Leftover tri-tip, sweet caramelized onions, and provolone cheese come together on toasty bread for a decadant lunch or delicious dinner the whole family is sure to love!
When cooking tri tip in our house, one of the perks is having some leftover. Unlike a lot of leftover meats, steak is one that most everyone looks forward to having again. It's great in pasta, tacos, quesadillas, and of course, tri tip sandwiches! While we often think of sandwiches as a lunch staple, a good sandwich with hearty ingredients like this one also makes a tasty family dinner.
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Why you'll love this recipe:
- Perfectly cooked meat- This recipe uses the tri tip like a deli meat, so doesn't heat it up, overcook it, or dry it out. If you do choose to reheat it only do so until the internal temperature reaches 130, so as not to overcook the steak.
- Customizable- Prefer pickled red onions to caramelized ones? Go for it! Changing the toppings is an easy way to mix up this meal.
- Easy- Slice, assemble, and serve. Even the onions are easy, they just take some time if you don't have them handy.
Let's get started! Here's what you'll need:
Bread - Can't make a sandwich without it! I'm just using regular white bread, but your options are near limitless. A hoagie roll, ciabatta rolls, hamburger buns, french bread, or even garlic bread would all be great options!
Tri-tip - You'll want 3-4 ounces of cooked tri tip per sandwich, cut into thin slices.
Caramelized onions - I make a big batch of these ahead of time to cut down on prep, because they make such a great addition to a variety of meals. If you don't have time to fully caramelize them, you can saute some onions over medium-high heat with a bit of brown sugar.
Cheese - Smoked provolone is what's pictured here, and goes particularly well with tri-tip. Lacy swiss cheese or havarti are also great choices.
Sauce - Not pictured (oops!) but I use honey mustard. A garlic sauce or steak sauce is delicious as well.
Avocado - I know not everyone likes it so you can leave it off if you prefer, but the creaminess pairs well with the sandwich.
You'll need a knife and cutting board or mat to slice the tri-tip roast, and something to toast your favorite bread with. If you don't have caramelized onions, you'll want a large skillet to cook those in.
How to make it:
Step 1: Slice the meat
Go ahead and slice your tri-tip. You want to slice it thinly enough that you can have some flexibility stacking it on your sandwich, but there's no need to use a mandoline or fancy tools.
Step 2: Toast the bread
Lightly toast your bread and while it's fresh out of the toaster add the slice of cheese so the warm bread will soften it. Then add your sauce and tri tip slices on top of the provolone.
Step 3: Assemble the sides
Add the avocado slices on top of the meat. To the other slice of bread, spread the caramelized onions.
Step 4: Serve and enjoy
Place the second slice onion side down onto the first, and you're ready to eat!
It's a triangular cut- hence the tri in the name- of meat that's lean and tender and comes from the bottom of the sirloin. It's pretty common to see in grocery stores in the western United States. If you don't see tri tip roast at your store, top sirloin is a good substitute. It's great cooked with a simple dry rub- this sous vide guide uses just garlic powder, salt, and black pepper to let the steak shine.
When I don't have caramelized onions already made, sauteeing up some veggies that complement the steak is easy and cooks faster. Mushrooms go beautifully with steak, and those onion and bell pepper mixes from the freezer section are already cut up- cook either in a bit of olive oil or butter for a flavorful vegetable topping. You can also just saute some onions and add a bit of balsamic vinegar and brown sugar- those will amp up the flavor without taking the time to fully caramelize.
Sauce wise there are loads of options. If honey mustard isn't your jam you can use bbq sauce or any bottled dressing you enjoy. Or you can whip up a bit of sour cream with some worcestershire sauce or horseradish sauce in a small bowl for a DIY creamy sauce.
More easy recipes you may like:
Wondering how to cook tri tip in the first place? You can sear it in cast iron pan then cook it in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes, but my favorite method is to sous vide tri tip.
Looking for more sandwich topping options? Try these caramelized onions and mushrooms, or roasted red peppers.
Need more ways to repurpose leftovers? Check out these leftover pulled pork tacos!
Or if you have leftover rotisserie chicken it goes great in this baked feta pasta or instant pot pesto pasta.
Let me know how you liked this tri-tip steak sandwich below, and what other leftover tri tip recipes you'd like to see!
Tri-Tip Sandwich Recipe
- 3.5 oz tri tip steak
- 2 slices bread
- 2 tablespoon caramelized onions
- 2 tablespoon honey mustard
- 1 slice provolone cheese
- ¼ ea large avocado
- Slice your tri tip and avocado thinly. Optionally, toast bread.
- Onto one slice of bread add cheese and honey mustard, then stack meat and avocado on top.
- On the other slice of bread, slather the caramelized onions. Place it on top of the first side to assemble your sandwich, and enjoy!
Nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate. It is recommended to use your preferred calculator with the actual ingredients you use for optimal accuracy.
Hi Anne! Thank you for this awesome recipe. I tried reaching out with the provided email address but the email delivery failed for some reason, then I also tried finding the Facebook page but that was also unsuccessful. Is there a way to reach you?
Anne Aslanides says
Natasha, I'm so glad you liked the recipe! I recently changed domain names and thought the email switch got taken care of but apparently I have a bit of work to do on that end- thank you for bringing it to my attention. I updated my contact page to the old email which I know works, anne at easiermotherhood.com.