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Get PERFECT Sous Vide Chicken Breast every time with this simple method. You’ll get chicken that is tender enough to cut with a butter knife, super juicy and with texture and flavor that you can’t get with other cooking methods. Follow these simple instructions and you’re on your way to juicy, tender – never dry – boneless skinless chicken breasts. If you love this sous vide chicken breast recipe, try my Sous Vide Steak next!
What is Sous Vide Chicken?
Have you ever heard the term sous vide and not fully understood what the heck that meant? Sous vide is a French term that means “under water”. So when I say we will cook this chicken “sous vide” I mean, we will use a cooking process where the chicken is cooked in water using a sous vide machine which will hold the water at a constant temperature for an extended period of time, cooking the chicken breast at your preferred internal temperature without overcooking. This method gives you perfectly cooked chicken breast every single time.
Using a Sous Vide Machine
I found my sous vide machine (immersion circulator) on Amazon for a reasonable price. I have the Anova Culinary Sous Vide Nano and it works extremely well. You might find a good one on sale right now with all the sales going on this time of year…also a fun Christmas gift idea. 😉 This water displacement method works even better when you invest in a vacuum sealer. This allows you to vacuum seal the chicken which removes the air, preventing it from floating. You want the chicken fully immersed in the water to have it cook evenly and safely. Another option is to use a sous vide bag. These reusable bags come with a pump to remove the air and are fairly inexpensive. A zip top plastic bag with all the air removed manually also can work, as long as you have something heavy to place on top of the bag to hold the chicken down in the water.
How to Sous Vide Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast
Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts can be kind of boring and lack flavor, so I give my chicken breasts a little love by adding lemon, garlic, herbs, salt and pepper to the bag before cooking boneless chicken breast. The slower cooking time and low temperature keeps the meat moist and ensures it won’t overcook, letting the flavorings work their way into the meat.
For full details about using this method, see the printable sous vide recipe card down below. Here is step-by-step how to set up and use the sous vide method for juicy chicken breasts:
Bring Water to Temperature Using the Sous Vide Machine
You will need a large tall pot or container (like this one). Fill container or pot with hot tap water. Add sous vide machine and set temperature to 145° F. It will take some time for the water to come up to the specific temperature, depending on how efficient your machine is. Starting with hot water will help the sous vide machine bring the water to the exact temperature more quickly.
Season Chicken Breasts
Season with salt and pepper. Place lemon slices and fresh herbs on top of each chicken breast. Carefully place chicken into plastic bags and vacuum seal. Alternately, place in gallon-size ziploc bags, remove all the air and seal.
Cook Chicken Sous Vide
Place vacuum-sealed bag in sous vide water bath and set timer for 1 hour. Make sure the chicken is completely submerged in water. The purpose of removing all the air out of the bag is to ensure the chicken sinks in the water. If you still find your bag floating, simply weight it down with something like a small plate. They make all kinds of things to help with this…I just put these sous vide magnets on my wish list. 🙂
Sear Cooked Chicken on the Stovetop
Chicken Breasts are not fully cooked at 140° F. We also want the chicken to have a bit of color and brown it up a bit, so we will give it a quick sear in a hot pan.
Heat skillet over medium high heat and add butter, olive oil and smashed garlic.
Remove chicken breasts from bag and sear in skillet, flipping once.
Let Chicken Rest + Serve!
When chicken is nice and browned and has reached 165° F, remove and let rest for 5 mins or so.
Serve warm, whole or sliced…spooning pan juices over chicken.
Ways to Season Sous Vide Chicken Breasts
As aforementioned, this is just a cooking METHOD and you can add whatever seasonings, spices and aromatics you wish to your sous vide chicken breasts. Here are some more ideas:
- Cilantro and Lime – make it Mexican inspired by also adding Oregano, Chili Powder and/or Cumin.
- Earthy Herbs – Use Rosemary and Thyme like I did or try other earthy herbs like Sage, Tarragon or Marjoram
- Dried Spices – Paprika, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Cayenne and more!
- Give it some tang: Marinate with Mustard, Vinaigrette or Lemon
- Make it Asian inspired – Soy Sauce, Fresh Ginger, and Garlic. Add Brown Sugar for a sweet and tangy version.
- Give it a Greek twist – Cucumber, Mint, Garlic, Dill and plain Greek Yogurt
The options are endless! Let me know your ideas in the comments!
Storing + Freezing Directions
To Store – store sous vide chicken breast in the fridge, in an airtight container or in the sealed bags for up to 4-5 days.
To Freeze – you can also freeze your cooked chicken by either placing the sealed bags into the freezer, or shredding, chopping, or slicing, before sealing and placing in the freezer. Chicken will stay fresh in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Chicken breast is typically cooked sous vide anywhere from 140° F to 165° F, depending on your preferred doneness. For a juicy and tender result, 145° F the sweet spot for me as opposed to the higher and lower temperatures.
Cooking time can vary based on the thickness of the chicken breast, but a general guideline is to cook it for 1 to 4 hours. Thinner cuts may be ready in as little as 1 hour, while thicker ones may require 3-4 hours.
Yes, sous vide chicken breast can be cooked in advance and then quickly seared before serving. Another reason why I love sous vide cooking! It’s a great make-ahead option for dinner parties or meal prepping.
Yes, you can cook frozen chicken breast sous vide. Simply add extra cooking time, usually about 50% longer than the recommended time for thawed chicken.
What to Serve with Sous Vide Chicken Breasts
- Roasted Root Vegetables
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- Fondant Potatoes
- Garlic Mashed Potatoes
- Oven Roasted Asparagus
- Air Fryer Baked Potatoes
- Iceberg Wedge Salad
- Greek Salad
- Famous Butter Rice
More Chicken Recipes to Try!
- Chicken Salad Sandwich
- French Onion Chicken
- Orange Chicken
- Chicken Alfredo Stuffed Shells
- Tuscan Chicken
Cooking sous vide has become one of my favorite ways to prepare chicken breasts (and more!) and I hope you give it a try! The printable recipe card is below. Be sure to save, print or bookmark this recipe to refer back to in the future. Have a great day! 🙂
If you make this recipe, I would really appreciate it if you would give it a star rating and leave your review in the comments! If you have a picture of your finished dish, post it on Instagram using the hashtag #laurenslatest and tagging me @laurens_latest.
Sous Vide Chicken Breast
- 2 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
- 1 small lemon sliced
- 4 sprigs fresh Thyme
- 4 sprigs fresh Rosemary
- salt & pepper to taste
For reverse sear
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 clove garlic smashed
- Fill sous vide container with water and set machine to 145° F
- Salt and pepper chicken breasts
- Place lemon slices and herbs on top of each chicken breast
- Seal a vacuum seal bag on one side
- Carefully place chicken breasts inside bag
- Vacuum seal bag
- Place vacuum sealed chicken in water and set timer for 1 hour
- After 1 hour, heat skillet over medium high heat and add butter, oil and smashed garlic
- Remove chicken breasts from bag and sear in skillet, flipping once
- When chicken is nice and browned and has reached 165° F, remove and let rest
- Serve warm, whole or sliced…spooning pan juices over chicken