Shortcut Chicken Pho Recipe

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Pho, pronounced Fa, is a Vietnamese noodle soup that can be made with chicken or beef. Shortcut Chicken Pho is an easier way to cook pho without sacrificing the amazing pho flavor. Made with bone broth, pho is rich in minerals that support your immune system. It’s the perfect comfort food when you’re sick or when it’s freezing outside.

Shortcut Chicken Pho Recipe

I’ve been suffering from a massive head cold, ugh. I crave soup when I’m sick so I’m happy to have a Shortcut Chicken Pho recipe on hand. Bone broth, a traditional ingredient in Pho, has many medicinal qualities but it takes a long time (12-24 hours) to make. My hack for this recipe is buying high-quality bone broth at the store. Yes, making your own bone broth will taste better, but when you’re sick and hungry my version will work in a cinch.

To ensure I infused as much Pho flavor into the broth as possible, since I was using a shortcut, I simmered the bone broth with toasted spices and roasted vegetables. The process was easy, relatively quick, and mouthwateringly delicious.

Tangent – how was everybody’s holiday? Kieran and I flew home to Illinois to visit my side of the family. Man oh man we had a drunken, rip-roaring, good time. My family loves their booze and a good laugh. We had the opportunity to see my family as well as a handful of our Chicago friends. It was an amazing time that went by entirely too fast.

Chicken Pho Recipe

The day after we arrived back home both Kieran and I started to feel off. We got less than 4 hours of sleep before our flight to Illinois then our schedule was go-go-go once we arrived. I’m sure the lack of sleep before and during our trip weakened our immune systems. To add insult to injury we were around a lot of little kids and people who were sick or recovering from being sick. Not surprisingly Kieran and I fell ill a few days after we flew back home.

Before we got sick we had the opportunity to go floating in a sensory deprivation tank. I don’t know if I’ve ever talked about floating before but I absolutely love it. I’m a big fan of floating because I feel remarkable after doing it! If you’ve never floated before, here’s the gist. Float tanks (or float pools) are filled with water and over 800 pounds of episome salt. The moment you lay back in the water you float to the surface, the salt prevents you from sinking. The tank or pool is pitch black and silent (I use earplugs) which leaves you deprived of sight and sound.

Floating is beneficial for the brain and body in numerous ways:

  • Floating is meditative and extremely relaxing. Sensory deprivation allows your brain to essentially unplug and chill out. 40 minutes into your float your brain stops producing its normal Alpha and Beta waves and starts going deeper into a Theta and even Delta state. Without the constant bombardment of sight and sound, the creative and relaxed part of your brain comes out to play.
  • Floating is amazing for anyone who suffers from chronic or acute pain. Your muscles, joints, and bones don’t have to fight gravity so they fully get to rest.
  • Floating improves your mood. Because floating is so therapeutic for your brain and body, you feel euphoric when you emerge from the tank.

If you Google “benefits of floating” you will find articles after article talking about how floating is beneficial for your body and mind. If your curious about floating or have any questions, leave a comment down below!

Shortcut Chicken Pho Recipe

The day after our float my head erupted with a massive head cold. New Year’s Eve was a wash just like it was last year. But I’m honestly not disappointed we were ill during New Year’s Eve and Day because it was good downtime. I also had the chance to test, retest, then shoot this Shortcut Chicken Pho recipe which is just as soothing as floating!

I’m not Vietnamese so my version of Pho isn’t exactly authentic, however, it’s still amazing all things considered. The Pho’s broth has the slightest licorice taste due to the star anise, but the flavor isn’t overwhelming. In fact, I find Pho broth is actually blander than regular chicken noodle soup. That is until you consider all the additional ingredients you toss in before serving it up.

Speaking of the broth being kinda bland, Kieran tasted it before I added the extra ingredients at the end. He politely asked me, honey, are you sure this is Shock Munch worthy? I like it but it’s not my favorite. I told Kieran to critique the Pho after I added the noodles, chicken, and extra toppings. Sure enough, Kieran changed his tune after one bite. The addition of the extra ingredients makes all the difference when consuming Pho (in my opinion). So if you make this recipe and the broth tastes flat while it simmers don’t be alarmed, it’s supposed to!

My favorite part of Pho is the extra ingredients you add at the end. This is where you can get creative and mold the recipe to your liking. I’m a huge fan of basil, cilantro, jalapeno, and chili paste (Sambal Oelek) so those ingredients made an appearance in my Pho, but this recipe would be killer with fresh mint and bean sprouts.

Alright, that’s a wrap for today’s post! Shortcut Chicken Pho is just what the doctor ordered when you’re sick or freezing your ass off in the middle of winter. This Pho is comforting, satisfying, and downright delicious!

Shortcut Chicken Pho Recipe

Easy Chicken Pho Recipe

Shortcut Chicken Pho is an easier way to cook pho without sacrificing the amazing pho flavor. Made with bone broth, pho is rich in minerals that support your immune system. It's the perfect comfort food when you're sick or when it's freezing outside.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings 2


Chicken Pho:

  • 1 in onion slicedhalf with the skin on
  • 1 in large 4-inch piece of ginger cuthalf with the skin on
  • 1 in shallot slicedhalf with the skin on
  • 3 in garlic clovestheir skin
  • 3 star anise pods
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 bone-in chicken thighs
  • 4 cups high-quality chicken bone broth
  • 3 cups water
  • ¼ teaspoon whole peppercorn
  • ¼ teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1-2 tablespoons of honey
  • 1-2 tablespoons of fish sauce
  • 8 oz rice noodles cooked according to the package

Possible Add On's:

  • Thinly sliced jalapeno
  • cilantro
  • Basil
  • Mint
  • Bean sprouts
  • Siracha
  • Chili paste I like Sambal Oelek
  • Hot sauce
  • Soy sauce
  • Hoisin sauce


  • Place the onion, ginger, shallot, and garlic on top of a cookie sheet with the skin side up. Broil the vegetables in your oven for 10-15 minutes or until the outer layer of the skin is burnt.
  • Meanwhile, toast the spices (star anise, cinnamon, peppercorn, and fennel seeds) in a small pan over medium-high heat for 2 minutes or until fragrant. Place the spices, except for the cinnamon stick, in a tea bag or tea strainer, and set aside.
  • Once your vegetables and spices are ready, throw the vegetables into a large soup pot with the bone-in chicken thighs. Top the chicken and vegetables with the bone broth and water. Now add the fish sauce, honey, cinnamon stick, and the tea strainer.
  • Bring the broth to a boil then turn down the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. After 20 minutes, check to see if the chicken is fully cooked. If so, pull the chicken from the soup early, if not, allow the chicken to cook for another 10 minutes. Pull the chicken from the broth once cooked and allow it rest for 10 minutes then either shred it or cut it into strips. I keep simmering my broth while the meat rests.
  • While the broth is simmering prepare the rice noodles according to the package. Strain the noodles and rinse them in cold water. Set aside.
  • In a soup or ramen bowl add the rice noodles then top them with the sliced chicken, jalapeno, cilantro, basil and/or any additional ingredients you wish (like mint or bean sprouts).
  • Strain the broth and discard the charred vegetables (unless you can save them for something else). Ladle the hot broth over the chicken and rice noodles.
  • Garnish with any kind of soy, hot, or hoisin sauce you like best!

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