This easy vegan hollandaise sauce is beautifully lemony, silky, & indulgent.
It’s made with raw cashews, lemon juice, carrots for color, and tangy Dijon mustard. A pinch of kala namak (black salt) is added to impart the eggy flavor that usually comes from yolks.
Ladle it over roasted asparagus, potatoes, or vegan eggs benedict. Dairy free, egg free, oil free, and gluten free.
Brunch never fails to impress when hollandaise sauce is involved.
Roasted asparagus or vegan eggs Benedict is endlessly more inviting when bathing in that rich, lemony sauce.
And while the standard hollandaise you’d find at most restaurants is the polar opposite of vegan, it’s easy to make hollandaise sauce without eggs or dairy at home.
What is hollandaise sauce?
Traditional hollandaise sauce is one of the five mother sauces in French cuisine.
It’s a creamy yellow sauce that’s typically made with egg yolks, lemon juice, and melted butter. It’s heated over a double boiler, whisking until it becomes an emulsion.
It can be tricky to make, because of the sauce splitting or turning into scrambled eggs.
Hollandaise without eggs or dairy
Luckily, a vegan version is much simpler!
No double boilers are required. And there’s not a single chance you’ll end up with scrambled eggs at the end.
This delicious 6-ingredient alternative is made by blending raw cashews with lemon juice and a few other essentials.
Then the sauce is thickened in a pot on the stove. So easy!
For this luxurious vegan hollandaise sauce, here are the ingredients you will need:
Raw cashews: These raw nuts make a beautifully velvety sauce.
Save some cash by buying raw cashew pieces, which tend to be cheaper than whole raw cashews.
Lemon juice: Lemon juices adds acidity and brightness.
Freshly squeezed lemon juice is best, especially since it’s the main flavor component of the hollandaise.
Carrot: Cooked carrot gives the hollandaise a beautiful golden color. It also adds a mild sweetness and earthiness, plus a little body.
Some people use turmeric to color their plant-based hollandaise. But I think the specific flavor of turmeric competes with the bright flavors of the sauce.
Dijon mustard: This French mustard has more creaminess and bite than standard yellow mustard. It adds a subtle tang.
Black salt: Also known as kala namak, this is a sulfurous salt that lends an eggy flavor to dishes. You can find it at Indian grocery stores or online.
Since hollandaise is traditionally made with egg yolks, you’ll use a sprinkling of kala namak to achieve that flavor. Remember, a little goes a long way!
Non-dairy milk: You can use any kind of non-dairy milk you prefer. Cashew milk, almond milk, oat milk, or soy milk will all work here.
A few splashes of non-dairy milk thin the sauce to reach the right consistency. It also mutes any harshness remaining in the lemon juice.
Step by step instructions
Start by boiling (or steaming) a carrot in water until fork tender.
Then blend the following in a high speed blender:
- Raw cashews (soaked if necessary)
- Cooked carrot
- Lemon juice
- Kala namak
Then pour the mixture into a pot.
Stir it constantly over a low medium heat until thickened (about 5 minutes).
Remove from heat and stir in non-dairy milk to thin a little.
Tips for a standard blender
If you don’t have a high-speed blender like a Vitamix, your standard blender may need some help with the raw cashews.
You have three options:
- Soak the raw cashews in water for at least half an hour before getting started. Then drain and add them to the blender.
- Boil the raw cashews with the carrots to soften them. Then drain and add to the blender.
- Grind dry raw cashews in a clean coffee grinder until they become the texture of flour. Then add to the blender with the remaining ingredients.
If you know your blender isn’t super strong, I’d also recommend cooking the carrots a little longer, until they seem soft enough to blend fairly easily.
Make it your own
You can make this sauce your own by varying the ingredients.
- If you don’t like carrots, omit them. If you like, add a tiny sprinkle of turmeric into the sauce for yellow color.
- If you’d like the sauce to be less lemony, add more non-dairy milk.
- If you’d like it to be more lemony, add more lemon juice.
- If you don’t like eggy flavors, replace the kala namak with table salt.
- If you don’t like Dijon mustard, omit it or replace with stoneground mustard.
- Add a Tablespoon or two of vegan butter (at the same time as the non-dairy milk) for a richer, saltier sauce.
- For a kick of heat, add a pinch of cayenne pepper.
Pour this mouthwatering, egg free hollandaise over any of these dishes.
- Air fryer asparagus
- Vegan eggs Benedict
- Broccolini with kale
- Roasted cauliflower
- Vegan crab cakes
- Air fryer breakfast potatoes
- Roasted cauliflower steak (instead of chimichurri sauce)
- Vegan egg mcmuffins (as a condiment and/or instead of non-dairy cheese)
Store & reheat
Store leftover hollandaise in a covered container in the refrigerator. It will keep about 4 days. It will thicken as it cools.
To reheat, pour the sauce into a pot along with a splash of non-dairy milk to thin it. Cook at a low medium heat until warm.
Or microwave at 30-second intervals, stopping regularly to stir, until it comes up to temperature. The sauce will have thickened in the refrigerator & while reheating. Stir in splashes of non-dairy milk until it reaches your preferred thickness.
The sauce also freezes well in a freezer-proof container. When you’re ready to use it, move it to the refrigerator to thaw before reheating.
More vegan sauces
The right sauce is the perfect finish to any dish.
Here are some other vegan sauces I know you’ll love:
Vegan hollandaise sauce
- Fill a small pot with water and chopped carrot. Bring to a boil. Boil 4 to 5 minutes, until fork tender. Then drain and set aside.(If you'd prefer, you can steam the carrot instead of boiling.)
- In a high speed blender, combine 1 cup water, boiled carrot, raw cashews, lemon juice, kala namak (black salt), and Dijon mustard. Blend until completely smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides if necessary.(If you don't have a high speed blender, see notes for tips.)
- Put blender mixture into a medium-sized pot. Bring to a low medium heat, stirring constantly to make sure it doesn't clump at the bottom of the pot. Cook for about 5 minutes, while the sauce condenses and thickens. Once it has the texture of gravy, remove from heat.
- The sauce will continue to thicken as it cools. If needed, stir in one or two more Tablespoons of non-dairy milk before serving.
- Soak the raw cashews in water for at least a half an hour. Then drain and add them to the blender.
- Boil the raw cashews with the carrots to soften them. Then drain and add them to the blender.
- Grind dry raw cashews in a clean coffee grinder until it becomes the texture of flour. Then add it to the blender.