Best Pan Seared Filet Mignon

By: Cassy Joy Garcia

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This incredibly tender pan-seared filet mignon is the perfect meal for a date night in and is ready in under 30 minutes!

a cooked filet mignon topped with compound garlic herb butter sitting on a plate next to a knife and fork

This pan-seared filet mignon is *so* simple and *so* delicious! If you’re a steak person, you know that there isn’t anything quite like biting into a super tender (think: so tender that you hardly need a knife) filet mignon. Though cooking this cut (or any steak for that matter) may seem intimidating, with less than 30 minutes of total time in the kitchen, it really is easier than you think.  

What is the best way to cook filet mignon?

Though you can grill a filet mignon, we actually prefer to first sear our filets on the stove and then let them cook through by baking them in the oven. This ensures a steak that is slightly crisp on the outside and *super* tender and juicy on the inside (aka, the best filet mignon ever). 

How to Season Steak

Though filet mignon is a special cut of beef because it is so tender, it actually has a lower fat content than other steaks, causing it to also be lower in flavor. To counteract that, you’ll want to season your steak (even with a simple salt and pepper mix). Here are 3 of our favorite ways to season a filet mignon:

  • Salt and pepper – keep things simple with sea salt and black pepper! And if you aren't a pepper fan, leave that off (we did!). It’s amazing how much flavor a generous amount of salt can add to a steak! 
  • Herb butter – this is my favorite way to add flavor to a filet! Our homemade compound garlic herb butter sounds fancy but it’s really just softened butter mixed with fresh herbs. Adding a pat of it over top of your finished steak is *divine*. 
  • Dried seasoning – play around with your favorite dried herbs, or buy a ready-made seasoning blend (this Super Garlic or this Super Trifecta blend would be absolutely delicious on steak!).
melted ghee sitting in a cast iron pan on the stovetop
3 filet mignons cooking in a cast iron pan on the stovetop
bright green tongs holding a raw, salted filet mignon above a cast iron pan on the stovetop
4 filet mignons in a cast iron pan in the oven

How to Cook Filet Mignon in a Cast Iron Skillet

Now for the good part! Here’s exactly how you’ll cook a perfect, tender filet mignon:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Melt the ghee – add the ghee to a large cast iron skillet, or other heavy-bottomed, oven-safe pan, over medium-high heat.
  3. Season the steaks + sear – while the ghee is melting, season the steaks with salt and pepper. When the skillet is hot, add the steaks and sear for 3-4 minutes, until brown. Then flip and transfer the steaks to the oven.
  4. Bake – let the steaks cook in the oven for 5-6 minutes for a medium-rare (135°F) steak and 8-10 minutes for a medium (140°F) steak. (Note: doneness will vary based on the thickness of your steak. These times are for 2-inch-thick filets.) Once the steak has reached your desired temperature, remove the steaks from the pan and let rest for 5-10 minutes.
  5. Serve!
3 cooked filet mignons sitting in a cast iron pan on a marble surface

Tips for Perfect Filet

Here are our best tips for getting the perfect filet mignon every single time:

  • Salt the steaks – salt the steaks 30 minutes before you plan to start cooking them. This will lock moisture and flavor into the steaks. For more on this, find our full article on dry brining here.
  • Let the steaks come to room temperature – grab your steaks from the fridge and let them sit on the counter to come to room temperature before searing. This will allow them to cook more evenly.
  • Pat the steaks dry – before cooking, pat the steaks completely dry – moisture is the enemy of a crisp crust!
  • Use a hot pan – for the best sear, make sure the pan is hot before adding the steaks to it.
  • Use a meat thermometer – instead of guessing and risking an overcooked filet, use a thermometer to make sure that your steak has reached the right temperature!
  • Use the herb butter – though there are several ways to season your steak, we highly recommend the herb butter! So if you have time to make it (it’s easy!), you totally should – it adds tons of flavor.
a filet mignon topped with garlic herb compound butter sitting on a plate next to a knife and a fork with a bite of filet mignon on it

FAQs

How long should you cook filet on each side?

Searing each side of the filet for 3-4 minutes should do the trick!

What temperature is steak done at?

Aim for 135°F for a medium-rare steak and 140°F for a medium steak!

Do I need a cast iron skillet?

You don’t! Any other heavy-bottomed skillet will do (think: stainless steel), but we always opt for a cast iron skillet because it creates the best crust for steak!

How long should I let steaks rest?

You should let your filet mignon steaks rest for 5-10 minutes before serving. This allows the juices to reabsorb into the meat itself, instead of running out as soon as you cut into the steak.

What to Serve with Filet Mignon

For a full meal, you could add a baked potato and veggie to the side, or you could take it over the top with this roasted asparagus side dish, this no-stir mushroom risotto, or these loaded twice-baked potatoes, and a glass of your favorite red wine!

With less than a 30 minute cook time, this filet mignon recipe is the perfect special occasion (think: Valentine's Day!) show stopper!

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Best Pan Seared Filet Mignon

a cooked filet mignon topped with compound garlic herb butter sitting on a plate next to a knife and fork

Perfectly-cooked, tender filet mignon is done in less than 30 minutes, making it ideal for a date night-in!

  • Author: Amber Goulden
  • Prep Time: 00:10
  • Cook Time: 00:18
  • Total Time: 28 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 2 1x

Ingredients

Scale

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Add the ghee to a large cast iron skillet, or other heavy-bottomed, oven-safe pan, over medium-high heat.
  3. Season the steaks with salt and pepper or your favorite seasoning blend, then when the skillet is hot, add the steaks and sear for 3-4 minutes, until browned, then flip.
  4. Transfer the steaks to the oven and cook for 5-6 minutes for medium-rare (135°F) doneness or 8-10 minutes for medium (140°F) doneness. Once the steak has reached your desired temperature, remove the steaks from the pan and let rest for 5-10 minutes. Serve!

Notes

The oven times listed above are for 2-inch-thick steaks. Doneness will vary based on the thickness of your steak.

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  1. Amanda Schiefelbein says:

    Can you use ghee to make the herb butter? I’m dairy free but this looks so yummy!!

  2. Miranda says:

    SO EASY, and not exaggerating, best filet mignon of my life. Paired it with the suggested asparagus and twice baked potatoes, followed by the flourless brownies. A Valentine’s Day dinner we will never forget. Thanks for making good, healthy food so attainable!

  3. Katie McNealy says:

    I’ve never made compound butter, and at the moment we don’t have fresh herbs. Would dried herbs work? And if so, how much?
    I understand if there’s no response for a while…it seems silly to be asking questions about herbs at a time like this. I am making this for my family tonight, and I’m sure it would still be delicious without the butter. ❤