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Beef Pho Noodle Soup

Served with chewy rice noodles and crunchy bean sprouts, this savory pho noodle soup with juicy steak is comfort food in a bowl. Its spiced broth will satisfy all your take-out cravings thanks to spicy szechuan sauce, jalapeños, and herby cilantro.

Overhead photo of pho noodle soup with toppings.

Quick & Easy Pho Beef Noodle Soup

Loaded with silky rice noodles, this pho noodle soup is made with an effortless, spiced broth for a quick weeknight dinner. With tender strips of juicy steak and crisp bean sprouts, this Vietnamese comfort food will become your new go-to.

Simmered with sweet star anise and earthy cinnamon, all it needs is a bit of tangy lime juice to balance out the richness of the broth. While that’s ready, prep the noodles and assemble the bowls with herby cilantro, creamy avocado, and crunchy scallions. You can also add bok choy for some extra Asian flair!

Why You’ll Love This Pho Noodle Soup

This recipe always hits the spot with its rich broth and chewy noodles. It’ll become a weeknight favorite in no time!

  • Homemade. Nothing is better than a fresh bowl of homemade pho. You know exactly what’s in it and you can also make a couple of changes so it’s completely your own.
  • Better than take-out. Double the amount of beef, add more noodles to finish up leftover broth, and only add your favorite toppings.
  • Easy. Simmer, boil the noodles, and assemble the bowls. It’s like your favorite instant noodles!
  • Great for weeknights. Everybody has 16 minutes to throw together dinner.
Pho noodle soup with cilantro, sauces, and jalapeño.

What Is Pho?

Pho is a traditional Vietnamese soup. There are several versions but beef pho is made with thinly sliced beef, rice noodles, a savory broth, lots of herbs, and fresh veggies. The beef isn’t cooked or boiled, which is why it needs to be super thin so the hot broth can cook it when poured in. Common toppings include bean sprouts, cilantro, and sliced chilis. Additional sauces like fish sauce, hoisin sauce, or sriracha can be added for more flavor but they’re not necessary.

Pho noodle soup ingredients.

Recipe Ingredients

It has all the savory ingredients of authentic pho without the endless hours in the kitchen. Check the recipe card at the bottom of the post for exact amounts.

  • Organic beef broth – Veggie stock works too.
  • Anise – Don’t use ground star anise because the flavor will be way more intense.
  • Cinnamon stick – Avoid ground cinnamon. Only cinnamon sticks can infuse the flavor you’re after without making the soup taste like dessert.
  • Rice noodles – These are also called “glass noodles”.
  • Round steak – Ask your butcher to slice it extra thinly. The thinner, the better.
  • Salt and black pepper – I prefer kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper. Don’t use white or pink pepper because they’re fruity and floral.
  • Jalapeño – Only use fresh ones because canned chilis are quite tangy.
  • Bean sprouts – Blanch them in boiling water for 30 seconds and then drain them. It’ll keep them crunchy and remove their bitterness.
  • Cilantro – Don’t use parsley because it’s very refreshing and spicy.
  • Lime – Lemon juice works too.
  • Scallion stalks – They’re also called “green onions.”
  • Avocado – Drizzle it with lime juice if you’re not serving it right away to prevent the avocado from browning.
  • Tsang classic sauce – Feel free to use low-sodium soy sauce.
  • Tsang szechuan spicy sauce – You can leave it out if you don’t want to make the soup spicy.
Grabbing beef and noodles from the bowl of pho with chopsticks.

How to Make Beef Pho Noodle Soup

Organic beef broth makes this an almost instant pho. Check the recipe card at the bottom of the post for more detailed instructions.

  • Prepare the broth. In a large stockpot, combine the beef stock, star anise, and cinnamon. Bring it to a gentle simmer over low heat.
  • Cook the rice noodles. In a separate pot, prepare the noodles according to package instructions. Don’t overcook them because they’ll soften too much. Drain and set them aside. If you’re not serving them right away, toss them in 2 teaspoons of sesame oil to keep them from sticking.
  • Season the beef. Sprinkle the beef with salt and pepper on all sides. Set it aside. It’ll cook once you pour hot broth into the bowls.
  • Remove the spices. Use a fork or spoon to carefully remove the star anise and cinnamon from the pot.
  • Assemble the bowls. Divide the noodles and beef evenly among 4-6 serving bowls. Ladle hot broth over them.
  • Add toppings and sauces. Garnish the bowls with bean sprouts, jalapeños, cilantro, and avocado to taste. Squeeze in some lime juice and add sauces to taste. Serve and enjoy.
Close-up of the sauces you can use to add more flavor to pho soup.

Tips & Variations

There’s nothing intimidating about making pho once you realize where you can cut some corners.

  • Use homemade. If you’ve got a family recipe for beef broth, use it for this pho. It’ll add way more flavor.
  • Make it spicy. Add Sriracha or chili oil for a kick of heat.
  • Toast the spices. Place the cinnamon and star anise in a pan over low heat. Let them toast, shaking the pan continuously, for 3-4 minutes or until fragrant. This will add more depth to the broth. Don’t let the spices burn.
  • Swap the noodles. Feel free to use egg noodles or zoodles if that’s what you’ve got on hand.
  • Use more veggies. Sliced mushrooms, spinach, and bok choy are great ways to make your soup heartier.
  • Add more sauces. Stir in 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, hoisin sauce, or fish sauce at a time to increase the umami and savoriness of the broth.
A bowl of pho with cilantro, lime wedges, and jalapeño on the side.

What to Serve with Pho Beef Noodle Soup

This pho noodle soup is hearty enough to be served on its own. However, you can definitely pair it with Asian-inspired sides if you serve it in smaller portions. Try it with my Paleo Asian Stir Fry or Grilled Chicken with Asian Barbecue Sauce. For a lighter option, go for my Asian Beef Rainbow Salad.

How to Store & Reheat Leftovers

Once fully cooled, refrigerate any leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Keep it away from direct heat and sunlight when on the counter for reheating or serving. To prevent the noodles from soaking up the broth, store them in separate containers. To reheat the soup, pop it into the microwave for up to a minute or until warm. You can also heat it in a pot over medium-low heat for 6-8 minutes.

More Easy Soup Recipes

Beef Pho Noodle Soup

3.50 from 2 votes
This 16-minute pho noodle soup with steak, crunchy bean sprouts, and herby cilantro will make you want to skip take-out night from now on.
Prep Time8 minutes
Cook Time8 minutes
Total Time16 minutes
Servings: 4 -6


Beef Broth:

  • 64 ounces of organic beef broth
  • 5 star of anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick

Rice Noodles (pho)


  • 1/2 pound round steak sliced paper thin
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • Pinch of black pepper


  • 1-2 jalapeno peppers sliced (remove seeds for less heat)
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 1 large bunch of cilantro
  • 1 large lime cut into wedges
  • 1-2 stalks scallions trimmed and diced
  • 1 large avocado peeled seeded and sliced
  • Tsang stir fry classic sauce
  • Tsang stir fry szechuan spicy sauce


  • Add beef stock, star of anise, cinnamon to a large stock pot and bring to a low simmer
  • Cook rice noodles according to package directions
  • Sprinkle salt and pepper over thinly sliced beef.
  • Remove star of anise an cinnamon from stock. Spoon stock into bowls and add thinly sliced beef and a serving of noodles.
  • Top each bowl with desired vegetables and a squeeze of lime.
  • Divide the broth between four to six large bowls, then add thinly sliced beef and desired amount of noodles.
  • Top with bean sprouts, sliced jalapeños, fresh cilantro, avocado and serve with lime wedges.
  • Add a drizzle of Tsangs stir fry sauces to your desired taste.
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Soup
Cuisine: Asian


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43 comments on “Beef Pho Noodle Soup”

  1. Very easy and a new recipe that is going on my regular must have menu!!!! Thank you!! I used shiritake pasta instead of noodles (low carb life). They soaked up the broth perfectly.***Disclaimer*** If you have never tried shiritake noodles before, make sure to learn how to cook them before attempting to eat them. It’s a different process than boiling noodles!!

  2. I’ve made this a few times now, and it’s a great shortcut to a quick, easy, and flavorful bowl of pho.

  3. Hi, I’m not too clear as to what point the beef is cooked. Does it cook when it’s placed into the bowls with the beef stock?

    1. Hi Ron, Yes the beef is thinly sliced and the stock is hot enough to cook the beef very easily. Enjoy!

    1. Hi Marlen, You put the meat in raw, it is so thin and the broth is hot enough that it will cook the meat.

  4. I love Pho and I can’t wait to try this at home. How long do you simmer the broth? Will it make it more flavorful if it’s simmered longer?

    1. Hi Steve, This is a quick pho, so I made with pre-made beef broth. Just make sure you buy a high quality broth and you won’t need to simmer it any longer since all the work is done for you. Enjoy!

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