This Easy Chicken Pho is perfect for when you’re craving a cozy bowl of flavorful broth, noodles, shredded chicken, and lots of herbs and toppings! Or, for when you’re not feeling takeout, and you just want a big bowl of pho in the comfort of your own home. It comes together in about 20 minutes, and it couldn’t be easier or more delicious!
One of my favorite things to go out and get on a rainy day is a warm, cozy bowl of pho. Piled high with ALL the toppings. Sometimes though, I don’t feel like going out in the rain and/or cold and getting it! I know you know what that’s like. That’s where this easy chicken pho comes in. It’s just that – easy. And it doesn’t sacrifice flavor at allll. It’s my new fave quick comfort food and it’s going to be happening all the time this fall and winter.
This definitely isn’t the traditional way to make pho, but it’s every bit as delicious. It starts with simmering chicken broth with whole cloves, star anise, ginger, and scallions – which infuse the broth with the aroma and spice you’re looking for in a pho broth. It’s SO good. The longer you simmer, the better it will be. But for our purposes, 15-20 minutes gets us the flavor we want!
Which is way quicker than driving to get pho, or ordering takeout! Win win.
In addition to the cloves, star anise, ginger, and scallions, I like to stir in a little hoisin to the final product. As well as a little sriracha! I absolutely love hoisin, and I think that it makes everything taste amazing and complex. It’s actually one of the first ingredients I fell in love with so many years ago when I first started cooking in middle school! And the sriracha is totally up to you – use as much or as little as you want! Personally, I love the little bit of spice it adds.
There are so many layers of flavor in this and I love it so much!
The chicken gets poached in the spiced broth, which makes it even more flavorful and helps keep the chicken juicy! If you want to make this pho even quicker, you could certainly use a rotisserie chicken here. I personally like the way that the poached chicken tastes when it cooks in the broth, but we’re all about quick + easy with this one.
This was actually inspired by my brother, who visited Vietnam last year, and when he came back, literally only wanted to eat pho for the rest of forever. So I’ve been tasked with re-creating our favorite Vietnamese dishes at home, starting with this Bún chả salad situation, and now pho!
We all know that toppings make pho, so this is what we’ve got!
- rice noodles (I cook them separately and just add a handful! If you’re looking for a low carb option, you could throw in some zucchini noodles!)
- Thai basil (I find mine at Whole Foods, but if you can’t find it, regular basil is ok!)
- jalapeño (you could also use serrano peppers or fresno chiles)
- thinly sliced scallions
- bean sprouts (love the crunch!)
- hoisin (one of my favorite condiments ever – it adds such deep and complex flavor!)
- sriracha (optional, but super yummy if you like things a little spicy)
In this case, more is more!
This is the kind of thing you want to make if you don’t feel like chopping or standing over a stove. It’s pretty much completely hands-off, and doesn’t require hardly any chopping at all. After a long day at work, on a chilly night, this is exactly the kind of thing that you want to make. It’s just a little bit of simmering, shredding the chicken, and getting your toppings together. It also makes a small batch, so it’s perfect for making for yourself, and taking the rest for lunch the next day!
This will completely combat my urge to get takeout pho all season long!
Easy Chicken Pho
This Easy Chicken Pho is perfect for when you're craving a cozy bowl of flavorful broth, noodles, shredded chicken, and lots of herbs and toppings! Or, for when you're not feeling takeout, and you just want a big bowl of pho in the comfort of your own home. It comes together in about 20 minutes, and it couldn't be easier or more delicious!
For the pho
- 6-8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 1-inch piece ginger, peeled
- 2 scallions, cut into 2'' pieces
- 6 whole cloves
- 2 star anise pods
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 medium, boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
For the toppings
- cooked rice noodles
- Thai basil*
- sliced jalapeño*
- thinly sliced scallions
- bean sprouts
- lime wedges
- hoisin sauce
Add chicken broth to a medium saucepan or pot (that has a lid). Add the ginger, scallions, cloves, star anise, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, add the chicken, reduce heat slightly, and cover. Simmer for 15-20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken from broth and let sit until cool enough to handle. Shred with two forks (or just use your hands to make it easy!). Discard the ginger, scallions, cloves, and star anise. Add the hoisin and whisk to combine. Season to taste with the additional 1/4 teaspoon of salt if desired (you might even need more than that depending on your chicken broth).
Place the shredded chicken back into the pot and bring to a simmer if it needs to be heated through again. Ladle into bowls and top with a handful of rice noodles, cilantro, Thai basil, mint, jalapeño slices, scallions, and bean sprouts. Serve with lime wedges and a drizzle of hoisin and sriracha, if desired.
*If you can't find Thai basil, regular basil will work in a pinch.
*You can use serrano peppers or fresno chiles in place of jalapeños if desired!