Instant Pot Vegetarian Pho Recipe | The Foodie Dietitian (2024)

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By Kara Lydon - - Updated

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Traditional Vietnamese pho takes an entire day to make; this version only takes under an hour! Instant Pot Vegetarian Pho is perfect for a quick refreshing and comforting weeknight meal.Instant Pot Vegetarian Pho Recipe | The Foodie Dietitian (1)It’s been almost a year since Steve and I traveled to Vietnam but I still dream of pho, Banh Mi and Banh Xeo on the regs. Pronounced “fuh” (I always used to say “fo” before traveling to Vietnam), pho is probably the most well known Vietnamese dish here in the U.S. While the base of pho is rice noodles and a flavorful broth, accompaniments vary from beef (pho bo) to chicken (pho ga) and vegetarian options in-between. In Northern Vietnam, pho is left unadorned and the flavor of dry spices like star anise, cassia bark, black cardamom, cloves and coriander seeds shine through. In the South, pho is piled high with bean sprouts, fresh herbs like cilantro and condiments like hoisin sauce, lime and chilies.Instant Pot Vegetarian Pho Recipe | The Foodie Dietitian (2)This version is a cross between North and South Vietnam. The base is Northern but there are options to adorn your pho like you would in Southern Vietnam. Vietnamese spend all day long making their pho, letting the spices simmer and infuse the broth. But since we don’t own a street food shop specializing in pho and don’t have all day to make it, enter the Instant Pot! The Instant Pot makes a super flavorful broth in a fraction of the time.Instant Pot Vegetarian Pho Recipe | The Foodie Dietitian (3)This version is vegetarian (since there are other chicken and beef recipes already on the internet – but you could easily add chicken or beef to this recipe if you’d prefer. I added baked tofu instead! I was also thinking shiitake mushrooms would’ve been a nice touch but sadly they didn’t make it from the recipe draft to the grocery list :).Instant Pot Vegetarian Pho Recipe | The Foodie Dietitian (4)My favorite pho toppings are fresh herbs like mint, cilantro or Thai basil, fresh lime, bean sprouts and a little bit of heat (chilis, jalapeños or hot sauce). In Vietnam, you might also find on the side minced garlic in rice vinegar, fresh chili oil and dry roasted chili oil.Instant Pot Vegetarian Pho Recipe | The Foodie Dietitian (5)It was fun to make this because the aroma of the broth literally brought me back to the smells of Vietnam. I had forgotten what it smelled like. And all the sudden, BAM. There it was. Steve said the same thing when he came home.

Whether you’ve been to Southeast Asia or not, pho is perfect for a cold winter’s night or when you’re feeling under the weather. Or, if you want to pretend you’re a local, it’s perfect 24-7! Even for breakfast!Instant Pot Vegetarian Pho Recipe | The Foodie Dietitian (6)

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Instant Pot Vegetarian Pho Recipe | The Foodie Dietitian (7)

Instant Pot Vegetarian Pho (Vietnamese Noodle Soup)

Instant Pot Vegetarian Pho Recipe | The Foodie Dietitian (8)Instant Pot Vegetarian Pho Recipe | The Foodie Dietitian (9)Instant Pot Vegetarian Pho Recipe | The Foodie Dietitian (10)Instant Pot Vegetarian Pho Recipe | The Foodie Dietitian (11)Instant Pot Vegetarian Pho Recipe | The Foodie Dietitian (12) (20 votes, average: 3.10 out of 5)
Instant Pot Vegetarian Pho Recipe | The Foodie Dietitian (13)Loading...

  • Yield: Serves 4-6 1x
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Ingredients

Scale

  • 12 ounces dried wide rice noodles
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large onions, halved
  • 4 inch piece of fresh ginger, halved
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 star anise
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
  • 14 ounce package extra-firm tofu, pressed, cut into 16 squares
  • Toppings: Fresh herbs like cilantro, Thai basil or mint, lime wedges, scallions, bean sprouts, Thai chili peppers or jalapenos, hoisin sauce, or chili garlic sauce (like sriracha)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Cook noodles according to package instructions.
  3. Add olive oil to Instant Pot and set to saute for 7 minutes. Add onion, ginger, cinnamon, star anise, cloves and coriander seeds. Stir occasionally, letting the onions and ginger char.
  4. Add vegetable broth, water and soy sauce. Secure lid on and set to manual pressure for 15 minutes (making sure valve is set to sealing).
  5. Spread tofu in single layer on nonstick baking sheet (or baking sheet lined with parchment paper) and bake at 400 degrees F for 25 minutes.
  6. Let Instant Pot naturally release pressure for 10 minutes before using quick valve to release remaining steam.
  7. Once pressure is released, open lid and using a fine mesh sieve remove and discard solids from broth.
  8. To build your pho, add noodles and tofu to a bowl and pour broth over top. Add desired toppings.

Notes

  1. For a slow cooker, add all the ingredients (except tofu, noodles and toppings) and cook on low for 7-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours.

Instant Pot Vegetarian Pho Recipe | The Foodie Dietitian (14)

Tell me, have you ever made pho at home before?

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29 Comments

  1. Tyler

    So delicious! I live right by a HUGE pho restaurant. Traditional meaty pho is a bit intimidating with tendon, tripe, and such. The ingredients are so cheap and easy to find where I live. I’m a diabetic and this is more mindful of my diet too. I didn’t have any jalapeno but smashing a thai chili in the side of the bowl gives it enough of a kick. I liked the last person’s comment to add sweet. Next serving I might add a bit of hoisin sauce.

    December 8, 2020

    Reply

    • Kara Lydon

      I’m glad you’re able to enjoy Pho Soup at home, Tyler. Thanks for trying this recipe. 🙂

      December 11, 2020

  2. Jan

    Hi there! I have been making this pho recipe in my IP for a couple of years, minus the tofu since we don’t eat soy. It always comes out great. I panicked this year because I couldn’t find my printout for it and hadn’t made it for quite a while. I found my copy and made it yesterday, so good! The only thing I add after cooking is a bit of sweet, either 2 tablespoons maple syrup or coconut palm sugar. Also, sometimes I sauté shiitake mushrooms in a small skillet and add them to the bowls. Thanks!

    November 30, 2020

    Reply

  3. Ali

    Should the coriander seeds be crushed?

    December 29, 2019

    Reply

    • Kara @ The Foodie Dietitian

      Nope! You can leave them whole.

      January 8, 2020

  4. Whit Montague

    Are the onions actually added as 4 halves or are the onions chopped? Thanks!

    March 31, 2019

    Reply

    • Kara @ The Foodie Dietitian

      Great question! They are added as four halves and then removed before serving.

      July 22, 2019

  5. Sharon

    How would you make this if you don’t have an instant pot? I have a slow cooker and a rice cooker. Thanks

    February 5, 2019

    Reply

    • Kara @ The Foodie Dietitian

      For a slow cooker, I would add all the ingredients (except tofu, noodles and toppings) and cook on low for 7-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours.

      July 19, 2019

  6. Steffi Aronson Karp

    This soup is fantastic! It will surely become a ‘regular’ for us. I served it with mint, quickly parboiled bok choy, steamed broccoli, tons of sliced carrots and some roasted mushrooms.

    Suggestion: Put the star anise, clove and coriander seeds into a tea sachet (empty tea bag) so that they can be easily removed. For that matter, put toothpicks through the ginger sections.

    January 8, 2019

    Reply

    • Kara @ The Foodie Dietitian

      Yay! Glad you enjoyed it! Those additions sound delicious and the tea sachet is a great suggestion!

      July 19, 2019

  7. Winchi

    I tried this recipe and was pretty disappointed as the soup flavour had too strong of cinnamon taste. I followed the recipe and it looks like it flopped It taste very different from the Vietnamese eestaurant I go to I felt light headed drinking the soup. 🙁

    December 31, 2018

    Reply

    • Kara @ The Foodie Dietitian

      I’m sorry to hear that was your experience!

      June 19, 2019

  8. Heather Sanchez

    This has become part of my weekly rotation. I used to have to drive 45 minutes round trip to get vegetarian pho. This is so delicious and super easy!
    I add steamed carrot slices, bok choi, and onions to the bowl as well as scallions. Thanks for sharing this!

    March 13, 2018

    Reply

    • Kara @ The Foodie Dietitian

      Oh, that makes me so happy to hear, Heather! Woot, woot! Love those additions too.

      March 15, 2018

  9. I’ve never had Pho and it sounds awesome!

    February 21, 2018

    Reply

    • Kara @ The Foodie Dietitian

      Oh, it’s so good! You’ll have to try it, Lauren!

      March 5, 2018

  10. I’ve always want to make pho. This looks amazing – can’t wait to try!

    February 18, 2018

    Reply

    • Kara @ The Foodie Dietitian

      Thanks, Jodi! Enjoy!

      March 5, 2018

  11. This looks delicious and yet ANOTHER reason why I need to take my Instant Pot out of the box since I purchased in July.

    February 16, 2018

    Reply

    • Kara @ The Foodie Dietitian

      Haha YES! DO IT! 🙂

      March 5, 2018

  12. Looks great and so easy! Always love a good instapot recipe!

    February 16, 2018

    Reply

    • Kara @ The Foodie Dietitian

      Thanks, Abbie!

      March 5, 2018

  13. Sounds amazing!!

    February 15, 2018

    Reply

  14. Ooo I love this idea! I’m definitely going to have to try it!

    February 15, 2018

    Reply

  15. Catherine Brown

    Love those mint leaves! This looks delicious!

    February 15, 2018

    Reply

  16. This looks so yummy! I don’t have an Instant Pot but I have several friends who are always looking for recipes. I’ll have to forward this on!

    February 15, 2018

    Reply

    • Kara @ The Foodie Dietitian

      Thanks for passing this along, Stacey!

      March 5, 2018

Instant Pot Vegetarian Pho Recipe | The Foodie Dietitian (2024)

FAQs

Is vegetarian pho healthy? ›

1. Nutrient-Rich Ingredients: Vegetarian Pho is loaded with a variety of vegetables, tofu, and rice noodles, providing essential nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and fiber. The diverse array of vegetables contributes to a well-rounded and balanced meal.

How many calories in a large bowl of vegetarian pho? ›

On average, though, a classic 20 ounce serving of pho that includes rice noodles, garnishes, a topping such as tofu, and plenty of vegetables is going to clock in at around 500 calories. Considering how filling a 20-ounce bowl of pho is, we'd say that's not a bad calorie count!

Is it okay to eat pho every day? ›

Experts also suggest that if pho is used for breakfast, then you should avoid salt for the rest of the day. To avoid imbalanced nutrition, you should not eat pho too often, and you should switch up diet with other food products. Any food, no matter how good it is, won't be good for your body if consumed too much.

What is the healthiest pho to eat? ›

What's the Best Pho to Order?
  • Chicken pho generally has the least fat and is a good source of lean protein.
  • If you're just here for the beef, round cuts are the leanest, followed by brisket and flank.
  • If you like pho with the more traditional tripe, you'll be happy to know that it's quite lean and low in calories.

Does pho spike blood sugar? ›

Pho and Ramen

Noodles (even rice noodles) are a processed food made with refined grains that tends to spike many people. How to Make it Healthier: Look for dishes without noodles, or if you're cooking at home, swap in alternative pastas made with konjac root or vegetables.

What is vegetarian pho broth made of? ›

Vegetarian Pho Recipe Ingredients

You'll need star anise, cinnamon sticks, whole peppercorns, and cloves. Onion, ginger, and garlic – These traditional pho ingredients work with the spices to make the broth aromatic and flavorful. Water – I prefer to make my pho broth with water instead of vegetable stock.

Is pho healthy for weight loss? ›

The more protein you have, the fewer carbs you're going to consume. Pho is a great weight loss dish with the only real concern being sodium. This doesn't make it unhealthy. A single bowl of pho can be an important part of a balanced diet.

Are you supposed to eat basil in pho? ›

Herbs such as Thai basil and cilantro, bean sprouts, lime wedges, chili peppers, hoisin sauce, and sriracha are popular garnishes for pho. The key is adding them at the end so they don't lose flavor.

What is the green stuff in pho? ›

Culantro esembles cilantro in appearance but packs a more intense flavour punch. It's the secret ingredient that amplifies the depth and richness of pho's broth. With its robust taste, this herb introduces a wonderful depth that lingers in every savoury spoonful of the soup.

What herbs to put in pho? ›

Pho Soup Ingredients:

garnishes: fresh herbs (cilantro, mint, and/or Thai basil), bean sprouts, lime wedges, thinly-sliced chiles (Thai bird chiles or jalapeños), thinly-sliced onions (green onions or white onions), sauces (hoisin and/or sriracha)

Is instant pho healthier than instant ramen? ›

Pho is usually considered a healthier choice than ramen because it tends to have fewer calories and less fat, making it a lighter meal. But both pho and ramen still give you a good amount of protein, vitamins, and minerals.

How to pimp instant pho? ›

A dash of fish sauce and lime juice along with some beef and herbs quickly converts a bowl of noodles into a delicious Faux Pho (pictured up top). Add some shrimp and coconut milk, and you've got yourself a quickie-version of Thai-style tom kha goong. With care, you can even make drier stir-fried or cold noodle dishes.

Is pho OK for weight loss? ›

The more protein you have, the fewer carbs you're going to consume. Pho is a great weight loss dish with the only real concern being sodium. This doesn't make it unhealthy. A single bowl of pho can be an important part of a balanced diet.

Is pho considered junk food? ›

There's fiber, healthy carbs, and no gluten. Any nutritionist will tell you eating pho is a healthy act, for the most part. In fact, pho is being increasingly used as a post-workout meal.

Is pho healthier or ramen? ›

Pho is usually considered a healthier choice than ramen because it tends to have fewer calories and less fat, making it a lighter meal. But both pho and ramen still give you a good amount of protein, vitamins, and minerals.

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