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Slow Cooker Chicken Pho
with carrots / bok choy

Active: 30 min Total: 5 hr 30 min
The key to delicious Vietnamese pho is the fragrant broth that comes from simmering aromatics and spices low and slow, which makes this a great recipe to adapt to the slow cooker. The spices listed are a bit unusual, but will give the broth the most flavor. Even if you don't have all of the spices, you'll get some of the same flavors (and more) by adding Hoisin sauce at the end of cooking, so feel free to add some extra Hoisin if you'd like.
Smarts: This recipe could be made in the Instant Pot. For tips, join the Cook Smarts Instant Pot Facebook Group.


Slow Cooker Chicken Pho:
  • Onions, medium white - 1/2 , diced
  • Carrots - 8 oz , sliced
  • Star anise - 4
  • Cinnamon sticks - 3
  • Cloves - 4
  • Cheesecloth - for spices (optional; no need to buy it if you don’t already have it)
  • Baby bok choy - 10 oz , halved and chopped (sub regular bok choy)
  • Stock, low-sodium chicken - 8 cups
  • Chicken thighs, boneless and skinless - 1 lb
  • Cilantro leaves (opt) - 1/2 cup
  • Limes - 1 , wedges
  • Noodles, rice vermicelli - 6 oz
  • Hoisin sauce - 1 Tbsp (plus more, for serving)
  • Fish sauce - 2 tsp (plus more, for serving)
  • Bean sprouts (opt) - 1 cup
  • Sriracha (opt) - for serving


  1. Onions / Carrots - Prep as directed and combine. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  2. Spices - If you have cheesecloth, wrap the star anise, cinnamon sticks, and cloves in cheesecloth and tie the top tightly. (If you don’t have cheesecloth, you can add the spices directly to the soup and just remove them after cooking.) (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  3. Bok choy - Halve and chop bok choy. (Can be done up to 2 days ahead)
  4. Slow-cook pho - Combine stock, chicken, spices, onions, and carrots in the bowl of a slow cooker. Cook on low for 5 to 7 hours or high for 3 to 4 hours. (Can be done up to 2 days ahead)
  5. Cilantro / Limes - Prep as directed.

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  1. When you’re nearly ready to serve the soup, cook noodles according to package directions.
  2. While noodles are cooking, remove spices from the slow cooker and discard.
  3. Transfer chicken to a cutting board and chop or shred. Return chicken to slow cooker along with hoisin sauce, fish sauce, and bok choy.
  4. Put the lid back on the slow cooker and turn it up to high. Continue cooking, covered, until bok choy is tender, 4 to 10 minutes more. (Note: Baby bok choy will cook on the lower end of the time while regular bok choy will take longer.)
  5. Squeeze half the lime wedges into the soup and season with some salt, if needed.
  6. Divide noodles between serving bowls. Ladle soup over noodles. Set out remaining lime wedges, cilantro, bean sprouts, hoisin sauce, fish sauce, and Sriracha to use for customizing the bowls. Enjoy!



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