Roasted Beef Tenderloin Recipe (2024)

By Genevieve Ko

Updated Dec. 19, 2023

Roasted Beef Tenderloin Recipe (1)

Total Time
2 hours, plus trimming and tying, if needed
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A whole beef tenderloin is a splurge, an ideal party centerpiece for Christmas or any other holiday, that tastes as good hot as it does at room temperature. It also looks impressive, especially if it’s evenly rosy through the center and nicely browned on the outside. To achieve that, a combination of soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and sugar is mixed with butter to slather all over the meat. It helps create a caramelized yet delicate deep-brown crust without the hassle of searing and gives the mild meat a more complex savory flavor. So does a classic creamy horseradish sauce. This cut would also be delicious with herby chimichurri or a rich béarnaise and goes with just about any holiday side dish. An untrimmed beef tenderloin costs a lot less than one that comes peeled and tied. Follow the tip to prepare it yourself and use the trimmings to make stock.

Featured in: These 2 Holiday Mains Aren’t Just Stunning. They Cook in Under an Hour.

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Yield:8 to 12 servings

  • 1whole (4-pound) beef tenderloin, peeled (trimmed) and tied (see Tip)
  • 2tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1teaspoon granulated sugar
  • Coarse sea or kosher salt and coarsely ground black pepper
  • Chopped parsley, for serving (optional)
  • Horseradish sauce, for serving

Ingredient Substitution Guide

Nutritional analysis per serving (10 servings)

68 calories; 5 grams fat; 3 grams saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 2 grams monounsaturated fat; 0 grams polyunsaturated fat; 1 gram carbohydrates; 0 grams dietary fiber; 1 gram sugars; 4 grams protein; 118 milligrams sodium

Note: The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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Roasted Beef Tenderloin Recipe (2)


  1. Step


    Take the beef out of the refrigerator an hour before cooking so that it will cook evenly and not end up overdone on the outside while the center is still cold. Pat it very dry if it isn’t already.

  2. Step


    Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Line a large sheet pan with foil. Place the beef on the pan.

  3. Step


    Mix the butter, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and sugar in a small bowl until the sugar dissolves. Pour the mixture all over the beef, using your hands to spread it around. Sprinkle the beef generously with salt (about 2 teaspoons) and press in an even coating of pepper (about 1 teaspoon).

  4. Step


    Roast until browned and a meat thermometer inserted in the center registers 120 to 125 degrees for medium-rare, 25 to 30 minutes. (Start checking at 20 minutes to make sure you don’t overcook the meat.) Use the foil to lift and transfer the beef with its juices to a cutting board. Let rest for 15 to 20 minutes. The internal temperature of the meat will rise 5 to 10 degrees as it rests.

  5. Step


    Transfer the beef to the cutting board, reserving the foil with its juices, and cut the beef into slices for serving. Arrange on a serving platter and pour over all of the juices from the foil and cutting board. Sprinkle with parsley, if you’d like, and serve with the horseradish sauce.


  • Beef tenderloin usually comes “peeled,” which means all of its excess fat and silverskin have been trimmed and the meat is tied at 1-inch intervals. You can ask the person at the meat counter to do it for you if it hasn’t been prepared, or you can trim and tie it yourself at home. To trim the meat, pull or slice off all excess fat and gristle, then slice off any silverskin, the thin, silvery white skin covering the meat. To tie the meat, tuck 4 to 5 inches of the thin, tapered end of the tenderloin under the meat to match the thickness of the other end of the meat and create an even cylinder. Use kitchen string to tie the meat at 1-inch intervals. This will hold the tucked-in end in place and also help the meat maintain its cylindrical shape while roasting.



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Cooking Notes


I offered to make this for my family (parents and sister’s family) for Christmas dinner, but they said I make “weird” food but good appetizers. So this year I’m making nothing for them.

Alex M

I strongly recommend using sear and roast rather than this recipe. Sear on all sides. Oven for 12-15 minutes. Wrap in foil and leave for 20 minutes. Perfect every time.


No searing. Specifically stated in the description: “Worcestershire sauce and sugar is mixed with butter to slather all over the meat. It helps create a caramelized yet delicate deep-brown crust without the hassle of searing …”


This is a fantastic centerpiece for a crowd with leftovers. Decide on all your sides and get them in the go as this literally takes under 30mins .. great with chimmichurri too


One more note: I salted the tenderloin the day before and let it hang out on a rack in the fridge overnight for about 30 hours total. Then I omitted the salting step just before roasting. Highly recommend, the meat was seasoned all the way through and the dry surface of the meat helped with the browning.


Is there a similar alternate cut of meat you would recommend? chicken breasts for example can usually be swapped out for chicken thighs thighs which are more flavorful, don't dry out as easily and are a fraction of the price

Susan L

Tenderloin of beef is in a class by itself. Costco is a good bet- they have prime & choice, trimmed and do- it- yourself.


Use any cut of meat you like. It just isn't a recipe for beef tenderloin then.


DO NOT put it in the oven again. If the group gets to your house within an hour or so, slice it just before you leave for apps and loosely cover it. Serve it at room temp and/or warm the reserved dripping/juice before pouring it on top when you're ready to serve. It's intended to be served at room temp. I recommend waiting to pour the drippings on at the last minute in case the sliced meat looks a bit dried out/to prevent the drippings from coagulating into fat on top of it.


I have been making like this with onions scattered around it for 45 years. I also salt the meat because the soy sauce I use is low salt. I tried it on a rack, but not really any difference IMO. It cooks quickly, never more than 1 hour and I make a huge one sometimes.


There’s no way you’re getting the edge to edge doneness like in the photo roasting this at 450. Better off doing it at like 250 until you get to like 105 degrees and then browning it under a broiler for 10 minutes or so.


This recipe doesn't really work for a couple of reasons. First, the soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce just immediately run off. The butter melts very quickly and because the oven is so hot it starts to smoke which can be a real problem unless you have a great exhaust fan. And because the over is so hot the meat is not uniformly cooked--well done around the outside and rare in the middle. It is much better to sear the meat on the stovetop and cook at a low heat in the oven.

Faithy T

This may be an expensive cut, but the ease of preparation when you’re busy getting ready for a party makes it worth it. Also, cutting to 1/4” - 1/2”and serving with sliced baguettes stretches it to serve quite a few. It looks impressive and everyone (not vegetarian) loves it! It’s my go-to party food.


I used top sirloin instead of tenderloin because I was trying out this recipe for the first time.Beef tenderloin now costs $24.99 a pound where I live. The top sirloin was delicious and it really didn't need the horseradish sauce. Easy to prep, I added baked yukon gold potatoes and a salad. Success!


Fifty or sixty readers disagree with Ken. This recipe does work!


Do not cook it to 120! I only cooked it to 115 but it was only mildly pink inside a real medium to medium well. After I pulled it, I realized I had used this recipe many years before and made the same mistake. Next time, I’m going to pull it at 105 or less

Francisco Canestri

Just made it this morning with my kids for our Sunday lunchCame out delicious !!However, seared all sides on a cast iron pan before roasting in the ovenNext time will increase the amount of the seasoning mixture and will season the meat earlier to ensure its flavors penetrates the meat further

Barbara Smith

following the directions exactly as written - it was perfect!!!! Everyone loved it and the meat was a perfect temp. Making again for friends.


Delicious! Christmas dinner was a hit! Everyone loved this as the center of the meal!


Sous vide the tenderloin to 125 degrees. Remove from water. Strip the plastic wrap. It is generously spread all over with Montreal Steak Seasoning. Then sear the surface on a grill just long enough to get it browned. l. Wrap in foil, let it sit for 10 minutes. Cut into 1" slices.


If you’re lucky enough to have a butcher, ask them to tie some fat to the roast. Salt the roast and cover with plastic wrap the day before cooking. Remove wrap and follow the recipe, including salt. I asked for the remaining trimmings and made beef broth. The broth, plus defatted pan juices, made an excellent au jus. I added baby Yukon gold potatoes to the roasting pan. They soaked up the flavor. I’ve been using the beef broth/au jus in other recipes: e.g. Shepherds pie w/ leftover potatoes


I cooked it over the new years using 4.5Ib tenderloin. Did not sear it. Followed the recipe, could have used more soy sauce. Checked temperature starting at 25 minutes. It got to 125-130 around 33 minutes. Came out fabulous and was a hit, with side of mashed potatoes and seared asparagus and a dash of horseradish. Definitely cook it again with few tweaks.


Find another recipe! The roast did NOT come out with “caramelized deep brown crust” it was the color grey. Not appetizing to look at. Kept a 4 pound roast in 450 degree oven for 30 minutes, let it rest, and it was raw on the inside. Had to cut medallions and sear them on the stovetop. Someone dropped the ball on this recipe.


We wrap ours in bacon. No other seasoning. Sets off the smoke alarm, but utterly delicious. Seems like only yesterday that it would go on sale for $5.99 a pound. This year's sale price was $12.99. A splurge, but a tradition we can’t let go of.


Made this exactly as directed. It was good, but it’s beef tenderloin, which barring an epic fail, is always good. I was intrigued by not having to sear. The meat was browned, but not nearly as “crusty” as it appears in the photo. My bigger issue was despite pulling the roast at 120, it continued to shoot up to over 140 in minutes. Was it because of the higher heat? Was my roast not big enough? Not sure, but not willing to risk it again.


Outstanding. Delicious. Tender.

Rick P

As I was preparing the mixture that forms the crust, it separated! No idea why, so I threw it away and went to plan B - braising the meat and finishing it in the oven. Very happy with the end result, but quite disappointed this version did not pan out.

Bonnie Concordia

This was amazing!! Cooked just like the instructions no substitutions.Made the horseradish sauce as well ... WOW!


This is the second year we have made this for our Christmas Eve gathering and it’s a huge hit. I add some Dijon mustard to the rub and we grill it whole (gas grill, around 350 to temp of 130). Serve with the horseradish cream (don’t skip draining the horseradish. We add lemon zest, a dollop of Dijon mustard, and about half the cream, plus either omit the sugar or use about 1/4 tsp) and a salsa verde with capers, shallots, thyme, parsley and olive oil.


This was very good, but you overcooked it (to medium well) at Marlin. Meat had gone from 70 to ~90 in 20 minutes, so you put it in for another 20. It was ~140 when you took it out again. Be more consistent with checks and it will be great

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Roasted Beef Tenderloin Recipe (2024)
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