Thanksgiving is a time for indulgence and gathering with loved ones, and these 15 beautiful sous vide Thanksgiving recipes are a great way to celebrate the big day.
A sous vide machine is not only a better way to cook many of your favorite holiday foods, it also frees up oven space for the other dishes on your Thanksgiving day menu.
You can use this lower temperature cooking method for all sorts of recipes, from tender turkey breast to vegetable sides and indulgent, unique desserts. It’ll elevate your holiday feast and not only will you have plenty of oven space for your high heat dishes, you’re all but guaranteed a flood of compliments when your guests taste the food.
The sous vide Thanksgiving recipes which follow can be made using a sous vide bath and immersion circulator, or a steam oven with sous vide setting. Some are traditional, while others are guaranteed to give your holiday table a modern spin. All of them are special and utterly delicious.
Let’s dive into these mouthwatering sous vide Thanksgiving recipes!
1. Sous Vide Turkey Breast with Herbs and Garlic
For all the white meat fans out there! Cooking turkey can be stressful, so I want you to skip the hassle of an entire turkey and make my sous vide boneless turkey breast instead. You won’t get the dark meat that comes with cooking a whole turkey, but this is hands down the best way to do Thanksgiving turkey for a smaller crowd. Plus, the leftover sous vide turkey is perfect for my favorite turkey salad with noodles.
My sous vide Thanksgiving recipes for turkey is subtly flavored with fresh rosemary and thyme, and ensures moist and flavorful turkey breast with golden brown crispy skin.
You’ll be cooking in a sous vide water bath, then broiling to finish, but you can cook ahead and do the broiling step just before serving.
2. Sous Vide Pheasant with Cranberry Sauce
Instead of roasted turkey, try the delicate gamey flavors of sous vide pheasant! The cooking process is easy and you don’t need to worry about drying out the meat. This is an elegant and beautiful main course, complemented by fresh herbs and a luscious cranberry sauce.
3. Sous Vide Duck with Blackberry Sage Sauce
I love cooking duck for special occasions! Many people think it’s hard, but they just don’t know which cooking methods to use. 😉 Impress your guests with this sous vide version, paired with a blackberry sage sauce that adds a pop of flavor and fruitiness to offset the duck’s rich meat.
4. Sous Vide Duck Breast
Another vote for rich, delicious duck, here; this one is simple and full of gingery aromas. And you won’t miss having turkey skin with your dinner, because you’ll end up with glorious crispy duck skin instead! This dish is perfect with mashed root vegetables or fluffy mashed potatoes as a side.
5. Slow-cooked Pork Shoulder
Melt-in-your-mouth pulled pork makes such a great case for sous vide cooking. When it comes to sous vide Thanksgiving recipes, pork isn’t the first meat you’d think of. But it’s an ideal addition to a more traditional Thanksgiving spread, and looks so beautiful on the plate. Definitely use a sous vide bag for this dish; doing bagless steam oven sous vide won’t give you the lovely compact shape you’re after.
6. Sous Vide Steak in a Steam Oven
A perfectly cooked sous vide steak will be the star of your Thanksgiving dinner when prepared in a steam oven. I know it’s not that traditional, but for a ridiculously easy, modern and upmarket dinner it can’t be beaten. Cook the steak in the plastic bag and plunge it into an ice bath after cooking, then refrigerate for up to a couple of days before finishing and serving. It’s an easy recipe idea that lets you focus all your attention on lovely Thanksgiving side dishes, instead of worrying about a huge bird overcooking while you mash your potatoes!
7. Sous Vide Butter Poached Potatoes
Elevate your potato side dish with the luxurious flavors of sous vide butter-poached potatoes. Mashed potatoes are the more conventional side dish, but these are hands-off and every bit as delicious.
8. Sous Vide Butternut Squash
Upgrade your side dishes with sous vide butternut squash, ensuring a perfect texture, bright orange color and intense flavor. If you can’t go past sweet potatoes for Thanksgiving dinner, apply the exact same approach to diced sweet potatoes instead. You’ll get similarly great results.
9. Sous Vide Green Beans with Mandarin Hazelnuts
Move aside, green bean casserole! Add a touch of modern bistro-style flair to your Thanksgiving vegetables with sous vide green beans and a mandarin hazelnut dressing. I tried this recently and I think it’s now my favorite way of preparing green beans for entertaining.
10. Sous Vide Dark Chocolate Pots de Creme
Indulge in a velvety-smooth dessert that combines the richness of dark chocolate with sous vide precision. I’ve published my own version of pots de creme in my Steam Oven Christmas cookbook, but there’s a different recipe linked below if you don’t own the book.
11. Toasted Cream
I know it’s an unusual idea, but when else will you try something as bizarre-sounding as toasted cream? This is prep-ahead and makes a great addition to other desserts. Think brown butter in cream form; it’ll be the talk of the table. I can’t imagine anything much better to top a perfect steam oven pumpkin pie.
12. Steam Oven Pumpkin Cheesecake
This dessert combines the creamy richness of cheesecake with the warming, spiced flavors of classic pumpkin pie. It’s steamed to perfection at low temperature, resulting in a velvety texture that’s impossible to achieve with an oven baked cheesecake. Don’t have a steam oven to sous vide a large cheesecake? You can make the mixture and divide it between lidded mason jars instead. The jars can be submerged into a water bath for cooking.
13. Sous Vide Cheesecake (whole cake or mini jars)
For a more classic cheesecake, my ultimate sous vide cheesecake takes the win! There are full directions for either a whole cake or mini jar cheesecakes here; either way you’re bound to impress. The jars make for the most hands-off approach to serving; just pop a few berries or some whipped cream on top of each opened jar (or, perhaps the lemon curd mentioned below?!) and let people help themselves.
14. Steamed Lemon Curd
Steaming lemon curd at a low temperature, or cooking it sous vide, is a unique and very easy way to prepare this zesty spread. It retains bright lemon flavor while achieving a smooth, velvety consistency with minimal whisking. Perfect for adding a burst of citrusy goodness to your desserts, or make it the star by serving little dishes of curd alongside good butter shortbread.
15. Creme Caramel
Lucky last and definitely not least, creme caramel is a classic dessert that features a silky-smooth custard topped with a luscious caramel sauce. It’s a timeless treat with a perfect balance of sweetness and creaminess, and absolutely ideal for make-ahead sous vide cooking. All you need to do at serving time is turn them out onto plates and let the sauce run over the tops of the pretty little custards.
With these 15 beautiful sous vide Thanksgiving recipes, you’ll be well-prepared to impress your family and friends with a holiday meal that’s nothing short of extraordinary. Whether you stick with tradition or go with a meal that’s more unusual, sous vide will help you showcase the flavors of the season and elevate your home’s Thanksgiving traditions.
Happy sous vide cooking, see you here again soon.