Cranberry Glazed Beef Tenderloin Roast

This post is a collaboration with Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner. on behalf of the Beef Checkoff. I received compensation, but all opinions are my own.

served beef tenderloin roast with oranges


 

When contemplating a special meal for occasions such as birthdays and holidays, my go-to preference always gravitates towards a delicious beef dish. Without fail, this cranberry-glazed beef tenderloin stands out as a consistent crowd-pleaser, especially for a Thanksgiving alternative or Christmas dinner. 

Its appeal extends beyond loads of beefy flavor and sweet tart cranberries, as this recipe boasts simplicity and ease of preparation. I want to be spending time with my loved ones, not stuck in the kitchen. 

The cranberry sauce can be prepared ahead of time, and the roast only takes about 10 minutes-hands-on and the rest is spent in the oven or resting. 

What is Roast Beef Tenderloin? 

Beef Tenderloin is one of the most desirable cuts of beef — it is tender and juicy while being a lean cut and easy to portion into single filets. And, of course, it looks impressive and gorgeous while serving. 

The beef tenderloin comes from the loin area-it runs along the loin and top sirloin. ). It gets its name from being so tender despite being lean. The muscle is not used for movement, thus it contains less connective tissue, which makes it tender. 

Along with a prime rib roast, it is one of the most iconic proteins to be served for holidays and special occasions. 

sliced beef fillets on a serving platters with orange slices and fresh rosemary

What You’ll Need

The ingredient list is short and most of the ingredients are pantry staples, with exception for the roast and cranberries. If you are keeping a tenderloin at your house as a “fridge staple”, I might move in! 

  • Beef Tenderloin- This recipe is for a 3-pound roast which should feed 5-6 people. A general guideline is to plan for about 8 ounces (half of a pound) of beef tenderloin per person when preparing a meal. Trim and tie the roast before beginning- if you ask the meat counter or butcher very nicely, they will likely do this for you! 
  • Coarse Kosher Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper- Coarse kosher salt gives the best flavor and dissolves easily without being too salty. Freshly ground pepper yields the best flavor as well. White pepper can be used for a milder effect. 
  • Spices– We used ground nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon. Aromatics that will have your kitchen smelling like a fall bakery! Alternately- use pumpkin pie spice or apple pie spice in replacement of these three. 
  • Vegetable Oil- Or other neutral oil with a high smoke point for searing the roast. 
  • Cranberries- I prefer using fresh, but frozen is a viable option, it just might take a tad longer to cook to release excess water. 
  • Orange Juice– Fresh juice has the most flavor but do strain it for pulp or buy low/no pulp OJ at the store. Pulp can impact the texture of the glaze. 
  • Brown Sugar– To balance the tartness from cranberries and make this into a glaze. Use dark brown sugar for a molasses kick! 
  • Cinnamon Stick– This is optional, but gives the cranberry glaze a nice hint of spice. The roast spice rub will also have plenty of warm flavors. 
ingredients for cranberry glaze

How to Make a Beef Tenderloin Roast

The sauce can easily be made ahead of time and used when you are ready to cook. I do suggest enjoying the roast right after preparing. Making this dish ahead of time could result in overcooked beef. 

Make the Cranberry Glaze:

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the cranberries, orange juice, brown sugar, cinnamon stick and salt, stirring to combine. Heat over medium-low heat until it simmers. Do not boil, it could scald from the sugar. 
  2. Continue to simmer and stir until the cranberries pop and the mixture is the consistency of a glaze and can coat the back of a spoon, approximately 8-9 minutes. Remove the heat and set aside until ready to use. If using another day, package it in an airtight container and refrigerate. Glaze can be used chilled or cold on the meat. 
spiced cranberry glaze in a saucepan

Beef Tenderloin:

  1. Preheat the oven and pat the beef tenderloin dry with a paper towel. Having a dry roast ensures the spice blend to stick well and for it to brown beautifully. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the salt, pepper, nutmeg, clove and cinnamon. Rub the spice mixture onto evenly all over the tenderloin roast. I like to do this on a sheet of parchment or wax paper so I can roll it and toss it away for easy clean up. 
  3. Heat a large cast iron skillet (or other oven-safe pan) over medium-high heat. Add the vegetable oil and then sear the beef tenderloin on all sides until uniformly brown. Approximately 6-7 minutes. Turn off the heat.
  4. Baste or spoon a small amount of the cranberry glaze onto the beef tenderloin. Place into the oven for 10 minutes, remove and baste or spoon glaze again.
  5. Roast for a total of 20 minutes for a 2-pound roast and 30 minutes for a 3-pound roast for medium rare, or until a digital instant thermometer reaches 145°F. Remove and allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing into single serving pieces.
  6. Spoon the remaining cranberry glaze over the slices. If the sauce was previously refrigerated, heat it up before serving. 

How do You Tie a Beef Tenderloin? 

A common home cook mistake when making a tenderloin is not tying the roast. 

Tying a beef tenderloin roast is crucial to ensure uniform cooking by maintaining its shape during the roasting process. This not only enhances the presentation of the final dish but also promotes even distribution of flavors and textures throughout the meat. Here are easy instructions on how to tie one. 

  1. Place the beef on a cutting board horizontally.
  2. Wrap the kitchen string once around the end of the roast and tie a knot.
  3. Then, create a loop by wrapping the twine around your hand.
  4. Loop the wrapped twine around the tenderloin.
  5. Repeat, placing the loops about one inch apart from each other until the entire roast has been wrapped. 
  6. Tie a knot at the end to secure the twine and snip off any excess.
tied beef tenderloin roast on a wood cutting board

What To Serve with Beef Tenderloin 

You can serve the tenderloin with easy to make sides, too, from green beans or broccolini to mashed potatoes — or even a simple salad. And don’t forget a good bottle of red wine, too.

two slices of beef tenderloin with pastina and broccoli

Storage, Make Ahead, and Freezing

Storage: Beef tenderloin is a great meal for leftovers, but it can be a challenge to keep the same quality when you reheat. I highly suggest placing it in the oven at 300°F for about 5 minutes opposed to the microwave. 

Sliced roast beef tenderloin can be stored for up to 3 days in the refrigerator in an airtight container. 

Freezing: Store sliced roast beef in plastic bags in individual portions in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw and reheat in the oven. 

close up of carved beef with sauce on a serving platter

Other Beefy Dishes

We do love beef around here and these are our favorite beef main dishes

served beef tenderloin roast with oranges

Cranberry Glazed Beef Tenderloin

5 from 6 votes
This easy cranberry-glazed beef tenderloin is the perfect celebratory meal, coming together in a snap with fall spices and cranberry glaze.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Resting Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredients

Beef Tenderloin:

Instructions

Cranberry Glaze:

  • In a medium saucepan, combine the cranberries, orange juice, brown sugar, cinnamon stick and salt, stirring to combine. Heat over medium-low heat until it simmers.
  • Continue to simmer and stir until the cranberries pop and the mixture is the consistency of a glaze and can coat the back of a spoon, approximately 8-9 minutes. Remove the heat and set aside.

Beef Tenderloin:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Pat the beef tenderloin dry with a paper towel. Set aside.
  • In a small bowl, combine the salt, pepper, nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon.
  • Rub the spice mixture onto evenly all over the tenderloin roast.
  • Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the vegetable oil and then sear the beef tenderloin on all sides until uniformly brown. Approximately 6-7 minutes. Turn off the heat.
  • Baste or spoon a small amount of the cranberry glaze onto the beef tenderloin. Place into the oven for 10 minutes, remove and baste or spoon glaze again.
  • Roast for a total of 20 minutes for a 2-pound roast and 30 minutes for a 3-pound roast for medium rare, or until a digital instant thermometer reaches 145°F. Remove and allow to rest before slicing into single serving pieces.
  • Spoon the remaining cranberry glaze over the slices.

Nutrition

Calories: 460 kcal, Carbohydrates: 34 g, Protein: 21 g, Fat: 27 g, Saturated Fat: 11 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 11 g, Trans Fat: 0.01 g, Cholesterol: 79 mg, Sodium: 574 mg, Potassium: 473 mg, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 30 g, Vitamin A: 81 IU, Vitamin C: 19 mg, Calcium: 45 mg, Iron: 3 mg
Author: Jessica Anne Formicola
Calories: 460
Course: Main Course, Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: beef tenderloin recipe, beef tenderloin roast, how to make beef tenderloin
Did you make this recipe?I’d love to see your recipes – snap a picture and mention @savoryexperiments or tag #savoryexperiments!
collage of beef tenderloin recipe with cranberry glaze
Jessica Formicola in her ktichen

About the Author

Jessica Formicola

Jessica the mom, wife and food lover behind Savory Experiments. She is obsessed with butter, salt and bacon and spends all her time in the kitchen and behind a camera. Jessica is a contributor to PopKitchen by Parade, Better Homes & Gardens, The Daily Meal Food + Travel and more!

Read More About Jessica

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Questions and Reviews

  1. 5 stars
    I’ve never had cranberry with beef before and looking at this, I’ve definitely been missing out. This sounds fabulous!