This sous vide frozen turkey breast recipe is the perfect weeknight dinner — especially when you forget to take meat out to thaw! A similar process to sous viding fresh turkey, this recipe results in the most delicious, juicy turkey breast and requires only 10 minutes of active prep time.
Why sous vide frozen turkey?
- Not thawed? No problem. Cooking frozen turkey breast sous vide style completely separates what you can do with a sous vide machine from other pieces of kitchen equipment. You don’t have to let the turkey thaw overnight before sous viding it — it just goes right into the sous vide bath to thaw and cook. This has saved me endless trips in the middle of the night down to my kitchen. You see, I used to remember just as I was falling asleep that I forgot to take out food to thaw for the next day. Now I can realize I have no plans for dinner the day-of, and still be able to turn around non-existent dinner plans and cook a tasty meal.
- The flavor is perfect. Cooking turkey sous vide from frozen will result in a tender texture that you know and love from sous vide, while keeping the meat tasting rich and savory.
- It’s quick and easy. The extra convenience factor comes from learning how to sous vide frozen turkey breast. So in short: sous vide cooking from frozen is great for busy people.
Before sous vide cooking, my other go-to weeknight meal was always homemade pizza with store bought dough. Now? It’s all about the sous vide. Check out the results of my best sous vide turkey breast recipe experiment.
Ingredients for sous vide frozen turkey
This simple sous vide turkey recipe requires basic ingredients, many of which you likely already have in your pantry. I used about 4 pounds of skin-on, frozen turkey breast, but you can adjust the amount of turkey based on your own needs. For planning purposes, prepare 1-2 pounds of turkey per person.
Other than the turkey, you’ll need a few basic ingredients to season, including rosemary, lemon, garlic salt, and shallots.
Another easy way to make turkey? Always moist, always delicious, this air fryer turkey breast recipe is my favorite way to prepare turkey breast for up to four people. Make up a full holiday dinner without turning on the oven.
How to make sous vide frozen turkey
Step 1. First preheat the sous vide machine to 145 degrees F. Then form a paste by mixing together the garlic salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme, and ghee in a small bowl.
Step 2. Next season the outside of the frozen turkey breast by smearing it with half of the paste. Then add the seasoned turkey breast to a vacuum-seal bag. Next add lemon slices, and then vacuum-seal the bag closed. Finally, sous vide the frozen turkey breast for 4 hours.
NOTE: You sous vide frozen turkey breast for 4 hours to allow the protein 1 hour to defrost and 3 hours to cook. If cooking thawed turkey, you would sous vide for only 3 hours.
Step 3. When sous vide frozen turkey is done in the sous vide bath, remove it from the hot water and shock the bag in an ice bath for 10 minutes. Then remove the turkey from the bag and pat dry.
Step 4. Now preheat your oven broiler to high. Then coat the turkey with the remaining seasoning paste. Next broil the turkey on high for 3 to 8 minutes, or until golden brown. Finally, allow the turkey to rest at least 15 minutes before serving.
Making turkey for your holiday meal? Check out this chorizo sausage stuffing as an easy side!
Do you need special equipment?
Nope, you just need the basics: a sous vide machine, a sous vide container, and a bag to hold the turkey.
The type of sous vide machine is personal preference, whether that is the Anova, Joule, or Instant Pot Slim. Your container can simply be a big bucket for the food to cook in, and you can use a ziplock bag or vacuum sealer for the turkey.
Still deciding what sous vide to buy? Learn more about all the new instant pot sous vide machines in my quick guide.
Is the cook time the same for frozen turkey and defrosted turkey?
No — and this is the most important adjustment you need to make! When cooking a frozen turkey breast sous vide style, you need to add 60 minutes of cook time. With this in mind, you should end up cooking the turkey breast for about 4-5 hours total.
Is the temperature the same for frozen turkey and defrosted turkey?
Yes! There is no need to change the temperature for cooking sous vide turkey breast that is frozen. Whether frozen or thawed, you still cook the turkey breast at 145 degrees F, just as the recipe states.
Final tips for making sous vide frozen turkey
- Prep before you freeze. Prep your turkey breast before you freeze it for the easiest process for cooking later. If you seal the turkey breast and your desired spices in a vacuum sealed bag before freezing it, you’ll be ready to put it into your sous vide water bath right away, cutting down on day-of prep time.
- Meal prep your week. Because you can season, seal, and freeze your turkey breast ahead of time, this sous vide frozen turkey breast recipe is actually perfect for meal prepping. Simply make a few differently seasoned turkey breasts over the weekend, vacuum seal and place them in the freezer. Then, you’ll just need to pop them in the sous vide bath for a delicious but easy weeknight dinner! If you’re into sous vide meal prep, see this guide on how to freeze then sous vide chicken.
- Broil to finish. Whenever I make sous vide frozen turkey, I like to finish it in the oven broiler on high to get a nice crispy, golden skin before serving. It adds just a few minutes to the total cook time, but the texture added is definitely worth the extra step.
The Perfect Sous Vide Setup
Everyday I’m asked, “what do you need to sous vide food?”. Here’s my answer.
- A sous vide machine.
Option 1: “stick” models like the Joule, Anova, or Instant Pot Slim.
Option 2: “multipot” models like the SousPreme or InstantPot Duo Evo Plus.
- Sous vide container.
If using a sous vide “stick” model, you need something to hold the water the food cooks in, like a bucket or stockpot.
- Bags to cook sous vide food.
Keep it simple and sous vide in ziplock gallon bags, or get fancy like me with a vacuum sealer setup.
- Nice-to-have accessories for sous vide cooking.
– Sous vide weights to hold down food that floats.
– Mini mason jars for desserts and sous vide egg bites.
– Cast iron skillet to sear sous vide steaks to finish them.
- My sous vide cookbook with 100+ recipes.
Try a new sous vide recipe…
- Sous vide salmon
- Sous vide frozen steak
- See how long to sous vide chicken
- Learn how to sous vide frozen chicken breast
- Sous vide chicken wings
- Sous vide chicken breast tenders
- Sous vide pork chops
Have a smoker? See my recipes for smoked spatchcock turkey, smoked whole turkey, and smoked turkey breast
Are you a foodie, too?
I’m passionate about sous vide cooking, and maybe that’s why Sip Bite Go has become one of the most popular sous vide blogs on the web. It’s where I share what I’m doing in the kitchen, and I love putting up new videos and recipes so you can follow along.
Find me on Instagram to see my latest sous vide cooks @sipbitego.
For in-depth tutorials on sous viding frozen turkey and more, subscribe to the Sip Bite Go channel.
Sous Vide Frozen Turkey Breast Recipe (Sip Bite Go)
- 4 lb turkey breast skin-on, frozen
- 2 tsp garlic salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 3 tbsp ghee substitute butter
- 1 tbsp shallots diced
- 1 tsp rosemary diced
- ½ lemon sliced
- Preheat sous vide machine to 145ºF. Form a paste by mixing together the garlic salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme, and ghee in a small bowl.
- Season the outside of the frozen turkey breast by smearing it with half of the paste. Add seasoned turkey breast to a vacuum-seal bag. Add lemon slices and vacuum-seal. Sous vide frozen turkey breast for 4 hours (3 hours for turkey + 1 hour to defrost).
- When sous vide frozen turkey is done in the sous vide bath, Remove it from the hot water and shock the bag in an ice bath for 10 minutes. Remove turkey from the bag and pat dry.
- Preheat broiler to high. Coat the turkey with the remaining seasoning paste. Broil turkey on high for 3 to 8 minutes, until golden brown. Rest at least 15 minutes before serving.
- For planning purposes, prepare 1-2 pounds of turkey per person.
Cathleen @ A Taste of Madness says
I have always wanted to try sous vide cooking turkey. Thanks.
Carrie Robinson says
Such a clever to cook a turkey breast! Love this. 🙂
Brady Gilbert says
In the middle of preparing this now. Wanted to point out that the ingredients call for shallots which are not mentioned in the recipe, and the recipe calls for thyme which is not mentioned in the ingredients. I’m hoping it is correct to put the diced shallots in the paste. I’m assuming that is what was intended.
Jenna Passaro says
Yes, Hi Brady and anyone else reading – add the shallot to the paste. And I just usually toss herbs in the bag. Cheers!
Emily Liao says
I haven’t tried this method yet, but I did last night and my turkey came out perfect! It still had some juiciness and tenderness.
This sous vide recipe looks so good! I always love seeing new ways to cook and this is one I will have to try soon.