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Easy Instant Pot Chicken Pho

For those days when you’re craving pho and tempted for takeout, this easy Vietnamese-style Instant Pot Chicken Pho recipe will change your mind. Ready in just 15 minutes it is still packed with flavor, delicious in every way, and more simple and easy than you can believe.

Closeup Bowl of Chicken Pho

While incredible, making a traditional pho can take all day. For this Instant Pot Chicken Pho recipe, we’ve simplified the process, so that making it at home is as easy as an Instant Pot or pressure cooker.

In fact, it’s so simple, that it’s perfect for Sunday dinner with the family. Or a weeknight dinner too. My sister-in-law, Emily gathered us a few weeks ago to enjoy Instant Pot Chicken Pho together and I could not think of a better dish for sharing.

The inspiration for my Pressure Cooker Pho recipe? My favorite meal at Lá Sen Vietnamese Grill in Portland, Oregon — of course! This is their vegetarian pho I love to order with chicken. It’s the takeout I had to make at home.

Vegetarian Pho on a restaurant table.

Why this recipe works

There are a couple of steps that make this deceptively easy Chicken Pho decidedly delicious.

First, sauteeing the ginger and green onions in the Instant Pot before cooking will help extract amazingly delicious flavors.

Secondly, the chicken will poach in a ready-made chicken broth, adding a savory depth of flavor, similar to traditional pho recipes. But — will cook in a mere 15 minutes.

What not to skip

Although it may be tempting to skip these ingredients if you don’t have them on hand… don’t! Here’s why:

Star Anise
Although many of us do not have a ready stock of star anise, don’t skip this important flavor component. If you don’t use a lot of star anise in your everyday cooking, buy bulk. Most markets have a bulk section near the spices. We had run out so when I was testing this recipe, I ran to the market and for 16 cents — $.016, I bought three star anises.

Fish Sauce
Fish sauce, a Southeast Asian condiment, is an essential ingredient in pho that gives it that quintessential Vietnamese pho flavor we can’t get enough of. Used in many savory dishes, it has an amber color and a strong, salty, slightly sweet flavor that when used sparingly makes pho taste just right. Don’t miss this important ingredient! 

Bowl of chicken pho garnished with chilis and herbs with a big tray of herbs and leaves for adding in the background.

A few more easy recipes you might enjoy!

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bowl of chicken pho with chop sticks

Easy Instant Pot Chicken Pho (Vietnamese)

A deceptively easy Instant Pot Chicken Pho that will make weeknight dinners and Sunday suppers a breeze. Saving hours from a traditional pho recipe, yet delivering incredibly delicious results.
5 from 2 votes
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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Author: Stephanie Wilson

Ingredients

  • Drizzle of oil
  • 3-4 green onions chopped
  • 2- inch piece ginger peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves or 2 whole cloves
  • 2 star anise pods
  • 4- inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Add-Ins for Chicken Pho

  • 8 ounces medium-size dried rice noodles cooked separately according to package instructions
  • bean sprouts
  • fresh veggies like carrots, broccoli, bok choy, etc
  • fresh basil leaves
  • torn mint leaves
  • Thai bird chili pepper thinly sliced
  • lime wedges
  • sriracha sauce

Instructions

  • Set a 6-qt Instant Pot to the high saute setting. Heat the oil; then add the green onions and ginger. Cook, stirring frequently, until browned, about 4-5 minutes.
  • Stir in cloves, star anise pods, cinnamon stick, coriander and peppercorns; cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Add the chicken thighs, chicken stock, fish sauce, brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt and water. Select manual setting; adjust pressure to high, and set time for 15 minutes. When finished cooking, quick-release pressure according to manufacturer’s directions.
  • Remove chicken from the Instant Pot and shred, using two forks; set aside.
  • Strain the chicken broth through a fine-mesh sieve lined with cheesecloth; discard remaining solids. Skim remaining fat from the surface and discard. Then season with salt and pepper to taste.

Adding Vegetables:

  • If adding vegetables to the pho, return the broth to the pressure cooker, switch the setting to saute, and add a combination of vegetables. Simmer until they are tender.

Rice Noodles:

  • Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling water, cook the medium rice noodles according to package instructions; drain well.

Serving:

  • Divide the rice noodles and shredded chicken into serving bowls. Ladle over the broth mixture and vegetables; serve immediately, garnished with bean sprouts, basil, mint, chili pepper and lime wedges. If you like it a bit spicer, drizzle sriracha sauce over the pho.

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Keyword: Chicken Pho, Easy Instant Pot Chicken Pho

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