A Spicy Perspective

Low Carb Vietnamese Pho Recipe

 Low Carb Vietnamese Pho Recipe – A traditional beef pho soup recipe with low carb noodle options to fit into keto and paleo diets.

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Vietnamese Beef Pho Soup has got to be in my family’s top 3 favorite meals collectively.

Whenever we go out for dinner one or both of the kids always suggests our favorite local Vietnamese restaurant, and one or both parents always agrees.

It’s hard to pin point why Vietnamese noodle soup is so alluring. After all it’s a simple broth with meat and rice noodles.

Yet the depth of spicy undertones in the broth, and the pop of fresh cool ingredients added at the table make it hard to resist.

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Although traditional Vietnamese Beef Pho is pretty darn healthy on its own, today I’m sharing a Low Carb Vietnamese Pho Recipe to fit into Paleo, Keto, and Whole 30 diets.

With just a couple small swaps you can make this tantalizing beef soup fit your New Year diet.

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Low Carb Vietnamese Pho Recipe Ingredients

For the Broth:

  • Coconut oil
  • Ginger
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Star anise
  • Cloves
  • Cardamom pods
  • Fish sauce
  • Palm sugar
  • Beef broth
  • Water

Together these ingredients create a rich complex broth that gets better with age. If fact, making the broth in a crockpot while you are away at work is a fabulous idea!

For ketogenic recipes, remove the tablespoon of palm sugar.

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For the Soup:

  • Flank steak
  • Shirataki noodles

These items are stirred in at the end after the onions and spices have been removed.

Shirataki noodles are grain free and ultra low carb so they fit into all types of low carb diets.

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Fresh Garnishes:

  • Jalapeno
  • Basil
  • Mung bean sprouts
  • Lime

These four items are most traditional. Although scallions and cilantro are also great add-ins!

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Homemade Vietnamese Beef Pho Soup

  1. Sauté the vegetables and spices – This help release the flavors in the aromatics
  2. Slow simmer the broth – The longer the broth simmers the better the flavor! For this recipe, I suggest simmering the broth at least one hour. But you can turn the heat down very low and simmer it as long as you like. You can even make the broth a day ahead (like they do in restaurants) for intensified flavor.
  3. Skim – Once the broth has simmered, scoop out the veggies and spices.
  4. Add in the noodles and beef – The noodles and thin-cut beef cook quickly. They can be added into the broth just minutes before serving.
  5. Serve with fresh garnishes – Don’t forget to set out fresh bean sprouts and basil!

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Get the Complete (Printable) Low Carb Vietnamese Pho Recipe Below

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Low Carb Vietnamese Pho Soup Recipe #ASpicyPerspective #whole30 #paleo #lowcarb #keto #Soup

Low Carb Vietnamese Pho Recipe #ASpicyPerspective #whole30 #paleo #lowcarb #keto #Soup
Print Recipe
5 from 15 votes
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Low Carb Vietnamese Pho Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
A traditional beef pho soup recipe with low carb noodle options to fit into keto and paleo diets.
Servings: 8 servings


  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2 inch piece of fresh ginger, sliced
  • 1 large onion, peeled and quartered
  • 5 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 5 cinnamon sticks
  • 3 whole star anise
  • 10 cloves
  • 4 cardamom pods, smashed
  • 12 cups water
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 tablespoon fish sauce (gluten free)
  • 1 tablespoon palm sugar (omit for keto)
  • 1 pound flank steak
  • 1 pound shirataki noodles
  • 4 ounces mung bean sprouts
  • 2 jalapeños, sliced
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges


  • Place a large stock pot over medium heat. Add the onion wedges, ginger, garlic, cinnamon, star anise, cloves, cardamom, and coconut oil. Sauté the onions and spices for about 10 minutes, stirring to brown the onions on all sides.
  • Pour in the water, beef broth, fish sauce, and sugar. Bring to a simmer. Then lower the heat if needed, and simmer for at least 60 minutes. (P.S. Fish sauce has a funky aroma, but tastes amazing! Don't skip it.)
  • Meanwhile, flash-freeze the flank steak for 30 minutes. It should be frozen on the outside, yet still mostly thawed on the inside. Then slice the steak against the grain into paper-thin pieces.
  • Use a skimmer to pull all the onions, and spices out of the broth. Then arrange the mung bean sprouts, sliced jalapeno, lime wedges and basil on a serving plate.
  • Add in the noodles to the broth and cook for 2-3 minutes, or according the the package instructions.
  • Turn off the heat and stir in the thin pieces of beef. They should be thin enough to cook in the hot broth without additional heat.
  • Scoop the pho into bowls and allow guests to add their own veggie garnishes.


A. If you can't find shirataki noodles, you can add raw zucchini noodles instead. 
B. If "low carb" is not necessary for your diet, rice noodles are traditional. 
C. The longer the broth cooks the better. You can turn the heat down to low and allow it to simmer for 2 hours. Or make it a day ahead for intensified flavor, before adding the noodles and beef.
D. Slow Cooker Pho Soup:
Yes, you can make this recipe in a crockpot. Make sure to sauté the vegetables and spices on the stove top first. Then slow cook the broth up to 12 hours on low, before moving onto to step 4.


Serving: 1.25cups, Calories: 136kcal, Carbohydrates: 4g, Protein: 14g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 34mg, Sodium: 628mg, Potassium: 336mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 45IU, Vitamin C: 8.2mg, Calcium: 68mg, Iron: 1.7mg
Course: Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Author: Sommer Collier

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21 comments on “Low Carb Vietnamese Pho Recipe”

  1. This Pho is AWESOME!!!

  2. Where did you get the noodles that look like Chinese thin noodles made with wheat? I’m having a hard time finding shirataki noodles that are as thin, long, and straight like your photos. Thank you!

  3. Pingback: Low Carb Vietnamese Pho Recipe - A Spicy Perspective - Low Carb Foods

  4. While an easy meal to prepare, I didn’t think this tasted anything like real pho, at least based on the pho I’ve eaten across 4 states (and this is unrelated to the noodles, I’m not low carb so I just used regular rice noodles). The broth lacked depth and wasn’t meaty at all, but that’s not really surprising when I’m trying a quick & easy version that doesn’t involve simmering the bones for hours, etc.
    After adding some sriracha, Maggi sauce and other toppings I was able to enjoy it a bit, but not under the guise of pho. More like the beef version of chicken noodle soup.  

  5. Pingback: Savored Gluten Free Low Carb Dinner Recipes

  6. Pingback: Healthy Low Carb soup Recipes

  7. Wow!! The first recipe I have ever seen from a blog (have to say your’s is my favourite) featuring “konjak” pasta, which is virtually carb-free! Your recipe for “Pho”is great also!! Cheers. You must have had a few bowls of it on your recent trip! Many thanks!

  8. I absolutely LOVE pho and am so excited to try this low carb version! YUM!

  9. Finally! An easy to make Pho recipe that tastes like the real thing! I love the flavor and seriously will make this every week now!!

  10. This looks delicious! Definitely restaurant worthy; I’m looking forward to trying this!

  11. Do you know how excited I am to see low carb pho?? This is incredible! Thank you!

  12. This one was no exception. So GOOD!

  13. I’ll be eating this every day, all winter long. Yum!

  14. Such a great, flavorful broth.

  15. Asian dinners are always a favorite in our house. This one was no exception. So GOOD!

  16. Pho is always a favorite comfort soup for my family – beautiful recipe!

  17. I’ve been looking for the perfect pho recipe! This is it!

  18. I’ve been determined to make pho at home, and this is the best version we’ve tried!

  19. I have been craving pho all day! I’m making this right now.