If you’ve ever wondered how to cook roast beef, here’s your simple, delicious solution. Make this easy Roast Beef recipe with just five ingredients. It’s perfect for holiday dinners and makes a mean roast beef sandwich!
The Best Roast Beef Recipe
Everybody needs a trusted Roast Beef recipe in their back pocket. Whether you’re hosting a special holiday dinner or simply dreaming of an incredible roast beef sandwich, this easy recipe for tender, flavorful beef roast has you covered!
Why You’ll Love This Dish
Roast beef on the dinner table always receives oohs and aahs, and it’s a beloved dish for a reason. Here are a few of my top reasons to make roast beef:
- Hearty and satisfying. A roast is a homey, hearty meal that’s packed with protein. If you’re a beef lover, this meal is always a win.
- Only 5 ingredients. This recipe keeps it simple with 5 common ingredients, while also delivering big on flavor and tenderness.
- Easy to make. Not only does this recipe have a short ingredients list, but it’s also easy to prepare.
- Great to feed a crowd. This recipe is easy to double if you’re serving a lot of people. You may need to buy two cuts of beef, but the preparation and cooking method remains the same.
What You’ll Need
I’ve listed the 5 simple ingredients you’ll need to make this roast beef recipe below. Make sure to scroll down to the end of this post for the printable recipe card with the exact ingredient amounts.
- Eye of round roast – This is a lean cut of beef that comes from the “round” or hindquarters of the cow. See the suggestions below for other cuts of beef that will make a great roast.
- Olive oil
- Salt – I use fine sea salt in this recipe.
- Black pepper – Freshly ground black pepper also seasons the meat.
- Italian seasoning – I use a blend that includes dried basil, oregano, parsley, rosemary, and thyme, plus some garlic powder. If you don’t have an Italian seasoning such as this, just make a little homemade mix with equal parts of these ingredients.
How to Cook Roast Beef
Many people think that roast beef is “fancy”, and thus difficult to make. But that’s not true! Here’s my simple method for how to cook roast beef:
- Let the beef come to room temp. Take the roast out of the refrigerator 1-1½ hours before you start, place it in a roasting pan, and let it come to room temperature. This ensures the roast will cook more quickly and evenly.
- Make a seasoned herb rub. Mix together the sea salt, black pepper, and Italian seasoning in a small bowl.
- Season the roast. Pat the beef dry with paper towels and tie it with kitchen string to create a more even thickness. Rub the olive oil all over the roast. Then evenly coat the entire surface of the roast with the seasoned herb rub, pressing it into the meat.
- Cook. Place the seasoned roast fat side up in the pan. Insert an oven-safe thermometer into the thickest part of the roast. Roast at 350°F for about 1 hour. IMPORTANT: measure the internal temperature for accuracy, as cooking times can vary with the kind and size of roast, and with actual oven temperature. Cook to 135-140°F for medium-rare, and 145°F for medium. See below for how to know when the roast is done.
- Rest. Once the roast reaches the desired temperature, promptly take it out of the oven and tent it loosely with foil. Let it rest for 20-30 minutes to let the juices redistribute and increase tenderness.
- Now, carve the meat. After the resting time, carve the roast into thin slices against the grain. Cutting across the grain offers beef that is meltingly tender.
How do you Know When Roast Beef is Done?
You will want to use a meat thermometer to check the temperature of the beef roast. Most often, roast beef is cooked to medium-rare, which leaves it very tender and flavorful.
After the roast has been in the oven for 45 minutes, start checking its internal temperature. Here’s what you’re looking for:
- Medium Rare: Cook until the beef reaches 135-140ºF
- Medium: Cook until the beef reaches 145ºF
When your desired temperature is reached, promptly remove the roast from the oven. Keep in mind that the roast’s internal temperature will continue to rise while it rests – usually about 5 degrees more. So be careful to not leave it in the oven more than directed, especially with a leaner cut like eye of round.
Tips for Success
Here are a few tips for making the best roast beef:
- Bring the meat to room temperature. Yes, you can cook your roast straight from the fridge if you’re short on time. But if you bring the meat to room temperature it will cook more quickly and more evenly. Allow at least 1 hour, and up to 2, depending on the size of your roast.
- Use a meat thermometer to test for doneness. Always use a thermometer to monitor the internal temperature. Do not rely on a specific amount of time or how the roast looks.
- Know how you like your meat cooked. If you want a medium-rare roast, remove the roast from the oven when the thermometer reads 135°F. If you want a medium-cooked roast, remove the roast at 145°F.
- Leave enough time for the meat to rest. While it may be tempting to slice into the roast as soon as you pull it out of the oven, it’s very important to let the meat rest for at least 20 minutes. This will result in roast beef slices that are more tender and flavorful.
- Only cut what you need. Slice enough beef for serving right away, then refrigerate unsliced leftovers for later. Roast beef serves really well cold, makes an awesome roast beef sandwich!
I use eye of round roast, which is a leaner cut of beef. You can also use a tri-tip roast, bottom round rump, chuck roast, or top round roast.
The cooking time for roast beef depends on the size and the cut of beef. The recipe outlined in this post uses a 3 to 4-pound eye of round roast and takes about 1 hour to cook.
Cook roast beef at 325°F or 350°F for the best results.
Roast beef is a fantastic main dish that you can build a meal around.
Here are some items that go well with roast beef:
- Potatoes. Roast beef as a main entree absolutely deserves some potatoes! Mashed potatoes are the ultimate in decadent comfort food – my buttermilk mashed potatoes or easy creamy mashed potatoes are delicious options. Or try new potatoes with roasted garlic vinaigrette or my perfect baked potatoes!
- Vegetables. A hearty meal of beef benefits from the addition of green vegetables. Try my blistered teriyaki-ginger green beans or roasted asparagus, or go raw and make shaved brussels sprouts salad.
- Bread. Serve my soft homemade Rhodes rolls, steaming popovers, or honey cornbread muffins with roast beef.
- Gravy. Store-bought or homemade gravy is a must when you make a roast. Heat up the gravy just before you serve the roast so it’s piping hot to pour over the meat.
And here are some ways to use roast beef as a protein added to other menu items:
- Make a roast beef sandwich. Slices of leftover roast make a terrific sandwich!
- Do a hot sandwich. Add beef to a grilled cheese sandwich. Or add slices of beef instead of chicken in my chicken cheesesteak sandwich.
- Add to a salad. Leftover roast makes for a great steak salad. Try substituting roast slices in my grilled steak salad recipe. Or you could use my grilled romaine salad as a base, then top it with warmed slices of roast. Beef also goes well with strawberry salad.
How to Store & Reheat Leftovers
To retain the beef’s juices and tender texture, it’s best to only cut the amount of roast beef that you need right away. Then refrigerate leftovers to slice later. Here’s what to do with any leftover roast beef:
- Fridge – Place leftover beef in an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- Freezer – Wrap leftover cooled roast beef tightly in plastic wrap, then place it in a freezer-safe bag or container. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Defrost the meat in the fridge before reheating.
- To reheat – Place the beef on a baking sheet, tent it loosely with foil, and heat it in a 300°F oven until it’s hot to your liking.
- 3-4 pounds eye of round beef roast at room temperature 1-1½ hours before cooking
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- ½ tablespoon Italian seasoning
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- In a small bowl, mix together the sea salt, black pepper, and Italian seasoning. (see Notes below)
- Pat the beef dry with paper towels and tie it with kitchen string to create a more even thickness. Rub (or brush) the olive oil all over the roast. Then evenly coat the entire surface of the roast with the seasoning mixture, pressing it into the meat.
- Place the seasoned roast on a rack in a roasting pan, ensuring that the fat side is facing up. Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the roast. Place the roasting pan in the oven and cook for about 1 hour. It’s important to note that you will want to rely on the internal temperature for accuracy, as cooking times can vary with the kind and size of roast, and with actual oven temperature. Since this is a very lean roast, take care to not overcook it.
- For medium-rare beef (most common for roast beef), remove the roast from the oven when the thermometer reads 135° F. If you prefer medium, aim for 145° F. Keep in mind that the temperature will rise slightly (generally, about 5°) while it rests after you take the roast out of the oven.
- Once the roast reaches the desired temperature, take it out of the oven and tent it loosely with foil. Let it rest for 20-30 minutes to let the juices redistribute and increase tenderness.
- After the resting time, carve the roast into thin slices against the grain.