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

Pho soup in a bowl with chopsticks picking up lots of noodles.

Why We Love This Beef Pho Soup

Vietnamese Beef Pho Soup has got to be one of 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 agree.

It’s hard to pinpoint 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.

Don’t forget to check out all of our paleo and low carb recipes!

Rice Noodles in pho soup in a black bowl.

Healthy Vietnamese Pho

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 of small swaps you can make this tantalizing beef soup fit your New Year diet.

Vietnamese pho recipes can have a variety of proteins added to them including pork, beef, or chicken. This steak pho recipe uses thin slices of flank steak!

Onion, ginger, garlic, and cinnamon in the bottom of a large pot.

Ingredients You Need

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. In 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.

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.

Pho broth in a large pot with a ladle.
Ingredients for beef pho recipe.

How to Make Vietnamese Beef Pho Soup

  1. Sauté the vegetables and spices – This helps release the flavors in the aromatics.
  2. Slowly simmer the broth – The longer the broth simmers the better the flavor! For this recipe, I suggest simmering the broth for 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 to the broth just minutes before serving.
  5. Serve with fresh garnishes – Don’t forget to set out fresh bean sprouts and basil!

Fresh Garnishes:

  • Jalapeno
  • Basil
  • Mung bean sprouts
  • Lime

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

Raw flank steak thinly sliced on a wooden cutting board.

Tips & Tricks

  • Toppings are everything! Serve your pho with all the best toppings like bean sprouts, Thai basil, lime wedges, and sliced jalapeños!
  • Serve your pho with chopsticks and a large spoon for the most authentic eating experience.
  • Let the broth simmer! The longer, the better the flavor will be!

Get the Complete (Printable) Low Carb Vietnamese Pho Soup Recipe Below. Enjoy!

paleo pho soup in a large bowl.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is pho?

This is a soup that is most common in Vietnam, which contains broth, rice noodles (or miracle noodles), herbs, vegetables, and meats like chicken or pork/steak. This dish is considered to be the national food dish of Vietnam. 

How long does this soup last?

This low carb pho soup can stay in your fridge for up to 5 days, but it is very important to store the broth, meats, noodles, and toppings in separate containers. You can also warm it up very fast on the stove. 

Can I make this in the slow cooker?

Yes, you can make this recipe in a crockpot. Make sure to sauté the vegetables and spices on the stovetop first. Then slowly cook the broth for up to 12 hours on low, before moving onto to step 4.

overhead shot of pho with basil, jalapenos and lime on top.

More Amazing Healthy Soup Recipes

miracle noodles in chopsticks being picked up out of the soup.

Check the printable recipe card below for the prep time, cook time, total time, and nutrition information. Make sure to share this recipe on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest!

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Healthy Vietnamese Pho Soup 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



  • 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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