Sous vide salmon is the best way to ensure this expensive seafood is always buttery, flaky, and delicious. Topped with pesto and parmesan or served with a spicy chimichurri, it’s also a crowd pleaser your family will want to eat again and again.

Sous vide salmon on a white plate with chimichurri sauce.

This recipe has two things that I absolutely love: sous vide cooking and salmon. I’m lucky enough to be the daughter of one fisherman and married to another, so my freezer stays stocked with Chinook Salmon and man, it is just the best thing.

If you’re looking for sous vide salmon inspiration beyond this recipe, make sure to check out my cookbooks, especially the Sous Vide Spicy Salmon with Lemon Dill Brown Butter in Sous Vide Meal Prep!

Time and Temperature for Salmon

I like my salmon on the rare side, so it’s buttery and just flaky. 121 degrees F is my perfect temperature. I lightly season the salmon and bag it up and vacuum seal before cooking for 30 minutes – 1 hour.

Here are some time and temperature options depending on your preferences. These times will work no matter the size of your fillet.

Very soft, just starting to flake110 – 119 degrees F30 minutes – 1 hour
Very moist and just flaky120 – 125 degrees F30 minutes – 1 hour
Firm and Flaky126 – 132 degrees F30 minutes – 1 hour

How to Sous Vide Salmon

This process will be even easier than you think – I promise!

Sous vide water bath being filled in sink.
Fill your water bath container. I like to fill it in with the immersion circulator in place so I can see the minimum and maximum lines. I fill to just above the minimum.
Setting immersion circulator to correct temperature to preheat.
Preheat the water bath by setting your immersion circulator to your desired temperature from the chart above.
Removing the pin bones from a fillet of salmon.
Remove the pin bones from the salmon using pin bone tweezers. You don’t have to do this, but it makes for a more pleasant eating experience!
Cutting the salmon into smaller portions.
This is optional, but if you’d like, you can cut the salmon into portions before sous viding. It makes for a prettier presentation, but otherwise, there’s no difference.
Seasoning the salmon with Garlicky Citrus blend.
Season with your favorite spice blend or simply salt and pepper. I’m using Trader Joe’s Garlicky Citrus blend here.
Cuffing the top of a vacuum seal bag.
To make transferring the salmon to your vacuum seal bags easier, I recommend cuffing the bag a couple of times. This will help you keep the seal line clean, too, ensuring a better seal.

If you don’t have a vacuum sealer, that’s okay! I have lots of other air removal methods up my sleeve that I can teach you, including the water displacement method. You can also use a reusable silicone bag, like a Stasher bag.

Placing the salmon in a vacuum seal bag.
Place the salmon in the prepared bag. If you’ve cut the salmon into portions, try to leave a little space between the pieces.
Vacuum sealing salmon.
Vacuum seal the salmon.
Placing vacuum sealed salmon into preheated sous vide water bath.
Once sealed, add the salmon to your preheated water bath and cook for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Securing the bag of salmon with sous vide magnets in water bath.
To keep your bag from floating while it cooks, place a ceramic plate or bowl on top of the salmon or secure it with sous vide magnets.

Once you’ve cooked salmon this way, you’ll never be able to do it on the grill, in the oven, or any other method for that matter ever again. I know I said it once already, but I mean it: you can’t overcook it.

Finishing Options

Once the salmon is done cooking, you can finish it if you’d like, but there’s no need if you don’t want to.

If I’m doing a pesto salmon, I slather on some pesto, sprinkle on some parmesan cheese, and finish it under the broiler. If I just want a little texture, I sear it in my cast iron skillet.


Drizzling olive oil over sous vided salmon on foil lined baking sheet.
Before broiling, drizzle olive oil over the top, spoon a glaze, or spread pesto.
Broiled sous vided salmon on foil lined baking sheet.
Pop under the broiler on high for just 1-2 minutes, until slightly browned. Watch carefully – you don’t want to overcook it!

Cast Iron Sear

I typically don’t eat the skin, so I only worry about searing the flesh side of the salmon. If you enjoy eating the skin, use this same method for the skin side, too. Just be quick about it, no one wants overcooked salmon!

Salmon portions flesh side down in cast iron skillet.
Heat a cast iron skillet over high heat. Once hot, add 1 tbsp ghee or another fat of your choice. Add the salmon, flesh side down.
Seared salmon portions in cast iron skillet.
Sear until just browned. You’ll know it’s done because the fish will easily release from the skillet. Again, be careful not to overcook!

What to Serve with Sous Vide Salmon

I have a few go-to toppings for my salmon! The classic I grew up on is pesto and parmesan cheese, but I also frequently serve it with a spicy chimichurri. When I’m feeling ambitious, I make this harissa glaze, and when I’m feeling lazy, I top it with a few dollops of store bought artichoke parmesan dip (it’s pretty incredible).

When it comes to sides, I usually serve salmon with Crispy Roasted Potatoes and a Warm Brussels Sprouts Caesar, but I’ve got lots of side dish recipes for you to choose from.

Flaked sous vide salmon on a white plate with chimichurri sauce.

Common Questions

Can I freeze this?

I recommend seasoning your salmon, vacuum sealing it, and freezing it before cooking. When you want to cook it, you can go straight from the freezer to the sous vide water bath.

Can I sous vide salmon from frozen?

You sure can! Just make sure the minimum cook time is 45 minutes.

If I use a marinade, can I cook the salmon in the marinade?

Yes! In fact, the marinade will make a great sauce after cooking.

You can also view this recipe in a step-by-step web story

Flaked sous vide salmon on a white plate with chimichurri sauce.
5 stars from 3 reviews

Get the Recipe:

30 Minute Sous Vide Salmon

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
Sous vide salmon is the best way to ensure it's always buttery, flaky, and delicious. You'll never overcook expensive salmon again!


  • 16 oz salmon, can be one large piece or cut into filets
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper


Finishing Options

  • To broil: Preheat your oven's broiler on high. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and place the sous vided salmon on the sheet. If using pesto or a glaze, spread over the salmon, otherwise drizzle with olive oil or top with pats of butter. Broil for 1-2 minutes, until just browned.
  • To sear: Preheat a cast iron skillet over high heat. Once hot, add 1 tbsp ghee or other fat of your choice. Place the salmon flesh side down in the hot skillet and sear until just browned. You'll know it's done when it easily releases from the pan with a spatula.


If cooking salmon from frozen, use a minimum cook time of 45 minutes.
Cuisine: American
Course: Dinner
Author: Chelsea Cole
Calories: 232kcal, Carbohydrates: 2g, Protein: 24g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 66mg, Sodium: 239mg, Potassium: 560mg, Fiber: 0.2g, Sugar: 0.5g, Vitamin A: 379IU, Calcium: 61mg, Iron: 1mg
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