Is Hollandaise Sauce high carb?

Quick answer

Hollandaise sauce is considered a high carb sauce. A 1/4 cup serving of hollandaise sauce contains around 3-4 grams of carbohydrates depending on the recipe. The main sources of carbs in hollandaise sauce are the egg yolks and butter or cream used to emulsify the sauce. Hollandaise is lower carb than other creamy sauces like béchamel or Alfredo, but not low enough to be considered keto-friendly or compatible with very low carb diets. Those on a ketogenic diet should use hollandaise sparingly.

What is Hollandaise Sauce?

Hollandaise sauce is a warm emulsion sauce made from egg yolks, butter, lemon juice, and seasoning. It has a smooth, creamy, and rich consistency with a tangy, lemony flavor. Hollandaise is one of the five French mother sauces and a key ingredient in dishes like Eggs Benedict.

The ingredients in hollandaise sauce include:

– Egg yolks: Egg yolks provide richness and emulsify the sauce.

– Butter: Melted butter is slowly whisked into the egg yolk mixture to create the emulsion. Clarified butter is often used.

– Lemon juice: Adds bright acidity and flavor to the sauce.

– Salt and white pepper: Seasons the sauce.

– Water or cream: Thins out the sauce to desired consistency.

– Herbs, shallots, or garlic: Optional flavorings.

Hollandaise is made by first whisking egg yolks and lemon juice over low heat. Then, melted butter is very slowly drizzled in while whisking vigorously to emulsify the sauce. The sauce is kept warm over low heat or a double boiler during service.

Is Hollandaise Sauce High in Carbs?

While hollandaise sauce is relatively low in carbohydrates compared to other creamy sauces, it cannot be considered low carb. Here is the carb count for a 1/4 cup serving of hollandaise:

– 3-4 grams of net carbs
– 4-5 grams total carbohydrates

The small amount of carbs in hollandaise come from two main sources:

Egg yolks – The egg yolks used to emulsify the sauce and provide richness contain about 1 gram of carbs each. Recipes call for 3-6 egg yolks.

Butter/cream – While pure butter or ghee contains no carbs, the butter or heavy cream used in hollandaise provides 2-3 grams of carbs per serving.

So in total, a 1/4 cup of hollandaise sauce prepared with 3 egg yolks and butter will have around 3-4 net grams of carbohydrates.

How does it compare to other sauces?

Hollandaise sauce is moderately high in carbs for a sauce, but lower than many other creamy options:

– Alfredo sauce: 10-15 grams carbs per 1/4 cup
– Béchamel sauce: Around 5 grams per 1/4 cup
– Gravy: 5-10 grams carbs per 1/4 cup
– Ranch dressing: 2-3 grams carbs per 2 tbsp serving
– Mayo: 1 gram per tbsp

So hollandaise is higher in carbs than oil-based sauces like mayo or ranch. But it contains far less carbs than flour-thickened sauces like Alfredo or béchamel that use milk, flour, and starch as a base.

Is Hollandaise Sauce Keto?

Hollandaise sauce cannot be considered keto-friendly due to the carb content. Most ketogenic dieters aim to keep net carbs under 20-50 grams per day. A serving of hollandaise sauce contains 3-4 net grams of carbs, which can add up quickly.

Keto dieters would likely be able to work in about 1-2 tbsp (1/8 cup) serving of hollandaise sauce into a meal and remain in ketosis. But larger portions of hollandaise could potentially knock ketosis-followers out of ketosis, depending on their daily carb limit and other foods eaten.

Some tips for enjoying hollandaise on keto include:

– Use very small portions as a topping or dipping sauce.
– Pair it with very low carb vegetables like asparagus, broccoli, or spinach.
– Substitute half the butter with ghee or MCT oil to reduce carbs.
– Consider making a lower-carb mustard hollandaise.

Overall, hollandaise should be seen as an occasional treat for keto rather than a daily staple sauce. Those following under 20 net grams of carbs per day should be especially mindful of portion sizes.

Is Hollandaise Sauce Low Carb?

While hollandaise is lower in carbohydrates than some cream-based sauces, it is too high in carbs to be considered a true low carb sauce.

Here are some reasons hollandaise cannot be classified as a low carb sauce:

– A typical 1/4 cup serving provides 3-4 net grams of carbs. Low carb is generally defined as less than 5-10g net carbs per serving.

– It doesn’t fit with extremely low carb diets like keto. The carb count is too high for regular use on ultra low carb diets.

– Mainstream low carb diets aim for 50-130g total carbs per day. Hollandaise would use up a substantial portion of one’s daily carb budget.

– The main ingredients are egg yolks and butter or cream, which are moderate carb foods compared to oils, cheeses, and low carb thickeners.

– There are lower carb alternatives like cheese sauce, mustard sauce, or white wine butter sauce.

Instead, hollandaise should be thought of as a moderate carb sauce. Those on regular low carb diets below 130g per day could work in a small serving, but hollandaise is too high carb for ketogenic diets or very low carb intake under 50g per day.

How to Make Hollandaise Lower Carb

Here are some techniques for reducing the carb count in hollandaise sauce:

– Use only egg yolks rather than whole eggs. The whites contain the majority of an egg’s carbs.

– Replace up to half the butter with ghee or MCT oil. Clarified butter contains slightly fewer carbs than butter.

– Substitute heavy cream for up to half the butter. Cream is slightly lower carb than butter.

– Add a squeeze of lemon juice instead of extra water to thin out.

– Use Dijon mustard for flavor rather than sugar or honey.

– Add herbs and seasonings rather than onions, shallots, or garlic, which contain more carbs.

– Use an immersion blender method rather than whisking over heat, reducing egg yolks needed.

– Top meat, fish, and very low carb vegetables rather than toast or biscuits.

– Keep portion sizes small and use it as a flavor topper rather than a sauce base.

With careful low carb substitutions and keeping portions controlled, hollandaise can be tweaked to be lower in carbs without sacrificing too much flavor. But it likely still won’t be suitable for keto diets.

Is Hollandaise Sauce Whole 30 Compliant?

Hollandaise sauce is generally considered compliant with the Whole30 diet when made with allowed ingredients. Hollandaise is one of the few sauces permitted on Whole30 since it contains just eggs, butter or ghee, lemon juice, and herbs.

To make sure hollandaise fits within Whole30 guidelines:

– Use clarified butter, ghee, or coconut butter instead of regular butter

– Avoid adding any sweeteners like honey; use lemon juice for flavor instead

– Do not add any non-compliant thickeners like arrowroot or cornstarch

– Use sea salt and fresh herbs for seasoning instead of questionable spices

– Select organic, compliant ingredients whenever possible

As long as you adhere to the Whole30 approved ingredients list, hollandaise sauce can be included during your Whole30 month. It provides a nice creamy, rich element to liven up Whole30 eggs, vegetables, seafood, and meats.

Is Hollandaise Low FODMAP?

Hollandaise sauce is generally considered low FODMAP, meaning it is unlikely to trigger IBS symptoms in those following the FODMAP diet.

The main FODMAPS that hollandaise contains are:

– Lactose from butter/cream: only trace amounts, lactose is low in dairy fats

– Fructose from lemon juice: minimal amounts used

Since hollandaise only contains egg yolks, butter or cream, and small amounts of lemon juice, it is low in the FODMAP carbohydrates.

Those on the low FODMAP diet do not usually need to restrict hollandaise sauce due to its minimal FODMAP content. It can be enjoyed in moderation as part of a low FODMAP diet.

Is Hollandaise Sauce Paleo?

Hollandaise sauce is considered Paleo diet friendly since it contains simple, whole food ingredients like eggs, butter, lemon juice, and herbs allowed on the diet.

To make sure hollandaise sauce adheres to Paleo guidelines:

– Use clarified butter or rendered animal fat instead of plain butter

– Avoid adding any non-Paleo thickeners like cornstarch or flour

– Use simple seasonings like sea salt, black pepper, fresh herbs, garlic, shallots, etc.

– Choose organic, high-quality ingredients whenever possible

– Do not use processed oils or processed dairy products

With Paleo-approved ingredients, hollandaise can be enjoyed as an occasional treat. It provides beneficial fats and emulsification from egg yolks in line with Paleo principles. But portion control is still advised.

Ways to Use Lower Carb Hollandaise

Here are some ideas for using hollandaise sauce in low carb recipes:

– Drizzle over roasted or grilled meat, fish, and poultry

– Use as a dip for steamed, grilled, or roasted non-starchy vegetables like broccoli, asparagus, zucchini noodles, cauliflower, etc.

– Mix with riced cauliflower as a lower carb “mash”

– Thin with almond milk and use as a sauce for chicken breasts or fish fillets

– Top portobello mushroom caps along with grilled veggies

– Flavor “breadless” eggs benedict made with spinach instead of english muffins

– Mix into cauliflower rice with bits of cooked bacon

– Toss with shredded brussels sprouts and pancetta bits

– Use in a cucumber tomato salad drizzled with olive oil and vinegar

– Dollop onto deviled eggs, Scotch eggs, or curried eggs

– Spoon over baked or smoked salmon and garlic-sauteed spinach

Low Carb Hollandaise Sauce Recipes

Here are some tasty recipe ideas for making lower carb hollandaise sauce at home:

Dijon Hollandaise Sauce


– 3 egg yolks
– 1/4 cup ghee, melted
– 1 tsp Dijon mustard
– 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
– Pinch cayenne pepper
– Sea salt to taste


1. In a blender or using an immersion blender, combine egg yolks, ghee, mustard, lemon juice, and cayenne. Blend until smooth.

2. With blender/immersion blender on low, slowly drizzle in remaining ghee until emulsified.

3. Season with salt to taste. Serve immediately.

Avocado Hollandaise


– 1 avocado, peeled and pitted
– 1/4 cup ghee, melted
– 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
– 1 tsp Dijon mustard
– 1/2 tsp garlic powder
– Sea salt and pepper to taste


1. In a food processor or blender, process the avocado, ghee, lemon juice, mustard, and garlic powder until smooth.

2. Transfer to small saucepan and gently warm over low heat if desired.

3. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper before serving.

Coconut Hollandaise


– 3 egg yolks
– 1/3 cup ghee
– 2 tbsp coconut cream
– 1 tbsp lemon juice
– 1 tsp white wine vinegar
– Pinch cayenne pepper
– Sea salt and pepper to taste


1. In a blender, combine egg yolks, ghee, coconut cream, lemon juice, vinegar, and cayenne. Blend until smooth.

2. Transfer to a small saucepan and cook on low, whisking constantly until slightly thickened, about 2-3 minutes.

3. Remove from heat and whisk in any remaining ghee. Season with salt and pepper.


While hollandaise sauce is lower in carbohydrates than some other creamy sauces, it is too high to be considered a true low carb or keto-friendly sauce. A serving of hollandaise contains about 3-4 net grams of carbs, primarily from egg yolks and butter/cream.

Hollandaise can work for those following more moderate low carb diets under 100g daily carbs if used sparingly. However, most keto dieters would likely exceed their carb limits with more than 1-2 tbsp per serving. Making adjustments like using ghee and reducing lemon juice can lower carb content slightly. Overall, hollandaise sauce should be enjoyed occasionally in smaller portions as a special treat if you are monitoring carb intake.

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