Instant Pot Pho

This Instant Pot Pho is my version of the classic Vietnamese noodle soup. It’s made with homemade beef broth, tender beef, fresh herbs, and more.

Easy Pho Recipe

I love ordering Pho when I’m out to eat, but I’ve always wondered just how it would be to make it right at home. And turns out, it is quite simple!

While it does have a few steps, like making your own cozy broth, it actually is quite fun and great to make at home, plus it’s nutritious! Now I have not (yet) travelled to Vietnam to officially try pho in its origin, but it is sure on our bucket list! It’s my go-to delivery order or take-out when under the weather or when I want a really cozy soup with all the add-ins!

This Instant Pot Pho recipe is made with an incredibly rich and savory homemade beef broth and finished with an assortment of delicious mix-ins like tender beef, bean sprouts, fresh herbs, Sriracha, and more.

What is Pho?

Pho, pronounced “fuh”, is a traditional Vietnamese soup made with broth, noodles, meat, herbs, and an incredible blend of seasonings.

While the exact origins of this soup are unknown, it is said to have originated in the early 1900s in northern Vietnam largely due to higher access to beef. Since its origin, there have been many variations to the traditional soup and it is served all over the world. While now served all over, the overall concept and cozy-ness remains the same!

Ingredients Needed

This instant pot pho recipe is made with a delicious homemade beef broth which really takes it to a whole new level of flavor!

Beef Broth

In traditional Vietnamese cooking, pho broth is simmered over the stove for many, many hours. While this shortcut may not be traditional in that sense using the Instant Pot, you truly can get incredible, simmer-for-hours type of broth with this method!

  • Beef Bones: use a mix of bone marrow, knuckles, and/or ribs/shank bone for the best results. Organic and local whenever possible!
  • Aromatics: onion, garlic, carrots, and ginger create an aromatic flavor base for the beef broth.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar: the acidity in ACV helps break down the bones for better flavor.
  • Seasonings: we’re using a blend of ground cinnamon, coriander, whole black peppercorns, salt, whole star anise, and ground cardamom to give our broth tons of authentic Vietnamese flavor.
  • Water: the base for kicking off our beef broth.

Add-Ins

  • Fish Sauce: this gives the pho that delicious umami flavor.
  • Bean Sprouts: adds a freshness and a bit of crunch.
  • Steak: you’ll need ½ pound of grass-fed sirloin steak. Be sure to slice it thinly so it cooks quickly. 
  • Lime: a squeeze of fresh lime juice to garnish brightens up the savory flavors in the broth.
  • Rice Noodles: par-cooked based on package instructions.
  • Sliced Onions and Veggies: I love this addition and recommend steaming the veggies first!
  • Herbs: I use a blend of scallions, basil, cilantro, and mint. 
  • Sriracha: a drizzle of Sriracha gives the broth a delicious kick of heat. 
  • Hot Red Pepper: take the heat up another notch with a few slices of hot red pepper to garnish the soup.

How to Make Instant Pot Pho

This simple and healthy dinner comes together with just 10 minutes of prep! Scroll down for the full recipe.

  1. Char the aromatics: Place the onion, garlic, carrot, and ginger on a sheet pan. Broil until charred.
  2. Parboil the bones: Fill a medium-sized pot with water, cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat to medium-low and add the bones. Cook, then drain and skim off any fat that remains on the bones.
  3. Combine and cook: Place the bones in the pressure cooker, then add in veggies, apple cider vinegar, spices, and enough water to cover. Cover, seal, and cook on manual/high. Shut off the heat, let sit, then open the instant pot and strain the broth through a mesh strainer.
  4. Cook the steak and noodles: Heat a small skillet with oil. Add in the steak and cook until no pink remains. Set aside, then par-cook the rice noodles according to package instructions.
  5. Assemble and serve: Place the prepared bone broth into serving bowls, add in desired toppings, and dig in.

What Can I Add to Instant Pot Pho?

While the add-ins I listed in this recipe are delicious, pho is incredibly customizable and versatile. Feel free to play around with your add-ins. Here are some other ideas:

  • Protein: Beef is great, but other proteins are delicious as well. Try chicken, pork, shrimp, or even tofu.  
  • Veggies: I keep it simple with bean sprouts and hot red pepper slices, but you can add any soup-friendly veggies you like. Try sliced shiitake mushrooms, snap peas green onions, bok choy, edamame, shredded carrots, broccoli, you name it. When adding these veggies into Pho, I like to steam them first!

What Kind of Beef Goes in Pho?

Traditionally pho is made with thinly sliced steak that is then cooked in the broth in each individual bowl. I like to use grass-fed sirloin steak for this recipe. It cooks quickly but still remains tender and flavorful.

While I cook mine before adding it into my soup, which again is not the traditional method, trust me, it is delicious! If your steak is sliced thin enough, and you’d like to, you can toss it into simmering broth and it will cook!

If you prefer other cuts of beef, that works too, just be sure to slice it thinly so it cooks quickly and fully. 

Tips for Slicing & Cooking The Beef

  • Freeze the beef. I place the beef into the freezer for 30 minutes before prepping it to make slicing easier. 
  • Slice the beef thinly. Make sure that you slice the beef thinly so it cooks quickly and incorporates well into the pho.
  • Slice against the grain. Slicing against the grain shortens the muscle fibers creating a more tender texture. 
  • Cook the beef and noodles separately to prevent over-cooking. The “instant pot” part of this recipe is for the beef broth, which is the heart of the soup!

How to Store

When it comes to storing, I recommend keeping all of the components separate so it’s super fresh when you want to serve again. I also recommend cooking only as much rice noodles as needed, because the texture is best fresh!  

Beef broth will last in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days or in the freezer for 4-6 months. To reheat, thaw in the fridge if frozen then simmer on the stove until heated through.

Cooked beef will last in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days or in the freezer for 3-4 days. To reheat, thaw in the fridge if frozen then warm on the stove until heated through.

More Warming Soup Recipes You’ll Love

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Instant Pot Pho

This Instant Pot Pho is my version of a classic Vietnamese noodle soup. It’s made with homemade beef broth, tender beef, fresh herbs, and more.

  • Author: Lexi
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 1 hour and 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 16 minute
  • Yield: 6 1x

Ingredients

Scale

Pho Broth:

  • 4 lb total beef bones (using a mix is best, bone marrow, knuckles, and/or ribs, shank bone)
  • 2 medium onions, sliced in half
  • 2 cloves garlic, skin removed
  • 2 medium carrots, sliced in half
  • 2 knob of ginger, sliced in half
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 whole star anise
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 6 cups of water

Pho Soup Ingredients:

  • 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1/2 lb grass-fed sirloin steak, sliced very thinly (freeze meat for 15 minutes before cutting to make the slicing easier), cook on the stove with 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • 2 scallions, sliced thinly
  • 1 box of rice noodles, cook based on package instructions
  • 1 bunch Basil (optional)
  • 1 bunch Cilantro (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh mint (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha (optional)
  • Fresh Hot Red Pepper, sliced (optional)

Instructions

  1. Prep: Place onion, garlic, carrot and ginger on a sheet-tray. Broil for 10 minutes, or until charred.
  2. Parboil the bones: While vegetables are cooking, fill a medium sized pot with water, cover and bring to a boil. Once at a boil, turn down heat to medium low and add the beef bones. Cook for 2-3 minutes at a high simmer, never at a rolling boil. Drain and skim off any fat that remains on the bones.
  3. Place the bones in your Instant Pot. Add charred veggies, apple cider vinegar, spices, and enough water to cover the bones to your Instant Pot. Cover and seal the Instant Pot. Using the manual timer, set the pressure cooker to high for 45 minutes. Once done, shut off the heat and let sit for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, open the pressure cooker and strain the broth through a fine mesh strainer until it runs clear. About 2-3 times.
    5. The Steak: Freeze meat for 30 minutes before cutting to make the slicing thin strips easier. While broth is cooking, cook the steak. Heat a small skillet with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Add in steak and cook on medium heat until no pink remains. Set aside in a bowl until ready to eat!
  4. Noodles: Cook your rice noodles based on package instructions and set aside until ready to eat.
  5. Assemble: Place bone broth in desired bowls. Add in desired toppings and devour!

Notes

  • Bone Broth Storage Tips: Place the remaining broth in a covered glass container and store in the fridge for up to 5 days. If you would like to freeze it to make it last for 4-6 months, place it in ice cube trays and transfer cubes to a freezer bag! Make sure that the bone broth is fully cooled before you freeze or refrigerate it. When the bone broth cools, you might see a layer of fat on the top. Simply skim it off using a slotted spoon.
  • Ask your butcher if they have thinly sliced beef. We get ours from Bucher box, who has the thinly sliced beef pre-sliced. If you are looking for a great way to get grass-fed high quality meat right to your door, it is for you! Order and learn more about it here!
  • Add Veggies: I keep it simple with bean sprouts and hot red pepper slices, but you can add any soup-friendly veggies you like. Try sliced shiitake mushrooms, snap peas green onions, bok choy, edamame, shredded carrots, broccoli, you name it. When adding these veggies into Pho, I like to steam them first!

 

  • *Make it in your slow cooker!
  • Follow steps one and two as directed. Add charred veggies, apple cider vinegar, spices, and enough water to cover the bones to your slow cooker. Cover, set it to low, and cook for 8-10 hours. Once done, strain the broth through a fine mesh strainer until it runs clear. Follow the rest of the steps as directed and devour!

Nutrition

  • Calories: 354
  • Sugar: 2.7g
  • Sodium: 124mg
  • Fat: 7.5g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.7g
  • Carbohydrates: 31.3g
  • Fiber: 3.1g
  • Protein: 37.7g
  • Cholesterol: 101mg

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18 comments
February 13, 2022

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18 Responses

  1. This looks delicious! I’ve been making broth in a crock pot but can’t wait to try whipping it up in my InstaPot (Which honestly, has been collecting dust since I bought it!).

  2. If I use premade bone broth instead of bones and water how much broth should I use and would the cook time be the same?
    Thanks 🙂

  3. This recipe was AMAZING! My hubby and I are doing an extended Whole30 so we substituted the rice noodles for zuchinni zoodles for ourselves. The kids had rice noodles. EVERYONE loved this recipe. We made a few other small substitutions b/c we didn’t have fish sauce or coriander on hand but I added chinese 5 spice and sauteed the meat in sesame oil and that added the umami flavor…This is one of our favorite Whole30-comliant recipes so far!

  4. This recipe looks fantastic! LOVE Pho! One of my favorite dishes. AND I have an Instant Pot so the cutting down of cooking time (especially for the broth) is a plus. I wanted to ask – in your picture it looks like you have mint in there but it is not listed in your ingredients of add-ins. I know mint is sometimes used in Pho dishes. What else do you usually add-in? Is that a Thai red pepper? Anyway, can’t wait to try this one! Thank you

    1. Heavens this was delicious! I will make this again and again. I’m not sure if you studied how to make pho broth or if you had a family member teach you, but when I was researching pho (only a handful of blogs), you were the only one who roasted/charred the veggies – outside of an Vietnamese woman telling her story and listing her recipe ALSO roasting her veggies. Yours is a keeper!! Now I am on the hunt for chicken pho. I’m guess the broth will be made differently. Do you know? Have you tried it. Anyway – thanks for a wonderful, authentic pho recipe. 🙂

    2. SO great to hear!! We love Pho as well and are excited to hear how much you loved it! We added in some mint and a few slices of a fresh hot red pepper for a little extra spice! ?

      In terms of making chicken pho, I would follow the same steps, but substitute the beef bones for bone-in chicken thighs or chicken wings and in the second step where it says to “parboil the beef bones in the water”, boil the chicken until fully cooked through. Once cooked through, take the cooked meat off the bones and store the cooked chicken in the fridge until ready to eat. Place the bones in the instant pot and finish the chicken broth the same way you made the beef broth. Hope this helped!! Happy cooking!

  5. CANNOT WAIT to try this recipe! Just got an Instant Pot last week – we’re going to assume this is 6-8 cups of water? =D Thanks for the tips!

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