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Tinolang Manok or Chicken Tinola was one of my favorite comfort foods growing up. This easy veganized version is made with healthy, nourishing plant-based ingredients and comes together in one pot in about 30 minutes. 

bowl of tinolang manok on styled background with spoon

What is Tinolang Manok (Chicken Tinola)?

Chicken Tinola or Tinolang Manok is a popular Filipino comfort food that is most similar to the comfort of chicken noodle soup. Growing up, my mom and aunties would make Tinola for us whenever we were feeling under the weather to nurse us back to health. It’s full of anti-inflammatory benefits and is truly good for the soul. I’m so excited to have finally veganized this nostalgic soup from childhood to enjoy when Chris and I need a warm, comforting bowl of soup.

Depending on the region of the Philippines you visit, you’ll find a slightly different version of the recipe using other proteins such as pork, fish, or seafood. This vegan recreation focuses on the most important ingredients – broth, ginger, papaya, leafy greens, and a vegan chicken substitute.

overhead image of vegan chicken tinolang ingredients

Ingredients You’ll Need 

  • Oil: We recommend avocado, olive oil, or vegetable oil. Unrefined coconut oil can be used but it will add a faint coconut flavor to the soup.
  • Aromatics: The base of this soup is made with onions, garlic, lots of ginger, and whole black peppercorns. Using fresh ginger is absolutely essential to making the best, warm, and zesty flavored Tinolang Manok. 
  • Vegan chicken: You can use a vegan chicken substitute like Tofurky lightly seasoned chick’n or Gardein.
  • Lemongrass: Similar to ginger, using fresh lemongrass is essential to the best, brightly flavored Tinola soup. If you love the flavor of lemongrass, you’ll love our Lemongrass Tofu.
  • Vegan Fish Sauce: Some brands sell vegan fish sauce online if you’re unsure where to find vegan fish sauce. You can also find recipes online if you want to make your own. Here’s one worth trying!
  • Chayote/Sayote: Chayote, or Sayote, as it is often called in Filipino cuisine, is a type of thin-skinned green gourd that is added to vegetable dishes like Ginisang. If you’ve never cooked with chayote, watch this simple tutorial on how to peel and cut chayote.
  • Young papaya: Also called green papaya, young papaya is fairly neutral in flavor and adds texture to the soup. You should be able to find young papaya at Asian markets. 
  • Spinach and Moringa leaves: Tinola is often finished with leafy greens like spinach and moringa leaves (also known as Malunggay). These vegetables are highly nutritious and cook quickly. 
spoonful of vegan tinolang manok

Equipment Needed

How to Make Vegan Tinolang Manok

  1. Cook the onions. In a large pot over medium heat, saute the onions in the vegetable oil for 4-5 minutes or until translucent.
  2. Add garlic, ginger, and black peppercorns. Saute for an additional minute, frequently stirring to prevent burning.
  3. Add lemongrass and vegan chicken. Before adding the lemongrass, smash and knot the lemongrass stalk. For a visual, learn how to tie a lemongrass knot in this simple tutorial. Saute for 3-4 minutes until the lemongrass is fragrant and the vegan chicken is slightly browned and crispy.
  4. Stir in broth, vegan fish sauce, and chayote. Raise the heat to medium-high and bring the soup to a boil. 
  5. Add the green papaya. Once boiling, lower the heat to medium-low and add the papaya wedges. Continue simmering until the chayote (sayote) is tender and easily pierced with a fork.
  6. Stir in the spinach and moringa (malunggay). Cook for an additional minute or so – just enough to soften the leaves. 
  7. Serve. Serve vegan chicken Tinola warm with salt and pepper to taste. 
two bowls of vegan chicken tinola

Serving Suggestions 

Tinolang Manok is traditionally served as a main dish for either lunch or dinner. It can be served alone or with a side of fluffy white rice and additional vegan fish sauce for added flavor. 

Enjoy Avocado with Condensed Milk or Ube Pichi Pichi (Filipino Sticky Cassava Snack) for dessert to make it the perfect Filipino meal.

ladel of tinolang manok

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Leftover vegan Tinolang Manok soup should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator and will last for up to 4 days. This soup can also be frozen for up to 3 months. 

To reheat, place your desired serving size in a microwave-safe bowl and heat through until warm, or warm on the stovetop in a small pot.

macro image of vegan tinolang manok

More Filipino Dishes You May Enjoy: 

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vertical image of vegan tinolang manok on wood board and styled background

Vegan Tinolang Manok (Chicken Tinola)

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5 from 1 review

  • Author: Sweet Simple Vegan
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: About 6 servings
  • Diet: Vegan


Tinolang Manok or Chicken Tinola was one of my favorite comfort foods growing up. This easy veganized version is made with healthy, nourishing plant-based ingredients and comes together in one pot in about 30 minutes. 


  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 white or yellow onion, sliced thinly
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2-inches fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 8 whole black peppercorns
  • 1 ½ cups vegan chicken
  • 1 large or 2 small stalks of lemongrass, hard white part smashed and leaves tied into a knot (see notes)
  • 6 cups water
  • 6 teaspoons vegan chicken bouillon paste
  • 2 tablespoons vegan fish sauce (or soy sauce)
  • 2 small chayote/sayote, peeled and cut into wedges
  • ½ small young papaya, peeled, deseeded, and cut into wedges
  • 1 large handful fresh spinach leaves
  • 1 large handful malunggay (moringa) leaves, hard stems removed
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste


  1. Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add in the oil. Once warm, add the onions and saute for 4-5 minutes, or until the onions are translucent.
  2. Add the garlic, ginger, and black peppercorns and cook for one minute more or until fragrant but not burned.
  3. Add in the tied lemongrass and vegan chicken. Saute for a few minutes.
  4. Add water, vegan bouillon paste, vegan fish sauce, and chayote to the pot and stir. Raise the heat to medium-high and bring it to a boil.
  5. Lower the heat to medium-low and continue a simmer for about 3 minutes, then add in the chunks of green papaya.
  6. Cook until the chayote and papaya are soft and can easily be pierced with a fork, about 5 minutes.
  7. Add in the spinach and moringa and mix through, allowing it to cook for a minute to soften.
  8. Season with salt and black pepper to taste and enjoy!


  • Learn how to prepare lemongrass here:
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Entree, Soup
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Filipino

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Meet The Bloggers

hey there! we’re jasmine & chris.

Hi, we’re Jasmine and Chris! We share fresh and fun recipes to show you that vegan cooking is easy, approachable and delicious. When we’re not blogging, you will probably find us enjoying live music, tending to our backyard garden or playing with our dogs Berry and Louie

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1 Comment

  1. This was so delicious! My mom used to make this all the time growing up and I’ve been craving to eat a vegan version and this one was perfect! I couldn’t find unripe papaya where I live so had to omit it but it was fine. The chayote was perfect – I very distinctly remember loving this vegetable growing up but I never knew what the name of it was so thank you!! I also substituted the malunggay with spinach and added in bok chow and it was so yummy. Definitely going to make this again!