This eye of round roast recipe takes an inexpensive cut of meat and transforms it into a succulent and juicy roast. A handful of seasonings and 5 minutes of prep time are all that’s needed to get this hearty roast on the table.
We enjoy beef every week in our house, and while I love fancy cuts like filet mignon or New York steak for a Sunday dinner, sometimes I need a reliable roast that won’t burn a hole in my pocket but still packs plenty of flavor. That’s where eye round roast comes in.
Made with a small handful of ingredients, it’s really the preparation of the meat that gives it its flavor. Roasted until incredibly tender and succulent, this is a versatile and delicious cut you’ll want to make over and over again!
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What is eye of round?
Round steak comes from the cow’s hind legs. It’s usually divided into three sections: eye of round, bottom round, and top round (also two fabulous roast beef recipes). The eye of round comes from in between the top and bottom round.
Because of its location, beef eye of round tends to be muscle-y, making it a cost-effective cut. It’s also very lean, so it’s best cooked for a short period of time to make the most tender roast beef.
Here are some reasons why you’ll love this recipe:
- It’s budget-friendly. Similar to sirloin tip roast, eye of round is cheaper than other cuts since it can be tough if overcooked. Luckily, this recipe is foolproof and guarantees a perfectly cooked roast every time.
- Mostly hands-off. Once you season the roast, just pop it in the oven and wait for it to reach your desired temperature. It doesn’t get more effortless.
- Simple ingredients. Just 5 ingredients are all that’s needed to get this roast on the table, and most of those are seasonings.
What we love most about this recipe is how versatile it is. Serve it with everything from roasted root veggies to carrots and potatoes, then slice the leftover roast and make the best roast beef sandwiches ever.
As I mentioned, the ingredient list for this roast is quite straightforward. Here’s everything you’ll need:
- Beef eye of round roast. Approximately 3-4 pounds, preferably with the fat cap still remaining. I prefer getting the beef from my butcher VS the grocery store because the latter often removes it.
- Olive oil. For the seasonings to adhere to the meat. You can also use half butter if you prefer a crispier exterior.
- Sea salt and black pepper. To taste.
- Dried herbs. Italian seasoning or a combination of dried rosemary, thyme, and oregano will work.
Find the printable recipe with measurements below.
How to cook eye of round roast
Step 1- Prep work: Preheat the oven to 480F/250C and set the meat on the counter so it comes to room temperature. In a small bowl, combine the salt, black pepper, and dried herbs.
Step 2- Season the meat: Rub olive oil over the roast, then evenly coat the roast with the herb mixture. Press down to ensure the seasoning sticks to the meat.
Step 3- Prepare the meat: Place the seasoned roast on a wire rack in a roasting pan, fat side up. Insert a meat thermometer into the roast’s thickest part, ensuring it’s not touching bone.
Step 4- Roast the eye of round: Place the roasting pan in the oven and lower the temperature to 350F. Roast for 10 minutes per pound, so 35-40 minutes, or until the roast reaches your desired level of doneness: 135F for medium-rare or 145F for medium.
Step 5- Rest, slice, and serve: Once the roast reaches the desired temperature, remove it from the oven and tent loosely with aluminum foil. Let it rest for 15-20 minutes. Then, slice the meat against the grain into thin slices and serve.
Recipe tips and variations
- Pat dry before seasoning. So the seasoning sticks to the meat, and the exterior gets crispy.
- Pull the roast out early. It will continue to cook after it’s been removed from the oven, so pull it out when it’s 5 degrees short of what you’re looking for.
- Cook to medium rare. I’m a die-hard medium rare guy when it comes to any kind of beef, so I recommend pulling it out of the oven when the temperature reads 135F (or 130F to account for carryover). To check the temperature, always use an instant read thermometer.
- Marinade the roast. This cut of beef takes beautifully to a marinade. Consider soaking it in my 3-ingredient steak marinade for at least one hour before cooking!
- Make a pan sauce or beef gravy. While the roast is resting, set the roasting pan over medium-high heat and add butter, beef broth, red wine, and minced garlic (along with the pan juices and drippings). Cook for several minutes, then stir in a cornstarch slurry (2 tablespoons cold water and 1 tablespoon cornstarch). Cook until the sauce thickens, then serve on top of the meat or on the side.
To store: Store leftover roast beef in an airtight container and keep it in the fridge for up to 4-5 days.
To freeze: If I’m planning on freezing leftover roast, I prefer to slice it first. Store the cooled and sliced meat in a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 6 months. Let frozen leftovers thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.
To reheat: Transfer leftovers to a baking sheet, cover it with foil, and bake at 250F until the meat is fully warmed, about 10 minutes.
Frequently asked questions
Roasted eye of round is hearty and simply seasoned, so it’s best paired with a flavorful side dish, like cauliflower mac and cheese, smashed potatoes, or coconut rice. For lighter veggie sides, try brussels sprouts, asparagus, or a wedge salad.
The exact time to roast this meat will depend on how large the roast is and your preferred level of doneness. Generally, 10 minutes per pound is ideal, and the roast should be removed when it reaches 135F for medium-rare or 145F for medium.
More impressive ways to cook beef
- Trip-tip steak– Another budget-friendly cut with a mouthwatering marinade.
- Bavette steak– Fast-cooking, flavorful steak with an umami-rich marinade.
- Beef Wellington– The British classic that is deceptively easy to make.
- Meatballs and gravy– Juicy pan-fried meatballs simmered in a savory gravy.
- Lomo saltado– My family’s favorite fusion stir-fry.
Eye Of Round Roast
- Preheat the oven to 250C/480F. Bring the meat to room temperature.
- In a small bowl, combine the salt, black pepper, and dried herbs. Mix well.
- Rub the olive oil all over the roast to help the seasoning stick. Then, evenly coat the roast with the herb mixture. Make sure to press the seasoning into the meat, covering all sides.
- Place the seasoned roast on a rack in a roasting pan, fat side up. Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the roast, making sure it's not touching any bone.
- Place the roasting pan in the preheated oven and lower the temperature to 180C/350F. Roast for 10 minutes per pound, around 35- 40 minutes. Continue cooking the roast until the internal temperature reaches your desired level of doneness.
- Once the roast reaches the desired doneness, remove it from the oven and tent it loosely with foil. Let it rest for 15 minutes. After resting, slice the meat against the grain into thin slices and serve.
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