Roast Chicken Pho Zucchini Noodle Soup

Chicken Pho Noodle Soup Recipe with Zucchini Noodles! Light, healthy and comforting. | @whiteonrice

Vietnamese pho noodle soup runs in our kitchen like an overflowing spring river after a snow melt. Rarely do we ever go a whole week without pho and when my Mom is making her usual huge pot of simmering beef pho broth, we might have it twice a day. There’s just something wonderfully healing, soothing and comforting in a bowl of pho. Each bowl is different. No two bowls are ever the same because everyone customizes their bowl with condiments and herbs to make it their own.

Low Carb and Healthy Zucchini Noodles on @WhiteOnRice

To change things up during our cold weather daily pho cravings, we have different variations of Pho including one made from roast chicken and zucchini noodles. Why? Because it’s quick to make, light on the stomach and absolutely satisfying on a cold day.

Think awesome chicken soup, Pho flavors, low-carb zucchini noodles and what you have is perfection in a steaming hot bowl.

Check out some Favorites for Spiralizing:

Nothing beats tried and true kitchen tools and products. Here’s some of the favorites:

Paderno Spiralizer – The Classic! We’ve lost track of how many meals this one has made for us. Fantastic spiralizer.

KitchenAid Spiralizer Attachment – Spiralize, peel, core, slice. All from the power of the KitchenAid stand mixer. 

OXO Julienne Peeler – For those who love it simple. This great julienne peeler has seen a lot of mileage in our kitchen.  

{Video} Homemade Chicken Pho with Zucchini Noodles

The flavors are wonderful and it doesn’t get much easier than this to make. We love eating roast chicken and with leftovers, we use the bones to make the rich broth. It’s one of those meals that we can made ahead of time and heat up in portions for lunch or dinner.

Even the zucchini noodles are spiralized ahead of time and all we need to do is to add the zucchini noodles in the broth and we have an instant, homemade chicken zucchini noodle soup with all the Vietnamese spices, flavors and comfort.

Chicken Pho Noodle Soup Recipe with Zucchini Noodles! Light, healthy and comforting. | @whiteonrice

Yes, it’s really not true “Vietnamese Beef Pho” and it’s clear. You don’t need to remind of that. But I’ve been known to break some culinary rules, apologized to Mom for my BLT Spring rolls and Hard Core Bang-Banh Mi with Egg recipe. I’m a proponent of eating what you like and being creative. Every family has their own food traditions, recipes and adaptions. This is my adaption to having a clean, light and satisfying soup to warm me up. And best of all, my Vietnamese family has tasted it, were impressed by it and love it.

This recipe made with fresh ingredients and most importantly, it’s made with love. Let’s just celebrate good food together.


Here’s several ways to cut zucchini into noodles: 

We used this awesome Paderno vegetable spiral slicer to make the curly zucchini noodles or pasta: 

How to make healthy zucchini noodles "zoodles" on spiral slicer on @whiteonrice

Our OXO vegetable peeler was equally awesome at making the noodles, without the curly look.

How to make healthy zucchini noodles or zucchini pasta with vegetable julienne tool on @whiteonrice

A Mandolin works great as well, but be safe. We used our safety gloves.

How to make healthy zucchini noodles on @whiteonrice

though a mandolin doesn’t have the curls either, the zucchini cooks up great.

How to make healthy zucchini noodles or zucchini pasta with a mandolin on @whiteonrice

More Zucchini Noodle recipe inspiration:

Our Zucchini Noodle Pad Thai Recipe is flavorful and satisfying

Zucchini noodle "Pad Thai" that's healthy and satisfying on @whiteonrice

Craving Chinese without the calories? Make Zucchini Noodle Chow Mein with Pork Recipe 

Healthy Zucchini Noodle Chow Mein Recipe- Easy Chinese Chow Mein that's healthier from @whiteonrice on

Turkey marinara with zucchini noodles hits the spot. Here’s the recipe. 

Healthy Zucchini Noodles with Turkey Marinara Sauce recipe on @whiteonrice

Roast Chicken Pho Zucchini Noodle Soup

Yield: Serves 3-4

Total Time: 2 hours

Roast chicken is one of our our go-to dinners and we never get bored with roast chicken. So when we're craving a quick but still fresh and delicious chicken soup, we'll use roast chicken. If you want to skip the roast chicken step, local deli's and markets sell excellent pre-cooked roasted chicken for another option. Instead of a roast chicken you can boil about 1.5 to 2 pounds of chicken thighs or drumsticks for the broth. You'll have to simmer the broth for twice as long so the raw meat can cook through to tenderness and to richen the broth.

We pre-blanch the zucchini noodles just enough to make them wilted but not too soft or overcooked. We don't like mushy zucchini noodles pho. They'll continue softening when you add the hot broth. The pre-blanch stage of this recipe allows the zucchini noodles to release excess moisture so it doesn't water down the flavor and concentration of the chicken Pho broth. If you want to cook the zucchini noodles in the pho broth, then season the broth extra to compensate for the extra zucchini water.


For the roast chicken broth:

  • 1 cooked roast chicken, from about a 4 pound chicken (or 1.5 to 2 pounds of raw chicken legs/thighs. Read headnote for instruction)
  • 12 cups (2.75 liter) water
  • 2 medium carrots, cut into quarters
  • ½ medium onion, peeled and charred over open flame if possible for optimal flavor
  • 2” knob of ginger, peeled and charred over open flame for optimal flavor
  • 3 anise stars
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) fish sauce
  • 3” stick cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppercorns
  • 1/4 teaspoon whole cloves (optional)
  • salt, to taste

For the zucchini noodle soup:

  • 1 pound (455g) zucchini, cut into noodle strands
  • shredded roast chicken
  • garnishes: green onions, cilantro
  • sides/condiments - choose as many or few as you prefer: fresh thai basil, fresh mint, bean sprouts, lime wedges, hoisin, Sriracha hot sauce or fresh chiles


  1. Remove meat from roast chicken, set aside meat and place chicken bones in large stock pot.
  2. In stock pot with chicken bones, add water, carrots, onion, ginger, anise stars, fish sauce, cinnamon and peppercorns.
  3. Bring water to a boil, then reduce heat to low simmer. Cook on low simmer for about 1.5 hours. Stir occasionally and skim to remove fat deposits floating to the top of the broth. *For best flavor, make the pho broth a day ahead. *If using raw chicken, simmer the broth for 3 hours.
  4. Season broth with additional salt or fish sauce to taste. Allow the broth to cool. Then strain the broth (it is easiest to remove large solids first and then strain) and return the broth to stock pot. Add the shredded chicken. Bring the broth to low simmer before serving.
  5. While pho broth is initially cooking, fill another large pot with hot water. Bring to a boil and add the zucchini noodles. Quickly blanche the zucchini noodles for about 1-2 minutes, or until the noodles are nearly tender (they will cook a bit more when you serve them with the hot broth). Drain the zucchini noodles.
  6. Fill bowls with zucchini noodles, top with shredded chicken, green onion and cilantro. Top with hot chicken broth and serve with sides and condiments.
Recipe Source:

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Recipe Note for Salt: All recipes containing salt are based on kosher or sea salt amounts, not table salt. If using table salt, reduce the amount used to taste.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }
  1. Thu

    thanks for the tip. I went to the vietnamese store and asked the ladies what they would add and they recommended this beef broth based seasoning with prebagged spices. So far so good! I didnt add the carrot though since i found your blog after I attempted to make something similar! LOL I was craving pho so bad and had some chicken in the fridge 🙂

  2. Nicholas Ng

    This looks like a wonderful recipe! I’ve been wondering if they will overcook and become too brittle. Definitely will want to try out your recipe!

  3. Shelley

    any suggestion to make this vegetarian??!1 🙂

  4. Shelley

    Steps to make this vegetarian? Leave out chicken, fish sauce. What to add to the broth to enhance the flavor? Thank you.

  5. Marta @ What should I eat for breakfast today

    This will make a perfect light lunch. Thank you <3

    1. Todd & Diane

      Thanks Marta! And we love your blog, it’s beautiful.

  6. Erica

    Your soup looks and sounds perfect for time after holidays. 🙂 It feels like light and healthy food. I’v never made the zucchini noodles, it’s gonna be fun. 🙂

  7. Margaret @ Simple Fit Foodie

    This looks fabulous. I loveee Pho! And just got a spiralizer so this is perfect!! 🙂

  8. Roxana

    I just love pho! I’ve never tried it with zucchini noodles though, what an excellent idea! And I bet this tastes just as amazing as it looks. 😀

  9. Kari Guastella

    Mmmm…yum! Zoodles are my favorite!

  10. eternallyeffervescent

    That looks delicious

  11. toshibakes

    This will be a great detox for all the junk I’ve been eating during christmas and the new year!

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