How Many Calories Is Pho? A Comprehensive Guide 

How Many Calories Is Pho

Pho, a beloved Vietnamese noodle soup, has gained widespread popularity for its rich flavors and comforting warmth. While it’s a go-to dish for many food enthusiasts, health-conscious individuals often wonder about its calorie content. Whether you’re watching your diet or simply curious, understanding the calorie count in pho is essential. In this article, we’ll delve into the world of pho, exploring its ingredients, calorie variations, and how it fits into different dietary plans, helping you make informed choices when savoring this delicious dish.

How Many Calories Is Pho?  

The calorie content of a bowl of pho can vary significantly based on factors like ingredients and portion size. On average, a standard serving of beef pho contains approximately 350-450 calories, while chicken or vegetarian options tend to be slightly lower. To get an accurate count, it’s best to check with the specific restaurant or refer to nutritional information when available.

Why People Ask About Pho Calories?

People inquire about the calorie content of pho for various reasons:

  • Dietary Awareness: Many individuals are conscious of their calorie intake, aiming to maintain a balanced diet.
  • Weight Management: Those watching their weight want to make informed food choices, including when enjoying restaurant meals like pho.
  • Dietary Restrictions: People with dietary restrictions, such as vegans, vegetarians, or those with gluten sensitivities, need to ensure pho aligns with their dietary preferences.
  • Nutritional Planning: Calorie information helps individuals plan their meals, ensuring they meet their nutritional goals and avoid excessive calorie consumption.
  • Healthy Eating: Understanding pho’s calorie content can assist in making healthier menu choices without compromising on taste.

Factors Influencing Pho Calories

Several factors influence the calorie content of pho:

  1. Ingredients: The choice of protein (beef, chicken, tofu) and the quantity of noodles can significantly impact calorie count.
  2. Broth Type: Traditional beef broth is often higher in calories than lighter alternatives like chicken or vegetable broth.
  3. Portion Size: Larger portions contain more calories, so serving size matters.
  4. Condiments: Adding hoisin sauce, Sriracha, or bean sprouts can increase calories.
  5. Cooking Methods: Different preparation methods can alter calorie content; for example, deep-fried garnishes add calories.
  6. Customization: Restaurants may offer variations like “lean” or “light” pho, which can have fewer calories.
  7. Toppings: Garnishes like peanuts or fried shallots contribute extra calories.

How To Find Pho Calorie Information?

To find calorie information for pho:

  • Check The Menu: Many restaurants, especially chain establishments or those focused on healthy dining, provide calorie counts on their menus.
  • Use Food Apps: Mobile apps like MyFitnessPal, Lose It!, or restaurant-specific apps often include nutritional information.
  • Visit The Restaurant Website: Check the restaurant’s official website for nutritional details, which might include downloadable menus with calorie counts.
  • Call The Restaurant: If information isn’t readily available, call the restaurant and ask if they can provide calorie information for their pho dishes.
  • Ask The Server: While dining in, you can inquire about calorie information from your server, who may have access to it.
  • Online Resources: Some websites specialize in cataloging nutritional information for various restaurant dishes, including pho.

Pho Calories And Dietary Considerations

Pho can accommodate various dietary considerations:

  1. Low-Calorie Diets: Opt for lean protein (chicken, shrimp) and request fewer rice noodles to reduce calorie intake.
  2. Vegetarian/Vegan Diets: Choose vegetable-based broths and tofu as a protein source for plant-based options.
  3. Gluten-Free Diets: Ensure the broth and condiments are free of gluten, and ask for rice noodles.
  4. Low-Carb Diets: Request extra vegetables instead of noodles or opt for zucchini or shirataki noodles when available.
  5. Paleo Diets: Choose broth-based pho with lean meat and no noodles, focusing on protein and vegetable components.
  6. Balanced Diets: Customize pho with a variety of proteins, vegetables, and noodles to create a well-rounded meal.
  7. Allergies: Inform the restaurant about any allergies, such as nut or shellfish allergies, to ensure a safe dining experience.

Healthy Eating Tips For Enjoying Pho

Enjoying pho while maintaining a healthy diet is entirely possible with the right choices and mindful eating. Here are some healthy eating tips for enjoying pho:

Choose Lean Protein:

Opt for lean protein sources like chicken, shrimp, or lean cuts of beef when ordering pho. These options are lower in saturated fat compared to fatty cuts of meat. Vegetarians can go for tofu or tempeh as protein alternatives.

Load Up On Vegetables:

Pho typically comes with an assortment of fresh vegetables and herbs. Add extra bean sprouts, basil, mint, lime, and sliced jalapeños to your bowl. Vegetables are rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, making your meal more nutritious.

Be Mindful Of Portion Size:

Pay attention to portion sizes, as restaurant servings of pho can be quite large. Consider sharing a bowl or asking for a smaller portion if available. Eating an appropriate amount helps control calorie intake.

Control Sodium Intake:

Pho broth can be high in sodium, which may not be suitable for those with hypertension or on a low-sodium diet. You can reduce sodium content by asking for a low-sodium broth or using less fish sauce and soy sauce when customizing your pho.

Limit Add-Ons:

Be cautious with condiments and add-ons like hoisin sauce and sriracha, as they can add extra calories and sodium. Use them sparingly or skip them altogether if you want to keep your pho healthier.


In conclusion, understanding the calorie content of pho is essential for individuals striving to make informed dietary choices. Pho’s calorie count can vary significantly due to ingredient choices and portion sizes. Whether you’re watching your weight, adhering to dietary restrictions, or simply aiming for a balanced meal, pho can be tailored to meet your specific needs. By considering the factors that influence pho’s calorie content and exploring suitable variations, you can savor this beloved Vietnamese dish while aligning it with your nutritional goals and preferences, ensuring a satisfying and health-conscious dining experience.


Is Pho Healthy?

Pho can be a healthy choice when made with lean protein, plenty of vegetables, and a lighter broth.

How Many Calories In Beef Pho?

On average, a bowl of beef pho contains around 350-450 calories, but this can vary based on ingredients and serving size.

Is Pho Gluten-Free?

Pho can be gluten-free if made with rice noodles and a gluten-free broth. Always check with the restaurant for specific options.

Can I Make Pho Vegetarian Or Vegan?

Yes, you can enjoy vegetarian or vegan pho by using vegetable broth and tofu or other plant-based protein options.

What Are Common Pho Condiments?

Common pho condiments include hoisin sauce, Sriracha, bean sprouts, lime wedges, basil, and cilantro. Adjust condiment usage to taste.

Robert Mata

Robert Mata is a health writer with a passion for helping others improve their well-being. A graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, Robert has spent years researching and writing about topics such as healthy eating, physical fitness, and mental health.