I’ve been roasting whole beef tenderloins for the past 30 years. And I’ve tried them every which way: crusted in salt, luxuriating in a lovely Portuguese Madeira sauce, and stuffed in the middle of a beef Wellington. But it never occurred to me to slather them with a shawarma spice blend. And as a supertaster, my taste buds are still thanking me.

Chances are, if you’re like The One and me, you splurge on a whole beef tenderloin once a year. This year, I urge you to make it this one. It’s incredibly simple to put together, and the tender meat and spiced crust will have everyone at your table fighting over the last few slices. Ah, you’ve gotta love the holidays!

david caricature

Why Our Testers Loved This

Tester Jenny Howard liked that this “beef tenderloin recipe is simple and straightforward” and was impressed with the “unique flavor profile” that’s a welcome change from traditional spices.

What You’ll Need to Make This

Ingredients for spiced beef tenderloin roast--beef tenderloin, oil, and shawarma spice blend.
  • Shawarma spice blend–You can make this brilliant homemade spice blend for up to 6 months before using it.
  • Beef tenderloin–Select a roast that’s uniform in thickness so it’ll cook evenly. If your roast has a tapered end, fold it underneath and tie it with twine to create an even thickness. You’ll also need to remove the silver skin, or ask your butcher to do it. See tips on how to remove silver skin in the questions section below.

How to Make This Recipe

Oil and spices being combined in a bowl and the spiced oil poured over beef tenderloin.
  1. Mix the spice blend and oil in a bowl.
  2. Curl the beef into a bowl. Pour the spiced oil over the tenderloin.
A person coating beef tenderloin in a marinade and a tied beef tenderloin on a foil-lined baking sheet.
  1. Massage the spiced oil into the tenderloin. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours.
  2. Crank up the broiler. Place the beef on a foil-lined baking sheet and sear until browned all over.
  3. Lower the temperature to 475°F and continue to roast until the beef reaches the desired doneness. Let rest for 20 minutes before slicing and serving.
Slices of spiced beef tenderloin roast on a plate with cheesy potatoes and roasted broccoli.

Beef Tenderloin Internal Temperature Guide

Everyone has their own preferences on how they like to enjoy this tender cut of meat. Me? I like beef cooked to a perfect medium rare. The One, on the other hand, is rare all the way. He can even eat it bleu–extra rare.

I recommend cooking tenderloin to rare or medium-rare for the best flavor. Use my guide below to ensure your preferred doneness. Remember: Always measure the temperature with an instant-read thermometer in the thickest part of the meat, and keep in mind the temperature will continue to rise by 5° to 7°F after being pulled the roast from the oven.

  • Rare: Beef cooked to an internal temperature of 120°F to 130°F (49°C to 54°C) is considered rare. It’ll sport a red, juicy center.
  • Medium-rare: Beef cooked to an internal temperature of 130°F to 135°F (54°C to 57°C) is considered medium-rare. It’ll have a warm red center and soft texture.
  • Medium: Beef cooked to an internal temperature of 135°F to 145°F (57°C to 63°C) is considered medium. It will feature a slightly pink center and a mostly firm texture.
  • Medium-well: Beef cooked to an internal temperature of 145°F to 155°F (63°C to 68°C) is considered medium-well. It’ll be mostly brown with a hint of pink in the center and will have a firm texture.
  • Well done: Beef cooked to an internal temperature above 155°F (68°C) is considered well done. It’ll be brown throughout, somewhat dry, and very firm.

Common Questions

How can I tell when my beef tenderloin is done?

An instant-read thermometer is the best way to check for doneness in your meat. Be sure to insert it into the center of the thickest part of the meat for the most accurate measurement.

How do you remove the silver skin?

Silver skin is the shiny whitish lining you see on the outside of the meat that lies underneath the layer of fat. It doesn’t melt like fat and is tough and chewy if left on. Plus, it can cause that lovely and expensive cut of meat to curl on itself as it tightens curing roasting.

To remove it, start at one end of the silver skin and slide the tip of a sharp knife underneath. Using the knife as a guide, use your fingers to pull the silver skin up and away from the meat.

What should I serve with this roast?

This is a luxurious cut of beef, and it deserves some special side dishes. Try it with creamy, cheesy aligot potatoes (these are genuinely killer tots!), broccoli and blue cheese gratin, or my favorite, potatoes dauphinoise.

If you have leftover tenderloin, slice it cold thinly and serve it in our popular beef and arugula salad or quinoa and beef salad.

Helpful Tips

  • The cooking time of your tenderloin filet will depend mainly on the thickness of your roast. Start checking for doneness early to avoid overcooking.
  • Store leftover beef tenderloin in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. It can be rewarmed in a 300°F (150°C) oven. If you prefer to keep the meat rare, serve it cold or at room temperature.
  • This roast beef tenderloin recipe is suitable for gluten-free and dairy-free diets.
A sliced beef tenderloin on a white platter with sprigs of parsley.

More Outstanding Beef Tenderloin Recipes

Write a Review

If you make this recipe, or any dish on LC, consider leaving a review, a star rating, and your best photo in the comments below. I love hearing from you.–David

A sliced beef tenderloin on a white platter with sprigs of parsley.

Spiced Beef Tenderloin Roast

5 / 3 votes
This easy beef tenderloin roast is crusted with a fragrant, vibrant shawarma-inspired spice blend and quickly cooked in the oven. It's the easiest holiday main you'll ever make.
David Leite
CuisineMiddle Eastern
Servings10 servings
Calories675 kcal
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Total Time4 hours 35 minutes


  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for the pan
  • 2 tablespoons shawarma spice blend, or more, depending on your taste
  • One 5-pound beef tenderloin, trimmed and silver skin removed (ask your butcher)
  • Kosher salt


  • Whisk the oil and the shawarma spice mix in a small bowl until well blended. Curl the beef into a large bowl.
  • Rub the spiced oil over the beef tenderloin, coating it completely. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or, even better, overnight.
  • Crank the oven to broil. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil and slick it with olive oil.
  • Position the tenderloin diagonally on the sheet, tucking the thinner end underneath to create a uniform thickness so it'll roast evenly. Rub any spiced oil left in the bowl on the roast.

    ☞ TESTER TIP: If you have kitchen twine, use it to tie the folded section of the beef.

  • Season the roast generously with salt.
  • Slide the roast under the broiler and cook, turning every few minutes, until well browned all over, 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Lower the temperature to 475°F (240°C) and continue roasting the beef to your desired doneness, 15 to 20 minutes more for medium-rare, 130°F to 135°F (54°C to 57°C) on an instant-read thermometer.
  • Transfer the roast to a cutting board and tent loosely with foil. Let rest for 20 minutes before slicing and serving.


  1. Extra spice blend–You’ll have some spice blend leftover. I recommend using it to flavor roast chicken, roasted potatoes, or as a seasoning for grilled flank steak.
  2. Checking for doneness–The cooking time of your tenderloin filet will depend mainly on the thickness of your roast. Start checking early to avoid overcooking.
  3. Storage and reheating–Store leftover beef tenderloin in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. It can be warmed in a 300°F (150°C) oven. If you prefer to keep the meat rare, serve it cold or at room temperature.
  4. Dietary–This roast beef tenderloin recipe is suitable for gluten-free and dairy-free diets.
Flavors of the Sun

Adapted From

Flavors of the Sun

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Serving: 8 ouncesCalories: 675 kcalCarbohydrates: 1 gProtein: 41 gFat: 55 gSaturated Fat: 21 gMonounsaturated Fat: 25 gCholesterol: 159 mgSodium: 113 mgFiber: 0.5 gSugar: 0.1 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2021 Christine Sahadi Whelan. Photos © 2023 David Leite. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

We rarely eat tenderloin, having a strong preference for the more substantial, meatier flavor and texture of a NY strip or ribeye steak…so this recipe was facing an uphill challenge at our table.

Happily, it passed the test with flying colors, mostly due to the use of shawarma as such a delightful change of pace from more traditional seasonings. I can definitely see repeating this recipe for a special-occasion dinner party and surprising guests with the unique flavor profile.

The recipe is simple and straightforward and works well as written. The flavor of the dish really comes from the crusting of the spices during the broiling/roasting.

We ate these warm with roasted garlic mashed potatoes and a lemony pile of arugula, but I think they would be fantastic chilled and thinly sliced on a main-dish steak salad!

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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Recipe Rating


  1. Hi David! I think my stove came over on the Ark (it has glass fuses, in what I thought was the warming drawer 😱). So, it’s either on, or off. The only way I can get the 475° is to change to oven mode, and wait the 15-20 minutes for it to reach temp. Any suggestions? Thanks!

    1. Yikes, Terry! You really do need to broil and roast at high temperatures to make this recipe work. If you can, change to oven mode and wait. It really is worth the wait!

      1. 5 stars
        Thanks! I was worried about the impact sitting would have on the tenderloin while I waited for the oven to heat up. At the cost of the tenderloin…definitely don’t want to mess up!