Slow-Cooker Chicken Pho

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Chicken Pho, a classic Vietnamese soup, is a perfect recipe for a slow cooker. The chicken and seasonings of star anise, cloves and ginger simmer all day in the crock pot, welcoming you home with an alluring aroma. Serve with the essential garnishes for pho soup—fresh herbs, bean sprouts, chiles and lime—and let everyone top their own. Serve chile-garlic sauce for those who want more heat.

Slow-Cooker Chicken Pho
photographer: Carin Krasner
Nutritionist Tested & Approved

Time: 270 minutes (30 minutes prep)

  • 8 cups low-sodium chicken broth (two 32-ounce boxes)

  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar

  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce

  • 10 whole star anise (see Tip)

  • 6 whole cloves

  • 1 2-inch piece fresh ginger , peeled and thinly sliced

  • 1 cinnamon stick

  • 2 bone-in chicken breasts (about 2 1/2 pounds total), skin removed, trimmed

  • 6 ounces wide rice noodles

  • 6 cups chopped bok choy

  • 2 cups mung bean sprouts

  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves

  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves

  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves

  • 1 fresh Thai chile or serrano, thinly sliced

  • 1 lime , cut into 6 wedges

  1. Combine broth, brown sugar, fish sauce, star anise, cloves, ginger and cinnamon stick in a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker. Add chicken breasts, meat-side down. Cover and cook on High for 4 hours (or on Low for 8 hours).

  2. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board. Remove spices and discard. Add noodles and bok choy to the slow cooker. Cover and cook on High for 30 minutes.

  3. Remove the chicken from the bone and shred with two forks. When the noodles are tender, stir in the shredded chicken. Serve bowls of soup with bean sprouts, basil, mint, cilantro, sliced chile and lime wedges on the side so everyone can add their own toppings.

Add star anise, named for its star-shaped pods, to Asian-inspired dishes to lend distinctive licorice-like flavor. Look for it with other bulk spices in natural-foods stores, in Asian markets or online at

Nutritional Facts

Serving Size
about 2 cups
40 g
6 g
Saturated Fat
2 g
39 g
75 mg
Dietary Fiber
3 g
998 mg
645 mg
6 servings
about 2 cups each
1 1/2 starch
1/2 other carbohydrate
1 vegetable
4 lean meat
Vitamin A
92% daily value
Vitamin C
80% dv
30% dv
29% dv
21% dv
18% dv
17% dv

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