French Béarnaise Sauce Recipe

Bring home the fancy, with this easy homemade béarnaise sauce recipe to top any dish, like beef prime rib, lamb, or fish. With drinks, accompaniments, and more.
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This Recipe includes

Main ingredients:

egg Eggs
butter Butter
shallots Small grey eschalot (shallot) onions
white wine Dry white wine*
lemon Lemon juice (*for version without alcohol)

Spices, herbs and flavoring ingredients:

vinegar White wine vinegar
tarragon Tarragon
parsley (Optional) Parsley leaves
cayenne pepper (Optional) Pinch of espelette or cayenne pepper
salt and pepper Salt and pepper

Why we love it

When people think of French food, a few things that instantly come to mind are: cheese, bread, wine, and French sauces. Succulent and rich, the sauces are what makes a good meal a great one.

One of the most popular sauces in France is the Béarnaise sauce. It’s a creamy emulsion of shallots, tarragon, and white wine vinegar transformed into a buttery sauce. As an accompaniment, it is thick and rich making it a perfect drizzle for steak, vegetables, or eggs.

You could buy it in a store, but if you would like to avoid artificial ingredients, I recommend trying to make it at home. It certainly is easy enough!

It is believed to have been created in 1837 by Head Chef Jean-Louis-François Collinet, at the Restaurant Pavillon Henri IV in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, a suburb of Paris.   The restaurant is in the former residence of French King Henry IV, who was from the ancient sovereign principality of Béarn (Navarre) near the Spanish border, hence the name of the sauce in tribute.

The Béarnaise itself was served as the perfect accompaniment to grilled cuts of meat. But can also be used as a sauce for cooked asparagus or poached eggs, making it a versatile condiment to have on hand.

And the classic French béarnaise sauce recipe is not difficult, and only takes around 20 minutes are so. So let’s get to it shall we? Allons-y!

Cooking without alcohol

The traditional French béarnaise involves a few tablespoons of white wine, which theoretically gets cooked off on the stove, as it blends with the eggs. However, if you are preparing the béarnaise for children or people who don’t drink alcohol, you way want to substitute it with the same amount of lemon juice.

Difference between the Béarnaise and the Hollandaise Sauces

The hollandaise is one of the 5 French mother sauces, and the Béarnaise sauce is a derivative of the hollandaise. To compare,

  • Béaranaise: sauce made from egg yolk, butter, white wine vinegar, and herbs.
  • Hollandaise: sauce made from egg yolks, melted butter, and lemon juice.

Both the béarnaise and hollandaise sauces go with a variety of dishes including meat and fish, with the Béarnaise having a stronger and tangier flavor due to the shallots, herbs and vinegar. The Hollandaise, on the other hand, is more discreet and creamier in taste, using a reduction of lemon juice.

There are other similar sauces as well, that are all variations of the hollandaise and béarnaise sauces:

  • Tartare: sauce made from egg yolk, chopped pickles, capers and herbs such as tarragon and dill.
  • Aioli: sauce made from garlic, egg yolks, olive oil, lemon juice, and mustard.
  • Rouille: spicy sauce for a bouillabaisse. Made with egg yolks, olive oil, mustard, garlic, saffron, and cayenne pepper.

What to serve sauce béarnaise on?

The béarnaise sauce taste delicious with nice piece of red meat like lamb roast or prime rib that has been cooked on a stove, in the oven, or charbroiled. It also goes as well with other options like grilled fish and poached eggs and as a sauce with:


What drinks to serve with it?

If you are serving prime rib with béarnaise sauce, pair it with a dry red wine such as a Saint-Emilion or a Paulliac from Bordeaux. You can read more about French wines here.


How to store it?

Since it contains egg yolks, béarnaise sauce cannot be frozen as it will develop bacteria. (Some websites will tell you it is possible, but there is a long list of requirements in order to stop it from spoiling and to avoid getting sick. I prefer not to take the chance.)

Fresh is what will taste best, but you can however prepare it a day or so in advance and keep it in the fridge.

bearnaise sauce

Béarnaise Sauce Recipe

Nassie Angadi
An easy béarnaise sauce that you will love.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Side dishes
Cuisine French
Servings 4
Calories 421 kcal


  • 3 egg yolks
  • 200 g Butter
  • 2 small grey eschalot shallot onions
  • 4 tablespoons of dry white wine *
  • 3 tablespoons of white wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons of fresh tarragon finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of freshly grated pepper
  • Pinch of salt
  • Optional Fine herbs eg. chervil or parsley
  • Optional Pinch of espelette or cayenne pepper


  • Peel and chop the shallots into fine pieces.
  • Wash and remove the leaves from the herbs. Chop the tarragon and chop the chervil.
  • Combine the the minced shallots and herbs in the vinegar and white wine in a small heavy-bottom saucepan.
  • Cook at a low temperature, until the liquid is reduced (around 7-10 minutes).
  • Melt the butter until it is runny in the microwave.
  • Remove from the saucepan from the heat and wait a few minutes.
  • Add the 2 yolks and whisk.
  • Return to low heat and mix constantly to air into the béarnaise. Be careful and keep at low temperature so that the egg yolks don't cook.
  • Add the melted butter and whisk vigorously.
  • Season to your liking with salt, pepper, and any herbs.
  • Serve immediately while warm.


* If you are preparing the béarnaise for children or people who don’t drink alcohol, you way want to substitute wine with the same amount of lemon juice.


Serving: 1gCalories: 421kcalCarbohydrates: 3gProtein: 3gFat: 44gSaturated Fat: 27gPolyunsaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 2gCholesterol: 246mgSodium: 364mgFiber: 1g
Keyword béarnaise sauce recipe
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If you enjoyed that, check out our other classic French recipes that are easy to prepare. Bon appétit and à bientôt !

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