Garlic Herb Beef Tenderloin

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Beef tenderloin is one of the most elegant dishes you can serve for a holiday dinner – but it isn’t especially fussy or complicated to make. Tender, juicy beef roasted in a garlic herb butter is sure to be a showstopper at your next dinner party!

A garlic herb beef tenderloin on a plate with a knife and fork.
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A garlic herb beef tenderloin on a cutting board with a dipping sauce.

Best Garlic Herb Infused Beef Tenderloin

The garlic herb beef tenderloin is a masterful medley of flavors, invoking a delightful journey for the senses from the first bite to the last. The most immediate sensation is that of the aromatic and earthy garlic, providing a deep savory base that resonates through every fiber of the tender meat. It’s an age-old pairing that champions the succulent nature of beef, wrapping each bite in a blanket of rich and intense umami.

But just as the garlic takes center stage, the zesty kick of horseradish makes its presence known. This piquant element adds a tantalizing contrast, cutting through the richness and introducing a lively spiciness that tingles the palate. It’s a bold and unexpected twist that elevates the dish from the realm of the familiar, offering a refreshing and invigorating counterpoint to the savory depth of the beef.

Lastly, the fresh thyme and rosemary, with their fragrant and herbaceous aromas, intertwine gracefully with the other flavors, adding layers of complexity and depth. These herbs infuse the tenderloin with a delicate whisper of the Mediterranean, a hint of woodiness and a touch of floral that lingers subtly in the aftertaste. It’s a harmonious balance that pulls together the boldness of the garlic and horseradish, making the dish a symphonic experience that is both rich in tradition and tantalizingly innovative.

Garlic herb beef tenderloin with sour cream on a wooden cutting board.

How to Make Herb Garlic Beef Tenderloin

First assemble the following ingredients:

  • Beef tenderloin (4-5 lbs) – Beef tenderloin is a succulent and premium cut of meat known for its melt-in-the-mouth tenderness and mild flavor.
  • Sea salt (1 tsp) – Sea salt, harvested from evaporated seawater, imparts a natural and briny flavor that can elevate the meat.
  • Black pepper (½ tsp) – Black pepper adds a pungent kick and aromatic warmth, making it a versatile spice.
  • Olive oil (2 tbsp) – Olive oil is a fragrant and fruity oil extracted from olives, commonly used in Mediterranean cooking for its rich flavor and health benefits.
  • Salted butter (4 tbsp) – Salted butter is a creamy dairy product with added salt, enhancing both its flavor and shelf-life.
  • Garlic (2 tsp) – Garlic is a pungent and aromatic bulb that infuses dishes with a deep, earthy flavor, often mellowing when cooked.
  • Horseradish sauce (1 tsp) – Horseradish sauce offers a spicy and tangy kick, derived from the grated root of the horseradish plant, use prepared horseradish sauce for this dish.
  • Rosemary, fresh (½ tsp) – Fresh rosemary is an aromatic herb with needle-like leaves, imparting a woody and slightly minty flavor.
  • Thyme, fresh (½ tsp) – Fresh thyme is a delicate herb with tiny leaves, lending dishes a subtle earthiness with hints of mint and lemon.

Once you’ve gathered your ingredients, we will use this method:

  • Season and Chill. Prepare the tenderloin by trimming any fat, cutting it in half, and tying it with butcher twine. Season the meat with salt and pepper, cover loosely with plastic wrap and leave it in the fridge to chill about 10 hours.
  • Acclimate. When you are ready to make the tenderloin set the meat on the counter and let it come to room temperature about 2 hours. Season with a little more salt and pepper.
  • Sear. Heat the oil in a heavy bottom oven safe pan on high and sear the tenderloin on all sides.
  • Combine Topping. In a small bowl combine the butter, garlic, horseradish sauce, fresh rosemary, and fresh thyme.
  • Bake. Place a probe thermometer in each piece of beef and place them in the hot pan. Slather the butter garlic herb mixture over the tenderloin and place it in the oven at 425 degrees for 20 – 25 minutes until it reaches the desired temperature.
  • Rest. Remove the tenderloin from the oven and place on a cutting board, tent loosely with foil and let it sit about 15 minutes before slicing and enjoying.
A garlic-infused beef tenderloin on a cutting board, garnished with sprigs of rosemary.

Tips and Tricks for Perfect Beef Tenderloin

Quality Matters: Start with a high-quality cut of meat. Look for beef tenderloin with good marbling, as the fat will melt during cooking, adding flavor and juiciness.

Room Temperature: Before cooking, let the beef tenderloin sit at room temperature for about an hour. This helps in even cooking from edge to center.

Trimming: If your tenderloin comes with a chain or excess fat, trim it off. For even cooking, consider tying the tenderloin at intervals with kitchen twine to give it a uniform shape.

Season Generously: Beef tenderloin has a mild flavor, so don’t be shy with your seasoning. Salt it generously and let it sit for a while, allowing the salt to penetrate and season the meat internally.

Searing is Key: Sear all sides of the tenderloin in a hot skillet with a little oil before roasting. This creates a delicious crust and seals in the juices.

Use a Meat Thermometer: This is crucial to avoid overcooking. For medium-rare, aim for an internal temperature of about 130°F (54°C), and remember that the meat will continue to cook a bit after you take it out of the oven due to carryover cooking.

Rest Before Slicing: Let the meat rest for at least 15 minutes after cooking. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, ensuring a juicy slice.

Sharp Knife: When slicing, use a sharp knife and make clean cuts to showcase the tenderness of the meat.

Sauces and Sides: Beef tenderloin pairs well with various sauces like béarnaise, red wine reduction, or horseradish cream. Accompany with sides that complement its rich flavor, like roasted vegetables or creamy mashed potatoes.

Leftovers: If you have leftover beef tenderloin, it’s fantastic in sandwiches, salads, or stir-fries the next day. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.


What cuts of beef can I use if I can’t find tenderloin?

If you can’t find beef tenderloin, other suitable cuts include ribeye roast or sirloin roast. However, these cuts may have slightly different textures and fat content, so adjust cooking times accordingly.

Can I prepare the beef tenderloin ahead of time?

Yes, you can season the beef and let it marinate in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Remove it from the fridge about an hour before cooking to allow it to come to room temperature.

What internal temperature should I aim for?

For medium-rare, aim for an internal temperature of about 130°F (54°C). For medium, target around 140°F (60°C). Remember, the meat will continue to cook a few degrees more after it’s removed from the heat due to carryover cooking.

How long should I let the beef rest after cooking?

It’s crucial to let the beef tenderloin rest for at least 15 minutes after cooking. This allows the juices to redistribute, ensuring a juicy slice.

Can I use dried herbs instead of fresh?

While fresh herbs provide a brighter flavor, you can substitute dried herbs if necessary. Typically, you’ll want to use one-third the amount of dried herbs compared to fresh, since dried herbs are more concentrated in flavor.

What can I do with the leftovers?

Leftover beef tenderloin is versatile. Slice it thinly for sandwiches, chop it for salads, or even use it in stir-fries. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

I don’t have horseradish. What can I use as a substitute?

If you don’t have horseradish, you can substitute with Dijon mustard or wasabi in a pinch. These alternatives provide a different flavor but still offer a spicy kick.

Can I cook the beef tenderloin on a grill?

Absolutely! Grilling beef tenderloin can infuse it with a delightful smoky flavor. Just ensure you monitor the internal temperature closely to prevent overcooking.

How can I ensure a good crust on the beef while keeping the inside tender?

Searing the beef on all sides in a hot skillet before roasting (or grilling) will help develop a delicious crust. The high heat creates a Maillard reaction, which gives the beef a rich flavor and golden-brown crust.

Is beef tenderloin a good choice for special occasions?

Yes, beef tenderloin is often considered a premium cut of beef, making it perfect for celebrations, holidays, or any special meal.

A garlic herb beef tenderloin on a plate with a fork.

What to Serve with Garlic Herb Beef Tenderloin

Pairing the right accompaniments with garlic herb beef tenderloin can elevate the entire dining experience. Here are some suggestions for sides, beverages, and sauces to complement your main dish:


  1. Potatoes: Whether roasted, mashed, or au gratin, potatoes are a classic companion to beef tenderloin.
  2. Vegetables: Grilled asparagus, sautéed green beans, roasted Brussels sprouts, or caramelized root vegetables can provide both color and flavor contrast.
  3. Salads: A fresh arugula salad with shaved Parmesan, lemon, and olive oil can be a light and peppery contrast. A classic Caesar or a beet and goat cheese salad can also work wonderfully.
  4. Grains: Creamy risotto, especially with wild mushrooms or Parmesan, pairs beautifully. Farro or quinoa salads with fresh herbs and vinaigrette can also be delightful.
  5. Breads: Warm dinner rolls, garlic bread, or a rustic loaf to soak up any flavorful juices left on the plate.


  1. Red Wines: A robust red wine such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Bordeaux, or Malbec can complement the rich flavors of beef. Pinot Noir, with its lighter body and cherry notes, can be a wonderful choice if you prefer something less intense.
  2. White Wines: For those who prefer white wine, a full-bodied choice like Chardonnay can be suitable.
  3. Beer: A stout or porter can complement the beef’s richness, while a Belgian-style ale can introduce interesting contrasts.
  4. Non-Alcoholic: Sparkling water with a twist of lemon or lime, iced tea, or a tomato-based virgin cocktail can be refreshing accompaniments.

Sauces and Condiments:

  1. Horseradish Cream: The spicy kick of horseradish pairs perfectly with beef, and the creaminess adds a lovely texture.
  2. Red Wine Reduction: A sauce made by reducing red wine, beef broth, and perhaps some shallots and fresh herbs can complement the beef’s flavors.
  3. Béarnaise Sauce: A classic French sauce made from clarified butter emulsified in egg yolks and flavored with herbs.
  4. Compound Butters: Butter mixed with herbs, garlic, or even blue cheese can melt on top of the hot beef, adding another layer of flavor.

Desserts (to end the meal):

  1. Chocolate: A rich chocolate mousse or a slice of chocolate tart can round off a meal featuring beef tenderloin.
  2. Berries: A fresh berry compote or berries served with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream can provide a light and sweet end.
  3. Cheese Plate: Offering a selection of cheeses with some nuts and dried fruits can be a sophisticated way to finish the meal.

Try some of my other delicious favorite recipes:

Garlic herb beef tenderloin with sour cream on a cutting board with sprigs of rosemary.

Garlic Herb Beef Tenderloin Recipe

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Sliced beef tenderloin with garlic and herbs on a wooden board.

Garlic Herb Beef Tenderloin

Garlic herb beef tenderloin is a succulent and flavorful dish, featuring a perfectly cooked cut of meat that has been generously seasoned with a robust blend of garlic and herbs, creating an aromatic and mouthwatering experience with every bite.
Course Beef
Cuisine American
Keyword beef, christmas, Christmas dinner, garlic herb, roast, thanksgiving, thanksgiving dinner
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Chill Time 10 hours 15 minutes
Total Time 10 hours 50 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 564kcal
Author Courtney O’Dell


  • 5 lb beef tenderloin trimmed of excess fat and tied
  • 1 tsp sea salt plus more to taste
  • ½ tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 tbsp salted butter softened
  • 2 tsp garlic minced
  • 1 tsp horseradish prepared
  • ½ tsp rosemary fresh minced
  • ½ tsp thyme fresh minced


  • Trim any excess fat off the tenderloin (if not already done by the butcher), cut it in half so you have two pieces and tie with butcher twine every few inches.
  • Season the tenderloin with the salt and pepper, cover loosely with plastic wrap then leave it in the fridge for at least 10 hours. (This is an optional step but helps season the meat all the way through. 
  • Remove the roast from the fridge about two hours before cooking. Season it with a little more salt and pepper then let it sit uncovered for at least 2 hours so it can come to room temperature. 
  • Preheat the oven to 435 degrees F. 
  • Heat the oil to medium high in an oven safe cast iron skillet on the stovetop.
  • Sear the two tenderloin pieces one at a time in the hot oil. You just want to brown the roast on all sides, about 3 minutes per side. Set aside
  • Combine the softened butter with the garlic, horseradish, and fresh herbs in a small bowl. 
  • Slather each seared piece of tenderloin in the herb butter and place a probe thermometer through the center of each piece (using a probe thermometer is the only way to ensure the meat is cooked to your preferred internal temperature). Set your probe thermometer to alert you when the meat has reached your doneness. Rare – 115 – 120 F, Medium Rare 120 – 125 F, Medium 130 – 135 F. 
  • Place the prepared tenderloins back in the oven safe skillet or on a sheet pan lined with tin foil and bake in the oven until the probe alerts you that the meat is cooked, about 18 – 25 minutes depending on the thickness of the meat. 
  • Remove the tenderloins from the oven, place them on a cutting board, tent loosely with foil and allow them to sit for 15 minutes to allow the juices to settle. 
  • Cut off the twine and slice into 1” pieces. Enjoy with more horseradish or alone!


Serving: 1g | Calories: 564kcal | Protein: 68g | Fat: 52g | Saturated Fat: 32g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 36g | Cholesterol: 85mg | Sodium: 501mg

About Courtney

Courtney loves to share great wine, good food, and loves to explore far flung places- all while masting an everyday elegant and easy style at lifestyle blog Sweet C’s Designs. Sweet C's devoted to finding the best food and drinks you'll want to make or find, around the world!

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