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Vietnamese Rice Noodle Soup with Beef

A simple and quick recipe for Vietnamese Noodle Soup with Beef. Contains snow peas, shiitake mushrooms, basil, cilantro, beef, noodles, & broth.

bowl of vietnamese noodle soup with chopsticks

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Gluten-Free Soup Recipe

Last week Logan didn’t have school Thursday or Friday because of Parent-Teacher Conferences. Thursday everyone was so bored and had a rough day. It’s hard for Logan to be home all day when he’s used to being in school, and when Logan’s having a rough day…Madeline has a rough day…and then Mom has a rough day.

Friday we went to Costco for an errand. I had a list of things to pick up and it was better than staying home all day. After we did all our shopping, no one was really ready to go home yet so we took a little while to browse the books.

One caught my eye that I hadn’t seen before: Soups, Stews & Chilis, by Cook’s Illustrated Magazine. I have one of their other books (The New Best Recipe: All-New Edition) and have been pleased with it, so I thought this one would be worthwhile to pick up with the cool weather that is finally arriving in New Mexico.

My other Cook’s Illustrated book doesn’t have any color pictures besides what’s on the front and back cover. The Soup book, however, has one on the front, 20 two-inch thumbnails on the back cover, and 16 full sized images inside. That’s pretty good!

There are lots of basic recipes in the book, but a good selection of recipes with International flavors. To name a few: Provencal Vegetable soup, Thai-Style Chicken Curry, Indian-Style Vegetable Curry, and the recipe I chose for this post — Vietnamese Noodle Soup with Beef.

This rice noodle soup recipe is incredibly fast to prepare. You can make the broth in advance, and after that it is just a matter of stirring things into the broth. The meat is sliced so thin that you just stir it into the hot broth and you can do the same with the mushrooms and snow peas. Don’t skimp on the herbs because they add a ton of flavor.

Note: While at the grocery store, I found that there were no bean sprouts to be found. The recipe originally calls for 2 cups of sprouts. Instead, I made the decision to substitute shiitake mushrooms and snow peas because I was way too tired to go to another store on a Saturday afternoon.

asian herbs for vietnamese noodle soup

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Vietnamese Noodle Soup Ingredients

For this Vietnamese soup recipe, you’ll need:

  • Canola oil
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Fresh ginger
  • Lime
  • Fish sauce
  • Chicken broth
  • Beef broth
  • Water
  • Soy sauce
  • Sugar
  • Star anise pods
  • Whole cloves
  • Flat rice noodles
  • Shiitake mushrooms
  • Snow peas
  • Thai basil
  • Cilantro
  • Green onions
  • Flank steak

How to Make Vietnamese Noodle Soup

This rice noodle soup recipe comes together quickly, especially if you’ve prepped the broth in advance. Here’s how to make Vietnamese noodle soup:

  1. Prepare the homemade broth, then strain out any vegetable chunks.
  2. In a separate saucepan, cook the rice noodles according to package instructions. Once cooked, portion the noodles into bowls.
  3. Bring the strained broth to a boil, then remove from heat.
  4. Stir the sliced beef, mushrooms, and snow peas into the hot broth and let sit for 3 minutes.
  5. Pour the broth mixture over the noodles.
  6. Let guests individually garnish their Vietnamese noodle soup with basil, cilantro, lime wedges, and green onion.

Can I Use a Different Protein?

Yes, you can add different proteins to this rice noodle soup, but you won’t necessarily be able to cook it the same way (i.e. just drop it into the hot broth). You could add cubed tofu straight to the broth, but I wouldn’t recommend doing that with raw chicken or pork.

vietnamese rice noodle soup in white bowl with chopsticks

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Tips for Making Vietnamese Noodle Soup

You can make the homemade broth up to a day in advance. Store it in the fridge in an airtight container until you’re ready to use it.

If your grocery store doesn’t carry star anise pods, you should be fine to use star anise seeds instead. A good rule of thumb to use is 1 anise pod = 1/2 teaspoon anise seeds.

Lastly, this Vietnamese soup is best enjoyed right away. The rice noodles soak up broth easily, and I think they’d turn mushy in the fridge.

More Easy Soup Recipes:

I love making this Slow Cooker Ham Soup with Potatoes and Kale after the holidays. It’s a great way to use up leftover ham!

Another favorite winter soup recipe is this Italian Sausage and Kale Soup. It’s hearty, and really warms you from the inside out.

Nothing beats a bowl of chili on a cold day! I especially love making this Pumpkin Black Bean Turkey Chili in the fall and winter.

This Cheesy Enchilada Chicken Chili is another family favorite. It’s packed with great Mexican flavors!

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup is a staple in my house. Friends and family all love when I make this.

What’s your go-to soup recipe in the winter?

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vietnamese beef noodle soup

Vietnamese Rice Noodle Soup with Beef

Yield: serves 6
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 33 minutes

A simple and quick recipe for Vietnamese Noodle Soup with Beef. Contains snow peas, shiitake mushrooms, basil, cilantro, beef, noodles, & broth.


For the Broth:

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, minced
  • zest of 1 lime
  • 1/3 cup fish sauce
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 5 star anise pods
  • 5 whole cloves

Noodles, Meat, and Garnish

  • 8 ounces dried, flat rice noodles*
  • 1 cup shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup snow peas
  • 1 cup loosely packed Thai basil
  • 1 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves
  • 2 green onions, sliced thin on the bias
  • 12 ounces flank steak, sliced thin across the grain


For the Broth:

  1. Heat the oil in a medium-large stock pot over medium heat. Add the onions and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, lime zest, and 1 tablespoon of fish sauce.
  2. Cook until vegetables are soft, about 4 more minutes.
  3. Stir in the chicken broth, beef broth, and water. Bring to a boil.
  4. Stir in the soy sauce, sugar, anise, cloves, and remaining fish sauce.
  5. Cover, reduce to a gentle simmer and cook until the flavors have blended, about 15 minutes.
  6. Strain through a fine mesh strainer. Broth can be made up to a day in advance and refrigerated until needed.

For the Noodles, Meat and Garnish:

  1. Cook the noodles according to package instructions. Drain the noodles, and portion them between the bowls.
  2. Arrange the basil, cilantro, lime wedges, and green onion on a plate.
  3. Return the strained broth to a clean saucepan, bring to a brief boil, then remove from the heat.
  4. Stir in the beef, mushrooms, and snow peas and let stand off the heat for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Ladle the soup on top of the prepared bowls. Serve immediately, passing the garnishes round the table.


  • *If this soup needs to be gluten-free, make sure to buy certified gluten-free rice noodles.
  • adapted from Soups, Stews & Chilis.

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Nutrition Information
Yield 6 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 271Total Fat 9gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 5gCholesterol 45mgCarbohydrates 25gFiber 3gSugar 8gProtein 25g offers recipe nutritional information as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although makes every effort to provide accurate information, these figures are only estimates.

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