Easy Slow Cooker Pho Recipe

Slow Cooker Weeknight Pho is a quick and easy version of a fabulous Vietnamese noodle bowl!

Slow Cooker Pho ~ this slurp-able Vietnamese noodle soup is world famous for its richly flavored broth that simmers all-day.  With my easy crock pot recipe you can enjoy pho any night of the week!

*This post is in partnership with Swanson® ~ thank you for supporting me and the brands I work with, I’m super choosy and promise to bring you only the cream of the crop.

Pho (rhymes with ‘the’) is Vietnamese for noodle, and while noodles make up the bulk of the bowl, and the toppings provide lots of satisfying texture, it’s the broth that really distinguishes an authentic beef pho.  Making pho broth traditionally involves all day simmering with lots of rich spices and aromatics.  In other words, this is not your usual weeknight meal ~ but that’s where Swanson and the slow cooker come in.

TIP: For my slow cooker pho I use Swanson Beef Cooking Stock as my base, and add the traditional spices and aromatics to it, the crock pot takes care of the rest.  You could call it a ‘faux pho‘, and it’s super delicious.

Slow Cooker Weeknight Pho ~ aromatic broth is slow cooked and poured over rice noodles for a healthy and satisfying soup ~ theviewfromgreatisland.com

In Western cooking we don’t typically pair meats with the types of spices that you’ll find in an authentic pho recipe.

I love the depth that you get when the beef stock takes on the flavors of cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg and clove.  And that’s only one of the many layers of flavor going on here.  There’s also heat from dried chiles and peppercorns, a hint of licorice from the anise and fennel seeds, and savory notes from the mushrooms, garlic, and onions.  Pungent ginger is in there too.  This is an intensely flavored broth that you can only get after a long slow cook.

Spices for Slow Cooker Weeknight Pho

Swanson Beef Stock for Slow Cooker Homemade Pho ~ theviewfromgreatisland.com

I keep all of the Swanson broths and stocks in my cupboards, and I reach for them constantly, whether it’s for my mom’s beef stew, or something more exotic like this pho.  I turn to stock when I want to create a rich foundation for a sauce, gravy, or soup because it’s very lightly seasoned and let’s me control the flavors.  Swanson Beef Cooking Stock is made is 100% natural, without artificial flavors, preservatives, or MSG added.

The broth can cook all night, or all day ~ you can’t really over-do it, so set it on low and let it go ~ it’ll be ready when you are.

Pho broth simmering in the slow cooker for easy slow cooker weeknight pho ~ theviewfromgreatisland.com

To make pho, you’ll also need quick cooking noodles, and lots of delicious toppings.  Rice noodles are traditional, but you can use just about any Asian noodle you can find in your supermarket.  I used chow mein noodles today, but whatever type you use they will cook in just a few minutes.   Drain them and pile them into individual bowls.

Thinly sliced raw steak for slow cooked weeknight pho ~ theviewfromgreatisland.com

Next you need to decide what protein you want to add; chicken, pork, shrimp, tofu, or beef are all good.  For this Vietnamese pho recipe I’m using beef.  I usually freeze my steak for about an hour before slicing ~ that way it’s firm enough to slice very thinly.

Slow Cooker Weeknight Pho ~ a quick and easy version of the traditional Vietnamese noodle bowl ~ theviewfromgreatisland.com

This is important because the traditional way to serve pho is to put the raw meat right in with the noddles and then pour the steaming hot broth over it.  That quick cooks the meat right at the table.  If you’re uncomfortable with that, you can always sear your beef beforehand.

Slow Cooker Weeknight Pho, a healthy and delicious Vietnamese noodle bowl made quick and easy in the crock pot! ~ theviewfromgreatisland.com

After that, it’s all about the toppings!  I like bean sprouts, green onions, hard boiled eggs, cilantro, and fresh lime wedges.  And you always want to have a bottle of hot chili sauce handy (aka Sriracha).

other pho topping ideas:

  • baby spinach
  • sliced jalapeños
  • basil (Thai or regular)
  • mint
  • peanuts
  • mushrooms
  • red onion
  • shredded carrot

Slow Cooker Weeknight Pho is a quick and easy version of the famous Vietnamese street noodle bowls ~ healthy, gluten free, and delicious! ~ theviewfromgreatisland.com

These vibrant noodle bowls will definitely be a refreshing change from meatloaf and mashed potatoes ~ I hope you give them a try!

Slow Cooker Weeknight Pho

Yield: serves 4-6

Slow Cooker Weeknight Pho

Ingredients

    pho broth
  • 64 ounces (2 cartons) Swanson Beef Cooking Stock
  • 1 onion
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 2 inch piece of fresh ginger, sliced
  • 2 mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 dried chili peppers, lightly crushed
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 whole nutmeg
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 3 whole anise stars
  • 1 tsp whole black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp whole white peppercorns (optional)
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander pods
  • 10 whole cardamom pods, lightly crushed (don't lose the black seeds!)
  • 2 Tbsp fish sauce
    pho bowl
  • about 9 ounces dry rice, wheat, or buckwheat Asian noodles
  • 3/4 pound sirloin steak (or any steak you like)
    pho toppings
  • sliced green onions
  • bean sprouts
  • hard cooked egg
  • sliced mushroom
  • red pearl onion
  • sesame seeds
  • fresh cilantro leaves
  • lime wedges
  • sesame oil (just a few drops!)
  • chili garlic sauce (like Sriracha)

Instructions

  1. Lightly coat a skillet with olive oil and heat over medium high heat. Halve the onion and place, cut side down, in the pan and cook for a few minutes until golden brown.
  2. Pour the Swanson Beef Cooking Stock into your slow cooker. Add all the rest of the broth ingredients. Set the cooker to low and let cook anywhere from 6-10 hours, depending on what is convenient for you. When the broth is done, strain it and discard the solids.
  3. Put the steak in the freezer for 30 minutes, then remove and slice as thinly as you can. Wrap and refrigerate until needed.
  4. Make sure your toppings are prepped.
  5. Once the broth is done, cook your noodles according to the package directions. Divide them into individual bowls. Divide the steak among the bowls, and then pour the steaming hot broth over the meat and into the bowls. The heat of the broth will cook the meat. If you prefer you can cook the steak ahead of time.
  6. Immediately arrange the toppings on the bowls, and serve.
https://theviewfromgreatisland.com/slow-cooker-pho-recipe/

notes:

  • If your slow cooker can hold it, add as much stock as you like.  You don’t need to alter the amount of spices, etc.
  • This can be done on the stove top as well, use a heavy, lidded pot, and cook over very low heat for at least 2 hours.
  • If you are topping your slow cooked weeknight pho with chicken or pork, DO NOT use it raw, be sure to cook it first.
  • Don’t stress about what kind of noodles to use in pho, any Asian variety will do.
  • The noodles can be cooked ahead and stored in the refrigerator.

 

don’t forget to pin it!

Slow Cooker Pho ~ this slurp-able Vietnamese noodle soup is world famous for its richly flavored broth that simmers all-day.  With my easy crock pot recipe you can enjoy pho any night of the week! #soup #noodlesoup #chickennoodlesoup #bestnoodlebowl #noodlebowl #Vietnamese #easypho #bestpho #soup #slowcooker #crockpot

 

39 Comments

  • Reply
    Jean | DelightfulRepast.com
    December 15, 2017 at 6:00 pm

    Sounds great, Sue! How did I miss this one before?! And it looks soooo pretty.

    • Reply
      Sue
      December 15, 2017 at 8:11 pm

      Glad you caught up with it Jean :) Have a wonderful holiday!

  • Reply
    John Sparks
    November 19, 2017 at 1:34 pm

    Thinking of adding some beef neck bones to the brothr to cook overnight.

    • Reply
      Sue
      November 19, 2017 at 1:59 pm

      That would add a ton of flavor :)

  • Reply
    Amy Dolberry
    October 27, 2017 at 9:23 am

    Am I able to print the recipe?

    • Reply
      Sue
      October 27, 2017 at 9:28 am

      There is a print button on the upper right of my recipes, Amy. Let me know if you still can’t print and I can send it to you!

  • Reply
    michelle
    February 14, 2017 at 8:42 am

    This looks so amazing…do you think this would work with chicken and chicken broth rather than
    the beef??

    • Reply
      Sue
      February 14, 2017 at 11:44 am

      I think it would, Michelle, I’ve definitely had chicken pho before. Good luck!

      • Reply
        Sue
        February 14, 2017 at 11:44 am

        PS ~ make sure you cook the chicken first, it’s not safe to try to cook it with the hot broth like I do with the beef.

  • Reply
    Gina @Running to the Kitchen
    February 3, 2017 at 8:44 am

    Ummm, yeah, this seriously looks so amazing! Such a great meal!

  • Reply
    Robyn Gleason
    February 3, 2017 at 4:30 am

    Wow, Sue, this is the most mouth-watering soup I’ve ever seen. The colours, ingredients and the love that you put into this dish has created perfection. Fabulous!

  • Reply
    Matt
    February 2, 2017 at 8:27 pm

    I love that you did a slow cooker pho!

  • Reply
    Mary
    February 2, 2017 at 6:15 pm

    Oh my Goodness this looks amazing – such great flavors and recipe:)

  • Reply
    Liz
    February 2, 2017 at 5:04 pm

    Since I don’t have a place nearby to carryout, I’ve been dying to make pho at home….but, until now, the recipes have been so complicated and daunting. Thank you for this terrific recipe!

  • Reply
    Jennifer @ Seasons and Suppers
    February 2, 2017 at 2:45 pm

    So lovely! Pho is one of those things I tend to think I need to just order when I’m out, but I’m loving this slow-cooker version. Can’t wait to try it!

  • Reply
    Abbe@This is How I Cook
    February 2, 2017 at 1:10 pm

    So I still don’t have a slow cooker, but after seeing this gorgeous recipe, I may have to rearrange y kitchen to make room for one. Vietnamese food is one of my faves and you have a way to make it so beautiful!

    • Reply
      Sue
      February 2, 2017 at 4:20 pm

      You can totally do this on the stove, and I assume you could do it in a very low oven, as well, and that would be just as easy.

  • Reply
    cheri
    February 2, 2017 at 1:06 pm

    Hi Sue, what an amazing way to prepare such a wonderful meal, pho happens to be something that both and my husband are crazy about, love your pics!

  • Reply
    2 sisters recipes
    February 2, 2017 at 11:37 am

    We never had a bowl of pho and you love to try it someday, and you make it sound so easy! I bet it’s delicious Sue, great recipe!

  • Reply
    Angie@Angie's Recipes
    February 2, 2017 at 11:05 am

    Using slow cooker to make broth for the pho is such a GREAT idea!

  • Reply
    Jenny | The Baking Skillet
    February 2, 2017 at 9:50 am

    Love the simplicity and ease of this recipe! Pho is one of my favorite Vietnamese dishes and now I can try it at home. Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply
    Pho Luvver
    February 2, 2017 at 9:31 am

    Oh yeah- slow cooker makes total sense. The traditional way has it simmering for 48 hrs or so. Which isn’t really practical for a regular person. Bone broths are really starting to get seriously popular now so I’m not shocked that this one would rise to the top. Pho is one of the best, most intricate, and incredibly complex flavor profiles I’ve ever encountered. I can’t get thru a winter without it. It’s difficult to find a place that has the “right” one but when u do, u’ll fall in love too. Pondering purchasing a crockpot just to try this recipe :-)

  • Reply
    Aggie
    February 2, 2017 at 3:44 am

    I have just recently tried pho – although not the traditional one, I tried a vegetarian one with tofu and veggies and have not been able to get past it on the menu :)
    I am so intrigued by what goes in the broth, I love this post!! Beautiful and so informative!!

    • Reply
      Sue
      February 2, 2017 at 8:40 am

      I’d like to try this with tofu, too, Aggie, that sounds great.

  • Reply
    Laura | Tutti Dolci
    February 1, 2017 at 7:49 pm

    I love pho and using the slow cooker is such a great idea to maximize all those incredible aromatics!

    • Reply
      Sue
      February 2, 2017 at 8:41 am

      I almost think you could keep the slow cooker on 24/7 and keep refilling it for an endless supply!

  • Reply
    Katie | Good Life Eats
    February 1, 2017 at 10:11 am

    I love Pho but I have never tried to make it at home. Looks fantastic!

  • Reply
    Jennifer @ Show Me the Yummy
    February 1, 2017 at 9:40 am

    I just had pho for the first time a few weeks ago and I’m hooked! SO delicious!

  • Reply
    John/Kitchen Riffs
    February 1, 2017 at 8:21 am

    Great pictures! That second photo is art. Great recipe, too — never thought to make pho in a slow cooker. But I will! Thanks so much.

    • Reply
      Sue
      February 1, 2017 at 9:59 am

      Thanks John!

  • Reply
    Michelle Frank | Flipped-Out Food
    February 1, 2017 at 7:12 am

    I adore pho—especially recipes that aren’t a gigantic production to make. Yours sounds like a sure-fire winner!

    • Reply
      Sue
      February 1, 2017 at 10:00 am

      I know, I’m not sure I would bother with it if I had to stand by the stove all day…

  • Reply
    Lisa | Garlic & Zest
    February 1, 2017 at 6:31 am

    I’ve always wanted to make pho, but have been intimidated by the three day cooking of the stock. This is a great short-cut.

  • Reply
    Christine
    February 1, 2017 at 6:20 am

    I adore your site and what a beautiful dish! I can only imagine the wonderful smells as this cooks in the crockpot.

  • Reply
    Kristina @ Love & Zest
    February 1, 2017 at 5:41 am

    ooooo. love this!

  • Reply
    Tricia @ Saving room for dessert
    February 1, 2017 at 4:45 am

    Wow I bet that broth is fantastic. I’ve never had this soup/bowl before but I am intrigued! Love all the components and all those noodles too! This is a beautiful bowl of fresh and tasty Sue. Great recipe :)

  • Reply
    Emily
    February 1, 2017 at 4:42 am

    I’m in love with your photos this looks incredible! I always choose organic stock so this sounds great, I’ll be checking out Swanson!

  • Reply
    Chris Scheuer
    February 1, 2017 at 4:14 am

    What a brilliant way to simplify a complicated yet delicious dish! I know your house must of smelled amazing as this cooked. Not sure I could do it overnight, the aroma would probably pull me right out of the bed! Pinning this for a fun Asian night!

    • Reply
      Sue
      February 1, 2017 at 4:44 am

      Thanks Chris ~ the aroma of the broth is really wonderful :)

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