Beef tenderloin isn’t complicated to cook— with the right method, it’s absolutely simple.

In this beef tenderloin recipe, beef is perfectly seasoned with salt, pepper and fresh herbs. It comes out incredibly juicy and fork-tender with a crisp exterior every time!

In this recipe, I use a reverse sear for tender meat and a more consistent cook throughout. This beef is a delicious meal to enjoy on a special occasion.

sliced Roast Beef Tenderloin

What is Beef Tenderloin?

Beef tenderloin is a very lean, tender piece of beef from under the backbone. This area of the cow doesn’t get a lot of use which makes the most tender cut of beef!

When served in single portions, tenderloin is cut into thick slices and known as filet mignon. When it’s cut from the center to form an even roast, it is sometimes called Chateaubriand.

It is possible to purchase a whole beef tenderloin or “filet”, and while this is definitely one of the most expensive cuts of beef, it’s way less expensive to make it at home! Because of the hefty price tag, many home cooks feel intimidated by cooking it; however, there’s no need to worry!

It is easy to roast tenderloin, and with the reverse sear method below (and an instant-read thermometer), it comes out absolutely perfectly every single time. Since this is a very expensive cut of meat, we enjoy it for a special occasion like Christmas dinner.

Kitchen Recommendation

If you cook meat (of any kind!), a thermometer is one of the most important tools in your kitchen.

We all know that meat is expensive, and a thermometer is a minimal investment (mine was under $15) to ensure a perfect cook on everything from steaks to juicy chicken to pork tenderloin. A $15 investment can ensure you cook all of your meats correctly!

Always place the thermometer in the thickest part of the meat (away from the bone if your meat has a bone).

Ingredients and Variations

BEEF TENDERLOIN: This recipe calls for a 4-pound beef tenderloin roast. The time and temperature it’s cooked at depends on the weight (and a little bit on the shape).

SEASONINGS: Since tenderloin doesn’t have a lot of marbling, it’s important to season it properly to enhance the flavor (and that it isn’t overcooked!). This beef tenderloin recipe adds a very simple seasoning blend with freshly cracked black pepper, thyme, rosemary, sea salt, and a bit of brown sugar.

Other additions can be added, like a bit of dijon mustard mixed with olive oil or your favorite herbs.

OLIVE OIL: Olive oil helps the seasoning mix to stick to the meat while it is roasting.

What is Reverse Sear?

When meat is seared, it is often cooked at a high temperature to brown the outside and then cooked at a lower temperature to the desired doneness. In a reverse sear, the meat is cooked a lower temperature first and then browned at the end.

The slow cook makes it tender and juicy while the high temperature gives a nice browned crust… the reverse of searing meat.

I love reverse sear as it results in very tender meat and a more consistent cook throughout (I cook to medium-rare).

This technique can be used with steaks, or other thick cuts of meat (like roasted lamb) and the results are almost always perfect.

How to Cook Beef Tenderloin

This easy method uses a long and slow cook time to cook the meat until tender. Once it’s tender, the oven is turned up really high to sear the outside. So good.

  1. Allow meat to rest at room temperature for 1 hour, and preheat the oven according to the recipe below.
  2. With a flexible, sharp-tipped knife, lift a 1-inch section of the fat & silver skin, poking the knife all the way through. Gently run the knife under the fat section in 1-inch strips, peeling it off as you go.
  3. Pat roast dry and tie with butcher twine at 1-inch intervals with kitchen twine.
  1. Rub the roast with oil and roll in herbs, salt & black pepper.
  2. Insert a thermometer into the center of the roast and place it in the oven. Cook just until it reaches 120°F. Remove from the oven immediately.
  3. While the roast rests for 10-15 minutes, preheat the oven to a searing temperature of 450°F.
  4. Place roast back in oven and sear until internal temperature reaches 125-130°F (or desired temperature below).
  5. Remove promptly and allow to rest again, loosely covered with foil. This allows the juices to redistribute.

Beef Tenderloin Temperatures

  • Rare 120 – 125°F Bight red center
  • Medium Rare 130 – 135°F Dark pink center
  • Medium 140 – 145°F Pink center
  • Medium Well 150 – 155°F Browned center with very little pink
  • Well Done 160°F
slices of roast beef tenderloin cooked medium rare

What to Serve with Beef Tenderloin

Serve beef tenderloin with a vegetable, potatoes, and a side of creamy horseradish sauce for the perfect meal. We love to add a caesar salad and garlic bread. After all, beef tenderloin deserves some special treatment when it comes to side dishes!



Tips for a Tender Beef Roast

  • Invest in a meat thermometer; it’s essential for cooking meat to tender perfection. Cutting into meat to check for doneness without letting it rest lets all the juices out, and makes the meat tougher and less flavorful.
  • To ensure the perfect crust on a tenderloin:
    • let the beef come to room temperature before roasting.
    • dab dry before oiling and seasoning
    • salt just before cooking
  • Do not overcook.
  • Be sure to rest before cutting.

Did you make this Roast Beef Tenderloin? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below! 

sliced Roast Beef Tenderloin
5 from 49 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Roast Beef Tenderloin (Reverse Sear)

Tender, juicy, and fork-tender, this beef tenderloin is the king of all cuts of beef!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Resting Time 20 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 5 minutes
Servings 6


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  • 4 pound beef tenderloin
  • 2 tablespoons freshly cracked peppercorns or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


  • Remove tenderloin from the fridge 60 minutes before cooking.
  • Preheat oven to 225°F.
  • To prepare roast, cut off fat and any silver skin. Tie the roast.
  • Combine peppercorns, rosemary, thyme leaves, kosher salt, and brown sugar in a small bowl.
  • Dab the tenderloin dry with paper towels, rub the outside with olive oil, and sprinkle with the herb mixture.
  • Place tenderloin on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until internal temperature reaches 120°F, about 60-70 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and rest 10-15 minutes. While the roast is resting, turn the oven up to 450°F.
  • Place the roast back into the oven and cook until it reaches 125-130°F, about 25-35 minutes.
  • Rest 10 minutes before serving.


A meat thermometer is essential for cooking meat to perfection.
Let the beef come to room temperature before roasting.
Dab dry before oiling and seasoning
Salt just before cooking
Do not overcook. 
Be sure to rest before cutting.
  • Rare 120 – 125°F Bight red center
  • Medium Rare 130 – 135°F Dark pink center
  • Medium 140 – 145°F Pink center
  • Medium Well 150 – 155°F Browned center with very little pink
  • Well Done 160°F
5 from 49 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 874 | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 55g | Fat: 71g | Saturated Fat: 28g | Cholesterol: 212mg | Sodium: 1311mg | Potassium: 932mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 75IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 7mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Beef, Dinner, Entree, Main Course
Cuisine American
sliced Roast Beef Tenderloin and plated with writing
cooked Roast Beef Tenderloin with a title
plated Roast Beef Tenderloin with writing
close up of sliced Roast Beef Tenderloin with a title


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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Recipe Rating


  1. Good Morning Holly ☺️☕, I just want you to know I have so many of your helpful recipes, and I love them all, at 67 we don’t know as much as we think we do, so. thank you very much. I just wanted to let you know I have made a beef tenderloin before, it turned out good, but I was missing the herbs that you added to this one, cannot wait to try this one! ❤️ looking forward to more recipes. ☺️5 stars

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words Linda, I’m so glad you’ve loved the recipes! We love the herbs (especially the rosemary) in this recipe too. Happy Cooking!

  2. Why is this the perfect recipe?
    Because if you follow it to the letter and you have an instant-read meat thermometer and use it, the end result will be just as you hoped. For a boneless tenderloin of beef at $104 per 4 pounds, you won’t do any better than this recipe. And the reverse searing works!5 stars

  3. I was under the impression that the reverse searing method didn’t require a resting time prior to slicing. I also go by the temperature on an instant read thermometer. Photo looks like garlic was also used?5 stars

    1. For best results on this recipe, we let it rest for 10 minutes before slicing into it. We didn’t use garlic but that would be a delicious addition.

  4. Could I cook it through the first part of the recipe and then finish it an hour later. I’m in charge of preparing the meat but mom lives an hour away. Can I start it at home or wait to do it all at her home. I’d like to enjoy family rather than be in the kitchen.

    1. Hi Jessie, I would prep the roast up to step 6 and then roast it once at your moms. Once prepped it is a pretty hands off recipe as long as you set the time :) But this way the meat will be nicely cooked through and perfectly seared when ready to serve it. I hope that helps!

  5. So I thought seating after roasting was done on high heat in a cast iron pan. Never heard of doing it in the oven. Does it work better in the oven? I’m sure less mess that’s for sure. Thanks

    1. I find doing a reverse sear like this it comes our perfectly every time :) Enjoy Sherry!

  6. Way way cheaper to make at home with Prime Costco meat. Great recipe and I love how you tied the roast after prepping for the rub. Mmmm5 stars

  7. I never know where to actually put a meat thermometer in a roast when told the center. Is that the center on an end or center looking down from top where I would put it in to halfway through?

    1. Generally the center from the top looking down. You want to insert it into the center of the thickest part of the meat to ensure it is cooked properly. I hope that helps!

  8. Excellent, this was so delicious! This recipe is a keeper. Better than any beef tenderloin that I would get out at a restaurant.5 stars

  9. Yikes, I’ve never cooked a beef tenderloin…and it’s our daughter’s 50th birthday and she has asked for a roast beef dinner, and I can’t any better than beef tenderloin, if I can afford the piece of meat! The price of beef is crazy now, for sure ! I am so eager to use your recipe! Thank you for the step by step instructions. Though I’ve been cooking for over 55 yrs. something new to an old lady ( ;) ) can make one nervous !!! Blessings to you ! Sue

    1. Hi Sue, I hope it turned out delicious for you! Please pass along our birthday wishes for your daughter!

  10. Millie, Should I use a roasting pan with a rack to make this beef tenderloin? I’ve never made a beef tenderloin before. Your recipe sounds delicious
    Thank you,

  11. Hi Holly,
    Love your recipies! I was wondering if I could adjust this recipe so that it’s enough for 2? It will just my husband and I for Christmas so how would you suggest to change the cook times etc?

    1. Hi Millie, if making this with a smaller beef tenderloin I would check the internal temperature halfway through (depending on the size), and adjust the cooking time accordingly to ensure it reaches 120°F. Then again about halfway through when cooking it at the higher temperature to ensure it doesn’t overcook.