Greek Yogurt Hollandaise
If you love hollandaise sauce but avoid it because it is “so bad for you” then this Greek Yogurt Hollandaise is about to change your life! Serve it for Easter, Mother’s Day or any special occasion. At only 60 calories per serving, you can even have it for a not-so-special occasion. I’ll show you how to do it. It’s not as scary as you may think.
Table of contents
Why We Love Greek Yogurt Hollandaise Sauce
The first time I tried making hollandaise sauce with Greek yogurt was last year when I developed a similar recipe for a client. One taste of the creamy lemony sauce and I picked up the phone to call my sister to tell her about it. Folks, I developed thousands of recipes over the last sixteen years as a recipe developer, and this was the first time I had been moved to do that. I called her because as a kid my mom served hollandaise sauce with steamed artichokes, and it was my sisters favorite meal ever. She even requested it for her birthday.
Neither my sister nor I indulge in it regularly though, because hollandaise sauce is basically just egg yolks and butter (with a little lemon juice) and it’s not exactly considered health food. Hollandaise is more of an occasional special treat.
My mom always made her hollandaise in the blender with a bubbling hot stick of melted butter. Later I learned how to make it in a double boiler when I was on the line at Isabels on the Waterfront. I perfected it when I was at culinary school. I think understanding the science behind it really helps to get good results. I made some mistakes and I have lots to share with you today.
I sat down with a pencil and actually figured out the calorie savings you get by swapping Greek Yogurt in for butter in this hollandaise, and I was shocked. For the whole batch you save 729 calories, which works out to be a savings of 91 calories per 2 tablespoon serving! Amazing! Now maybe it can go from being an occasional treat, to a go-to way to jazz up veggies.
I was reminded that I needed to share this technique with you when a reader recently asked about swapping in Greek Yogurt in a recipe. As you know, I am all about that, but it isn’t always a fool proof venture. In the case of this hollandaise sauce, you’ll need to keep a couple things in mind to ensure the most creamy results.
How to make Greek Yogurt Hollandaise
Set Up A Double Boiler
A double boiler is a two part pot that holds boiling water in the lower chamber and you can place your food in the upper chamber. They’re often used to melt chocolate or cook egg sauces (like lemon curd or 7-minute frosting) because cooking over the steam prevents the delicate egg or chocolate from getting too hot. I don’t own a double boiler, and pretty much every single restaurant that I have cooked in didn’t either, so what I do is I bring an inch of water to a boil in a large saucepan. Then I use a medium metal bowl on top to improvise the double boiler. When choosing your bowl, make sure to pick one that isn’t huge. If the edges overhang the pot, it’ll get too hot, and the egg will cook along the edges. But you do want to have a little lip sticking up to be able to pick the bowl off the saucepan with a pot-holder to allow the steam to escape periodically.
Use Egg Yolks
Egg yolks have lecithin in them which is an emulsifier. This is responsible for creating the emulsion of the fat (butter) and the liquid (lemon juice.) One yolk will hold a shocking amount of fat if the fat is slowly incorporated into the yolk. For hollandaise sauce, the yolk and liquid are cooked until they are thick. You do not need the white, because it doesn’t have any magical emulsifying powers and the proteins in whites denature at a lower temperature, so your hollandaise would end up lumpy.
Melt Butter Before You Start Cooking The Yolks
Before you start cooking your yolk, make sure the butter is melted. I always use unsalted butter because then I can control how much salt is added at the end. Note: You want the butter ready to go because the egg cooks fast, and you won’t be able to walk away from it.
Cooking The Egg Yolks and Lemon in the Double Boiler
Whisk your egg yolks and lemon in the bowl before setting it on the steam. Don’t put the bowl on the steam first or it will get too hot, and cook the egg when the egg hits the hot bowl. I learned this the hard way back in my Brunch Spice days when I used to make mega batches of hollandaise. Ooopsie!
Set the bowl over the simmering water. You don’t want the water to be at a rolling boil. Simply steaming isn’t enough either. Simmering is perfect. Small bubbles.
The chef at Isabel’s taught me the steam escape trick- and I swear it helps. Every minute or so, lift the bowl up off the simmering water. This allows some of the trapped steam to escape so the bowl doesn’t get too hot too fast. This makes it easier to control how quickly the yolks cook. It’s better to err on the side of cooking hollandaise too slowly than try to do it too quickly.
Whisk constantly. I love my French whisk, seen above. It is narrow, and the spokes are tight together (is that what they’re called? Tines?? I dunno, anywhoo you know what I mean) and they’re not too flexible, so I can really scrape the edges well as I go. Again, this helps to prevent the hollandaise from becoming curdled where small swaths of yolk hit the hot bowl along the top edge. *Whisk whisk scrape whisk whisk scrape scrape.*
How To Tell When The Yolks Are Done
You’ll possibly notice that the mixture foams up as you cook at first. But keep whisking and it will become a little thick all of a sudden. Every time I have made this, it surprises me how quickly it happens. With my set-up, it is within 3 minutes if the water is simmering, and I allow the steam to escape. If you have a very large bowl, it may be even faster! Immediately pull the bowl off the top of the double boiler or you will have scrambled eggs.
Whisk in Melted Butter
As soon as you get it off the heat, whisk in the melted butter. You’ll have to drizzle it with one hand and whisk with the other, so if you put a wet towel under your bowl it won’t spin. Once the butter is in, take a breath. The hard part is over. Phew.
Whisk in Greek Yogurt
Then whisk in your Greek yogurt. You want to do this before the hollandaise starts to set. So don’t take too long of a breath. Remember there comparably not much added fat or liquid in it a this point, so it will start to form a little bit of a skin on it, I add it in a little at a time, but it’s not going to break at this point. I like low-fat plain Greek for this recipe best (note: the above calorie savings are based on low-fat) but if you prefer full-fat Greek yogurt or non-fat they work too. Note: The Greek yogurt does cool the hollandaise sauce down a bit, but if you pour it over hot vegetables or poached eggs, usually the temp will be just right.
Season with Lemon Zest
I add in zest of the lemon because I am a lemon freak and more lemon is always a good idea. You can totally omit that if you want. Plus add in salt, white pepper and Tabasco- this is the way I’ve always seasoned my hollandaise, and I just love the way it tastes. You can add chopped tarragon too to make it into bearnaise.
How To Keep Warm
To keep it warm, you can put boiling water into an air pot/ carafe. Empty that out then put the fresh hollandaise in it. Or you can put the bowl back over gently steaming water, with the heat off. Press a layer of plastic wrap onto the surface to prevent it from forming a skin.
This is high in protein, so you can’t leave it for too long. No longer than 4 hours in the temperature danger zone please and thank you.
Serving Suggestions For Hollandaise
Everyone knows that hollandaise is classic with eggs benedict but it is also excellent on steamed or roasted veggies and drizzled over pan-fried fish and steak.
Try it on steamed potatoes or grilled asparagus.
We love it with seafood like Crab Cakes or Salmon Cakes.
Thanks so much for reading! If you are new here, you may want to sign up for my email newsletter to get a free weekly menu plan and the latest recipes right to your inbox. If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review. I would love to hear what you thought!
Happy Cooking! ~KatiePrint
Greek Yogurt Hollandaise
- Total Time: 10 minutes
- Yield: 8 1x
Swap low-fat plain Greek yogurt in for butter in home-made hollandaise and save 729 calories per batch. Here is how to make it step by step.
- 1 lemon, juice plus 1 teaspoon zest separated
- 4 egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
- 10 dashes Tabasco hot sauce, or to taste
- ¾ teaspoon salt, or to taste
- pinch ground white pepper, or to taste
- Bring one inch water to a simmer in the bottom of a double boiler or large saucepan.
- Whisk lemon juice and egg yolks in the top of the double boiler or metal bowl. Adjust heat under the double boiler so the water is at a gentle simmer. Set bowl over the simmering water in the double boiler or saucepan and whisk. Lift bowl occasionally to allow the trapped steam to escape so the bowl doesn’t get too hot. Cook, whisking constantly until the egg mixture is steaming hot and thickened, but not curdling along the edge, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Remove the egg mixture from the heat and whisk in melted butter. Whisk in yogurt, a little at a time until smooth. Whisk in Tabasco, salt, pepper and lemon zest. Keep warm until ready to serve. Do not keep warm for longer than 4 hours.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 minutes
- Category: sauce
- Method: stove top
- Cuisine: French
- Serving Size: 2 tablespoons
- Calories: 60
- Fat: 5 g
- Carbohydrates: 1 g
- Fiber: 0
- Protein: 3 g
- Cholesterol: 100 mg
Keywords: hollandaise,Greek Yogurt hollandaise,healthy hollandaise,how to make hollandaise
I love hollandaise and have made it many times using many different methods. I’m trying to keep calories down and I am so happy I (reluctantly) searched for a healthy version. I didn’t use a double boiler and had no issues. The texture of this sauce is great. I do get some of the Greek yogurt flavor, but seasoning helps to cut through that and it’s a small price to pay for a still-delicious alternative. Thanks so much!
Hi Stephanie, I am so glad to know that it worked without the double boiler. Thats a good tip! And thank you for your compliments on the way it came out. I am so happy to hear it! Let me know what you try next.
I’m super picky about hollandaise and I have to say this recipe is just AMAZING! I honestly feel like I’ve won the diet lottery. I immediately called my sister to share. This makes eating a plate full of steamed veggies a treat. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
I love this Wendy! I am picky about it too. And my Caesar dressing as well. It’s all about the balance of sour and salt, IMO. My reaction to making this was to call my sister too, so funn! I did since she is a big fan of hollandaise. I am so glad you liked it and found my site! Let me know what else you try from the recipe collection.
I was searching for a lighter version of Hollandaise sauce for a breakfast dish using some leftover salmon. This sauce was perfect! I made a salmon benedict on some cauliflower pancakes. My husband and I loved it and I will be using the sauce again tonight with some asparagus! Thank you!
Thanks so much for the comment and rating Elizabeth! That meal sounds delicious, and I’m so glad it paired nicely!
I have been looking for a healthy hollandaise sauce for years. The cooking process of this was amazing as it changed the consistency entirely. I omitted the butter and added some Dijon mustard. My hollandaise was very creamy.
So glad to hear it worked well for you! Thanks Jenna!
This came out great! People that didn’t like it, IMHO, did not take into consideration that it is made with Greek yogurt and not 100% butter.
Thanks Lee! Agreed! Happy cooking.
This was the worst thing I have ever tasted. It was like liquid pennies. My husband ran outside and threw up!!
Megan, I am sorry to hear you and your husband were not happy with this recipe. I am not sure what happened as I was not there when you made it, nor has that ever happened to me when I make this recipe. I have a question: what type of bowl and whisk did you use? Were they made from aluminum or stainless steel? If it was aluminum or another reactive metal, such as copper, it is likely the lemon reacted with the metal and caused the off flavor. If that was not the case, I would definitely check in with your doctor, as metallic tastes in the mouth can be a sign of medical conditions.
I had another thought this morning, did you use bottled lemon juice?
Megan, get it together. Taste as you go, girl, and just don’t serve things that taste like pennies. Also, what is the taste exactly of pennies?
This recipe was very good! The only thing I did differently was to add a little Dijon mustard at the end.
I am glad you liked it Laura. Thanks!
I am so excited to try this I love hollandaise, I just have a Question.
how well dose it store in the fridge and how long? can I heat it up the same way if it was cold from the fridge of will if sperate?
You can store leftovers in the fridge for a day or two. Heating it up is tricky because you’ll loose some of the texture. I don’t think that it would separate, it will just thin out.
Is there any way this recipe would work with a glass bowl? The only metal bowl I have is huge. thanks for the well-written recipe and explanations!
I’ve never tried it but I googled it and as long as it is a heat proof glass (like pyrex) then it should be safe.
Ever try to make this in a Thermomix?
No I don’t have one of those. Sorry!
So happy I found this recipe! Thank you so much for developing it 🙂 Mine came out a bit runny, even after I added the super thick yogurt. I’m not sure what I can do next time to help thicken it…should I add another yolk? Cook the yolk longer?
Also the yogurt I use is pretty tangy, so next time I’ll reduce the lemon 😉
So good, we will certainly make more eggs Benedict now!
Thank you! Unfortunately it’s the butter binding with the yolks that thickens hollandaise so there is a limit to how thick this will get.
I really enjoyed your directions. It is well explained! You know how sometimes you read the directions to a recipe and you have no idea how to make it? Not with yours!!! . Thank you!! I am going to make this tonight. Poached Salmon with the hollandaise, steamed broccoli and roasted parsnips!
Awful. Just awful!!! I cannot imagine what could possibly make this better. I’m a very skilled cook as my mother is to cook professionally and learned from her and my boyfriend used to own a restaurant. When I showed him this recipe, he was in total disbelief this could be good but having a strong affinity for my hollandaise (the powder mix from the store forbidden due to wheat flower) and salmon Benedict but watching my calories… I was optimistic to find another new loophole in the food system.
I cannot tell you but I planned my Sunday brunch yesterday after finding this recipe. Went to the store to buy all my ingredients and went to work today on it all excited. I did everything to the recipe, used stainless double boiler, made sure the eggs were cooked first.
I even added back onto the double boiler once everything whisked in where it DID thicken substantially.
Suffice to say ruined my bfast. My appetite was ruined even before eating just by the smell. Sadly it went into the garbage.
I’m sorry to hear that. I wonder what happened and why it smelled bad. That is very strange indeed and I am sure disappointing.
I am not sure exactly what happened to your batch. What brand of Greek Yogurt did you use? When you whisked it before adding the butter, did it thicken up? Or was it foamy?
Please let me know as I would love to get to the bottom of this.
Maybe next time you should test it out before having it ruin a potentially great breakfast. Everyone has different tastes. Just a tip from a novice 🙂
Thanks Sara. Have a great rest of your week.
Made it. It was great! No tobacco for me though, and I used a bit less Greek yogurt. Very tasty, thanks for posting!
So glad! Thanks!
This recipe and your tips were perfect. I appreciate that you used some butter, but primarily yogurt. It was just the right balance, and the sauce was rich, creamy, & delicious. I think the recipe as it stands is wonderful, but I had a hankering for a saffron sauce (recalling a divine salmon benedict of long ago) so I added saffron to the butter and combined everything with an immersion blender to break the strands. My family won’t take so much sour, so I did omit the lemon zest and added a little monk fruit sweetener to make it less tart. I returned the bowl to the off-heat boiler water, and it thickened further while warming and stayed fresh with an occasional stir while I made the rest of the breakfast. The sauce was perfect for us on English muffins with sautéed spinach, ham, and a lovely poached egg. Thanks so much for this wonderful recipe! I will certainly make it again.
Awesome!! Thanks so much for letting me know you liked it.
HI there! I was so excited to make this recipe for a healthier Easter Benedict. I don’t know if I didn’t cook the egg and lemon long enough, but it has a weird tangy/not totally cooked taste to it that is weirding me out. I added more pepper and Frank’s hot sauce to try to cover some of it but it isn’t working. I may have to add some more butter to make it less tangy. Wondering if anyone else has had this issue and what they’ve done to try to recover the sauce? I don’t want to waste it 🙁
Hi Montana. What kind of bowl did you use? Was it copper by any chance? Was it glass? I use stainless steel to make this. Second question: What was the texture like? Was it pretty stiff before you added the Greek Yogurt? I am thinking it is possible that it didn’t get cooked enough. I shot a video with my phone of this process the last time I made it. I can edit it and put it up here if you think that would help.