30-Minute Beef Pho for Two


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It’s Valentine’s Day. You’ve got kids… You’ve got a busy career… You’ve got a tight budget… But you also have the absolute love of your life to celebrate! What does all of this mean? Enjoy the holday with a delicious meal at home! One of our favorite things to do in a restaurant is order a big meal and share it. There’s something kinda nice about picking something from a menu you know you’ll both enjoy and sharing it over great conversation. One of my favorite meals to do this with is pho. If you’ve never tried it before, pho is a Vietnamese noodle dish with a savory broth. It can be made with beef, chicken, or vegetarian broth, and is topped with all kinds of deliciousness {herbs, vegetables, chilis, proteins, etc.}. Most people would probably guess you’d have to shop at a specialty grocery store to prepare pho at home, but here’s my 30-minute Beef Pho prepared with ingredients I purchased at Target, including Barilla® Pronto® Spaghetti.


For the broth:

  • 1 quart beef stock
  • 2 star anise
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 T soy sauce
  • two slices of ginger
  • 1 small onion, roughly chopped

For the add-ins:

  • 1/2 box (6 ounces) Barilla Pronto Spaghetti
  • 8-ounce steak
  • 1 egg
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 3 scallions
  • fresh herbs (e.g. cilantro, mint, basil, etc.)
  • 1 lime, cut in wedges
  • Chili sauce


Begin by preparing the broth. The broth is the most important part of this recipe as it provides the base for all of the other flavors. Add the star anise, cloves, cinnamon, soy sauce, ginger, and onion to the beef broth. I use salt-free beef broth so that I could control the flavor. Allow this to simmer covered for about 20 minutes to infuse all the flavors.

While the broth is simmering, prepare your proteins. You can use chicken breast, pork tenderloin, short rib, etc. but I selected a New York strip steak and fried egg. To prepare the steak, I seasoned with salt and pepper and very quickly seared it on both sides. I want the inside to remain very rare because the hot broth will cook it further. I let it sit to rest and sliced it thinly. For the egg, I quickly fried it in a pan, but you could also do an over-easy or poached egg.

Once the broth has simmer for 20 minutes, add half a box of Barilla Pronto Spaghetti. Simmer for an additional 10 minutes, until the pasta is al dente. This pasta is great for two reasons: 1. You don’t need to boil in a separate pot and add to your dish – You can cook it in in minutes in your broth, sauce, one-pot stovetop casserole, etc. 2. The shorter pieces of spaghetti are perfect for my barely-mediocre chopstick skills.

While the pasta is cooking in the broth, roughly chop the herbs and scallions, slice the jalapenos thinly, and cut the lime into wedges. This is such a fun dish because you build it together, including all of your favorite flavors.

Add the noodles to one side of a large bowl, pour the broth inside, top with the egg and sliced beef. Now have fun together adding all of the other toppings, including our favorite – hot sauce! Spicy sriracha is the perfect addition to this recipe! A little twist of lime provides the acid needed to balance all of those spicy flavors.

In our home, food is love. We grocery shop together, cook as a family, dine in as a family, and enjoy conversing over our favorite meals. If you’re looking for the perfect meal to enjoy at home with your loved one on Valentine’s Day, try this 30-Minute Beef Pho for two!

Head to Target where you can purchase all of the ingredients to make this delicious recipe, including Barilla Pronto Spaghetti, or have fun with one of these other Barilla shapes:

  • Barilla Pronto Penne
  • Barilla Gluten Free Penne or Spaghetti
  • Barilla ProteinPLUS Penne or Spaghetti
  • Barilla Veggie Spaghetti
  • Barilla Rotini or Rigatoni

Remember to use your Cartwheel app to save 5% on Barilla Pasta and Sauces!

How do you celebrate Valentine’s Day at home with your love?

About Carrie Wells, Ed.D.

Dr. Carrie Wells is a college instructor, blogger, wife, and work-at-home mother to two children, Lydia {age 8} and Bryce {age 6}. Carrie earned her doctorate in Special Education in 2008. After becoming a mother in 2009, Carrie began blogging as Huppie Mama to share her passions for cooking, crafting, beautifying, and her family. In 2016, she rebranded as Our Potluck Family, and her husband Richard became a regular contributor.

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