Instant Pot Vegan Pho

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A plant-based and Instant Pot spin on pho, an incredibly delicious Vietnamese noodle soup. With the magic of the Instant Pot, you get the umami and depth of flavor of traditional pho in a fraction of the time.
Prep 45 minutes
Cook 25 minutes
Total 1 hour 10 minutes
5 from 23 votes

Today I’m sharing my recipe for Instant Pot Vegan Pho! This recipe is from my cookbook, The Vegan Instant Pot Cookbook.

I have loved phở, a very popular Vietnamese noodle soup, since the first time I tried it a decade ago. I tried it at a Vietnamese restaurant in Cambridge on my first date with Max :) I became even more obsessed with it during my one-month backpacking trip throughout Vietnam, so I knew I had to recreate a vegan version for the Instant Pot.

Typically, it takes hours to develop the deep, rich flavors of the broth in pho, and it’s something I aspire to make one day. But, until that day, I’ll be coming back to this version. The Instant Pot delivers a speedy and easy yet flavorful pho that you can serve any day of the week.

Instant Pot Vegan Pho (Vietnamese Noodle Soup)

More East and Southeast Asian-inspired dishes

Instant Pot Vegan Pho

5 from 23 votes
A plant-based and Instant Pot spin on pho, an incredibly delicious Vietnamese noodle soup. With the magic of the Instant Pot, you get the umami and depth of flavor of traditional pho in a fraction of the time.
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Course: Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Diet Vegan
Serving size: 4


  • 12 ounces dried rice noodles, dried rice sticks, or banh pho*


  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil or other neutral, high-heat cooking oil
  • 2 medium yellow onions, peeled and halved
  • 4- inch piece fresh ginger, thinly sliced
  • 3 cardamom pods, lightly smashed with the back of a knife
  • 3 whole star anise pods
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 Fuji apple, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 1 ⁄2 cup fresh cilantro roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
  • 2 cups sliced shiitake mushroom caps (5 to 6 ounces)
  • 8 cups low-sodium vegetable broth (you can substitute water for up to 4 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste


  • 1 (6- or 8-ounce) block baked tofu, cut into cubes (I used a five-spice flavor, which went really well with the other flavors)
  • 3 scallions, sliced on the diagonal
  • 1 cup Thai basil leaves, torn up
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves, torn up
  • 2 limes, cut into wedges
  • 2 cups bean sprouts
  • Thinly sliced hot chile peppers or Sriracha


  • Place the dried rice noodles in a large bowl, cover with warm water, and soak until the noodles are pliable and opaque, 30 to 45 minutes. Drain the noodles and rinse them to remove excess starch. (Alternatively, cook the noodles according to the instructions on the package.)
  • Meanwhile, prepare the Broth: Select the Sauté setting on the Instant Pot and, after a few minutes, add the oil. Once the display reads “HOT,” add the onions and ginger slices, cut side down. Do not toss and allow to cook until charred and deeply browned, about 4 minutes.
  • Add the whole spices (cardamom pods through black peppercorns) and cook for 1 minute, stirring the mixture frequently. Add the apple, cilantro, tamari, coconut sugar, and shiitakes. Pour the vegetable broth and/or water on top and stir to combine.
  • Secure the lid and set the Pressure Release to Sealing. Select the Pressure Cook setting at high pressure and set the cook time to 15 minutes.
  • Once the 15-minute timer has completed and beeps, allow a natural pressure release for
  • 10 minutes and then switch the Pressure Release knob from Sealing to Venting to release any remaining steam.
  • Open the pot and, using oven mitts, remove the inner pot. Carefully strain the broth into a fine-mesh sieve set over a large bowl (discard the solids). Season the broth with 1 teaspoon salt, stir, and taste. Add more salt as needed.
  • Place the cooked rice noodles in individual bowls. Pour over the strained broth and add the baked tofu cubes. Top the pho with the scallions, basil, cilantro, lime wedges, bean sprouts, and chiles or Sriracha.


*You can find pho noodles in well-stocked grocery stores or any Asian market. They come in various thickness, ranging from 1⁄16 inch (narrow) to 1⁄4 inch (wide).

Calories: 590kcal | Carbohydrates: 113g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 757mg | Potassium: 807mg | Fiber: 13g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 872IU | Vitamin C: 28mg | Calcium: 169mg | Iron: 4mg

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19 comments on Instant Pot Vegan Pho

  1. Ginnie

    It’s -10F here, so I wanted something yummy to warm us up. This was incredible! I didn’t have star anise, but can only imagine that will make it even better. Even won over my omnivore husband “sooo good. You can make that again anytime!” Plenty of leftover broth. Thank you for such delicious recipes!

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      It’s so great to hear you loved this recipe and that it came in handy during cold times, Ginnie!

      Next time, would you mind leaving a rating alongside your review? Star ratings are big help to readers who are thinking of making the recipe. Thanks!

  2. Emily

    5 stars
    I made this today. Delicious and easy. I fished out the shiitake pieces from the rest of the pressure cooked mash and ate them; the texture was fine (albeit a little bland). Ate it with thin sliced cabbage and other veggies. A winner for sure!

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Thanks for sharing, Emily! We’re happy you enjoyed the pho.

  3. Kim T

    5 stars
    I was super surprised and wildly happy with how this plant based pho turned out! I’m Vietnamese and grew up obsessed with traditional pho made at home. But once I went plant based a few years back, there was always guilt associated with enjoying a bowl of bone broth based pho :(. Enter the IP and this recipe! Lovely, delicious, and hits all the flavor notes of traditional pho. Will be making this again, and again.

  4. Geri

    Planning to try this soon. Would dried herbs work if I don’t want to invest in a lot of whole varieties?

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Geri, unfortunately fresh herbs are a pretty critical part of this recipe so it definitely wouldn’t be the same if you substituted with dried herbs. Sorry about that!

  5. Cait

    5 stars
    Loved it! Easy to make and wonderfully flavorful. I loved the depth to the broth from such aromatic ingredients. I will be adding this to my regular recipes since I always crave pho. I was also inspired by your store-bought Chinese Five-Spice tofu, so I did my own version and baked up some tofu. I love your recipes, Nisha!

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Thanks for sharing, Cait! So happy you love the recipes :)

  6. Emily A

    5 stars
    I bought your instant pot cookbook a few months ago, and now that the weather is cooler, I have been quickly making my way through the soups and stews section! This one is by far one of my favorites!! Not only do a LOVE Pho to begin with, but this one was amazing for my whole family. My sister has an autoimmune disease and hasn’t had garlic, onions, dairy, or gluten for years. This recipe was so easy to make for her without sacrificing flavor because all of the spices provided a beautiful flavor and more than made up for the missing onion. I ended up adding in some extra veggies at the end (steamed broccoli, carrots, and bok choy) and it was the most perfect dinner. I will definitely be making it again!

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Awesome, Emily. Thanks for your comment and for taking the time to review!

  7. Claudia

    5 stars
    Hello! I am going to buy your cookbook and need to purchase an Instant Pot. I would like to know if a 6 qt size would work for your recipes.
    Thank you so much!

  8. Andrea Leota

    Hi there. Can you please elaborate on the baked tofu recipe? What 5 spices did you use? Thanks!

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Andrea!

      Nisha bought a premade Chinese 5-spice flavored tofu. You’re totally welcome to just use regular tofu in this instance, though. I hope that helped!

  9. Jen

    I’m sure this recipe is great. But on the Instant Pot App there is no mention of broth or water. Checked twice, had partner check. Decided to trust it, wound up with 5 tbsp of pho soup. Much sad.

    1. RPL Team

      Hey Jen – so sorry to hear that! We did not realize the recipe listed on the website doesn’t include all the ingredients. What a bummer!

      We’ll reach out to them to see if it’s something they can fix. As you can see, the full recipe is listed on this page so if hopefully you’ll give it another try. Thanks for letting us know.

  10. Alexander Clayton

    5 stars
    Incredible. The steam coming out of the instant pot smelt so good I captured some of the steam in a jar to share with my partner, who was away at work.

  11. Marc

    5 stars
    Superb! Very easy to make and hits the spot when you’re craving pho.

  12. Sarah Glickstein

    5 stars
    Absolutely delicious! Any other protein suggestions besides tofu?

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