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Sous Vide Turkey Breast (Just 2.5 Hours!)

Sous Vide Turkey Breast (Just 2.5 Hours!)

Boneless turkey breast is coated with a buttery herb turkey breast marinade and cooked low and slow, in a sous vide water bath, to create a perfectly tender and succulent sous vide turkey breast. Sous vide boneless turkey breast is as easy to make as our Smoked Turkey Breast.

More turkey recipes to check out: Smoked Turkey, Smoked Turkey Wings and Instant Pot Turkey.

Sliced turkey on a black cutting board.

Slow Cook Turkey

White meat turkey is extremely lean and tender, leading to a decadent soft roast, however it will end up dry and tough if overcooked even a few degrees. Thankfully, making sous vide turkey breast ensures the meat is cooked to the exact temperature you prefer.

This sous vide turkey breast recipe cooks the meat low and slow to allow for moist and juicy turkey slices. 

Turkey Breast Marinade

This turkey marinade compliments the meat and lets the natural flavors shine. In addition, the classic herbs and spices will compliment almost any side dish. All you need to make the marinade is butter and poultry seasoning.

Raw turkey on a black cutting board.

How To Cook A Boneless Turkey Breast

Sous vide turkey breast is an extremely easy sous vide cooking recipe. To sous vide a turkey just follow the below short steps:

Step 1 – Pre-heat the sous vide water bath to your preferred temperature (consult the turkey temperature chart below) using a sous vide immersion circulator.

Step 2 – Add the turkey marinade ingredients to a small sauce pan and combine until the butter is melted.

Side by side photos showing turkey marinade.

Step 3 – Place the turkey breast in the bag, dump the butter mixture over the top and vacuum seal the bag.

Step 4 – Transfer the turkey to your sous vide machine and set the timer to the proper length.

Step 5 – (OPTIONAL) Reverse sear the cooked sous vide turkey breast in a very hot pre-heated cast iron pan for 45 seconds per side to develop a nice brown sear. 

If your turkey breast comes with skin, don’t skip the reverse sear step for the skin side. This is how you get crispy skin when making turkey sous vide style. 

Reverse seared turkey breast

Turkey Breast Temperature

Our preferred temperature for a turkey breast is 144°-145°F. The meat is warm and pink throughout at this temperature. Reverse searing will only increase the temp by 2-3° max, so keep that in mind when picking your level of doneness. 

  • Medium: 144°-145°F
  • Medium Well: 150°F
  • Well Done: 160°F +

FOOD SAFETY TIP: Cooking turkey sous vide style means the bird will be fully cooked when the internal temperature hits 145°, since it’s cooking for a much longer time period than in the oven at a higher temp. It’s the beauty of sous vide cooking!

Cooked poultry on a black cutting board.

Finished Texture

The temperature of a cooked turkey breast dictates the texture you’re meat will take on. Here’s a guideline to help you pick your preferred temperature when making turkey breasts:

  • Medium Pork: Soft, tender and juicy (as pictured above, before reverse searing)
  • Medium Well Pork: Firm with a drier texture
  • Well Done Pork: Super firm with minimal juice (more than likely dry)

Cooking Time

Sous vide turkey breast needs to be cooked a minimum of 2.5 hours and a maximum of 4 hours, whether you’re using a boneless turkey breast roast or bone in turkey.

We’ve seen some recipes recommend up to 6 hours, but we find the meat to be less juicy defeating the purpose of cooking it this way.

Slices of citrus and fresh herbs in a pot of water.

Brine For Turkey Breast

Feel free to use a Smoked Turkey Brine if you prefer a brined bird. Since this particular turkey breast recipe requires it to be cooked low and slow it’s ridiculously juicy and flavorful without it.  

Bone in Turkey Breast

This sous vide turkey breast recipe can also be utilized with a bone-in turkey breast. No edits are needed.

Frozen Turkey Breast

You can absolutely use frozen turkey breast. Just add an extra 60 minutes to the cook time, for a minimum of 3.5 hours.

Bowl of mashed potatoes with topping options.

Turkey Gravy

Turkey drippings collected in the sous vide bag are a great addition to gravy or au jus. If you’re reverse searing you can also use the juices as a baste. Just pour the liquid on top of the breast when searing.

Variations

Cajun Turkey Breast

Replace the poultry seasoning with cajun or creole seasoning to make a cajun turkey. Cook the turkey breast as indicated.

Dry Rub For Turkey

If you’d like to use a turkey dry rub, to dry brine the turkey breast, just lather the turkey in the poultry seasoning, kosher salt and pepper and let sit inside the refrigerator for 24 hours. Before sealing the bag, add the melted butter.

Poultry inside a vacuum seal bag.

Aromatic Ideas

Turkey is like a blank canvas; most of the flavor comes from the aromatics. Here are a few aromatic ideas to throw into the vacuum sealed bag: rosemary, sage, thyme, oregano, cumin, coriander, black pepper, garlic, shallots, etc. 

Sous vide does bring out the concentration of the herbs, so use sparingly compared to your normal amount.

Equipment

  • Sous Vide Immersion Circulator – Any brand will work! We use the Anova Immersion Circulator.
  • Vacuum Sealed Bags – Use a Ziploc bag with the water displacement method vs a vacuum sealer with a sous vide bag, if desired.
  • Sous Vide Food Container – We use this sous vide food container for our sous vide recipes, but you can use any large stock pot.
  • Cast Iron Pan – Use a large enough cast iron pan, or griddle pan, to accommodate a large slab of meat. A stainless steel skillet will work as well, but it’s important to pre-heat and use plenty of oil and/or butter so it doesn’t stick.

How To Re-heat

The best way to re-heat is to heat it back up in the water bath. Heat the water to just below the cooking temperature you used the first go round. Keep the bag in the water for an hour and remove to serve.

raw meat in an Anova water bath.

How Much Turkey Breast Per Person

Calculate 3/4 lb. of boneless turkey per person as to allow for shrinkage. If you’re cooking a ton of sides, and are looking to cut back, you can get away with 1/2 lb. per person.

Expert Tips

  • Reserve searing a sous vide turkey over high heat creates a LOT of smoke. Turn on the oven fan and/or open the windows, before turning the oven on, to get ahead of it a bit.
  • Make sure to do a thorough job patting dry the cooked turkey breast with paper towels. To get a good pan-seared crust, the roast needs to be dry.
  • Make sure the meat is fully submerged in the sous vide bath. If the meat isn’t fully submerged it won’t cook properly and food safety would not be guaranteed.
  • If your sous vide bag floats, try to re-seal or utilize something to weight it down in the sous vide bath. You can always add a few heavy spoons, or pie crust weights, to the bag before sealing or invest in sous vide weights.
  • Use any leftover bones and/or meat and make Turkey Broth or Instant Pot Bone Broth.
  • Leftover turkey can be keep in an airtight container for 2-3 days in the refrigerator.

Sliced poultry on a cutting board.

Turkey Side Dish Ideas

Here are a few Thanksgiving recipe ideas for Turkey Sides

Jiffy Corn Casserole
Crack Green Beans
Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Balsamic Glaze
Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Sous Vide Mashed Potatoes
Sous Vide Asparagus
Sous Vide Carrots

Sous Vide Turkey Recipe

Sous vide turkey breast plated with mashed potatoes.
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Sous Vide Turkey Breast

Boneless turkey breast is coated with a buttery herb seasoning mix and cooked low and slow in a sous vide water bath to create a perfectly tender and succulent sous vide turkey breast.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time3 hrs
Total Time3 hrs 10 mins
Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Sous Vide Recipe, Thanksgiving Dinner Recipe, Turkey Recipe
Servings: 6 Servings
Calories: 246kcal
Author: Darcey Olson
Cost: $15

Ingredients

  • 2-3 lb Turkey Breast (*Note 1)
  • 3 Tbsp Butter
  • 2 tsp Poultry Seasoning (*Note 2)
  • Kosher Salt, To Taste
  • Black Pepper, To Taste

OPTIONAL:

  • 2 Tbsp Olive or Canola Oil (For Reverse Sear)

Instructions

  • Pre-heat the water bath to 145°F, or your preferred doneness, using a sous vide immersion circulator. (*Note 3)
  • Season the turkey breast with kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste.
  • Pre-heat a small sauce pan over medium heat. Add the butter and herbs and whisk until the butter is melted. Set aside for 10 minutes to cool.
  • Transfer the turkey breast to a sous vide bag and pour the butter herb mixture over the turkey breast. Vacuum seal the bag or use a Ziploc bag and the water displacement method to remove the air from the bag.
  • Transfer the bag to your sous vide water bath and cook for a minimum of 3 hours up to 6 hours.
  • Carefully remove the bag from the water bath with tongs. Remove the roast from the bag and pat dry. Let cool for 10 minutes before searing.

REVERSE SEAR:

  • Pre-heat a skillet over high heat. Add oil to coat the bottom. Place the breast in the skillet, skin side down for 1 minute. Flip and sear for another minute. (*Note 4)
  • Transfer the turkey breast to a cutting board and slice against the grain.

Notes

Note 1 - You can also utilize a boneless turkey breast or bone in turkey breast.
Note 2 - You can use any seasoning mix you prefer.
Note 3 - Sous Vide Turkey Temperature
Reverse searing will only increase the temp by 2-3° max (if any), so keep that in mind when picking your level of doneness. 
  • Medium: 144°-145°F
  • Medium Well: 150°F
  • Well Done: 160°F +
Note 4- Reserve searing creates a LOT of smoke. Turn on the oven fan or open the windows, before turning the oven on, to get ahead of it a bit. Expect it. 
 

Nutrition

Calories: 246kcal | Carbohydrates: 0.4g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 97mg | Sodium: 1132mg | Potassium: 372mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 0.1g | Vitamin A: 223IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 1mg
Recipe Rating




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