Slow Cooker Tri-Tip Tacos

By Updated on

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!

210 CAL 4g CARBS 10g FAT 25g PROTEIN

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.

Tri tip tacos  made in the slow cooker served on tortillas with cilantro, lime, lettuce, red onions, and radish slices.

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!

Key Ingredients

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

Crockpot tri-tip shredded tacos with red onion, cilantro, lettuce, and radishes served on corn tortillas.

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:

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 BeansGarlic 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.

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.

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.

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. 

Shredded beef tri-tip tacos with lettuce and radishes being picked up.
The Recipe
Slow cooker tri tip tacos on white corn tortillas with lettuce, cilantro, and radishes.

Slow Cooker Tri-Tip Tacos

210 CAL 4g CARBS 10g FAT 25g PROTEIN
COOK TIME: 8 Hours
TOTAL TIME: 8 Hours, 10 Min
  • Print
  • Download
  • Send to your inbox


  • 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

Like this Recipe? Try our Meal Plans!

Slender Kitchen Meal Plans
  • Weekly Meal Plans
  • Easy Shopping List
  • Healthy, Low Carb, & Vegetarian
  • Nutritional Information


(Hide Media)

Switch to prevent your screen from going dark.


The first step is to turn the garlic into a paste. You can do this by pulsing it in a food processor, using a garlic press, or by mincing it and then pressing it into a paste using the back of your knife and a little coarse salt.

Garlic cloves being mashed into a paste.

Mix the paprika, chili powder, oregano, salt, pepper, and olive oil into the garlic paste to create a rub. Cover the tri-tip with the rub.

Spice rub in a bowl for tri-tip tacos.

Add the beef broth and onions to the slow cooker. Place tri-tip on top. Cook on low for 8 hours. Thirty minutes before the cooking is finished, remove the lid and shred the meat. Let cook, uncovered, for the final thirty minutes in the liquid.

Tri-tip covered with spices in a slow cooker with beef broth and a bay leaf.

Serve in warm corn tortillas with all your favorite taco toppings. It can also be served over rice, as a shredded beef burrito, or in lettuce wraps.

Shredded tri-tip in a bowl with taco ingredients on the side.


This equipment section may contain affiliate links to products we recommend.
Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 1/2 cup
Amount Per Serving
Calories 210
Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 10g
Saturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 73mg
Sodium 446mg
Total Carbohydrate 4g
Dietary Fiber 1g
Sugars 1g
Protein 25g

* 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.

user image
About the author Meet Kristen McCaffrey
Hi, I’m the cookbook author, recipe developer, and food enthusiast behind Slender Kitchen. I am obsessed with making healthy food that is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Meal planning is my secret weapon and I hope I can make meal time easier for you with our tried and tested recipes and foolproof meal plans. Learn More
On Slow Cooker Tri-Tip Tacos
user image
user image
November 28, 2022 - 15:41
Add a Rating:
this was excellent! meat was flavorful and tender. My shop didn't have Tri tip roast only steaks and the butcher said they usually cut the steaks from the roast part Will keep this on file
user image
March 15, 2022 - 17:21
Add a Rating:
These were Amazing!! I want them every night forever! My husband agrees
Instagram Icon
Did you make this?

Snap a picture and show us what you made on Instagram or Facebook. Tag us using @SlenderKitchen or #slenderkitchen.