Steamed Asparagus with Hollandaise Sauce

Elegant steamed asparagus served with a Hollandaise butter sauce. Perfect for Mothers Day or a special breakfast, or a side for a special dinner!

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4


  • 1 bunch of asparagus (about 1 lb)
  • 10 Tbsp unsalted butter (1 stick plus 2 Tbsp)
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (skip if using salted butter)
  • Pinch of cayenne


1 Prep the asparagus: Break off the tough ends with your fingers. Bend the asparagus spears near the end and they will break naturally where the spear is no longer tough.

Preparing asparagus spears on cutting board for steamed asparagus Slightly peeled Asparagus spears for Steamed Asparagus and Hollandaise Sauce

For an elegant presentation of the spears, use a vegetable peeler to peel off a very thin layer of the outer skin of the lower two to three inches of the asparagus spears.

Prepare a large, shallow pan (with a cover) with a half inch of water and a steamer rack.

2 Prepare the Hollandaise sauce: Melt the butter in a small pot. Put the egg yolks, lemon juice, salt and cayenne into a blender.

Blend the eggs for 20-30 seconds at medium to medium high speed until lighter in color.

Turn blender down to lowest setting and slowly drizzle in the hot melted butter while the blender is going. Continue to blend for a few seconds after all of the butter is incorporated.

Taste the sauce and add more salt or lemon juice if needed. Keep warm while you are steaming the asparagus.

3 Steam the asparagus: Bring the water in your steaming pan to a boil. Place the asparagus on the steaming rack. Cover.

Steamed Asparagus in Steamer

Steam for 3 to 5 minutes, until tender, but still a little crisp, definitely not mushy. The timing depends on how thick the asparagus spears are.

4 Serve: To serve, plate the asparagus. Pour Hollandaise sauce over them.

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  • Jane

    It takes a few tried before you get it right.

  • Mary

    Is there any way to make hollandaise sauce without lemon?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Mary, you need the acid in the lemon juice, but you could easily use cider vinegar, or maybe sherry vinegar. I haven’t tried making hollandaise with vinegar instead of lemon juice, but it should work!

    • Mary

      Thank you, Elise. I will try it with cider vinegar and let you know.

  • Ghosty

    I didn’t use a blender, but a hand mixer. it didn’t get light in color. after i added the butter it was watery, so i put it back in the saucepan over the heat and stirred until it was even and a bit thicker. i added another tbsp of lemon and a bit more cayyenne as well. not salt since i used salted butter, which is already very salty. still a bit egg tasting and a very bright yellow. i’ve never had proper hollandaise sauce so i’m really not sure what it’s supposed to taste like. hopefully my dad (who eats it more than i) will like it or at least tell me what it needs more or less of.

  • joann

    I have made this recipe for years.. you do need blender.. not mixer.. and leave the top on. I add probably a little more lemon than this but I like it like that. GREAT recipe.

  • Betty

    Love the taste so did my kids! :)


  • Katherine

    If the taste is too buttery, are you forgetting to use enough lemon juice and cayenne?
    To keep from spattering when adding the butter, leave the cover on the blender and remove the center piece in the middle of the cover (if yours is removable- most are)then you can pour the butter through this opening and the cover will contain the contents as long as you have turned down the speed some, prior to adding the butter. Good luck I have been making my Hollandaise sauce by this method for 30 years and it couldn’t be easier.

  • Kristin

    The sauce came out way too buttery for me, and my blender didn’t have a low enough setting to drizzle the butter in without splattering on my cupboards a bit, so I had to pour the butter instead. Was hoping for something a bit lighter in taste, but adding a couple extra egg yolks helped to tone down the butter flavor. I checked some other recipes online, most only called for 8 tbsp butter…will probably try that next time.

  • trevor

    My sauce came out very think and not so much like a liquid. And the taste was a bit well bad. It was bland and just quite buttery.

  • Jane

    Such an easy hollandaise recipe! It came together so easily, but I did not heed the warning about using unsalted butter and mine came out far too salty. Will be trying it again soon.
    @Tina–can’t wait to try the microwave tip! Thx!

  • Jenny

    So I adore asparagus, and I recently mastered Hollandaise (thanks to Julia), but when I made my hollandaise, it tasted overwhelmingly of eggs… Considering the fact that it’s mostly butter, is that right? Did I mess something up?

    Did you use large eggs? If you used something larger (like AA or extra large) maybe that had something to do with it. Otherwise I have no idea what might have caused it. ~Elise

  • Christie

    I made this earlier this week when you posted the hollandaise recipe. It is SO good, and SO easy it made me ashamed of the times I’ve resorted to Hollandaise in a can or a mix. Never, ever, again!

  • Tiago

    Why do you break off the tough ends of the asparagus with your fingers? Don’t you use a knife?

    If you use your hands, you will be able to feel where the asparagus spears get tougher and break them at that point. ~Elise