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Pho-nomenal Slow Cooker Chicken Pho

Pho is one of my favorite cold-weather foods. In my mind, the broth has unexplainable healing powers. Some people have their go-to chicken noodle soup for chilly days or when they are feeling under the weather – I have pho.

While I usually order in from one of the various pho restaurants in town (there are too many to count), making slow cooker chicken pho means I can stay in my pajamas, save a little cash, and avoid the blustery cold weather. Score.

It’s easy to make the base of this pho in the slow cooker. Just combine chicken broth, brown sugar, and a variety of spices including star anise, cloves, ginger, lemongrass, and cinnamon. Add chicken thighs and breasts to the crock and cook on HIGH for 2 ½ hours or on LOW for 4 to 5 hours until the chicken is cooked and tender.

Remove the chicken from the crock and strain the broth using a cheesecloth or a fine mesh sieve and a colander. Pour the broth back into the crock, add rice noodles, and continue to cook until the noodles are soft and plump.

Slice or shred the chicken breasts and add to the pho broth and noodles. If you want to enjoy your pho just like you would at your favorite restaurant, serve with plenty of toppings. We topped ours with chili peppers, chili sauce, Thai basil, bean sprouts, and hoisin sauce but you could add extra chilis and sriracha for added spice or even extra steamed vegetables like mushrooms, carrots, or broccoli.

Not only is this soup easy to make in your slow cooker, you can wow your family or friends with the presentation. Whether you are eating a restorative bowl in your coziest pajamas or having this Vietnamese noodle soup for a weeknight dinner, you’ll soon pho-rget you ever had it any other way.

Slow Cooker Chicken Pho

Yield: Serves 4
Author: Hamilton Beach Test Kitchen


  • 2 packages (32 ounces each) chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 whole star anise
  • 1 (2-inch) piece ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 1 (2-inch) piece lemongrass
  • 1 (2-inch) cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves and stems
  • 1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 2 pounds skinless, bone-in chicken breast halves
  • 1 pound skinless, bone-in chicken thighs or other chicken parts
  • 1 medium onion, cut in wedges
  • 1/2 pound thin dry rice noodles
  • 2 cups bean sprouts
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro sprigs
  • 1 fresh Thai chili, thinly sliced
  • 1 lime, cut in wedges
  • Sriracha hot sauce
  • Hoisin sauce


  1. In a slow cooker crock, combine chicken broth and brown sugar. Add garlic, star anise, cloves, ginger, lemongrass, cinnamon, cilantro and peppercorns. Arrange chicken and onion in an even layer in crock.
  2. Cover slow cooker and cook on HIGH for 2 1/2 to 3 hours or LOW for 4 to 5 hours or until chicken is tender. Remove chicken from crock. Line a colander with cheesecloth and strain broth. Pour broth back into crock. Set on HIGH. Add rice noodles and cook until noodles are soft, about 25 minutes.
  3. Slice chicken breasts for soup, discarding bones. Reserve dark meat for another use.
  4. To serve, pour noodles and broth into bowls. Add sliced chicken and desired accompaniments.

In addition to offering modern convenience, the Set & Forget® Programmable Slow Cooker has three choices for easy, automatic cooking: program, probe and manual mode.

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  1. Try adding blackened/charred white onion (halved) in to the crock pot with the chicken, then remove when done. I would do no or less sugar and add to taste. Hoisin sauce is sweet.

  2. Swanson in a Box has been highly recommended as a ‘Go To ” Chicken broth* , and they make a low sodium version as well as Beef or Vegetable

    *America’s Test Kitchen

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