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Roast Beef Tenderloin Recipe

Impress your guests with this easy and elegant roast beef tenderloin recipe cooked to perfection. It yields a buttery, juicy roast with a seasoned outer crust cooked in low heat until meltingly tender. Then a compound butter made of garlic, mustard, and rosemary is smeared overtop until the flavorful juices melt right into the meat!

Sliced beef tenderloin on a white place with mashed potatoes and green beans.
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Beef Tenderloin Roast

Roast beef tenderloin is traditionally reserved for special occasions, so when I want to impress a crowd over the holidays, this and my slow cooker beef bourguignon have become one of my favorite mains to serve.

Last year it was raved about when I added it to my Christmas dinner menu, so I know I’ll be planning to add it to this year’s Easter dinner menu too.

It cooks relatively fast, so it’s not something that takes over your kitchen for hours. It’s as impressive as a prime rib, but roast beef tenderloin is ready in under 30 minutes. It’s up to you whether you want to marinate it overnight.

Let me show you how to make roasted beef tenderloin with just a few simple ingredients, a meat thermometer, and the temperature guide below. This foolproof recipe gives you a restaurant-quality showstopping dinner right in your own home!

Why This Recipe Works

  • It’s worth the splurge! It is considered the most tender cut of beef and with that comes a price. In other words, it’s not cheap! Let me show you how to make the most of this precious cut of meat.
  • Way easier than you think. With little prep time and a few pantry staples, there is not much to do besides making some delicious side dishes while you wait.
  • Impressive. This is a great recipe for all kinds of special occasions including holidays, anniversaries, special birthdays, and more.
  • So much flavor. This tender meat holds all of the flavorful juices and doesn’t need much seasoning to showcase the roast beef tenderloin’s natural flavor.

Recipe Ingredients

Beef tenderloin ingredients on counter.

Find the full printable recipe with specific measurements below.

  • Beef tenderloin: I cut a 4-5 lb tenderloin in half. Tenderloin is long and thin, so to fit both in the skillet at the same time, you’ll need to cut it into 2 pieces. Trim the silver skin, if any, and then tie both pieces with twine.
  • Seasoning for dry rub: Salt & pepper is all it needs. You can generously coat the beef in salt and pepper the night before and place it uncovered in the fridge. This gives it a beautifully seasoned crust, but doing it overnight is optional.
  • Olive oil: Used to sear the beef.
  • For the sauce: Salted butter, softened, minced garlic, Dijon mustard, chopped rosemary, or thyme gets rubbed over the meat and eventually melts into the meat adding even more flavor.

Preparation Tips


If your tenderloin doesn’t come already trimmed, you’ll notice a piece of silver skin that runs along the length of the meat. It should come off easily when you place a sharp knife between the meat and the skin and run it along the length, pulling off the skin with your other hand. Also, trim any extra fat.


If you’ve never worked with kitchen twine before, the easiest way to tie your tenderloin is to use smaller pieces and tie a string around the meat every couple of inches along the length. This holds the meat together and keeps the tail tucked in (if yours comes with the tail) so that the meat cooks evenly.

Tenderloin usually has one thinner end (the tail) and if it hasn’t already been trimmed you want to tuck it in and hold it so that the pieces are even in size.


Last, if you plan to chill the meat overnight coated in the dry rub, now’s the time to do it. If you don’t, it’s all good, it will still turn out great!

How to Cook Beef Tenderloin

Showing how to cook beef tenderloin in a 6 step collage.
  1. Season the meat. If you decided not to add the dry rub ahead of time, generously rub the meat with salt and pepper until well coated. Allow it to sit out at room temperature. You don’t want to add cold meat to a hot pan. It will stick, but will also bring down the temperature of the pan.
  2. Heat the skillet. While the oven is preheating to 425°F heat oil over medium-high heat in a large, cast-iron skillet. I use an oven-safe pan so that I can transfer it from the stovetop without having to move the meat to a roasting pan. This is the same trick I use to cook steak in the oven.
  3. Sear the meat. Add the beef to the hot pan searing each side until golden brown all over. This should be about 6-8 minutes, turning occasionally as it cooks.
  4. Mix the compound butter. In a small bowl, mix the butter, minced garlic, mustard, and rosemary until combined.
  5. Roast the beef. Spread the butter mixture over the beef and transfer the pan into the oven to roast for 20-25 minutes. Use a digital thermometer for an accurate reading to determine your desired temperature. Use the temperature guide to help.
  6. Rest, slice, and serve. Remove the roast beef tenderloin from the oven and place the meat on a cutting board to rest. Let it sit for 15-20 minutes while the juices redistribute and settle. Then (and only then) slice it into 1-inch pieces and enjoy!

How Long to Cook Roast Beef Tenderloin

I like it at medium-rare as does most of my family, so I pull it out of the oven once the temperature reaches 125°F and then serve it at 130°F.

Every oven is different, so it’s less about how long and more about keeping an eye on the temperature. Generally, it’s around 20-25 minutes in a 425°F, give or take depending.

If you are serving someone who prefers it cooked longer, I might just cut a slice or two off and cook it for a couple of extra minutes in the skillet.

Ideal Beef Tenderloin Temperature

Internal temperatures: Since meat will continue to cook to another 5 to 7°F while resting, you will want to pull the beef early to accommodate for this extra cook time. Follow this guide to find your perfect doneness:

  • Rare: pull at 120°F; serve at 125°F
  • Medium rare: pull at 125°F, serve at 130°F
  • Medium: pull at 135°F; serve at 140°F
Beef tenderloin cooked in a cast iron skillet.

Recipe FAQs

What else can I use to season the roast beef tenderloin?

If you prefer to try something a little different, I have a delicious easy steak marinade that can be made ahead and used overnight. You can also skip the compound butter this way.

Is there a difference between roast beef tenderloin and filet mignon?

Beef tenderloin refers to the entire cut of beef. Filet mignon is a medallion cut from the smaller end of the tenderloin tip.

How much beef tenderloin per person should I plan to serve?

The rule of thumb is about 1/2 pound of meat per person. This means that a 4-5 lb roast beef tenderloin will feed up to 10 people. However, I like to play it safe and have enough for seconds and larger appetites, so I would say for this is the perfect amount to serve about 6-8 people.

Should I sear beef tenderloin before roasting?

Yes! This recipe includes directions to sear your meat first before roasting. This two-step process ensures that the tenderloin gets a crusty brown exterior which adds even more taste to the lean cut of beef.

Serving Suggestions

Keeping things classy and impressive, serve roast beef tenderloin with any of the following side dishes to complete this unforgettable meal!

You can also provide a creamy horseradish sauce for those who want it!

Storing Leftovers

As you can imagine, it is best enjoyed the day of, however we don’t want to waste any of it!

Leftovers from this roast beef tenderloin recipe can be kept covered in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Reheat it in the oven on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil at 350°F until warmed through. Keep an eye on it so it doesn’t overcook and dry out.

Sliced beef tenderloin on a white plate.

Here are some more tasty beef recipes! Crockpot beef stroganoff, Korean ground beef, and beef stew.

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Sliced beef tenderloin on a white plate.

Beef Tenderloin Recipe

5 from 4 votes
↑ Click stars to rate now!
Author: Jamielyn Nye
Impress your guests with this easy and elegant roast beef tenderloin recipe cooked to perfection. It yields a buttery, juicy roast with a seasoned outer crust cooked in low heat until meltingly tender. Then a compound butter made of garlic, mustard, and rosemary is smeared overtop until the flavorful juices melt right into the meat!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 22 minutes
Total Time: 27 minutes
Servings: 4



  • 4-5 pound beef tenderloin , trimmed, cut in 2 pieces and tied with twine
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 Tablespoons salted butter , softened
  • 4 cloves garlic , minced
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary , or thyme


Optional Overnight Dry Rub

  • The day before cooking, rub the beef in salt and pepper until well coated. Place in refrigerator, uncovered, at least 10 hours. This step is optional but helps give a really nice crust on the beef.

Day of Serving

  • If you opt to not the let the beef sit overnight, rub with salt and pepper until well coated. Bring to room temperature.
  • Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  • In a large, cast-iron skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Sear the beef, turning occasionally, 6 to 8 minutes, or until golden brown on all sides.
  • In a small bowl, stir together the butter, garlic, mustard, and rosemary until combined.
  • Spread the butter mixture over the beef until completely coated. Roast 20 to 25 minutes, or until a digital thermometer reads your desired internal temperature. *see notes for temperatures (I like to pull at 125°F for medium rare). 
  • Remove tenderloin from oven and transfer to a cutting board. Let rest 15 to 20 minutes before slicing into 1-inch pieces.


Internal temperatures: Since meat will continue to cook 5 to 7°F while resting, you will want to pull the beef early to accommodate for this extra cook time. Follow this guide to find your perfect doneness:
  • Rare: pull at 120°F; serve at 125°F
  • Medium rare: pull at 125°F, serve at 130°F
  • Medium: pull at 135°F; serve at 140°F
Tying in twine: Since a beef tenderloin is typically a longer cut with a pointed end, you will want to tie it up to get an even cook. Using butcher’s twine, tuck the pointed end under the thicker part of the tenderloin creating a uniform cylinder shape and then tie together.
Trim the beef: If the tenderloin hasn’t been trimmed, you will want to remove the silverskin. Run a sharp knife knife gently underneath the skin while pulling with your other hand. Trim off any other excess fat, if needed.


Calories: 267.63kcal | Carbohydrates: 0.42g | Protein: 35.18g | Fat: 13.03g | Saturated Fat: 2.53g | Cholesterol: 110.56mg | Sodium: 669.97mg | Potassium: 668.48mg | Fiber: 0.21g | Sugar: 0.02g | Calcium: 18.19mg | Iron: 1.83mg

Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Diet: Gluten Free

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