This beef tenderloin is seared to golden brown perfection, then topped with flavorful garlic butter and roasted in the oven. An easy and elegant dinner option that’s great for entertaining and for holiday meals.

When I want to impress my friends and family, I serve prime rib, lobster or this succulent beef tenderloin. It comes out perfectly tender and juicy every time!

Beef Tenderloin with Garlic Butter #beef #steak #dinner #dinneratthezoo Beef Tenderloin with Garlic Butter #beef #steak #dinner #dinneratthezoo

Sliced beef tenderloin garnished with fresh parsley.

There are special occasions where it’s worth splurging on something a little decadent, like a beef tenderloin roast. This recipe coats this succulent cut of meat with a generous amount of garlic butter for maximum flavor. The meat comes out perfectly cooked every time, it’s practically fool proof!

What cut of meat is a beef tenderloin?

Beef tenderloin is a long cylindrical muscle that is found in the loin near the backbone. It is between the sirloin and the top sirloin and stretches forward to the short loin. The tenderloin is easy to carve and very tender. The tenderloin does not have a lot of marbling, but it is flavorful and is considered to be a prize cut of meat.

Beef tenderloin roasts tied with twine.

How to cook beef tenderloin

To cook beef tenderloin, first sprinkle a generous amount of salt and pepper on the meat and sear it in olive oil. Spread a mixture of garlic and butter over the beef after it is seared. The beef goes into the oven at high heat until the meat is cooked through to the perfect temperature. Take the meat out of the oven and after a few minutes of rest, the meat is ready to carve and serve.

How long do you cook beef tenderloin?

After I sear my tenderloin, I like to roast it for about 20 minutes until it reaches 125 degrees F. As the beef rests, the internal temperature rises to 130 degrees F for medium rare meat. If you prefer that your meat be less pink in the center, you can continue to cook it to a higher temperature.

Seared tenderloin roasts in a pan.

Why is tenderloin so expensive?

Tenderloin is the most tender and one of the most desirable pieces of beef. It also is a relatively small portion of the cow. The demand for tenderloin along with its rarity means that tenderloin is an expensive cut of meat.

How to tie a tenderloin

In order to hold the tenderloin together and cook it evenly, it is a good idea to tie the tenderloin with kitchen twine. Tying the tenderloin is not particularly difficult. Take a string and loop it around the length of the meat horizontally, tie a knot, and wrap the string vertically around the length of the meat. Move down the length of the meat and place a loop around the width of the meat about 1 or 2 inches apart. Tie the loops around the width of the meat to the strings going around the length of the meat. Tying the roast will give you evenly cooked meat all the way through.

Beef roasts topped with garlic butter.

Beef Temperatures

The doneness of beef tenderloin will depend on the temperature of the interior of the meat. Take the meat out of the oven 5 degrees below the temperature you are aiming for. The temperature will continue to rise as the meat rests out of the oven. Keep an eye on the beef as it rests to make sure that it reaches the optimal temperature. I use an electronic thermometer with a remote so I can continually monitor the progress of the meat.

Rare: 120-130 degrees F

Medium Rare: 130-135 degrees F

Medium: 135-140 degrees F

Medium Well: 145-155 degrees F

Well Done: 155 degrees F

Flavor variations

Beef tenderloin is so naturally flavorful and delicious you don’t need to add a lot of other seasonings. However, if you feel like trying an additional flavor boost, you can experiment with one of these options.

  • Try pouring a red wine sauce or a gravy on top of the meat.
  • Feel free to add herbs to the garlic butter like chopped thyme, sage or rosemary.
  • You can top the carved beef with sauteed mushrooms.
  • Try wrapping the tenderloin in bacon strips before you sear it.

Roasted garlic butter beef tenderloin in a pan.

You can never go wrong with tenderloin – it’s perfect for a special occasion, or just for one of those days when you’re looking for an indulgent meat. This is my go-to recipe when I’m looking to impress!

More recipes you’ll love

5 from 17 votes

Beef Tenderloin with Garlic Butter

AuthorSara Welch
Sliced beef tenderloin garnished with fresh parsley.
This beef tenderloin is seared to golden brown perfection, then topped with flavorful garlic butter and roasted in the oven.  An easy and elegant dinner option that's great for entertaining and for holiday meals.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time50 minutes
Course Main
Cuisine American
Serves 12


  • 5 lb beef tenderloin trimmed and tied. You can leave the tenderloin whole or cut it into 2 pieces for easier handling.
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 tablespoons butter softened
  • 2 teaspoons garlic minced
  • parsley sprigs optional garnish


  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large oven safe pan over high heat. Rub the salt and pepper all over the tenderloin.
  • Sear the meat on all sides until browned, about 4 minutes per side.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the butter and garlic. Spread the butter mixture all over the meat.
  • Place the pan in the oven. Cook for 20 minutes or until a thermometer reaches at least 125 degrees F for medium rare meat. If you prefer your meat to be less pink, you can leave it in for longer. Refer to the meat temperature cooking guide in the text of the post.
  • Cover the meat and let it rest for 10 minutes.
  • Slice and serve. Garnish with parsley if desired.


Calories: 490kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Cholesterol: 147mg | Sodium: 530mg | Potassium: 578mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 175IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 17mg | Iron: 4mg

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    The seared outside looks fantastic and the garlic butter on top just sounds marvelous. Definitely making this for my family.

  2. 5 stars
    Beef tenderloins is one of my favorite things to make. I will have to make this recipe with the garlic butter next week. It would also be perfect for feeding our hungry family on Easter.

  3. 5 stars
    Made this for the first time on New Year’s Eve. So delicious I am making it again today. You won’t be disappointed!

  4. 5 stars
    Made this for dinner last night and it was the perfect Sunday dinner! Looking forward to making this again soon and definitely for our Christmas dinner!

  5. 5 stars
    This beef Tenderloin looks beautifully done, just perfect. My husband and I love grilling it and I am betting he would love your version too. Putting this on my list for this weekend.