Skip weeknight takeout in favor of this delicious, healthy pho from your Instant Pot.

By Kristin Tice Studeman
Updated February 20, 2019
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

Learning how to make pho in Instant Pot is a total game changer for any pho lover. A really good Vietnamese pho noodle soup starts with a rich, aromatic broth and that means hours of simmering in a stockpot. If you don’t have that much time to get dinner on the table (who does?), using an Instant Pot is a super easy way to speed up the cook time and achieve that same satisfying flavor of a long-simmered pho. Plus, making pho at home is almost always going to be a healthier alternative to ordering it on Seamless because you can control the sodium levels, which are often quite high in pho if you’re not careful. Homemade pho might feel like a huge feat, but it’s a lot easier than you think. Continue reading for everything you need to know about making chicken pho at home in a fraction of the time with these simple tricks.

How to Make Pho

Cooking pho in an Instant Pot is both faster and more hands-off than the traditional stovetop method. From start to finish, Instant Pot pho takes about an hour and 40 minutes to make (40 minutes of which is hands-on time). Before you make our Instant Pot Chicken Pho recipe, here are a few tips on how to make pho soup most efficiently through some quick preparation and education.

1. If this is your first time ever using your Instant Pot, spend some time familiarizing yourself with it and allow some extra time to make this dish. Locate key elements of the Instant Pot, like float valve and the steam release button. Once you are an Instant Pot pro, you will know how to make pho at home in a jiff.

2. The spices, including star anise, whole cloves, and coriander seeds, are essential to the broth and you can’t always find them in the whole form (as opposed to ground) at your local grocery store. Rather than running around to multiple stores trying to find them, order them online in advance and then store them away for the next time you make pho. If you prefer, you can also find pre-made pho spice packs on Amazon or in specialty Asian markets.

3. While your pho broth cooks in the Instant Pot, wash and prep the herbs and toppings in advance so when the broth is finished, you just need to assemble the soup and top it with sriracha for an added kick.

4. If you’re looking to make pho healthier, swap the white rice noodles for brown rice noodles or zucchini noodles, use little to no salt when you season the soup and add in steamed veggies (like broccoli, carrots or kale) for boosted nutritional value. You can also forgo meat entirely and make your pho with tofu or portobello mushroom and veggies instead.

How to Make Pho Broth

To make Instant Pot pho broth, select the ‘sauté’ setting on your Instant Pot and allow it to preheat for about five minutes before placing in the onion (halved) with the cut side down. Next, add the ginger and allow it to cook along with the onion for about 10 minutes. Add coriander, seeds, cloves, and star anise and stir consistently for about a minute. Then add the chicken, broth, fish sauce, and brown sugar. From here, let the Instant Pot work its magic. Close and seal lid, turn the pressure release valve to the sealing position. Select the ‘manual/pressure cook’ setting and set to ‘high pressure’ for 15 minutes. Note: It will take about 15-20 minutes for it to come up to pressure before the cook time even begins. This can take even longer than that, so don’t worry if it does. Let pressure release naturally and carefully turn the pressure release valve to the venting position, and let steam fully escape. (This will take 1 to 2 minutes.) Carefully remove lid.

Next, remove the chicken, allow it to cool, and then remove the skin and bones and shred the meat. While the chicken cools, pour the broth mixture in cooker through a fine mesh strainer into a heatproof bowl and discard the solids. Return the strained broth to the cooker. Add noodles, stirring to submerge; let stand until softened, about 5 minutes. Return the chicken to the cooker and then ladle the soup evenly into 8 bowls. Garnish each bowl with bean sprouts, cilantro, chiles, a lime wedge and any other desired toppings.