Making sous vide turkey breast is a delicious way to cook turkey when you don’t want to make an entire bird. The turkey breast is precisely cooked with minimal hands on time. The meat comes out perfectly cooked and juicy and succulent. The turkey breast is finished by searing it for a gorgeous crispy skin and topped off with a red wine cranberry pan sauce.
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Turkey is associated with Thanksgiving, but it makes a delicious family meal all year long. This recipe for cooking sous vide turkey breast is a delicious one to make when you are not feeding a crowd and don’t need a whole turkey, but still want a turkey dinner.
Using a sous vide cooker the turkey breast is perfect cooked and then seared in a hot pan for a crispy skin. The flavor is extraordinary and the meat is juicy and tender. Sous vide cooking is a great way to cook all poultry, like sous vide chicken breast and sous vide chicken thighs.
The recipe includes a quick and easy cranberry wine sauce for topping off the turkey breast. This meal is a great alternative for Thanksgiving or Christmas when you aren’t hosting a big gathering.
Why Sous Vide Turkey Breast
The best reason to cook turkey breast using sous vide is that the meat will not dry out. When you roast turkey breast in the oven it is easy to over cook it, resulting in dry and stringy meat.
For years my husband has insisted he doesn’t like turkey breast, but it turns out what he doesn’t like is dry and overcooked turkey. With the sous vide your turkey breast will be precisely and perfectly cooked.
In sous vide cooking the food is immersed in a water bath that is kept at a precise temperature. The food cooks gradually and never overcooks. The temperature of the sous vide turkey can’t get any higher than the temperature of the water bath.
Another huge advantage of sous vide turkey breast is the cooking time is mostly hands off. There is about 5 minutes of prep work to season the turkey and 5 minutes of searing after it is cooked.
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The rest of the time you don’t have to do anything. There is no basting, no covering things with foil, no raising or lowering the oven temperature. It is truly a set it and forget it dinner.
What Type of Turkey Breast Should I Use?
For this recipe I used a bone in split turkey breast which was about 2 1/2 pounds. This is plenty of turkey for 4 people. If you want more turkey you could add more than one to the sous vide.
You could also use a boneless split turkey breast for this recipe, which weigh about 2 pounds. If you want to cook a whole 8 pound turkey breast this is not the right recipe for that.
I prefer to use the bone in turkey breast because it less expensive and it is easy to remove the bone after cooking. In addition bone in breast come with the skin, and I love crispy turkey skin!
What Temperature for Sous Vide Turkey Breast?
Because sous vide cooks at a constant, precise temperature you can safely cook sous vide turkey to a lower temperature than roast turkey. The turkey is safe at lower temperatures because food safety depends on both temperature and time of cooking.
In this recipe I cook the turkey breat at 145 F for 3 – 5 hours. This gives meat that is white with a tiny hint of pink and is tender and moist. If you cook the turkey much lower than 145 F it will be noticeably pink, which most people find off putting even if it is safe to eat.
You can also go a bit higher in temperature, up to about 155 F for meat that is pure white and similar to the texture of roast turkey. The higher the temperature the less moisture the turkey will have.
Can you Sous Vide Frozen Turkey Breast
Turkey breast that has been frozen can be cooked in the sous vide cooker. It works best when you season and bag the turkey before freezing it. Then just put the frozen turkey into the sous vide water bath and increase the cooking time by 1 1/2 hours, to 4 1/2 – 6 hours.
How to Make Sous Vide Turkey Breast
1. Set Up the Sous Vide Cooker
Fill a large pan with water and set up the water bath for your sous vide cooker. Set it at 145 F and let it come up to temperature.
2. Season the Turkey
Season each side of the turkey with salt and pepper. Add sprigs of rosemary and sage on top of the turkey breast and place it in the vacuum sealer bag along with some butter. Seal the bag.
If you don’t have a vacuum sealer you can use a zip top plastic bag. Just put the turkey breast in the bag and squeeze out as much air as possible.
3. Put the Turkey Breast in the Sous Vide Water
Once the water bath reaches 145 F and the turkey breast. Make sure it is fully immersed in the water. Let the turkey breast cook for 3 to 5 hours. It will be cooked after 3 hours but you can leave it in longer without adverse effects.
4. Sear the Turkey Breast
About 5 minutes before you are ready to serve the turkey put a skillet on medium high heat on the stove. When the pan is hot add 1 Tablespoon of oil or butter.
Take the turkey breast out of the bag and discard the herbs. Pat it dry. Then put it in the skillet, skin side down. Press the turkey breast down with tongs to brown the skin. Brown for 1 -2 minutes until the skin is nice and crispy, then remove the turkey breast to a plate to rest.
5. Make the Cranberry Wine Pan Sauce
Pour the red wine into the skillet. Add dried cranberries and raspberry jam. Stir the mixture and let it reduce by about half. Then remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the butter.
6. Serve the Sous Vide Turkey Breat
Gently peel the meat off the breast bone by running a knife between the meat and the bone. It should come off easily. Slice the turkey breast thinly using a sharp knife and pour the cranberry wine sauce over the top.
What to Serve With Sous Vide Turkey Breast
Turkey breast makes a versatile dinner and any side dish will go well. Of course garlic mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and stuffing are the go to a Thanksgiving style dinner. For something a little different pair the turkey with baked potatoes and green beans! The possibilities are endless.
This sous vide turkey breast is also excellent sliced for sandwiches. Turkey BLT’s are one of my family’s favorite sandwiches and the juicy turkey breast from this recipe makes them even better!
- 1 split turkey breast, bone in (2 1/2 pounds)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 sage leaves
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- 1 Tablespoon oil
Cranberry Wine Pan Sauce
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 2 Tablespoons dried cranberries
- 2 Tablespoons seedless raspberry jam
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- Set up the sous vide water bath and set the sous vide cooker to 145 F.
- Season the turkey breast with salt and pepper. Add the rosemary and sage on top of the turkey breast. Put the turkey breast along with 1 Tablespoon of butter in a vacuum bag and seal it.
- Once the water bath reaches temperature put the turkey breast in the water, making sure it is fully submerged.
- Let it cook for 3-5 hours.
- About 5 minutes before you take the turkey out put a frying pan on the stove on medium high heat and add 1 Tablepoon of oil. Take the turkey out of the water and open the bag. Brown the turkey in the skillet, skin side down. Press it down to get the skin crispy. Brown for 1-2 minutes, then remove to a plate to rest.
- Pour the red wine in the skillet and add the cranberries and raspberry jam. Let the sauce reduce by half, which should only take 1-2 minutes.
- Take the pan off the heat and add 1 Tablespoon of butter. Stir until the butter melts.
- Take the turkey off the bone by running a knife between the meat and the bone. Slice the turkey breast thinly and pour the sauce over the turkey breast.
You can use boneless split turkey breast instead.
If using frozen turkey breast increase the cooking time to 4 1/2 - 6 hours.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 184 Total Fat: 10g Saturated Fat: 4g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 5g Cholesterol: 32mg Sodium: 146mg Carbohydrates: 12g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 9g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 7g