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A delicious marinate for steak that yields perfectly seasoned, tender and juicy Steak Tips with Caramelized Onions!

Steak Tips with Caramelized Onions

At our house, we eat chicken or fish probably 99% of the time – but lately we’ve been on a bit of a steak and potatoes kick!  Sometimes, the craving strikes for a juicy burger or steak – and these Steak Tips with Caramelized Onions are a delicious way to satisfy any red meat craving!

My husband Jack developed this recipe for steak tips with caramelized onions many years ago after working in a restaurant where the tips were among the most popular items on the menu.  It has a ketchup-based marinade that combines sugar, red wine vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and A-1 Sauce with the ketchup for added flavor.  The combination of flavors makes a really fantastic marinade for beef!  And, if you are using a less expensive cut of beef for your tips – you can also add in some Coca-Cola to the marinade which lends even more flavor, plus it helps to tenderize a tougher cut of beef!


Steak Tips with Caramelized Onions

And, a bit more about which cuts of beef to use when making these steak tips with caramelized onions…we recommend a really good cut of meat like sirloin or rib eye.  (We used rib eye for the photos show here; it happened to be on sale at the market!)  Whichever you choose – just look for nice marbling (thin lines of fat) throughout the meat, which will result in tender tips.

Topped with simple and delicious caramelized onions and served along with our Parmesan Truffle Fries – dinner is ready!

You may enjoy these other Steak recipes:


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Sirloin Steak Tips - A Family Feast

Steak Tips with Caramelized Onions

  • Prep Time: 8 hours
  • Cook Time: 6 mins
  • Total Time: 8 hours 6 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings


Using Coca Cola is a commonly-used ingredient in steak marinades and it helps tenderize the beef. But – if you use a really good-quality cut of beef, it is not necessary and water can be used. (For our rib eye tips, we used water.)


For the Marinade

  • 1 cup ketchup
  • ½ cup Coca-Cola or water (see note)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • ½ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ cup A-1 Sauce
  • 1½ tablespoons freshly ground black pepper

Other Ingredients

  • 2 pounds sirloin or rib eye trimmed and cut into large cuts as big as 2 to 3 inches square
  • 1 large onion, cut into thick strips vertically
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sugar


  1. In a medium sauce pan, place all marinade ingredients and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and gently simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool completely.
  2. Trim any gristle or large pieces of fat from beef. Cut into large pieces; about 2-3 inches square. Place cut beef in a zip lock bag. Pour cooled marinade over beef, seal and marinate 8-24 hours.
  3. In a medium sauté pan over low heat melt butter in olive oil and place onions, salt, pepper and sugar and cook stirring occasionally for 30-40 minutes until onions are caramelized but not cooked down too much. Start cooking tips as the onions get close to finishing.
  4. When you are ready to grill, drain all marinade and heat a ribbed grill pan over extremely high heat or heat your outdoor BBQ grill to the highest setting.
  5. Lightly oil or spray pan or grill and place beef onto grill or pan not touching each other and cook untouched for 2-3 minutes (Depending on how thick they are and how hot your grill or stove gets, the timing will need to be monitored). If you are not certain, cut into one and check for doneness. Turn once and cook for another 1-2 minutes for medium rare. Remove to a platter and serve with the caramelized onions.


Steak Tips with Caramelized Onions

Steak Tips with Caramelized Onions

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  • Amy wrote:

    Wow, what a great meal! My husband says he can’t remember a better one!! Thanks for sharing both recipes.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Amy! We’re glad you both enjoyed the recipes!

  • Shelley J wrote:

    I found this recipe on Pinetrest, made it and turned it into a pappardelle pasta dish with sauteed mushrooms. The marinade is very good, but too sweet for me so next time i might not add sugar at all. I ended up adding more vinegar and some red pepper flakes to counteract the sweetness. Also, this recipe makes a tremendous amount of very expensive marinade (the A1 and Worcestershire alone is $$)- I will definitely cut it in half next time as it all just becomes waste unfortunately and its so delicious. I used NY strip so my beef was very tender. For the pasta I made a roux, added strong beef broth and some of the marinade to taste, tossed in Pasta, mushroom, onions and steak – it was delish and we will definitely make again. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Martha wrote:

      Sounds like a great adaptation of our recipe Shelly! Thanks for taking the time to write to us with your feedback.

  • Laci wrote:

    Hi! Did you end up trying it again with the sirloin? How did it turn out? Which cut do you prefer using? Thanks!

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Laci – We did and it was delicious! Both cuts are good – so depending on your budget you can’t go wrong with either cut. Hope you enjoy the recipe!

  • Ashley wrote:

    Do you this this would be a good marinade for chicken?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Ashley – We haven’t used it for chicken ourselves and my initial thought is that it might be too ‘strong’ of a flavor for boneless skinless chicken …but for skin-on chicken – maybe. If you try it, please let us know how it comes out!

  • Mary wrote:

    I made this last night with the truffles potatos. It was delicious. Thank you for the recipe.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks so much Mary! We’re very glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  • John wrote:

    Hmmmm…… Just curious. Sirloin tip steaks are a very lean cut of meat. Cook them quickly on high heat without a long (24 hr) marinade, and you will only get shoe leather as a result. Possibly tasty shoe leather, but very tough. I am not sure about rib eye, but as this is generally fairly well marbled, the tip might also be fatty, so this recipe may work with rib eye tips. I see some comments indicating they had very tough results. I hope if they try this again, they do not do it with sirloin tips. Have you ever tried this recipe with sirloin tips? I am going to try this recipe, with sirloin tips, but after searing the steak and carmelizing the onions, I will add some beef broth and possibly some wine and let it reduce somewhat and them let it simmer. I will probably add some corn starch at the end to thicken up the liquid. Sounds great, but I will let you know.

    • Martha wrote:

      Great questions John! It’s been a while since we made this recipe…we have some sirloin tips in our refrigerator so we’re planning to re-test the recipe this week to make sure that we aren’t leading our readers astray by suggesting sirloin tips. (We will update the recipe if needed.) Thanks for taking the time to write to us today!

    • John wrote:

      Woops! Missed the whole marinade part, even though I re-read three times – but late at night, you gotta believe me! Sorry about that.

      • Martha wrote:

        No worries John! We’re excited to have steak tips this week anyway! Hope you enjoy the recipe!

  • TLe wrote:

    I cooked it over the stove and also didn’t put in any steak sauce, hopefully that didn’t change the flavor too much. It was delicious in the end, thanks!

    • Martha wrote:

      Glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  • Kim wrote:

    Has anyone ever cooked this on the stove? Just wondering about the temperature and how it tasted?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Kim – Yes – you can use a stove top grill pan over high heat to cook these steak tips!

  • Denise wrote:

    Made this for dinner tonight with a grass-fed sirloin. Awesome recipe, thank you!

    • Martha wrote:

      You’re welcome Denise – sounds great!

  • Christine wrote:

    If I reheat the marinade after draining, would you recommend topping off the meat with some?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Christine – We haven’t done it ourselves and I don’t think it’s necessary because you already have great flavor from the caramelization during the cooking process. Hope that helps!

  • Lisa wrote:

    These have become a family favorite! The favors of the marinade are out of this world!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Lisa! So glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  • Allison wrote:

    This sounds wonderful! I just took my steak out of the freezer this morning, and won’t have time to marinate it before dinner. Would you recommend still using the marinade ingredients over the steak in a pressure cooker?


    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Allison – no – I wouldn’t recommend using a pressure cooker for this recipe or cut of beef. You could try thawing the steak in the marinade instead. Hope that helps! Martha

  • KEMA wrote:

    Can the marinade but used on something other steak?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Kema – It would work on pork as well!

  • Suzanne Stuban wrote:

    I made this Wednesday for dinner. The marinade was out of the world! Onions were also fantastic. Unfortunately the beautiful sirloin I bought was tougher than leather:( Definitely going to try again.

    • Martha wrote:

      Sorry to hear that Suzanne!

  • Shirley wrote:

    Oh my– This sounds wonderful. We are a family that has never met on onion or garlic that we didn’t like. I cant wait to try this.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Shirley! Hope you enjoy!

  • Hadia wrote:

    Martha, your recipe sounds fantastic!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Hadia!

  • Dan wrote:

    Looks great to me. I will try this weekend

    • Martha wrote:

      Hope you enjoy the recipe Dan!

  • Elizabeth Zippelius wrote:

    Did I die and go to heaven ? Everything sounds to good to be true.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Elizabeth! Enjoy!

  • Candra P wrote:

    Looks so yummy.
    Wondering how it will turn out if I cook the steak in my crockpot after letting it marinade

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Candra – I actually would not recommend the crockpot for this recipe. You won’t get the same caramelization in the crockpot as you would following the recipe as it’s written.

  • Barbara Perry wrote:

    I am so glad I found you. Such yummy ideas.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thank you Barbara! We are happy to have found you too!

    • Nikki wrote:

      I’m allergic to red wine
      and red wine vinegar. Is there a substitute that would taste as good?

      • Martha wrote:

        Hi Nikki – If you are able to have another type of vinegar – use one of those – balsamic, white wine, apple cider, etc. I hope you enjoy the recipe!

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