Easy Weeknight Pho: Instant Pot Beef Noodle Soup

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Craving a steaming bowl of fragrant, flavorful broth with tender noodles and juicy chicken? Look no further than Pho Ga, the quintessential Vietnamese noodle soup that’s as comforting as it is delicious. Traditionally made with simmered bone broth, Pho Ga can take hours to prepare. But thanks to the magic of the Instant Pot, you can recreate this restaurant favorite at home in a fraction of the time.

This recipe walks you through the process of making Pho Ga in your Instant Pot, breaking down the steps into easy-to-follow instructions. So ditch the takeout menus and get ready to whip up a pot of authentic Vietnamese goodness in under an hour!

Instant Pot Pho
Instant Pot Pho


For the Broth:

  • 3 lbs whole chicken, preferably cut into pieces
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 large knob of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 shallot, peeled and halved
  • 1 tbsp rock sugar (optional, can substitute with brown sugar)
  • 1 tbsp chicken bouillon powder
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 4.5 quarts water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 whole star anise
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • Cheesecloth or small spice bag (optional)

  • For the Noodles and Garnishes:

  • 1 lb dried rice noodles (banh pho)
  • Chopped green onions
  • Chopped fresh cilantro
  • Thinly sliced white or red onion
  • Bean sprouts (optional)
  • Sliced jalapeƱos (optional)
  • Lime wedges
  • Sriracha (optional)
  • Hoisin sauce (optional)
  • Thai basil leaves (optional)

  • Directions:

    1. Prep the Chicken and Aromatics: Give the chicken a good scrub with salt, then rinse it thoroughly. Char the onion and ginger by placing them directly on a stovetop burner over medium heat until blackened in some spots. This adds a smoky depth to the broth. Alternatively, you can achieve this by broiling them in the oven for a few minutes. Roast the star anise, cinnamon stick, and coriander seeds in a dry pan for a couple of minutes until fragrant. If using, wrap them in a cheesecloth or small spice bag.

    2. Pressure Cook the Broth: Add the chicken, charred onion and ginger, spice bag (if using), and water to your Instant Pot. Throw in the rock sugar, chicken bouillon, fish sauce, and salt. Close the lid, ensuring the pressure valve is set to “Sealing.” Pressure cook on HIGH for 30 minutes.

    3. Release Pressure and Shred Chicken: Once the cooking time is up, you can either let the pressure release naturally for 15 minutes (Natural Release) or carefully vent the remaining pressure manually (Quick Release). Be cautious when manually releasing pressure and use a towel to shield yourself from any steam.

    4. Strain and Season the Broth: Remove the chicken, onion, ginger, and spice bag (if using) from the pot. Strain the broth into a clean pot, discarding the solids. Taste the broth and adjust seasonings as needed. You might want to add a bit more fish sauce, salt, or chicken bouillon to achieve your desired level of flavor.

    5. Cook the Noodles: While the broth simmers, soak the rice noodles in hot water for 30 minutes, or according to package instructions, until softened.

    6. Assemble and Serve: Divide the cooked noodles amongst bowls. Shred the cooled chicken and distribute it evenly over the noodles. Ladle the hot broth over the chicken and noodles.

    7. Garnishing is Key: Now comes the fun part – garnishing! Top each bowl with a generous sprinkle of chopped green onions, cilantro, and thinly sliced onions. Add bean sprouts and jalapeƱos for an extra kick, and don’t forget the lime wedges for a burst of citrusy freshness. Sriracha and hoisin sauce are fantastic condiments to have on the side for those who like to adjust their spice and savoriness levels. For an extra touch of Vietnamese authenticity, add a few Thai basil leaves.

    Nutrition Facts:

    (Please note that this is an approximate nutritional breakdown and can vary depending on the specific ingredients you use.)

    Serving size: 1 bowl

  • Calories: 450-500
  • Fat: 15-20g
  • Saturated Fat: 5-7g
  • Cholesterol: 80mg
  • Sodium: 1200mg (high in sodium, watch portion size)
  • Carbohydrates: 50-60g
  • Protein: 30-35g

  • Conclusion: