The objectives of this study were to determine the insulinogenic response to an intravenous glucose tolerance test (GTT) and examine gene expression profiles in the insulin signaling pathway (ISP) in beef animals of differing phenotypic residual feed intake (RFI). Two experiments were conducted. In Exp. 1, a total of 39 Simmental heifers, over 2 yr (yr 1, n = 22, and yr 2, n = 17; mean initial BW = 472 kg [SD = 52.4 kg]), were offered grass silage ad libitum for 104 d. Heifers were subjected to a GTT on d 8 and 65 of the RFI measurement period in yr 1 and 2, respectively. Concentrations of plasma glucose and insulin were measured at -45, -30, -15, 0, 5, 10, 15, 20, 30, 45, 60, 90, 120, 150, and 180 min relative to glucose infusion (0 min). In Exp. 2, a total of 67 Simmental bulls, over 3 yr (yr 1, n = 20; yr 2, n = 33; and yr 3, n = 14; mean initial BW = 431 kg [SD = 63.7 kg]), were offered concentrates ad libitum for 105 d. Biopsies of LM were harvested during the RFI measurement period (yr 1, d 49 and 91; yr 2, d 52 and 92; and yr 3, d 50 and 92). The residuals of the regression of DMI on ADG, midtest metabolic BW (BW(0.75)), and the fixed effect of year, using all animals, were used to compute individual RFI coefficients. Animals were ranked on RFI and assigned to high (inefficient), medium, or low groupings by dividing them into terciles, resulting in 13 heifers and 22, 23, and 22 bulls in their respective RFI groups. In Exp. 1, data from 13 heifers from each of the high- and low-RFI groups, and in Exp. 2, data from the 15 highest and 15 lowest ranking bulls on RFI are reported. In Exp. 1, glucose and insulin response and area under the response curve for glucose and insulin were similar (P > 0.05) between high- and low-RFI heifers. In Exp. 2, no differences (P > 0.05) were found for mRNA expression of 22 genes of the ISP in muscle tissue; however, expression of the transcription factor SREBP1c tended to be positively correlated (r = 0.25, P = 0.07) with RFI. Expression of GLUT4, INPPL1, and SHC increased (P < 0.05) over time, while there was no effect of sample time for any other genes measured. Collectively, these results suggest that insulin response, sensitivity, and associated expression of genes in the ISP within muscle tissue are not contributory factors to variation in RFI. However, further examination of target genes of SREBP1c, which is involved in lipogenesis, may explain some of the biochemical processes underlying variation in phenotypic RFI.