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SIMPLE VEGAN PHO

This simple vegan pho recipe features a flavorful warming broth, rice noodles and assorted veggies and herbs for a deliciously healthy meal!

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

What Is Pho?

Pho (pronounced fuh), is a very popular Vietnamese noodle dish (usually meat based, but can also be made vegan). The 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, assorted vegetables, cubed tofu and fresh flavorful herbs, and you’ve created a delicious vegetarian pho even meat eaters would love.

top down view of ingredients to make vegan pho broth.

What Goes Into Vegan Pho

There are 4 main parts to vegan pho:

  • Broth: The vegan pho broth is simmered with charred onion and ginger, garlic, 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 you may prefer 100% soba noodles, both are gluten free options. If you’re not going for gluten-free feel free to use udon, ramen or your favorite noodles such as linguini, spaghetti or angle hair pasta. Nothing wrong with using unconventional noodles!
  • Protein/Veggies: Along with the broth and noodles, pho is traditionally served with some kind of protein and/or assorted vegetables. For this vegan pho, I’ve chosen to use cubed tofu but edamame would be great here too. The vegetables can range from sliced carrots, bok choy, shredded cabbage, broccoli florets, mushrooms, sugar snap peas, asparagus, etc. You can keep the vegetables on the fresh side, lightly steam them or add them to the pho broth after you’ve removed the unwanted vegetables used to make the broth. Let your desired vegetables cook in the pho broth an additional 10 -15 minutes in the over medium heat to help soften them up.
  • Garnish: Finally, garnishing your vegetarian pho with plenty of bean sprouts, lime wedges, fresh cilantro & thai basil will add freshness and herbaceousness.

top down view showing the process of making vegan pho broth in a dutch oven.

How To Make Simple Vegan Pho

1. Prepare the Pho broth:

  • Place the onion and ginger on a small baking sheet. Place under the broiler until the onion and ginger becomes scorched and browned. Slice the ginger and peel the garlic.
  • Lightly crush the peppercorns, fennel and coriander seeds. Add them to a tea strainer (<affiliate link) or tie them up using a piece of cheese cloth and string or small mesh bag.
  • 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, lemon grass and onion.

Tip: Once the pho broth is completed and vegetables and spices removed, I encourage you to reserve and slice up the mushrooms and carrots if you like using them as part of your add-ins.

Slow Cooker Method: Follow the steps and instead of cooking in a pot, place the pho broth ingredients in a slow cooker, cook on LOW for 4 – 6 hours or HIGH for 3 – 4 hours.

side by side photos showing rice noodles and bowl with rice noodles and vegan pho.

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

3. 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.

4. Serve: In individual bowls add noodles, veggies and broth. Top with plenty of bean sprouts, greens onions, jalapeno, 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!

More Recipes You’ll Love

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

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 full of flavor and veggies is a noodle soup to live on! Recipe adapted from New York Times Cooking and Food 52.

  • Author: Julie | The Simple Veganista
  • Cook Time: 1 - 6 hours
  • Total Time: 10 minute
  • Yield: Serves 4 - 6 1x
  • Category: Entree, Soup
  • Method: Simmer
  • Cuisine: Vegan, Gluten Free, Asian

Ingredients

Scale

Pho Broth

  • 1 onion, ends removed and sliced in half lengthwise
  • 3 inch piece of ginger, sliced
  • 3 carrots, cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 3 cloves garlic, slightly crushed
  • 68 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 23 lemongrass stalks, cut into 23 inch pieces and slightly smashed
  • 23 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:

  • Place the onion and ginger on a small baking sheet. Place under the broiler until the onion and ginger becomes scorched and browned. Slice the ginger.
  • Lightly crush the peppercorns, fennel and coriander seeds. Add them to a tea strainer or tie them up using a piece of cheese cloth and string or small mesh bag.
  • 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. You can also make the pho in the crock pot/slow cooker, cook on low for 4 – 6 hours. Taste for seasoning. Strain or remove spices, ginger, lemon grass and onion. Reserve the mushrooms and carrots, once slightly cooled, slice and add back to the pot.

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, greens onions, jalapenos, cilantro & basil, add a squeeze of lime and some chili paste for heat.

Serves 4 – 6

Notes

Add any vegetables you prefer or have on hand. Broccoli florets, cut asparagus, bok choy, favorite mushrooms and/or leafy greens.

Keywords: vegan pho, vegetarian pho recipe

9 Comments

  1. 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!

  2. 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!!

  3. 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!

  4. 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.

  5. 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

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

  7. 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!!

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

  9. 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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