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Roast Beef Tenderloin Recipe

This roast beef tenderloin recipe is bound to impress any dinner guest! It’s elegant, tender and cooked to perfection then topped with a simple compound butter that makes it mouthwatering!

Looking for more special occasion dinner recipes? Serve honey baked ham, baked salmon or herb crusted pork tenderloin at your next holiday dinner.

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

When I want to impress a crowd over the holidays, roast beef tenderloin and my slow cooker beef bourguignon have become two of my favorite mains to serve.

After making this for my Christmas dinner menu and receiving rave-worthy compliments, I know I’ll be adding it to my Easter dinner menu, too. It’s a foolproof recipe that is as impressive as a prime rib, but roasted beef tenderloin is ready in under 30 minutes.

Why This Recipe Works

  • It’s worth the splurge! Don’t be intimidated by the price tag on this tender cut of beef. This foolproof beef tenderloin recipe is restaurant-quality right at home!
  • Easy and impressive. With just a quick sear in a hot pan then time in the oven, whole beef tenderloin is a fancy dish that delivers tender, flavorful results for special occasions!

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. Although optional, I like to coat the beef in salt and pepper the night before and place it uncovered in the fridge for a beautifully seasoned crust.
  • 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

  • Trim: Trim the piece of silver skin that runs along the length of the meat. Just place a sharp knife between meat and skin and run it along the length, pulling off the skin with your other hand. Trim any extra fat, too.
  • Tie: The easiest way to tie your tenderloin is to use smaller pieces of kitchen twine and tie a string around the meat every couple of inches. This holds the meat together so that the meat cooks evenly.
  • Chill: 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, then allow it to sit at room temperature. Don’t add cold meat to a hot pan as it will stick and 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 I can easily transfer it from stovetop to the oven. 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 their beef cooked longer, I 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 and for accurate results use a digital meat thermometer:

  • 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

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.

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.

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

The rule of thumb is about 1/2 pound of tenderloin 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 this is the perfect amount to serve about 6-8 people.

Serving Suggestions

Keeping things classy and impressive, serve roast beef tenderloin with any of the following side dishes. I also like to provide a creamy horseradish sauce for those who want it.

Storing Leftovers

As you can imagine, tenderloin 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 with mashed potatoes and green beans.

More beef recipes to try include crockpot beef stroganoff, Korean ground beef, and beef stew.

More Beef Recipes

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Sliced beef tenderloin on a white plate.

Beef Tenderloin Recipe

5 from 10 votes
↑ Click stars to rate now!
Author: Jamielyn Nye
This roast beef tenderloin recipe is bound to impress any dinner guest! It's elegant, tender and cooked to perfection then topped with a simple compound butter that makes it mouthwatering!
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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