Grilled Tri-Tip with Creamy Avocado Salsa

4.91 from 22 votes
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Mexican spice-rubbed grilled tri-tip with creamy avocado sauce is the perfect outdoor meal! This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.

Grilled Tri-Tip with Creamy Avocado Salsa

There’s no better way to spend time with family and friends than with a fun and festive outdoor meal! As August comes to a close, I always feel like Labor Day weekend is that last summer hoorah before all of the holidays kick in. To celebrate this year, how about firing up the grill?

One of my favorite things to grill is tri-tip. I learned about this cut of beef when I was attending college in the Central Coast of California. The local specialty was Santa Maria Style Tri-Tip, and you could find it at any of the BBQ restaurants around town and even on my school’s campus.

I’ve taken a Mexican flavor inspired spin on the recipe and created a delicious spice-rubbed grilled tri-tip topped with a creamy avocado salsa verde sauce. This meal is going to be the main attraction at the table, so make sure you make enough for seconds! I’m going to show you how easy it is to prepare this stunning dish to make outdoor entertaining a breeze. Let’s get grilling!

compilation of two photos, one with a bowl of seasoning on the left and a tri-tip on a sheet pan

Tri-tip cooks pretty quickly on the grill, and I’ve found that a quick spice rub packs a ton of flavor with little effort. The spice mixture I used is a combination of savory and spicy flavors from cumin, garlic, onion powder, chipotle pepper, salt, pepper, and smoked paprika.

I generously add the spices on both sides of the tri-tip for maximum coverage. You can also use this spice rub on various cuts of beef!

Tri-Tip grilling on a barbecue

Whoa, check out that gorgeous spice crust and grill marks on that hunk of meat! The tri-tip cut cooks in about 30 minutes. Ten minutes sear on each side to add some texture and about ten more minutes for a medium-rare doneness.

Don’t forget to let the beef rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing. I know, it’s hard to wait so long! Good thing it’s just enough time to catch up with your loved ones before digging in!

Bottle of Herdez salsa verde

Whenever I grill beef, I like to include a sauce to make the flavors pop! To pair with the Mexican spice rub, I thought a creamy avocado sauce with a hint of heat would be insanely delicious.

To make a quick sauce I use my blender to make the topping in a matter of seconds! Into to blender goes HERDEZ® Salsa Verde for a mild spicy roasted authentic flavor, avocado, garlic, jalapeno, and fresh lime juice. It’s a versatile sauce that you can top on other meats or seafood, like my mahi mahi fish tacos.

slices of grilled Tri-Tip with creamy avocado salsa

Each juicy, tender slice of tri-tip is ready for a flavor boost! Grab the avocado salsa verde and don’t be shy to load it on each piece. I like to add some extra fresh chopped tomatoes, red onions, and green onions right on top.

Okay, it’s time to set the table! I’m sure your guest’s mouths will be watering by now from all of the great aromas filling the air from the grill.

picnic table with tri-tip and corn

It’s such a blast being able to gather outdoors right in your backyard to spend some time eating, laughing and talking with your friends and family. They are going to be blown away by the family-style grilled tri-tip feast! To complement the main course, I like to BBQ some corn, bell peppers, and tomatillos on the side. I love having extra sauces for variety, so I put out some fresh and delicious HERDEZ® Salsa like Verde tomatillo or casera tomato flavors.

Life is always busy, but it’s important to be able to share a meal with the people that make your world happy! Food always brings people together and allows you to take the time to reconnect. If you happen to have leftovers, I suggest some breakfast tacos or a scramble the next day. What other ways will you create a stunning meal using HERDEZ® Salsa, and Beef? There are some many tasty possibilities!

What cut of Beef is Tri-Tip and what is the best way to cook it?

Tri-tip is a cut from the very bottom of the sirloin section of the cow, between the ribs and rump, shaped similarly to a long triangle. This shape gives you some thinner sections of the cut that will cook more quickly than the thicker parts. This is excellent for eaters who like more well-done pieces or prefer medium-rare. Grilling or roasting tri-tip are great ways to cook the beef quickly to maximize the flavor. The cut is pretty lean and does not need long low and slow cooking times or the meat will dry out. Check out my gauging the doneness of food with temperature guide for knowing when to take the meat off the grill.

Grilled Tri-Tip with Creamy Avocado Salsa

Mexican spice rubbed grilled tri-tip with creamy avocado sauce is the perfect meal to enjoy outdoors!
4.91 from 22 votes
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Course Entree
Cuisine Mexican


  • 3 pounds boneless tri-tip, trimmed with fat removed
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon cumin, ground
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon chipotle pepper, ground
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, kosher
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
  • ¾ cup HERDEZ® Salsa Verde
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice, plus zest
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro leaves
  • 1 avocado, ripe, medium sized
  • ½ jalapeño, seeded, stem removed, chopped


  • Remove tri-tip from the refrigerator and place it on a sheet pan. Set aside.
  • In a small bowl mix together smoked paprika, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, chipotle pepper, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon black pepper.
  • Evenly coat and rub the seasoning mixture on the entire tri-tip, both sides and on the edges. You may not need all of the dry rub.
  • Heat the grill to medium-high if using a gas grill. Place the meat on the grill, searing one side for 10 minutes with the lid open.
  • Turn tri-tip over and sear for another 10 minutes. Turn the heat down to medium and close the lid.
  • Allow the meat to cook for about 10-15 minutes, check the temperature until the thickest part of the meat reaches 135°F for medium-rare to medium doneness. The meat will continue to cook after being removed from the heat, so stop cooking at a temperature a few degrees lower than the desired doneness.
  • Remove the tri-tip from the grill and allow to rest on a cutting board for at least 10 minutes before slicing. Meanwhile, make the avocado salsa sauce.
  • To a blender or small food processor add ¾ cup HERDEZ® Salsa Verde, garlic, lime juice, cilantro leaves, avocado, and chopped jalapeno. Blend until a smooth puree forms, about 15 to 30 seconds on medium speed. You can add more lime juice or salsa verde if you want a thinner sauce.
  • Slice tri-tip into thin ¼-inch thick slices. Serve with creamy avocado salsa.


  • Suggested Toppings: Sliced green onions, chopped tomatoes, red onions or other salsa flavors.

Nutrition Facts

Serves: 6 servings
Calories 350kcal (18%)Carbohydrates 5g (2%)Protein 49g (98%)Fat 13g (20%)Saturated Fat 4g (20%)Polyunsaturated Fat 1gMonounsaturated Fat 6gCholesterol 97mg (32%)Sodium 706mg (29%)Potassium 859mg (25%)Fiber 2g (8%)Sugar 1g (1%)Vitamin A 1800IU (36%)Vitamin C 6.6mg (8%)Calcium 60mg (6%)Iron 4.3mg (24%)

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000-calorie diet. All nutritional information is based on estimated third-party calculations. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.

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Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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17 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. Chelsea Hatcher says

    This was absolutely AMAZING!!! Everyone loved it and raved about how delicious it was! I served it over a simple low carb Mexican Slaw and the flavors paired equisitely!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Thank you Chelsea! I love how you paired the tri-tip with Mexican slaw, I’ll have to try it 🙂

  2. Coley | Coley Cooks says

    This looks and sounds amazing!! We can’t get tri-tip on the east coast, but I think I’m going to try this with skirt steak instead. Can’t wait!

  3. Bek says

    I stumbled across your blog on pintrest and have been browsing your recipies which look amazing! I’m actually from Paso so I was pleasantly surprised to find the Slo shout out and this recipie:) Making this one right after I make the won ton soup! Thank you Jessica!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Thank you so much Bek, I’m so happy that you found me! Paso is so beautiful, I wish I was there longer to enjoy the wine 🙂 I can’t wait to hear what you think about the won ton soup and tri tip. Enjoy the gorgeous central coast for me!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Lisa! Hello fellow September baby 🙂 Does the BBQer have a lid? If so, that will work. If not, it will just need a little more time one each side uncovered.

  4. Rachel @ Bakerita says

    This looks so flavorful and delicious! Tri tip is one of my favorite cups of meat – that salsa is a fabulous addition!

  5. Brittany | Words Like Honeycomb says

    Oh Jessica!! Mexican is my favorite and I try to throw a Mexican twist on everything, but never thought of a spice rub…brilliant!! September is my birthday month…in which I celebrate all month, obviously, so I will need to have this on hand 😉

    • Jessica Gavin says

      You definitely need to try this Brittany, especially if you Mexican food 🙂 September is my birthday month too! When is you birthday and how will you celebrate? I at least do w week long celebration 🙂

      • Brittany | Words Like Honeycomb says

        haha! awesome!!! Well, mine is on the 6th and my husband’s is on the 2nd so its pretty much a month long fiesta HA. He has already changed out light fixtures in my kitchen which was a start to a wonderful birthday but a grill out, meal out, shopping spree, kombucha and Starbucks run are definitely in my future 😉