Beef Tenderloin Roast


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This beef tenderloin roast is a stunning main to take center stage on your Christmas dinner table. It’s elegant, incredibly tender to the point where it feels indulgent, and worth every single penny. I’ll guide you every step of the way with this no-fail recipe for perfect results during the holiday season.

Slices of beef tenderloin on a plate.

This Beef Tenderloin Roast Is The Star Of Christmas Dinner

Holiday dinners revolve around lavish, splurgy mains, which is what makes them feel so special. And that my friends is what this beef tenderloin roast is all about. It’s ridiculously tender with a perfect medium-rare pink, coated in a garlic herb crust that adds a ton of flavor, and served with a creamy horseradish sauce that makes each bite so satisfying.

But, you might be thinking – this is one pricey cut of meat and I’m a little intimidated! Fear not because this is an easy, totally foolproof beef tenderloin recipe. It’s very similar to everyone’s favorite prime rib recipe, but it cooks in about half the time. Plus, it’s really easy to carve into beautiful slices for serving. Who doesn’t love that?

Once you make this recipe don’t be surprised if your family assigns you to beef tenderloin duty every holiday from here on out. It’s truly a Christmas dinner sensation.

Ingredients for beef tenderloin roast on a table.

The Best Beef Tenderloin Starts With This Garlic Herb Butter

There’s a reason why this is an expensive cut of meat. It’s the most tender cut of beef available and where filet mignon comes from! Filet mignon is actually just the middle portion the tenderloin sliced up. Hence why beef tenderloin is such a coveted main during the holidays!

With most succulent pieces of meat like this, all you need is a simple garlic herb butter to bring it to life. Here’s what you’ll need.

  • Beef Tenderloin: You need a 4 to 4 1/2-pound whole beef tenderloin for this recipe. You could also buy two 2-pound center-cut tenderloins (also known as a chateaubriand cut).
  • Salt & Pepper: A generous amount of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper are always welcome to give the meat tons of flavor.
  • Avocado Oil: This is my go-to oil choice when searing meat at a high temperature in a pan. But you can use olive oil as well.
  • Butter: It’s best to stick with unsalted butter as it’ll already be salted from the searing process. Just make sure to let the butter come to room temperature before mixing in the garlic and herbs. This will make it easier to blend and slather onto the meat.
  • Garlic: It’s all about fresh garlic in this recipe. Not only is fresh minced garlic more pungent in flavor, but it will help add texture to the outside of the tenderloin.
  • Fresh Herbs: Rosemary and thyme always makes for a sensational herb combo for meat dishes. Just make sure to use fresh sprigs, and not dried herbs.

Tenderloin Shopping Tip: Tenderloins can be purchased untrimmed or trimmed. To save yourself time and energy, ask your butcher to trim and tie the roast. And yes, tying with the twine is necessary to ensure even cooking since it’s naturally an oblong shape!

Find the printable recipe with measurements below.

Equipment You’ll Need

Before we dive into the cooking process, let’s make sure you’re well equipped. You’ll need three items – an oven-safe pan, kitchen twine, and a meat thermometer.

  • Cast-Iron Pan: Grab your favorite oven-safe skillet as you’ll sear the tenderloin on the stovetop first, then finish it in the oven. I love to use this cast-iron pan for this recipe!
  • Kitchen Twine: Tying the tenderloin with butcher’s twine ensures that it cooks evenly, as a whole tenderloin is thinner on one end (see how you fix that below).
  • Thermometer: This is a crucial item to make sure your beef tenderloin is cooked perfectly (and to your liking!). You’ve got a few options here as well. You can use a probe thermometer that’s meant to be left in the meat as it cooks, an instant read thermometer, or a basic meat thermometer.

How To Cook Beef Tenderloin Perfectly

Now that you’re fully equipped – let’s get cooking. This beef tenderloin is truly a cinch to make. But first, let the beef tenderloin come to room temperature prior to cooking (about 1 to 2 hours). Then preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C).

Herbed butter in a bowl for beef tenderloin

Make the herbed butter mixture. Stir together the softened butter, herbs, and minced garlic in a bowl and set aside.

Slicing a beef tenderloin in half.

Trim and cut the tenderloin. When you buy a whole beef tenderloin from the butcher it usually comes in this very long, oblong shape. Make sure the silverskin is trimmed off (you or your butcher can do this), tuck the thin end under (so that it’s more uniform in thickness), and then cut it in half (so it’ll fit in the pan).

Beef tenderloin tied in string on a table

Tie it up for even cooking. This part is really important. You must tie up your beef tenderloin for even cooking. Watch the video below to see how I tie up the tenderloin with kitchen twine (it’s really easy!). But you can also ask the butcher to do this.

Seasoning beef tenderloins with salt and pepper

Season the tenderloin. Use paper towels to pat out any excess moisture from the tenderloin. Then season both sides with salt and pepper.

Searing beef tenderloin in a cast iron pan

Sear the tenderloin. Heat the oil in your cast iron pan until it’s shimmering. Then add the beef tenderloin and brown for a few minutes on each side (about 10 minutes total), creating that deliciously looking golden crust.

Beef tenderloin in a pan before roasting

It’s roasting time! Slather the herbed butter mixture over the top side of the beef tenderloin, then transfer the entire pan to the oven. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, or until your preferred level of doneness (which you can reference in the chart below).

Let it rest before slicing! Transfer the tenderloin to a cutting board and let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes. This will help the juices slowly redistribute throughout the meat making it extra tender and juicy! Then remove the twine and slice into 1-inch thick pieces.

Slices of beef tenderloin roast on a plate

How Long To Cook Beef Tenderloin In Oven

Since we’re searing the beef tenderloin first and letting it sit at the end for residual cooking, the roasting time is fairly short. I’m cooking a 4-pound tenderloin, which only needs 15 to 20 minutes for a perfect medium-rare. If you want a medium doneness, just cook it a couple of minutes more. But don’t guess on time (especially as all ovens cook differently). Use a thermometer for the perfect doneness!

Ideal Beef Tenderloin Temperatures

It’s easy to overlook the “resting” process and slice directly into the meat. But keep in mind that there will be residual heat, where the beef tenderloin will continue cooking as it sits at room temperature. And since this is a more delicate cut of beef, medium-rare to medium are your ideal choices for the best texture. I like my pieces a rosy, medium-rare, but you can reference the chart below for your finished preference.

  • Rare – remove at 110°F. Rested temp will be 115-118°F. Majority of the center is bright red with a very thin layer of pink on the outer edge.
  • Medium Rare – remove at 120°F. Rested temp will be 125-128°F. Center is red and becomes pinkish towards the outer edges.
  • Medium – remove at 130°F. Rested temp will be 135-138°F. Center is a warm pink and the outer portion is brown.

Serve It Up With The Tastiest Horseradish Sauce

Guess what? I never liked horseradish sauce… until I made it myself at home. Now I’m obsessed with it! If you really want to wow your guests, serve up the beef tenderloin with this homemade horseradish sauce. It’s divine!

Slices of beef tenderloin with horseradish sauce

Ways To Store Leftovers

Leftovers of this beautiful cut of meat are more than welcome. Because honestly, it tastes just as good the following days! And to make it easier, I’d slice them into pieces while it’s still juicy and fresh. It’ll make reheating a lot easier.

  • In the fridge: Store leftover sliced in an airtight container in the fridge for 4 to 5 days.
  • In the freezer: If you’re wanting to save a few slices past a week, freeze them! Make sure to let the sliced meat cool, then place it in freezer safe bags, and squeeze all the air out. It’ll last for about one month in the freezer.
  • To reheat: If the meat is frozen, thaw in the fridge the day before. Then pop it in the microwave for a minute or two, until it’s warmed through.

Beef Tenderloin Recipe Video

Ready to make the best beef tenderloin you’ll ever have? Follow along in this easy, step-by-step video below!

More Holiday Mains To Serve

A holiday dinner table always puts meaty mains on display! From the perfect roasted turkey to juicy pork chops – here’s a few mouthwatering recipes to wow the crowd. But don’t worry, they’re super easy to make just like this beef tenderloin!

Trust me when I say everyone will be raving about this beef tenderloin for days! If you make it this holiday season, I’d love to hear what you and your loved ones think in a comment below!

A plate of sliced beef tenderloin roast

Beef Tenderloin Roast

4.94 from 31 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan


This garlic herb beef tenderloin roast gives your average steak a major (easy) upgrade! It also makes for stunning main for Christmas and the holidays. Watch the video below to see how I make it!



Beef Tenderloin Roast

  • 1 center-cut beef tenderloin roast (4 to 4 ½ pounds), trimmed and tied
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil

Garlic Herb Butter

  • 6 tablespoons softened butter
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves


  • Remove the beef tenderloin from the fridge and let it come to room temperature prior to cooking, about 1 to 2 hours.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the butter, garlic, rosemary, and thyme. Set aside.
    A bowl of herb butter for beef tenderloin
  • Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Slice the beef tenderloin in half, then trim and tie it up (if it hasn't already been done by the butcher).
    Tied up beef tenderloin on a table
  • Use paper towels to pat any excess moisture from the beef tenderloin, then season both sides with salt and pepper.
    A plate of beef tenderloins seasoned with salt and pepper
  • Heat the oil in a large cast-iron pan over medium-high heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add the beef tenderloin and brown for a few minutes on all sides, about 10 minutes total, to create a golden brown crust.
    Searing beef tenderloins in a pan on stovetop
  • Slather the butter herb mixture over the top side of the beef tenderloin, then transfer the entire pan to the oven. If using a probe thermometer, insert the probe before placing the tenderloin in the oven. Roast the beef tenderloin for 15-20 minutes, depending on how you like your meat cooked (see temperature tips above).
    Oven roasting beef tenderloins with butter mixture
  • Remove the beef tenderloin from the oven and transfer to a cutting board. Let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes, to allow the juices to redistribute. Then remove the twine and slice into 1-inch thick pieces. If you'd like, serve with horseradish sauce.
    A plate of sliced beef tenderloin with horseradish sauce

Lisa’s Tips

Don’t forget to make the homemade horseradish sauce, it pairs beautifully! And there’s so many delicious sides you can serve with this tenderloin. A few of my favorites include:


Calories: 732kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 41g | Fat: 62g | Saturated Fat: 26g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 26g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 181mg | Sodium: 768mg | Potassium: 706mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 276IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 5mg
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Beed Tenderloin Roast, Beef Tenderloin
Did you make this recipe?Mention @downshiftology or tag #downshiftology!

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Recipe Rating


  1. This was the BEST beef tenderloin I’ve ever eaten in my life. And I’m impressed with myself that I made it, lol! The horseradish sauce was also super tasty. I highly recommend making that to accompany it.5 stars

    1. Yay! I’m happy you loved both the beef tenderloin and the horseradish sauce. They’re a dream pairing, aren’t they?

  2. I have never made a beef tenderloin and I tried this recipe today, with trepidation. I was intimidated. This recipe however is simple, well-written, and it turned out great!! My MIL said it was the most tender meat she’s ever had! everyone loved it!5 stars

  3. I can’t wait to make this next weekend for a dinner party of eight! I’m wondering if this would still be OK served room temperature? I was hoping to get everything cooked before the guests arrive? Alternatively, could I reheat it in a very low (say 200 degree) oven for a bit? ‘ll have 5lbs. of meat? Grateful thanks!

  4. I never learned to cook while living at home. Thank goodness for the internet and people like Lisa who don’t mind sharing their time and talent! This roast made an excellent Christmas dinner and I can’t wait to make it again. I followed the recipe exactly!5 stars

  5. Knocked the socks off the dinner guests! Followed the recipe as directed and had a perfect medium rare result. Thank you so very much for this terrific recipe! 5 stars

  6. We followed your recipe and it was delicious! The garlic butter with herbs was the perfect seasoning combo. Everyone from 10 months to 68 years old enjoyed our tasty Christmas tenderloin roast! 
    Thank you for sharing your recipe! 
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2023!4 stars

  7. Recipe was delicious, but it took way longer to get my meat to medium. Which if I would of known I would of planned accordingly. I had a total of 5lbs of tenderloin split into 2 like recipe suggested and it took almost an hour at 425 to get my meat to 140.4 stars

  8. I made this for Christmas yesterday, and it was absolutely AMAZING! Thank you so very much for this recipe. Based on the other reviews, and Lisa saying the horseradish sauce is a must, I made it, although I do not like horseradish at all! WOW! Such a perfect accompaniment, and delicious. This is my new Christmas dinner. Thank you, Lisa!5 stars

  9. Made this recipe for Thanksgiving because we’re not fans of turkey and it was unbelievable!! Recipe was perfect and everyone loved it! Thank you, Lisa!!5 stars

  10. Delicious! I’ve made this for Christmas and it was an absolute hit. I need to make it again but this time for 12 people and was wondering if you could share how much bigger a piece of tenderloin I should get and would that change the cooking instructions at all. Thank you in advance5 stars

    1. So happy you love the recipe Katie! You’ll probably need about 6 pounds total. And no, the cooking directions would still be the same, though you’ll likely have to do it in batches.

  11. OMG, this was the best beef tenderloin ever! I am not exaggerating. I made this beef tenderloin for a birthday dinner with my extended family and it was a gigantic hit. I followed the recipe exactly. I bought Prime beef tenderloin; meat was so tender, we could cut the meat with a fork. But the seasonings and the prep made this beef tenderloin a winner. 5 stars

  12. I was nervous about making this dish and squandering this very expensive cut of meat but it turned out fabulous! It paired so well with horseradish sauce and I definitely plan to make it again. It was extremely flavorful, tender, and all around perfect with some roasted vegetables. One thing that I would add though is that it took longer than 15-20 minutes in the oven to get medium-rare for me despite waiting for the meat to reach room temp prior to searing for 10 minutes.5 stars

  13. Thank you very much for this recipe! My wife and I have been following your youtube channel for a couple years and this recipe popped up on my feed a couple weeks before Christmas. I had bought new carbon steel pans and so wanted a good dish to test those pans for 6 adults for the holidays. This tenderloin recipe was perfect and easy to follow! I actually almost forgot to add the herb butter when putting the meat into the oven but remembered a few minutes in and it still turned out great. I served this with your horseradish sauce as well as a mushroom sauce from a fellow youtuber and it was a hit with my in-laws! Thank you so much for all your content and have a wonderful holiday season! -Avelino and Lori5 stars

  14. I made this tenderloin and horseradish sauce for Christmas Eve dinner. I was very nervous because of the price of the meat. I followed your direction to the letter and received rave reviews. Thank you so much for the step-by-step directions..5 stars

  15. I made this tenderloin and horseradish sauce for Christmas Eve dinner. I was very nervous because of the price of the meat. I followed your direction to the letter and received rave reviews. Thank you so much for the step-by-step directions..5 stars

    1. It can be a bit intimidating, but I’m glad this recipe helped you cook up the perfect tenderloin for Christmas!

  16. oh my goodness! I loved this and will definitely be making it again. Such lovely flavors, and gorgeous too! Loved the horseradish sauce too!5 stars

  17. We followed this recipe exactly, and it was oh my yummy goodness so delicious!  It was easy to pull off and impressed our guests too. Definitely a winner — we’ll probably make it every Christmas now!  5 stars

  18. We just finished eating this amazing beef tenderloin for Christmas dinner.  It was so good! Recipe was spot on. Will make again for sure!5 stars

  19. This turned out perfectly, and my family loved it! We used to have prime rib on Christmas Eve, but this is so much easier, faster and more delicious, and the cleanup is easier. This will be our go-to Christmas Eve dinner from now on!5 stars

  20. Omg! This recipe is fabulous. Paid 66 dollars for a 2 lb tenderloin and this was the best filet I’ve ever tasted. Thank u so very much for this amazing recipe for Christmas dinner. My husband and I loved it so much we had 2 helpings.5 stars

  21. Thank you Lisa! It was delicious. And so easy.. I was definitely intimidated as I had never cooked it before and of course the price tag too. It will undoubtedly be served again. Everyone loved it. 5*****5 stars

  22. When your 17 year old daughter, that is going to college next year,  turns to you during Christmas Eve dinner and says “Dad, this is perfect.’…THAT makes for the best memory.
    Excellent recipe!  Thank you.  6 stars!!!5 stars

  23. Awesome, perfect directions as always. Couldn’t manage the horseradish sauce, just served with a little spicy mustard which was also great. Wonderful!5 stars

  24. Made this last night for friends and it was fantastic.  My husband has been taking about it all day. The horseradish sauce was also great but I would suggest on doubling it.5 stars

    1. Hi Grace – I’m sure it could be! But unfortunately I haven’t tried that so I’m not sure what the directions would be.

  25. I can cook anything without a problem but cooking any type of beef intimidates me! My husband doesn’t eat beef so I never cook it! I want to make this for Christmas. Getting to right temperature scares me! Can I sear this in frying pan and then transfer it to a roasting pan to finish cooking If it doesn’t fit in frying pan? 

    1. Yes, no problem finishing it in a roasting pan. And don’t be intimidated by this recipe, I’m sure you’ll impress your husband and he’ll love it!

  26. I would love to serve this for Christmas! I have one oven though and not sure what order to cook things… i would like to make the glazed carrots, roasted potatoes and maybe asparagus? what would you suggest the order I tackle these? 1. Make roast potatoes and carrots. 2. While the carrots and potatoes are roasting, prepare the tenderloin meat. 3. While the meat is roasting in the oven, sauteed asparagus on stovetop?

    Any suggestions would be appreciated

    1. Yep! I agree with the strategy you listed out. It will give you ample time to roast and prep the tenderloin.

  27. All I have to say is WOW! Gave this a try last night for a dinner party and it came out so tender with a perfect medium rare. Everyone loved it. Also, the temperatures listed in the post helped a lot! 5 stars

  28. Question: I don’t think this can be made ahead of time for a dinner party, is that right? Can one sear the tenderloin and let it sit in the pan then stick it in the oven a couple of hours (2) later just before serving? Thank you

    1. It’s best not to make this recipe ahead of time as letting it sit in the pan will change the internal temperatures.

  29. Question: I am planning to do this for family of 15 at Christmas. So I doubled the recipe. Can I cook it on a sheet pan in the oven instead of the frying pan since that amount of meat may not fit into a frying pan?

    1. You can roast them as is without searing them in the frying pan, you just won’t get that delicious crust on the outside. Otherwise, you can roast in the oven for 1 to 3 hours, depending on how well you would like them done. Just refer to the internal temperature chart I have listed in the post!

  30. This looks delicious! Would it work well with a non dairy butter substitute like Earth Balance or is the real butter too important in this recipe