Make Ahead Roast Beef Tenderloin

Roast beef tenderloin is a special occasion dish that’s perfect to serve during the holidays. It is the most tender cut of beef and always a crowd pleaser. 

With this recipe you can roast the meat a few hours ahead of time and store it in a cooler until you are ready to serve it. It will hold its temperature. This works great if you are entertaining and plan to serve dinner immediately following a church service or program. It also works well if you are bringing a dish to a friend or family member’s house. Tenderloin works well as an entree, but can also be served as a heavy appetizer with soft rolls. Horseradish sauce or grainy mustard make great condiments.


1 whole beef tenderloin trimmed (4-5 pounds)

4 TBSP ghee

1 TBSP salt

2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 475.
  2. Place the tenderloin on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  3. Spread ghee all over the tenderloin.
  4. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.
  5. Roast for 25-35 minutes or until thermometer reads 135 for medium rare.
  6. Remove from the oven and wrap tightly in aluminum foil.
  7. Place the wrapped tenderloin in a cooler.
  8. The tenderloin will hold for up to 2 hours in the cooler.
  9. When you are ready to serve, unwrap the tenderloin and slice.
  10. If serving right away, allow the meat to rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
  11. Serves 8-10 as an entree.
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8 responses to “Make Ahead Beef Tenderloin”

  1. Emily says:

    Thank you! I would suggest removing it from the dutch oven and wrapping it in foil before placing it in the cooler. If it remains in the hot dutch oven it might overcook and it could also damage the cooler. The reduction sounds fabulous. I would reserve the reduction and reheat when you are ready to serve. I hope this helps!

  2. Emily says:

    Thank you! It is so convenient!

  3. LORELEI S says:

    Excellent. I will never do a tenderloin any other way. Make ahead. Do nothing else but slice 2 to 3 hours later. Perfect!

  4. Sindia says:

    This is a brilliant recipe!! My question is if I roast the tenderloin in a small uncovered dutch oven then once it is done roasting could I leave it in the dutch oven with the lid then place it in the cooler instead of wrapping in foil? I usually roast the meat in a fig, shallot and port wine reduction. Thank you!

  5. Emily says:

    I bring it to room temp.

  6. Meg says:

    Do you bring it to room temp before roasting or straight from the fridge?

  7. Emily says:

    Hi Caroline. There will be a little carryover cooking but will then hold it’s temp in the cooler. The recipe accounts for this.

  8. Caroline says:

    Will the tenderloin continue to cook in the cooler? I do not want it overcooked- recipe sounds wonderful!

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