Instant Pot Zucchini Noodle Pho
This Instant Pot Zucchini Noodle Pho is a super easy gluten-free, low-carb soup recipe for cold weather – and the broth is made vegetarian with a blend of mushrooms!
Let’s start the New Year off right with some delicious, healthy comfort made right!
This Instant Pot Zucchini Noodle Pho pretty much checks off ALL the boxes on healthy eating – you’ve got fresh spiralized zucchini in place of the traditional rice noodles and the quick and easy pho broth is actually VEGETARIAN. I know what you’re thinking. TAYLOR, THERE’S BEEF IN THE PHOTOS! Well okay, before you get all over me, you should know that I just shot this recipe with the beef to give off the classic pho vibe but outside of that, the broth contains no meat whatsoever!
Now I know the meat-eaters are probably on the other side of the equation asking me why I made the broth vegetarian in the first place, and let’s just say my answer is a bit longer than the one above, LOL.
When I first made a version of this Zucchini Noodle Pho (sans Instant Pot), I was researching what typically goes into a pho recipe broth-wise and kept seeing the same thing: you needed a bunch of beef bones and different cuts of beef and it seemed so elaborate and time-consuming and expensive (I mean, if you’re interested I do have a beef broth version of pho on the site using steak). I know it sounds awful but the last thing on my mind when doing my weekly meal prep or throwing together a quick weeknight dinner is making a stock from scratch with meat scraps and bones.
I just don’t have time for it.
And being the millennial I am (this is going to sound awful), growing up I watched my mom make homemade stock from turkey carcasses and ham bones and the whole process just looked really disgusting to me. I know, I know. Maybe I’m not a true foodie. I know the best broths come from much of the scraps from holiday leftovers but I just don’t think I can do it myself.
Give me the high-sodium bouillon cubes all the way. (Sorry not sorry)
Actually, I tried to make this Instant Pot Zucchini Noodle Pho at least a little less sodium-ridden by using the umami flavour from two different varieties of mushrooms, and by adding sodium-reduced soy sauce. Because as much as I half-joke about not being able to make real stock using animal bones, I am actually really in favour of making my meals as healthy as possible and that does mean cutting back on sodium.
This definitely isn’t a super low-sodium dinner, but I’m trying here folks, one salt addict to another.
But let’s move away from this topic and start talking more about the benefits of this Instant Pot Zucchini Noodle Pho!
First of all, I’ve stuffed a TON of veggies in here. Right down to the “noodles”. I usually buy pre-spiralized zucchini in the prepared vegetable section of the grocery store, but you can also find $5 spiralizers in kitchen stores that you can use to spiralize your zucchini.
If you’re too cheap or lazy to do all of that and the low-carb thing doesn’t really matter to you, feel free to use regular old rice noodles. They actually are better for you than traditional pasta so go for it! I’ve made this tons of times with the rice noodles and it’s SO GOOD. Just make sure you add the noodles in at the end of cooking time and let them soak for a couple minutes instead of cooking them in the Instant Pot itself – they get soggy super fast!
I used a cheap cut of steak here and sliced it super thin for this Instant Pot Zucchini Noodle Pho, but you can easily sub in leftover chicken or turkey here, or even just leave it vegetarian since the broth is made with only mushrooms and spices. This is such a versatile meal.
OH! And we should also probably talk about the fact that this is my first Instant Pot recipe!!! OMG am I ever obsessed.
I actually held off on buying one for so long because I just thought it was another fad people would quickly get over but there was a Black Friday sale on a 6-quart Duo Plus that I just couldn’t resist. Well, needless to say I can see why people are such fans of pressure cooking. Legit, the Instant Pot is basically like a slow cooker that cooks fast. And did I mention the Instant Pot I got is ALSO a slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, sauteer, pressure cooker, etc all in one? Yeah, you can pretty much do everything with this thing, it’s amazing.
This Instant Pot Zucchini Noodle Pho was one of the first recipes I tried in it, and let’s just say you basically dump all the ingredients for the broth right in, set the pressure cooker setting on high, then walk away and let it all cook. When it’s done you do a quick release of the steam (watch the video for details!) and then you’ve got a delicious pho broth that tastes like it’s been slow cooked in a matter of 15 minutes or less (it preheats for maybe 5-10 minutes, then pressure cooks for 4 minutes).
AMAZING. Honestly. Not even trying to sell this thing, I’m not really one for affiliate marketing and all that. I am just trying to let you know that it’s worth it if you love your slow cooker! Also, I should mention you can make this same recipe in your slow cooker if you’re into that sort of thing. You’re just going to have to wait 6 hours for it LOL. Recipe variation is below!
Will you be making this Instant Pot Zucchini Noodle Pho?
I think I’m gonna make this likeeeee every weekday for the next couple months. I can’t think of a better way to get through winter to be honest…