20 Creative Side Dishes to Round Out the Perfect Tri-Tip Meal

Tri-tip is a classic crowd-pleaser, and it’s an ideal main course for any home-cooked meal. It’s juicy, succulent and flavorful. Tri-tip is a delicious and tender cut of beef, But let’s be honest–the real star of the show is the side dishes! 

So, what to serve with tri tip? It can be difficult to know what to pair it with. Sure, you could always go the classic route of mashed potatoes and steamed vegetables, but where’s the fun in that?

Here, we’ll explore some creative side dishes that will perfectly complement your tri-tip, giving you a delectable meal that looks as good as it tastes. 

What kind of meat is tri-tip? What does tri-tip taste like?

Tri-tip is a type of beef cut that comes from the bottom sirloin. It has a triangular shape and is usually about 1–1.5 inches thick. 

Tri-tip has a mild flavor with a slightly sweet taste, similar to other cuts of steak, but it has some unique characteristics that set it apart. 

The marbling throughout the meat makes it very tender when cooked correctly and gives it great flavor. When grilled or smoked, tri-tip takes on a smoky and savory quality that makes it popular among BBQ enthusiasts. 

Its leanness also allows it to pick up rubs and marinades well, making it a truly versatile cut of meat for any occasion.

20 Sides to serve with tri-tip

1. Cheesy Polenta 

Polenta is an Italian dish made from cornmeal and cooked until creamy. To take it up a notch, add cheese for a smooth, rich flavor and texture that no one can resist. Cheesy Polenta is excellent to serve with tri-tip.

Cheesy Polenta

Spread out the polenta on a plate or platter and top with your cooked tri-tip for an impressive presentation. 

2. Crispy Baked Buttermilk Potatoes 

Potatoes are always a crowd-pleaser, especially when they are crispy-baked in buttermilk.

Slice thin potatoes into discs or wedges and bake them at high heat until they turn golden brown and crispy around the edges. 

This simple yet flavorful side dish goes great with tri-tip slathered in BBQ sauce or gravy. 

Discover More: Amazing side dishes to eat with Ham Steak

3. Grilled Zucchini Ribbons 

Grilled Zucchini Ribbons are the perfect companion for tri-tip. Zucchini ribbons offer an unexpected twist on traditional grilled vegetables. 

Make them by using a vegetable peeler to create thin strips of zucchini lengthwise down the vegetable. 

Grill them quickly over high heat for just a few minutes so they remain crisp-tender. A sprinkle of sea salt adds flavor without overpowering this simple yet elegant side dish. (Recipe)

4. Roasted Garlic Potatoes 

Potatoes are always a crowd favorite, but plain boiled potatoes really don’t do much for the flavor of a meal. 

Roasted Garlic Potatoes

Roasted garlic potatoes are incredibly easy to make and add both flavor and texture to your dish. Start by preheating your oven to 400 degrees F. 

Toss cubed potatoes with olive oil, salt, pepper and minced garlic cloves in a bowl until they are coated evenly. 

Spread them out on a baking sheet and bake for about 30 minutes or until golden brown. Serve alongside your tri-tip and enjoy! 

5. Grilled Vegetables 

Grilling vegetables brings out their natural sweetness and adds a smoky flavor that you just can’t get from steaming or boiling them.

Grilled Vegetables

Choose fresh vegetables like zucchini, yellow squash, bell peppers, mushrooms or onions and slice them into thick slices (about 1/3 inch). 

Toss in some olive oil and season with salt and pepper before placing on the grill over indirect heat (you don’t want them to burn!) Grill until tender and serve as the perfect accompaniment to your tri-tip dinner. 

6. Green Salad with Fresh Berries 

If you’re looking for something light and refreshing to pair with your tri-tip, try a green salad topped with fresh berries! 

Start by making a simple dressing of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey mustard, salt and pepper in a bowl (or purchase one from the store).

Then toss together mixed greens like arugula or spinach with any other fresh ingredients you may want (think cucumbers or tomatoes). 

Top off the salad with some fresh blueberries or raspberries–the sweet burst of flavor pairs perfectly against the tangy dressing! 

Explore More: Best salad to serve with beef tenderloin with Salad Dressings

7. Baked Potatoes

How can you go wrong with potatoes? Baked potatoes are an easy side dish that pairs perfectly with Tri Tip as they absorb some of its juices and help balance out the flavors.

Baked Potatoes

The creamy texture will make even the simplest of meals feel more special. Plus, it’s easy to prepare, so you don’t have to spend time slaving away in the kitchen, either.

8. Macaroni & Cheese

Creamy macaroni and cheese bring a comforting feel to any meal and pairs divinely with Tri Tip. Add some bacon crumbles or fresh herbs to give it an extra kick of flavor.

9. Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts have become a popular side dish due to their nutty flavor when roasted properly, which makes them an excellent option alongside Tri-Tip steak. 

Add some nuts, such as almonds or walnuts, for an extra crunchy texture!

10. Corn on the Cob

Corn on the cob is always a crowd-pleaser, so why not serve it alongside your Tri Tip steak? Its sweet yet slightly smoky flavor is sure to be loved by everyone at your dinner table! 

 Corn on the Cob

Plus, it’s a cheap and easy side dish that you can add to your meal plan without breaking the bank altogether!

11. Pasta Salad

A cold pasta salad consisting of fresh summer vegetables is often seen at barbecues due to its simple preparation process and the wide range of flavors it offers. 

This refreshing salad can really bring new life into your standard meal when paired with Tri Tip steak!

12. Grilled Asparagus

Another vegetable that goes great with tri-tip when grilled is asparagus! It has a unique flavor profile that would definitely stand out amongst other sides when served alongside this classic cut of meat!

13. Korean Coleslaw

If you want something different from traditional coleslaw, then try making some Korean-style slaw instead! 

Simply substitute mayonnaise for gochujang (Korean chili paste) and add some sesame seeds for added texture – this tasty combo will take coleslaw from a boring side dish to flavorful feast-worthy sides quickly! (Recipe)

14. French Fries

French Fries

You can never go wrong by serving french fries alongside any type of steak – especially tri-tip steaks! Make sure you get them extra crispy for maximum enjoyment!

Find Out: What Sauce Goes with Potato Wedges

15. Sweet Potato Fries

For those who prefer something sweeter than ordinary french fries, sweet potato fries are definitely worth trying out too. 

They pair extremely well with tri-tip steak due to their subtle sweetness, which helps bring out the savoriness in the beef even more so than before!

16. Baked Beans

Who says baked beans are just limited to burgers? They’re delicious enough on their own, but they’re taken up another level when paired up against tri-tip steak. 

Baked Beans

They offer a satisfying smokiness that tends to linger around after each bite, making them one of our favorite sides here at home whenever we’re eating tri-tip steaks together at family dinners or BBQ parties!

17. Caesar Salad

A classic Caesar salad can be dressed up easily by adding parmesan cheese shavings over top or croutons sprinkled throughout for added crunchiness, making them perfect accompaniments for any kind of tri-tip steak served either hot off the grill or cold onto plates alike. 

Plus, they look great, too, after being drizzled lightly with olive oil vinaigrette dressings just prior to serving time arriving too!.

18. Onion Rings

Onion rings provide an incredibly crunchy texture that contrasts beautifully against any succulent tri-tip steaks being served at meal times everywhere across America today. 

Though we suggest ensuring they are fried until golden brown perfection before serving them atop diner tables and kitchen counters; otherwise, their greasy texture won’t quite settle right against tender steaks, no matter how much ketchup we choose to add to our bites either!.

Discover More: Best and delicious Condiment for Onion Rings

19. Rice Pilafs

An easy yet elegant addition that comes together within minutes using very few ingredients yet still tastes surprisingly complex? 

Rice Pilafs

Rice pilafs make wonderful companions alongside anything beef-related, whether pan-seared medallions or charcoal-grilled tri-tip steaks. 

Plus, they’re incredibly versatile, too, as you can add in extra vegetables and various herbs for an added flavor boost!

20. Garlic Bread

Last but certainly not least is garlic bread – another classic that goes well with practically anything beef-related! 

Garlic Bread

Just brush some butter onto a piece of French loaf before adding freshly minced garlic over the top, then bake or grill it until golden brown perfection arrives. 

This will definitely add some savory goodness into dinners alike while helping soak up all the juices from tri-tip steak – yum!

What are the best flavors to go with tri-tip?

Tri-tip is a versatile cut of beef and can handle bold, savory flavors. Some of the best flavors to pair with tri-tip include garlic and onion powder, cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika, black pepper, and rosemary. 

For added sweetness and depth, try adding some brown sugar or honey to your spice blend. Worcestershire sauce is also great for adding an umami flavor to your marinade. 

If you’re looking for something more exotic, Middle Eastern spices like Allspice or Sumac are great options as well! You could even experiment with Asian flavors like ginger or soy sauce. 

How do you jazz up the tri-tip?

To really jazz up your tri-tip, there are a few key tips to remember. First, use a marinade or rub that will add flavor and tenderize the meat. 

Marinades can be as simple as oil, salt, pepper, garlic and herbs, or you could go for something more complex with soy sauce and citrus juices. 

Rubs work well, too; just mix together your favorite seasonings, like chili powder and cumin, to create an earthy flavor.

Second, cook the tri-tip using indirect heat on the grill or in the oven so it doesn’t charge too quickly. This method gives you time to add wood chips if desired for extra smokiness.

Thirdly, let it rest before slicing. This ensures the juices don’t run out when cut and makes sure it has time to absorb all the flavors from your marinade or rub.

Finally, slice it against the grain—it will be much more tender if you do. Serve up this jazzed-up tri-tip with your favorite sides for a delicious meal that’s full of flavor! Enjoy!

How do you display the tri-tip on a platter?

Serving tri-tip on a platter requires slicing the roast after it is cooked. For best results, you should use a sharp carving knife to slice the roast against the grain into thin slices. 

Arrange the slices on a large serving platter in an attractive pattern. You can also garnish with freshly chopped herbs or vegetables for extra color and flavor. 

For added texture and crunch, garnish with toasted nuts or croutons. Make sure to leave enough room around each slice so that people can easily serve themselves. 

Finally, drizzle some of the cooking juices over the meat to add moisture and additional flavor. Serve with warm dinner rolls and your favorite side dishes for a complete meal. Enjoy!

5 potato side dishes for tri-tip

1. Baked Potato Wedges

Slice potatoes into wedges, then toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place onto a baking sheet and bake in the oven at 425°F until golden brown and crispy, about 25-30 minutes.

2. Pan-Fried Potatoes

Cut potatoes into cubes or slices, then heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and crisp outside. Season with salt and pepper for flavor.

3. Grilled Potatoes

Slice the potatoes lengthwise into thick strips, then skewer them on metal or wooden skewers that have been soaked in water for 10 minutes to prevent burning. 

Grilled Potatoes

Grill the potato skewers over medium-high heat on the grill for 15-20 minutes until cooked through and lightly charred on the outside.

4. Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Preheat oven to 375°F, then prick sweet potatoes several times with a fork before baking them for 45 minutes or until tender when pierced with a knife. 

Slice open each potato lengthwise, top with your favorite toppings such as butter, cheese, bacon bits, chives, sour cream, etc., then return to oven for 5 more minutes to melt the cheese or other topping if desired before serving.

5. Mashed Potatoes

Boil peeled potatoes in salted water until soft, about 10-15 minutes depending on the size of potato chunks; drain well, then mash while still hot using either a masher or electric mixer, adding butter, milk/cream along with salt and pepper to taste; serve warm as a side dish to Tri-Tip steak.

10 tri-tip recipes you must try

1. Slow-Cooked Tri-Tip

Slow-Cooked Tri-Tip is a classic method that yields a juicy and tender roast with a mouthwatering crust of herbs and spices all around it. 

Begin by seasoning the tri-tip generously with kosher salt, freshly ground pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika. Place in the slow cooker along with a few sprigs of fresh thyme and cover with beef broth or dry red wine. 

Cook for 4 to 6 hours on low heat until the meat is cooked through and easily shreds apart.

2. Grilled Rosemary Tri-Tip

For Grilled Rosemary Tri-Tip, season tri-tip with salt, pepper, garlic powder, rosemary, and olive oil. 

Preheat your grill to medium-high heat and place the roast directly on the grill grates over indirect heat. 

Close the lid of the grill and cook for 25 to 35 minutes until the internal temperature registers 135°F on an instant-read thermometer when inserted into the thickest part of the meat.

3. Roasted Garlic & Herb Tri-Tip

Start by rubbing a tri-tip with minced garlic cloves, olive oil, smoked paprika, thyme leaves, oregano leaves and freshly cracked black pepper before roasting at 400°F in an oven preheated to 425°F for about 30 minutes until done. 

The result will be an incredibly flavorful roast that everyone will love!

4. Barbequed Honey Mustard Tri Tip

Marinate your tri-tip overnight in a mixture of honey mustard dressing mixed with Worcestershire sauce for full flavor infusion before cooking over medium heat on your barbeque grill until done (about 25 minutes).

Barbequed Honey Mustard Tri Tip

Slice thinly against the grain for maximum tenderness.

5. Savory Cilantro Lime Tri Tip

Mix together cilantro leaves (chopped), lime juice (freshly squeezed), chili flakes (dried) as well as garlic cloves (minced) in order to make a marinade that brings out all sorts of amazing flavors from your tri-tip once cooked over medium heat on your barbeque grill (25 minutes). 

Serve this zesty dish while still hot!

6. Red Wine & Shallot Tri Tip

Start by heating up a large skillet over medium heat before adding two tablespoons of vegetable oil while swirling it around so that it covers up everything evenly just before tossing in four peeled shallots cut into rings along with some sea salt.

Then sautéing them until they are golden brown edges start appearing here and there (7 to 8 minutes). 

Add some red wine, then continue cooking until everything has reduced fully, after which you should put your tri-tip inside as well as cook for another 10 to 12 minutes or so, depending on its size, then enjoy!

7. Balsamic Glazed Tri-Tip

Create an intensely flavored glaze out of balsamic vinegar (reduced), dark brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, along with some tomato paste. 

Then apply it onto both sides of your already seasoned tri-tip just prior to grilling it over indirect heat on your barbeque grill for about 25 minutes or so, depending on its thickness, before removing it from there onto a serving platter afterward!

8. Smoky Chipotle Tri Tip

Start off by marinating overnight using chipotle peppers in adobo sauce plus some ground cumin as well as freshly squeezed lime juice. 

All blended together – before rubbing the same mixture onto both side surfaces of your tri-tip right before roasting inside preheated oven set at 400°F degrees Celsius, then let cool slightly prior to cutting into thin slices afterward!

9. Caribbean Jerk Rubbed Tri Tip

Make sure you mix together thyme leave (dried) and nutmeg ground up finely) plus cinnamon sticks (crushed) and other spices like ground allspice and ginger root, also crushed finely.

First, before applying the same mixture onto both sides surfaces of your tri-tip, just prior to putting it directly onto hot coals on the barbecue pit. Thus letting the smoke cook away slowly whilst continuously turning every now. Then, enjoy!

10. Southwestern Spice Rubbed Tri Tip

Prepare a spice rub made out of chili powder (mixed in equal parts), ground cumin, plus smoked paprika alongside a few teaspoons each garlic powder plus onion flakes too, thus applying the same mixture onto both sides surfaces of your already seasoned tri-tip. 

Just grill it at medium-high heat, turning regularly throughout the process hence allowing the outside crust to form nicely while the interior remains moist inside – perfect texture upon serving time afterward!

5 Santa Maria tri-tip sides 

Santa Maria tri-tip is an iconic, delicious cut of meat that hails from the Central Coast of California. 

Santa Maria Tri Tip

It has a unique flavor profile thanks to the way it is prepared: slow-roasted over an open fire, seasoned with garlic, salt, pepper and sometimes other herbs and spices, and served with pinquito beans and salsa. 

Here are five delicious side dishes to pair with this flavorful cut of beef:

1. Grilled Corn on the Cob

Perfectly charred kernels coated in butter and sprinkled with garlic powder and cilantro will contrast nicely against the smoky flavor of the tri-tip.

2. Sweet Potato Fries

The sweet and salty taste of sweet potato fries will balance out the richness of the steak beautifully.

3. Sautéed Asparagus

A classic combination for any steak dinner, asparagus cooked in butter or olive oil adds a lightness to a heavier meal.

4. Baked Mac & Cheese

An ooey-gooey macaroni and cheese dish can provide just the right cheesy comfort food accompaniment to Santa Maria tri-tip.

5. Garlic Roasted Mushrooms

The earthiness of mushrooms will round out your plate with intense umami flavors that perfectly complement tri-tip.

Wrap Up on What to serve with Tri Tip

Tri-tip is an amazing main course for any home-cooked meal, but it needs great side dishes to really shine! Going beyond boiled potatoes will elevate your dinner from good to great! 

Try roasted garlic potatoes for added texture, grilled vegetables for a smoky flavor, or even top off a green salad with some fresh berries–all of these sides will bring something special to your table while still complementing the flavors of your tri-tip perfectly. 

So next time you’re cooking up this classic meat dish at home, remember these tasty side dishes – it’s sure to be an unforgettable dinner!


How much tri-tip per person?

When planning for a party, a good rule of thumb is to allow for 4-6 ounces of tri-tip per person. 

This allows each guest to have enough meat to enjoy without having too much left over. Of course, factors such as the size of the cut and the appetite of the guests can affect how much tri-tip should be prepared.
Additionally, if sides are being served with the dish, you may want to adjust the amount of tri-tip accordingly. 

How many people will a 2 lb tri-tip feed?

A 2 lb tri-tip will typically feed anywhere between five to six people. It all depends on the size of the portions and whether or not there are side dishes to accompany it. 

If you cut it into smaller pieces, you can stretch that number up to eight. For example, if each portion is 4 oz, then one tri-tip should be able to serve up to twelve people. 

Tri-tip is an excellent option for gatherings and parties because of its flavor and tenderness. 

Additionally, the amount of marbling within a tri-tip adds extra taste and juiciness, making it a favorite among many.

What salad goes with tri-tip? 

A delicious, summer-inspired salad is a great accompaniment to tri-tip. Try a classic Caprese salad with tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and basil, or add some crunch and color with a cucumber and feta Greek salad. 

For something heartier, try adding grilled vegetables like eggplant and zucchini to your greens. Or go for the Southwest flavor profile with black beans, corn, avocado, tomatoes, and cilantro over mixed greens.

Top it off with a light vinaigrette for extra flavor. Enjoy!

What sauce goes with tri-tip?

Tri-tip is a versatile cut of meat, so it goes well with many different sauces. Depending on your preference, you could try a classic barbecue sauce or something more adventurous like chimichurri or salsa verde. 

If you’re looking for an all-purpose sauce to use with tri-tip, a simple garlic butter compound would work great. Whatever you choose, be sure to let the flavor of the beef shine through! 

If you’re feeling adventurous, create your own signature marinade or sauce to take your tri-tip experience to the next level. Enjoy!

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