The Best Vegan Tofu Pho

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Warm up with a comforting bowl of the best vegan tofu pho ever. Made with fresh herbs, spices, and tofu, this easy vegan tofu pho recipe brings the authentic taste of Vietnamese cuisine to your table. Without any animal products!

Pho (pronounced “fuh” by the way) is typically made with beef broth, but this vegan version uses vegetable stock plus traditional pho spices for a mind-blowingly rich and deep-flavored broth. Topped with tofu, it’s so rich and satisfying, but not too heavy on the stomach. 

Our vegan tofu pho is topped with fresh herbs, bean sprouts, and lime juice, making it a perfect dish to enjoy on a cold day or whenever you’re looking for a comforting bowl of noodle soup.

Why You’ll Love This Easy Vegan Tofu Pho Recipe

This vegan tofu pho recipe is a hearty and healthy vegan meal that happens to be incredibly delicious. It’s packed with protein, vegetables, and spices, making it a filling and nutritious meal that’ll dazzle your taste buds and warm you from the inside out.

You can add or remove ingredients to suit your tastes. If you’re not a fan of tofu, you can substitute it with another protein source like seitan or tempeh. You can also add different vegetables or herbs to the broth, depending on what you have on hand.

While traditional pho can be a labor of love, this vegan pho recipe is a breeze and it comes together relatively quickly. With just a few basic ingredients and some easy-to-follow instructions, you can have a decadent bowl of vegan pho in no time.

Pho noodle soup is one of the most popular Vietnamese dishes, and this vegan version allows you to enjoy the authentic flavors of Vietnam in a plant-based form. A great way to explore Vietnamese cuisine!

What Ingredients Do I Need To Make Vegan Pho At Home?

For the broth:

  • 8 cups of vegetable broth
  • 2 small onions, sliced in half
  • 4-inch piece of ginger, sliced
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 star anise
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 1 Tbsp. whole coriander seeds
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the pho soup (optional, but recommended):

  • 8 oz. shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup carrots, julienned
  • 2 heads baby bok choy, halved

For the pho toppings (essential):

  • 8 oz. rice noodles
  • 1 block of tofu, pressed and drained, sliced
  • 2 cups bean sprouts
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 1 jalapeño, sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh Thai basil, chopped
  • 2 limes, cut into wedges
  • Sriracha and hoisin sauce (optional)

How To Make The Best Vegan Tofu Pho At Home

Step 1: Char Ginger and Onion

Start by charring the ginger and onion either on the stovetop or in the oven. To char in the oven, preheat it to 425°F. Place the onion and ginger on a baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes, or until the edges are browned.

Step 2: Simmer Spices in Broth

In a large pot, combine the vegetable broth, onion, ginger, cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods, coriander seeds, star anise, and cloves. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

Step 3: Pre-cook the rice noodles

While the broth is simmering, cook the rice noodles al dente and then drain with cold water. Set aside. Toss with a little sesame oil to prevent the noodles from sticking to each other. 

Strain the broth into another pot and discard the solids.

Step 4: Add seasoning and veggies to the broth

Add the soy sauce, maple syrup, salt, and pepper, along with the bok choy, carrots, and shiitake mushrooms to the broth and stir well. Bring to a boil and simmer for 3 minutes. 

Lightly season the tofu cubes with salt and pepper. In a pan, cook the tofu over medium-high heat until it is browned on all sides.

Step 5: Assemble the pho

To assemble the pho, divide the rice noodles among four to six bowls. Top each bowl with broth and vegetables, then arrange sliced tofu, bean sprouts, green onions, jalapeño slices, cilantro, mint, and basil on top. Serve with lime wedges and sriracha and hoisin sauce, if desired. Dig in!

Notes & Tips

  • When preparing the broth, be sure to keep it at a gentle simmer. Boiling the broth too vigorously can cause it to become cloudy and less flavorful.
  • If you’re not a fan of tofu, you can substitute it with your favorite protein such as mushrooms, seitan, edamame, or mock duck.
  • If you don’t have time to char the onion and ginger, you can simply add them to the broth for the last 10-15 minutes to extract the flavors.
  • To prevent the rice noodles from sticking to each other, toss them with a little sesame oil. 

Variations and Serving Suggestions

If you want to add more vegetables to your pho or switch them up, you can try broccoli florets, snow peas, sweet corn, or cabbage.

For a different flavor profile, you can add lemongrass to the broth. I also recommend experimenting with the amount of spice, onion, and ginger to find your own best vegan tofu pho recipe. 

If you don’t have pho rice noodles, you can substitute them with udon noodles, soba noodles, or thin egg noodles.

For a gluten-free version, use tamari or gluten-free soy sauce instead of the regular kind. Hoisin sauce also usually contains gluten, so, beware.

Level up your tofu game and make Homemade Miso Glazed Tofu to top the vegan pho. Another option is to bake or air-fry the marinated tofu pieces rolled in panko breadcrumbs for extra crispiness. 

This easy vegan tofu pho is perfect on its own, but it also pairs wonderfully with a side of Simple Rice Paper Dumplings or Easy Bok Choy Stir Fry With Mushrooms. 

Pho can be served with sriracha and hoisin sauce on the side to garnish the finished soup. These are completely optional, but add another depth of flavor to the dish. Make Sriracha at home or choose one of these 10 Best Sriracha Sauces. 

Storage and Make Ahead Instructions

The broth can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Allow the broth to cool before storing it in an airtight container.

If you plan on making the entire pho ahead of time, keep the noodles, tofu, toppings, and vegetables separate from the broth to prevent them from getting too soft. When ready to serve, heat the broth, cook the veggies, and assemble the pho as directed in the recipe.

Leftover pho can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Reheat the broth on the stove and assemble the pho with fresh noodles, tofu, and herbs.

When Was Pho Invented?

Pho is a noodle soup dish that originated in Northern Vietnam in the early 20th century. It is believed to have been influenced by French colonialism, which introduced beef to the country. Over time, pho became a staple of Vietnamese cuisine and has now spread throughout the world.

Other Vegan Soups To Try

If you love this easy vegan tofu pho recipe, check out these other comforting and delicious vegan soups on our website:

  • Italian Minestrone Soup. A wonderful tomato-based broth, hearty cannellini beans, and plenty of veggies. Generously seasoned with Italian herbs, olive oil, and white wine for depth. 
  • Simple Greek Red Lentil Soup. A creamy lentil soup with warming spices and sweet potato. Its gorgeous orange hue is just as appetizing as the soup itself.
  • Spicy Seasoned Vegetable Soup. Eat the rainbow in a bowl of deliciously seasoned stew with just the right amount of heat. This soup is great for using up ripe veggies in your fridge. 

Vegan Tofu Pho

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 298kcal

Ingredients

For the broth and pho soup:

  • 8 cups of vegetable broth
  • 2 small onions sliced in half
  • 4- inch piece of ginger sliced
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 star anise
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 1 Tbsp. whole coriander seeds
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 oz. shiitake mushrooms thinly sliced
  • 1 cup carrots julienned
  • 2 heads baby bok choy halved

For the pho toppings essential:

  • 8 oz. rice noodles
  • 1 block of tofu pressed and drained, sliced
  • 2 cups bean sprouts
  • 2 green onions sliced
  • 1 jalapeño sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh Thai basil chopped
  • 2 limes cut into wedges
  • Sriracha and hoisin sauce optional

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425°F. Place the onion and ginger on a baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes, or until the edges are browned.
  • In a large pot, combine the vegetable broth, onion, ginger, and spices. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Cook the rice noodles al dente and then drain with cold water. Set aside.
  • Strain the broth into another pot and discard the solids.
  • Add soy sauce, maple syrup, salt, pepper, bok choy, carrots, and shiitake mushrooms to the broth and stir well. Bring to a boil and simmer for 3 minutes.
  • In a pan, cook the tofu over medium-high heat until it is browned on all sides.
  • Divide noodles among 4-6 bowls. Top each with broth and vegetables, followed by sliced tofu, bean sprouts, green onions, jalapeño slices, cilantro, mint, and basil. Serve with lime wedges optional sriracha and hoisin sauce. Dig in!

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Nutrition

Calories: 298kcal | Carbohydrates: 57g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 0.5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1520mg | Potassium: 444mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 6185IU | Vitamin C: 38mg | Calcium: 210mg | Iron: 3mg

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