Pho Ga, also known as Vietnamese chicken noodle soup, is a delicious and comforting soup that can easily be made in the Instant Pot. This flavorful broth is full of fresh spices, herbs, noodles, and chicken that cooks up quickly in the pressure cooker. In just 30-40 minutes, you can have a steaming bowl of pho ga ready to enjoy!

What is Pho Ga?

Pho Ga is a popular Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup consisting of a clear chicken broth flavored with spices such as star anise, cinnamon, ginger, and onion. Rice noodles, chicken, fresh herbs, and vegetables like bean sprouts, lime wedges, chilies, and basil are added to the hot broth when serving.

The term “pho” refers to the noodles, while “ga” means chicken. So Pho Ga specifically indicates a pho dish made with chicken broth and chicken meat.

The ingredients come together to create a light yet robust soup that is equally comforting and refreshing. It’s a wonderful one-pot meal that is also very customizable based on your taste preferences.

Benefits of Making Pho Ga in the Instant Pot

The traditional method of making pho ga involves slowly simmering the broth for hours to extract maximum flavor. With the Instant Pot, you can achieve the same complex, rich broth in a fraction of the time!

Here are some benefits of using the Instant Pot to make this classic:

  • Fast cooking time – The high pressure quickly infuses the broth with flavors.
  • Convenient – All the cooking can be done in one pot.
  • Customizable – Add your choice of noodles, proteins, herbs and other toppings.
  • Nutritious – The broth is packed with protein, vitamins and minerals.

Almost all the prep work, like sautéing spices and simmering the broth, is done hands-free in the Instant Pot once you set it. In less than an hour, you can serve up the authentic taste of pho in your own kitchen.

Tips for Making Instant Pot Pho Ga

Here are some handy tips to ensure your pho ga turns out tasty:

  • Use good quality bones – Get chicken necks, backs, feet or wings for the broth. Roast them before adding to the pot.
  • Toast the spices – Briefly toasting the whole spices intensifies their flavors.
  • Skim the scum – Open the pot after pressure cooking and skim off any scum that rises to the top.
  • Cook the noodles separately – Cook rice noodles on the stove or by soaking in hot water. Add to bowls just before serving.
  • Top it up – Garnish bowls of steaming pho ga with lime, sliced chilies, cilantro and basil for a fresh crunch.
  • Adjust seasoning – Taste the broth and add more salt, fish sauce or soy sauce to adjust flavor.
  • Make it an anytime meal – Pho ga’s light yet filling nature makes it perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner!

Now let’s dive into the easy step-by-step recipe to make this classic Vietnamese soup.

Ingredients You’ll Need

For the Broth

  • 3 pounds chicken bones
  • 1 onion, halved
  • 3 inches ginger, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 3 whole star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 black cardamom pod
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • Salt and pepper

For the Pho

  • 8 ounces wide rice noodles
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, sliced
  • 4 cups chicken broth (from bones)
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • Chopped cilantro, basil, scallions, lime wedges, bean sprouts for garnish

Step-by-Step Instructions

Make the Broth

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Place the chicken bones on a baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes until browned. This gives the broth deep, roasted flavors.
  2. Transfer bones to the Instant Pot inner pot. Add halved onion, garlic, and ginger.
  3. Toast the coriander, fennel seeds, star anise, cinnamon and cardamom in a dry skillet over medium heat for 1 minute until fragrant. Add to pot.
  4. Add sugar, fish sauce, salt and pepper. Pour 6 cups water over everything.
  5. Secure the lid and set valve to Sealing position. Select Pressure Cook/Manual High Pressure and cook for 30 minutes.
  6. Allow natural pressure release for 10 minutes before doing a quick release.
  7. Strain the broth through a mesh strainer. Pick out any meat from the bones and set aside.

Cook the Pho

  1. While broth is cooking, prepare noodles according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
  2. Return 4 cups of the broth back to Instant Pot. Add sliced chicken thighs.
  3. Secure lid and pressure cook on Manual/High Pressure for 2 minutes. Quick release pressure and open lid after cooking.
  4. Ladle hot broth and chicken into serving bowls over the cooked noodles.
  5. Garnish with onion slices, cilantro, basil and a squeeze of lime. Add bean sprouts on the side along with chili sauce if desired.

Stovetop Instructions

You can also make this on the stovetop by simmering the broth ingredients in a large pot for 1-2 hours. Then add sliced chicken and cook for 5 minutes before adding to bowls.

Customize Your Pho Ga (Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup)

One of the best parts of pho ga is customizing each bowl with your favorite aromatics and flavors. Here are some easy ways to make it your own:

  • Meat: Go all chicken or use a combo of chicken, lean brisket or beef meatballs.
  • Noodles: Use flat rice noodles of different widths like banh pho, bun or vermicelli. You can also use egg noodles.
  • Herbs: Basil, cilantro, mint and scallions add nice freshness.
  • Vegetables: Bean sprouts, shredded carrots and cabbage, jalapenos, onions etc.
  • Sauces: Hoisin, sriracha, chili garlic sauce to taste.
  • Garnishes: Lime wedges, chili slices add a citrusy, spicy kick.

Pho Tasty Menu

  • Pho Ga (Chicken Pho): The traditional chicken noodle pho made with chicken broth and shredded chicken meat. Quick and light.
  • Pho Bo (Beef Pho): Hearty classic pho made with beef broth, rice noodles and thin slices of raw beef that cook in the hot broth.
  • Pho Bo Tai: A pho variation made with tender beef flank steak instead of the usual brisket or raw steak. Adds more texture.
  • Pho Tom (Shrimp Pho): Delicate shrimp broth with shrimp, rice noodles, herbs and bean sprouts. Perfectly sweet and savory.
  • Pho Seafood: Mixed seafood pho with shrimp, squid, scallops or fish along with standard pho ingredients. A nice change from the usual proteins.
  • Pho Vegetarian: Meatless version using mushroom or vegetable broth and tofu/seitan for plant-based protein. Just as fragrant and tasty.
  • Pho Bun Bo Hue: Spicy beef noodle soup from Hue with lemongrass, shrimp paste and chili oil. Totally different flavors than classic pho.
  • Pho Dessert: Innovative sweet pho made with coconut milk, tapioca pearls, mango, lychee and mint. Sweet finish to any meal!

In summary, pho is highly customizable in terms of proteins, aromatics, herbs, sauces and toppings. Play around with ingredients to create your own signature pho menu for a complete Vietnamese noodle experience!


What kind of chicken works best in pho ga?

Chicken thighs or legs work very well since they have more fat and collagen that seeps into the broth during cooking. Breast meat can become dry and overcooked. You can also use a combination of parts like wings, backs and necks.

Can I use store-bought chicken broth instead?

It’s best to make the broth yourself for maximum flavor. But you can use 3-4 cups of good quality low-sodium chicken broth instead of water when pressure cooking.

Do I need to soak the dried rice noodles first?

It’s not mandatory but soaking wide rice noodles in hot water for 15-20 minutes softens them up and cooks them partly before adding to the soup. This prevents them from getting bloated and mushy in the hot broth.

Is Pho Ga gluten-free?

Yes, traditional pho Ga is gluten-free when you use rice noodles. Just check your broth ingredients like fish sauce and soy sauce for gluten-free options too.

Can I freeze leftover pho broth?

Absolutely! Pho broth freezes very well for up to 3 months. Portion it out and freeze broth cubes to add to quick future meals.


Pho Ga (Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup) is the ultimate comforting soup that is simple yet endlessly customizable. The Instant Pot takes all the work out of extracting maximum flavors, turning out this Vietnamese favorite with very little active effort. Just throw in your choice of meats, noodles and toppings for a complete, healthy one-pot meal anytime. This delicious pressure cooker pho is sure to become a staple!

Instant Pot Pho Ga (Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup)

Instant Pot Pho Ga (Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup)

This quick and easy Instant Pot pho ga recipe makes an authentic Vietnamese chicken noodle soup in just 45 minutes! Pressure cooking extracts maximum flavor from the broth.

  • Instant Pot
  • Baking sheet
  • Mesh strainer
  • 3 pounds chicken bones
  • 1 onion (halved)
  • 3 inches ginger (sliced)
  • 4 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 3 whole star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 black cardamom pod
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • Salt and pepper
  • 8 ounces wide rice noodles
  • 1 pound boneless (skinless chicken thighs, sliced)
  • 4 cups chicken broth (from bones)
  • Garnishes like cilantro (basil, scallions, bean sprouts)
  1. Roast bones at 450°F for 20 mins.
  2. Pressure cook bones, spices, onion, garlic, ginger in Instant Pot with 6 cups water for 30 mins.
  3. Strain and defat broth.
  4. Cook noodles on stove.
  5. Pressure cook sliced chicken in 4 cups broth for 2 mins.
  6. Serve broth and chicken over noodles. Garnish with herbs, vegetables, lime.
  • For best flavor, roast the bones before pressure cooking
  • Quick release pressure after cooking the broth
  • Cook noodles separately al dente
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