This vegan hollandaise sauce recipe is the perfect dairy and egg free alternative to classic hollandaise. It creates a rich, satisfying sauce that’s non-vegan approved and tastes exactly like you’d expect a thick and creamy butter sauce to be.
Many vegan hollandaise recipes try to create a lighter alternative, but this recipe does not. It follows the same basic formula of traditional hollandaise, just without eggs or dairy! Pour this incredibly versatile sauce over steamed, grilled or sautéed veggies, or any other foods you’d use creamy, thick butter sauce!
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Is Hollandaise Sauce Vegan?
Traditional hollandaise sauce is not vegan.
Hollandaise sauce is one of the mother sauces in French cuisine. It’s classically made by emulsifying butter with egg yolks to create a thick, rich and creamy sauce, with some lemon juice for a burst of fresh acidity.
Hollandaise sauce can be made vegan by selecting dairy free butter substitute and switching the eggs for a different thickening ingredient. In this case, we use some starch and plant-based milk to add bulk for a thick, rich and delicious sauce.
Dairy Free Hollandaise Sauce Ingredients
Beyond the base ingredient of vegan butter, all remaining ingredients work together to create a creamy, comforting and versatile sauce with a delicious, classic flavor.
- Vegan butter: Hollandaise is essentially a thickened butter sauce. To create a vegan version, select your favorite plant-based butter alternative.
- Corn starch: In place of egg yolk, thicken the sauce with corn starch. It’s a common ingredient and does an amazing job at thickening sauces.
- Plant-based milk: For added bulk, and to give the corn starch enough liquid, this recipe uses plant-based milk. I use soy milk, but any plant-based milk should work; just keep in mind the flavor of the milk will come through in your sauce. Cashew or coconut milk would be my go-to alternatives if you want to keep it soy-free or simply don’t like soy milk.
- Nutritional yeast: To add a delicious dairy flavor, nutritional yeast is my favorite ingredient!
- Lemon juice: Traditional hollandaise sauce uses lemon juice for acidity and balances the rich texture and flavor of butter. This vegan recipe uses lemon juice in the exact same way. It’s truly a stand-out layer of flavor you won’t want to miss!
- Dijon mustard: This ingredient is optional, but I like to increase the flavor with a touch of Dijon mustard.
- Turmeric: This is also an optional ingredient and is used exclusively for color. Classic hollandaise is a light orange-yellow color and turmeric helps mimic that.
- Garlic and onion powder: To round out and enhance the flavors of this sauce, add in some garlic and onion powder.
- Salt and pepper: Every recipe requires some salt and black pepper flavor, right?!
- Cayenne pepper: A small pinch of cayenne pepper offers spicy heat that brings something extra to the sauce.
If you want to make this recipe soy free, simply select a soy free plant-based milk (cashew or coconut would be delicious) and make sure your vegan butter substitute is soy free as well!
How to Make Easy Vegan Hollandaise Sauce
Get your whisk ready because that’s the most important aspect of creating this decadent sauce! It’s fairly easy to make, just read the detailed directions below.
Step 1: Prepare the Hollandaise Base
The hollandaise sauce base includes vegan butter, corn starch and plant-based milk. This creates the bulk of the sauce and needs to be prepped before spicing and serving!
In a small pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Once melted, whisk in corn starch until no clumps of starch remain.
At this point, very slowly pour in the room temperature (or slightly warmer) plant-based milk while whisking continuously and vigorously. Add about 2 tablespoons at a time and whisk thoroughly.
Continue until you’ve added all the milk.
Part way through adding milk, the sauce will look like it’s separating (areas with thickened milk and areas of melted butter that aren’t incorporating). This is perfectly ok. Don’t worry, just keep whisking and adding milk slowly.
Once all the milk is in, the sauce will be completely smooth!
Keep your pot over medium heat and continue whisking for another 1-2 minutes to give the starch some extra time to thicken.
Step 2: Spice and Serve
When the sauce is nicely thickened, remove from heat and whisk in the remaining ingredients. It takes a moment for the nutritional yeast to dissolve and become smooth.
You’re now ready to serve your vegan hollandaise over vegetables like asparagus!
Please note the sauce begins to separate when left to sit. This happens with any hollandaise sauce because it’s so high in fat content. Simply whisk it (yes, more whisking) and it’ll return to a deliciously smooth and creamy texture.
How to Serve Vegan Hollandaise Sauce
Hollandaise is a versatile sauce that can add richness to any vegetable side dish or vegan eggs benedict! If you have access to vegan seafood alternatives, this is a delicious buttery dipping sauce for that.
Hollandaise is also commonly served over meat dishes so you could easily use this for vegan meat or seitan dishes!
Serving hollandaise over sautéed asparagus is certainly one of my favorite uses for this sauce, but you can get creative and use it however you like. It can also be the base recipe to create other delicious sauces, like a vegan Béarnaise sauce!
Refrigerate or Freeze Leftover Hollandaise
Refrigerate leftover sauce in an airtight container for up to a week. Reheat hollandaise in a small pot on the stove over medium heat while whisking regularly.
You can reheat this hollandaise in the microwave, however it won’t be fully smooth (some butter will stay separate). If this isn’t a concern for you, go ahead and microwave.
It’s also possible to freeze leftovers in an airtight, freezer-safe container; however, once thawed (place in fridge overnight) the sauce won’t be as smooth. Some butter will remain separated from the rest of the sauce. The flavor tastes the same, so if the slight change in texture isn’t a concern for you, feel free to freeze for up to 2 months.
If you make this recipe, please rate and comment below to help others benefit from your experience!
Vegan Hollandaise Sauce
- Small sauce pot
- ½ cup vegan butter
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- ¾ cup plant-based milk , at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
- ⅛ teaspoon onion powder
- ¹⁄₁₆ teaspoon ground turmeric
- pinch black pepper
- pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
Step 1: Prepare the Hollandaise Base
- Add vegan butter to a small saucepot. Melt the butter over medium heat.½ cup vegan butter
- When you’ve melted the butter completely, whisk in corn starch until there are no clumps of starch left.1 tablespoon corn starch
- Slowly add room temperature plant-based milk while whisking continuously. The key to a clump-free hollandaise is to whisk vigorously and constantly while very slowly adding plant-based milk (about 2 tablespoons at a time).¾ cup plant-based milk
- Once you’ve added all the milk, let the sauce cook and thicken completely by keeping it on heat while whisking for another 1-2 minutes.
Step 2: Spice and Serve
- When you’ve thickened the sauce, remove the pot from heat and whisk in the remaining ingredients.2 tablespoons nutritional yeast, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard, ¼ teaspoon salt, ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder, ⅛ teaspoon onion powder, ¹⁄₁₆ teaspoon ground turmeric, pinch black pepper, pinch cayenne pepper
- Serve hot. Due to the sauce’s high fat content, it separates as it sits. Just whisk thoroughly and its consistency will improve!
- Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container; when ready to reheat, whisk in a pot over medium heat.
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About Nicole Stevens
Nicole is a vegan Registered Dietitian (RD) and founder of Lettuce Veg Out.
She helps people thrive on a vegan diet with balanced recipes and easy-to-understand nutrition science.