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Simple Vegan Pho

This easy vegan pho recipe features a robustly flavorful broth, rice noodles, assorted veggies, and simple herbs for a delicious noodle soup that’s healthy and easy to make!

top down view of a bowl of freshly made vegan pho with all the extras.

Comforting, hearty, and easy to customize, this vegetarian pho recipe will become a new favorite!

Making your own Vietnamese pho soup at home is easy as can be. All you’ll need is a straightforward recipe, a few tips, and a large pot, dutch oven, or slow cooker.

What Is Pho?

Pho (pronounced fuh), is a popular Vietnamese noodle soup that is usually meat-based but can also be made vegan. The rich and savory pho broth is what gives the soup its distinct character, and is the key to a successful bowl of pho. Add to that flat rice noodles, cubed tofu, assorted mix-and-match vegetables, and fresh herbs, and you’ve created a delicious vegetarian pho even meat eaters will love!

top down view of ingredients to make vegan pho broth.
Vegan Pho ingredients include: onion, ginger, garlic, carrots, lemongrass, shiitake, spices (star anise, cinnamon, peppercorns, fennel, coriander, veg broth, and tamari.

What Goes Into Vegetarian Pho?

There are 4 main parts to vegan pho:

  • Broth: The vegan pho broth is simmered with charred onion and ginger, crushed garlic and lemongrass, dried shiitakes, carrots, star anise, cinnamon, peppercorns, fennel, and coriander seeds, creating a robust and flavorful soup base.
  • Noodles: The noodles can be varied using traditional rice stick noodles or 100% soba noodles. Both are gluten-free options. Feel free to use udon, ramen, or your favorite noodles such as linguini, spaghetti, or angle hair pasta. There is nothing wrong with using unconventional noodles!
  • Protein: Pho is traditionally served with some kind of protein. For this vegan pho, I’ve chosen to use cubed tofu but edamame would be great here too.
  • Veggies: The vegetables can range from sliced carrots, bok choy, shredded napa or savoy cabbage, broccoli florets, mushrooms, sugar snap peas, asparagus, etc. Keep the veggies on the fresh side by lightly steaming them. Alternatively, add them to the pho broth after you’ve removed the spices and veggies used to make the broth, letting the vegetables cook in the pho broth for an additional 10 – 15 minutes over medium heat to soften them up.
  • Garnish: Finally, garnish your vegetarian pho bowls with plenty of bean sprouts, lime wedges, and fresh cilantro & Thai basil for added freshness and herbaceousness!
top down view showing the process of making vegan pho broth in a dutch oven.

Making Vegan Pho

Making homemade vegan Pho is easy as can be with only a few simple steps!

Note: The full printable recipe card is below.

Prepare the Pho broth:

  • Char sliced onion, ginger, and garlic under the broiler using a small baking sheet. This adds a wonderful smokiness and mellows out the onion and garlic flavors.
  • Lightly crush the peppercorns, fennel, and coriander seeds, and bundle them together. Add them to a tea strainer (affiliate link) or tie them up using a piece of cheesecloth and string or a small mesh bag.
  • Crush the lemongrass stalk with the back of a knife or spoon. This step will help release its flavor during cooking.
  • In a large pot or dutch oven, simmer the pho broth ingredients for at least 1 hour. Taste for seasoning.
  • Once done, remove the spices, onion, garlic, ginger, and lemongrass.
side by side photos showing rice noodles and bowl with rice noodles and vegan pho.

Cook the noodles: Just before the pho broth is finished, cook the noodles according to the package directions and set them aside.

Prep add-ins and garnishes: Serve veggies fresh when serving, or add them to the pho broth and heat over medium heat for an additional 10 -15 minutes to soften a bit.

Serve: In individual bowls, add noodles, veggies, and broth. Top with plenty of bean sprouts, green onions, jalapenos, fresh cilantro & Thai basil. Add a squeeze of lime and some chili paste for heat.

And there you have it, an easy vegan pho that’s gluten-free, oil-free, and low-fat! 🫕

Top Tips

  • Cook low and slow. The best-flavored pho broth is cooked at a low temperature for a longer period of time. If you have the time, let the broth simmer on the stove for at least 1 – 3 hours (up to 8 hrs), or use the slow cooker method mentioned below.
  • Reserve the veggies cooked in the broth. Once the broth is completed and the vegetables and spices removed, I encourage you to slice up the mushrooms and carrots and use them as part of your add-ins.
  • Slow Cooker Method: Using a slow cooker to make pho is a great way to achieve maximum flavor without much work. Just set it and forget it! Simply place the pho broth ingredients in a slow cooker, and cook on LOW for 4 – 6 hours or HIGH for 3 – 4 hours.

How To Store + Reheat

Refrigerator: Leftover pho can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 – 6 days in sealed containers. We find it’s best to store the noodles separately since they will soak up a majority of the juices during storage.

Freezer: Pho broth can easily be frozen and will last for 2 – 3 months if stored properly. To freeze, let the pho cool completely and place it in freezer-safe containers leaving at least 1/2 inch of headroom for expansion. Let thaw before reheating. As with refrigeration, storing the noodles separately is recommended.

Reheating: Warm pho on the stovetop over medium-low heat until warmed through. Alternatively, use a microwave oven cooking for 45 – 60 second intervals until warmed through, stirring between intervals.

top down view of a bowl of freshly made vegan pho with all the extras.

More Recipes You’ll Love!

If you try this vegan pho recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment and rate it below. I love to hear what you think, or any changes you make.

Print

SIMPLE VEGAN PHO

Hearty and delicious, this simple vegan pho with a rich and flavorful broth and loaded with all the good stuff – noodles, veggies, tofu, and herbs – is a noodle soup to live on!

  • Author: Julie | The Simple Veganista
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 – 6 1x
  • Category: Entree, Soup
  • Method: Simmer
  • Cuisine: Vegan, Gluten Free, Asian

Ingredients

Scale

Pho Broth

  • 1 onion, peeled, ends removed and sliced in half lengthwise
  • 3-inch piece of ginger, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and slightly crushed
  • 3 carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 68 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 23 lemongrass stalks, cut into 23 inch pieces and slightly smashed
  • 3 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tablespoon peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 12 cups vegetable broth (or half water and broth)
  • 2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce

Add-ins

  • carrot slices/ribbons
  • sugar snap peas
  • 14 oz. firm or extra-firm tofu, cubed
  • napa cabbage, sliced
  • 14 oz. rice stick noodles or 100% soba noodles

Garnishes

  • beans sprouts
  • green onions, sliced
  • jalapeno, sliced & most seeds removed
  • cilantro
  • thai basil (regular basil is fine too)
  • lime wedges
  • sambal oeleck chili paste

Instructions

Prepare the broth:

  • Char aromatics: Place the onion, ginger, and garlic on a small baking sheet. Place under the broiler until scorched and browned. 
  • Bundle spices: Lightly crush the peppercorns, fennel, and coriander seeds. Add them to a tea strainer or tie them up using a piece of cheesecloth and string or a small mesh bag.
  • Simmer: In a large pot or dutch oven, add the ingredients for the pho broth, bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for at least 1 hour. Taste for seasoning. Strain or remove spices, ginger, lemongrass, garlic, and onion. Optional: Reserve the mushrooms and carrots. Once slightly cooled, slice and add back to the pot of broth.

Cook the noodles: Cook noodles according to package directions, set aside.

Prep additional add-ins and garnishes: Gather and prep the add-ins. Serve veggies fresh when serving, or add them to the pho broth and heat over medium heat for an additional 10 – 15 minutes to soften a bit.

Serve: In individual bowls, add noodles, veggies, and broth. Top with plenty of bean sprouts, green onions, jalapenos, cilantro & basil, and add a squeeze of lime and some chili paste for heat.

Serves 4 – 6

Store: Leftover pho can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 – 6 days in a tightly sealed container.

Notes

Add any vegetables you prefer or have on hand. Broccoli florets, cut asparagus, bok choy, your favorite mushrooms, and/or leafy greens will all be a great addition.

Slow cooker method: Place the Pho broth ingredients in the bowl of your slow cooker and cook on LOW for 5 – 6 hours or High for 3 – 4 hours. 

Keywords: vegan pho, vegetarian pho recipe

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12 Comments

  1. Where does the tofu come into this recipe?

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      The tofu is part of the ‘add-ins’ and can be added to the finished pot of pho or to individual servings with the other toppings. I hope that helps! Enjoy!

  2. Great recipe thank you for sharing! This was my first time trying this. I followed the instructions as stated and it turned out great for me. I definitely recommend!

  3. An easy to follow recipe with the end result sure to be a crowd pleaser. As a first timer making pho I was really impressed with this dish. 10/10!!

  4. First time making Pho and I feel like a chef with this recipe! I used to live with a Laotian Sous Chef who made amazing Pho and I think he would love how this turned out! I haven’t had Pho since going vegan and missed it terribly. No more! I can make my own now! Hopefully with practice I’ll get faster though because it took me four hours to make a big pot of it. Soooo much prep work but so completely worth it. Thank you for this recipe!

  5. I am obsessed with this!! It was crazy delicious, and such a treat to have at home! Definitely restaurant quality! I added Napa cabbage, bok choy, asparagus, and tofu(in addition to the stock ingredients). The broth did have an overly strong fennel taste that I didn’t care for, so I added a little miso paste and that balanced it out beautifully. It was quite tasty with sambal oelek mixed in as well.

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      So glad you enjoyed the recipe, Maddie! Thanks for sharing!

  6. For those who are interested, there are gluten-free ramen noodles now. Lotus Foods makes them. I bought the jade pearl 4pk that doesn’t come with any flavor packets. They’re really good. I’ve also had their Brown Mekong Flower rice which is a type of Brown Jasmine, and it was also very good. I really like their products in general. They’re good quality. Here’s a direct link to the ramen page on their site. http://shop.lotusfoods.com/Rice-Ramen/c/[email protected]?gclid=CMzd-Jrx0MsCFcYdgQod0rADxw

  7. This looks wonderful! I’ve never tried making pho so I clearly need to make this!

  8. Sarah | Well and Full says:

    This looks like a bowl of heaven! I love all the spices and flavors you used in the broth, I bet it made your kitchen smell wonderful!!

  9. Mmm, this looks so delicious!! Saving this recipe!

  10. Emilie @ Emilie Eats says:

    This looks so beautiful!! I don’t think I’ve ever had pho, but it looks incredibly flavorful. Definitely perfect for a cozy night in.

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