No-Fuss Hollandaise

Breakfast is my favorite.

It used to be my favorite because it was a great excuse to eat giant amounts of sugar in a socially acceptable way. Cinnamon buns, I’m looking at you.

But these days, I’m pretty obsessed with eggs. And hollandaise.

Oh, hollandaise, you make my heart skip a beat.

When I go out to breakfast or brunch, I always order some kind of benedict. Not just because I love hollandaise, but because it’s so pesky to make at home!

I mean, Julia Child really knew what she was doing, and her hollandaise is delicious, but let’s get real. I have three children and not enough patience to make something so fussy on a regular Tuesday morning.

So I get my hollandaise fix on someone else’s time card.

That is, I did…until my friend Debby and I went on a mini getaway together, and she showed me how to make hollandaise in about 5 minutes flat with almost no measuring.

*Cue me, scraping my jaw off the floor, and also running my fingers around the edge of the bowl to make sure no hollandaise goes to waste.*

This hollandaise has THREE ingredients. Egg yolks, salted butter, lemon juice. Okay, it’s also really amazing if you add a dash of smoked paprika. But what can’t be improved by smoked paprika?

You can make a 4-yolk version of this recipe pretty easily, and it will generously serve 2 people (who really like hollandaise). Or you can go wild and make a 6-yolk or 8-yolk version. More hollandaise!

Separate the yolks into a heat-proof glass bowl.

Melt salted butter in a measuring cup with a spout (trust me, it’s easier).

Set the glass bowl over a saucepan full of simmering water. Yes! Double boiling.

With your whisk, continuously whisk the yolks while also drizzling in the butter. At first, it will easily incorporate, but eventually as the butter outmatches the yolks, the mixture will begin to look quite thin and not at all decadent.

Don’t fear.

Keep whisking the mixture over the simmering water. As the yolks and butter warm, they will thicken. For a smaller amount (the 4-yolk recipe), it will take about 5 minutes. If you doubled the recipe, it may take longer.

When the yolks are thickened, whisk in a splash of lemon juice, not more than a teaspoon.

Remove the hollandaise from the heat. If you like, stir in some smoked paprika (trust me: you will like).

Once you stop stirring and the hollandaise starts to cool, it will also begin to congeal. This won’t affect the luscious flavor, almost cheesy in its richness, but it can yield clumps. My advice is to have the rest of your breakfast ready!

But, the truth is, this hollandaise can also be rewarmed beautifully. No more than 5 seconds at a time in the microwave, stirring well, or give it the double boiler treatment again if you are feeling fussy after all!

Debby also introduced me to a delicious way to serve this hollandaise, which is over top of a pile of sautéed vegetables and nothing else. But I do also love the classic additions of poached egg and English muffin.

What will you serve with your hollandaise?

No-Fuss Hollandaise

barely adapted from Debby Hoskin
Course Breakfast, Sauces
Cuisine French
Keyword butter, eggs, lemon
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Makes 2 servings


  • 4 large egg yolks
  • ½ cup salted butter (one stick)
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • dash of smoked paprika, optional


  • Fill a small saucepan with 1" water. Place the pan on the stove over medium heat and bring to a simmer.
  • Meanwhile, melt butter in a small container with a pour spout.
  • Combine egg yolks in a heatproof glass bowl. Whisk to mix together.
  • Place the yolk bowl over the simmering water, creating a double boiler.
  • Whisking constantly, drizzle the butter into the yolks. Continue whisking until the mixture thickens, about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in lemon juice and smoked paprika, if desired.
  • Immediately remove from heat.
  • Serve over your favorite breakfast, such as eggs benedict or even a vegetable scramble.


This recipe can easily be scaled to your needs. A 4-yolk recipe will generously serve 2 people, but feel free to increase to 6 yolks/12 tbsp. butter or 8 yolks/1 cup butter if serving a crowd! Be aware that increasing the volume of sauce will also increase the amount of time whisking before it thickens.


♥ Melissa

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