Instant Pot Chicken Pho

This Instant Pot Chicken Pho makes the traditional Vietnamese chicken noodle soup easy to make at home in around 30 minutes with the help of your pressure cooker. | platingsandpairings.com

This Instant Pot Chicken Pho makes the traditional Vietnamese chicken noodle soup easy to make at home in around 30 minutes with the help of your pressure cooker.

This Instant Pot Chicken Pho makes the traditional Vietnamese chicken noodle soup easy to make at home in around 30 minutes with the help of your pressure cooker. | platingsandpairings.com

This Instant Pot Chicken Pho makes the traditional Vietnamese chicken noodle soup easy to make at home in around 30 minutes with the help of your pressure cooker. | platingsandpairings.comIt took a while to convince me to jump on the Instant Pot bandwagon. I thought, I already have a slow cooker, and it’s super easy to cook rice on the stovetop, and I really don’t have room for another kitchen appliance (we don’t even own a microwave for that very reason)… But all of a sudden, it seemed like EVERYONE had one… And I started feeling left out.

So – I placed my order on Amazon Prime and waited like an eager 6-year old kid on Christmas morning for it to arrive… Two days later, I had that shiny new gadget in my hands and I went a little crazy – In one day, I made four different recipes in it… And now, I have a new kitchen obsession – The Instant Pot.

Like, I seriously sit at work thinking up new ways to use this little pot – Tonight, I’m dreaming of Red Beans & Rice, and tomorrow, for Taco Tuesday, Instant Pot Chicken Tacos, and Wednesday – I might just go crazy and throw a whole chicken in there.

This Instant Pot Chicken Pho makes the traditional Vietnamese chicken noodle soup easy to make at home in around 30 minutes with the help of your pressure cooker. | platingsandpairings.com

If you haven’t heard of the Instant Pot yet, let me introduce you. It’s like an electric pressure cooker that has all these handy little buttons on it for cooking different things:

  • Hardboiled eggs: Just add a little water to the pot, place your eggs on the cooking rack (as many as you’d like), and press the “EGG” button – Perfect hardboiled eggs in just about 10 minutes. You can even adjust the cooking time to make them as hardboiled or soft-boiled as you’d like.
  • Rice: As easy as it is to make on the stovetop, with the Instant Pot there’s no babysitting. Just use a ratio of 1 cup water to 1 cup rice and push the “RICE” button. Easy! (Here’s my foolproof method for Instant Pot rice)
  • Meat: You can cook from frozen or fresh and amazingly it’s the most moist, tender meat – So yummy!
  • Slow cooker: Use the Instant Pot just like you would use your crockpot – Set it to cook low and slow for any amount of time that you’d like.
  • Dried beans: Cook them in a flash with no pre-soaking.

As handy as it is for all the above, the main reason I bought the Instant Pot was to make Pho.

This Instant Pot Chicken Pho makes the traditional Vietnamese chicken noodle soup easy to make at home in around 30 minutes with the help of your pressure cooker. | platingsandpairings.com

I’ve wanted to try making Pho at home pho-ever. Ahem… However, there was one thing preventing me from trying it – Time. Traditional Vietnamese pho typically simmers away all day, often for 12 hours or more. And first, you have to roast the bones for the broth, toast the spices and char the veggies! With the Instant Pot, pho took me under an hour from start to finish!

A key highlight of the Instant Pot, and how it may differ from a slow cooker is that you can sautee in it, making it possible to do everything with just one appliance. This pho starts by charring the onion and ginger, letting it get nice and toasted without stirring it, to that we add the spices, let them get fragrant, and then the broth gets started by adding in the chicken and some water, along with a couple other key ingredients that lend that sweet, salty umami flavor – Namely fish sauce, a fuji apple, and a bit of sugar in my version.

My version comes from a few recipes that I gathered around the internet – Like this one from Nom Nom Paleo and this one from Epicurious. I liked the blend of spices that the Epicurious version incorporated – ones that I can remember tasting in phos of my past – Corriander, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom and star anise. The Nom Nom Paleo version only calls for coriander and cloves. Tip: Head to the bulk section of your grocery store to shop for the spices – That way you can grab just what you need, a few cardamom pods, a few cloves, etc. – No need to buy the whole bottle, as spices tend to lose their flavor quickly anyway.

The Nom Nom Paleo version added a fuji apple into the mix, and I thought that was a great way to add in some additional sweetness and flavor, similar to my Korean Bulgogi Tacos which seasons the meat with a bosc pear. The apple ended up lending a delicate flavor to the pho broth and I’m happy I made that addition. The final question was – How much fish sauce? The Epicurious version called for twice as much as the Nom Nom Paleo version… So I started off with just 2 tablespoons… And then I decided it needed more – 3 tablespoons of that potent stuff ended up being just perfect.

This Instant Pot Chicken Pho makes the traditional Vietnamese chicken noodle soup easy to make at home in around 30 minutes with the help of your pressure cooker. | platingsandpairings.com

The result was an umami-filled pot of pho that was seriously ready in under an hour. I mean, how pho-reaking cool is that? – My UberEats driver may be seeing less and less of me now that I’ve mastered Instant Pot Chicken Pho. But, I promise my sushi cravings will still keep business going strong. 😉

This Instant Pot Chicken Pho makes the traditional Vietnamese chicken noodle soup easy to make at home in around 30 minutes with the help of your pressure cooker. | platingsandpairings.com

Instant Pot Chicken Pho

Course: Soup
Cuisine: Thai
Keyword: instant pot, pho, soup
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 842 kcal
Author: Erin
This Instant Pot Chicken Pho makes the traditional Vietnamese chicken noodle soup easy to make at home in around 30 minutes with the help of your pressure cooker.
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Ingredients

  • 14 oz rice noodles
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil extra virgin
  • 1 large yellow onion halved
  • 1 2-inch piece ginger cut into 1/4 inch slices and slightly smashed
  • 3 cardamom pods lightly smashed
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 Tbsp coriander seeds
  • 3 star anise pods
  • 5 cloves
  • 1 fuji apple peeled, cored and cut into 1/2 chunks
  • 1/2 cup coarsley chopped cilantro leaves
  • 6 chicken thighs bone-in, skin-on
  • 3 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt

Toppings

  • 1 lime cut into wedges
  • 2 jalapenos thinly sliced
  • 1/2 red onion thinly sliced and soaked in cold water for 10 minutes
  • Fresh herbs (mint, cilantro, basil)
  • Bean sprouts
  • Sriracha sauce
  • Daikon radish sprouts (optional)

Instructions

  1. Soak the noodles in large bowl of warm water for 30-45 minutes. Set aside while you prepare the pho broth.
  2. Add the oil to your Instant Pot and select the sautee option. One hot, add onion cutside down, and ginger. Cook, without stirring, for about 4 minutes, until slightly charred.
  3. Add cardamom, cinnamon stick, coriander, star anise and cloves and cook for 1 minute longer, until fragrant. Add the water to the pot along with apple, cilantro, chicken, fish sauce, and sugar. Secure the lid.
  4. Select Manual and cook at high pressure for 15 minutes.
  5. When done, turn off the Instant Pot and let the pressure decrease naturally for 10 minutes. Set a timer and if the pressure hasn’t completely released when it goes off, turn the valve at the top to release any remaining pressure.
  6. Remove chicken from the pot and set aside. Strain the broth and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Skim some of the fat from the broth.
  7. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, separate the meat from the bones and divide the meat among 4 large soup bowls. (Reserve the bones for making bone broth.) Strain the noodles and divide them among the 4 bowls. Top each of the bowls with the broth and your desired toppings.
Nutrition Facts
Instant Pot Chicken Pho
Amount Per Serving
Calories 842 Calories from Fat 288
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 32g 49%
Saturated Fat 8g 40%
Cholesterol 166mg 55%
Sodium 2272mg 95%
Potassium 606mg 17%
Total Carbohydrates 102g 34%
Dietary Fiber 5g 20%
Sugars 10g
Protein 32g 64%
Vitamin A 4.6%
Vitamin C 23.8%
Calcium 9.6%
Iron 14.8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Wine Pairings for Pho:

  • Gewürztraminer and dry-Riesling are both great options because they will compliment the sweetness in the pho while downplaying its spiciness.
  • Try a Sparkling Rosé – The bubbles will play nicely with the rich broth and balance nicely with the fragrant spices.

LOOKING FOR MORE INSTANT POT RECIPES? BE SURE TO TRY THESE TOO:

INSTANT POT LENTIL SOUP WITH SAUSAGE & KALE

Instant Pot Lentil Soup with Sausage & Kale comes together quickly with the help of your electric pressure cooker. It's a hearty soup that's perfect for chilly days. 

THE BEST INSTANT POT MAC AND CHEESE

3 bowls of Instant Pot Mac anc Cheese with Parmesan

INSTANT POT CHEESY SOUTHWESTERN LENTILS & BROWN RICE

This Instant Pot recipe for Cheesy Southwestern Lentils & Brown Rice is the perfect quick vegetarian weeknight dinner recipe that's perfect for Meatless Monday! Hearty lentils and brown rice combine with southwestern spices, tomatoes, peppers & plenty of melty cheese! | platingsandpairings.com

INSTANT POT LENTIL BOLOGNESE SAUCE

This Lentil Bolognese Sauce can be made in no time with the help of your Instant Pot.

 

44 comments

  1. Pech

    I’ve always preferred ramen to pho, but you are selling me on this hot pot!

    Reply

  2. Create/Enjoy

    OMG yum!!! I love your soup recipes! We have been loving our Instant Pot for the same staples and Nom Nom Paleo’s recipes are great!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      I instantly became obsessed with my Instant Pot – LOVE it!

      Reply

  3. Erika Lee Sears

    YUM! I will have to pin this recipe and check it out. 🙂

    Reply

  4. Brianne

    I’m obsessed with Pho, and this looks better than something from a restaurant!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      I love Pho too – I was so excited to find out that it’s easy to make at home (and quick) with the Instant Pot!

      Reply

  5. Marlynn | UrbanBlissLife

    I haven’t jumped on the Instant Pot bandwagon yet…I think I’m hoping it will pass, mainly because I don’t have room for one more appliance! 😉 However, recipes like this one look SO good and make me seriously consider getting one!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      It took me a while to jump on the bandwagon too Marlynn – But now I seriously find myself using the Instant Pot just about every day!

      Reply

  6. Meg | Meg is Well

    I’ve been waiting for this since I saw it on Instagram! You’ve pretty much sold me on the Instant Pot. I make stuff from scratch a lot but I’ve actually avoided pho because it takes so long. I don’t know when I’ll actually get one but I’m on the bandwagon now.

    Reply

    1. Erin

      You sound just like me Meg! It took me a while to jump on the bandwagon (at least a few months of thinking about it) – BUT, I seriously use my Instant Pot almost every single day! And, Pho is what convinced me to try it out. I say go for it! 🙂

      Reply

  7. Patti

    I’m obsessed with my IP. This recipe was so easy to make, and very good!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      I’m so glad you liked it Patti! I love my Instant Pot too!!!

      Reply

  8. Hannah

    I received an Instant Pot for Christmas and this is the first thing I want to try to make with it! If I have time and wanted to cook it for longer, should I cook it at a low temperature or leave it on high for several hours?

    Thanks! Excited to try!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Hi Hannah – You can complete the cooking process as the recipe states, but then you can leave it in your Instant Pot – It will keep it on the “WARM” setting until you’re ready to eat. Hope this helps!

      Reply

  9. Shawn

    Any ideas on how to adapt this for beef?

    Reply

    1. Sonya

      Use oxtail bones. You can get this at the Asian store.

      Reply

      1. Erin

        That sounds like a great swap Sonya!

        Reply

  10. Molly

    Hi! I am getting ready to make this for the 2nd time and I’m confused about which rice noodles to use. The first time I bought a package of very thin, straw like noodles and the texture wasn’t right after soaking per instructions. Today I bought something called “stir-fry rice noodles” that are a little thicker and look more like pasta but the instructions say to put them in boiling water and turnoff the heat for 8=10 min. Which are the right ones? Is there a brand you can reference? Thanks!!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Hi Molly. Those are the ones! See my link in the recipe. They’ll work perfectly! Cheers and Happy Friday!

      Reply

    2. Mimi

      FYI, NYT Cooking has a great Beef Pho recipe for the IP 🙂

      Reply

  11. Linda Johnson, Essentially Linda

    Have you ever used essential oils instead of spices? I have all those listed (except Anise Star). I don’t have an Instant Pot but being we eat very clean and need no sugar, gluten, etc., I like to control the ingredients more. How many of Instant Pot lovers also have special dietary needs?

    Reply

  12. Annie

    I made this last night and it’s wonderful! Quick tip: I used a blender (Vitamix) to measure the water and put a mesh strainer over the blender to capture the strained broth later. Then it was easy to pour broth into individual bowls. This is definitely now my go-to pho recipe. Thank you!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      So glad to hear that you liked it Annie! Love your tip.

      Reply

  13. Dan

    I’m checking out Penzey’s for some of the harder-to-find spices, and I thought when I looked up Cardamom pods, there’s be one result. Hell no. There are black pods, white pods, and green pods. Any idea which would be best for this recipe? I love pho and have always wanted to try making it. But the recipe always seemed over my head. Hoping to give this one a go with the Instant Pot that was just delivered. 🙂

    Reply

    1. Erin

      I had no idea there were so many varieties! I would go with the black pods for the Pho.

      Reply

        1. Dan

          Follow-up: Went to Penzey’s. We’re lucky enough to have a brick-and-mortar store in Buffalo. They have samples to smell, and the green seemed to smell most like the restaurant pho I’d had. So I’m trying with the green. http://www.penzeys.com No, I don’t work for them but walked out with a haul of spices that my wife swore would cost $100. Total was $34 and change with two freebies thrown in.

          Reply

          1. Erin

            That’s an amazing deal Dan – I’m a big fan of Penzey’s too – Such a great selection!

          2. Martina Lee

            The black cardamoms are the right kind for pho, not the green pods. I have done research on them after trying the green pods first.

  14. Mandaddy

    Was unable to find cardamom, any substitute?

    Reply

  15. Jill C

    Thank you for sharing your recipe & helpful hints! I just made chicken pho soup for the first time & it was delicious, inexpensive, and very filling! Your hint to buy spices in the bulk aisle was key. Whole Foods had the cardamom, cloves, star anise, etc at pennies compared to what I’d paid in the bottled spice aisle. I’m new to the Instant Pot & hadn’t been that impressed with it so far, but your recipe has me a believer! Thanks so much for helping me succeed!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      I’m so happy I could help Jill!

      Reply

  16. Rachel

    Let me start by saying Pho is my favorite food but I cannot eat it usually because I am allergic to MSG which most restaurants add as a stewing agent. We made this for my birthday tonight and it was easy! This will now be a staple in my house. I recommend adding Kosher salt with the liquid before cooking. After cooking mash the strained ingredients in seive or cheese cloth and squeeze all the juices once cool enough to handle to get all that wonderful spice. Thank you for this recipe!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      So glad to hear that you liked it Rachel – Happy Birthday!

      Reply

  17. Sharon

    I made this Pho dish and it was amazing! The flavours were perfect. My whole family loved it! Thank you for posting. I will definitely try with beef as well. Thank you for this recipe!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      I’m so happy to hear that you liked it Sharon!

      Reply

  18. Peggy

    We just got back from Vietnam Nam, so I am hunting for a good Pho recipe! I prefer chicken breast meat to thighs… if I substitute, are there additional seasonings Inshould add?

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Hi Peggy – I think that you’ll be good without adding any additional seasonings! I’d love to hear back on what you think after you give the recipe a try!

      Reply

  19. Danna Van Noy

    HELP? I WANT to love my new I.P. and your Pho recipe sounds amazing – but so far all I’ve made that’s been any good is hard-boiled eggs. I even turned my rice mushy because I mixed it with quinoa and then had to GUESS at the amount of water. I’ve tried sous vide in it – filet mignon – and it over-cooked it. I even over-cooked my artichokes (but finally did them right last night). Do you have any other recipes I can try? I’d like to stay away from beans (my husband already farts too much), and we don’t do a lot of gluten – no lactose or soy. You seem like the person who can help me learn to love my I.P….

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Hi Danna – Here’s a link to all my Instant Pot recipes. Maybe give those
      Instant Pot chicken breasts a try? They’re delicious and simple!

      Reply

  20. Mia

    I have made this every week for the last four weeks (since I got my Instant Pot). It’s delicious. And once you have all the spices, it’s quite easy to prepare. My kids love it. Thank you!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      I’m so happy to hear that you like it Mia!

      Reply

  21. Jeannette

    I saw one of your recipe had nutrition ingredients. I know it’s a pain, but if you have the ability to estimate calories, that would be so helpful.

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Hi Jeannette – I just calculated the nutrition for you and added to the post. I hope that helps!

      Reply

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