Sous vide meatballs are perfectly tender and fully cooked: no risk of dry meatballs! Cook from frozen or fresh for the best meatballs you’ve ever had, whether they’re made with beef, turkey, or chicken. My favorite time and temp for beef meatballs is 145 degrees F for 1-2 hours and for turkey or chicken is 150 degrees F for 1-2 hours.
What You Need for this Recipe
In terms of equipment, the only thing you’ll need that you may not already have in your kitchen is an immersion circulator. A vacuum sealer with gentle and/or manual functions also comes in handy but isn’t necessary. We’ll get to air removal options shortly!
A list of things you need and may want for your sous vide kitchen:
- An immersion circulator – I recommend the Joule
- A container (you can just use a stockpot, or my favorite sous vide containers are Everie containers)
- A vacuum sealer with gentle and/or manual functions
- Vacuum seal bags or rolls
- A good skillet (I’m partial to Finex)
For ingredients, we’re using a pretty traditional meatball recipe here. The only real difference is that to cook, you’ll sous vide!
- Ground Beef, Turkey, or Chicken (Porter Road has the best dry aged ground beef)
- An egg
- Panko bread crumbs (swap with gluten free bread crumbs if desired!)
- Onion powder
- Garlic powder
- Italian seasoning
- Kosher salt
- Black pepper
Time and Temp for Sous Vide Meatballs
Below are some options to get you started in determining the best temperature for you for sous vide meatballs. You may find yourself experimenting a bit to find out what you like best!
|Very soft texture, little moisture loss||145 degrees F|
63 degrees C
|1-4 Hours||2-4 Hours|
|Tender and close to “traditional” texture, still juicy||150 degrees F|
65 degrees C
|1-4 Hours||2-4 Hours|
|Traditional texture, veering towards dry||160 degrees F|
71 degrees C
|1-4 Hours||2-4 Hours|
How to Make Sous Vide Meatballs
Check out the step by step Google Web Story instructions!
I love meatballs because they’re so easy to make but seem like you put effort into a dish. Ready? Add all ingredients to a large bowl. Wash your hands and use them to mix everything together. Yes, use your hands!
Form into 12 equal sized balls (I like to use an ice cream scoop!). If you have the time, set the meatballs on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and freeze for 30 minutes – 1 hour. It’ll make them much easier to vacuum seal!
Carefully add all the meatballs to a bag of your choice in a single layer without touching. Gently remove the air (if using a vacuum sealer, use the manual setting and stop the seal as soon as the air is gone). You don’t want to squish them!
At this point, you can freeze the meatballs or cook immediately.
Searing the meatballs is optional, but I think it’s worth doing! To sear, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add about 1 tbsp olive oil. Add the meatballs, searing in batches so you don’t overcrowd the skillet. Sear on all sides until browned.
How to Serve the Meatballs
I have so many sauces and marinades you can pair with sous vide meatballs in my new cookbook, Sous Vide Meal Prep, like the Firecracker Pineapple Sauce pictured at the top of the post, Gochujang Coconut Milk Sauce, Miso Marinade, and more.
If you want to keep things easy, grab a jar of pasta sauce like Rao’s Homemade and boil some pasta or make sous vide polenta (recipe in Sous Vide Meal Prep). They’re also great with Sous Vide Mashed Potatoes!
Frequently Asked Questions
Sous Vide Meatballs (Beef, Turkey, or Chicken)
- If cooking immediately, preheat a water bath to your desired temperature. I like 145 degrees F for beef and 150 degrees F for chicken or turkey. Cook as high as 160 degrees F for a more traditional, less juicy texture.
- Add all ingredients to a large bowl. Wash your hands and use them to mix everything together.
- Form into 12 equal sized balls. I use an ice cream scoop. If you have the time, freezer for 30 minutes – 1 hour on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Carefully add all the meatballs to a zipper top or vacuum seal bag in a single layer without touching. Gently remove the air. Use the water displacement method if using a bag or the manual setting on your vacuum sealer if vacuum sealing.
- At this point, you can freeze the meatballs or cook immediately.
- Cook in preheated water bath for 1-4 hours.
- Searing is optional but makes for a pretty presentation. If you'd like to sear, set a large skillet over medium high heat. Add 1 tbsp olive oil. Sear the meatballs on all sides until browned.
- Use an ice cream scoop to form the meatballs if you have one
- Meatballs can be frozen after vacuum sealing, before sous viding
- Cook for a minimum of 1 hour 30 minutes if cooking from frozen