Chicken

Chicken Breast Sous Vide

at a glance
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 2 Servings

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If you’re tired of over-cooked, bland chicken, I have the best cooking hack for you. Get ready to unlock maximum flavor and perfect texture for minimal effort. The sous vide chicken breast is the kitchen trick you didn’t know you needed, but you will never look back.

Sliced, sous vide chicken breast on a wooden cutting board. The chicken is moist and juicy and has a dark, molasses colored rub.

Sous Vide Chicken Breast Recipe

I am thrilled to bring you this sous vide chicken breast recipe! Below you’ll find everything you need to know about the sous vide cooking technique, the flavors I think taste (and look) the best, and a full list of the tried-and-true equipment.

Sous vide chicken will have the perfect, not-overcooked texture and my simple marinade is a great starting point for maximum flavor.

Sous Vide Chicken Breast Ingredients

Sous vide chicken breast ingredients on grey and white marble surface.
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 tablespoon of chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon of lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of molasses
  • 1 teaspoon of coriander
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • ½ teaspoon of garlic powder

Ingredient Modifications and Substitutions

  • Use a different spice combination – while the combination is divine, you aren’t bound to the spices that are listed in this recipe! Feel free to swap and change things up as you’d like. 
  • Try a different protein – we have recipes for sous vide pork tenderloin, pork chop, steak, and salmon. Branch out and try a few!

You can absolutely sous vide a frozen chicken breast! Pretty neat, right? The only kicker is that the seasonings included in this recipe (or any seasoning, for that matter) won’t actually stick to a frozen chicken breast, so you’ll need to seaon the final (cooked) product before digging in! 

How to make Sous Vide Chicken Breast

Though it may feel intimidating, using the sous vide is incredibly easy! It’s one of those tools that will make you feel like real pro with very little effort.

Sous vide back with chicken breast inside. A hand is pouring olive oil into the bag from a small, white bowl.
Sous vide bag with chicken and spices inside.
Sous vide bag containing chicken and spices being sealed with a vacuum seal device.
Sous vide bag containing chicken and spices being sealed with a vacuum seal device.
Sous vide chicken submerged in water with a sous vide device.
Cooked, sous vide chicken in a vacuum sealed bag on a white towel with charcoal stripes.
  1. Preheat the water to 150°F.
  2. Season and seal your chicken breasts – place everything into the bag (chicken, honey, lime juice, olive oil, molasses, and seasonings), making sure not to get any of the mixture on the top 2 inches of the bag so that you have enough room to seal it. Massage the seasoning into the chicken so that they are evenly covered, then seal the bag.
  3. Sous vide – sous vide the chicken breasts for for 1½ hours. Then, remove from the water.
  4. Let rest, then slice and serve – let the chicken rest in the sealed bag for 10 minutes, then remove it from the bag, slice, and enjoy!

What is the recommended sous vide chicken breast temp?

We recommend sous viding (is that a word? Let’s make it a word!) your chicken breasts at 150°F. This temperature will yield a juicy, tender end product!

How long should you cook chicken breast in a sous vide?

The cooking time is actually really flexible, which makes this cooking method even more convenient (as if that were possible!). We call for 1½ hours in the sous vide bath, but you can leave the chicken in the bath for as long as 4 hours. Because the water stays at a steady temperature of 150°F, you won’t risk overcooking your chicken with additional time. 

How many chicken breasts can you sous vide at once?

The number of chicken breasts that you can sous vide at one time mostly has to do with how large your sous vide water bucket is. This recipe calls for 2 chicken breasts, but you can do more than that if you have room!

How do you know when sous vide chicken is done?

Because the sous vide cooks chicken at a steady, low temperature, there’s a good chance that your finished chicken may still be a little bit pink on the inside. If it’s been in the sous vide bath for at least 1½ hours, is tender, and falls apart easily with a fork, it’s definitely done!

Sliced, sous vide chicken breast on a wooden cutting board. The chicken is moist and juicy and has a dark, molasses colored rub.

You can absolutely sear your chicken breasts after a sous vide! This method is called a “reverse sear.” A reverse sear means you sear it AFTER the middle is cooked-though vs. before. A good example of a typical sear is anything on a hot grill. The raw protein goes on, gets a good sear on the outside, then the inside cooks slowly. These grilled chicken and grilled steak recipes are good examples. A reverse sear is actually a trick that a lot of (fancy) restaurants use when cooking steaks. They sous vide the steak to the perfect desired temperature (let’s say, the water is 135 F for medium rare) and then, once it’s the same temperature all the way through, it’s put on a HOT cast iron skillet to give it a thin, delicious crust. You could definitely take the same exact approach with your chicken breasts – they’d be delicious!

What do you serve with sous vide chicken?

I love eating sous vide chicken alongside a starchy side (like roasted potatoes or simple quinoa) and a veggie side (like roasted asparagus or broccoli) just like I would regular grilled or baked chicken. You even knock out two veggies at once with our potato and carrot double decker side dish!

I also think that a sous vide chicken is an ideal chop and toss kind of protein. This is the kind of meal that I would prep in advance and make 4-5 servings for lunch all week long. Here are a few examples:

Storing and Reheating Sous Vide Chicken Breast

Store your sous vide chicken just as you would any other leftover chicken – in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Stored this way, it’ll last for up to 5 days!

To reheat your sous vide chicken breast, you have some options:

  • Enjoy it cold in one of the complete meal options listed above!
  • Microwave your chicken breast for about 1.5 to 2 minutes on high.
  • Pan-sear for 3-4 minutes on each side (ideally, in a bit of olive oil) until it’s warmed through.
  • Put it on a baking sheet and bake at 350 F for 15 minutes.
  • Pop it in the air fryer at 350 F for 5-10 minutes (it’ll take longer if your chicken is un-cut or larger in size).

The equipment is actually really straight-forward to sous vide from home! Essentially, all you need is a sous vide machine itself (this is the part you plug in that sits in the water and controls the temperature), a bag to cook your food in, and a bucket or pot of water. I know it can sound intimidating, but honestly, it can take up about as much space as an immersion blender. I also know that it can be intimidating to buy a new piece of kitchen equipment without a recommendation. I’ve personally used a handful of the top sous vides on the market and the one below if my absolute favorite.

  • The Anova Sous Vide is the most highly-rated sous vide for very good reason. The sous vide itself is a (roughly) foot-long gadget that controls the temperature of the water and keeps it whirling in your pot. It’s slick, easy to use, compact, and will work with any container you already have on hand. I really love mine.

As for the other pieces of equipment, there are some options. First, you will need some kind of waterproof bag to cook your food in. You’ll want to be able to remove all the air from this bag so that the food (and whatever flavors or marinades in there), infuse with each other without any air interfering (which could cause uneven cooking). Here are some bag options:

  • SousBear bag kit: these bags are neat in that they come with a hand pump you can use to remove the air in addition to little clips you’d use to secure your bag to the side wall of the container. This system works as long as the vacuum seal hole stays above the water line. A pro of this system is that it doesn’t require a large vacuum sealer while a con is that you have to secure the bag to the side-wall (vs. just plopping the bag in the water).
  • Anova Precision Vacuum Sealer: this is the vacuum sealer featured in the photos above! I love it, but I’d definitely consider it a luxury kitchen gadget. It’s very easy to use, both removes the air and adds a quick seal to a bag, and stores easily in a drawer.
  • Anova Vacuum Sealer Bags: I do love these pre-cut vacuum sealer bags from Anova. They fit perfectly in with the vacuum sealer (for obvious reasons), don’t leak, and are pretty minimal. They also freeze really well if you’re ever wanting to stock your freezer with sous vide goodies.
  • Plastic ziplock bags: yes, you can sous vide in your ordinary freezer bag! Do your best to remove the air from it (you know, the “squish and roll” method), and pop it right in.
  • Silicone ziplock bags: even though most sous vide bags are BPA-free, you may still prefer a silicone option. These will work in just about any sous vide setup! My favorite brand is the Stasher bag because they’re incredible versatile (you can pop popcorn in them, use them to carry snacks, and even sous vide a chicken breast).
  • A bucket: this Rubbermaid 12-quart bucket the exact bucket I have, but please know you do NOT need one. You can use a large pot and it will work just as well. I do love this bucket and find myself using it to brine larger proteins, but again, it’s a luxury buy (in my opinion).

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Sous Vide Boneless Chicken Breast

By: Cassy Joy Garcia
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Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr 30 mins
Servings: 2 Servings

Ingredients  

  • 2 chicken breasts boneless, skinless
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon molasses
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder

Instructions

  • Preheat the water to 150°F.
  • Place everything into the bag (chicken, honey, lime juice, olive oil, molasses, and seasonings), making sure not to get any of the mixture on the top 2 inches of the bag so that you have enough room to seal it. Massage the seasoning into the chicken so that they are evenly covered, then seal the bag.
  • Sous vide the chicken breasts for for 1½ hours. Then, remove from the water.
  • Let the chicken rest in the sealed bag for 10 minutes, then remove it from the bag, slice, and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Ingredient Modifications and Substitutions
  • Use a different spice combination – while the combination is divine, you aren’t bound to the spices that are listed in this recipe! Feel free to swap and change things up as you’d like.
  • Try a different protein – we have recipes for sous vide pork tenderloin, pork chop, steak, and salmon. Branch out and try a few!
Meet the Author
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Cassy Joy Garcia

HOWDY! I’m Cassy Joy and I am just so happy you’re here. I’m the founder, Editor-in-Chief, and Nutrition Consultant here at Fed and Fit. What started as a food blog back in 2011 has evolved now into so much more.
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