Beef Tongue Recipe (Oven Version)

Are you looking to expand your keto repertoire with a delicious, budget-friendly cut of meat that’s packed with nutrients? Look no further than beef tongue!

Often overlooked at the grocery store, beef tongue is a nutritional powerhouse boasting an impressive amount of essential vitamins and minerals, all while being incredibly low in carbs and perfect for the ketogenic diet.

beef tongue recipe

But wait, there’s more! Beef tongue isn’t just good for you; it can also be melt-in-your-mouth tender and bursting with flavor. The key lies in the preparation. This recipe will take you through a simple, foolproof method for cooking a delicious beef tongue that will leave you wanting more.

So, let’s get started with this delicious and super easy cooked cow tongue recipe! Let me know in the comments how it turned out!

👍 Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Quick and Easy Prep – Don’t let the fancy name fool you! This recipe is incredibly easy. In under 10 minutes, you can have everything prepped and ready to hit the oven.

beef tongue keto

Let the Beef Shine – This oven roasted beef tongue recipe is all about letting the quality of the beef tongue take center stage. There’s no need for a complicated ingredient list or fancy cooking techniques. It’s a true testament to the power of simple, fresh ingredients.

Affordable – Beef tongue is a surprisingly affordable cut of meat, so you can feed a crowd without breaking the bank. It’s a protein powerhouse that delivers big flavor for a fraction of the price of pricier cuts.

✨ Recipe Ingredients

For this beef tongue recipe will need:

  • 3 pounds Beef tongue
  • Salt and your favorite seasonings

👨‍🍳 Beef Tongue Recipe

Follow this easy beef tongue recipe:

Step 1

Place the beef tongue (without removing its “skin”) in a disposable aluminum baking tray.

Step 2

Rub the beef tongue with your favorite seasoning, or simply just salt.

Step 3

Add two cups of water (this will keep the meat tender) to the tray.

Step 4

Cover with aluminum foil. Ensure that the foil is tightly sealed around the edges of the tray.

Step 5

Cook in the oven for 4 hours at 180C (360F). After four hours, remove the tray from the oven, discard the aluminum foil, and let the meat rest for 30 minutes.

Peel the skin off the beef tongue, slice, and serve! Enjoy this beef tongue keto recipe.

cooked cow tongue


1. Resting and Cooling for Easy Skin Removal

After the beef tongue has finished cooking, it’s crucial to allow it to rest and cool slightly before attempting to remove the skin.

This resting period not only allows the meat to relax and reabsorb some of its juices but also makes the skin easier to peel off without damaging the underlying meat.

Once the beef tongue has been removed from the oven, carefully transfer it to a clean cutting board or tray and let it rest for at least 20-30 minutes. During this time, the residual heat will continue to cook the meat gently while allowing the juices to redistribute evenly throughout the tongue.

After the resting period, the beef tongue should be cool enough to handle comfortably. Using a sharp knife, carefully score the skin along the edges to create a starting point for peeling.

Then, using your fingers or a small knife, gently peel away the outer layer of skin from the tongue, working slowly and methodically to avoid tearing the underlying meat. 

baked beef tongue

2. Cooking Technique 

Cooking beef tongue to perfection requires careful attention to temperature and time to ensure that the meat is tender and flavorful.

While there are several cooking methods available, using the oven is one of the best techniques for achieving tender and succulent beef tongue.

Once the beef tongue is properly sealed in the baking tray, transfer it to the preheated oven and allow it to cook low and slow for several hours. The exact cooking time will vary depending on the size and thickness of the tongue, but as a general rule of thumb, plan for approximately 3-4 hours of baking time for a 3-pound tongue.

During cooking, periodically check the liquid level in the tray and add more if necessary to prevent the meat from drying out.

3. Slice Thinly Against the Grain

After cooking and peeling, slice very thinly across the grain of the meat. This ensures soft, buttery slices that highlight the unique texture of tongue. The meat should be juicy and tender this way.

cooking beef tongue in oven

4. Perfectly Seasoned Tongue

Add generous amounts of salt and other spices like garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, and paprika to penetrate deep into the tongue as it cooks. Do not be shy with seasonings – well-seasoned beef tongue is key for best flavor.

I also like using smoked salt instead of regular one. It really takes this dish to the next level!


1. Spicy Tongue Tacos– Thinly slice the cooked beef tongue and sear the slices in a hot skillet to crisp them up.

Pile the crispy beef tongue slices into low-carb taco shells and top with your favorite spicy taco toppings like guacamole, salsa, jalapeños, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime.

The contrast of the crispy salty meat with the cool, fresh flavors makes a perfect keto-friendly taco.

2. Tongue with Chimichurri Sauce– Chimichurri is a bright, herby sauce that pairs deliciously with beef. Mix up a batch by combining minced garlic and shallots, olive oil, red wine vinegar, lots of chopped fresh parsley and cilantro, oregano, crushed red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper.

Slice the cooked beef tongue and serve drizzled with the vibrant chimichurri sauce for a fresh take on this dish.

Tongue with Chimichurri Sauce

3. Korean-Style Bulgogi Tongue – Thinly slice cooked beef tongue and marinate for 1-2 hours in a mixture of soy sauce, sesame oil, minced garlic and ginger, a dash of sugar or sugar substitute, black pepper, and rice vinegar.

Stir-fry the marinated beef tongue slices in a very hot pan or grill them until caramelized. Serve over cauliflower rice with kimchi and other Korean barbecue sides. The sweet and salty marinade pairs sublimely with the tender beef tongue.


This braised beef tongue can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

You can also freeze the cooked beef tongue for longer term storage. Allow the braised beef tongue to cool completely before transferring to storage containers.

Side Dishes Ideas

Here are  delicious keto-friendly side dish ideas that would pair perfectly with the beef tongue recipe:

1. Coconut Cauliflower Rice – Cauliflower rice is a great low-carb alternative to regular rice that goes well with many savory dishes. The coconut flavor adds a sweetness that complements the rich umami beef tongue. 

2. Keto Mexican Cauliflower Rice – Similar to the coconut cauliflower rice, this Mexican-style version adds fun Tex-Mex flavors like cumin, garlic, and lime that pair nicely with beef dishes. The zesty spice is a welcome contrast to the tender beef tongue.

3. Keto Air Fryer Green Beans – Fresh green beans make for a nutritious and crispy complement to the braised beef tongue. Air frying maintains their nice snap while giving them a bit of crunch without needing to deep fry in oil. 

4. Keto Creamed Spinach – Spinach sautéed in butter and cream makes for a rich, flavorful veggie side. The velvety texture contrasts nicely with the meatiness of beef tongue. 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How much water should I add if my baking dish is larger than the recipe suggests?

A good rule of thumb is to add enough water to come about halfway up the sides of the beef tongue. This ensures there’s enough liquid to create steam and cook the tongue evenly throughout, but not so much that the tongue simmers instead of bakes.

2. What are some good flavor combinations for seasoning the beef tongue?

Beef tongue pairs well with a variety of bold flavors. Here are a few ideas:

  • Classic: Salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder
  • Asian-inspired: Soy sauce, ginger, star anise, cloves
  • Mediterranean: Rosemary, thyme, oregano, red pepper flakes
  • Spicy: Chipotle powder, cumin, chili powder

3. Can I use a different cooking method besides baking?

Absolutely! Beef tongue can be braised in a Dutch oven on the stovetop or cooked in a pressure cooker. A pressure cooker can significantly reduce the cooking time, but be sure to adjust the water quantity.

Why Beef Tongue is Perfect for Keto

Beef tongue is a wonderfully tasty yet underappreciated cut of meat that has great potential for keto and low-carb diets. There are several key reasons why beef tongue pairs so well with a ketogenic lifestyle:

1. Taste and Texture

First and foremost, beef tongue tastes fantastic. It has a rich, meaty flavor with texture that is tender yet still has a pleasant chew to it. When properly prepared, beef tongue can be just as tender as a good cut of filet mignon.

The taste is also deeper and more savory than typical cuts of beef. So for keto dieters looking to liven up their menu, beef tongue offers a fabulous flavor that feels like a treat without breaking the carb bank.

It’s also a very satiating food, meaning just a serving or two could crush cravings and leave you feeling full and satisfied, an important factor for keto success.

2. Nutritional Profile

In addition to its inherently great taste and texture, beef tongue has an excellent nutritional makeup for keto. A 3 oz serving packs 16 grams of protein with less than half a gram each of net carbs and fat. That makes it a near-perfect high-protein, very low-carb option.

Beef tongue could be a cornerstone of meeting daily protein goals without worrying about going over on carbs or calories. And getting adequate (but not excessive) protein is key for preserving lean mass in a ketogenic state. The ample protein in beef tongue checks that box nicely.

It also supplies a good array of micronutrients like iron, zinc, selenium and B vitamins to support health and performance. All in all, nutritionally beef tongue lines up perfectly for keto.

oven roasted beef tongue

3. Affordable

Furthermore, beef tongue delivers all of the above benefits at a very wallet-friendly price point. Per pound, beef tongue tends to cost about half as much as premium steaks and roasts. So it allows budget-conscious keto followers to incorporate more red meat into their meal plans.

Adding more red meat, which is a stellar source of complete protein packed with nutrients, can make sticking to keto sustainable and enjoyable. Being able to do so affordably with a cut like beef tongue is a major perk.

4. Versatility

In addition to its cost-effectiveness, beef tongue is also impressively versatile. It pairs nicely with simple preparations like roasting it plain, braising it in flavorful sauces, or throwing it on the grill or in the smoker for killer barbecue.

Sliced thin, it also shines as the protein centerpiece for salads or lettuce wrap tacos.

And because it’s so meaty and substantial, just a little beef tongue goes a long way. Use it in small amounts to round out meals or chop it up for a unique addition to burgers and meatloaves.

However you choose to include it, having a versatile ingredient like beef tongue expands low-carb possibilities.

tongue recipe

5. New to Many People

Finally, incorporating an unfamiliar cut of meat like beef tongue introduces beneficial variety into the keto diet. The more diversity of whole, nutritious foods included in the diet, the more likely it is to be sustainable and satisfying.

Since many people haven’t tried beef tongue before, it feels like an exciting new discovery rather than a limitation or restriction. And that sense of exploration, of trying new flavors and foods, makes sticking to keto fun rather than a chore.

Beef tongue helps drive home that keto isn’t about starvation or deprivation – it’s about enjoying delicious and healthy cuisine.

That’s it! With minimal prep and some patient cooking, you’ve transformed a simple beef tongue into a succulent and flavorful dish. This method can be adapted to incorporate your favorite spices and herbs, so don’t be afraid to experiment!

Make sure to check out more keto and carnivore recipes on my website. We’d love to hear from you in the comments below – if you have any questions about cooking beef tongue in oven, or anything else we’ve shared, feel free to ask away! 

beef tongue recipe
4.89 from 9 votes

Beef Tongue In The Oven

This easy beef tongue recipe requires minimal prep and delivers melt-in-your-mouth tenderness. Includes tips and serving suggestions.
150+ Carnivore Recipes
  • 3 pounds Beef tongue
  • Salt and your favorite seasonings
  • Place the beef tongue (without removing its “skin”) in a disposable aluminum baking tray.
  • Rub the beef tongue with your favorite seasoning, or simply just salt.
  • Add two cups of water (this will keep the meat tender) to the tray.
  • Cover with aluminum foil. Ensure that the foil is tightly sealed around the edges of the tray.
  • Cook in the oven for 4 hours at 180C (360F). After four hours, remove the tray from the oven, discard the aluminum foil, and let the meat rest for 30 minutes.
    Peel the skin off the beef tongue, slice, and serve! Enjoy this beef tongue keto recipe.
    beef tongue recipe ketoandeat
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword baked beef tongue, beef tongue keto, beef tongue recipe, cooked cow tongue


Serving: 3.5oz | Calories: 170kcal | Protein: 20g | Fat: 10g
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 5 people
Calories: 170kcal
Cost: $15
Print Recipe

8 thoughts on “Beef Tongue Recipe (Oven Version)”

  1. I’m really curious when this article was posted. My 4 lb tongue costed $27, in East Tennessee. I found this one at Walmart. Usually tongue is hard to find around here.
    Anyway, we have generations in our family, mostly from Indiana, who grew up eating nearly all parts of the cow. Our fave being the tongue. We’ve always roasted it in the oven or pressure cooker. I’ve had it cooked other ways and it just doesn’t compare to the oven.

  2. 27 dollars for a single tongue? Seriously?, Here in my country is around around 2 dollars per tongue, either here is too cheap or there is too expensive

    • 5 stars
      Ms. Tennessee is correct… I live in Arkansas and just paid $6.94 a pound. I’ve got it in the oven now, seasoned and surrounded with sauerkraut!

  3. Eggs in tray with tongue? Anyone tried this? Are we talking just putting eggs in shells in tray at start of cooking? TIA

  4. I grew up on a farm and my mom use to cook the tongue in a browning bag with garlic cloves and prepared stuffing and it was delicious!!

4.89 from 9 votes (7 ratings without comment)

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