Thanksgiving Doesn’t Get Much Easier Than This Sous Vide Lemon Herb Turkey Recipe 

If we can believe any of the legion of related articles, videos, social media kitchen hacks, and so forth that spring up every year around this time, wading into the tedium of holiday meal-planning can leave many of us feeling less than enthusiastic. There’s so much in terms of time, money, and logistics that goes into getting a finished meal out of your head and onto your guests’ plates, that it can feel overwhelming. Tell the truth: you’re tired just thinking about it, aren’t you? Yes, we hear you. That’s why it occurs to us that Thanksgiving might be the perfect time to try the sous vide cooking method.

For anyone unfamiliar with it, sous vide (soo-veed) is a French term meaning ‘under vacuum,’ a reference to the method of prepping food before you cook it using this method. The device used to cook the food is called an immersion circulator, and its goal is the same as various traditional dry heat or moist heat cooking techniques: to get the center of the cooked food to a precise desired temperature.

The reason this screams Thanksgiving is that, both with sous vide cooking and holiday meal planning, poultry is the star player. Whereas red meat can be enjoyed at several stages within an accepted range of done-ness from rare to well, you need to cook poultry through. With a larger cut, like a breast of turkey, it can be near impossible to cook the inside without overcooking the outside. Sous vide allows lets the entire piece cook at the same time, so that it achieves the perfect level of done-ness and preserves its flavors without drying out inside.

If you already own an immersion circulator or you’ve been contemplating picking one up in time to dazzle your dinner guests this Thursday, Michal Frischman at shares a great recipe for cooking a tender, flavorful (and best of all, hassle-free) turkey sous vide.

By Michal Frischman


  • 1 2-pound (1-kilogram) boneless, skinless turkey breast, sometimes known as turkey London broil (see note)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill or 1 tablespoon fresh
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley or 1 tablespoon fresh
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil or 1 tablespoon fresh
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons flour

Start Cooking:

Prepare the Turkey

  1. Mix the honey, lemon juice, herbs, salt, and pepper. Place the turkey in a heavy-duty ziplock bag or in a vacuum sealer bag. Add marinade to the bag. For a ziplock, submerge the bag in a bowl of water until just below the opening of the bag so the air is squeezed out, then seal the bag. For a vacuum sealer, set the machine to wet seal.
  2. Place the turkey in a sous-vide set to 143°F (62°C). Cook for four hours or up to eight hours.
  3. When ready to serve, heat oil and flour in a small saucepan. Stir well and cook for one minute. Add the juices from inside the turkey bag and whisk until no clumps remain. Slice the turkey thinly and serve with gravy on the side.

Note: You can follow the same time and temperature for any size turkey you would like to use.

Variation: To cook in the oven, keep the skin on and bone in. Bake at 375°F (180°C) for about an hour or until the thickest part of the turkey breast reaches an internal temperature of 160°F (70°C). Remove and allow to rest for at least 15 minutes


[Image credit: Moishe Wulliger]

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