This easy Garlic & Herb Beef Tenderloin Roast with Creamy Horseradish Sauce is so delicious and easier to make than you would think! Buttered and seasoned with garlic and black pepper, oregano, fresh rosemary and thyme, it is mouthwateringly flavorful!

The beef tenderloin is a delectable, melt-in-your-mouth cut of meat that is tender enough to cut with a butter knife. Paired with a homemade creamy horseradish sauce, this is a perfect main dish for the holiday season or for a special evening meal.

Looking for other impressive-but-easy main dishes special enough to serve at a holiday gathering? Check out my Prime Rib Roast with Horseradish SauceRosemary & Garlic Oven Roasted Rack of LambBrown Sugar Glazed HamSlow Cooker Korean Beef Short Ribs (Kalbi), or Alaskan King Crab Legs.

Top view close up of sliced garlic and herb butter beef tenderloin roast on a cutting board.
Table of Contents
  1. What is Beef Tenderloin?
  2. How Much Beef Tenderloin Per Person
  3. What You'll Need
  4. How to Cook Beef Tenderloin Roast
  5. How Long to Cook Beef Tenderloin
  6. Recipe FAQs
  7. What to Serve with a Beef Tenderloin Roast
  8. Easy Beef Tenderloin Roast With Creamy Horseradish Sauce Recipe

Beef tenderloin is truly a special occasion recipe, the kind you save for holidays like Christmas, dinner parties, or other times when you are celebrating. Sometimes we use it to make Beef Wellington, but most of the time we prepare it in this way, with garlic and herbs and a horseradish sauce.

Tenderloin can be an expensive cut of beef, so it's probably not your everyday kind of dinner idea. On the other hand, this simple recipe is easy enough for a weeknight meal. For me, this is the perfect recipe for a special occasion, because it allows me to focus on the rest of the meal and the guests, rather than on getting a difficult recipe right!

What is Beef Tenderloin?

Beef tenderloin is a large and lean cut of meat that, when sliced into steaks, is perhaps better known as filet mignon. It's known for being incredibly tender with wonderful flavor.

As beef tenderloin is a lean cut of meat that means it has very little fat or marbling compared to other cuts. This means that you want to be careful not to overcook your beef tenderloin roast, or it will dry out and be too tough.

You can buy beef tenderloin at the butcher's counter at your local grocery store. I typically see beef tenderloin roasts that are either 2-3 pounds (perfect for a smaller group) or much larger ones between 4-7 pounds. This garlic herb butter beef tenderloin recipe will work for either size, but it's written for a smaller 2-3 pound roast. Just double the amounts if you are serving a larger group.

Beef tenderloin cooks best when cooked at a high temperature. If the weather is nice, you can grill it to a beautiful medium-rare. In the winter months, though, I typically make beef tenderloin pan-seared steaks using the oven. First, I sear it in a hot pan on the stovetop to develop a perfect crust and then finish it in the oven at 450 degrees F.

How Much Beef Tenderloin Per Person

I always plan on 4-6 ounces of beef tenderloin per person when figuring out how many people I will be able to serve from one beef tenderloin. Obviously, this depends on your family's appetites, but for us, a 2-3 pound beef tenderloin roast will easily feed 6-8 guests.

Top view close up of a cutting board with a sliced beef tenderloin roast on it.

What You'll Need

Scroll down to the recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.

Beef Tenderloin

  • Beef Tenderloin Roast, trimmed and tied - You'll need 2-3 pounds for this recipe.
  • Salt & Pepper - Using kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper is the best way to bring out those beefy flavors.
  • Olive Oil - You can use canola oil, vegetable oil, or sunflower oil as well, just make sure it has a high smoke point and a neutral flavor profile.

Garlic Herb Butter

  • Butter - Salted butter at room temperature will work best.
  • Garlic - I use freshly minced cloves, but powdered garlic will work in a pinch.
  • Fresh Herbs: Rosemary & Thyme - Fresh herbs are more earthy and blend with beefy flavors perfectly. Use half the amount of dried herbs if you need to.
  • Dried Oregano - Oregano is so flavorful and warming. Add some herbs to some accompanying vegetables for extra flavor.
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper - Freshly ground black pepper has a stronger flavor than pre-ground

Horseradish Sauce

  • Sour Cream & Mayonnaise - For the base of the sauce.
  • Horseradish - Packs a punch of flavor and is a classic pairing with beef.
  • Chives - Finely chopped, chives add a freshness to the sauce.
  • Kosher Salt - Enhances the sauce flavors.

Equipment

You'll want to use a reliable digital instant read thermometer (affiliate link) to give an accurate reading of the internal temperature so you can gauge the degree of doneness.

How to Cook Beef Tenderloin Roast

  • Prepare beef tenderloin. Remove the beef tenderloin roast from the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for 1 hour before roasting. Remove the silver skin and any excess fat from the tenderloin. Silver skin is a thin layer of fibrous connective tissue on the top of beef tenderloin. It is often removed by the butcher, but if it isn't you will need to do it at home. It's easy to do, you just need to slip a sharp knife underneath the silver skin and slice close to the meat while pulling on the silver skin to remove it.
  • Tie it up. Next, tie up the whole beef tenderloin using kitchen string, starting at one end and making loops around your hand that you can slide over the tenderloin every inch or so. This will help the beef tenderloin cook more evenly, especially if one end is thicker than the other. Larger, whole beef tenderloin roasts have a thinner "tail" piece that can be folded over and tied up to make an evenly sized roast that will cook much better throughout.
  • Preheat oven and season beef. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Pat the beef tenderloin dry with paper towels and season by sprinkling it with salt and pepper on all sides. Prepare the garlic herb butter by combining the butter, garlic, rosemary, thyme, oregano, salt, and pepper in a small bowl and mashing it with a fork. Divide the garlic herb butter in half, and set one part aside. You will use it before roasting the beef tenderloin.
An image of softened butter in a glass bowl with chopped garlic, herbs, salt, and pepper.
  • Sear the meat and add garlic butter. Heat a large cast iron skillet or heavy pan over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, place the whole beef tenderloin into the skillet and let it sear on 3 of the 4 sides for 2-3 minutes. We aren't trying to cook it through, just to develop a nice, flavorful crust to the tenderloin. Turn it over with tongs to the final untouched side and turn off the heat. Rub the beef tenderloin all over with half of the garlic herb butter mixture.
  • Put in oven. Transfer the beef tenderloin to the oven in the skillet it was seared in. Use a roasting pan if you don't have an oven-safe skillet.
  • Cook until done. For medium doneness, cook for 25-35 minutes in the preheated oven (depending on the size of your roast), until an oven-safe meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the tenderloin registers between 135 and 140 degrees F. The temperature of the meat will rise another 5 degrees once its out of the oven and resting before slicing.
  • Make horseradish sauce. While the meat cooks, combine and mix all of the ingredients for the horseradish sauce in a bowl and keep in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
  • Remove from oven and add garlic butter. Remove the beef tenderloin roast from the oven and slather with the reserved garlic herb butter mixture. Then let the meat rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
  • Serve. Serve with horseradish sauce, if desired.

How Long to Cook Beef Tenderloin

The size of your beef tenderloin can vary, so it can be difficult to give a specific time frame for how long to cook it. The better approach is to use a reliable digital instant-read thermometer (affiliate link) and go off the internal temperature for the desired doneness:

Beef Tenderloin Temperature Guide

  • Rare (120-125 degrees F)
  • Medium-Rare (130-135 degrees F) - bright pink and very juicy
  • Medium (135-140 degrees F) - the meat will be a nice rosy pink (my preference)
  • Medium-Well (140-145 degrees F) - still has a pinkish hue, but not as noticeable
  • Well-Done (150 degrees F)

My roast beef tenderloin took about 27 minutes to reach 138 degrees F, which is a perfect medium. The center of the tenderloin had a nice rosy pink color and it was still so juicy! This was in a 450 degrees F oven having first seared the beef tenderloin in a hot pan.

Remember that both ends of the roast will be a little more done than the middle, so there is some leeway for folks who prefer a slightly more well-cooked piece of meat, while still making sure the middle is a nice, juicy medium.

Beef tenderloin needs to rest for 10-15 minutes after removing it from the oven to allow the juices to redistribute. During this resting period, the temperature will actually continue to rise by up to 5 degrees. For this reason, I recommend removing the roast at any point between 135 and 140 degrees F for a medium roast.

Close up of the rosy pink center of a medium cooked beef tenderloin roast.

Recipe FAQs

Is filet mignon and beef tenderloin the same?

Filet mignon is a sliced steak that comes from a beef tenderloin. While they are both made from the same type of beef, the way they are prepared will vary, and therefore, they will taste slightly different.

Is beef tenderloin a good cut of meat?

Beef tenderloin is considered the most tender cut of beef and is generally more expensive than other cuts.

How much beef tenderloin for each person?

Plan on 4-6 ounces of beef tenderloin per person, but this depends on your family's appetites. 2-3 pounds of beef tenderloin will easily feed 6-8 guests.

How is tenderloin best cooked?

Medium-rare will produce a very juicy beef tenderloin. I personally wouldn't go beyond medium, as after that the beef tends to lose its juices and isn't as flavorful.

How long can you keep raw beef tenderloin in the fridge?

Keep raw beef tenderloin in the refrigerator, in the packaging you bought it in, for up to 3 days. If it is vacuum packed, it should last in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks, or for 6 months if frozen.

How long will cooked beef tenderloin last?

Store your cooked beef tenderloin in an airtight container or wrapped in plastic wrap in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

What to Serve with a Beef Tenderloin Roast

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Easy Beef Tenderloin Roast With Creamy Horseradish Sauce

4.91 from 21 votes
Amy Nash
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6 -8 Servings
Garlic & Herb Beef Tenderloin Roast with Creamy Horseradish Sauce is so delicious and easier to make than you would think! Buttered and seasoned with garlic and black pepper, oregano, fresh rosemary and thyme, it is mouthwateringly flavorful!

Ingredients
  

Beef Tenderloin

  • 2-3 pounds beef tenderloin roast, trimmed and tied
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Garlic Herb Butter

  • 4 tablespoons salted butter, room temperature
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Horseradish Sauce

  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons prepared horseradish
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon chives, finely chopped

Instructions
 

  • Remove the beef tenderloin roast from the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for 1 hour before roasting. Remove the silver skin and any excess fat from the tenderloin. Silver skin is a thin layer of fibrous connective tissue on the top of beef tenderloin. It is often removed by the butcher, but if not, you will need to do it yourself. It's easy to do, you just need to slip a sharp knife underneath the silver skin and slice close to the meat while pulling on the silver skin to remove it.
  • Next, tie up the whole beef tenderloin using kitchen string, starting at one end and making loops around your hand that you can slide over the tenderloin every inch or so. This will help the beef tenderloin cook more evenly, especially if one end is thicker than the other. Larger, whole beef tenderloin roasts have a thinner "tail" piece that can be folded over and tied up to make an evenly sized roast that will cook much better throughout.
  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Pat the beef tenderloin dry with paper towels and season by sprinkling it with salt and pepper on all sides. Prepare the garlic herb butter by combining the butter, garlic, rosemary, thyme, oregano, salt, and pepper in a small bowl and mashing it with a fork. Divide the garlic herb butter in half, setting one part aside in a separate bowl for after the roast is done cooking.
  • Heat a large cast iron skillet or heavy pan over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, place the whole beef tenderloin into the skillet and let it sear on 3 of the 4 sides for 2-3 minutes. We aren't trying to cook it through, just to develop a nice, flavorful crust to the tenderloin. Turn it over with tongs to the final untouched side, turn off the heat, and rub the beef tenderloin all over with half of the garlic herb butter mixture.
  • Transfer the beef tenderloin to the oven in the skillet it was seared in, or place it in a roasting pan first if you don't have an oven-safe skillet.
  • For medium doneness, cook for 25-35 minutes in the preheated oven (depending on the size of your roast), until an oven-safe meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the tenderloin registers between 135 and 140 degrees F. The temperature of the meat will continue to rise another 5 degrees after it is removed from the oven while it is resting before slicing.
  • While the meat cooks, combine and mix all of the ingredients for the horseradish sauce in a bowl and keep in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
  • Remove the beef tenderloin roast from the oven and slather with the reserved garlic herb butter mixture, then let the meat rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
  • Serve with horseradish sauce, if desired.

Notes

  • Beef Tenderloin Temperature Guide:
    Rare (120-125 degrees F)
    Medium-Rare (130-135 degrees F)
    Medium (135-140 degrees F)
    Medium-Well (140-145 degrees F)
    Well-Done (150 degrees F).
  • Storage: Store cooked beef tenderloin in an airtight container or wrapped in plastic wrap in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Nutrition

Calories: 581kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 50g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 19g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 138mg | Sodium: 799mg | Potassium: 541mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 512IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 58mg | Iron: 4mg
Tried this recipe? Show me on Instagram!Mention @HouseOfNashEats or tag #houseofnasheats!

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About the author

Hi, I'm Amy

I enjoy exploring the world through food, culture, and travel and sharing the adventure with mostly from-scratch, family friendly recipes that I think of as modern comfort cooking.

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Reader questions and reviews

  1. I made this tonight for a family gathering (we did our fancy Christmas dinner tonight because we won’t be together on the actual holiday) and everyone raved about it as the best meat they’d ever had. Thanks!

  2. I made this for the first time last night. It was amazing! I have shared it with my friends. It's a delicious recipe!

  3. This is without a doubt the best beef tenderloin I have ever had! The flavor
    Of the herb butter is wonderful ! I will definitely use this recipe from now on. Thank you so much. The last time I cooked a beef tenderloin was Christmas, 1972, so I was a little nervous. Your recipe was so easy to follow and the results amazing! Thank you!!

  4. This was the highlight of our Christmas meal!! My entire family raved about this tenderloin and sauce. I used all of the herb butter on the raw meat as I thought the uncooked herbs would be too stringent. I also added a heaping spoonful of whole grain mustard to the sauce for a little texture. We will have this again next year! 

  5. Best whole beef tenderloin I've ever made. So good, I'm bookmarking this one, as this will be the only way I make it moving forward. Super juicy, full of flavor and just the perfect doneness.

  6. 5 stars
    This beef tenderloin looks amazing! I really love horseradish sauce and the sour cream and mayonnaise make this sauce so good with beef.

  7. 5 stars
    Lovely recipe and incredibly easy to make. We followed your instructions exactly and ended up with the most succulent beef tenderloin! The horseradish sauce was a cherry on top! Delicious, not too fierce and complemented the beef beautifully! Thanks for the recipe 🙂

  8. 5 stars
    I've been on a horseradish kick lately and stumbled across this recipe. I gave it a whirl and there was nothing left. My family enjoyed every last bite and asked for me to make this more often.

  9. Is the meat really going to look like your pic, with the medium rare beef all the way to the edge? By the sounds of the recipe, it will have a well done ring around it.

    1. As long as you are using a digital meat thermometer, it should look like the pics with a pink center that is medium rare that is less pink and more like a medium doneness toward the edges. Each cut is slightly different and it also depends on how long the meat rests before and after cooking it, which is why the meat thermometer is much more important than the amount of time you cook it for.