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Bring the steakhouse home with perfectly cooked filet mignon made right in your kitchen! These juicy pan-seared filets are deceptively simple to make, with just a few minutes on the hot stovetop to form a golden crust, and then a quick trip to the oven to finish cooking. If you’ve ever wondered how to cook filet mignon in a pan, keep reading for all you need to know!
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Filet mignon is known for being the most tender cut of beef steak, and this filet mignon recipe in cast iron is the perfect way to prepare it. Quickly searing the outside of the steak in a piping-hot pan creates a deep golden crust that holds the juices in, making a melt-in-your-mouth filet mignon that is so good!
Looking for a main dish that’ll impress your loved one this Valentine’s Day? It doesn’t get any more swoon-worthy than this pan-seared filet! Serve your filet mignon with rosemary garlic potatoes, green bean almondine, and a wedge salad for a special-occasion-worthy meal that will rival any restaurant.
Recipe At a Glance
Cuisine Inspiration: American
Primary Cooking Method: Stovetop, Oven
Dietary Info: Gluten-free
Key Flavor: Rich and savory
Skill Level: Intermediate
- Impressive yet easy: When you know how to cook filet mignon in a pan, you have a recipe on your hands that’s sure to impress. But the best part might just be that it’s so easy to make!
- Juicy and tender: Searing in a hot pan and finishing in the oven results in an evenly cooked filet mignon with a flavorful crust and juicy, tender interior.
- Ideal for special occasions: Birthdays, Valentine’s Day, date night in, anniversaries … filet mignon couldn’t be any more perfect for celebratory dinners.
Ingredients to Make Filet Mignon
- Filet mignons: This tender steak is cut from beef tenderloin. Your filet mignons should be sliced about 1 ½ inches thick per steak.
- Salt & pepper: Enhances the flavor of your steak.
- Olive oil: Perfect for cooking your filet mignon in cast iron, olive oil helps the steak form a golden, flavorful crust. Skip the extra virgin olive oil and stick with standard olive oil, which has a higher smoke point.
- Butter: Unsalted is best so that you can better control the overall salt content. Use store-bought or try your hand at homemade butter!
- Garlic: Individual cloves of garlic, peeled and left whole, infuse the olive oil, butter, and steak with garlicky goodness.
- Thyme: Fresh sprigs of thyme add an earthy, savory flavor.
Popular Substitutions & Additions
- Switch up the herbs: If fresh thyme isn’t available, you can use ½ teaspoon dried thyme instead. Rosemary is also wonderful with filet mignon.
- Serve with a sauce: Filet mignon’s tender texture and mild flavor make it the perfect steak to serve with red wine sauce or creamy gorgonzola.
- Top with mushrooms: Sauté a batch of sliced white button or cremini mushrooms until tender, then pile them onto your pan-seared filet. Perfect for mushroom lovers!
- Make it a surf-and-turf meal: Serve filet mignon with shrimp or lobster for the full land-and-sea experience.
How to Cook Filet Mignon
- Heat olive oil in a cast-iron skillet until shimmering, then add filet mignons to the hot pan.
- Cook on one side until a dark golden brown crust forms, then flip the steaks over.
- Sear the other side until golden brown, then flip over again. Add the butter, garlic, and thyme.
- Transfer the skillet to the oven to finish cooking to your desired level of doneness. Allow the steaks to rest, then serve.
Tips for Making the Best Pan-Seared Filet
- Select your filet carefully. It’s an expensive cut of steak, so make sure your money is well spent by choosing bright red steaks with light marbling and very few large fatty bits.
- Let steaks sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking. It might seem unnecessary to salt your filet mignon and then let it sit at room temp, but this is an important step because 1) the salt dissolves on the surface of the steak, then is re-absorbed into the meat for a more flavorful and juicy result and 2) allowing your steak to come to room temperature helps it to cook more evenly overall.
- Use a cast-iron skillet or stainless steel pan. For the best, most even sear, cast iron is ideal for filet mignon. However, if you don’t have cast iron, you can use another type of skillet. Just make sure it is not non-stick but is oven-proof because you will be transferring the pan to the oven for the steak to finish cooking.
- For the juiciest steak, don’t forget to rest. It’s tempting to dig right in to your filet, but for the best filet mignon, it needs to rest! Giving your steaks time to cool slightly allows them to evenly reabsorb some of the juices for the most juicy, not dry, steak.
What to Serve With This Filet Mignon Recipe
How to Store & Reheat Filet Mignon
Filet mignon tastes best right after it has been cooked and rested, but if you have leftovers, it is possible to store and reheat it. To store, use a small airtight storage container or tightly wrap your leftover filet in plastic wrap to keep it from drying out, and place it in the refrigerator. To reheat, place your leftover steak in a baking dish and cover with aluminum foil. Place in a 250°F oven and allow the steak to warm gently until the internal temperature reaches at least 110°F.
How Long Will Filet Mignon Last in the Fridge?
Leftover filet mignon will last up to 3 days in the refrigerator.
Can I Freeze Pan-Seared Filet?
While, technically, you can freeze cooked filet, I don’t recommend it because this tender cut of beef can dry out and is best when first cooked. If you would like to freeze it, place it in a freezer bag or airtight container and place it in the freezer for up to three months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight or for several hours before reheating.
Frequently Asked Questions
It all depends on what you like! That said, filet mignon is a high-quality cut of meat that some say tastes the best with rare or medium-rare preparation.
The filet mignon comes from the tenderloin, which is found beneath the ribs, next to the backbone. This section of muscle has very little connective tissue, which results in a very tender cut of meat.
“Filet mignon” is French. It roughly translates to “dainty, tender cut of meat.”
Whether you’re looking for an impressive main dish for a special occasion or just craving a perfectly cooked steak, this filet mignon hits it out of the park! With just a few minutes of hands-on cooking time and a simple list of ingredients, this filet mignon recipe is an incredible way to enjoy the most tender, juicy, melt-in-your-mouth steak.
More Steak Dinner Recipes:
- Cast Iron Skillet Steak
- Steak Salad
- Grilled Steak
- Garlic Butter Steak Tips
- Oven Roasted Steak Fajitas
- Herb Crusted Prime Rib
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- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Remove the steaks from the fridge at least 30 minutes before cooking to bring them to room temperature. Then pat dry with a paper towel to remove excess moisture and season with salt and pepper on both sides.
- Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil to the hot skillet, and once the oil is shimmering, add the steaks on top.
- Sear on one side for 3 minutes or until a golden-brown crust forms. Flip to the other side and sear for 2 more minutes.
- Add the butter, garlic and thyme. Use oven mitts to transfer the skillet to the oven to finish cooking for 4 to 8 more minutes, depending on your desired level of doneness. I recommend 125°F for medium-rare, keeping in mind that the temperature will continue to rise about 5-10 degrees after you remove from heat and the steaks rest.
- Transfer the steaks to a plate or cutting board, tent them with aluminum foil, and allow them to rest for 5 minutes before slicing or serving.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.