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Recipe: Amy’s Paleo Pho

Recipe: Amy’s Paleo Pho
Amy Coppola

Angelo absolutely loves Pho – it’s one of his all-time favorite soups. I decided to come up with a Paleo pho recipe, so we could have it at home and so I could send it to work with him for great lunches throughout the week.

So for this recipe, I use a Dutch oven because you can make it all in one pot, the meat gets browned perfectly, and you get all the tasty bits of meaty goodness from the bottom mixed into the pho :). Yum!

This recipe has a lot of ingredients, but it’s also super easy, so please don’t be afraid to try it!


  • 2 lbs Chuck roast cut into cubes
  • 2 1/2 – 3 lbs Short ribs on the bone
  • 1 Pkg Beef marrow bones
  • 3 Cups Chicken stock
  • 3 Tablespoons Coconut oil
  • 2 Yellow onions diced
  • 8 stalks of Celery roughly chopped
  • 4 Star anise
  • 2 Cinnamon sticks
  • 10 Cloves
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon grass
  • a pinch of Coriander
  • a pinch of Chinese 5 spice
  • 7 cloves of Garlic, minced
  • 1 good sized chunk of Ginger, cut into thick slices
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 1/4 Cup of Fish sauce
  • enough water to finish filling the Dutch oven
  • big square of Cheese cloth

Paleo Pho Recipe - Soup Ingredients

Paleo Pho Recipe - Spice Sack Ingredients

Garnish / Veggies:

  • Fresh baby spinach
  • 2-3 slices fresh jalapeño
  • Chopped Green onions
  • Chopped fresh Cilantro
  • Chopped fresh Basil

Paleo Pho Recipe - Garnish Ingredients

Here’s how I do it:

Place the cheese cloth over a piece of tin foil, and in the middle put the star anise, cinnamon sticks, cloves, lemon grass, Ginger, coriander, 5 spice, and bay leaves. Tie it up into a nice little sack with some kitchen string,and set aside.

Paleo Pho Recipe - Wrapping a spice sack

Pre heat the oven to 450 degrees, and in a cast iron skillet (if you don’t have a cast iron skillet, you can use a cookie sheet covered in tin foil) place the marrow bones Roast the bones for about 20-25 minuets until the bones are a little browned and some of the marrow has melted out of the middle.

Paleo Pho Recipe - Bone marrow

While the marrow bones are roasting heat the dutch oven on med-high heat, and starting with the first tablespoon of coconut oil brown the chuck in batches, making sure there is a nice crust on all sides. Continue adding oil as needed setting each batch aside in a bowl as you finish. Do the same with the short ribs being sure to brown on all sides including the bones.

Paleo Pho Recipe

Next brown the onions, when they are nice and tender add the chicken stock, and scrape the bottom of the Dutch oven getting all the yummy bits incorporated into the stock. At this Point add the celery, garlic, marrow bones and liquid, browned meat and any juices that are in that bowl, fish sauce, and sack of spices.

Paleo Pho Recipe

Finish up by filling the Dutch oven nearly the rest of the way with water. Bring to a rolling boil, lower heat to a simmer and cook 4-5 hours or until all the marrow has melted out of the middle of the bones. The broth will reduce to about the level you see here, in the following picture. Finally, if needed, add water for desired soup consistency and add salt and pepper to taste.

Paleo Pho Recipe - Reduced

To serve I fill a big bowl with pho, spinach, sliced jalapeños, cilantro, basil, and green onions. It’s best when it’s piping hot! Eat up and enjoy!

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  • Liza

    Interesting take on pho! I’m so excited to try this method. 🙂 Thanks for sharing.

  • Gale Dacalio

    I have made your recipe several times now and it is delicious. I even shared my own recipe for pho on my podcast thanks to you turning me on to this. Your new site looks great!

    • Glad to hear that you like it! I know Amy spent a lot of time tweaking it, and we constantly hear good things about it.

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  • John Barfield

    So I made this pho between last night and this morning. (it took forever lol). I absolutely fell in love with the first bite. However I found the amount of marrow in the recipe to be extra rich. I think it is because my dutch oven is much smaller than yours. I would have used half the bones next time. Also, I know it isnt the most paleo ingredient on the planet but I found that it was missing an ingredient….after eating half the batch and adding 4 more cups of water to dilute the broth I also threw in a tbsp of salt. It was the magic ingredient. Everyone in my family loved it even more once I added that.

  • John Barfield

    Btw it wouldnt let me type anymore but thank you so much for sharing this.

    Also if, like me, you could not get lemon grass anywhere, a great substitue is lemon rind and cilantro added to the herb mixture.

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  • Esther

    Thanks for the recipe, Amy and Angelo, I’m planning to make this soon. I wondered if you’ve any idea about how much the package of marrow bones that you use weighs?

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  • Hannah Diaz

    Thanks for the great recipe! I loved it. If you don’t have cheesecloth you can tie your spices up with coffee filters and cooking string. I made three little packets and worked out great. My husband loves this soup!

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