Low Carb Pho - Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup [Recipe] (2024)

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I'm so excited to share my low carb pho recipe with you!

Pho is one of my favorite foods ever and is the ultimate comfort food to me. I have so many memories tied to this dish. My husband and I went on our official first date at a hole-in-the-wall pho restaurant after I raved and raved about the soup. I’ve trekked to the local pho joint mid-hangover with my BFFs knowing at the end of our journey we'd all feel 300% better. My sister and I regularly frequented one spot simply because she thought the server was cute and we would talk about what their hypotheticalchild, Minjiffany, would look like (Minji + Tiffany – I still remember, Tiff!). So many good things come to mind!

Unfortunately, pho is as noodley as they come. The dish is traditionally served with rice noodles, which have a MILLION carbs in them. Well, not a million but close enough. Just 1 cup of rice noodles has 42 net carbs! That's roughly equivalent to a candy bar. Psh. No. Not anymore, pho.

Or so I thought! You see, after all these years of devouring pho left and right, I had never learned how to make it myself at home. I always swung by my favorite pho place whenever I got a hankering for beef noodle soup; it had become like fast food to me. After going keto, I started to miss my beloved soup, and I just had to make a low carb pho to curb my cravings.

I had learned to make a pretty good bone broth with my pressure cookerLow Carb Pho - Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup [Recipe] (1) but hadn’t experimented with pho broth ever before - let alone a low carb pho broth. It usually takes hours (and hours and hours) to simmer on the stovetop, but I don’t have time for that. At all. I contemplated picking up pho to-go and just tossing out the noodles, but I have a hard time trusting thatthe broth they make doesn't have sugar in it. Hint: it does.

So out comes the Instant PotLow Carb Pho - Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup [Recipe] (2), usingthis recipefor reference and I begin constructing my game plan to perfect my version of low carb pho.

Low Carb Pho - Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup [Recipe] (3)

The Low Carb Pho Recipe

Rice noodles are out, obviously. I decide Shirataki NoodlesLow Carb Pho - Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup [Recipe] (4)are my best-bet to substitute for many reasons. First of all, they haveNO carbs! Zip, zero, none. Although they only have 30 calories in an entire bag, Shirataki NoodlesLow Carb Pho - Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup [Recipe] (5)are actually quitefilling. They alsohave the same underlying texture and appearance I’m looking for; there's a little bite to the noodle, and if you choose the long, skinny spaghetti-like strands it looks pretty darn close to the real deal. I have had great success using them for low carb Asian dishes, includingstir-fry recipes and even fried rice. I was pretty confident they would work well in a noodle soup, but it turned out better than I had imagined! For this dish, you don't have to do much with the noodles, just rinse them off in water and strain.

Low Carb Pho - Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup [Recipe] (6)

For the broth, I parboil the bones for 15 minutes to remove impurities and increase clarity of the soup. Then I throw everything broth-related into the instant pot: the bones, onion, ginger, fish sauce, and water. I set my pressure cooker for 2 hours on high. When it’s done, I just strain it! You could then use it immediately or make it ahead of time, freeze and boil when you're ready to use it.

Now, I could just straight up drink this broth because it’s so good. But it wouldn’t entirely be pho without all the fixings now, would it?

Low Carb Pho - Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup [Recipe] (7)


  • Lime - A squirt from a lime wedge usually does the trick with minimal amount of carbs
  • Sriracha – It’s delicious, I know. But watch your portioning: there’s 1gram of sugar per teaspoon, so it is effortless to go overboard on carbs if you are a fan of the rooster sauce or like it super spicy!
  • Chili Garlic Paste - The brand I use (Huy Fong) that is available at most restaurants has less than 1 gram of sugar and reads 0 total carbs on the nutrition label. Better option to make it spicy on a keto diet.
  • Thai Basil -Super aromatic, this is a lovely herb for any soup. Plus its low carb!
  • Cilantro - Have at it! This herb is keto compliant.
  • Hoisin Sauce – Not keto friendly! It’s chalk full of sugar!Stay away.
  • Veggies – Bean Sprouts, Jalapeno, Mushrooms, Onion, Scallion, Broccoli are favorites for pho. Use what you like, just be sure to track the carbs for whatever you add. (My low carb veggie list canhelp you with that!)
  • Meat - A-OK on keto. Select a traditional cut of meat or get creative! Up to you!

The fixings are all optional dependent on preference and taste. A well-constructed broth usually doesn't need much, so I leave a lot of the sauces out when I enjoy the way my broth turns out. Play around with it to find your perfect combo!

There’s a variety of meats to include in traditional pho as this post over at Serious Eatsillustrates, but my personal preference is to use raw flank steak shaved paper thin. You can ask your local butcher to cut it for you or buy a side of the raw beef at your closest pho joint – but I guarantee you’ll get more bang for your buck at the butcher. When you are ready to serve, place the meat in the steaming hot broth in your bowl to let it gradually cook.Then add in the rest of your ingredients.

Low Carb Pho - Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup [Recipe] (8)

To serve, place your meat of choice and shirataki noodles in a large bowl and cover in piping hot broth. I would recommend tasting your broth before adding any sauces - you may like it just the way it is. Taste first, then season! Add your desired fixings, mix and slurp away! Enjoy your low carb pho!

I like to plate thepho fixings separately in a community style bowl or plate to share with my family, that way we can all pick our favorite additions to the soup and I don't have to worry about keeping everyone's order straight. Even my toddler loves this dish! She demands "SOUP! SOUP! SOUP!" Like mother, like daughter.

Low Carb Pho - Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup [Recipe] (9)

If you don’t have a pressure cooker, you could just use the stovetop method. But I would seriously consider getting one to save you some prep time in the kitchen. It’s much easier to stick to a diet when you can prepare things on the fly and make things as uncomplicated as possible. I use an electric pressure cooker called the Instant PotLow Carb Pho - Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup [Recipe] (10)so I can set it and forget it instead ofstaringat the stovetop. I'm a bit of an Instant Pot evangelist since getting one for my birthday last year, I use it constantlyand preach to my friends and family about it. But there are plenty other pressure cookers out there that will get the job done!

What is your favorite comfort food that you are missing on the keto diet? Let me know what you are desperately craving in the comments below! I'd love to help you put together a low carb version of it! As always, I appreciate the feedback and would love to hear from you!

📖 Recipe

Low Carb Pho - Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup [Recipe] (11)

Low Carb Pho – Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup [Recipe]

Now you can enjoy pho without the carbs!

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Prep Time: 15 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 3 hours hours

Total Time: 3 hours hours 15 minutes minutes

Servings: 5 servings

Serving Size:

Net Carbs: 3g

Author: Tasha


The Broth (4-5 servings)

  • 5-6 beef soup bones browned and roasted - the more connective tissue, the better!
  • ½ Onion charred
  • 1 tablespoon Fresh Ginger sliced
  • 1 tbsp Salt
  • 3 tbsp Fish Sauce
  • 2 pods Star Anise
  • 1 gallon Water

My Favorite Low Carb Pho Fixings (1 serving)

  • 5 packages Shirataki Noodles rinsed, 7 oz bags
  • 1.24 pound Flank Steak raw, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup Bean Sprouts
  • 5 sprigs Thai Basil
  • ½ Jalapeno sliced
  • ½ Scallion chopped

US Customary - Metric


  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

  • Cover beef bones in water and boil for 15 minutes in a large stockpot on the stovetop while the oven preheats. Discard water.

  • Place parboiled beef bones and onion on baking sheet or casserole dish and roast for 45 -60 minutes, until bones are browned and onion is blackened.

  • Toss bones, onion, fresh ginger, salt, fish sauce, star anise and fresh water into pressure cooker.

  • Set pressure cooker to high pressure for 2 hours. If you are using a stovetop, you will simmer for 6-8 hours instead.

  • Strain broth with fine colander.

  • Place shirataki noodles and meat of choice in bowl, pour broth over the top into bowl while it is still very hot.

  • Stir and let sit until raw meat is no longer pink and noodles are cooked, 1 to 2 minutes.

  • Serve with condiments and veggies of choice on the side.


Only 3g carbs per serving!


Nutrition Facts

Low Carb Pho – Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup [Recipe]

Amount per Serving



% Daily Value*





























Net Carbs





* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Tried this recipe?Mention @KETOGASM or tag #ketogasm!

Disclosure: the product links included in this post are Amazon affiliate links to help support the blog. If you purchase something from Amazon using the links, I'll get a small kickback from them which will be used to support and grow this site. I will only link to products I've personally tried and feel comfortable recommending raving about.

Low Carb Pho - Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup [Recipe] (12)


Hi, I'm Tasha–nutritionist, recipe developer, and multi-published cookbook author.

Low Carb Pho - Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup [Recipe] (2024)


Can I eat pho on a low carb diet? ›

I wouldn't normally recommend pho on a keto diet, due to the noodles and even added sugar. But a low carb keto pho recipe, made with zucchini noodles and monk fruit sweetener, was the perfect candidate for transforming an Asian takeout dish into a healthier version at home!

How many carbs are in Vietnamese beef pho? ›

Here's what you get in one cup of your average homemade beef pho, according to the USDA Nutrient Database: Calories: 215. Fat: 5.47 g. Carbs: 25.2 g.

Is Vietnamese Pho keto friendly? ›

Traditional pho isn't keto-friendly. It's typically sweetened with rock sugar and served with high-carb rice noodles. Eating rice noodles can cause your blood sugar to spike and quickly push you out of ketosis.

What can you substitute for rice noodles in pho? ›

And if rice noodles are difficult to find in your area, feel free to substitute any other kind of noodles here to your liking – ramen, udon, angel hair pasta, etc.

How do you eat pho on keto? ›

To make keto pho, you can add your favorite low carb vegetables to your soup. I like to add a mixture of red bell pepper, onions, zucchini, mushrooms and broccoli. Just as long as you cut or slice them thinly with a mandoline.

What is the healthiest pho soup? ›

"The best pho recipes are ones that include lean protein, like chicken, plus heaps of veggies and go lighter on the noodles." In fact, one bowl of pho contains around 30 grams protein - about half of the recommended amount per day for most people.

Is pho healthier than ramen? ›

Pho is usually considered a healthier choice than ramen because it tends to have fewer calories and less fat, making it a lighter meal. But both pho and ramen still give you a good amount of protein, vitamins, and minerals.

Is beef pho unhealthy? ›

Pho is nutritious and is high in protein, but does have high sodium and calories. It may help reduce inflammation and improve joint health. Pho (pronounced “fuh”) is a hearty Vietnamese soup usually made with a meaty broth, rice noodles, various herbs, and either beef, chicken, or tofu.

Is Vietnamese Pho high in carbs? ›

Pho is low-calorie for what it packs in it. There are roughly 30 grams of protein, 40 grams of carbs, and 425 calories in a medium bowl of pho. If you were to have pho for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, it would amount to a very respectable 1,275 calories.

Can you eat pho while losing weight? ›

Hence, people who want to lose weight may have a bowl of pho with low-calorie broth, less rice noodle, and lean chicken instead of beef.

Is pho OK for weight loss? ›

Pho is healthy only when…

Of this, 32% of the calories come from fat, 32% come from carbohydrates, and 36% of the calories in one cup of pho come from protein. On the other hand, a meal-sized portion of pho may provide up to 400 calories which are only 20% of the recommended daily intake of calories.

Does pho spike blood sugar? ›

Pho and Ramen

Noodles (even rice noodles) are a processed food made with refined grains that tends to spike many people.

What is pho without noodles called? ›

In The Pho Cookbook, there's a recipe called xao xuong bo (page 70) that involves serving the broth with the soup bones and slices of cooked beef. No noodles are involved but I do offer the option of adding fried Chinese donuts on the side!

What is broken rice in pho? ›

But much of what Vietnam sends to the rest of the world are perfect rice grains, not the broken rice, or cơm tấm, Vietnamese love so much. Broken rice are the grains damaged during the drying and milling process, which, outside of Vietnam, are generally considered inferior to intact ones.

Does pho broth have carbs? ›

Organics Beef Pho Broth (1 cup) contains 2g total carbs, 2g net carbs, 0g fat, 1g protein, and 15 calories.

Is pho high in carbs? ›

Pho is low-calorie for what it packs in it. There are roughly 30 grams of protein, 40 grams of carbs, and 425 calories in a medium bowl of pho. If you were to have pho for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, it would amount to a very respectable 1,275 calories.

Are there a lot of carbs in pho? ›

Pho soup (Vietnamese noodle soup) (1 cup) contains 19.5g total carbs, 18.5g net carbs, 3.1g fat, 9.4g protein, and 143 calories.

Does pho broth have a lot of carbs? ›

The broth itself contains little or no oil, and is very low in calories, carbs, and fat – the main drawback is the high sodium content. Keep pho lean with protein choices like flank steak, eye of round, seafood, or chicken, rather than higher fat options like meatballs or brisket.

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