Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Slow cooker chicken pho

Easy spicy and aromatic chicken pho, made simply and effortlessly (and gluten-free) in the slow cooker.

Easy crockpot chicken pho noodle soup

Guess what? We're moving again! Don't panic -- this is merely a cross-town move, not another relocation (OMG, even mentioning the word "relocation" makes me break out in a sweat.)

Just moving across town should be easy, right? No packing bags of rice in 14 pounds of packing paper to protect it as it crosses state lines, right?

Well, yes and no. Yes in that things can be packed more haphazardly and quickly. No in that I AM THE PACKER AND MOVER -- and yes, I'm screaming.

(I'm also doing my most epic I-told-you-so dance for Mr. Ninj, who basically accused me of being a hoarder when I decided to save all the boxes and packing paper from our move last August. HA!)

I'm telling you all of this because you will see the influence of the added packing and moving workload in my posts over the next few weeks: Get ready for lots of quick-and-easy dishes and treats! Starting today, with this slow cooker chicken pho.

The slow cooker is going to be my new BFF during this transition, I can tell.

Easy crockpot chicken pho noodle soup

If you're not familiar with pho (which is actually pronounced "fuh"), it's a Vietnamese noodle soup, traditionally made with either beef or chicken broth. This version has all the wonderful aromatic spices of traditional pho but is made with chicken and loaded with fresh bok choy and gluten-free rice noodles, which are added during the final stage of cooking.

It's an easy, hands-off meal that will make your whole house smell deliciously fragrant as it cooks.

And hands-off is what I need right now, as these hands will be pretty darned busy packing boxes ... yet again.

Are you a pho fan? What are your favorite garnishes for it? Leave a comment: The Ninj wants to know.

Easy slow cooker chicken pho noodle soup

Be sure to check out all my other slow cooker recipes and ideas for easy weeknight dinners!

Slow Cooker Chicken Pho

(adapted from Eating Well)
As written, this recipe makes about 4 servings -- if you have a larger (5-6 quart) slow cooker, you can easily double it

5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoon fish sauce
6 whole dried star anise pieces (or 1/2 teaspoon Chinese 5-spice powder)
4 whole cloves
1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
1 cinnamon stick
1 large bone-in, skinless chicken breast (about 1 1/4 pounds)
4 cups sliced bok choy (leaves and stalks)
3 ounces (dry) wide rice noodles (fettucine-width, not thin)
canned bean sprouts (for garnish)
fresh basil, thinly sliced (for garnish)
cilantro leaves (for garnish)
lime wedges (for garnish)
garlic chile sauce or Sriracha (for garnish)

Whisk the broth, sugar, fish sauce, anise (or powder), cloves, ginger and cinnamon in the crock of a slow cooker. Add the chicken, meat side down (add a little extra broth of water if the chicken isn't quite covered). Cover and cook on LOW for 6-7 hours.

Using tongs, remove the chicken from the crock and set it aside. Add the noodles and bok choy to the crock, re-cover and cook on HIGH for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, shred the chicken, removing any small bones. When the noodles finish cooking, return the chicken to the crock and stir. Serve in bowls and top with bean sprouts, basil, cilantro, a squeeze of lime juice and some hot sauce.

-- print recipe --


  1. LOVE pho! We have a great international farmers market in Atlanta where you can buy all the Vietnamese herbs. So delicious! Love how easy your version looks, J. Drooling here!

    1. Oh, that market sounds so awesome, Bill -- jealous!

  2. I'm drooling over your picture. I've never had pho before, but if it tastes as good as it looks, I'm all for it! And in the slow cooker? Score!

    1. I know you, you'd love this. And you'll love how easy it is!!!

  3. Excited about this recipe. Love pho. Mint is also a good garnish!

  4. I made this yesterday and was excited to walk into my house after a long day to the fragrant scents of all of the spices in the broth. Yummy, but I wish I had some cilantro to put on it.