Delicious gluten free chicken pho is a show-stopper recipe that I think you are going to love! I can’t wait to share this recipe because it is my spin on the classic Vietnamese soup. This chicken pho soup is comfort food that even my picky eater loves.

A top view of a big bowl of chicken pho. Chopsticks are resting on the lip of the bowl.

I am sure you have figured out that I love to cook! I can’t it that I feel at home in the kitchen. Besides, Mr. Fearless Dining and my kids never complain. I wasn’t sure how it would turn out when I decided to make this gluten-free chicken pho recipe. Let me say it exceeded all of our expectations!

Typically, pho is naturally gluten-free because chicken pho broth is gluten-free. Be careful, though, when you are eating out because sometimes it isn’t gluten-free, and you don’t realize it until after you eat it. The best way to cook homemade chicken pho is by simmering it for at least 3 hours. Preparing it low and slow will allow the chicken’s deep flavors to blend with the spices, and trust me, it is entirely worth it!

When cooking gluten-free food at home, you know exactly what is going in it, and that takes away a lot of worries. I put together this guide for gluten free living to give you lots of tips. 

If you have never made homemade chicken pho, I am sure you will have some questions. I will do my best to answer them so you can get started making this recipe as soon as possible.

What is pho?

If you have never heard of chicken pho before, you may not know exactly what it is. It is a Vietnamese soup that has chicken noodles, and it’s seasoned with cinnamon, star anise, and ginger.

Real chicken pho is made with chicken on the bone and slowly simmered for hours so the nutrients come from the chicken bones into the soup. It lends to a delicious flavor profile.

Is pho gluten free?

This is a big question I am often asked. It really depends. If you are making homemade pho at home, you can control this easily by checking the spices’ ingredients.

If you  are  having pho in a restaurant, here are questions to ask to make sure your pho is gluten free:

  • Do they cook the rice noodles in clean water or rice and wheat noodles in the same boiling water?
  • Is there soy sauce in the broth? 
  • Are the rice noodles made with just rice and water? Most are, but some add flour, so asking is always good.
  • Check the ingredients on all sauces and condiments for hidden gluten.

Step-By-Step Photos and Directions:

The onions and garlic sauteing in a pan.

Step 1: Sauté the onions and garlic in a pan. I cooked them in avocado oil as it can be used at high heat. Do not use olive oil or a low heat tolerance oil, or you may get a slightly rancid taste.

Chicken and spices like star anise and cinnamon sticks in a soup pot.

Step 2: To make the chicken pho broth, add in chicken pieces and spices, including star anise and cinnamon stick. Next, add the water.

Do you need to use chicken with the bone? I highly recommend using a whole chicken or chicken with the bone because it adds nutrients to your soup, not to mention a lot more flavors!

Step 3: Cover and bring the soup to a boil, then turn the temperature to low and simmer for 3 hours. Check the soup every hour and add more liquid if needed.

Looking for some delicious toppings for this chicken pho recipe?

Tasty pho topping ideas:

  • Jalapenos – Slice or dice a jalapeno and sprinkle on top of the soup. It adds a fun little kick to the dish!
  • Fresh Basil Leaves – You will be glad you tried it when adding fresh basil leaves because they are sweet, savory, and so good.
  • Sprouts – They enhance the flavor and texture of the soup.
  • Lime – I think a lot of food is better when you give it a sprinkle of lime. The tanginess is incredible and pairs nicely with this dish.
  • Sriracha
A bowl of pho topped with basil and jalapeño.

If you love easy chicken dinners, you should also check out my Gluten-Free Chicken Recipes!

Frequently Asked Questions:

How long will this keep fresh in the refrigerator?

Leftover chicken pho soup can typically be stored in the fridge for 4 days. Toss it out if you notice an odd odor or if it just smells sour. Don’t eat old chicken pho broth; it could make you ill and won’t taste good.

Can I freeze leftover pho?

Yes, you can freeze the chicken pho. The rice noodles don’t freeze well, so I recommend saving the broth and chicken. Place the leftover chicken pho soup in Souper Cubes. This will freeze your soup in single-serving portions!

The broth can be frozen for approximately three months. To thaw pho, place it in the refrigerator overnight or defrost on the counter. Heat it in a saucepan with new rice noodles until it is heated properly.

Can I use a slow cooker?

Yes, you can cook chicken pho in the slow cooker. Follow the directions for cooking, except add everything to the slow cooker instead of a saucepan. All to cook on low for 4-5 hours. The longer and slower it cooks, the stronger the flavors and juices will be.

Can I use boneless chicken breasts for this recipe?

Technically, you can use chicken breasts for this chicken pho recipe, but I don’t recommend it. Part of what makes this chicken pho soup so amazing is the depth of flavors, which meld together and taste delicious.

Bones are an important part of the cooking process, so whenever possible, use either a whole chicken or parts of the chicken with bones.

More Homemade Chicken Soup Recipes:

Love This Recipe?

If you made and enjoyed this recipe, I would be incredibly grateful if you could leave a comment below. This will help others know this recipe is delicious. Thank you!

A top view of a big bowl of chicken pho. Chopsticks are resting on the lip of the bowl.

Easy Homemade Chicken Pho

Sandi Gaertner
A delicious easy stovetop homemade chicken pho recipe.
5 from 7 votes
dairy free allergen icon
gluten free allergy icon
nut free allergen icon
soy free allergy icon
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 10 minutes
Course Gluten Free Soup Recipes
Cuisine Vietnamese
Servings 10
Calories 269 kcal


  • 2 pounds chicken with the bone
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or avocado oil
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 inch piece of fresh ginger
  • 3 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 8-9 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • rice noodles


  • In a soup pot, add the oil and heat over medium heat one minute.
  • Add the onion and garlic, sauté for 3 minutes.
  • Add chicken, spices and water to the pot. (the rest of the ingredients)
  • Cover and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat to simmer and cook for 3 hours. Add more water as needed.
  • Prepare rice noodles per package instructions.
  • Add some cooked noodles to your bowl, add soup and chicken. Top with sprouts, basil, lime, and jalapeño.


  1. I used a bit more salt, but salt is a personal preference. I recommend testing the soup after an hour and adding a little more salt then if you like.
  2. The typical noodle for pho is a rice vermicelli noodle that you can find in most grocery stores. You can also use these gluten free ramen noodles for something different :-).
  3. You can use any cuts of bone in chicken. The bones add more nutrition and flavor to the broth.
  4. This soup will keep up to 4 days in an air-tight container, or up to 4 months in the freezer.


Please know that every gluten free flour blend has a different starch to grain ratio. If you use a blend I didn’t test, you may need to adjust your moisture levels in your baked goods.


Serving: 1gCalories: 269kcalCarbohydrates: 8gProtein: 23gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 85mgSodium: 772mgSugar: 2g
Tried this Recipe? Pin it for Later!Mention @FearlessDining or tag #FearlessDining!

Nutrition Disclaimer

Nutritional information is an estimate provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the actual nutritional information with the products and brands you are using with your preferred nutritional calculator.

5 from 7 votes (6 ratings without comment)

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  1. So, do you use skin on chicken? And, do you leave the chicken on the bone? It seems strange to me to have whole pieces of chicken in a soup.

    Also, where does one buy star anise?

    These combo of flavors sound intriguing.

  2. Oh, man, Sandi! I am digging all these layers of flavor! Such great instructions, too. I know mine will turn out perfectly when I follow your recipe!

  3. We are blessed to live near some amazing Vietnamese restaurants, but markets as well. I’ve make homemade ramen, but not pho. Your broth sounds delicious!

  4. This had so much flavor! Thanks for the recipe…I know what I’m going to make again the next time I’m craving take-out. 🙂

  5. Pho is one of our favorite go-out dishes. Glad to have found a simple recipe to be able to make it at home!

  6. I really need to try this at home. We’re big pho fans, but it’s never even occurred to me to make it ourselves. I’m totally intrigued by the spices too!

    1. My kids are huge pho eaters and that started to get expensive. Glad I was able to make a recipe that is close to restaurant flavors.