds. Juice one half until you have 1 tablespoon juice. Save the remaining lemon half in case you want to add more at the end.

  2. Finely chop 1 small shallot until you have 2 tablespoons and place in a small saucepan. Strip the leaves from 2 large tarragon sprigs and finely chop until you have 3 teaspoons; add 1 teaspoon to the saucepan and reserve the remaining.

  3. Add 1/4 cup white wine vinegar to the saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Boil until the vinegar is almost evaporated, about 5 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl and let cool slightly.

  4. Wipe the saucepan clean with a paper towel and add 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter. Return to medium-low heat and heat, stirring occasionally, until fully melted. Immediately remove from the heat.

  5. Add 3 large egg yolks to a blender. Place the lid on the blender without the center part. With the blender running on high, very slowly pour in the melted butter. Stop the blender and add the lemon juice and 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Replace the center part of the lid and pulse until combined.

  6. Pour the sauce into the shallot mixture. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons of the tarragon, season with black pepper, and stir to combine. Taste and season with more kosher salt, black pepper, or lemon juice as needed. The sauce should be thick enough to coat a spoon, but thin enough to drizzle from the spoon. If it is too thick, thin it out with water 1/2 teaspoon water at a time. Garnish with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon tarragon and serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

Keeping Béarnaise warm: Béarnaise sauce is best right after it is made. If not using immediately, keep warm in a Thermos or hot water bath for up to 30 minutes.