This tri tip marinade is a blend of olive oil, herbs and spices that produces a tender and juicy tri tip roast every time. You can also use this flavorful marinade for other types of beef, chicken, pork and even seafood!

A good marinade really adds a lot of flavor to any cut of meat or fish. I always make marinated salmon, pork tenderloin marinade, and of course beef tri tip marinade.

The best tri tip marinade for perfectly tender beef every time! #beef #dinneratthezoo The best tri tip marinade for perfectly tender beef every time! #beef #dinneratthezoo

Meat cooked in tri tip marinade sliced and served with grilled vegetables.

You can’t go wrong with steak, and tri tip is one of my favorite cuts. I always use this tri tip marinade to flavor my meat for perfect results every time!


Tri tip is a triangle shaped beef roast that comes from the bottom sirloin area of the cow. This cut of beef is naturally tender and well marbled, and is especially delicious when cooked on the grill, a smoker or in a skillet on the stove top. If you can’t find meat labeled as tri tip at your local grocery store, it may be packaged under a different name such as Santa Maria cut or bottom sirloin tip.

How do you make tri tip marinade?

This marinade is a blend of soy sauce, olive oil, lemon juice, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, fresh garlic, dried Italian herbs and spices. Mix everything together in either a bowl or a gallon sized freezer bag. Add your tri tip, and give it at least one hour to soak up all that great flavor!

Ingredients in small bowls for a beef marinade.

Helpful hints for the perfect marinade

  • This marinade can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days before you plan to use it, so it’s great to make in advance if you’re entertaining. You can even freeze your marinade for up to 2 months if need be! The olive oil may solidify as the marinade sits in the fridge, it will liquefy again if you leave the marinade at room temperature for about 20 minutes.
  • Feel free to use a low sodium soy sauce if you’re watching your salt intake.
  • Italian seasoning is a blend of dried herbs that can be found in the spice aisle of most grocery stores. This seasoning is typically a mixture of dried basil, parsley, garlic and oregano. If you can’t find Italian seasoning, you can blend together your own combination of dried herbs in equal amounts.
  • This marinade works well with other types of beef, I recommend using it on flank steak, New York strip, ribeye, sirloin or filet mignon. It’s also great with chicken thighs, pork chops or salmon fillets.
  • For maximum flavor, you can marinate your beef for up to 24 hours in the refrigerator.

A piece of tri tip steak in a bowl of marinade.

Tri tip marinade flavor variations

While I love this marinade as written, you can easily switch up the flavors to customize it to your tastes.

  • Cilantro Lime: Substitute fresh lime juice for the lemon juice. Add 1 teaspoon of lime zest. Omit the Italian seasoning, and add 1/3 cup of fresh chopped cilantro leaves.
  • Sesame Ginger: Swap out the lemon juice with lime juice. Omit the Italian seasoning, and add 1 tablespoon fresh minced ginger. Stir in 1/2 cup sliced green onions.
  • Garlic Lovers: Add 1 teaspoon garlic powder, and double the amount of fresh garlic.
  • Italian Style: Swap out the lemon juice with red wine, and add 2 tablespoons of fresh chopped herbs such as rosemary, thyme and parsley.

Tri tip cooked on a grill pan.

How to cook tri tip

You can smoke, grill, broil or pan sear your tri tip. Keep in mind that this is a larger cut of meat, and hence will take more time to cook than something like a steak. You can sear your meat on the grill or in a pan, then you’ll want to cook it at a lower heat until you reach your desired internal temperature. I recommend using a digital thermometer to monitor the temperature of the meat as it cooks. I typically cook my tri tip to 140 degrees F which is medium.

Sliced meat cooked in tri tip marinade over rice with vegetables.


Thinly slice your tri tip against the grain for the most tender bites of meat. This cut of meat has fibers that run vertically in one section, and the other part of the meat has fibers that run at an angle. You’ll want to pay attention to the area you’re slicing to make sure it’s cut properly. Serve your meat as-is with an assortment of side dishes, or use it in other dishes such as salads, sandwiches and tacos.

This tri tip marinade produces the best tri tip I’ve ever had! No matter how you choose to cook your meat, it’s sure to get rave reviews.

More beef recipes you’ll enjoy

Tri Tip Marinade Video

5 from 108 votes

Tri Tip Marinade

AuthorSara Welch
Meat cooked in tri tip marinade sliced and served with grilled vegetables.
This tri tip marinade is a blend of olive oil, herbs and spices that produces a tender and juicy tri tip roast every time. You can also use this flavorful marinade for other types of beef, chicken, pork and even seafood!
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time1 minute
Marinating Time1 hour
Total Time6 minutes
Course Main
Cuisine American
Serves 6


  • 1/3 cup soy sauce can use low sodium
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice freshly squeezed
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar


  • Place all the ingredients in a bowl or in a resealable gallon sized freezer bag. Mix to combine.
  • Add the tri tip the marinade. Marinate for at least 1 hour, or up to 24 hours.
  • Grill, broil or pan cook the tri tip as desired. Let the meat rest for at least 5 minutes. Slice the meat against the grain, then serve.


Calories: 83kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 627mg | Potassium: 139mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 25IU | Vitamin C: 5.8mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 1.4mg

Hello! I’m Sara!

Learn more about Sara

Related Posts

Free Bonus

5 Secrets to Meal Planning + Free Toolkit!

5 from 108 votes (81 ratings without comment)

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


  1. Hi Sara, As usual your recipes are so dang good. I used this last night on Tri- Tip roast I picked up and it was delicious! This is a new family favorite for us. Right now I have your Chicken and Rice Casserole in the oven. This is a long time Sunday dinner recipe from Dinner at the Zoo. Apparently I failed to make it for too long and had requests to get it going again. All the best 🥰

  2. 5 stars

  3. What is in Italian Seasoning? I see it all the time but I am not familiar with it. Is there a recipe?

  4. 5 stars
    Tri tip came out great on the bbq med-rare the way I like it. Tweaked your marinade recipe and used coconut aminos instead of soy. I have to cut off sodium and that’s the best replacement. Also dry rubbed HB before hitting the grill.

  5. I made the marinade exactly the way they said to make it and it came out outstanding! I marinated it overnight like 18 hours.

  6. 5 stars
    I made a small Tri tip for the first time and used this recipe exactly as written.
    I BBQ the Tri tip on my grill.
    It came out delicious!!!!
    Will use this recipe again!
    It’s a keeper.

  7. 5 stars
    I am so thankful that you always help me with every cooking that I am not sure how.
    Thank you so much for giving me the helped I need especially when I plan a get together with friends and relatives.

  8. 5 stars
    I chose McCormick’s Grill Mates Barbecue Rub and cut my Tri-tip into steaks because I didn’t know how much gas I had left.
    My Oh My! Absolutely delicious. I have to say I was surprised. Especially since the Tri-tip roast was only $10. I love 1/2 off deals.
    Thanks so much, Diann

  9. 5 stars
    I made the marinade with a few minor adjustments. I used granulated garlic from Costco, and instead of the Italian season, I used a pinch of McCormick Barbecue rub. I also added some dehydrated chopped onion, and whisked it all together. I put the roast in a large Ziploc freezer-size (1 gallon) bag, and added the marinade. I kept it in the fridge for about 24 hrs, turning the roast occasionally to make sure the marinade was well-distributed, and that no part of the roast sat in oil too long.
    I made the tri-tip on the outdoor grill, following the instructions exactly. I was worried about it not being rare enough, but remained patient, while monitoring the grill’s temperature to make sure it was steady at 400°.
    It turned out brilliantly! I may have let the roast “rest” a few minutes less before carving it, but that’s the only change I’d make to cooking it. [I froze the leftover marinade and look forward to using it again during the summer.]
    Thanks, Sara!