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Instant Pot Tri-tip Fajitas

Instant Pot Tri-tip Fajitas

Welcome to Trader Joe’s week on the blog, which is a week full of recipes using Trader Joe’s favorites (woohoo!). Of course I couldn’t create a week of recipes without bringing some Tri-tip to the table, so I’m kicking off the week with these Instant Pot Tri -tip Fajitas. This is an easy recipe (yay, Instant Pot!) that stars California’s favorite cut of beef: Tri-trip!

Trader Joe's Instant Pot Tri-tip Fajitas

Instant Pot Tri-tip Fajitas

OK, I don’t actually know if this is California’s favorite cut of beef or not, but growing up in California we ate a ton of Tri-tip. It wasn’t until I left California that I realized it was a California thing. I used to never see Tri-tip in Texas. Until Trader Joe’s came to town. Today, TJs is the only place I ever seem to find it!

So, if you’re not from California…

What is Tri-tip?

Tri-tip is a flavorful triangular cut of meat that comes from the bottom sirloin cut. {As a sidenote, when I was in high school I was very active in FFA and could have told you every cut of meat and exactly where it came from, and that went for beef, pork, and lamb. But it’s been awhile and I had to google this for you.}

I don’t know why we don’t see it used often outside of California, where you can find it everywhere. I started googling that, too, but now I’m going down a rabbit hole and let’s just focus on that fact that you can get Tri-tip at Trader Joe’s and if you like beef, it’s definitely worth trying. It can also be called Santa Maria roast. 

Trader Joe's Instant Pot Tri-tip Fajitas

Can I make Tri-tip in the Instant Pot?

Yep! The recipe I’m going to share with you is for Tri-tip fajitas, so we’ll be slicing the meat very thinly. You could also cook it in the IP in a more roast-like fashion, but that is another post for another day.

Is Tri-tip lean beef?

Yes. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, lean beef contains less than 10g of fat for a three ounce serving. Tri-tip is one of only 29 cuts that make the grade as lean beef. So, this recipe is going to be 21 Day Fix and Weight Watchers-friendly, too!

Trader Joe's Instant Pot Tri-tip Fajitas

Are Instant Pot Fajitas as good as Grilled Fajitas?

When I told Charles I wanted to do Instant Pot fajitas, he was a little reluctant. He really likes his fajita meat grilled or made on our cast iron skillet. And I totally get this, and of course if you prefer those methods for your fajitas, I think you should go for it. But also, you don’t have to! Maybe it’s cold outside, or like me, you don’t even know how to grill. This a great option.

However, I will say (warn you) that Instant Pot meat doesn’t look the same as grilled meat. If you’ve never made meat in your IP before, this is actually a really great recipe to start with. But just remember it will look a little different than meat you make on the grill or in a skillet. It lacks that pretty char. But that said, the flavor is there. The Instant Pot is great for bringing out flavors, and this is no exception. The meat will look different than a traditional grilled fajita, and it will taste a little different because again, it wasn’t cooked over flame. But it will still be excellent and full of flavor (and also way easier to clean up after).

I didn’t use any food blogger tricks – you can see exactly what it will look like here:

Instant Pot Tri-tip Fajitas

Here are the ingredients for this recipe:

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 bell peppers (we used a red one and an orange one)

1 red onion

1.5 lb Tri-tip roast from Trader Joe’s, sliced against the grain into strips (these are already seasoned and can be found in the beef section)

1 c beef broth

Salt and pepper

Corn tortillas (if you don’t love corn tortillas, here are some tips for making them crispy and delicious while still keeping them 21 Day Fix-compliant)

Any other ingredients you want for toppings and sides: avocado, sour cream (Greek yogurt for the Fix), salsa, rice, beans, etc.

This is the specific Trader Joe’s Tri-tip that we made this with:

Trader Joe's Tri-ip Instant Pot Fajitas

Can’t find Tri-tip? Try another cut of sirloin.

READ THIS FIRST: This recipe was made using a 6qt Instant Pot. If your pot is larger, you’ll need to adjust accordingly. Also, altitude can affect your cook time – here’s a really helpful post about how to adjust your pot for altitude.

Instant Pot Tri-tip Fajitas

Instant Pot Tri-tip Fajitas

Created By Carrie
These Instant Pot Tri-tip Fajitas are full of flavor and super easy to make! They take me right back to my days growing up in California. This recipe is great for an Instant Pot beginner. Also, it's 21 Day Fix and Weight Watchers-friendly!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
IP come to pressure 10 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 4
Calories 332 kcal


  • Pressure Cooker


  • 1 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
  • 2 bell peppers sliced
  • 1 red onion sliced
  • 1 1/2 lb Tri-tip roast from Trader Joe's (pre-seasoned), sliced against the grain into strips - if you can't find Tri-tip, choose another cut of sirloin
  • 1 c beef broth
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Turn Instant pot on to saute’. Add oil, onions and peppers. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Saute’ until tender and onions start to be translucent. Turn off Instant pot.
  • Remove the vegetables from Instant pot and set aside.
  • Add beef to Instant pot and add broth.

  • Cover the pot and lock lid in place. Make sure it is in the ‘sealed’ position. Set manual pressure for 20 minutes. When done, allow to natural release for 10 minutes, then carefully turn the knob to vent and allow steam to escape. 
  • Remove meat from pot and drain excess liquid.
  • Serve with bell pepper and onion mix on warmed corn tortillas.


Serve with additional toppings of your choice. Some suggestions are: sour cream (or Greek yogurt if you're on the 21DF or WW), avocado, salsa, grated cheese. Serve with rice and beans.
21 Day Fix container counts (1 serving = 2 fajitas): 1 yellow, 1 red, 1/2 green - remember to include additional toppings in your container counts
Weight Watchers Points (1 serving = 2 fajitas) 5 points (for blue, green, and purple plans) - remember to include additional toppings in your final points count
Did you make this recipe? Share a photo on Instagram or Facebook and tag @carrieelleblog!


Calories: 332kcalCarbohydrates: 6gProtein: 37gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 111mgSodium: 317mgPotassium: 744mgFiber: 2gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 1863IUVitamin C: 78mgCalcium: 55mgIron: 3mg
Keyword 21 Day Fix, dinner, Instant Pot, mexican, tacos, Weight Watchers, whole foods
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was with a rating and review!

Want all the rest of the fun recipes we’ll be sharing from Trader Joe’s week? You can get them all here (if you don’t see many, it’s because you’re here early in the week and I haven’t published all the recipes yet…so check the blog for a new one tomorrow or come back here at the end of the week to get them all).

Here’s what’s happening for TJ’s week:

  • Instant Pot Trader Joe’s Tri-tip fajitas (you’re already here!)
  • Pesto, goat cheese and asparagus frittata with Trader Joe’s pesto
  • Margherita Pizza with Trader Joe’s pizza crust
  • Gnocchi with Asparagus and Rose Sauce
  • Instant Pot Wonton Soup with Trader Joe’s Gyoza
  • Gyro Salad with Trader Joe’s gyro meat
  • Sheet Pan Chicken and Kale
  • Cookie Butter Cookies
  • Trader Joe’s Weekly Meal Plan with printable grocery list & links to all recipes (yay!)

Tri-tip Fajitas

Weight Watchers Instant Pot Tri-tip Fajitas

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