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How to Cook Beef Tenderloin Perfectly & Knock the Socks Off Your Dinner Guests

Jen Klein is a New England-based technical writer and mother of three. When she isn't asking her kids to stop bickering, "caramelizing" the dinner or actively ignoring the dust bunnies under the couch, she enjoys knitting, gardening, pho...

With this beef tenderloin recipe, it's actually hard to screw up the impressive dish

Picture this: You're entertaining a group of 10 people. The table is set and decorated to such perfection even Martha Stewart would be proud. Glasses of wine are poured and the conversation is flowing like a dream, but it all suddenly comes to a halt when you glide out of the kitchen and into the dining room with a platter of beautiful beef tenderloin that smells so amazing, all of your guests stop dead in their tracks.

This scenario, my friends, can totally be a reality.

It's super-decadent and may seem a bit intimidating, but mastering the art of perfectly roasted beef tenderloin isn't nearly as hard as it sounds. When you keep things simple and use quality ingredients, it's easy to create a meal that will totally wow everyone who shows up to your dinner party.

More: This Beef Kebab Recipe Is Pretty Much the Perfect Backyard Barbecue Food

This roast recipe is delicious as is or with a sauce of your choosing. If you happen to have leftovers (which you probably won't after everyone is done devouring your creation), beef tenderloin makes for a great steak sandwich or salad too.

Perfect beef tenderloin recipe

Serves 8


  • 1 (4 to 5 pound) beef tenderloin roast, preferably trimmed
  • 4 to 6 cloves garlic, crushed
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon or so rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon or so thyme
  • Olive oil
  • Butcher's twine


  1. The day before serving, examine your tenderloin and trim off any excess fat or tendons. Using a mortar and pestle, grind together the garlic, salt, pepper, rosemary, and thyme, using a little olive oil to smooth it along. Rub this mixture all over the tenderloin. Cover and refrigerate 24 hours.
  2. Remove the tenderloin from the refrigerator an hour before roasting and let it come to room temperature. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  3. Tie up the tenderloin such that it is even in thickness, tucking up the thinner tail if necessary. Insert a probe thermometer into the thickest part of the roast and place in a shallow roasting pan.
  4. Roast 35 to 45 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 120 degrees F. Loosely cover with foil and allow to rest for 15 minutes before carving. And that's it. You're done! Slice and serve.

More: The Latest Starbucks Drink Involves Both Beef & Pepper...Yum?

And the perfect side dish for beef tenderloin? You guessed it... Brussels sprouts.

With this beef tenderloin recipe, it's actually hard to screw up the impressive dish
Image: julie clancy/Moment/Getty Images

Balsamic roasted Brussels sprouts recipe

Serves 6


  • 1-1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and sliced lengthwise
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Place the Brussels sprouts in a baking dish. Sprinkle with salt and vinegar and toss the sprouts around.
  3. Repeat with the olive oil.
  4. Roast for 30 minutes, tossing several times during the cooking process. Sprinkle on a little more kosher salt just before serving.
With this beef tenderloin recipe, it's actually hard to screw up the impressive dish
Image: Regina Ferrara/Sheknows

Originally published December 2008. Updated August 2017.

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