This post was sponsored by Swanson. Thank you for supporting the companies that encourage my creativity and work.
There’s no better way to end a cold winter day with a warm, comfort meal and this DIY Easy Pho Bar is just the thing!
With the daily demands of working full time and my kids’ activities, my to-do lists keep growing daily. Or, they never end. For me, as soon as I finish cleaning the kitchen from a meal, I‘m usually trying to get a head start on preparations for the next one.
Of course, we all try our best to power through our daily to-do lists, because what we really want to do is enjoy some down time with the family on the sofa with big bowls of soul-warming food.
I realize that everyone’s idea of the perfect comfort food is different, but in winter, soup always does the trick for my family. Some of our favorites are my White Chicken Chili, Mexican Soup, and Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup.
When I look at these recipes, one of the things they have in common is that they all start with a great chicken (or vegetable) broth, like my go-to: Swanson broths.
I love starting my recipes with Swanson broths and stocks because they are made with the only the highest ingredients you can recognize.
As you know, I’m a big advocate of finding ways to simplify mealtimes and for me, using high-quality broth is one of them. A few months ago, I went out to lunch with a friend to a local Pho restaurant, and I was immediately smitten by the complex and comforting flavors found in a single bowl.
When I came home, I told my kids about it, and they were skeptical. I told them that it was basically a soup with noodles and meat. “Like Chicken Noodle soup?” They asked.
“Almost, except it has all the flavors we love from our favorite Asian restaurant plus the things we love about chicken noodle soup,” I told them. They seemed like they were almost convinced.
To make it more fun for them to try for the first time, I decided to deconstruct the recipe and let them build their own bowl. Because what kid doesn’t like to build their own meal? I’m a grownup and I love to do this!
By the way, Pho is a Vietnamese soup made with fragrant broth, herbs, rice noodles, and beef or chicken. It’s one of those meals that both refreshes and fills you up! Not to mention it comes together in a matter of minutes -especially when you use the slow cooker to cook the chicken in the broth and then “set it and forget it.” and keep it warm.
The key to an awesome Pho, is a good broth, and I’ve found that using Swanson Chicken Broth as the base is a terrific start.
What my kids and I love is that everyone gets to choose from a variety of fresh ingredients, then ladle over the warm, savory broth, and there you have it! A delicious bowl of comfort food!
And this my friends is one bowl of comfort food you can feel good about eating. It’s not heavy and also happens to be gluten-free. The bonus is that Asian rice noodles don’t need cooking and they get added to the bowl before pouring the broth. My kids love watching them soften and get excited with anticipation.
I’m telling you, the aroma and combination of savory, fresh flavors will have everyone asking for seconds. Don’t be surprised if your family requests this easy meal to be added to their regular rotation.
What are some of your favorite recipes that start with broth?
DIY Easy Homemade Pho
- Yield: 8 bowls
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs
- 8 cups Swanson Chicken Broth (64 oz)
- 3 cloves garlic, grated
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce (or coconut aminos or Tamari)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 12-16 ounces dried rice noodles
- 2 green onions, sliced, whites and greens divided
- 2 cups bean sprouts
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
- 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
- 1 jalapeno, thinly sliced
- 2 limes, sliced into wedges
- Cut chicken thighs into smaller pieces and trim excess fat off.
- To the slow cooker, add the chicken and 6 cups of Swanson Chicken Broth. Grate garlic cloves and fresh ginger into the bowl, add in soy sauce, fish sauce, and stir to combine. Cook on low for 8 hours.
- Prior to serving, assemble rice noodles, sliced onions, bean sprouts, cilantro, mint, jalapeño, and limes into smaller bowls.
- Prepare individual bowls with uncooked rice noodles, top with sprouts, cilantro, and other toppings desired. Ladle chicken and broth over the rice noodles and serve. Rice noodles will cook in about 1 minute.