Cook delicious yogurt marinated chicken with the sous vide method! This Sous Vide Yogurt Chicken is soaked in Greek yogurt flavored with herbs, citrus, garlic, and spice, then cooked to perfection in temped water before a quick sear to create a tasty char.
Can you sous vide chicken in yogurt? You sure can, and these easy-to-follow instructions will show you exactly how it’s done using an immersion circulator. This handy gadget allows you to heat a pot of water to a precise temperature to submerge just about any sealed food in the water and cook it to perfection.
Today, we’re using this technique to cook yogurt marinated chicken, and it’s truly amazing. Sous-vide low-temperature cooking plus Greek yogurt work together to tenderize the meat slowly while immersing warm, savory flavor.
Your immersion circulator controls the heat and temperature, allowing you to walk away knowing that you’ll return to perfectly cooked, deeply flavored yogurt chicken in a couple of hours.
Cooking sous vide-style makes grilling yogurt chicken for a gathering so much easier. Instead of grilling the chicken from start to finish, you can use the sous-vide technique first. Then, all you need to do is give the pieces a quick sear to make yummy, charred edges. For consistently tender and juicy yogurt chicken, this technique never fails. Enjoy!
💗 Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Great recipe for sous vide beginners!
- Makes juicy, flavorful chicken every time!
- There are only 5 minutes of prep work.
- The immersion circulator does most of the work.
- No need to stand over the grill or stove.
- It’s versatile. Yogurt chicken is easy to customize and pair with various sides and sauces.
🍗 Ingredients You’ll Need
- Chicken – Fresh chicken thighs or breast with the fat removed.
- Greek Yogurt – Yogurt is a fantastic meat marinade. In addition to adding rich flavor, yogurt gently tenderizes the proteins making chicken that’s nearly impossible to dry out. You can also use regular plain yogurt here.
- Cilantro – For bursts of fresh, citrusy flavor. Feel free to throw in other fresh herbs here like mint, parsley, basil, or tarragon.
- Lemon Juice – or lime! A splash of citrus for flavor and acidity to help tenderize the meat.
- Garlic Cloves – Intensifies the aromatics and enhances the flavor.
- Dry Spices – Ground cumin, paprika, turmeric & pepper for warm and earthy Tandoori-inspired spice!
🌡️Recommended Equipment: You do not need any fancy equipment besides an immersion circulator. Freezer-safe resealable bags, a stockpot, and cast-iron work perfectly fine. Check out my sous vide accessory guide for more details!
🥣 How To Make Yogurt Marinated Chicken In Sous Vide
1️⃣ Make yogurt marinade.
Whisk the Greek yogurt, cilantro, lemon juice, garlic, and dried spices in a large bowl until thoroughly combined.
2️⃣ Marinate chicken.
Add your chicken and the yogurt mixture to your sous vide bag (or freezer-safe plastic zip-top bag), press out as much air as possible, using a vacuum sealer or the water displacement method and seal shut. Let the chicken marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
3️⃣ Sous vide cook yogurt chicken.
When you’re ready to cook, insert your immersion circulator into a pot of water with the temperature set to 150F. Once the water reaches temperature, submerge the bag of chicken using the water displacement method. Place a weighted object on the bag to keep it from floating to the top, and cook for 2 hours.
4️⃣ Sear chicken and serve.
After 2 hours, remove the chicken, discard the marinade, and transfer the pieces to a preheated grill or hot pan. Sear both sides until the edges begin to char, then transfer to a serving platter. Enjoy!
💭 Recipe Tips
- You can use chicken breast, thighs, or some of each to make sous vide yogurt chicken. Just be sure to cut off the fat and pound down thick pieces so they cook evenly.
- Marinate your chicken overnight to tenderize the meat and infuse every morsel with rich flavors.
- Clean off any extra marinade from the chicken before searing, or it may burn and become bitter.
- A note on food safety. Although the safe internal temperature for chicken is 165F, cooking it sous vide style low and slow allows the meat to pasteurize at a cooler temperature safely.
- No worries if the chicken hasn’t reached temperature after sous vide. It will continue to cook and reach 165F once seared.
🌶️ Variations & Serving Suggestions
Spices & seasonings – Turn up the heat with fiery spices like cayenne and chipotle chili powder or mix in sriracha. Or amp up the smoky, earthy flavor with garam masala, smoked paprika, ginger, and coriander.
Sous vide yogurt chicken skewers – This requires more hands-on work, but it’s a great way to serve this dish at cookouts and barbecues. After sous-viding, take the chicken out of the bag and skewer it before finishing on the grill.
What to serve with yogurt chicken – Make it a meal and serve sous vide chicken with fresh and simple side dishes like:
🧊 Storing & Freezing
Storing: Let cool, then place the chicken in a shallow container with a tight-fitting lid or zip-top bag, and refrigerate for 1-2 days.
Freezing for later: Another option is freezing the raw chicken, and greek yogurt marinade in the sous vide bag for up to a month. Let the bags thaw in the fridge overnight before cooking.
The acids in yogurt aren’t as harsh as citrus juices, so it gently tenderizes, making moist, melt-in-your-mouth meat. It also enhances the rich, tangy flavors.
Yes. Marinades, like Greek yogurt, are perfectly fine to leave the chicken soaked in before sous-vide cooking. For the most flavor, let the chicken sit in the marinade in the fridge for at least 2 hours as well.
Greek yogurt adds delicious flavor to the chicken while gently tenderizing the proteins making tender, super juicy meat.
Yup! Add uncooked chicken and yogurt marinade to your sous-vide bag, and seal the bag securely, removing as much air as possible. Keep stored in the freezer and cook within 1-2 months.
Let the bag of marinated chicken thaw for the best flavor before sous-vide cooking. However, you can sous-vide cook this from frozen. Simply add another hour to the sous-vide cooking time.
More Easy Sous Vide Recipes
Sous Vide Yogurt Chicken
- large mixing bowl & whisk
- freezer-safe plastic zip-top bag
- sous vide weight or heavy kitchen tool
- 2 pounds chicken thighs or breasts
- 1 cup Greek yogurt full fat
- ½ cup cilantro chopped
- ¼ cup lemon juice freshly squeezed
- 2 teaspoons garlic cloves minced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Add the yogurt, chopped cilantro, lemon juice, minced garlic, and dried spices to a large mixing bowl. Whisk to fully combine.
- Trim the excess fat from the chicken, then place it in a freezer-safe plastic zip-top bag along with the yogurt marinade mixture. Press out as much air as possible before sealing the bag. Place the bag in the fridge for at least 2 hours, or as long as overnight.
- When ready to cook, fill a large pot with water. Submerge the immersion circulator in the water and set the temperature to 150°F. Remove the chicken from the fridge to temp out while the water heats up.
- Once the temperature reaches 150F°, submerge the bag of marinated chicken in the water, using the water displacement method to remove any excess air. Use a sous vide weight or heavy kitchen tool to keep the bag submerged, and let cook for 2 hours.
- After 2 hours, remove the chicken from the bag, shake off any excess marinade, and discard the rest.
- To finish, sear the chicken as is or on skewers on either a hot grill or in a pan. Serve hot with your favorite side dishes, and enjoy.