This 15-minute Classic French Mousseline Sauce is the perfect cream sauce to serve over poached salmon, steamed asparagus and so much more. This 4-ingredient hollandaise-based sauce recipe is lightened with whipped cream to give it the perfect luscious Mousseline sauce texture.
Mousseline sauce may seem intimidating because it uses few ingredients with a very precise cooking technique, but I promise it's quite easy once you nail it the first time!
As a trained chef, I love trying new sauce recipes and expanding my cooking knowledge. This Mousseline Sauce is the perfect mid-level sauce recipe that any home cook can make with some patience and precision.
This sauce is classically served over asparagus or salmon, but you can also drizzle it over a Summer Eggplant Tomato Onion Pie for a fun change. If you're looking for a slightly easier beginner sauce recipe, try my 3-Minute Pistachio Pesto!
Why you'll love this mousseline sauce recipe
- Smooth and creamy - This sauce has the perfect smooth texture and mouthfeel. It truly tastes restaurant-worthy!
- Only 4 ingredients - 4 simple ingredients (not including salt and pepper!)
- Made in under 15 minutes - With under 5 minutes of stovetop time, and 10 minutes of preparation this sauce comes together super quickly.
- Impress your guest - This sauce will level up your cooking skills and make you look like a chef in your kitchen.
- Perfect to drizzle onto fish or steamed vegetables - This light and airy sauce is perfect paired with delicate foods that don't have too much flavor, such as lightly crisp steamed vegetable or lightly seasoned fish such as salmon, tilapia or flounder.
What is mousseline sauce?
Mousseline sauce is a classic French sauce with its base being a Hollandaise sauce that is then folded with whipped cream yielding a super airy and light cream sauce.
Some say the mousseline sauce is the savory version of a sauce Chantilly. A Chantilly sauce is a dessert sauce that is very airy and light. Although similar in texture, the Mousseline sauce and Chantilly sauce are not interchangeable and should not be used in place of one another.
Mousseline sauce only uses a few simple ingredients that are typically pantry staples:
- Egg yolks - Room temperature large egg yolks are key to the perfect sauce.
- Lemon juice - Use freshly squeezed lemon juice in this recipe.
- Fine sea salt - Salt is super important to add flavor to this sauce that doesn't use many ingredients.
- White pepper - I like to use white pepper so you can't see any pepper pieces in the sauce, but it still gives the sauce a good flavor.
- Unsalted butter - Melted butter is added to the sauce giving it a luxurious flavor and texture.
- Heavy whipping cream - Provides a light and airy texture.
Find the full list of recipe ingredients and instructions in the recipe card found at the bottom of this post.
How to make mousseline sauce
Step one: Pour the heavy cream into a large bowl. You can use a regular bowl or bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment.
Step two: Whip the heavy cream using a handheld whisk or the stand mixer with the whisk attachment, until medium-stiff peaks form. Once whipped, set the bowl in the fridge until later.
Step three: Place a medium pot on the stove with 2 inches of water and place a large heatproof bowl on top and make sure it doesn’t touch the water. Remove the bowl and bring the water in the pot to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low heat to simmer.
Step four: In the heatproof bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, lemon juice and salt for 2-3 minutes.
Step five: Place the bowl over the pot of simmering water and whisk the egg mixture for 2-4 minutes until it is thickened and you can draw a figure 8 when lifting up the whisk. Remove the bowl from the heat and set onto a towel on the counter.
Step six: Add the melted butter into the egg mixture.
Step seven: Whisk until fully combined.
Step eight: Take the whipped cream out of the fridge, and add it to the egg-butter mixture. Use a whisk to fold the two mixtures together.
Step nine: Taste and season with additional salt and/or pepper, if needed. Serve right away.
- Use the freshest eggs - It's important that the eggs used in this recipe are very fresh since they aren't cooked for very long.
- Read the directions twice & follow very carefully - This sauce can be finicky if any changes to the direction process are made. Be sure to read the directions through a few times and make sure you understand the process.
- Don't overcook the egg mixture - When cooking the egg mixture on the stove, be very careful to keep a close eye on it so the eggs don't scramble.
- Serve right away - This sauce is super delicate, so it's best served very soon after preparing it so that the cream doesn't have time to deflate and it keeps the correct consistency and texture.
You can make this recipe dairy-free by substituting a few ingredients.
- Unsalted butter - Use a vegan butter substitute such as Earth Balance Vegan Buttery sticks.
- Heavy whipping cream - Use a vegan heavy whipping cream instead. You can find this in Whole Foods and other grocery stores now.
What to serve it with
Mousseline sauce is the perfect cream sauce to pair with lightly flavored foods such as poached fish or steamed vegetables. Here are some ideas of what to serve your sauce with:
- Poached or baked fish - such as salmon, halibut or tilapia.
- Pasta - Add a few spoonfuls of Mousseline sauce to plain spaghetti or even mix with tomato sauce on your favorite pasta.
- Steamed or blanched vegetables - such as asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower
- Eggs - Drizzle Mousseline sauce over poached eggs, scrambled eggs or sunny-side up eggs.
Recipe variations & add-ins
- Dill Mousseline - At the very end of making the sauce, fold in 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh dill.
- Cucumber Dill sauce - Mix finely diced cucumber and 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh dill into the sauce.
- Other herbs - Chop parsley or basil and add to the sauce for a fun twist!
- Add a pinch of cayenne - Once the sauce is ready, add a tiny pinch of cayenne pepper for some added heat.
Mousseline sauce is made from egg yolks, lemon juice, salt, pepper, butter and heavy cream. Many recipes also add a pinch of cayenne pepper!
Mousse is typically a thicker mixture such as a dessert chocolate mousse, and Mousseline is a light and airy savory sauce.
Storing and Reheating
Although this sauce is ideal served right after preparing it, it can usually be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for 2 days. Keep in mind that this type of sauce may have a tendancy to separate in the fridge with time, so I wouldn't recommend preparing it in advance for guest and keeping it in the fridge. Ideally, make it the day you plan to serve it, and store leftovers in the fridge.
To reheat the sauce, place the sauce into a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Whisk the sauce constantly until warmed through, to prevent the sauce from separating. You can also use the microwave for 15 second intervals, whisking in between, until heated through.
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Have you tried this recipe? Consider leaving a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating in the recipe card right below and/or a review in the comment section further down the page? Thanks for visiting!
- 4 large egg yolks at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon white pepper
- ¾ cup unsalted butter melted, (1 ½ sticks)
- 1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream
- Whip the heavy cream in a bowl until medium-stiff peaks form. Set in the fridge for later.
- Place a medium pot on the stove with 2 inches of water and place a large heatproof bowl on top and make sure it doesn’t touch the water. Remove the bowl and bring the water in the pot to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low heat to simmer.
- In the heatproof bowl from earlier (not on the stove) whisk together the egg yolks, lemon juice, salt and white pepper for 2-3 minutes.
- Place the bowl on top of the simmering pot of water, and continue to whisk the egg mixture for 2-4 minutes until thickened. When you lift the whisk if you draw a figure 8 with the mixture it should hold for a few seconds before seeping back into a sauce.
- Remove the bowl from the heat and place right onto a towel on the counter. Carefully, whisk in the melted butter a little bit at a time, until fully incorporated.
- Fold the whipped cream in 2 additions with a whisk, until homogenous.
- Taste and season with additional salt and/or pepper, if needed. Serve right away.
- This recipe makes 3 ⅔ cups of sauce. Serving size is based off of each person eating ¼ cup of the sauce.
- For a dairy-free version, substitute the butter with unsalted dairy-free butter such as Earth Balance Vegan Butter Sticks or Miyoko's Vegan Butter. You can swap the heavy cream for any unsweetened dairy-free whipped cream.