There are special occasions that call for specific dishes — turkey on Thanksgiving is an obvious one, and ham on Easter is pretty prevalent. When it comes to the Christmas holiday season, in our household an oven beef tenderloin is a must.
That said, we don’t reserve this tasty roast for just holidays either. It’s great for any gathering and I make it for dinner on weeknights, occasionally, too.
This dish works so well because it’s such a flavorful beef cut that very little has to be done to it before roasting. Then, the time that it takes to roast allows me the opportunity to make all of the side dishes I want to go along with it.
I also love that when we make it for a weeknight dinner I can repurpose it for all sorts of other dishes throughout the week so no one gets tired of leftovers. Quesadillas, salads, cheesesteaks – you name it!
If you’re looking for an easy recipe that will also be a crowd-pleaser for the holidays — or any other time — try this roast beef tenderloin. You won’t be disappointed!
Common Questions about Oven Beef Tenderloin
What temperature of doneness is the best for tenderloin?
While you can cook it to your desired degree of doneness, most recommendations call for an internal temperature of around 130 – 140 degrees Fahrenheit. This achieves a medium-rare roast which is the ideal doneness for tenderloin.
What is the best way to cook beef tenderloin?
Roasting a tenderloin (after searing) is the best way to cook it. Some suggest cooking it on low heat for even juicier results. You can also experiment with a reverse-sear method.
How can I be sure not to overcook my tenderloin?
Using a meat thermometer and paying attention to cooking times are both crucial. However, making sure to tie up the tenderloin (and tuck under the thin end) will also ensure that you don’t wind up with thinner slices that are overcooked.
How should I slice my beef tenderloin?
For the best flavor and presentation, cutting the meat into thin slices (no more than 3/4 of an inch) is best.
Making Oven Beef Tenderloin Ahead of Time
This oven beef tenderloin recipe is best when prepared just before serving. However, you can apply the seasoning up to 24 hours ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator.
It’s easy to store beef after roasting. Keep in mind it may be a challenge to reheat the beef to retain the same texture and doneness, but it’s still great for other leftovers like salad with slices of tenderloin or for sandwiches.
Refrigerator: Store sliced beef in an airtight container or in ziploc bags. Alternatively, you can wrap the entire unsliced beef tightly in plastic wrap — either way, it will keep for up to 4 days.
Freezing: Place sliced beef in a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 3 months.
Tips For The Best Oven Beef Tenderloin
This simple recipe is easy to follow and results in an amazing tenderloin. There are a few things that you can do, though, to make sure it turns out best.
- Make sure to tie up the tenderloin. It doesn’t take long and it ensures that your beef cooks uniformly.
- Don’t skimp on the rest time. It’s tempting to slice right into the tenderloin but allowing it time to rest results in a much juicier piece of meat.
- Make sure to sear — this step takes a few extra minutes but it’s worth it to create that crust and keep the juices in the beef while roasting.
- Whole tenderloin (beef)
- Kosher salt or sea salt
- Cracked black pepper
- Butter (unsalted and softened)
- Garlic cloves (minced)
- Horseradish sauce
- Oil (olive oil, vegetable oil, or your preferred variety)
Kitchen Supplies You’ll Need
- Kitchen twine
- Large cast-iron skillet
- Baking dish or roasting pan (optional)
- Large tongs
- Meat thermometer
How to Make Oven Beef Tenderloin
- Using kitchen string, tie up the tenderloin to ensure that it cooks evenly (you may want to trim any excess fat before tying.)
- Liberally season the beef with salt and pepper.
- Pour the oil into the cast iron skillet.
- Heat the skillet over medium-high heat.
- Using the tongs, place the beef tenderloin into the skillet. Sear all sides of the tenderloin.
- Once the tenderloin has a caramelized brown crust on all sides, remove the hot skillet from the heat.
- In a small bowl, mix together the softened butter, garlic, and horseradish until all ingredients are completely combined.
- If using a baking dish or roasting pan, transfer the tenderloin to the baking dish (or roasting rack of the pan) at this point. If you’re using a baking dish but want the benefit of the oven’s hot air to reach all sides of the tenderloin (like in a roasting pan), situate a wire rack in your baking dish.
- Spoon the butter mixture over the entire tenderloin.
- Once the tenderloin is completely covered with the butter, insert the oven-safe thermometer into the center of the beef.
- Be sure to position the oven rack in the center before placing the skillet or pan in the oven.
- Allow the tenderloin to roast until it reaches the desired internal temperature. Avoid frequently opening the oven door in order to maintain a constant temperature.
- Once the roast is finished cooking, remove it from the oven and place the beef on a cutting board.
- Create an aluminum foil tent over top and let the meat rest.
- After the meat rests, slice it on the carving board and serve.
What to Serve With Oven Beef Tenderloin
There are tons of side dishes and such to serve with this dish. You can dress it up with fancier sides or you can make more casual accompaniments.
- Vegetables – Serve a simple salad or easy veggies like green beans, spinach, or asparagus.
- Potatoes – Probably one of the most popular choices, mashed potatoes are always a hit with roasted beef. You can also make baked potatoes or smashed potatoes, or roast chunky-cut potatoes.
- Pasta – I love a good baked macaroni and cheese with my beef but you could also serve a pasta salad or a simple scampi.
- Seafood – For special occasions, I love to make a surf and turf-style meal. You can get fancy with lobster, but shrimp and fish work just as well.
- Mushrooms – No beef meal is complete for me without sauteed or roasted mushrooms and they pair perfectly with this tenderloin. Spoon it over top, or serve it on the side.
- Sauces – Try making a sauce that can go over top or that you can dip your tenderloin into. Creamy horseradish sauce will go well with this tenderloin as will a red wine sauce.
Why You Should Make This Recipe
There’s no end to the reasons that this recipe is a winner! Here are a few reasons to tie up that tenderloin and roast it for dinner.
- Easy – There are only a few simple hands-on steps before you let the oven take over all the work.
- Convenient – You likely have most of the ingredients in your pantry. Plus, since most of the time spent on this beef is time in the oven there’s plenty of time left to prepare sides.
- Versatile – This beef is perfect for holiday dinners and gatherings, but it’s also a great meal for a casual family dinner with little cleanup and plenty of leftovers for later in the week.
- Forgiving – Since beef tenderloin is one of the most tender cuts, even if it’s left in the oven a little longer than you wanted it will still likely retain all of its moistness. Just don’t leave it too long.
Variations and Add-ins
This juicy beef tenderloin is incredible with the most simple of preparations. However, you can also add your own twists to the recipe.
- Garlic – While fresh garlic is always best, if you don’t have fresh garlic you can substitute garlic powder or jarred minced garlic.
- Other spices – Try using onion powder, cumin, or curry to change up the flavor profile.
- Horseradish alternatives – Spicy brown mustard, wasabi paste, and dijon mustard are all options if you don’t have horseradish on hand.
- Cut – While tenderloin is definitely my favorite cut to use for this recipe since it is the most tender cut of beef, if you’re cutting corners on costs you can choose another cut. Keep in mind that when you choose a lean cut of meat, though, it may benefit from lower heat when roasting.
- Aromatics – You can put sprigs of fresh thyme and rosemary in the baking dish or the cast iron skillet while roasting to impart those flavors. Just make sure to discard the sprigs after removing the roast from the oven.
If you love this Oven Beef Tenderloin recipe, you’re going to love these other savory meals too. Please click each link below to find the easy, printable recipe!
Other Beef Dishes
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Oven Beef Tenderloin
- 1 whole beef tenderloin about 5 pounds
- Kosher salt
- cracked black pepper
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- ½ cup butter 1 stick – unsalted, softened
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 teaspoons horseradish sauce
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
- Tie up the tenderloin and season it with salt and pepper as desired.
- Place the oil in a large cast-iron skillet and heat it over medium-high heat.
- Sear the beef tenderloin on all sides, about 1 to 2 minutes per side, creating a brown caramelized crust.
- Meanwhile combine the softened butter, garlic, and horseradish together in a small dish.
- Spread the seared tenderloin with the butter mixture and then insert a probe thermometer.
- If using a cast-iron skillet, place it in the preheated oven, or transfer it to a baking dish and then place it in the preheated oven. Roast until the desired internal temperature is reached, about 20 to 30 minutes. *See notes for temperatures.
- Remove the tenderloin from the oven and transfer it to a cutting board. Let it rest for 15 to 20 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute before slicing it into ¾ inch slices to serve.
Rare – 120-129 degrees F
Medium Rare – 130-139 degrees F
Medium – 140-149 degrees F
Nutritional information for the recipe is provided as a courtesy and is approximate. Please double-check with your own dietary calculator for the best accuracy. We at Taste of the Frontier cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site. Erythritol carbs are not included in carb counts as it has been shown not to impact blood sugar. Net carbs are the total carbs minus fiber.
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