This Instant Pot pho is the perfect light and comforting soup. It’s a traditional Vietnamese noodle soup that is full of robust flavors like star anise and cinnamon. You can change up the protein too!
Typically pho takes hours to make and develops a flavorful broth, but with the help of the Instant Pot this Instant Pot pho takes under an hour to make. It’s full protein and vegetables and is gluten free!
Let’s make some delicious pho shall we!
You might be asking what is pho?
What is Pho?
Pho is Vietnam’s national dish. It is a delicious soup consisting of a rich broth, meat, rice noodles and topped with fresh herbs and or vegetables. Commonly served all over Vietnam in homes, on street corners, and restaurants.
There are many types of pho. Some of the more popular options are beef pho or chicken pho. You can change up this recipe and use beef instead of the chicken thighs.
Be creative or use what you have on hand.
Pho Broth Ingredients:
Onion: You can use white, yellow or brown onion. Make sure to get a nice char on the outside of the onion to deepen the flavor.
Garlic: You can use fresh or frozen minced garlic for this recipe. Traditionally you would use whole, smashed garlic cloves but I like the extra flavor it gives to the broth when its minced.
Ginger: You can use fresh or frozen minced ginger for this recipe. I like to use the frozen minced ginger for convenience.
Cinnamon stick: This adds such a delicious flavor to the broth. It’s a must!
Star anise: Again this spice adds such a robust flavor and is traditional in Pho.
Coriander: Use ground coriander or whole coriander seeds.
Cardamom: Ground cardamom adds a very distinct flavor. You can find this in any major super market.
Black peppercorns: Use whole black peppercorns instead of ground black pepper.
Fish sauce: Don’t worry about having a fishy taste. Fish sauce is a must in Vietnamese Pho. It adds an umami flavor that is irreplaceable.
Brown sugar: This adds a delicious sweetness to the broth.
Chicken stock: This is the base of the broth so try to use a high quality chicken stock or make your own homemade with this recipe.
Kosher salt: Kosher salt is a coarse salt without extra additives. The flat granular dissolve slower giving a more salty flavor.
Chicken thighs: I like to use skinless chicken thighs to cut down on the extra grease in the broth. You can also use bone in beef.
Bean sprouts: Bean sprouts add a great crunch.
Carrots: Thinly slice the carrots to a julienne.
Rice noodles: Thin rice noodles are the best for pho. You can find them in the Asian section of the market.
Red Chili: You can also use jalapeno if you can’t find red chili.
Mint: Fresh mint adds a brightness to the pho.
Cilantro: Fresh cilantro is so yummy in this dish.
Green onion: Also adds a brightness and freshness to the soup.
Lime: Squeeze some fresh lime on top of the finished soup. It’s the perfect way to add some acidity.
How to Make Instant Pot Pho:
Follow these simple steps to make pho in the Instant Pot.
Turn the Instant Pot onto saute mode.
Brown the onion in some oil and add the aromatics.
Then add the liquids and chicken thighs and cover with the lid.
Move the valve to sealing and turn on manual high pressure for 50 minutes.
Prep all your toppings.
When you are ready to serve remove the chicken from the pot and shred with two forks.
Strain your broth through a fine mesh strainer.
Cook the rice noodles in boiling water for 1-2 minutes.
Ladle the broth into your serving bowls. Top with shredded chicken, noodles and toppings of choice.
Make Ahead Option:
This recipe is great for an easy meal prep lunch or dinner. You can cook your noodles ahead of time and place them in cups with all your toppings. Refrigerate and when you are ready to eat heat up the broth and top the noodles and vegetables with the hot broth.
Slow Cooker Option:
To make this recipe in the slow cooker add all the broth ingredients including the chicken thighs into the slow cooker on low for 8 hours.
Then follow the remaining instructions in the recipe card below.
Other Delicious Soup Recipes:
Instant Pot Pho Recipe:
- 1 teaspoon avocado oil
- 1 onion, cut in half
- 8 cubes frozen minced ginger
- 6 cloves minced garlic
- 1 whole cinnamon stick
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 2 whole star anise pods
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1.5 pounds chicken thighs (boneless, skinless)
- 1 package thin rice noodles
- 2 cups bean sprouts
- 4 carrots, julienned
- 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
- 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
- 1/4 cup green onion, sliced
- (optional) 1 Thai chili pepper or jalapeno, sliced thin
- 4 limes in wedges
- Turn the Instant Pot onto saute mode.
- Add the oil and onion.
- Char the onion on both sides.
- Add the ginger, garlic, cinnamon, black peppercorns, coriander, cardamom, and star anise.
- Saute for 2 minutes.
- Add the chicken stock and salt.
- Add the brown sugar and fish sauce.
- Then add the chicken thighs.
- Place the lid on, move the valve to sealing and turn on manual high pressure for 50 minutes. Manually release the pressure by moving the valve to venting once the time is up.
- Strain the broth through a fine mesh strainer.
- Place your rice noodles in simmering water for 2 minutes.
- Shred the chicken with two forks.
- Add the broth, noodles and shredded chicken to your serving bowls. Then top with toppings of choice.
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