Are you looking for something unique to serve with your tri tip?
Whether it’s a casual weekend gathering or a special occasion meal, the perfect side dishes can make all the difference.
And when the main event is melt-in-your-mouth tri tip, let’s just say you need sides that are next level!
It wouldn’t feel right to pair a juicy and tender cut of meat like this with mundane vegetables or boring salads.
No —you deserve better than that.
That’s why we have put together an incredible list of twelve must-try side dishes that complement any tri tip dish perfectly!
Get ready to wow your guests and take confidence in your culinary creation—these recipes will do the trick.
What to Serve with Tri Tip? 12 Must-try Side Dishes
1. Roasted Potatoes
Roasted potatoes are a great side dish to serve with tri-tip.
They have a rich, savory flavor that pairs well with the meat, and their texture is both crispy and fluffy.
Here are some tips on how to make roasted potatoes even better:
- Add some herbs: rosemary, thyme, or oregano would all be great choices.
- Give them a little crunch: try adding some chopped-up bacon or pancetta to the mix.
- Change up the type of potato: red potatoes, Yukon golds, or even sweet potatoes would all work well.
No matter how you make them, roasted potatoes are sure to be a hit at your next meal.
2. Mashed Potatoes
Mashed potatoes are one of the most classic side dishes out there.
They’re creamy, they’re comforting, and they go with just about everything.
But sometimes, mashed potatoes can be a little boring.
If you’re looking to elevate your mashed potatoes and take them to the next level, here are a few tips.
First, try adding some roasted garlic to your mashed potatoes for a subtle but delicious flavor.
Roasted garlic is easy to make at home – simply slice off the top of a head of garlic, drizzle with olive oil, wrap in foil, and roast in a 400-degree oven for about 30 minutes.
Once it’s done, the cloves will be soft and fragrant – perfect for mashing into your potatoes.
Another great way to add some flavor to your mashed potatoes is to use chicken or beef broth instead of water when cooking the potatoes.
This will give them a richer flavor that pairs well with any protein.
And finally, don’t forget the herbs.
A little bit of thyme, rosemary, or sage can really take your mashed potatoes to the next level.
So go ahead and experiment – your taste buds will thank you.
3. Baked Beans
Baked beans are a classic side dish that can be enjoyed with any type of the main course.
They are typically made with navy beans, but can also be made with other types of beans such as pinto beans or black beans.
Baked beans are usually baked in a tomato-based sauce, which gives them their characteristic flavor.
Baked beans have a soft, creamy texture and are very flavorful.
They can be enjoyed as is, or topped with shredded cheese, diced onions, or crumbled bacon for extra flavor.
Baked beans can also be used as a condiment or topping for burgers, hot dogs, or sandwiches.
To elevate this classic side dish, try adding some chopped vegetables such as carrots, celery, or red peppers to the baking dish before adding the beans.
This will add some extra flavor and nutrition to the dish.
You could also try using different types of beans, such as black beans or pinto beans, in place of navy beans.
4. Corn on the Cob
Corn on the cob is a classic summer side dish that goes great with tri-tip.
The sweet, crunchy corn kernels are the perfect complement to the savory meat.
Plus, it’s an easy dish to make ahead of time and throw on the grill when you’re ready to eat.
There are a few things to keep in mind when making corn on the cob:
- Make sure to cook the corn until the kernels are tender but still have a bit of bite. You don’t want them to be mushy.
- Be generous with the butter and seasoning. Corn can be bland, so it needs all the help it can get in terms of flavor.
- Don’t be afraid to get creative with your toppings.
Grilled corn is delicious on its own, but it’s even better when topped with cheese, bacon, or chili peppers.
5. Macaroni and Cheese
Macaroni and cheese is classic comfort food that everyone loves.
It’s creamy, cheesy, and oh so satisfying. But sometimes it can be a bit boring.
If you’re looking for ways to elevate your mac and cheese game, here are a few tips.
First, try using different types of cheese.
A sharp cheddar will give your dish a nice tang, while a Gruyere will make it extra creamy.
You could also mix in some goat cheese or blue cheese for a unique flavor.
Second, add some texture to your mac and cheese by including chopped bacon, diced ham, or crumbled sausage.
Or, for a vegetarian option, try adding roasted garlic, sautéed mushrooms, or roasted red peppers.
Finally, top your mac and cheese with a breadcrumb topping for some extra crunch.
You could even get creative and add some herbs or spices to the breadcrumbs before sprinkling them on top.
6. Green Beans
Green beans are a versatile side dish that can be enjoyed by everyone.
They have a delicate flavor and a crunchy texture that makes them a great addition to any meal.
While they can be enjoyed plain, there are some easy ways to elevate this dish and make it even more delicious.
One way to enhance the flavor of green beans is to cook them with aromatic vegetables like onions or garlic.
This will give the beans an extra depth of flavor that will really make them stand out.
Another way to add some flavor is to toss the beans in a light dressing or vinaigrette before serving.
This will help to bring out their natural sweetness and make them even more enjoyable.
Green beans are also a great vehicle for other flavors like bacon, nuts, or cheese.
Adding these ingredients will give the beans some extra texture and make them even more satisfying.
If you’re looking for a simple but tasty side dish, green beans are always a good choice.
With just a little bit of effort, you can easily turn them into something special that your whole family will love.
A salad is a great way to round out any meal, and there are endless possibilities when it comes to what you can include in your salad.
The best salads have a balance of taste and texture, and including a variety of colors will make your salad more visually appealing.
When it comes to taste, you’ll want to include both salty and sweet elements in your salad.
This can be achieved by adding crumbled bacon or feta cheese for saltiness and diced fruit or honey for sweetness.
For texture, add some crunch with chopped nuts or croutons. And don’t forget the greens.
A mix of lettuce will give your salad body and volume.
To take your salad up a notch, try roasting your own vegetables for an added depth of flavor.
You could also add a flavorful dressing or vinaigrette.
8. Potato Salad
Potato salad is a dish that can be enjoyed all year round, but it’s especially perfect for summer barbecues and picnics.
This dish is usually made with boiled potatoes, mayonnaise, eggs, and celery, but there are endless variations of potato salad out there.
The best thing about potato salad is that it’s a versatile dish that can be tailored to suit any taste.
When it comes to taste, potato salad can be either savory or sweet (or a combination of both).
The texture can also vary depending on the type of potato you use and how you prepare it.
For example, if you want a creamier potato salad, you could use Yukon Gold potatoes and mash them before adding them to the other ingredients.
If you prefer a more substantial salad, you could leave the potatoes whole or cut them into large chunks.
There are endless ways to elevate this dish and make it your own.
Some people like to add bacon or ham for extra flavor, while others prefer to add dill or other herbs for a more refreshing taste.
You could also experiment with different types of dressing, such as ranch or vinaigrette.
And of course, don’t forget the toppings.
Potato salad is delicious on its own, but it’s even better when topped with shredded cheese, crumbled bacon, or green onions.
9. Cole Slaw
Cole slaw is a dish that is often served as a side, but it can easily be elevated to the main dish.
The dish is comprised of shredded cabbage and carrots and is often dressed with mayonnaise or vinegar-based dressing.
Cole slaw is a versatile dish that can be made to suit any taste.
The key to a good cole slaw is in the balance of flavors.
The cabbage and carrots should be shredded finely so that they are still present in the dish but not overwhelming.
The dressing should complement the cabbage and carrots and not overpower them.
A good tip is to start with less dressing and add more as needed.
There are many ways to elevate cole slaw, from a simple side dish to the main meal.
One way is to add protein, such as cooked chicken or shrimp.
Another way is to add fruits or vegetables for additional flavor and nutrition.
Fruits such as apples or grapes can be added for sweetness, while vegetables such as peppers or onions can be added for spice.
Whatever you choose to add, make sure that it complements the flavors of the cabbage and carrots.
10. Pasta Salad
One of the great things about pasta salad is that it can be served as a side dish or a main course.
It’s also versatile enough to be enjoyed all year round.
In the summer, pasta salad is the perfect picnic food.
In the winter, it can be a hearty and satisfying meal.
When it comes to taste and texture, pasta salad is all about personal preference.
Some people prefer a creamier dressing while others prefer a more vinegary one.
And as for the pasta itself, there are so many different shapes and sizes to choose from.
The key is to find a balance that you enjoy.
To elevate your pasta salad, try adding in some fresh herbs or diced vegetables.
This will give the dish more flavor and make it more visually appealing.
You could also try using a different type of pasta, such as whole wheat or gluten-free.
And if you’re feeling really adventurous, you could even experiment with different types of dressings.
11. Fruit Salad
Fruit salad is a versatile dish that can be enjoyed as a side or a main course.
The most important thing to keep in mind when making fruit salad is to choose fruits that are in season and at their peak of ripeness.
This will ensure that your salad is fresh and flavorful.
When it comes to taste and texture, the sky’s the limit with fruit salad.
You can mix and match different fruits, add in some nuts or seeds for crunch, and even include a bit of cheese for creaminess.
The key is to create a balance of flavors and textures that you enjoy.
There are a few simple tips you can follow to elevate your fruit salad from good to great:
- Be sure to cut your fruits into bite-sized pieces so that they are easy to eat.
- Add a touch of sweetness with honey or agave nectar.
- Don’t forget the dressing.
A light vinaigrette or citrus juice will bring all the flavors together and make your salad even more enjoyable.
12. Rice Pilaf
Rice pilaf is a classic dish that is loved by people all over the world.
It’s simple to make and can be easily customized to suit your taste.
The key to a good rice pilaf is the balance of flavors.
You want the rice to be fluffy and light, with a hint of sweetness from the raisins.
The broth should be flavourful without being too salty.
And the toasted almonds add a nice crunch.
Here are some tips on how to make the perfect rice pilaf:
- Soak the rice in water for at least 30 minutes before cooking. This will help to soften the grains and prevent them from sticking together.
- Use chicken or vegetable broth instead of water for extra flavor.
- Toast the almonds in a dry pan before adding them to the dish. This will bring out their natural oils and give them a nice crunch.
- Add a handful of chopped fresh parsley or mint for a bright, fresh flavor.
In conclusion, there are a variety of delicious side dishes that go great with tri-tip.
From roasted potatoes to baked beans, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
These side dishes are all easy to make and will elevate your next meal.
Thanks for reading, and be sure to try some of these dishes the next time you cook tri-tip.
Carrie is a food writer and editor with more than 15 years of experience. She has worked for some of the biggest names in the food industry, including Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, and Martha Stewart Living.
As the Editor in Chief of IntroChicago.com, Carrie oversees all of the content on the site. She also manages the team of contributing writers and editors, who help to create delicious recipes, helpful tips, and informative articles that you’ll find on the site.
A native of the Chicago area, Carrie is passionate about all things food. She loves trying new restaurants and experimenting with new recipes in her kitchen. She’s also a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, so she knows a thing or two about food!