The Nutritional Value of Pho: How Many Calories Are in a Large Bowl?

Pho is a Vietnamese dish that has gained immense popularity worldwide due to its delicious taste and health benefits. It’s a bowl of rice noodles served in meat or vegetable broth with herbs, spices, and vegetables. Pho is often considered a healthy option compared to other fast foods, but many people wonder about its calorie intake. Keep reading if you’re also curious about how many calories in a large bowl of pho.

What is Pho?

Pho is a Vietnamese soup dish comprising rice noodles, meat (usually beef or chicken), herbs, and spices. The broth is typically made by simmering bones for several hours, which gives it a distinctive flavor. Pho is a popular breakfast and lunch dish in Vietnam, but it’s now enjoyed all over the world.

Who eats Pho?

Pho has become a favorite dish among people who enjoy Asian cuisine. It’s especially popular in countries with a large Vietnamese population, like the United States, Australia, and France. It’s also popular among health-conscious individuals because of its low-fat content and high nutritional value.

How many calories in a large bowl of Pho?

How many calories are in a large bowl of Pho
How many calories are in a large bowl of Pho

The number of calories in a large bowl of pho can vary depending on the restaurant and the recipe used. However, on average, a large bowl of pho contains around 500-700 calories. The calorie count can increase if you add extra toppings like beef brisket, tendon, or meatballs. Additionally, traditional pho often contains a significant amount of sodium, which can contribute to high blood pressure and other health issues if consumed in excess.

Pros and Cons of Eating Pho

Pros and Cons of Eating Pho
Pros and Cons of Eating Pho

There are several pros and cons associated with eating pho. Here are some of them:


  • Pho is a low-fat and healthy meal option.
  • It’s rich in nutrients like protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
  • The broth in pho can help to improve digestion and boost the immune system.
  • Pho is known for its anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce inflammation in the body.


  • Pho can be high in sodium, depending on the recipe used.
  • Some people may be allergic to certain ingredients used in pho, such as peanuts or fish sauce.
  • Pho can be high in carbs, which can be an issue for individuals on a low-carb diet.
  • It can take several hours to prepare the broth for pho properly.

Alternatives to Pho

If you’re looking for alternatives to pho, here are a few options you could try:

  • Ramen: A Japanese dish that’s similar to pho but with a different type of noodle and broth.
  • Bun Cha: A Vietnamese soup-like dish that’s served with grilled pork and rice noodles.
  • Laksa: A spicy Malaysian soup that typically includes chicken or seafood and coconut milk.

Tips for Eating Pho

If you’re planning to eat pho, here are some tips to help make it a healthier meal:

  • Choose lean meat options like beef or chicken breast.
  • Add lots of fresh vegetables to your pho to increase its nutritional value.
  • Consider skipping the sugar or adding only a small amount to the broth.
  • Drink plenty of water after eating pho to help flush out excess sodium.

Step by Step How to Make Pho

Step by Step How to Make Pho
Step by Step How to Make Pho

Making pho can take several hours, but here are the basic steps involved:

  1. Toast spices like star anise, cinnamon, cloves, coriander seeds, and cardamom in a pan until fragrant.
  2. Add the spices to a large pot with beef or chicken bones and fill the pot with water.
  3. Bring the pot to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer for several hours.
  4. Strain the broth and discard the bones and spices.
  5. Cook rice noodles according to package instructions and drain.
  6. Thinly slice the cooked meat of your choice.
  7. Assemble the bowl of pho with rice noodles, sliced meat, fresh herbs, bean sprouts, lime wedges, and broth.
  8. Serve hot.

Compare Pho to other Vietnamese dishes

Pho is one of the most popular Vietnamese dishes, but it’s not the only one worth trying. Here are some other Vietnamese dishes you should consider:

  • Banh Mi: A sandwich made with French bread, meat, pickled vegetables, and herbs.
  • Com Tam: Broken rice served with grilled pork or chicken, fried egg, and vegetables.
  • Goi Cuon: Fresh spring rolls filled with shrimp, pork, rice noodles, and herbs.

The Best Places to Eat Pho

The Best Places to Eat Pho
The Best Places to Eat Pho

If you’re looking for the best places to eat pho, here are some suggestions:

  • Pho 79: Located in Westminster, California, this restaurant has been serving up delicious pho since the1980s and is a local favorite.
  • Pho So 1: With multiple locations in the Greater Toronto Area, this restaurant chain offers a wide variety of pho options and has won several awards for its dishes.
  • Pho Binh Minh: This family-owned and operated restaurant in Houston, Texas, is known for its flavorful broth and generous portions.


So, how many calories in a large bowl of pho? This answer is that Pho is a delicious and healthy Vietnamese dish that many people worldwide enjoy. While the calorie count of a large bowl of pho can vary depending on several factors, it’s generally considered a low-fat and nutrient-rich meal option. However, it’s essential to be mindful of the sodium content and choose lean meat options to make it even healthier. Whether you’re looking to try pho for the first time or are already a fan, there are many options and ways to customize it to your liking.

FAQs after The Conclusion:

  1. Is pho gluten-free?
    Typically, pho is gluten-free as it uses rice noodles instead of wheat noodles. However, it’s essential to check with the restaurant if they use any ingredients that contain gluten.
  1. What is the best type of meat to add to pho?
    Lean meats like beef brisket, eye of round, or chicken breast are good options to add to pho.
  1. Can pho help with a cold?
    The warm broth and spices used in pho can help soothe a sore throat and alleviate cold symptoms.
  1. Is pho high in protein?
    Yes, pho is high in protein due to the meat used in the dish.
  1. Can vegetarians eat pho?
    Yes, vegetarian and vegan versions of pho are available that use vegetable broth and tofu instead of meat.
About Yen Le

Welcome to Bunker Vietnamese, a website dedicated to exploring the diverse world of Vietnamese cuisine. As a proud Vietnamese-American, my passion for cooking and sharing my cultural heritage has led me to create this platform. Join me on this culinary journey and discover the vibrant flavors and textures that make Vietnamese food so unique and delicious.

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