This beef tenderloin recipe 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 dinner recipes such as smoked prime rib, lobster tails or this succulent beef tenderloin recipe. It comes out perfectly tender and juicy every time!

A sliced beef tenderloin recipe in a pan, 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! I like to serve it for a very special Christmas dinner.

Beef Tenderloin Ingredients

To make this recipe, you will need beef tenderloin, kosher salt, black pepper, olive oil, butter and garlic.

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 butcher’s 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. You could also ask your butcher to tie your roast when you buy it.

How Do You 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 in a pan or large skillet. 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. Remove the meat from the oven and after a few minutes of rest, the meat is ready to carve. Serve with the garlic butter and pan juices and enjoy.

Beef tenderloin roasts tied with twine.

Tips For The Perfect Dish

Quick Tip

Use any extra meat to make sandwiches the next day. You can also dice up the meat to use in steak tacos.

Seared tenderloin roasts in a pan.

Recipe FAQs

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 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.

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. Filet mignon steaksare from the same cut of meat.


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.

Rare: 120-130 degrees F

Medium-Rare: 130-135 degrees F

Regular Medium: 135-140 degrees F

Medium Well: 145-155 degrees F

Well Done: 155 degrees F

Roasted garlic butter beef tenderloin in a pan.

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.

  • Make a sauce for the beef such as mushroom steak sauce. Or offer some homemade steak sauce on the side for dipping.
  • Feel free to add herbs to the garlic butter including chopped thyme, parsley, sage or rosemary. You can also season the butter with lemon zest, and spices such as smoked paprika, garlic powder or onion powder.
  • You can top the carved beef with sauteed mushrooms and onions.
  • Try wrapping the tenderloin in bacon strips before you sear it.

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!

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5 from 25 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.


  1. It’s really important to use a meat thermometer to ensure that your meat is properly cooked. I use a digital probe which I insert into the thickest part of the roast.
  2. This recipe is best when served as soon as the meat has finished resting.


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 tenderloin was cooked to perfection and the garlic butter added a delicious flavor. It was easy to make and my family loved it.

  2. 5 stars
    What a delicious recipe, my family loved them! Looking forward to browsing and trying more of your recipes!

  3. 5 stars
    We tried this tenderloin on the weekend and it was fabulous! I appreciate your tips on how to tie them as well as I have always struggled with that. Great recipe – thanks!