Slow-Cooker Chicken Pho

Slow-Cooker Chicken Pho

17 Reviews
From: EatingWell Soups Special Issue April 2016

Chicken Pho, a classic Vietnamese soup, is a perfect recipe for a slow cooker. The chicken and seasonings of star anise, cloves and ginger simmer all day in the crock pot, welcoming you home with an alluring aroma. Serve with the essential garnishes for pho soup—fresh herbs, bean sprouts, chiles and lime—and let everyone top their own. Serve chile-garlic sauce for those who want more heat.

Ingredients 6 servings

for serving adjustment
Serving size has been adjusted!
Original recipe yields 6 servings
Nutrition per serving may change if servings are adjusted.
  • 8 cups low-sodium chicken broth (two 32-ounce boxes)
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 10 whole star anise (see Tip)
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 1 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 bone-in chicken breasts (about 2½ pounds total), skin removed, trimmed
  • 6 ounces wide rice noodles
  • 6 cups chopped bok choy
  • 2 cups mung bean sprouts
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 fresh Thai chile or serrano, thinly sliced
  • 1 lime, cut into 6 wedges


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. Combine broth, brown sugar, fish sauce, star anise, cloves, ginger and cinnamon stick in a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker. Add chicken breasts, meat-side down. Cover and cook on High for 4 hours (or on Low for 8 hours).
  2. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board. Remove spices and discard. Add noodles and bok choy to the slow cooker. Cover and cook on High for 30 minutes.
  3. Remove the chicken from the bone and shred with two forks. When the noodles are tender, stir in the shredded chicken. Serve bowls of soup with bean sprouts, basil, mint, cilantro, sliced chile and lime wedges on the side so everyone can add their own toppings.
  • Make Ahead Tip: Combine seasonings with broth; prep chicken; cover and refrigerate separately for up to 1 day.
  • Equipment: 5- to 6-quart slow cooker
  • Add star anise, named for its star-shaped pods, to Asian-inspired dishes to lend distinctive licorice-like flavor. Look for it with other bulk spices in natural-foods stores, in Asian markets or online at
  • For easy cleanup, try a slow-cooker liner. These heat-resistant, disposable liners fit neatly inside the insert and help prevent food from sticking to the bottom and sides of your slow cooker.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: about 2 cups
  • Per serving: 352 calories; 6 g fat(2 g sat); 3 g fiber; 39 g carbohydrates; 38 g protein; 81 mcg folate; 75 mg cholesterol; 7 g sugars; 4 g added sugars; 4,494 IU vitamin A; 30 mg vitamin C; 163 mg calcium; 6 mg iron; 594 mg sodium; 954 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (90% daily value), Vitamin C (50% dv), Iron (33% dv), Folate (20% dv)
  • Carbohydrate Servings:
  • Exchanges: 1½ starch, ½ other carbohydrate, 1 vegetable, 4 lean meat

Reviews 17

June 02, 2019
profile image
By: Kelly
I really liked this although my family did not. :(
March 27, 2017
profile image
By: MaryAnn Morsette
This turned out great, I only had boneless chicken breasts so will use bone-in next time for a more flavorful broth but we were very happy with it. I skipped the bok choy, soaked my thin rice noodles in hot water for 10 minutes then dropped them into the slow cooker for 5 minutes to get them tender.
February 26, 2017
profile image
By: Pineska
I've been looking online for good, not complicated recipe and found this. Tried it and loved it. I do toast star anise,ginger and cloves first, as suggested in other recipes. I use bone-in chicken (thighs,drumsticks)- they give more flavor in my opinion. Bit salt to taste after straining. And definitely- noodle should be cooked separately. But in general- this is great recipe for a Pho addict like me!!!
January 20, 2017
profile image
By: Obnoxio
I have made this twice. Enjoyed it both times. I used shiritake noodles and they worked very well when left in the broth. Very low calorie.
August 08, 2016
profile image
By: Edna Pearce
This is my go-to recipe for the spices needed. I use the chicken back and necks to make broth in the crock pot and then can it. This makes for a quick soup base. I agree that cooking the noodles and bok choi for 30 minutes is way too long.
June 21, 2016
profile image
By: Tofu Kitty
Perfect! I'm really glad I threw in an extra chicken breast and a few more noodles because my family ate every last bite. I've never seen my husband have seconds AND thirds until I made this. My stepsons claimed that it was better than their favorite local pho joint. My chicken wasn't overcooked at all, but my chicken breasts were very large and totaled about 3.5lbs. My grocery store didn't have whole star anise, I'm sure that would've made the broth even better. I'll be making this again. I garnished with what was available to me: fresh jalapeno, mint and lime.
August 30, 2015
profile image
By: EatingWell User
Exellent and time saving I looked at a lot of pho recipes, and although the more authentic versions probably make fabulous pho, this recipe turned out really well, great flavors. Served it to two friends who loved it as well. Pros: Use ready-made broth, slow cooker means less monitoring Cons: none
September 08, 2014
profile image
By: EatingWell User
Even thighs were over cooked! I used boneless thighs and they were dry and over cooked. I agree noodles and bok choy (or whatever veggie you use) should NOT be cooked for 30 minutes. Might try chicken with skin on it. Pros: Broth was very flavorful, but needed salt Cons: Needed salt
July 13, 2014
profile image
By: EatingWell User
Lots of flavor, but needs tweaks Do these instead, and you'll end up with a terrific soup: - Use thighs instead of breasts and don't trim the fat. More fat = tastier broth. - Cook the noodles separately and add them in prior to serving. - I like my bok choy and bean sprouts al dente, so I added both to the crock pot 5-10 minutes before serving (not 30 and zero, respectively). - Go easy on the mint, it can really dominate if you use too much.
More Reviews