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Steak Tips with Caramelized Onions

Steak Tips with Caramelized Onions - A terrific marinade for steak tips that results in tender, flavorful beef plus amazing caramelized onions. So delicious!

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 - A terrific marinade for steak tips that results in tender, flavorful beef plus amazing caramelized onions. So delicious!

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!


Steak Tips with Caramelized Onions

Sirloin Steak Tips - A Family Feast

5 from 1 reviews

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.)

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


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.

You may also enjoy:

Parmesan Truffle Fries

Parmesan Truffle Fries - A Family Feast

Perfect Pan-Seared Steak

Perfect Pan-Seared Steak - A Family Feast

Steak au Poivre with Crispy Shallots

Steak au Poivre with Crispy Shallots - A Family Feast


    Leave a Comment


  1. Barbara Perry :

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

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

    • 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.

  3. Elizabeth Zippelius :

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

  4. Looks great to me. I will try this weekend

  5. Martha, your recipe sounds fantastic!

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Can the marinade but used on something other steak?

  9. 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?


    • 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

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

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

    • 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!

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

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

  14. 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!

  15. 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.

    • 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!

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

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

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

    • 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!

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

    • 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!

  19. 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!

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

  21. Yvonne McGinn :


  22. Is there any way to do this in the oven? I destroy everything I do on the grill, plus I have an almost toddler who refuses to stay inside as I’m going in and out when I’m trying to grilll, lol. This looks delicious but I need an oven or crockpot variation.

    • Hi! The instructions are written for an outside grill OR a stove top grill pan – so that is an option for you too if you need to stay inside the house! You won’t get the same results in a crockpot so I wouldn’t recommend that at all. For the oven – you could try broiling the tips at a high temp. Depending on the temperature of your oven and the size you cut the tips, it would take only a few minutes on each size under a hot broiler. Hope that helps!

  23. Used Ribeye and no coke. Marinated since yesterday. Had for dinner tonight delicious! I sautéed fresh mushrooms separate and then combined them with the onions at the end. Mmmmmm. Everyone loved it even the 7 year
    Thanks!! Will make this again for sure.

  24. Oh, man, this sounds heavenly! I’m going to have to make these for my personal Thanksgiving dinner, not wanting to roast a turkey this year.

    Thank you so much for what appears to be something so delicious, everyone around me is going to be wiping the drool off their chins!

  25. I realize that this post is older but I do hope that you get it and respond with a suggestion before tonight’s dinner 😉 I, unfortunately, cut my sirloin chunks too small to grill (bout 2″ chunks) and I don’t own a ribbed grill pan. Would you recommend using my very large George Forman Grill as a cook top (not closing it) or just cook on the stove top in a large frying pan. Hope to hear from you very soon. Thank you!

    • Hi Cindy! I would definitely recommend a scorching hot fry pan over the George Forman (it just won’t get hot enough) – just be careful not to over-crowd the pan with the steak tips. The benefit of the grill pan is so that you get the nice caramelized sear and any juices run, preventing it from essentially ‘steaming’ the meat as it cooks. With a hot pan, you can still get that sear as long as you leave some room around the sides of the tips while they cook. Hope that helps!

      • Thank you for such a quick reply!!! I understand your suggestions and will give it a go tonight! I have been marinating the meat since yesterday evening and I can’t wait to try. The only other variation that I will make is to saute’ mushrooms in butter to add to the caramelized onion mix!

  26. We totally missed the part about heating the marinade ingredients before pouring over meat and marinating in fridge. Will this affect it any

  27. Hi, Made these steak tips last night and it was delicious. I only had to change one thing, didn’t have A-1 sauce (went to 4 different grocery stores with no success) so I used steak sauce instead. Served with oven fries and butter green beans. A hit. Keeper recipe …

  28. We make this alot really love the taste. Thanks for sharing this recipe. Question, after marinading could you freeze 1/2 the
    meat before cooking to use later? Would be a quick easy dinner from the freezer if so. Thanks!!

    • Hi Amanda – Yes – you can freeze the marinated meat as long as it hasn’t been previously frozen. Also, you should freeze the marinaade – just the meat. Hope that helps!

  29. Made this last night and it was soooo yummy! We all gobbled it up. I doubled the onions, because we are big fans. Thanks so much for the great recipe. Definitely a keeper!

  30. Hi Martha,
    Love your website “A Family Feast”. I have two questions!
    1). Could you tenderize the beef steak before you marinate it?
    I am going to cook the steak stove top and very slow cook in the oven.
    2. Do you have a recipe for a chicken stew?
    Thank You!

    • Hi Sharyl – Thank you so much! Depending on the cut of meat you are using for these tips, you don’t need to tenderize it but it won’t hurt it if you do! We do have a Slow Cooker Tex Mex Chicken Stew recipe here: – but if that isn’t what you are looking for, we do have a recipe index – we hope you’ll browse around to find more recipes to love. Thanks for writing to us today – we’re glad you found us! 🙂

  31. Can dr pepper be replaced with the coca cola or would it change too much of the flavor

    • Hi Janet – We haven’t tried it with Dr. Pepper ourselves…it definitely has a distinctive cherry taste so it might change the flavor a bit.

  32. Darn auto correct–that was supposed to say we don’t have coke in the house, would Diet Coke work?


  33. Checking about the amount of sugar. Can that be reduced? Thinking maybe combing that with 1/2 cup cola could be too sweet.

    • Hi Cindy – While you won’t actually be consuming the marinade (it cooks off and creates a caramelization on the beef that our other readers seem to love), feel free to adjust however you’d like if you are worried about the sweetness level. Hope you enjoy the recipe!

  34. Loved this recipe. Used a smallish T-bone steak cut into tips and seared it on the stove top. Even my insanely picky husband devoured it. It’s a keeper for sure!

  35. I use 1/2 cup of red vinegar instead of I/4 what do I do to even it out??