Love and Olive Oil

Quick Vietnamese Chicken Pho

Taylor has an unhealthy obsession with Pho (or rather, it is actually fairly healthy by comparison to his other cravings). If given the option, he could eat Pho for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And probably a few meals in between.

You may be asking, Pho? Huh? What exactly, is Pho? Pho (pronounced fuh, not po) is a Vietnamese noodle soup, usually beef-based. It’s a unique flavor, made by simmering beef bones for hours and hours with a curious blend of spices. The incredible effort needed to make good beef pho is probably the reason we have yet to attempt to make it at home. We may make homemade pasta and pita bread from scratch, but we have to draw the line somewhere.

Which is why Taylor was practically jumping up and down when we flipped through the Steamy Kitchen cookbook (which, by the way, be bought ME as a Christmas gift), and there was a recipe for quick chicken pho. Keyword: quick. The boy practically demanded we go out and buy a chicken immediately to get started (keep in mind this was 9:30am Christmas morning). Not to mention how he’s been bugging me to “post the pho” daily since we made it last week.

I think he liked it, don’t you?

While I’m not nearly as big of a pho-groupie as Taylor, I admit the flavors of the broth are very soothing. It’s like the Vietnamese version of chicken noodle soup. Just be wary of anything called a “beef ball”. That is some scary stuff.

This recipe held up even for the most adamant pho-natic (ie: Taylor). He said the broth had all the same delicious flavors as the beef-based counterpart. In a fraction of the time.

Would it surprise you if I said we’re going to be making this quite often? Taylor’s orders. Pho sure.

Quick Vietnamese Chicken Pho

Makes 4 servings. Recipe from Steamy Kitchen.

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1 lb dried rice noodles

2 tablespoons whole coriander seeds
4 whole cloves
2 whole star anise
2 quarts chicken stock (store bought or homemade)
1 whole chicken breast
1/2 onion
1 3-inch chunk of ginger, sliced and smashed with side of knife
1-2 tablespoons sugar
1-2 tablespoons fish sauce

2 cups bean sprouts, washed and tails pinched off
fresh cilantro tops
1/2 cup shaved red onions
1/2 lime, cut into wedges
sriracha chili sauce
hoisin sauce
sliced fresh chili peppers


To make the broth, heat a frying pan over medium heat. Add the coriander seeds, cloves, and star anise and toast until fragrant, about 3-4 minutes. Immediately remove from pan to avoid burning.

In a large pot, add spices, chicken stock, chicken breast, onion, ginger, sugar, and fish sauce. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer for 20 minutes, skimming the surface frequently. Use tongs to remove the chicken breasts and shred the meat, discarding the bone (if you used a bone-in breast).

Taste broth and add more fish sauce or sugar if necessary. Strain the broth and discard solids.

Prepare the noodles as per directions on the package.

Ladle the broth into bowls. Divide the shredding chicken breast and noodles evenly into each bowl. Top with bean sprouts, cilantro, red onion, and other accompaniments as desired and enjoy.

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  1. “Taylor”??

    Taylor Swift? James Taylor? LAWRENCE Taylor???

    Anyway….recipe looks really good. Will give it a try. Thank you.

  2. After 2 amazing weeks in Vietnam and enjoying all of the food I wanted to make pho for my children (who didn’t come on my holiday) and this is a hit- all the flavours are there in a quick rendition – will become a staple in my house!!! Thank you for sharing

  3. Fantastic recipe that really cuts down the cook time. Love it! I use it as much as possible! Thank you so much for the recipe!

  4. Does this recipe fit my diet for IBS?

  5. Made it using some chicken bones I had in the freezer for stock and grilled some salmon to top the soup, super delicious.  Great recipe,  thank you!  

  6. Just made this for dinner and thought it was excellent!  The only adjustment I made was instead of using whole cloves I used ground cloves and I added 1 cup of water. Definitely making this again. Tastes just like the pho at my favorite restaurant.

  7. This came out super delicious. Not sure about the amount of noodles. Would probably use fewer next time. We will definitely make this again (and again)!

  8. Just made this tonight and it came out wonderful! I may try it with white and dark meat next time for more flavor. Great recipe, though! Thanks for posting.

  9. I find that making pho ga (aka chicken Pho) with leg quarters gives the broth a richer flavor than just chicken breasts, you could use a whole chicken too though but the key is to use chicken with bones in it to give the broth a good flavor :)

  10. Great recipe, but especially DELIGHTED by your creative writing. Got alotta’ talent there.

  11. Looks great. I am very happy to seen it. Thanks u so much.

  12. This sounds amazing! I knew I should have bought that cookbook.

  13. I made Pho Boa (beef pho) for the first time last weekend and it was delicious! Next to try is the chicken version. This post looks delicious!

  14. Looks delicious!

  15. My husband loves pho too! I am not too into the mysterious types of meat that come in the authentic vietnamese ones, but making it at home is a great way to keep us both happy. And quick, too? LOVE IT!

  16. very nice….I need more pho in my life during these blistery cold days & nights.

  17. this looks great and comforting!

  18. I definitely ate pho 2-3 times a day when we were in Vietnam… and now I really need to make my own! I’m excited to try a recipe from the Steamy Kitchen book – I’ve heard good things, but haven’t tried any yet, so thanks for posting this!

  19. I love everything that I’ve made from this book. I love Pho, so I’ll have to give this one a try soon since I haven’t yet. I love that her recipes are so quick. The summer rolls were fun and delicious, the beef and broccoli was just like at a restaurant (but better), and the sweet and sour meatballs were a great change of pace. YUM!

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