This Instant Pot Chicken Pho has a richly flavoured broth, tender chicken, and silky noodles ready for slurping! Cooked quickly in an Instant Pot, this Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup has all the flavour of long-simmering chicken pho.
It doesn't matter to which culture you belong: we all know the healing power of chicken soup! This Vietnamese Chicken Pho is Viet Nam's version of good old chicken soup! However, we love its deep, richly flavoured broth, light rice noodles, shredded chicken and fresh greens that top our bowls.
Traditional Vietnamese Pho is made with beef. Historically, beef pho was simply a bowl of noodles, broth and boiled beef.
When refugees were fleeing Viet Nam in the mid 1970's, they brought with them their culture and cuisine, which quickly became popular all over North America. We've benefited ever since!
There are lots of recipes for Pho, but this Instant Pot Pho is the one I like best. It has a broth with flavours so deep you'd think it had been simmering for hours and yet, it's all made in just a few minutes in an Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker!
Quick and easy with lots of flavour and it cooks in a fraction of the time of a traditional Vietnamese Pho recipe. That's my kind of recipe!
Ready to make some Vietnamese chicken noodle soup?
🛒 Chicken Pho Ingredients
- onion: you'll be charring this, along with the ginger to help the broth develop a more complex flavour.
- ginger: fresh ginger is a must in this recipe.
- olive oil or avocado oil: to char the onion and garlic and roast the spices
- chicken breasts: boneless, skinless. You can also use chicken thighs. You'll cook this in the Instant Pot along with the broth, then remove it and either shred or cut it into bite-sized pieces.
- whole spices: cinnamon stick, cloves, star anise, coriander seeds and fennel seeds. You'll strain these from the broth before serving it.
- chicken stock: homemade chicken stock or reduced-sodium chicken broth
- rice noodles: the flat noodles you'd use for stir-fry or Pad Thai.
- brown sugar, coconut sugar, or 0-calorie golden Monkfruit sweetener
- fish sauce: don't leave it out! It smells foul, but you won't taste or smell it in the finished soup.
- lime juice: freshly squeezed
Garnishes for Chicken Pho
- bean sprouts
- fresh mint, basil (Thai basil if available) or cilantro leaves
- green onions, thinly sliced
- lime wedges: that extra squeeze of lime adds a burst of bright flavour to this delicious bowl of soup!
- First, assemble all the recipe ingredients.
- Turn the Instant Pot to the Sauté function. Add the oil. When it's hot, add the cut onion and ginger, cut side down. Cook for 4 minutes, undisturbed, allowing the onions and garlic to char.
- Add the fennel, star anise, cloves, cinnamon stick and coriander and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Sautéing them helps to make their flavour more bold and intense, resulting in a fragrant broth.
- Add the chicken breasts, fish sauce, sugar and broth. You may be tempted to omit the fish sauce. It does smell foul, but you will not taste or smell it in the finished broth. It really is necessary for pho and will bring a depth of flavour to the broth, so resist the urge to eliminate it.😊
- Secure the lid and using the Manual function, set the Instant Pot on high pressure for 10 minutes cook time, then allow a natural release for 10 minutes. Release the remaining steam.
- Open the lid, remove the chicken and either shred it (with two forks or with an electric mixer) or cut it into bite-sized cubes.
- Using a fine mesh strainer, strain the broth into a large bowl. Taste and correct the seasoning.
- Meanwhile, cook the noodles according to the package directions. (Often you'll bring a pot of water to a boil, then add the noodles and allow them to sit for 8 to 10 minutes.)
- Add the noodles and the chicken to individual bowls, pour the hot broth over and garnish with bean sprouts, lime, herbs, green onions, or jalapeño, only if you like a lot of heat.
👍🏼 Helpful Tips
The first time I made this Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup, I loaded up my bowl with sliced jalapeños and could hardly eat the broth!
Jalapeño slices look attractive, but they do add a lot of heat when you pour hot broth directly over them. You've been warned.😊
🔁 Possible Variations
Try this recipe with cooked shrimp instead of chicken. Add the cooked shrimp to the bowls when you add the noodles and garnishes.
Vary the toppings according to what you like! I like the crunchy contrast of bean sprouts with rice noodles. A squeeze or two of lime adds interest; green onions have a gentle, mellow flavour.
Fresh herbs, like mint, basil or cilantro add lots of flavour and colour, too.
🥶Storage and Reheating Instructions
Store leftover broth separately in a glass jar or container, then reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave and pour over shredded chicken and freshly cooked noodles.
The broth for this pho ga freezes beautifully. To use, thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then heat on the stovetop or in the microwave.
🍽 Serving suggestions: add fun toppings!
Add, or offer, toppings to add to your bowl. Try any or all of the following garnish options.
- thinly sliced green onions
- bean sprouts
- fresh mint
- Thai basil
- lime wedges
- jalapeño slices (see note above)
🗒 More healthy soup recipes
When you make this easy Chicken Pho, please leave a comment and a star rating below. I love hearing when you've made one of my recipes! Thanks in advance.
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Instant Pot Chicken Pho (Pho Ga)
- 1 large onion, halved
- 1 2-inch piece fresh ginger unpeeled and sliced lengthwise
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or avocado oil
- 4 medium chicken breasts, boneless, skinless or chicken thighs
- 1 3-inch cinnamon stick
- 5 whole cloves
- 3 whole star anise
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 8 cups chicken broth, reduced sodium
- 1 pkg rice noodles
- 2 tablespoon brown sugar, or golden Monkfruit sweetener
- 2 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon lime juice freshly squeezed
- bean sprouts
- fresh mint, basil or cilantro leaves
- green onions, thinly sliced
- lime wedges
- Assemble the ingredients.
- Turn the Instant Pot to the Sauté function. Add oil. When hot, add onion and ginger, cut side down. Cook for 4 minutes, undisturbed, allowing the onions and ginger to char.
- Add the fennel, star anise, cloves, cinnamon stick and coriander and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
- Add the chicken breasts, fish sauce, sugar and broth.
- Secure the lid and using the Manual function, set on high pressure for 10 minutes, then allow a natural release for 10 minutes. Release the remaining steam.
- Open the lid, remove the chicken and either shred (with two forks or with an electric mixer) or cut into bite-sized cubes.
- Using a fine sieve, strain the broth into a large bowl. Taste and correct the seasoning.
- Meanwhile, cook the noodles according to the package directions.
- Add the noodles and the chicken to individual bowls, pour the hot broth over and garnish with bean sprouts, lime, herbs, green onions or jalapeño if you like a lot of heat.