Instant Pot Pho Chicken Noodle Soup

Restaurant-quality pho (pronounced “fuh”) has been something I’ve always wanted to make at home, but the cook-all-day directions were always daunting. After much experimentation and a huge helping hand from the Instant Pot (get yours here:, flavorful, fragrant pho at home is now a reality!

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The secret to this Vietnamese-style chicken noodle soup is the broth, which has a unique blend of aromatics, herbs and spices. Preparation here is key. The fist secret is getting a nice char on the onion chunks–don’t skip this step! It gives a unique depth of flavor.

The second secret is toasting the simple spice mixture before adding the liquids. This releases the oils in the spices and allows them to give much richer flavors and aromas to the end product. After the onions and spices are done, everything gets fast and simple. Just dump in the remaining ingredients, close up the pot and off you go!

Pho is traditionally served with a big plate of garnishes that each diner can use to make this simple soup their own. Fresh herbs like cilantro and basil, as well as crunchy bean sprouts, fiery jalapeños, tart lime and zesty onions ensure no two finished dishes are alike!

Flavorful, fragrant pho at home is now a reality!


  • 2 tbsp canola oil (or other high-heat oil)
  • 2 medium onions, halved

Spice Mixture:

  • 1 tbsp coriander seed
  • 1 tsp green cardamom pods
  • 3 star anise pods
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 5 whole cloves


  • Pot Mixture:
  • 8 cups water, warmed
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 inch ginger, peeled and roughly chopped (or 1 tbsp minced ginger)
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, trimmed and cut into 2” pieces (or 1 tbsp lemongrass paste)
  • 4 lbs bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs


  • 2 8 oz packages thin rice noodles

For Garnish:

  • fresh cilantro
  • fresh basil
  • lime wedges
  • mung bean sprouts
  • 2 jalapenos, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 onion, thinly sliced


  1. Add oil to the Instant Pot. Using the display panel select the SAUTE function and adjust to HIGH or MORE.
  2. When oil gets hot, put the onion in, cut side down. Cook without moving until the onions begin to char, 4-5 minutes. Remove the onions to a bowl.
  3. Add the Spice Mixture ingredients to the pot. Cook and stir for one minute or until spices are fragrant.
  4. Add warmed water to the pot and deglaze by using a wooden spoon to scrape the brown bits from the bottom of the pot.
  5. Add the remaining Pot Mixture ingredients and the reserved onions and their juices. Turn the pot off by selecting CANCEL, then secure the lid, making sure the vent is closed.
  6. Using the display panel select the MANUAL function*. Use the +/- keys and program the Instant Pot for 20 minutes.
  7. When the time is up, let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes, then quick-release the remaining pressure.
  8. Carefully remove the meat from the pot to a cutting board. Remove skin and shred meat; discard bones and skin.
  9. Strain the broth and return to the pot. Turn the pot off by selecting CANCEL, then select the SAUTE function.
  10. Bring the broth to a simmer and cook the rice noodles in the broth according to the package directions.
  11. Serve noodles and broth over chicken. Garish as desired.

*The MANUAL and PRESSURE COOK buttons are interchangeable.