Satisfy Your Cravings With This Vegetarian Pho Recipe

Welcome vegan and vegetarian food enthusiasts! Do you crave a wholesome, hearty meal that combines the aromatics, flavors and warmth of Asian cooking all in one pot? Then hold onto your bowls because I have an easy-to-follow recipe for Vegetarian Slow Cooker Pho that will blow your taste buds away.

Pho (pronounced “fuh”) is Vietnam’s most beloved dish, typically made with meat stock and layered with herbs, spices, and noodles. However, my version swaps animal products for deliciously nutritious mushrooms that cook in the slow cooker to perfection. But don’t be fooled; the Vegetarian Slow Cooker Pho is not only for plant-based eaters! It is so tasty and satisfying that any meat lover would consider it comfort food.

I discovered this recipe on a busy work week when I needed a comforting yet healthy dinner solution that didn’t involve much fuss. The slow cooker does all the work for you, leaving you with more time to savor the beautiful aroma filling your kitchen in anticipation of slurping up a steamy bowl of this beautiful Vietnamese noodle soup.

And let’s not forget about health benefits. It’s packed with veggies, minerals and bursting with flavor from herbs like Thai basil and lemongrass. Canola oil instead of fatty animal fats will keep your heart healthy without losing an iota of deliciousness. The ease of preparation makes it ideal for anyone looking to optimize their time without skimping on taste.

So let’s get started on this pho-tastic journey and discover how to make a flavorful and veggie-packed slow cooker vegetarian pho chock-full of nutrients and brimming with flavor perception!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Vegetarian Slow Cooker Pho
Vegetarian Slow Cooker Pho

Are you looking to spice up your vegetarian recipe collection with a hearty, flavorful dish? Look no further than this Vegetarian Slow Cooker Pho Recipe. Not only is it easy to make, it’s also a healthy and satisfying meal option.

One of the best things about this recipe is its versatility. You can swap out ingredients to suit your taste preferences. Don’t like mushrooms? Try using tofu instead. Want a little more heat? Add extra sriracha sauce or chili peppers.

Additionally, the vegetarian pho broth is packed with savory flavors from ingredients like lemongrass, cinnamon, star anise, and cloves. Plus, the addition of dried porcini mushrooms adds a rich, earthy undertone to the soup traditionally found in beef pho.

This recipe is perfect for busy nights or when you want to meal prep ahead of time. Simply toss all the ingredients in your slow cooker and let it simmer for hours on low heat. The result is a mouth-watering blend of flavors that will leave you feeling satisfied and nourished.

So why not give this vegan pho recipe a try? Your taste buds will thank you for the dynamic flavors and your digestive system will thank you for the nutrient-packed ingredients.

Ingredient List

 A comforting bowl of Vegetarian Slow Cooker Pho on a cozy night in
A comforting bowl of Vegetarian Slow Cooker Pho on a cozy night in

Here is a list of ingredients you will need for this delicious Vegetarian Slow Cooker Pho Recipe:

Broth Base Ingredients:

  • 1 Onion (peeled and halved)
  • 2 Garlic Cloves (smashed)
  • 1 2-inch Piece Ginger (sliced)
  • 1 Cinnamon Stick
  • 1 Star Anise
  • 3 Whole Cloves
  • 1 Lemongrass Stalk (trimmed and smashed)
  • 4 cups Vegetable Broth
  • 4 cups Water
  • 1 tablespoon Low Sodium Soy Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Brown Sugar

Mushroom Mixture:

  • Dried Porcini Mushrooms (1/2 cup)
  • Shiitake Mushrooms (4 oz)
  • Portobello Mushrooms (2 medium caps, sliced)

Vegetable Ingredients:

  • 1 Onion (chopped)
  • 2 Garlic Cloves (minced)
  • 1 tablespoon Canola Oil
  • Bean Sprouts (to serve)
  • Thai Basil Leaves (to serve)
  • Lime Wedges (to serve)

Noodle Soup Ingredients:

  • Vegetarian Pho Noodles or Vietnamese Noodles
  • Tofu (cooked and cubed)
  • Sriracha Sauce

Note: If you don’t follow a strict vegan diet, you can add fish sauce to taste.

The Recipe How-To

 Dive into a flavorful broth filled with vibrant vegetables and soft rice noodles
Dive into a flavorful broth filled with vibrant vegetables and soft rice noodles

Now that we have our ingredients ready, let’s proceed with making this delicious vegetarian slow cooker pho recipe.

Step 1: Preparing the Broth

Start with preparing the broth. In a slow cooker or crockpot, add 8 cups of low-sodium vegetable broth and 4 cups of water. Add in 2 sliced onions, 3 cloves of minced garlic, 1 lemongrass stalk (cut into 2-inch pieces), 2 dried star anise, 1 cinnamon stick, and 4 whole cloves to the pot.

Step 2: Adding Flavors

Let the broth simmer for approximately 4 hours after adding in your ingredients. Next, remove all the solids from the broth using a strainer or ladle.

Step 3: Adding Vegetables

Add in 5 sliced portobello mushrooms, a handful of sliced shiitake mushrooms, and some dried porcini mushrooms to enhance flavor. Let it sit for another hour.

Step 4: Preparing the Noodles

In a separate pot, cook the rice noodles according to their package instructions. Rinse with cold water and set it aside.

Step 5: Serving the Pho Soup

When you’re ready to serve, divide the noodles equally into four bowls, ladle soup over them, and top each bowl with some bean sprouts and basil leaves. Serve with a lime wedge on the side for some extra zing.

You can also make it spicier by adding sriracha sauce or hoisin sauce at this stage according to your liking.

This vegetarian pho crockpot recipe is simple to make and you don’t need to be an expert cook to prepare it. You will enjoy every sip of its flavorful goodness!

Substitutions and Variations

 The perfect dish to warm your soul and fill your belly
The perfect dish to warm your soul and fill your belly

When it comes to substitutions and variations, the possibilities are endless, but here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing.

Firstly, if you prefer a meatier texture in your soup, you could swap the tofu for sliced seitan or tempeh. Alternatively, if you’re a fan of mushrooms, try substituting the shiitake and Porcini mushrooms for portobello mushrooms instead.

For a spicier kick, add some extra sriracha sauce or chopped fresh chili peppers to your bowl. If you’re not a fan of spice, simply omit these ingredients altogether.

If you’re unable to find lemongrass in your local grocery store, try using lemon zest as a substitute. You could also experiment with different herbs and spices such as coriander or cumin for added depth of flavor.

Those who prefer a lighter broth may want to use vegetable stock instead of the vegetable broth listed in the ingredients. Additionally, if you’re looking to cut down on sodium intake, you can use low-sodium soy sauce or omit it altogether and add a splash of apple cider vinegar for a tangy flavor.

Finally, when it comes to noodles, there are endless possibilities. Traditional Vietnamese pho is made with rice noodles, but if they aren’t available or you’re looking for something different, buckwheat noodles or udon noodles work well too. It’s all about experimenting with what you like best.

Remember that cooking is an art form and should be enjoyed through experimentation and creativity. So feel free to let your imagination run wild and create your own unique version of this delicious vegan slow cooker pho recipe!

Serving and Pairing

 Keep your kitchen low-maintenance with this easy slow cooker recipe
Keep your kitchen low-maintenance with this easy slow cooker recipe

Now that you’ve made this delicious vegetarian slow cooker pho recipe, it’s time to serve and pair it to enhance the pho experience. You can serve your vegetarian pho with a variety of vegetables and herbs to add more flavor and texture to your dish. Traditionally, pho is served with lime wedges, bean sprouts, Thai basil, and sliced jalapeños as a garnish.

I recommend adding some heat to your vegetarian pho by serving it with a side of sriracha sauce. This will give your dish an extra kick of spiciness that will make it even more flavorful. The cool thing about this sauce is that you can adjust the heat based on your personal preference.

You can also pair your vegetarian pho with a cold drink such as Thai iced tea or a refreshing soda like ginger ale. The contrast between hot pho and cold drink provides balance and following every spicy taste with a sip makes each bite feel new.

If making for lunch or dinner, consider making steamed dumplings or fried spring rolls as an appetizer or side dish. The lightness of the dumplings balances out the full-bodied flavor of the vegetarian pho broth which provides a traditional Vietnamese dining experience.

Regardless of how you choose to serve and pair your vegetarian slow cooker pho recipe, you are sure to impress your family and friends! Enjoy!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 A beautiful balance of sweet, salty, and savory flavors
A beautiful balance of sweet, salty, and savory flavors

Now that you have savored every bit of this delicious vegetarian slow cooker pho, you may be wondering how to store leftovers for later. The good news is, just like a classic noodle soup recipe, this vegetarian pho crock pot recipe can be easily stored and reheated without losing any of its flavors or textures.

To make things easier for you, it’s always helpful to prepare your ingredients ahead of time. You can slice your vegetables and simmer the broth the night before serving. Doing so will also help the flavors to develop further overnight.

When storing in leftovers, always separate the noodles from the soup broth. Otherwise, the noodles will absorb all the broth, leaving no flavor in your dish. Place them in separate containers with lids and save them in the fridge for up to four days.

To reheat your vegetarian pho, you can either use a microwave or place the broth into a pot and heat it gently on a stove over medium-low heat. Be sure to add more vegetable broth to adjust the consistency if needed. Add some fresh herbs like Thai basil, lime wedge, sprouts or mushroom cap as toppings to rejuvenate the aroma of the pho soup.

Remember not to reheat noodles in a microwave as it makes them dry and chewy instead of softening them back up. As such, it’s best to heat them again in boiling water separately for approximately 30 seconds or until they are tender again.

With these make-ahead, storing, and reheating tips, you can savor your vegan pho recipe whenever your heart desires without compromising on quality or taste.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Customize your toppings to make it just how you like it
Customize your toppings to make it just how you like it

If you’re using a slow cooker for the first time, or even if you’re not, cooking vegetarian pho can be tricky. But don’t worry! Here are some tips that will help you make pho soup that is full of flavor and depth.

Firstly, to avoid the broth becoming cloudy, make sure to add the ingredients in the correct order. Start with the vegetables and mushrooms, then add lemongrass and spices towards the end of the cooking process. This will give your broth a clear appearance, enhancing its food appeal.

Secondly, when it comes to seasoning your broth, take note of your sodium levels to ensure balance. I suggest using low-sodium vegetable broth and soy sauce to season your pho’s base. Being cautious with seasoning will also allow you to taste other flavors in it such as herbs and spices.

Thirdly, take note on how much you cook your noodles as they can easily become too mushy. Cook them separately according to package instructions or just before you are ready to serve, then dunk them into hot water right before adding them to the bowl of soup.

Fourthly, don’t skimp on garnishes! They can make all the difference in taste and texture. Thai basil, bean sprouts, and lime wedges bring freshness— pair that with a side of Sriracha sauce for added heat.

Lastly, be creative with your substitutions! Experimenting with different types of mushrooms like portobello or shiitake will create new tastes or try tofu instead of chicken breasts for more protein./Consider modifying traditional beef Pho soup toward vegetarian Pho by substituting meat with mushrooms which makes an interesting Vegan Pho option with a nice depth of umami flavors

With these tips in mind,your Vegetarian Slow Cooker Pho Recipe should come out rich and flavorful every time.

Bottom Line

As a vegan chef, I highly recommend this Vegetarian Slow Cooker Pho Recipe. It is a delicious and hearty meal that will satisfy any cravings for noodle soup. You don’t have to be a vegetarian or vegan to enjoy this recipe. Trust me, your taste buds will thank you.

With simple ingredients and easy-to-follow instructions, this dish is perfect for busy individuals who want to enjoy a nutritious and flavorful meal without spending too much time in the kitchen. Plus, with the versatility of substitutions and variations, you can customize this recipe to suit your own preferences and dietary needs.

From the star anise and cloves to the flavorful soy sauce, the blend of ingredients provides an authentic taste of Vietnam. The aroma of fresh herbs like Thai basil and lemongrass adds another layer of complexity to this dish.

Don’t be intimated by the idea of making pho from scratch! With the convenience of a slow cooker, you can set it and forget it while everything simmers together into a rich and savory broth.

In conclusion, I urge you to try this Vegetarian Slow Cooker Pho Recipe. Give it a chance to prove itself as a delicious and filling meal that’s perfect for any occasion. Whether it’s for family dinners or meal prepping for the week ahead, this pho recipe is a winner in my book.

Vegetarian Slow Cooker Pho

Vegetarian Slow Cooker Pho Recipe

Using 1/4-inch-wide rice noodles is important for the success of this soup; do not substitute other types of noodles. Be sure not to overcook the rice noodles or else they will become mushy.  The Test Kitchen created a flavorful base with a ‘beefy’ taste using portobellos and complex spice notes that could hold up well to the long simmering time in the slow cooker.  ATK
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Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 4 hrs
Course Main Course
Cuisine Vietnamese
Calories 153.3 kcal


  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 ounce dried porcini mushrooms, rinsed and minced
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 6 cups water
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 lb portobello mushroom cap, gills removed, caps halved and sliced thin
  • 3 stalks lemongrass, trimmed to bottom 6 inches and bruised with back of knife
  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce, plus extra for seasoning
  • 4 star anise pods
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 6 ounces wide rice noodles, 1/4 inch wide, no substitute
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha sauce, plus extra for seasoning
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 ounces bean sprouts
  • 1/2 cup fresh Thai basil
  • lime wedge


  • Microwave onion, garlic, porcini mushrooms, and oil in bowl, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, about 5 minutes; transfer to slow cooker. Stir in water, broth, portobello mushrooms, lemon grass, soy sauce, star anise, and cloves. Cover and cook until portobello mushrooms are tender, 4 to 6 hours on low or 3 to 5 hours on high.  Note:  Checking after the minimum cook time is recommended.
  • Stir noodles into soup, cover and cook on high until tender, 10 to 20 minutes. Discard lemon grass, star anise and cloves. Stir in Sriracha and season with salt, pepper, extra soy sauce and extra Sriracha to taste. Top individual portions with bean sprouts and basil and serve with lime wedges.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 399gCalories: 153.3kcalCarbohydrates: 31.6gProtein: 4.8gFat: 1.4gSaturated Fat: 0.2gSodium: 420.4mgFiber: 2.3gSugar: 2.9g
Keyword Asian, Easy
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