* If you click a link on this page and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Learn more.

How To Reheat Hollandaise Sauce – I Try 5 Methods [Pics]

Hollandaise sauce can be notoriously tricky to make (and reheat). One wrong move and the sauce can split. Not ideal!

If you have some leftover hollandaise sauce, you may be wondering if (and how) you can heat it up and bring it back to its original creamy, silky glory.

In this article, I cover:

In a rush? Here’s the short answer.

What’s the best way to reheat hollandaise sauce? The best way to reheat hollandaise sauce is in the microwave. Set the microwave power to 20% and heat the sauce in 10-second increments, stirring vigorously after each cycle. Repeat this process until the hollandaise sauce has reheated sufficiently. For best results, serve the sauce immediately.

A note on my experiment

Many sources online suggest not even attempting to reheat hollandaise sauce. They claim that it won’t be the same or is too likely to break.

But that didn’t fly with me.

There was no way I was throwing out perfectly good (and delicious) hollandaise sauce. There had to be a way…

I decided to do an experiment and find out the best way of reheating hollandaise sauce.

I made a batch of hollandaise sauce in the evening and left it in the fridge overnight.

The following day, I tested several different methods of reheating it:

  • In the microwave (my favorite method)
  • In a double boiler
  • On the stove
  • Warming it in a water bath
  • Slowly pouring in hot water (avoid this method)

Surprisingly, the microwave was my favorite method. It was the quickest, made the least mess, and the sauce was warm enough with no sign of splitting.

The double boiler and the warm water bath also worked well, but you have to be careful with the temperatures. 

The stove heated the sauce well, but it’s riskier because you’re using direct heat.

Pouring in hot water didn’t work well.

Tips for reheating hollandaise sauce

The most important thing to remember when you’re reheating hollandaise sauce is that your aim is to get the hollandaise sauce lukewarm, not hot

The hotter the sauce gets, the more likely it is to split.

The sauce will continue to heat when you pour it over the hot components in your dish. 

And here’s a tip for next time.

If you know you’re going to reheat the sauce before you make it, add a small amount of mustard to the mix along with the eggs. The mustard will stabilize the sauce and mean it’s less likely to split.

Reheating hollandaise sauce in the microwave

To reheat hollandaise sauce in the microwave, set the power level to 20% and heat the hollandaise sauce for 10 seconds. Take the sauce out and stir it vigorously. Repeat this cycle until the sauce is warm. If you don’t have low power on your microwave, reduce the heating time to 5-second intervals.

Microwaves are temperamental machines, and if you’re careless, the sauce will split.

But if you go slowly and remember to stir the sauce, it works well.

How to reheat hollandaise sauce in the microwave:

  1. Put the hollandaise sauce in a microwave-safe bowl.
  2. Set your microwave to low power (20%). 
  3. Heat the hollandaise sauce for 10 seconds.
  4. Check on the sauce and stir it vigorously for a few seconds.
  5. Repeat the heating-stirring cycle until the hollandaise sauce is just warm, don’t heat it until it’s hot.

The cycle of heating and stirring might sound tedious, but it’s necessary. A few seconds too long in the microwave will be enough to split the sauce. 

The stirring keeps the sauce emulsified. 

Ideally, you would use a whisk to do the stirring, but a spoon will do as long as you give it a lot of elbow grease.

If you don’t have the option to pick a low power setting on your microwave, then go in even smaller 5 second time increments. I tested this with my sauce and it worked perfectly.

Verdict

I was wary of the microwave because it can be unpredictable, but it performed surprisingly well in my tests. So much so that the microwave would be my go-to method.

The sauce warmed quickly, and there were no signs of the sauce weakening or starting to split. It was also the fastest method and made the least mess.

Don’t be tempted to speed up the process by increasing the heating intervals – it won’t end well!

Reheating hollandaise sauce in a double boiler

Set your double boiler up and put the hollandaise sauce in the upper section. Heat the water on ultra-low heat and stir the sauce constantly until it’s up to temperature. Take the sauce off the heat if it starts getting too warm or the water starts getting too hot.

If you don’t have a double boiler, it’s easy to set up a makeshift one using a saucepan and a bowl.

How to reheat hollandaise sauce in a double boiler:

  1. Set up your double boiler. Or put some water in a pan, and rest a bowl on top of the pan. There should be a decent gap between the bottom of the bowl and the water.
  2. Put the hollandaise sauce in the bowl.
  3. Start heating the water on a very low heat.
  4. Whisk the sauce constantly and vigorously while it’s heating. 
  5. Once the bowl is warmed and the sauce has softened, take the sauce off the heat and continue stirring until it’s up to temperature. 

A double boiler is a gentle heating method because it uses second-hand heat.

The hot water warms the bowl, which in turn warms the sauce.

The most important thing here is to keep the water temperature low. You don’t want the water simmering, and you definitely don’t want it boiling. 

It just needs to be hot enough to warm your bowl. 

If you notice the sauce starting to split, take it off the heat and whisk in a few drops of warm water. The water should bring the sauce back together.

Verdict

Lots of people recommend this method for reheating hollandaise sauce, and I can see why.

It’s easy to control the temperature of the sauce and warm it slowly.

Full disclosure: this was the first method I tried, and I actually split the sauce on my first attempt (although I managed to rescue it – you can see how later). This taught me a valuable lesson about going very slowly.

My second attempt was much more successful and I had warm, smooth hollandaise sauce.

Reheating hollandaise sauce on the stove

To reheat hollandaise sauce on the stove, put the sauce in a heavy-bottomed pan and heat it on a very low heat. Stir the sauce constantly while it’s heating, and remove it from the heat as soon as it’s warm. A few drops of hot water will stabilize the sauce if it starts to split.

The stove is one of the more dangerous ways to heat hollandaise sauce because you’re using direct heat.

But as long as you keep the heat levels low, the sauce will be fine.

How to reheat hollandaise sauce on the stove:

  1. Set your stove to the lowest heat setting possible.
  2. Put the hollandaise sauce in a heavy-bottom pan and start heating it on the stove.
  3. Stir continuously as the sauce heats.
  4. Once the sauce has softened a bit, add a few drops of warm water or melted butter and stir vigorously (optional).
  5. Heat the sauce until it’s lukewarm and serve immediately.

Don’t be afraid to take the pan off the heat regularly to stop it from getting too hot. I took my pan off the heat every 30 seconds or so.

The hot water or melted butter helps to stabilize the sauce and can save it from splitting. 

It’s not necessary, but I would definitely have some hot water on hand to add it if the sauce shows signs of starting to split.

The pan you use here will make all the difference. 

A thin pan will heat too quickly and unevenly. Find the thickest bottom pan you have.

Size matters too. You want the pan to be appropriately sized for the amount of sauce you have. 

The hollandaise should cover the pan in a thin-ish layer.

If the pan’s too big the sauce will spread out too much and it will be hard to stir effectively. If the pan’s too small, the sauce won’t heat evenly.

Verdict

I’ll hold my hands up here and say I made a bad pan choice – it was too big for the volume of sauce I had. 

But I muddled through keeping the sauce to one section of the pan and it reheated well. It didn’t split and was a good temperature.

It was relatively fast too.

However, remember that every stove/pan is different and results will vary.

Reheating hollandaise in a warm water bath

To reheat hollandaise sauce in a water bath, transfer the sauce to a freezer bag and soften it with your hands. Fill a bowl with warm water and put the freezer bag in the bowl. Leave the sauce to heat for 3-4 minutes in the water, then cut the corner of the freezer bag off and squeeze the sauce out.

This is a pretty hands-off heating method because it doesn’t involve constant stirring. It works best for small portions of sauce.

How to reheat hollandaise sauce in a warm water bath:

  1. Put your hollandaise sauce in a freezer bag and gently soften it with your hands.
  2. Fill a bowl up with warm water. You want the water to be slightly above the temperature you’re aiming for with your sauce.
  3. Put the freezer bag in the bowl of warm water and leave the hollandaise sauce to heat for 3-4 minutes.
  4. Mix the sauce around in the bag every 30 seconds but squeezing the bag with your hands (be careful not to burst the bag).
  5. When the sauce is warm, cut the corner of the freezer bag and squeeze the sauce out to serve.

Don’t use boiling or even near-boiling water in your water bath. You want to be comfortably able to put your finger in the water. 

You can always add more hot water if the sauce isn’t heating up, but it will be hard to rescue the sauce if it splits.

This method won’t work well for large volumes of sauce because it would take too long to heat through.

Verdict

I was a bit worried about the lack of stirring in this method, but my worrying was unnecessary.

The sauce didn’t split and came out smooth and creamy. 

The sauce was warm enough but was on the cooler end of the spectrum. Although I probably could have got away with slightly warmer water.

One downside was that it was hard to tell when the sauce was warm enough. You could open the bag and stick your finger in, but that’s not ideal.

Reheating hollandaise sauce by whisking in warm water

I tested this method because it was mentioned a few times on forums, but it wasn’t successful. 

The idea was to slowly drizzle hot water into your hollandaise sauce while stirring it. The hot water would supposedly be enough to heat the sauce.

But my sauce didn’t heat up well and got really thin really quickly. It also tasted watery.

Verdict

Avoid this method!

How to keep hollandaise sauce warm

Hollandaise sauce is always best prepared just before serving.

It doesn’t take long to make if you use the blender method, but sometimes you want to take the stress out of preparation and have as much done in advance as possible.

So how can you keep hollandaise sauce warm, and how long?

The best way to keep hollandaise sauce warm is to use the thermos trick. Fill a thermos with boiling water to preheat it, then pour the water out. As soon as you’ve emptied the thermos, pour the hollandaise sauce in. The preheated thermos will keep your hollandaise sauce warm for up to an hour.

Other ways to keep hollandaise sauce warm include:

  • Keeping the hollandaise sauce in a container in a warm water bath, changing the water if it starts to cool.
  • Keeping the hollandaise sauce in a bowl above a saucepan of hot water. 
  • Keeping the hollandaise sauce in the oven on the ‘warm’ setting, or 200°F (90°C).
  • Keeping the hollandaise sauce in a pan on the stove with it set to ‘warm’.

None of these things will directly heat the hollandaise sauce. They just aim to keep it at a warm temperature. 

If you use too high of a temperature when you’re holding the hollandaise sauce, it will split, or the egg yolks will scramble.

If your sauce does split while you’re warming it, don’t panic. You can try and save it by re-emulsifying it. I go through how to do that below. 

You can keep hollandaise sauce warm for up to an hour before you need to discard it. After an hour, the sauce will enter the danger zone for bacteria.

How to store hollandaise sauce

To store hollandaise sauce, put it in an airtight container and keep it in the fridge. Make sure you put the sauce in the fridge within 2 hours of making it, or you risk it harboring harmful bacteria. Hollandaise sauce will last for up to 2 days in the fridge.

If you live in a warmer climate, the two-hour rule reduces to one hour. 

I always aim to store any leftover sauce as soon as possible.

The sauce will solidify in the fridge, but will soften again when you reheat it.

Can you freeze hollandaise sauce?

You can freeze hollandaise sauce, but it does become more prone to splitting. To freeze hollandaise sauce, pour it into an ice cube tray and freeze it for 2-3 hours. Remove the frozen cubes and transfer them to a freezer bag. The hollandaise sauce cubes will last a month in the freezer.

The idea behind using the ice-cube tray is that it allows you to take out and thaw portion-sized servings of the sauce rather than having to thaw it all in one go. 

If the sauce cubes are refusing to come out of the ice-cube tray, run some cold water over the bottom of the tray, taking care not to wet the cubes.

The sauce will be very delicate after freezing, so you need to be extra careful thawing and reheating it. 

The best way to thaw hollandaise sauce is to leave it in the fridge overnight.

But, if you’ve left it too late for overnight, put the frozen hollandaise sauce in a freezer bag and submerge it in lukewarm water. The water will soften the sauce, and then you can further soften it with your hands.

Once it’s thawed, reheat it using one of the methods above.

How to fix a broken hollandaise sauce

There’s always a chance your hollandaise sauce will break while you’re reheating it. 

But don’t worry – not all is lost.

You can fix it.

There are two ways to re-emulsify a broken hollandaise sauce.

The hot water method

The first one is to drizzle in a small amount of hot water (not boiling) and whisk like your life depends on it. 

Add the water slowly, a drop at a time. A teaspoon per portion of sauce should be enough.

You really need a whisk here and not a spoon. A blender is even better if you have one on hand.

Whisk the sauce constantly for a couple of minutes, and it should start to come back together.

The egg yolk method

The second way is to slowly whisk your split sauce into a new egg yolk.

Drizzle the sauce into the egg yolk as you whisk. Again, a blender is better here if you have one. If not, be prepared to put some elbow grease into the task!

If neither of these methods work after a good amount of whisking, then sadly the sauce is a lost cause.

Can you eat hollandaise sauce cold?

Yes, you can eat hollandaise sauce cold. It will have a thicker texture, sort of like a dense mousse that’s perfect for dipping or spreading. I like using cold hollandaise as a dip for raw veg or replacing butter in sandwiches. Aim to use the sauce within two days of making it.

The BEST Way To Reheat Hollandaise Sauce

Hollandaise sauce can be notoriously tricky to make (and reheat). One wrong move and the sauce can split. Not ideal!
If you have some leftover hollandaise sauce, you may be wondering if (and how) you can heat it up and bring it back to its original creamy, silky glory.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 1 min
Cook Time 1 min
Total Time 2 mins
Course Sauce
Cuisine French
Servings 1 person
Calories 417 kcal

Ingredients
 

  • 1 portion hollandaise sauce
  • 1 tsp hot water optional

Instructions
 

  • Put the hollandaise sauce in a microwave-safe bowl.
  • Set your microwave to low power (20%).
  • Heat the hollandaise sauce for 10 seconds.
  • Check on the sauce and stir it vigorously for a few seconds.
  • Repeat the heating-stirring cycle until the hollandaise sauce is just warm, don’t heat it until it’s hot.
  • The cycle of heating and stirring might sound tedious, but it’s necessary. A few seconds too long in the microwave will be enough to split the sauce.
    The stirring keeps the sauce emulsified.
    Ideally, you would use a whisk to do the stirring, but a spoon will do as long as you give it a lot of elbow grease.

Notes

If you don’t have the option to pick a low power setting on your microwave, then go in even smaller 5 second time increments. I tested this with my sauce and it worked well.

Nutrition

Serving: 100gCalories: 417kcal
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating




Related Posts