Bone Broth Pho Chicken Soup (gluten and grain free) | Better Meal Plans

Bone Broth Pho Chicken Soup (gluten and grain free)

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by Kate of Real Food RN

When I was pregnant with my son I ate Vietnamese Pho Chicken Soup from a local restaurant every Saturday night, without fail. They knew me there, all I had to do was call in a take-out order for Kate and they knew the rest! Yeah, that’s embarrassing! But it seriously is mind-numbingly delicious! We are not much for eating out at restaurants because you never know what’s in your food (although this restaurant has some high-quality stuff!) I was determined to come up with this recipe on my own. Wow did I go through a lot of trial and error before I got it just right. But now I have created something amazing that I make in huge batches and freeze. My husband begs for this stuff! To make it even better, it’s actually really good for you.

Health benefits of Bone Broth Pho Chicken Soup:

  • Gut-healing properties of bone broth (to learn more about that, read THIS POST)
  • Gut-healing and anti-inflammatory properties of ginger
  • The capsaicin in the peppers are anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial (making this soup ideal for when you are under the weather)
  • Garlic, well garlic is just plain amazing: antibacterial, antiviral, heart protective, cancer preventive, and the list goes on and on
  • Cilantro binds to heavy metals and removes them from the body
  • Basil is anti-inflammatory and full of antioxidants

….do I need to continue? This is good stuff people! Trust me, I’m a Nurse (wink, wink)


  • 1 large whole organic free-range chicken
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar — where to find
  • 1 medium sweet onion
  • 3-inch chunk of ginger, sliced
  • 1/2 bunch organic cilantro, chopped with the stems trimmed off and set aside
  • 2 tablespoons whole coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp whole cloves
  • 1 tsp anise seed
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar — where to find
  • 4 tablespoons fish sauce — we use this kind
  • 1 bag kelp noodles (I use these because I think they are the healthiest noodle on the planet!) — where to find
  • 1 bunch organic basil
  • 1-2 cups organic bean sprouts
  • 4 organic red fresnos, sliced thin
  • chili sauce (to taste preference) — where to find
  • 2 limes, cut into wedges

Equipment you will need: 


  • In a crockpot add the chicken and cover with filtered water until the chicken is submerged
  • Turn on high and cook 4-6 hours, until a meat thermometer reads 180°F when inserted into the chicken
  • Remove chicken from crockpot but do NOT dump the water
  • Place chicken on a baking sheet and clean off the meat
  • Put the chicken meat in a container in the fridge for later
  • Add the bones, skin and carcass back into the crockpot
  • Add water to 1.5″ from the top and add apple cider vinegar and garlic (this is essential because the AVC pulls nutrients from the bones and deposits them into the broth, do not omit this step!)
  • Cook on low for 12-24 hours, longer is better to get a mineral rich broth
  • During the last hour of cooking add the onion, ginger, cilantro stems, and spices
  • Cook for one more hour
  • Strain the broth using a metal mesh strainer inside of a large cooking bowl, toss the carcass and spices
  • Wash out the crockpot, there might be a layer of scum around the top
  • Back into the crockpot add the broth, cooked chicken from the fridge, coconut sugar, fish sauce, chopped cilantro leaves and kelp noodles
  • Heat on low until it reaches the temperature you desire
  • To serve, garnish with basil leaves, bean sprouts, fresnos, chili sauce, and lime wedges

*Note: I make large batches of the spiced broth and freeze it in large mason jars, leaving 2″ headroom in the jars to allow for expansion when it freezes. Then when I want this soup all I have to do is heat it up, add chicken and the garnishes and we are ready to eat!

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