Sous Vide Chicken Breast Recipe

Learn how to make the PERFECT Sous Vide Chicken Breast. This fail proof recipe results in perfectly tender & juicy chicken every time. Plus, it provides tips on flavoring your chicken breasts in several different ways. You can even sous vide a frozen chicken breast. 

Sous vide, which means “under vacuum” in French, refers to the process of vacuum-sealing food in a bag, then cooking it to a very precise temperature in a water bath. This technique is amazing because it makes it virtually impossible to overcook your food.

Making it perfect for cooking tender & juicy chicken breasts.

I’ve used my immersion circulator in the past to make a delicious sous vide filet mignon and sous vide ribeye, but today I’m taking on chicken.

I’ve developed what I consider to be the BEST sous vide chicken breast recipe.

Why is this the best sous vide chicken breast recipe?

  1. It’s perfectly cooked every time.
  2. You can switch up the seasonings in so many different ways. More on that below.
  3. It’s perfect for meal prep, as you can just leave your cooked chicken in sealed bags in the fridge.

How to season your sous vide chicken breast

I prefer using a dry rub or thick sauce to season my chicken. The reason being that you need to vacuum seal the bag before the sous vide cooking process.

Marinades with excess liquid tend to make that sealing process difficult. If seasoning from the onset, here are some of the flavor combinations that I like to use.

Or, keep reading, to find my method that seasons the chicken breasts after they come out of the sous vide

Dry rub options

Wet sauce options

When using a wet sauce, I find it works best to use the water displacement method for sealing your bags.

My favorite method for seasoning a Sous Vide Chicken Breast is a simple one.

I like to sprinkle it with salt and pepper, add a couple sprigs of fresh herbs (thyme, rosemary, parsley) and a few lemon slices.

Then, once it’s done cooking, I pat the chicken dry with a paper towel and sear it in a hot skillet with some compound butter. 

You can season your butter in so many different ways. My favorite add-ins are garlic, lemon zest and fresh herbs. You can also add a bit of heat by adding in a pinch of cayenne, or some horseradish.

How to make compound butter

  • Combine softened butter with garlic and fresh herbs.
  • Place on a piece of parchment or plastic wrap and roll into a log.
  • Refrigerator for 1 hour, or place in the freezer for 15 minutes to firm up.

How to sous vide chicken breasts

Season your chicken and place in a plastic bag. Remove the air from the bag and seal using a vacuum sealer or the water displacement method.

Place the sous vide machine in a vessel that’s large enough to hold enough water for your bag to be fully submerged and deep enough to ensure that the water level falls between the minimum and maximum level indicators on your sous vide circulator. Cook at your preferred temperature for at least 1 hour, up to four hours. Use immediately, or sear according to the recipe card below.

What temperature do you sous vide chicken breast? 

145-degrees is the ideal temperature for sous vide chicken breasts that are tender, juicy and perfectly cooked! However, you can cook it at a higher heat according to your personal preference.

How long do you sous vide a chicken breast?

  • Sous vide chicken for at least 1 hour. Once an hour is up, it will keep in the sous vide bath for up to 4 hours without losing its texture. 

Sous vide chicken breast from frozen

  • If you’d like to sous vide frozen chicken breasts, simply add 30 minutes to the cook time. So, sous vide the chicken for at least 1 ½ hours. 

FAQ

Can you overcook in sous vide?

It’s OK to your chicken breasts in the water bath for up to 4 hours. After that, the meat may break down too much and become mushy. Your chicken will never actually “overcook” as the meat will be held at the correct temperature.

Is 145-degrees safe for chicken? 

While the FDA recommends cooking chicken to an internal temperature of 165-degrees, chicken that is cooked to an exact temperature of 145-degrees for at least an hour is safe to eat. This is because the sous vide process actually pasteurizes the chicken and kills any bacteria.

Is slightly pink chicken okay? 

Because the sous vide process cooks chicken at a lower temperature, your chicken may still be a little more pink than what you are used to. But, if it’s tender, and falls apart easily with a fork, it’s done!

Can I sous vide marinated chicken? 

You can use your precision cooker to sous vide marinated chicken. However, when using a wet sauce, I find it works best to use the water displacement method for sealing your bags, rather than a vacuum sealer.

Do you need to sear chicken after sous vide?

It’s not necessary to sear chicken after the sous vide process. Especially if you are cutting the chicken up to use for something like chicken salad or a soup or chili recipe. However, for presentation purposes, it’s best to sear the chicken so that it gets a nice color on the outside.

Do I need vacuum sealer for sous vide?

You do not need a vacuum sealer to cook food sous vide. You can also use the water displacement method for sealing your ziplock bag. Simply lower the bag into a container of water to remove as much air as possible.

Can you reheat chicken sous vide?

Yes! One of my favorite parts about sous vide is that you can reheat leftovers with it. It’s the perfect way to reheat a chicken breast or other cut of meat because it will never overcook it.

How do you reheat chicken sous vide?

Heat your water to 140-degrees. Reheat for 1 hour (up to 4 hours).

Two whole chicken breasts cooked sous vide after browning in skillet.

What to serve with chicken

Wine pairings for chicken

  • A Viognier or unoaked Chardonnay would pair nicely with this dish.
  • If you would like to go the red route, I’d suggest a Pinot Noir, or other light bodied red. Avoid hard, oaky tannic reds and they can overwhelm the delicate flavors of the chicken.
Sliced sous vide chicken breast on small white plate with lemon wedges and fresh herbs scattered about.

Did you Make These Sous Vide Chicken Breasts?

If you made this sous vide chicken breast recipe I would appreciate it so much if you would give it a star review! Also, be sure to snap a picture of your finished dish and share it with me on Instagram using the hashtag #platingsandpairings and tagging me @platingsandpairings.

For more great Platings and Pairings recipes, be sure to follow me on  InstagramTikTokPinterest and Facebook.

More Sous Vide Recipes:

Close up of sliced chicken cooked sous vide.

Sous Vide Chicken Breasts Recipe

Learn how to make the PERFECT Sous Vide Chicken Breasts. This fail proof recipe results in perfectly tender & juicy chicken every time. Plus, it provides tips on flavoring your chicken breasts in several different ways. You can even sous vide frozen chicken breasts.
3.89 from 51 votes
Print Pin
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 2 people

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2-4 sprigs fresh herbs
  • 2 thin slices lemon

For Finishing:

  • 2 Tablespoons butter (or compound butter – see recipe below)
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • Kosher salt & pepper

Compound Butter:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 cloves garlic grated or minced
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 3 teaspoons fresh chopped herbs (rosemary, tarragon, basil, thyme)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Instructions

  • Set the sous vide to 145-degrees.
  • Vacuum seal the chicken breasts using your preferred method. 2 breasts per bag, along with salt and pepper, fresh herbs and lemon slices.
  • Cook for 1 hour, up to four hours.
  • Remove chicken breasts and pat dry with paper towels. Season with additional salt and pepper.
  • Preheat a cast iron skillet over high heat. Add oil and butter. Sear chicken breasts 1-minute per side, tilting skillet and spooning butter over them as they cook. Serve immediately.
Did you make this recipe?Mention @platingsandpairings or tag #platingsandpairings!

Equipment

Sous Vide Machine

Nutrition

Calories: 430kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 49g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 175mg | Sodium: 363mg | Potassium: 836mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 418IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 17mg | Iron: 1mg

More chicken recipes:

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13 thoughts on “Sous Vide Chicken Breast Recipe”

  1. Wow! This looks amazing. I really need to try it. You can tell the chicken is super tender. I didn’t know about this way of cooking but can’t wait to try it myself. Thank you!

    Reply
  2. 5 stars
    Made this tonight for our Sunday night family dinner, and it was great! It was our first time making chicken in the sous vide. Now that we’ve done it, I don’t know why we would ever make it another way! Knowing the exact temperature, not having to have it done exactly on time to match all the sides, and how flavorful – and beautiful this chicken was… It will now be our go-to way to make chicken! So good! Thanks a lot for the great recipe!

    Reply
  3. 5 stars
    Just saw this and pretty new to the Sous Vide world. I am going to try this and thank you for such a thorough and detailed recipe.

    Reply
  4. 5 stars
    Juicy tender chicken EVERY time!! We have tried 8-10 different rubs and love them all! Thanks for great instructions!

    Reply
  5. I’m new to sous vide, and am really excited to use this method of cooking. I’ve tried making sous vide chicken a couple of times. I use my Anova to get the water to 140 degrees and then cook for 2 hours. But I notice that when I check the temperature of the chicken with a meat thermometer, it never gets above 140 or 145 degrees, even if I leave it in the water for longer. Is the chicken supposed to reach 160/165 degrees while it’s in the water, or do you take it out of the water at the end of the cooking time and then sear it in the skillet until it reaches 160/165 degrees?

    Reply
    • I thought 160 is a rule of thumb for regular cook methods because 5 seconds at 165 kills all bacteria. You can kill all bacteria at 145 but you have to keep it there for much longer. Without a sous vide machine this is nearly impossible with regular cook methods hence overcooked dry chicken.

      Reply

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