Choron Sauce (Tomato-Spiked Béarnaise Sauce) Recipe

Made by blending tomato purée with rich and tangy Béarnaise, this sauce is the perfect addition to your next steak.

Closeup of a sliced steak topped with a thick ribbon of Choron sauce.

Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik

Why This Recipe Works

  • Using an immersion blender makes it totally easy to form what can otherwise be a difficult sauce.
  • A basic tomato purée made from fresh tomatoes adds a bright, sweet flavor.

The beauty of French mother sauces is just that: They have children. Béchamel, for instance, becomes silky, cheesy Mornay sauce with the addition of Gruyère, or soubise when cooked with onions.*

*Although I actually prefer a more modern version of soubise, with just cream and no béchamel.

Sadly, we don't take advantage of this fact nearly often enough. Most of us know that Hollandaise, the emulsified butter sauce with lemon and egg yolks, can be made into Béarnaise, which is flavored with wine vinegar, tarragon, shallots, and black pepper. But how many of us expand beyond that? I'd like to change that just slightly today by sharing a recipe for another Hollandaise derivative: Choron sauce.

Choron is nothing more than Hollandaise or Béarnaise with tomato added to it, but that addition does more than just turn it a pretty color. It adds a tomatoey sweetness that isn't too different from what ketchup does to mayo when you make Russian dressing. That's actually a really good way to think of Choron; it's like a somewhat fancier, warm alternative to Russian dressing.

You can eat it with almost anything: cooked vegetables, fish, eggs, chicken, beef. In the photos here, I'm serving it with a nicely seared steak. It all starts with a Béarnaise base, and I used Kenji's foolproof immersion-blender method to do it.

Closeup of a saucepan containing wine vinegar, tarragon sprigs, chopped shallots, and black pepper.

Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik

You start in the classic fashion, by reducing white wine vinegar and white wine with shallots, black peppercorns, and tarragon until syrupy. Then you strain out the solids and combine that reduction with egg yolks in a tall, narrow vessel.

While an immersion blender whirs away, you slowly drizzle in melted butter to form a thick, mayo-like emulsion. Add some minced tarragon, and that takes care of the Béarnaise. To turn it into Choron, simply stir in some tomato purée or other thick tomato sauce.

In my recipe, I'm using my easy cooked tomato coulis, which is just a fancy word for a basic, plain tomato sauce. I tested multiple ways of making coulis and settled on a method in which you cut the tomatoes into chunks, simmer them down for several minutes, then strain out the skins and seeds with a food mill or mesh strainer. If the coulis is a little loose, just cook it down until it thickens slightly, to more of a purée consistency.

The last step is just to taste the sauce: You may find that it needs another splash of white wine vinegar to balance the extra sweetness the tomato introduces, so adjust accordingly. Then keep it warm until you're ready to serve it.

Choron sauce is spooned onto a steak that has been sliced and shingled out on a plate.

Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik

Choron will put a face on your steak—or whatever you're serving—that any mother (sauce) would love.

September 2016

Recipe Details

Choron Sauce (Tomato-Spiked Béarnaise Sauce) Recipe

Active 35 mins
Total 35 mins
Serves 16 servings
Makes 2 cups

Made by blending tomato purée with rich and tangy Béarnaise, this sauce is the perfect addition to your next steak.



  1. As soon as you finish making the Béarnaise, add the tomato coulis and blend with an immersion blender until completely incorporated. Taste sauce; if the added sweetness of the tomato requires it, add more vinegar to taste until sauce is well balanced. (It should be sweet, with a subtle but noticeable tartness.) Keep warm until ready to serve.

    Collage of straining infused vinegar into beaker, making Béarnaise with an immersion blender, and then puréeing tomato coulis in to make Choron sauce..

    Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik

Special Equipment

Strainer or food mill, immersion blender


If your tomato coulis (i.e., the purée) is a little bit thin, reduce it by gently simmering it in a nonstick skillet until it forms a slightly thicker purée; use a full 1/4 cup of that reduced purée. You can also substitute 2 tablespoons tomato paste for the 1/4 cup tomato coulis.

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Nutrition Facts (per serving)
137 Calories
15g Fat
1g Carbs
1g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 16
Amount per serving
Calories 137
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 15g 19%
Saturated Fat 9g 45%
Cholesterol 73mg 24%
Sodium 171mg 7%
Total Carbohydrate 1g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 1mg 4%
Calcium 16mg 1%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 44mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)