Sous Vide Chicken Breast and Asparagus
Perfectly tender and juicy sous vide chicken breast paired with sous vide asparagus makes a fabulous low-carb and gluten-free meal. Meal prep tips included.
Chicken breast and asparagus is a pretty basic meal, but when cooked in the sous vide machine (also known as a precision cooker), it becomes an impressively tender, juicy, flavorful masterpiece.
Since you can’t overcook anything in the sous vide, you don’t have to stress about ending up with dry, rubbery chicken breasts gone wrong on the stovetop or disappointing mushy asparagus spears.
What I love most about this sous vide chicken and asparagus recipe is that it makes six portions and requires only 20 minutes of hands-on time, which is mostly just bagging and seasoning (and an optional but recommended step for searing).
This sous vide recipe is perfect if you’re cooking for the family but don’t have a ton of time to spend in the kitchen— or if you want to do a batch of meal prep while you catch up on a show. Keep in mind that if you want to make a smaller portion, your prep and cook time will also be shorter.
If you have leftover chicken breast, repurpose it for chicken salad, sandwiches, stir-fries, or even throw it into a burrito bowl. Now, let’s quickly go over the step-by-step instructions so that you can get started!
Step-by-Step Sous Vide Chicken and Asparagus Prep
Step 1: Prepare the Anova sous vide machine for cooking and set to 146°F (or your desired temperature for your preferred doneness. The Joule app provides a visual guide on different textures with different temperatures. And no, you don’t need a Joule sous vide machine to use the app. It’s free.)
Step 2: As the water bath warms up, prepare six whole boneless skinless chicken breasts, generously seasoning them with kosher salt, black pepper, and paprika.
Step 3: Divide and place the chicken breasts into two sous vide bags (you can also use Ziploc bags and use the water displacement method to seal them).
Feel free to add some fresh herbs or fresh lemon slices. I added a few sprigs of thyme and rosemary. Once your chicken breasts are ready to go, vacuum-seal the bags.
Step 4: Once the water bath reaches 146°F, submerge the bagged chicken breasts in the water to cook. Set the timer for two hours.
Note: If you are using the Anova sous vide, I found it super helpful to download the Anova app for controlling the cooking temperature and timer from your smartphone.
Step 5: Now, for the asparagus. When the chicken breasts are close to being done, place three pounds of asparagus spears in one bag, drizzle them with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and shake it around a little so that all ingredients are evenly distributed. Then seal up the vacuum bag.
Step 6: When the timer is up for the chicken breasts, remove them from the sous vide.
Oh, and don’t throw away the chicken juice in the sous vide bag! It’s a nice touch to drizzle over the chicken breasts for extra flavor. I even use some of the leftover juice to flavor sous vide eggs.
Step 7: Increase the water temperature to 184°F for the asparagus. Drop the asparagus into the sous vide for 15 minutes.
You might find the asparagus floating on the water bath. That’s because the air in the bag is not completely out. I have a hand pump when it comes to vacuum sealing, so it’s nearly impossible for me to manually pump all the air out. You can use a heavy object like a bowl or a lid to weigh the asparagus bag down under the water.
Step 8: Searing meat and poultry after cooking it in the sous vide is a highly recommended step. To do this, just heat a cast-iron pan with a bit of olive oil over medium-high heat and sear the chicken breasts for 30 seconds on each side.
Sous vide vegetables do not require any further cooking steps. Once the asparagus is done, take the bag out of the water, transfer the asparagus onto a serving plate, and serve. That’s it.
Dinner is officially ready! The chicken should be slightly bouncy when you touch it with the side of your knife, and heavenly juicy and tender when you take your first bite. The asparagus should also be firm and tender.
Not Ready for Sous Vide?
If you don’t have a sous vide machine, you can, of course, use other cooking methods to make this recipe. I recommend trying this low-carb Baked Chicken in Spicy Peach Sauce with Sautéed Asparagus. It’s flavorful, juicy, and a pleasant twist on a regular chicken recipe with asparagus.
What do you think? How did the sous vide chicken breast and asparagus compared to pan-cooked or baked chicken? I’d love to hear all about it in the comments.
Perfectly tender and juicy sous vide chicken breast paired with sous vide asparagus makes a fabulous low-carb and gluten-free meal.
- 6 whole chicken breasts (skinless and boneless or skin-on bone-in, the thickest part is about 1 ½ inches)
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Smoked paprika
- 6 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 3 pounds of whole asparagus
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- More olive oil for searing the chicken
- Attach your sous vide machine (I use the Anova precision cooker) to a large saucepan or a sous vide container. Fill your saucepan with water until the water comes up to somewhere between the lines of “min” and “max” that are marked on your sous vide machine.
- Preheat the sous vide machine to 146°F or your desired temperature. Allow the water bath to come up to the temperature before adding your chicken.
- While your water bath is getting warmed up, prepare the chicken breasts by seasoning each one generously with salt, pepper and paprika on each side.
- To bag chicken breasts, start by folding the top of a sous vide bag or Ziploc bag back over itself to form a hem. This will prevent the chicken seasonings and juices from getting on the edges of the bag, which could interfere with the seal or provide vectors for contamination.
- Place chicken breasts into the bag along with thyme sprigs. (My sous vide bag is big, so I had three chicken breasts in one bag).
- Unfold the edge before closing the bag. Seal the bag using either a vacuum sealer or a hand pump. You could also slowly lower your bagged chicken into your water bath, letting the pressure of the water press air out through the top of the bag. Once most of the air is out of the bag, carefully seal the bag just above the waterline.
- Place the vacuum-sealed bag of chicken into the preheated water bath, making sure not to block the intake or output sections of your sous vide machine. If properly sealed, the chicken should sink. Cook for two hours.
- Once the chicken is done, take it out of the water bath and increase temperature to 184°F.
- Prepare a new sous vide bag or Ziploc bag by folding the top. Place whole asparagus into the bag, drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Grab the bag and shake well.
- Unfold the edge of the bag and seal it according to step 6. Drop the bag into the prepared water bath, making sure that all asparagus is under the water. Cook for 15 minutes.
- While the asparagus is cooking, finish up the chicken. Take the chicken breasts out of the bags. Pat them dry with a paper towel.
- Add some olive oil in a cast iron skillet and heat it over medium-high heat on your stove. Once the oil is hot, place the chicken in the hot oil and push it down with your spatula for about 45 seconds on one side. (If using skin-on chicken breasts, put the skin side down.)
- Once the chicken is seared, transfer to a cutting board. Let it rest for two minutes and cut into slices. Serve with sous vide asparagus. Enjoy!
I saved the chicken juice from the sous vide bags and used it to flavor sous vide hard-boiled eggs. Amazing!
- Serving Size: 1
- Calories: 653
- Sugar: 13.3g
- Sodium: 206.4mg
- Fat: 25.8g
- Carbohydrates: 18.1g
- Protein: 86.7g
- Cholesterol: 228mg
Keywords: sous vide chicken breast