leftover chicken pho recipe

Easy Leftover Chicken Pho

This recipe for leftover chicken Pho is incredibly easy and is perfect if you’ve got rotisserie or roast chicken leftovers. Rich and deep in flavour, it’s a killer soup for cold winter nights or when you’re sick!

Incredible Leftover Rotisserie Chicken Pho

Leftover rotisserie chicken is fantastic to have – you can make so much with it. From leftover chicken fried rice to chicken pies, it’s super versatile. I’ll always make a stock or broth from the bones and the leftover roasting juices – it’s one of the best parts! As well as being incredibly healthy, it’s also a great way of using every part of what can be a very expensive ingredient. So if you want to learn to make a twist on a Vietnamese classic read on!

the best leftover chicken pho recipe

What You’ll Need To Make Chicken Pho

To make a really good leftover chicken pho you’ll need different component. These include using the leftover chicken carcass to make a broth and the addition of store cupboard items like noodles, seasoning and toppings.

This section deep-dives into each part of making a really good chicken Pho!


The broth is the most important part of a Chicken Pho. Getting deep, rich flavour and a silky mouthfeel is key. Luckily if you’ve got a whole leftover rotisserie or roast chicken then it’s super easy.

The base is to make a chicken stock from the bones, carcass and any leftover roasting juices. The difference between a chicken stock and a Pho broth is the addition of aromatics, seasonings and spices:

  • Fish sauce: This seasons the broth and adds umami and colour.
  • Palm Sugar: Sugar is needed to add sweetness to the broth. You can sub for brown or white sugar if needed.
  • Ginger & Onion: Slices of ginger and onion are grilled in a separate skillet before being added to the broth. It’s important to add them dry (with no oil) to burn a little on the edges. This imparts a really nice smokey aromatic flavour to the broth.
  • Spices: The key spices here are star anise (for the true Pho flavour), coriander seeds and cardamon seeds.

To make the broth, add the carcass, bones and juices to a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil skimming all the scum that rises to the top. Then the seasonings, spices and aromatics are added. Simmer for 1.5-2 hours and then your aromatic broth is ready to be strained and used!


To get a Pho right you’ll need proper rice noodles. These can be either dry (preferably) or fresh – you can find these in your local Asian market.

The best rice noodles to use are about 0.8cm/1/4inch thick noodles. You can also use Vermicelli noodles (this is what I used) that are much thinner but the wider variety is better.


So you’ve got your broth and your noodles ready, what else can you finish your beautifully aromatic soup off with? This part is very flexible and you can really add whatever you want. For me these are the most have toppings for your pho:

Chicken: Use any leftover meat from your rotisserie or roast chicken. If there are no leftovers then and add a chicken leg or two in the broth for 45 minutes will give you perfectly tender leg meat.

Onions: Thinly sliced raw onions are a great topping. Steeping them in the broth for a minute will help remove the strong raw flavour.

Scallions/Spring Onions: Finely chop the green ends of scallions for a great fresh onion flavour.

Mint & Coriander: Mint & coriander are optional but I think they’re awesome in a chicken pho. They’ll steep in the broth and perfume it lightly.

Hoisin Sauce & Sriracha A small amount of hoisin sauce and sriracha is a must for me – they’ll season the broth even more and add a bit of heat!

Optional ingredients include:

  • Bok Choi
  • Fresh chilli
  • Beansprouts
  • Chicken meatballs
  • Chilli oil
  • Soft-boiled quail eggs


Makes enough for 2 people.

For the broth:

  • 1 rotisserie or roasted chicken carcass, meat removed
  • 200g of cooked chicken meat, or 2 two chicken legs
  • 1 white onion, halved
  • 1 knob of fresh ginger, peeled
  • Fish sauce, as required,
  • 2 tbsp rock or brown sugar
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 3 cardamon seeds, lightly crushed

To finish:

  • 160g dried rice noodles
  • 1/2 white onion, sliced finely
  • Scallions, green only, finely sliced
  • Mint, leaves only
  • Coriander, leaves only
  • Hoisin sauce, as required
  • Sriracha, as required
  • 1 lime

How to Make it

  1. To start the broth put the chicken carcass (stripped of meat), leftover bones and roasting juices (that will have jellied) into a large pot and cover with water. Heat on a high heat until boiling and skim the white scum that comes to the top.

  2. Heat a separate pan until ripping hot and add the halved onion and ginger slices. Charr on all sides and add to the chicken broth along with the spices, sugar and a few tablespoons of fish sauce. Cook for 1.5-2 hours.

  3. In a separate sauce pan, bring water to a boil and add your dried noodles. Cook until tender, drain and rinse under cold water.

  4. When the broth is ready, pass it through a fine sieve and remove a few tablespoons of fat.

  5. When ready to serve, bring the broth upto a boil and check for seasoning.

  6. Serve your noodles along with leftover chicken into a bowl and pour over the hot broth. Add toppings of your choice and eat immediately.
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