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Healthy Instant Pot Pho

A traditional Vietnamese dish made easy! This chicken pho recipe can be done at home using an Instant Pot. Low-calorie, gluten-free, and oh so yummy!
Course Appetizer, Breakfast, Main Course, Snack, Soup
Cuisine Asian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Instant Pot Build & Release Time: 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 366kcal


  • Instant Pot


  • 14 ounces brown rice noodles, soaked in warm water for 30-45 minutes
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled and halved
  • 1 2-inch piece ginger, cut into 1/4 inch slices and slightly smashed
  • 3 cardamom pods, slightly smashed
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds, or ¾ tablespoon cumin
  • 8 cups cold water
  • 1 medium red delicious apple, peeled, cored, and cut into ½-inch chunks
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped cilantro leaves, see notes for substitutes
  • 4 medium pasture-raised chicken thighs or breasts, bone-in, skin-on
  • 1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste


  • ½ medium red onion, thinly sliced and soaked in cold water for 10 minutes
  • ½ cup fresh whole mint leaves, see notes for substitutes
  • ½ cup fresh whole cilantro leaves, see notes for substitutes
  • ½ cup fresh whole basil leaves, see notes for substitutes


  • Fill a large bowl with warm water and soak the rice noodles for 30 to 45 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the pho broth. Turn on your Instant Pot and press the “sauté” button. Once hot, add oil and place the onion with the cut-side facing down, then add ginger. Continue to cook, without stirring, for 4 minutes or until slightly charred.
  • Add cardamom and coriander. Continue to cook for another minute or until fragrant.
  • Add water to the Instant Pot along with apple, cilantro, chicken, and salt. Close the lid, press the “manual” button, and cook at “high” pressure for 15 minutes.
  • Once 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.
  • Open the Instant Pot and skim the fat off from the broth. Then, remove the chicken and set it aside. Strain the broth through a cheesecloth or fine-mesh sieve, into one large bowl.
  • Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, separate the flesh from the bones. Set aside.
  • Divide the noodles and place them into soup bowls. Ladle the broth into each bowl then top with chicken. Garnish each soup bowl with red onion, mint, cilantro, and basil leaves. Serve and enjoy!


  • There’s no need to thaw the meat before making this recipe as you may simply place frozen chicken directly into the Instant Pot.
  • To replace ½ cup of fresh cilantro, use either ½ cup of fresh parsley or 2 teaspoons of dried parsley.
  • To replace ½ cup of fresh mint leaves, use either ½ cup of fresh peppermint or spearmint leaves, 1 tablespoon of mint extract, or ¼ cup of dried mint leaves.
  • To replace Thai basil, use Italian basil. However, note that it won’t have the same punch of flavor that the Thai basil could bring; hence, it might be necessary to add some more mint or cilantro for this recipe.
  • Although you may also skip sautéing and simply combine all the ingredients, except the toppings, right away into the Instant Pot, and cook at high pressure for 15-20 minutes, it will omit the charred or caramel flavor that you’ll get from browning your aromatics and spices.


Calories: 366kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 58mg | Sodium: 517mg | Potassium: 308mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 421IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 43mg | Iron: 1mg