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Boneless Prime Rib Recipe with a Garlic-Herb Crust

A slice of boneless prime rib on a white plate with mashed potatoes

I host Christmas dinner every year. My mom does Thanksgiving, my does Christmas Eve and I get Christmas Day. My sister makes it fun, serving lots of different appetizers that we all graze on after the presents are opened (and we might sneak a few before and during, too).

But I get the easy part – making a big Christmas dinner for everyone.

I know you might think I’m crazy but hear me out. Making a juicy boneless prime rib is SO SIMPLE. I roughly calculate the time it will take for the roast to cook to the correct temperature so I know what time to put it in the oven. A leave-in thermometer tells me where the roast’s temperature is at while it cooks, so I can keep an eye on it. And an alarm goes off when it’s done!

I plan out my sides in advance and choose the ones that I can do most or all the work ahead of time. Since the boneless prime rib is the star of the show, I can keep the side dishes simple. These are the sides that I’ve made in the past that have worked well:

A boneless prime rib roast on a cutting board with several cut slices

Side dishes for boneless prime rib

  • Carrot Souffle – If you make any one of these side suggestions, let it be this one. Don’t worry, it’s not a “true” souffle and it really is easy! Everyone ALWAYS loves it, from toddlers to 80-year-olds. I promise you that everyone will be asking for the recipe.
  • Green Beans Almondine – This is another super easy recipe and it goes perfectly with boneless prime rib. You can even blanch the beans ahead of time, then reheat them in the pan with the butter and almonds. And the beans taste great at room temperature, so if they’re ready a few minutes early, you don’t have to panic.
  • Smashed Brussels Sprouts with Parmesan – Easy, delicious, not too fussy to make while doing other things. Not quite as easy as the Green Beans Almondine, but simple nonetheless.
  • Easy Mushroom Risotto with Gorgonzola – This recipe is easy, yes, but more hands-on than the previous sides I mentioned. But it is SO GOOD, so if you want to make a dinner splash, this one is perfect!
  • Garlic Green Beans & Portobellos (with Parmesan) – This one went over big when I served it the first year. It’s partly make-ahead; you can blanch the green beans hours ahead then set them aside. Just before eating, sauté the mushrooms then toss with the green beans just to heat them up. Easy and delicious!
  • Instant Pot Scalloped Potatoes – This is the quickest way I’ve found to make scalloped potatoes. Use your favorite shredded cheese or try it with a crumbled blue.

How to buy prime rib

How much prime rib will you need?

This will ultimately depend on how big a feast you’re making. The rule of thumb is 1/2 pound if it’s a feast, 3/4 pound if it’s a dinner with a few sides and 1 pound if there’s just one side to go with it.

Think about what you’ll be serving. How many appetizers? How long will people be there before you sit down to eat? If guests arrive an hour before dinner and you have a huge spread of appetizers, people are going to be half-full before they even sit down. If you have one cheese and cracker tray and it’s two hours until dinner, they might be a bit more hungrier.

Having said all that, I usually go for a pound per person (unless I’m feeding 20 people, of course). I do that because I absolutely LOVE the leftovers from a boneless prime rib recipe. We make garlic bread and use that for the bread on a prime rib sandwich with horseradish cream (YES, it’s as good as it sounds)!

A slice of boneless prime rib on a white plate with mashed potatoes

What is prime rib called at the grocery store?

Your boneless prime rib likely won’t be labeled as such at the store. Other names for it are “standing rib roast”, “beef rib roast”, “boneless prime rib”, “boneless ribeye roast”, or “boneless rib roast.” When in doubt, ask the butcher! The last thing you want is to buy the wrong cut of meat.

Although prime rib contains “prime” in its name this does not mean that it is USDA Prime. It is called prime because the cut of meat comes from the primal rib section also known as the beef rib. Prime rib will most commonly be USDA choice. USDA Prime Grade Prime Rib often has to be specially ordered through a butcher or bought online from retailers such as Snake River Farms or Allen Brothers.

How much is a boneless rib roast?

That’s a difficult question to answer since prices are so different depending on where you live and it also depends on the USDA grade. I live on the U.S. East Coast and our USDA Choice boneless rib roasts are usually around $13-$30 per pound, depending on what grade the meat is.

Usually, around the holidays, rib roasts go on sale since they’re popular at that time of the year. I usually wait to buy mine until the day before unless I’ve found a deal I just can’t pass up.

You can also order a high-quality prime rib roast online. While I haven’t done this myself (yet), I’m told that Porter & York’s are great.

How to cook boneless prime rib in the oven?

Why is prime rib served rare?

The biggest reason is that if prime rib gets overcooked, all the fat cooks out of the meat and it will become dry and tough. It doesn’t have to be served rare, but IMO, anything over medium-rare should be avoided.

The great part about cooking a rib roast to medium-rare in the center (which is how I do it) is that the edge pieces will be more cooked. My dad, for example, prefers his prime rib well past medium-rare, so he gets the end pieces and everyone else gets the middle! It’s not overcooked at this point, so the end pieces are still juicy and tender.

How to cook a boneless prime rib roast in the oven. A boneless prime rib roast just out of the oven, ready to be carved.

What is the perfect temperature to cook prime rib?

My personal belief is that boneless prime rib should be cooked to medium-rare and no more. Cook the roast to 120-125° F for rare, and 130-135° F for medium-rare.

Be sure to use a leave-in meat thermometer!! I can’t stress this enough. The reason boneless prime rib is so easy is that the thermometer takes all the guesswork out of it. If I suddenly didn’t have one, I’d choose something else to make for dinner, because I’d never take the chance on overcooking such a beautiful piece of meat.

How long do you cook a boneless prime rib?

The cooking time rule of thumb is about 15-20 minutes per pound of meat. This also depends on the temperature of your oven since the higher the temperature, the faster it will cook.

The method that I use is to cook the roast at a high heat first, to lock in the juices and form a nice crust on its outside area. Then I reduce the temperature and cook it low and slow, which results in a juicy, tender roast. I usually cook an 8-pound roast, which takes about 3 hours from oven to table, including the time it will need to rest after cooking.

Should you cover prime rib while it’s cooking?

Nope! Leave it uncovered so it can form a beautiful, flavorful crust.

What about a bone-in rib roast?

Go for a bone-in rib roast if you’d like! I have an AMAZING recipe for a bone-in prime rib roast with a garlic-peppercorn wet rub. That’s usually my go-to recipe but I’m switching it up this year!

If you have any more questions about how to cook a boneless prime rib roast in the oven, shoot me an email anytime at And Happy Holidays!

A slice of boneless prime rib on a white plate with mashed potatoes

Herb-Crusted Boneless Prime Rib Roast

Yield: 10 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 15 minutes

If you think making prime rib is difficult, I'm here to tell you how simple it is! Make sure to use a leave-in meat thermometer for perfect results every time.


  • 1 8-pound boneless rib roast
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tbsp coarse salt
  • 2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened


  1. Bring the roast to room temperature (let it sit out for at least an hour or longer).
  2. Preheat your oven to 450° F.
  3. Mix together the garlic, chopped herbs, salt, pepper and softened butter in a small dish. Rub the mixture all over the top and sides of the roast.
  4. Place the roast on a rack inside of a roasting pan. Place it in the oven and cook for 20 minutes.
  5. Reduce the heat to 325° F. Continue cooking the roast until it reaches an internal temperature of 130° F.
  6. Place the roast on a carving board and tent it lightly with foil. Allow the roast to rest for 20-30 minutes, then carve it and serve.


You can also make this roast with this Mustard, Garlic & Peppercorn Rub in place of the herbs. There's a recipe for Creamy Horseradish in that post, which is a fantastic addition for this herb rub, too.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1328Total Fat: 108gSaturated Fat: 46gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 49gCholesterol: 326mgSodium: 1002mgCarbohydrates: 2gNet Carbohydrates: 1gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 82g

This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix.

Kristy Bernardo
Latest posts by Kristy Bernardo (see all)


Monday 18th of December 2023


How would you adjust this recipe for a bone-in prime rib? I saw the link for the other recipe but this recipe is what we typically use and love! Thank you!!


Saturday 23rd of December 2023

@Monique McArthur,

Thank you so much! Merry Christmas

Monique McArthur

Monday 18th of December 2023

Follow the instructions exactly except reduce the heat to 350°F. As long as you're cooking to an internal temp of 130°F it should come out perfectly. Hope you enjoy.


Saturday 16th of December 2023

I am going to make this for Christmas dinner this year. However, my husband ordered a boneless prime rib for Christmas. We just found out tonight that it will be here Monday. I thought it would be here right before Christmas not a week early. The dilemma is that my husband says that it will be okay until Christmas in the fridge. Since Christmas is a week away, I think we should freeze it. What are your thoughts?

Monique McArthur

Monday 18th of December 2023

Hi, According to the FDA you should only refrigerate up to 3 to 5 days and freeze anything beyond that.


Sunday 2nd of January 2022

Highly recommend! I’ve been preparing Prime Rib for over 50 years and decided to try a new recipe. So glad I did, won’t go back to my former method. Thank you for sharing!

Brian Williams

Sunday 2nd of January 2022

Every year for Christmas or New Year I've made this prime rib recipe since I first met Kristy back in 2014. I was traveling this year so I passed it on to a few friends to try. One family made it yesterday and came into the office raving about how delicious it came out and how easy it was to make. I took the credit of saying I have a great recipe that I got from an even better friend!

Kristy Bernardo

Sunday 2nd of January 2022

Aww, love this so much, Brian! Miss you and your wonderful family!

Kathy Ridenour

Sunday 26th of December 2021

I made this for Christmas dinner and it was tender, moist, and very flavorful. This is now saved under my favorites so we can make it every year. I was a little nervous about getting the degree of doneness correct but using a meat thermometer was the key.

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