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Sous Vide Shredded Chicken

Sous vide makes the juiciest, most tender shredded chicken. I'll show you how to make sous vide shredded chicken with just a few ingredients and how to use the chicken to make the BEST sous vide chicken tacos. 

Tacos with sous vide pulled chicken meat.

I am so excited to bring you this recipe using my new favorite kitchen tool: The (ANOVA)ᴿᴱᴰ Precision Cooker! This post was sponsored by Anova and Influence Central.

Shredded chicken tacos on a plate next to sous vide cooker

Why make sous vide chicken

Sous vide is typically used for cooking perfect and tender steak and seafood, so you might be thinking: why would I ever want to use the sous vide technique to cook chicken??

The answer is simple: if you like tender, flavorful, juicy chicken instead of tough or dry chicken, you're going to want to try cooking sous vide chicken. Not only is the chicken tender when you first make it, but it is just as tender as leftovers on day 2 and even day 3, making sous vide a great method of cooking if you want to meal prep and have leftovers. 

Sous vide makes a more tender chicken than chicken cooked in the pressure cookermore flavorful chicken than boiling because you don't lose all the seasoning to the water, and way juicier chicken breast than roasting or pan-frying. Sous vide cooking chicken at a constant temperature of 150 degrees Fahrenheit for a long time ensures that the chicken is safely cooked all the way through but does not get subjected to too-hot temperatures that can dry it out. 

My other favorite part of cooking chicken sous vide is that it requires minimal cleanup. You can season the chicken breasts right in the packaging they come from and transfer them directly to your sous vide bags. All the chicken juices and ingredients stay in the bag, so there are no pots and pans to wash. Just a quick rinse of your large pot where you attach the Anova Sous Vide Cooker and cleanup is done!

You can also cook a large batch of chicken and meal prep for the week. Just make sure to spread the chicken out evenly in a large sous vide bag, or use several smaller bags, and cook in a large enough pot that there is room for water to circulate.

Another bonus is that you can hook up the Anova Sous Vide cooker to any large pot and not use up precious stove-top space if you've got a lot of other things you're cooking. Just set it and forget it. There's no way to overcook because the chicken is cooked at a precise temperature, so even if you can't get to it to turn it off immediately because you're busy with a million other things, your chicken will still turn out perfect. Every. Single. Time. 

Making sous vide pulled chicken.

Now that I've convinced you to try sous vide chicken, let's get into the actual recipe!

Ingredients

You need just 4 main ingredients to make this sous vide BBQ chicken:

For the sous vide chicken:

  • 2 large chicken breasts
  • 1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons chicken seasoning (or use a combination of salt, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, and dried oregano)
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce, divided (see notes)
  • Optional: sliced jalapeño (see notes)

Notes:

  1. If you don't want BBQ chicken tacos, feel free to skip the BBQ sauce and simply season your chicken with taco seasoning or chicken seasoning. I personally love the BBQ sauce, but make both kinds of shredded chicken at the same time, since my son doesn't like saucy spicy BBQ chicken, but likes tender shredded chicken instead. 
  2. If you don't want spicy shredded chicken, skip the jalapeño, since it infuses the BBQ sauce with its spiciness while the chicken is cooking.

Ingredient to make sous vide shredded chicken: chicken breasts, BBQ sauce, seasoning, onion, and jalapenos.

For the tacos:

  • Tortillas
  • Salsa or sliced cabbage (or use coleslaw for a delicious BBQ chicken + slaw twist on tacos!)
  • Garnishes, such as fresh lime, fresh cilantro, sliced jalapeños, sliced radishes, sour cream or lime crema (to make lime crema, add a teaspoon of lime juice to ¼ cup sour cream, season with salt, and add 1-2 tablespoons water, or to your liking. Mix well.)

You'll also need:

Instructions

Step 1: Season the chicken breasts with chicken seasoning on all sides. Transfer the seasoned chicken to your sous vide bag, along with the sliced onion, ½ cup BBQ sauce (save the rest for later!), and sliced jalapeño (if using). Seal the bags with a vacuum sealer or by using the water displacement method. Make sure the bags are sealed well!

Step 2: Fill your large pot with hot water. Add the sealed bag to the pot. Attach the sous vide cooker to the pot and set it to 150 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook for 1.5 -  2 hours, or until the chicken is fully cooked (and very tender!). 

Step 3: Carefully remove the sous vide bag from the pot (it's hot!!) and transfer the contents of the bag to a large heat-safe bowl (transfer the juices too, if you want saucy chicken!). Use two forks to shred the chicken and mix it with the cooked onions, and add more BBQ sauce, to taste.

Sous vide chicken ingredients in a bag next to sous vide cooker.

Step 4: Assemble your tacos: Toast or microwave your tortillas. Add your BBQ shredded chicken on top of the tortillas, topped with your favorite taco toppings. Enjoy your tacos and minimal cleanup!

Fork placing tender sous vide cooked chicken on tacos.

Related recipe: Trout Tacos

If you enjoyed this recipe, let me know with a comment and a star rating below. And don't forget to share it on Facebook and save it on Pinterest for later!

Tacos with sous vide shredded chicken and garnishes.
Print Recipe
4.77 from 13 votes

Sous Vide Pulled Chicken

Make this shredded chicken with a sous vide cooker for the most juicy, tender BBQ pulled chicken with minimal cleanup. This BBQ chicken makes amazing tacos and is great for meal prep.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time2 hrs
Total Time2 hrs 10 mins
Course: Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4
Author: Kate

Ingredients

For the sous vide chicken:
  • 2 large chicken breasts - (about 1-1.5 lb total)
  • 1 small yellow onion - thinly sliced (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons chicken seasoning - (or use a combination of salt, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, and dried oregano)
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce - divided (see note for skipping BBQ sauce)
  • Optional: sliced jalapeño - (skip for non-spicy chicken)
For the tacos:
  • tortillas
  • Salsa toppings, such as shredded cabbage, salsa, or coleslaw
  • Garnishes fresh lime, fresh cilantro, sliced jalapeños, sliced radishes, sour cream or lime crema (see notes)

Special equipment

Instructions

  • Season the chicken breasts with chicken seasoning on all sides. Transfer the seasoned chicken to your sous vide bag, along with the sliced onion, ½ cup BBQ sauce (save the rest for later!), and sliced jalapeño, if using. Seal the bags with a vacuum sealer or by using the water displacement method. Make sure the bags are sealed well!
  • Fill your large pot with hot water. Add the sealed bag to the pot. Attach the sous vide cooker to the pot and set it to 150 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook for 1.5 -  2 hours, or until the chicken is fully cooked.
  • Carefully remove the sous vide bag from the pot (it's hot!!) and transfer the contents of the bag to a large heat-safe bowl (transfer the juices too, if you want saucier tacos!). Use two forks to shred the chicken and mix it with the cooked onions, and add more BBQ sauce, to taste.
  • Assemble your tacos: Toast or microwave your tortillas. Add your BBQ shredded chicken on top of the tortillas, topped with your favorite taco toppings. Enjoy your tacos and minimal cleanup!

Notes

  • If you don't want BBQ chicken tacos, feel free to skip the BBQ sauce and simply season your chicken with taco seasoning or chicken seasoning. 
  • I find that the onion gives the sauce a nice flavor, but feel free to skip them if you don't want cooked onions in your tacos.
  • Just a few jalapeño slices infuse the BBQ sauce with a spicy flavor, so go easy on them! However, the sous vide jalapeños are sooo tasty when you get a bite of them! 
  • The nutrition facts are estimated for the BBQ chicken only, and don't include tortillas or any other taco toppings. They assume 1 whole cup of BBQ sauce, when in reality you might use less if you don't sop up all the sauce.

Nutrition

Calories: 266kcal (13%) | Carbohydrates: 32g (11%) | Protein: 25g (50%) | Fat: 3g (5%) | Saturated Fat: 1g (5%) | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 73mg (24%) | Sodium: 867mg (36%) | Potassium: 632mg (18%) | Fiber: 1g (4%) | Sugar: 25g (28%) | Vitamin A: 221IU (4%) | Vitamin C: 4mg (5%) | Calcium: 46mg (5%) | Iron: 1mg (6%)

The nutritional information displayed is an estimate and not to be used as dietary or nutritional advice. Consult a nutritionist or dietician for nutritional info based on the exact ingredients you use.

 

 

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