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5 Easy Beef Tenderloin Substitutes: Add Some Oomph

Beef tenderloin, the king of the dinner table, commands attention and wallets alike. Yet, we all hit that moment—staring at our shopping list and wondering if our budget can handle the royal feast. “There’s more than one way to skin a cat,” a phrase that oddly fits here, because guess what? You’ve got options, and they’re pretty good.

We tried other cuts and even non-beef alternatives to see if they could stand tall beside the venerable tenderloin. Spoiler: they can. Some might say it’s like finding a secret door in your favorite video game—exciting and surprisingly satisfying.

The right substitute not only keeps your dinner plans on track but might just introduce your palate to a new favorite.

5 Easy Substitutes for Beef Tenderloin

While nothing can quite replace the flavor and texture of a perfectly cooked beef tenderloin, these alternatives come pretty close:

SubstituteTasteTextureSuitable Dishes
Pork TenderloinRich, slightly sweetTender, leanSuitable for Beef Wellington, roasts
Chicken BreastMild, subtleLean, delicateSuitable for lighter dishes, stir-fries
Lamb LoinRich, gameyTender, juicySuitable for roasts, grilling
Sirloin SteakBeefy, robustJuicy, slightly chewySuitable for steaks, grilling, stir-fries
Portobello MushroomsEarthy, umamiMeaty, chewySuitable for vegetarian dishes, grilling

1 – Pork Tenderloin

Pork tenderloin steps up as a solid swap for beef tenderloin. It’s lean, tender, and wallet-friendly.

We find it cooks up quick and nice, perfect for a busy night. Flavor-wise, it’s mild, which means it plays well with spices and marinades.

For every pound of beef tenderloin in your recipe, use a pound of pork tenderloin. We tried it with a simple herb rub and roasted veggies on the side.

The result? Absolutely satisfying. You might not even miss the beef.

2 – Chicken Breast

Chicken breast steps in as a lean, mean substitute for beef tenderloin. It’s affordable and tender. We threw it on the grill with just some salt and pepper.

You’d swap beef for chicken at a one-to-one ratio. Easy does it. We snuck in some secret spices too. Not telling which, though.

The taste? Surprisingly spot-on. Left us wondering why we hadn’t tried this sooner. For those curious about more swaps, check out alternative options for chicken breast.

3 – Lamb Loin

Lamb loin, a great alternative for beef tenderloin, isn’t just a second choice. It’s rich in flavor and tenderness. It closely mirrors beef in texture and juiciness. We grilled it, keeping it simple with salt and pepper. Our experience? Positively impressed.

Lamb and beef cook similarly, making swap-outs a breeze. Use these cuts in equal measure—one pound of lamb for every pound of beef. We paired it with rosemary and garlic for that extra kick.

The result? A dish that could easily fool the traditional beef aficionado.

4 – Sirloin Steak

Sirloin steak comes in as a stout contender. Less pricey than tenderloin yet still boasts a rich taste. Bold flavors make it a crowd-pleaser.

We found it grills beautifully, a plus for barbecue fans. For each tenderloin recipe, swap an equal weight of sirloin. Grilled to perfection, it won us over.

Its texture? Firm yet tender, hits the spot every time. Paired with a touch of sea salt, it elevates the dish.

Tried it with garlic butter—mouthwateringly good. This swap didn’t disappoint.

5 – Portobello Mushrooms

Don’t write off portobello mushrooms as a vegetarian-only option. When it comes to beef tenderloin substitutes, they stand out even among its meaty competition.

Light yet filling, these mushrooms offer an earthy flavor that works great with herbs and spices. They’re a healthy choice for those looking to cut back on red meat.

We grilled them up with a little balsamic glaze, and our taste buds were pleasantly surprised. For each pound of beef tenderloin, use a similar weight in portobello mushrooms.