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December 8, 2023

Beef Tenderloin

A true showstopper, beef tenderloin is the festive dish that we all deserve! Our recipe results in a slightly crusty outside, perfectly pink tender inside and is topped with creamy horseradish sauce.


homemade beef tenderloin cooked with garlic herb butter sliced on a serving platter served with horseradish sauce
Photography by Gayle McLeod

What to serve with beef tenderloin.

The Best Recipe For Beef Tenderloin

This beef tenderloin roast ticks all the boxes: easy to make, impressive to serve, melt-in-your-mouth delicious and no fancy carving skills needed. The horseradish sauce and garlic herb butter complement the tender beef, leaving room for the flavor to really shine through. We also love to serve it with any of our Compound Butters or our Creamy Mushroom Sauce. Our rack of lamb recipe is another great recipe for special occasion meals, and our mint sauce would be as delicious with this beef tenderloin as it is with rack of lamb.

Beef tenderloin on parchment, salt, pepper, butter, garlic, sage, rosemary, thyme, cream, horseradish sauce and sour cream

Beef Tenderloin Ingredients.

Here’s what you’ll need for our favorite beef tenderloin recipe.

  • Center-cut beef tenderloin roast (also called a chateaubriand)

  • Kosher salt & pepper

  • Vegetable oil

  • Heavy whipping cream, sour cream & mayo

  • Horseradish sauce

  • Chives, fresh thyme, rosemary, and sage

  • Salted butter

  • Garlic

garlic herb butter in a bowl made with garlic cloves, fresh thyme, fresh rosemary and fresh sage
beef tenderloin wrapped in twine being seasoned with salt and pepper on a baking sheet
2 Beef tenderloins tied with twine and seasoned with salt and pepper being seared in a skillet with oil
beef tenderloin seasoned with salt & pepper, seared in a skillet and covered with garlic herb butter ready for the oven

How to Cook Beef Tenderloin

The best way to cook beef tenderloin is a hard sear in the pan followed by a slow roast in the oven for a nicely browned crusty exterior and soft, fork-tender interior. Follow these step-by-step instructions:

  1. Make the horseradish sauce! This creamy, punchy sauce makes for the perfect bite with the roast beef tenderloin. It’s super easy to make: simply whip the cream until soft peaks form, then fold in the remaining ingredients. Pop into the fridge until you’re ready to serve. The flavors will continue to marry all the while you’re finishing up the dish.

  2. Make the garlic butter! Pro tip: soften the butter by placing a warm bowl face down over the stick! It’ll result in a soft, spreadable consistency. Once the butter is ready, add the remaining ingredients.

  3. Roast! First, season with salt and pepper, then brown in a hot pan. Then, cover it with the garlic butter and pop it into the oven. The most precise way to measure the doneness of meat is with an instant-read thermometer. For beef, rare is 125°F; medium-rare is 135°F; medium is 145°F, medium-well is 150°F; and well is 160°F. Medium-rare is our preferred doneness for beef tenderloin.

  4. Rest and garnish! Once it reaches your desired doneness, place it onto your cutting board and let it sit, tented with foil, for 15 minutes. The juices will reabsorb into the cut, making a buttery-smooth bite! When it’s rested, cut into 1-inch slices and drizzle it with horseradish sauce.

oven roasted beef tenderloin seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic herb butter in a cast iron skillet
homemade beef tenderloin cooked with garlic herb butter being sliced on a wood cutting board

Is Beef Tenderloin The Same as Filet Mignon?

Don’t be confused; beef tenderloin is not the same as filet mignon. In fact, filet mignon is actually cut from a beef tenderloin. Both cuts are very tender and provide a silky, buttery bite without much fat. Whole beef tenderloin is typically uneven, with one side being leaner than the other, and can weigh anywhere from 3lbs-5lbs, which is why we suggest asking your local butcher for a center-cut piece – usually a bit more cylindrical. If you’re asking yourself, is beef tenderloin a good piece of meat, or is beef tenderloin expensive? While it’s definitely on the spendier side, it is so worth the splurge for a special occasion due to it being such a tasty cut of meat. We also like to save this recipe for when beef tenderloin goes on sale at our local market.

homemade beef tenderloin cooked with garlic herb butter sliced on a serving platter garnished with fresh herbs

How to Store Leftovers + Tips

  • Leftovers will keep for up to 4 days. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

  • We recommend reheating in the microwave. High heat for about 2 minutes should do the trick.

  • If you happen to have leftover horseradish sauce, may we suggest serving it with potatoes! Our favorites are Crispy Smashed Potatoes or Rosemary Roasted Potatoes.

homemade beef tenderloin cooked with garlic herb butter sliced on a serving platter
homemade beef tenderloin cooked with garlic herb butter sliced on a serving platter served with horseradish sauce

Tools You’ll Need For Beef Tenderloin Roast

Make it Look Fancy (Without Too Much Hassle!)

When we’re looking for easy and elegant recipes, we turn to a simple protein that we can elevate. Some of our favorites are:

You Deserve A Delicious Roast!

Try this juicy, tender beef tenderloin for your next festive occasion, and let us know how it turns out! For more recipe inspiration, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Pinterest or order our cookbook. We love when you share your meals. Tag us on Instagram using #themodernproper. Happy cooking!

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Beef Tenderloin

  • Serves: 8
  • Prep Time:  1 hr 30 min
  • Cook Time:  37 min
  • Calories: 574


Horseradish Sauce

  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream, chilled
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 3 to 6 tablespoons horseradish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons minced chives
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt

Garlic Herb Butter

  • 6 tablespoons salted butter, softened
  • 4 garlic cloves, grated
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped, fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped, fresh rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped, fresh sage

Beef Tenderloin

  • 1 (4 to 4½-pound) center-cut beef tenderloin roast, fat trimmed and tied, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil


  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F with a rack in the center position.

  2. Make the horseradish sauce. In a medium bowl, whisk the cream until soft peaks form. Gently fold in the sour cream, mayonnaise, horseradish sauce, chives, and salt. Cover and place in the refrigerator until ready to use. Store refrigerated in an airtight container for up to one week.

  3. Make the garlic herb butter. In a small bowl combine the butter, garlic, thyme, rosemary, and sage. Store refrigerated in an airtight container for up to one week.

  4. Make the beef tenderloin. Pat the beef dry. Using a sharp knife, trim any excess fat from the tenderloin. Fold the thinner end under to approximate the thickness of the rest of the roast and tie with butcher's twine to secure. Tie the tenderloin in 2-inch intervals to help it keep its shape during cooking. Season all over with salt and pepper. (see Note 1)

  5. Heat the oil in a large oven-proof skillet over high heat. Once the oil is glistening, add the tenderloin and brown on all sides, 10-12 minutes. Coat the tenderloin all over with the garlic herb butter and roast in the oven until the internal temperature reaches 135°F for medium-rare, about 20-25 minutes. (see Note 2)

  6. Remove from the oven and transfer the tenderloin to a cutting board. Tent in foil and let rest for 15 minutes.

  7. Cut tenderloin into 1-inch slices and serve with horseradish sauce.


  1. If your beef tenderloin is too long to fit in your cast iron skillet, simply cut it in half after securing it with twine.

  2. The most precise way to measure the doneness of meat is with an instant-read thermometer. For beef, rare is 125°F; medium-rare is 135°F; medium is 145°F, medium-well is 150°F; and well is 160°F. Medium-rare is our preferred doneness for beef tenderloin, but feel free to enjoy it at whatever temperature or doneness you like!

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories574
  • Protein51 g
  • Carbohydrates4 g
  • Total Fat40 g
  • Dietary Fiber0 g
  • Cholesterol170 mg
  • sodium1151 mg
  • Total Sugars0 g

Beef Tenderloin

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

  • CIndy

    Does the roasting pan need to be covered with a lid in the oven?

    Nope! Hope you enjoy Cindy!

  • Barbara

    Looks delicious!
    I have a 6.5# beef tenderloin... do I just do 1.5 times the ingredients you show, adjustments to cooking time please!

    We wouldn't up the salt and pepper that goes directly on the tenderloin. You could do 1.5x for the rest. It will probably need to be in the oven for about 40 minutes. make sure it reaches 135°F for medium-rare, before taking it out of the oven. Hope you enjoy Barbara!

  • Heather

    I don't have kitchen twine, is that needed?

    It should be ok without it. Hope you enjoy Heather.

  • Karen

    Step 5 do you cook for 15-25 minutes in the oven to get to med rare?

    Yes! Hoe you enjoy Karen!

  • Carol

    I bought prepared horseradish. Will that work as well?


  • Barbara

    Beef Tenderloin turned out delicious! Everyone loved the recipe!

    YAY! So happy you enjoyed it. Thanks Barbara!

  • Kristina

    Made for Christmas dinner and it did not disappoint! Easy steps for an expensive piece of meat. I won’t make it any other way.

    Thanks so much, we are so happy you loved it Kristina!

  • Katelynn

    I made this for Christmas dinner and it was a hit! I had a 5lb tenderloin. I cut in half and did one more a medium and one medium well, both were so tender you could cut with a butter knife. I was so worried about screwing it up because holy cow (pun intended) it was a pricey piece of meat but well worth it! Easy peasy, delicious and came together quickly.

    Thanks Katelynn, we are so glad you loved it and that it turned out so well! Excellent job!

  • Karen

    This was simple to prepare and the garlic herb butter added so much flavor to the tenderloin. The horseradish sauce was a nice complement to the meat without being overpowering. Definitely making again!

    Thanks Karen, so glad you loved it!

  • Jenn

    Stunning dish, can't wait to make it again for Christmas dinner.

    yay! happy you loved it!