Slow Cooker Tri-Tip Tacos
Slow Cooker Tri-Tip Tacos are made with juicy, fork-tender beef and your favorite toppings for a melt-in-your-mouth meal you won’t be able to get enough of. Serve these delicious tri-tip tacos with rice and beans or a side salad for the ultimate healthy weeknight meal!
My deep love for tri-tip dates back to my early twenties when my old roommate used to make a seriously mouthwatering grilled tri-tip. I have no idea what he seasoned it with or what the exact method was, but I swear that roast was magical.
Once the tri-tip was cooked, we used to slice or shred it and scoop the beef onto warm corn tortillas for yummy tri-tip tacos. Many years later, I spotted a lonely tri-tip roast at the grocery store and felt compelled to scoop it up and make it for my family.
I wound up slow cooking the tri-tip instead of grilling it, and the results were beyond my wildest expectations. We packed the meat into corn tortillas with all of our favorite taco toppings and went to town. It was a bittersweet moment when I realized leftovers were out of the question because everyone absolutely devoured the beef.
Tri-tip roast is easy to make and budget-friendly compared to other cuts of beef, not to mention it’s crazy delicious. Need a faster option that's still super flavorful? Try these 15-minute Blackened Steak Tacos or Ground Beef Tacos.
Save the leftovers and serve them in salads, sandwiches, or quesadillas. Trust me, you don’t want to miss out on a single bite!
You also will want to try this Slow Cooker Machaca or Slow Cooker Birria de Res next time you want slow cooker Mexican beef.
What is Tri-Tip?
The tri-tip roast is a large cut of beef that gets its name from its triangular shape. Also called the bottom sirloin roast, this cut is known to be fairly lean and is the most tender when it’s cooked low and slow.
Many people overlook this part of the sirloin for the more popular top sirloin, but tri-tip is crazy flavorful and juicy when cooked the right way. If you’ve never tried it before, get ready to fall in love!
Here are the key ingredients you’ll need to make these drool-worthy slow cooker tri-tip tacos.
- Tri-Tip Roast: You can find this tasty cut of beef at most grocery stores either in the beef section or behind the butcher counter. If you can’t find it, you can use another thick sirloin cut or chuck roast.
- Beef Broth: This adds lots of rich, savory flavor to deepen the flavor profile of the dish. If you don’t have any beef broth, you can swap it for vegetable broth.
- Onion and Garlic: Chopped onions infuse tons of delicious flavor into the cooking liquid, which in turn gets infused into the beef. You’re going to mince or pulse the garlic into a paste and use it as a flavorful base for the rub.
- Herbs and Spices: You’ll need salt, pepper, oregano, smoked paprika, and ancho chili powder to make the rub that we coat the roast with. I also like to toss a bay leaf into the pot for extra flavor.
Recipe Tips for the Best Tri-Tip Tacos
Here are some easy tips to help you make the most delicious tri-tip tacos:
- If you have the time to spare, I highly recommend browning the roast on all sides before slow cooking it. This helps to release lots of incredible flavors and also gets a nice golden brown sear on the meat.
- You can store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3-5 days in the fridge or up to 3 months in the freezer.
- Don’t have a slow cooker? You can make Instant Pot tri-tip tacos instead by adding all of the ingredients to the Instant Pot for 40 minutes on high pressure, then manually releasing the pressure when the timer goes off.
- You could also make these tri-tip tacos on the grill taking inspiration from this classic Carne Asada recipe.
- Serve your tri-tip tacos on warm corn tortillas with fresh cilantro and queso fresco for a simple, wholesome, and delicious meal.
- If you want to make a similar recipe with a more traditional cut of beef, try this carne deshebrada recipe.
Serving Ideas for Beef Tacos
Not only is shredded tri-tip roast absolutely fantastic in tacos, but it’s also incredibly tasty in plenty of other dishes as well. Whether you’re looking for great ways to use your leftover shredded beef or simply want to try something other than tacos, you have come to the right place. Here are some more delicious ways to enjoy slow-cooker tri-tip roast:
- On top of a bed of greens with salsa, rice, and avocado for a delicious taco salad.
- Make cauliflower rice taco bowls for a low carb option.
- Mixed with the sauce of your choice and packed in between two buns for a hearty beef sandwich
- Loaded into a crave-worthy burrito along with rice, beans, salsa, and guacamole
- Pressed into a gooey quesadilla with shredded cheese
- Served on a plate with rice (or cauliflower rice) and beans
What are the best taco toppings to use?
There are tons of amazing taco toppings you can pair with this dish, so don’t be afraid to get creative and experiment with the ingredients you’ve got lying around at home. If you need a little inspiration, here are some of my favorite taco toppings to try:
- Pico de gallo
- Corn salsa
- Sliced jalapenos
- Pickled red onions
- Fresh cilantro
- Queso fresco
Side Dish Ideas
These beef tacos are so hearty and satisfying, I like to keep my side dishes simple if I’m serving any at all. Some of my top picks include Quick and Easy Refried Beans, Garlic Cilantro Brown Rice, Slow Cooker Black Beans, and Corn Salsa.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are answers to some of the most common questions about making tri-tip tacos at home.
Does tri-tip get tender the longer you cook it?
Yes! This is a naturally leaner cut, so the longer you cook it the more the tough fibers will break down and become tender. By cooking this cut of beef low and slow in the slow cooker, you can get insanely juicy, tender beef that tastes amazing packed into tacos.
Tri-tip can also be cooked on the grill as a whole roast or steaks. When grilling tri-tip, you want to treat it different and cook it medium rare or medium. Then make sure to slice is thinly against the grain.
Can another cut of beef be substituted?
This slow cooker beef recipe will work with all different ciuts of beef. If you can't find tri-tip, swap in beef chuck, top round roast, brisket, or beef stewing meat. Just choose something that comes out nice and tender when cooked low and slow.
Can this be made with chicken or pork?
This recipe works great with chicken and pork as well. Swap in chicken broth for the beef broth. For the best results, I recommend using chicken thighs or pork shoulder since they are more flavorful.
Slow Cooker Tri-Tip Tacos
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- 8 cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika (or sweet for a less smoky flavor)
- 1 tbsp ancho chili powder
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 lb lean tri-tip roast, all fat removed
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup beef broth
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* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
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