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.

Carolyn Malcoun
Source: EatingWell Soups Special Issue April 2016


Recipe Summary

4 hrs 30 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • 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).

  • 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.

  • 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 Facts

352 calories; protein 37.7g; carbohydrates 39.4g; dietary fiber 2.8g; sugars 7.3g; fat 5.5g; saturated fat 1.5g; cholesterol 75.2mg; vitamin a iu 4494.4IU; vitamin c 29.7mg; folate 81.5mcg; calcium 163.3mg; iron 5.6mg; magnesium 65.2mg; potassium 953.9mg; sodium 594.3mg; thiamin 0.2mg; added sugar 4g.

Reviews (18)

Read More Reviews
18 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 4
  • 4 star values: 6
  • 3 star values: 2
  • 2 star values: 2
  • 1 star values: 4
Rating: 2 stars
Chicken was sawdust The chicken was way over cooked. The chicken should have been poached separately and added when the bok choy is added. We were not that impressed and I probably won't make it again. Pros: Nice broth flavor Cons: Chicken way over cooked Read More
Rating: 4 stars
A keeper I have been experimenting with Pho recipes. They are sometimes somewhat complex and done right time consumptive. I gave this a shot as my recent Pho recipe that failed also yielded a surplus of Pho components. I gave this a shot and was pleasantly surprised. This is a doggone competitive Pho Ga (chicken) recipe. We intend to make it again and often.This is a keeper and quite delicious. The recipe itself is very easy and was a good Sunday evening recipe. I put it in the crock pot after church and it was ready for supper. There is really little prep work mostly just throwing ingredients into the pot and letting it go. I used boneless skinless breasts. It turned out fine but I expect bone-in breasts would provide more flavor. Don't worry about deboning the meat will shred easily from the bone. I will change that next time. The components may be daunting to some. Once you have made this once you will realize the flavors that star anise fish sauce whole cloves etc. provide. Buy them in bulk and have them at hand for more editions of Pho in the future. Fish sauce in very small amounts can boost flavor in almost any dish. Note: The most traditional Pho has a spicy beef stock base (Pho Bo) unlike this one. It too is excellent and I am continuing my experiments with it. Pros: Easy Cons: Some ingredients are not common Western pantry items. Buy them and keep them on hand Read More
Rating: 1 stars
Over cooked Had to toss the entire batch. My husband and I tried to eat this for dinner one night. The chicken was terrible completely dried out. Would have been cheaper and 1000x better to have gone to our favorite Vietnamese restaurant and ordered the Pho. Pros: none Cons: over cooked chicken weak broth Read More
Rating: 4 stars
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 Read More
Rating: 4 stars
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. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
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. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
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. Read More
Rating: 3 stars
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. Read More
Rating: 2 stars
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 Read More