Delicious Vegetarian Vietnamese Pho Recipe for Food Lovers

Are you looking for a hearty and flavorful vegetarian soup recipe that will warm your body and soul? Look no further than this Vegetarian Vietnamese Pho Recipe! As a chef specializing in Vietnamese and Asian cuisine, I have created this recipe as a delicious plant-based twist on the popular Vietnamese noodle soup, Pho Chay.

This recipe is not only tasty but also easy to make, with ingredients that can be found at most grocery stores. By substituting traditional beef broth with a flavorful vegetable broth, this version of Pho is suitable for vegans and vegetarians, while still maintaining all the delicious flavors we love about Pho.

One of the secrets to a great Pho broth is the spice blend. In this recipe, we use popular Vietnamese ingredients such as star anise, cloves, cinnamon sticks, and fresh ginger to create a savory and aromatic base for our soup. Adding in seitan or tofu alongside fresh herbs like cilantro and basil, crisp bean sprouts, and slices of lime make this dish a refreshing balance of flavors.

If you enjoy the taste of Vietnamese cuisine or are simply looking for an easy-to-follow vegetarian and vegan soup recipe, give this Vegetarian Vietnamese Pho Recipe a try. Trust me; your taste buds will thank you!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Vegetarian Vietnamese Pho
Vegetarian Vietnamese Pho

Are you looking for a flavorful and healthy soup that will satisfy your Vietnamese food cravings? Look no further than this vegetarian Vietnamese pho recipe! This plant-based twist on the popular Vietnamese noodle soup is sure to tantalize your tastebuds with its savory and aromatic broth, tender vegetables, and slurp-worthy noodles.

What’s more, this vegan pho recipe features a secret ingredient that takes the dish to the next level: dried shiitake mushrooms. These little umami bombs infuse the broth with a rich flavor that will wow your senses. You won’t even miss the traditional beef or chicken broth.

Not only is this vegetarian pho recipe packed with flavor, but it’s also incredibly versatile. You can customize it to your liking by adding your favorite vegetables or protein sources. Craving some texture? Try adding some seitan or fried tofu. Want to sneak in some greens? Add some baby bok choy or bean sprouts. The possibilities are endless!

What makes this easy vegetarian pho so special is that it’s also a health-conscious choice. The recipe uses low-sodium vegetable broth and includes plenty of fresh vegetables, making it an excellent source of vitamins and minerals. Plus, the star anise, cinnamon sticks, and ginger used in the broth have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

So why should you try making this vegetarian pho at home? It’s simple: you’ll love how delicious and nourishing it is! Whip up a batch for a cozy night in, impress your friends at a dinner party, or enjoy it as a comforting lunch during the workweek. Trust us; you won’t be disappointed!

Ingredient List

 A piping hot bowl of vegetarian pho to warm your soul on a chilly day
A piping hot bowl of vegetarian pho to warm your soul on a chilly day

Let’s take a look at the ingredients you’ll need for this Vegetarian Vietnamese Pho recipe.


  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 whole star anise
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 4 medium cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced in half lengthwise
  • 1 large knob fresh ginger (about 3 inches), sliced thickly
  • 8 cups vegetable broth or stock (low-sodium)
  • Salt to taste

Aromatics and Vegetables:

  • 1 medium daikon, peeled and diced into medium-sized pieces
  • 8 ounces shiitake mushrooms, dried or fresh
  • 2 green chilies, sliced thinly
  • 2 bay leaves

Noodles and Protein:

  • 8 ounces Vietnamese rice noodles
  • 1 cup fried tofu or seitan (cubed)
  • A handful of bean sprouts
  • A handful of fresh cilantro leaves
  • A handful of fresh Thai basil leaves (if you can find it)

Condiments (Optional)

  • Soy sauce and/or lime wedges

Make sure all your ingredients are fresh and measure them out before starting to make the broth. This will ensure that everything is ready to go when you need it.

The Recipe How-To

 Fresh herbs and spices come together to create the perfect blend of flavors
Fresh herbs and spices come together to create the perfect blend of flavors

Let’s get cooking! This Vegetarian Vietnamese Pho Recipe is a delicious and flavorful soup that you’ll want to make over and over again. Follow these easy steps to create this dish.


  • 8 cups low-sodium vegetable broth or stock
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tbsp whole black peppercorns
  • 4 cloves
  • 4 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed
  • Salt, to taste
  • 8 ounces rice noodles
  • Fried tofu, bok choy, bean sprouts, and/or seitan, for serving (optional)
  • Fresh cilantro and/or basil leaves for serving (optional)
  • Sliced green chilies for serving (optional)
  • Lime wedges for serving (optional)
  • Soy sauce or vegetarian pho flavoring (optional)


  1. In a large pot, bring the vegetable broth/stock to a simmer over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the star anise, cinnamon stick, peppercorns, cloves, dried shiitake mushrooms, ginger, and garlic.
  3. Lower the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer gently for at least 30 minutes (or longer if time allows).
  4. While the broth is simmering, cook the rice noodles according to package instructions.
  5. Drain and rinse the noodles under running water.
  6. Once the broth is done simmering, discard the solids – star anise, cinnamon stick, peppercorns, cloves, shiitake mushrooms, ginger slices and garlic – using a strainer or slotted spoon.
  7. Return the clear broth to the stove over medium-high heat.
  8. Add salt to taste, and soy sauce or vegetarian pho flavoring if desired, and bring to a boil.
  9. To serve, divide the cooked rice noodles among bowls, and ladle the broth over the noodles.
  10. Top with your choice of tofu, bok choy, seitan, herbs, and lime wedges.
  11. Serve immediately and enjoy!

This easy vegetarian pho is perfect for a warming winter meal or anytime you want a hearty bowl of comforting soup. Don’t be afraid to adjust the ingredients to fit your personal preferences!

Substitutions and Variations

 The tender rice noodles soak up the delicious broth and add a satisfying texture
The tender rice noodles soak up the delicious broth and add a satisfying texture

As a chef specializing in Vietnamese and Asian cuisine, I know that substitutions and variations are key to personalizing a recipe to your own taste preferences. Here are some ways you can tweak this vegetarian Vietnamese pho recipe to suit your needs:

– Instead of seitan, you can use fried or baked tofu as a protein substitute. You can also add more vegetables such as bok choy or carrots.

– Use low-sodium vegetable broth or soup stock if you’re on a low-salt diet.

– For a gluten-free option, swap out rice noodles for zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash.

– Substitute shiitake mushrooms with other varieties like button, portobello, or crimini mushrooms.

– If you don’t have fresh ginger on hand, you can substitute it with ginger powder.

– Jazz up the soup with your favorite toppings such as sliced avocado, jalapenos, hoisin sauce, or sriracha.

Keep in mind that substitutions may affect the overall flavor and texture of the dish. So be mindful of the proportions of each ingredient and taste often as you cook.

Serving and Pairing

 Inhale the fragrant aromas of star anise, cinnamon, and cloves
Inhale the fragrant aromas of star anise, cinnamon, and cloves

Now that your vegetarian Vietnamese pho is ready, it’s time to think about how to serve and pair this delicious dish. This hearty and flavorful soup is a great meal on its own, but you can make it even more enjoyable by adding some garnishes and sides.

To start with, you can serve your pho with some fresh herbs such as cilantro and basil leaves. These herbs will not only add a refreshing taste but also a vibrant color to the soup. For some extra crunch, you can add bean sprouts or thinly sliced green chilies. You can also squeeze some lime juice over the broth to balance out the richness of the spices and flavors.

If you want to turn this dish into a more substantial meal, consider serving it with some rice noodles. Rice noodles are a common ingredient in Vietnamese cuisine, and they will perfectly complement the flavors of your pho. You can also top your noodles with some fried tofu or seitan to add some protein to the mix.

Another perfect pairing for pho is bok choy. This leafy vegetable has a mild flavor that nicely balances out the strong flavor of the soup. Simply stir-fry chopped bok choy with garlic and ginger for a tasty side dish.

Last but not least, for those who love heat, adding your preferred hot sauce can level up your vegan Vietnamese pho. The sauces will infuse the soup with added depth and will make each sip much spicier.

Remember that pairing is all about creating harmony between elements, so don’t be afraid to experiment with different combinations until you find what works best for you.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Customize your pho with an array of garnishes like bean sprouts, lime, and jalapeños
Customize your pho with an array of garnishes like bean sprouts, lime, and jalapeños

One of the great things about this vegetarian Vietnamese pho recipe is that you can make the broth ahead of time and store it in the fridge or freezer until you’re ready to serve. Simply let it cool down before transferring it to an airtight container, and it will keep for several days in the fridge or up to three months in the freezer.

To reheat, transfer the broth to a pot and gently warm it up over low to medium heat. You may want to add a bit more vegetable broth or water to thin it out if it has thickened or become gelatinous in the refrigerator or freezer.

When reheating, avoid boiling the broth too vigorously as this can cause the flavors to change and become less complex. Instead, aim for a gentle simmer and taste for seasoning, adding more salt or soy sauce as needed.

For the vegetables and noodles, you can also prep them ahead of time and store them separately in the fridge until ready to assemble and serve. When ready to serve, simply blanch the rice noodles and vegetables in boiling water for a few minutes until tender, then drain and transfer them to bowls.

For extra protein and texture, you can also add sliced seitan or fried tofu to your soup bowls before ladling in the hot broth. This will give your pho bowl even more satisfying heft and flavor.

Overall, this make-ahead method is perfect for meal-prepping or when you expect busy mornings without much time for cooking. You can simply reheat everything quickly on stovetop during rush hour breakfasts without compromising on flavor profile. So feel free to prepare this soup well in advance – it’s convenient and delicious!

Tips for Perfect Results

 A vegetarian twist on a classic Vietnamese dish that's still full of flavor
A vegetarian twist on a classic Vietnamese dish that’s still full of flavor

When it comes to making a delicious vegetarian Vietnamese pho, even small details can make a big difference. In this section, I will share some tips on how to achieve perfect results every time.

One of the most important things to keep in mind is seasoning. Don’t be afraid to adjust the salt and pepper levels to your taste. Adding a squeeze of lime juice or a touch of soy sauce can also enhance the flavor of your broth.

Another key ingredient in making a flavorful vegetarian pho is fresh herbs like cilantro and basil. Make sure to use fresh, high-quality herbs and add them towards the end of the cooking process to preserve their flavors.

When cooking the broth, using high-quality ingredients is vital. It is best to use homemade vegetable stock or low sodium store-bought vegetable broth for richer flavor.

It’s crucial not to overcook your rice noodles. Overcooked rice noodles can become mushy and unappetizing. Cook your noodles separately, following the package instructions, and then divide them into bowls before pouring hot broth over them.

Another secret ingredient for an authentic vegetarian pho is star anise. Add just two or three star anise pods into your broth for a subtle sweetness and complex depth of flavor.

For added texture and protein options, you can substitute tofu with seitan or bok choy for added nutritional value. You can also experiment with adding fried tofu, shiitake mushrooms, sprouts, green chilies or bean sprouts on top of your soup to garnish to pack more texture and taste.

Finally, don’t be too hard on yourself if your first try isn’t perfect. Practice makes perfect! As with any recipe, it may take some trial and error before finding what works best for you. Most importantly, have fun experimenting with different variations until you find the perfect one that suits your personal preference.


Before you start preparing this delicious vegetarian Vietnamese Pho recipe, you might have some questions in mind. Don’t worry! I have compiled some frequently asked questions with detailed answers that will help you make the perfect soup every time. From substitutions to adjustments for a vegan version, let’s clear up any doubts and get ready to cook a delightful bowl of pho!

What is vegetarian pho broth made of?

To make a hearty vegetarian pho, gather star anise, cinnamon sticks, whole peppercorns, and cloves. Don’t forget onion, ginger, and garlic, which are essential in creating the broth’s delightful aroma and taste. While some recipes call for vegetable stock, I personally opt for water to develop a cleaner and more authentic broth.

What is the secret ingredient in pho broth?

The dried peanut worms, known as sa sung, are said to be the key to making a delicious pho soup.

Can you eat pho as a vegetarian?

Pho is a popular noodle soup commonly consumed in Vietnam. Although traditionally made using meat stock, it can easily be modified to suit a vegan diet. It’s important to note that some versions of “pho with vegetables” may not be entirely vegan or vegetarian as they may still contain meat-based ingredients.

What vegetables are served with pho?

When serving Vietnamese cuisine, it is common to find a mixture of cilantro and green onions, which have already been chopped and are ready for garnishing. These greens are typically added to the pho broth as soon as it is served.

Bottom Line


In conclusion, this easy-to-follow vegetarian Vietnamese Pho recipe can bring the traditional rich and nourishing flavors of Vietnamese cuisine to your table in a wholesome and cruelty-free form. With simple yet aromatic seasonings like ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and star anise, you can create an exotic and flavorful broth that will make you feel warm and cozy from the inside out.

By using fresh veggies like daikon, bok choy, and bean sprouts along with the protein-rich tofu or seitan, you will be able to enjoy a nutritious yet filling meal that is sure to satisfy your taste buds as well as your hunger.

Whether you are a die-hard fan of pho or just curious about trying something new and exciting in the kitchen, this vegan Vietnamese pho recipe has got you covered. You can even customize it to suit your personal preferences by swapping the ingredients or varying the amount of spices.

So go ahead and give it a try! Who knows, maybe this secret ingredient soup recipe will become your next go-to dish for impressing your family and friends or simply treating yourself to some authentic Vietnamese comfort food. Happy cooking!

Vegetarian Vietnamese Pho

Vegetarian Vietnamese Pho Recipe

This is a hearty, comforting soup with a pleasant aroma. I make this using homemade vegetable broth and homemade seitan. Using all of the spices in the recipe is absolutely important to the flavor of the pho.
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Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Vietnamese
Servings 4 quarts soup
Calories 295.9 kcal



  • 10 cups vegetable broth
  • 5 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 3 inches fresh ginger, sliced in thirds lengthwise
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 3 star anise
  • 6 cloves
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 5 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 2 small white onions, coursely chopped


  • 2 small white onions, thinly sliced
  • 4 green chilies, sliced into rounds
  • 2 cups bean sprouts
  • 12 fresh basil leaves
  • 1 bunch cilantro, coarsly chopped
  • 1 lime, cut into 4 wedges
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 3 -4 cups seitan
  • 14 ounces rice noodles


  • Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil in a medium pot. Remove from heat. Add noodles and soak for 8 minutes, or until soft. Drain. Set aside.
  • In a large stock pot over low-medium heat, dry roast cinnamon stick, star anise, coriander seeds, bay leaves, and cloves until fragrant aroma goes off. Stir constantly. Add garlic, ginger and onions. Char for about 3-4 minutes until onions begin to turn golden brown. Add vegetable broth and bring to boil. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Strain all onion and spice matter and pour broth back into pot.
  • Add all garnish ingredients, except for noodles, to broth. Simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes uncovered (you may add an additional 1-2 cups of vegetable broth if needed). Remove from heat. Distribute rice noodles into bowls and ladle broth mixture on top. Serve.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 173gCalories: 295.9kcalCarbohydrates: 67.6gProtein: 5gFat: 0.9gSaturated Fat: 0.2gSodium: 1292.8mgFiber: 4.2gSugar: 5.2g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Asian, Easy, Vegan, Vegetable, Vietnamese
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