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:


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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  • Sandy wrote:

    Just bought a beautiful sirloin tip roast(appx 1 1/2 inch thick). Will it be just as tender if I don’t over cook!

    • Jack wrote:

      A sirloin tip roast is a cut that is near the sirloin but not the sirloin itself. It is lean and will most likely be a little tough if cooked like this. The marinade will help and I’m sure it will be tasty, just not as tender as the sirloin itself or the rib eye. Sirloin tip roasts are typically found cut up in stews or roasted low and slow but with a marinade could be used for this recipe or as a kabob.
      Hope this helps.

  • Key wrote:

    Can this recipe be used with lean beef stew chunks??

    • Jack wrote:

      You can however they will not be as tender as rib eye or strip. The marinade will tenderize them some but depending on the cut of beef the market or butcher used to pull the beef from, it will be a coin toss if they come out tender or not.

  • Susan wrote:

    This is a really delicious recipe and a family favorite!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Susan!

  • Tulea wrote:

    This sounds so yummilicious! Couple of questions. I’ll be using top sirloin steaks, would a cast iron skillet work on stove top? If I use ACV instead of red wine vinegar, would any of the other ingredients need to be adjusted? Planning on making this for Christmas dinner with mushrooms and onions, garlic mashed potatoes and sautéed carrot – zucchini.

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Tulea – A cast iron skillet will work fine. No changes required for apple cider vinegar – the flavor will be a little bit different but it won’t require any other changes to the recipe. Enjoy!

  • Victoria wrote:

    Is there anyway to cook this in the oven?

    • Martha wrote:

      Sure Victoria – you could broil the steak tips.

  • Martha wrote:

    Sorry for the delay in responding Vickie – you should still be ok!

  • Mrs. Priss wrote:

    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!

    • Martha wrote:

      So glad you both enjoyed the recipe!

  • Cindy wrote:

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

    • Martha wrote:

      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!

  • Amy wrote:

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


    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Amy – Ideally you want the soda to have sugar in to so that it caramelizes as you cook it. Diet sodas aren’t ideal for this recipe.

  • Janet Rush wrote:

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

    • Martha wrote:

      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.

  • Martha wrote:

    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: https://www.afamilyfeast.com/slow-cooker-tex-mex-chicken-stew/ – 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! 🙂

  • Shannon wrote:

    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!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thank you Shannon! So glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  • Amanda wrote:

    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!!

    • Martha wrote:

      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!

  • Danielle wrote:

    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 …

    • Martha wrote:

      So glad you enjoyed the steak tips Danielle! Thanks for taking the time to write to us!

  • Randi wrote:

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

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Randi – The sugar might not dissolve completely without the heat…but give it a try and see how it turns out! (Let us know!)

  • Cindy wrote:

    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!

    • Martha wrote:

      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!

      • Cindy wrote:

        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!

        • Martha wrote:

          Sounds delicious Cindy! Hope you enjoy the steak tips!

  • Joyce wrote:

    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!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Joyce – we hope you all enjoy the recipe!

  • Traci wrote:

    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.

    • Martha wrote:

      So glad you enjoyed the recipe Traci!

  • Lovefam6 wrote:

    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.

    • Martha wrote:

      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!

  • Yvonne McGinn wrote:


    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Yvonne! So glad you enjoyed the recipe!

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