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13 BEST Béarnaise Sauce Substitutes +1 To Avoid

I’ve personally taste-tested a variety of béarnaise sauce substitutes to find the best one for every cooking occasion.

Whether you’re on the hunt for the closest flavor match, in need of a last-minute pantry substitute, or seeking an alternative tailored to your specific dietary requirements, rest assured that I’ve got you covered.

The best substitutes for béarnaise sauce are using a ready-made bearnaise mix, or making a hollandaise sauce. If you don’t like to deal with raw eggs, try making a faux bearnaise with a blend of mayonnaise and cream. A tarragon cream sauce or tarragon-lemon aioli are also excellent options.

Ready? Let’s jump right in.

The Experiment

I seared a couple of steaks to try out different béarnaise sauce substitutes (my friends loved this experiment). 

Béarnaise sauce has a base of egg yolks and butter (similar to hollandaise, more on that below) and is flavored with a vinegar reduction infused with tarragon.

It’s rich and creamy, with a slightly sweet-tangy taste and subtle anise-like notes. 

I was looking for a substitute that was just as delicious and brought the same decadence to my steak.

Here are the substitutes I tested and my verdicts: 

SubstitutesSubstitute DirectionsVerdict
Fool-proof béarnaise sauceReplace in a 1:1 ratio10/10
Béarnaise sauce mixReplace in a 1:1 ratio10/10
Hollandaise sauceReplace in a 1:1 ratio10/10
Faux béarnaiseReplace in a 1:1 ratio9/10
Tarragon-lemon aioliReplace in a 1:1 ratio9/10
Tarragon cream sauceReplace in a 1:1 ratio8/10
Beurre blancReplace in a 1:1 ratio8/10
Avgolemono sauceReplace in a 1:1 ratio8/10

Common uses for béarnaise sauce and the best substitutes

Béarnaise is popularly served as an accompaniment for steak, but here are some other uses and the best substitutes for those situations:

  • As an accompaniment for other proteins and vegetables: Try using fool-proof béarnaise, béarnaise sauce mix, or hollandaise sauce. Avgolemono is also a great option if you want a slightly healthier alternative.
  • As a dipping sauce: Try using hollandaise or tarragon-lemon aioli. Faux béarnaise is an excellent option that you can make with pantry staples.
  • As a sandwich/burger condiment: Try using hollandaise, tarragon-lemon aioli, or faux béarnaise. 

Béarnaise sauce mix

Whether you’re short on time or not in the mood for a culinary challenge, ready-to-use béarnaise sauce mix has your back! 

Just whisk it with some milk and butter as per the packet instructions, and voila – you have a quick and easy sauce for your steak.

While it might lack some of the freshness of made-from-scratch Béarnaise, it’s a worthy stand-in, especially on busy weeknights.

And there’s no risk of it splitting or scrambling. Yay!

How to substitute: Replace traditional Béarnaise sauce in a 1:1 ratio with Béarnaise sauce mix.

Hollandaise sauce

Béarnaise is a variety of hollandaise, so it’s a no-brainer to have this mother sauce on the list! 

The flavors differ slightly with hollandaise having a more prominent tangy flavor, and none of the herbiness béarnaise has.

But you can always infuse the butter with herbs before making the hollandaise. 

If you’re feeling adventurous you can venture into the world of Hollandaise derivatives like Choron (with tomato), Foyot (with a meat glaze), Maltaise (with blood orange), or Mousseline (with whipped cream).

Psst… I wasn’t a massive fan of hollandaise over steak, but I LOVE it with vegetables.

How to substitute: Replace Béarnaise sauce in a 1:1 ratio with Hollandaise sauce.

Faux béarnaise

Faux Béarnaise is a nifty little trick when you want a creamy, luxurious Béarnaise sauce but lack the time or ingredients. 

Instead of the traditional emulsion of butter and egg yolks, this substitute uses a blend of mayo and cream as its base.

And to match that characteristic yellow hue of the real deal, I like adding a pinch of turmeric (or one of these turmeric substitutes).

Need more convincing? You don’t need any special equipment to make this sauce and it will last in the fridge for up to a week!

How to substitute: Replace Béarnaise sauce in a 1:1 ratio with this faux Béarnaise.

Tarragon-lemon aioli

If you’re watching your butter intake, the tarragon-lemon aioli is a splendid alternative to Béarnaise sauce. 

This Mediterranean sauce skips the butter and mixes eggs with olive oil instead.

It has a rich, creamy texture and the flavors are strikingly close to Béarnaise, thanks to the generous addition of fresh tarragon and a squeeze of lemon.

It does have a thicker consistency, but all you need is a splash of water to make it pourable.

And for an entirely plant-based option, this vegan aioli recipe works just as well.

How to substitute: Replace Béarnaise sauce in a 1:1 ratio with tarragon-lemon aioli.

Beurre blanc

Beurre blanc is another French classic that stands its ground as a Béarnaise substitute. 

Apparently beurre blanc was invented when a chef forgot to add eggs to their Béarnaise sauce (but I’m not sure how true this is!).

Made solely with butter, it has a creamy yet lighter consistency than Béarnaise.

But don’t be fooled – it’s just as decadent.

There’s no tarragon in the original recipe, but I just tossed in some tarragon as I was making the sauce and it was wonderful.

How to substitute: Replace Béarnaise sauce in a 1:1 ratio with Beurre blanc.

Tarragon cream sauce

Tarragon cream sauce is an excellent alternative to béarnaise sauce for those seeking a simpler, more forgiving method.

It’s budget friendly, and you should have most of the ingredients to hand.

Here are a few tips to make sure you get the best out of this sauce..

Use a good quality white wine you’d drink. And always go for fresh tarragon over dried tarragon. Dried tarragon will give the sauce a grainy texture.

How to substitute: Replace Béarnaise sauce in a 1:1 ratio with tarragon cream sauce.

Avgolemono sauce

Avgolemono is a Greek sauce that’s the perfect alternative to Béarnaise if you want something lighter. 

Instead of butter, the eggs are tempered with warm stock, making this a healthier option. 

It has a distinct tangy and savory flavor due to the broth and the lemon, but it doesn’t have the herby undertones of Béarnaise. 

Again, you can always add a pinch of tarragon if you miss that flavor.

It’s quite a thin sauce, but you can easily thicken it with cornstarch.

How to substitute: Replace Béarnaise sauce in a 1:1 ratio with Avgolemono sauce.

Fool-proof béarnaise sauce

Think a traditional Béarnaise is too hard to make?

RecipeTin Eats’ quick, easy, fool-proof Béarnaise sauce is a game-changer!

It takes two minutes!

All you need is a stick blender.

With the blender method, you can focus solely on slowly pouring the melted butter into the egg yolks. 

This eliminates the risk of the egg yolks seizing up or scrambling, a common pitfall even for the most experienced cooks.

And the results is indistinguishable from the classic hand whisked sauce.

How to substitute: Replace traditional Béarnaise sauce in a 1:1 ratio with this fool-proof blender version.

Other substitutes to consider

These alternatives are moving away from the flavors of béarnaise sauce, but they’re still a fabulous alternative for serving with steak, vegetables, chicken, or fish.

  • Dijon mustard sauce  – this has a similar creamy consistency to béarnaise sauce but with a hint of heat from the mustard. And just like with the other substitutes, you can add freshly chopped tarragon to bring a herbal flavor.
  • Butter sauce – this is a simpler alternative to béarnaise sauce, which only involves melting butter. Toss in a few crushed garlic cloves and a squeeze of lemon juice to add some flavor. Or if you want to replicate the flavor of béarnaise sauce, infuse the melted butter with fresh tarragon instead.
  • Red wine pan sauce this is an easy sauce made with meat drippings that have been deglazed with red wine. It has a fruity, acidic flavor, making it slightly tangier than béarnaise sauce. It’s best with red meat.
  • Steak sauce – this is a convenient substitute for béarnaise because it’s widely available in ready-to-use bottles. It has a deep brown color and boasts a savory-sweet flavor with peppery undertones.
  • Demi-glace – this is a rich and deeply savory meat sauce that’s been reduced with red wine. It’s AMAZING with steak.

Avoid using mayonnaise

I saw some other blogs suggesting plain mayonnaise as an alternative for bearnaise sauce. But I have to respectfully disagree!

Mayonnaise has a thicker consistency than béarnaise and lacks its complex flavor. I think it’s more sweet than tangy.

If you want to use mayonnaise, mix it with sour cream or something acidic like lemon juice to get some tartness in there!

13 Best Béarnaise Sauce Substitutes + 1 To Avoid

I tested loads of béarnaise sauce substitutes to find the best one. I also included an easy homemade version.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Ingredient
Cuisine: French
Keyword: bernaise sauce substitutes, substitutes for bearnaise
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 12 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 88kcal


Infused vinegar

  • tbsp dry white wine
  • tbsp white wine vinegar
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 1 small eschallot, peeled and chopped finely
  • 2 sprigs of tarragon

Bearnaise sauce

  • 3 room temperature egg yolks
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • ½ tbsp tarragon leaves, finely chopped
  • ½ tbsp chevril, finely chopped


  • Combine ingredients for infused vinegar in a small sauce pan over medium low heat.
  • Cook for two minutes then remove from the stove. Leave it to rest for 5 minutes.
  • Strain the vinegar to remove the whole herbs and spices. Set aside.
  • Place the butter in a jug and microwave until melted. Leave it to rest for 30 seconds to let the whites settle at the bottom. Only use the clarified butter and discard the milky whites.
  • Combine the egg yolks, infused vinegar, and salt in a glass with your hand blender. While it's blending, slowly drizzle your warm clarified butter.
  • Once all the butter has been poured in, continue blending for about 10 more seconds. Add water then blend once you reach a thick consistency.
  • Add the fresh herbs and serve immediately.


other options: bearnaise sauce mix, hollandaise, faux bearnaise, tarragon-lemon aioli, beurre blanc, avgolemono sauce, dijon mustard, tarragon sauce, butter sauce red wine pan sauce, steak sauce, demi-glace


Serving: 1tbsp | Calories: 88kcal

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