Simple and comforting Miso Noodle Soup is a 20-minute lunch or dinner cooked in one pot (so cleanup is really easy, too). Shiitake mushrooms add so much flavor and texture to this vegetarian version of Japanese-inspired miso soup. Tofu amps up the protein and, along with hearty udon noodles, means this satisfying soup easily counts as a meal all on its own.
Here's what you need to know about this recipe:
- It's inspired by a Japanese recipe, but you can probably find all of the ingredients at your usual grocery store.
- Traditional miso soup is usually made with a fish-containing broth. This version is plant-based.
- You can make this in less than 30 minutes, and it's especially delicious when it's cold out.
Shiitake mushrooms add earthy flavor and meaty texture to this miso soup recipe. Cooking the mushrooms in a little oil brings out these flavors even more.
Traditional miso soup starts with dashi, a Japanese broth that contains fish (in the form of bonito flakes). You can make this simple, vegetarian/vegan version with water instead.
I recommend looking for wakame (a type of dried seaweed) at your local store or ordering it online, but it's optional. Swap in dried seaweed snacks or see the "no seaweed" variation below if you prefer.
- Olive oil or cooking oil of choice
- Shiitake mushrooms or any type of mushroom. Buy pre-sliced if you want to minimize prep work.
- Udon noodles (dried)
- Silken or soft tofu
- Dried wakame or seaweed snacks (optional)
- White miso paste: find it in the refrigerated section
- Green onions
See the recipe card at the end of this post to view quantities for each ingredient.
Here's a quick summary of the steps:
Cook mushrooms in a little oil.
Add water, noodles, tofu, and wakame (if using). Boil until the noodles are tender.
Ladle some of the broth into a measuring glass (or bowl). Whisk with miso paste.
Pour the miso mixture back into the pot of soup and stir until combined. Stir in green onions.
You can find more detailed instructions in the recipe card at the end of this post.
Hint: To prevent mushrooms from sticking to the bottom of the pot while you cook them in oil, make sure the heat is turned up high and stir the mushrooms often. If any stick, you can use a wooden spoon to scrape the bottom of the pot after you pour in the water. Avoid adding too much oil, or the soup will seem greasy.
Need to make an ingredient swap? Here are a few options:
- Gluten Free: use rice noodles instead of udon.
- Oil Free: boil the mushrooms with the water and noodles instead of sautéeing them in oil first.
Want to change up the flavors? Here are a few ideas.
- No Seaweed: use spinach or baby bok choi instead of dried seaweed.
- Make Ahead: Check out this Meal Prep Rice Noodle Soup for a make-ahead version.
- Knife and cutting board
- Large pot: Cut the recipe in half to make two servings in a smaller pot if that's all you have.
Because the noodles absorb extra liquid over time, this recipe is best enjoyed immediately after cooking.
You can still store and reheat leftovers for a few days if needed. Store the soup in an airtight container and refrigerate up to four days.
Reheat leftover soup in the microwave in 30-second increments, stirring in between, until warm.
Don't add the miso paste directly to the soup. Instead, ladle a portion of the soup liquid into a measuring glass or bowl and whisk with the miso paste until smooth. This prevents lumps.
Miso is a fermented food. The probiotics in miso are killed in boiling water, so it's better to stir in the miso after the soup is done cooking and has been removed from the heat.
Looking for more easy vegetarian soup recipes? Try these:
These are my favorite dishes to serve with miso noodle soup:
Vegetarian Miso Noodle Soup with Mushrooms
- Knife and cutting board
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 5 ounces (2 cups) sliced mushrooms such as shiitake mushrooms
- 8 cups water
- 8 ounces dried udon noodles (see note 1)
- 14 ounces silken or soft tofu cut into small cubes
- ½ cup dried wakame or sliced dried seaweed snacks (optional)
- ½ cup white miso paste
- ¼ cup chopped green onions
- Heat oil in a pot over high heat. Once hot, stir in mushrooms until evenly coated in oil and cook 5 minutes, stirring often, or until tender. Pour in water and scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon if needed. Add noodles, tofu, and wakame (if using). Bring to a boil and cook 7 minutes, or until noodles are tender. Turn off heat.
- Ladle about 1 cup of the soup broth into a liquid measuring cup or bowl. Whisk with miso paste and pour the mixture back into the pot of soup. Stir until combined. Stir in green onions and enjoy.
- Noodles: Substitute rice noodles or another Asian-style noodle if desired. Adjust cooking time according to instructions on package.
- Gluten free: Substitute gluten-free rice noodles for udon noodles and confirm your miso paste is gluten-free.
- Storage: Because the noodles absorb extra liquid over time, this recipe is best enjoyed immediately after cooking. If needed, store leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate up to four days.
- Reheating: Reheat leftover soup in the microwave in 30-second increments, stirring in between, until warm.
- Nutrition facts are estimates only.
- Recipe adapted from Real Simple Magazine, January/February 2024 issue.