Crispy Southwest Egg Rolls (that you can bake or fry, or air fry!) served with a creamy cilantro dipping sauce. These could be my favorite party appetizer of all time, and they’re freezer friendly.
This was one of the very first recipes I shared on my blog, and it was inspired by my love for the Tex Mex egg rolls appetizer from The Cheesecake Factory. I’m seriously in love with these little egg rolls. Serve them for dinner, as a side, or as an appetizer. The crispiness of the egg roll wrapper, combined with the southwest filling and creamy cilantro dipping sauce (I could eat that stuff with a spoon!) just can’t be beat!
Ingredients in Southwest Egg Rolls:
- Egg roll wrappers
- Black beans: or sub pinto beans.
- Produce: corn, bell pepper, onion.
- Chicken– cooked and chopped (rotisserie chicken works great).
- Shredded cheese– Mexican blend, cheddar, or Monterrey jack.
- Spices: garlic powder, chili powder, cumin, salat, pepper
- Oil for frying: I don’t typically deep fry because it makes a mess, uses so much oil, and is unhealthy. By pan-frying them in just a little oil, or cooking in the air fryer, I still get the same crispiness that I love. You can also bake them.
- Dipping sauce: cream cheese, sour cream, cilantro, salsa.
How to make Southwest Egg Rolls:
Combine Filling Ingredients: Add black beans, corn, bell pepper, onion, chicken, garlic powder, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper, and cheese to a bowl and mix.
Fill Egg Roll Wrapper: Place 2-3 tablespoons of filling on the egg roll wrapper. Take the wrapper end that is pointing towards you and fold it over the filling mixture. Fold in the sides of the wrapper, and then continue rolling the wrapper tightly all the way to the end. You can brush the ends of the wrapper with a little bit of water to help it stick together.
Cook: Choose to pan fry, deep fry, air fry, or bake your southwest egg rolls.
- Pan Fry: Cook egg rolls in a few Tablespoons of hot canola oil, rotating them often until toasted on all sides.
- Air Fry: Spray the basket of the air fryer with oil cooking spray. Place a few egg rolls seam side down, in a single layer in the basket and spray the tops with more olive oil spray. Air fry at 400 degrees for 6 minutes. Flip and cook for an additional 5-6 minutes until golden and crispy. Serve warm, with dipping sauce.
- Deep Fry: Heat oil to 350 degrees F and cook egg rolls, turning in the oil to cook evenly, for about 90 seconds, or until golden brown.
- Bake: Line egg rolls, seam side down, on baking sheet, and spray them with nonstick cooking spray or brush them with oil. Bake at 425 degrees F for about 15 minutes or until golden.
Make Creamy Cilantro Dressing: Blend together some cream cheese, cilantro, salsa and sour cream. Use it as a dip for the egg rolls. Save leftover sauce for dressing on Taco Salad, Fajita Bowls, Instant Pot Chicken Taco Bowls, Sweet Pork Burrito Bowls, Grilled Fish Tacos, or Baked Tacos!
Serve: Enjoy the egg rolls warm, with dipping sauce. This makes an easy meal, appetizer, or snack!
Make Ahead and Freezing Instructions:
To Make Ahead: Prepare the filling and sauce ahead of time and store in the fridge for up to 3 days, depending on freshness of ingredients. To assemble egg rolls ahead of time, roll them in egg roll wrappers, place in an airtight container, covering them with a damp cloth before applying the lid. Refrigerate for a few hours. Cooked egg rolls can also be made ahead of time, then reheated in an air fryer or hot skillet until toasted again on all sides.
To Freeze: Allow cooked egg rolls to cool completely, then place in a freezer safe container. Rewarm from frozen (adding a few extra minutes to the cook time) or thaw first.
- Vegetarian: Omit the chicken and add an additional can of beans or some chopped sautéed cabbage and carrots.
- Substitute the Meat: Substitute cooked ground beef, turkey or pork.
- Add Rice: If I have leftover rice (any type) I like to throw it in as well.
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Southwest Egg Rolls
- 20 egg roll wrappers
- 15 ounce can black beans , rinsed and drained
- 1 cup cooked corn , canned or frozen
- 1 red or green bell pepper , finely diced
- 1/4 cup onion , finely diced
- 2 cups cooked chicken , chopped (about 1 breast)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese , or Mexican blend cheese
- Oil for pan frying or deep frying (optional)
- 6 ounces cream cheese
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1 bunch fresh cilantro
- 1/3 cup salsa
- Dipping Sauce: Add all of the dipping sauce ingredients to a food processor and blend until smooth. Add more salsa, if needed, to thin the mixture, or to taste. Refrigerate.
- Egg Roll Filling: In a large mixing bowl, combine black beans, corn, bell pepper, onion, chicken, cheese, garlic powder, chili powder, cumin, and salt and pepper. Taste and add more seasonings if needed, to your liking.
- Assemble: Place one egg roll wrapper on counter with one corner pointing towards you. Spoon about ⅓ cup of filling onto the egg roll wrapper. Take the wrapper end that is pointing towards you and fold it over the filling mixture. Fold in the sides of the wrapper, and then continue rolling the wrapper tightly all the way to the end. Dip your fingers in water and brush the ends of the wrapper with a little water to help seal the wrapper. Repeat with remaining egg rolls (makes about 15-20).
Choose Cooking Method:
- To Pan Fry: In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add 2 Tablespoons of canola or vegetable oil. When the oil is hot, place a few egg rolls at a time into the pan. Cook them, rotating often, until toasted on all sides. Drain on paper towels. Serve warm, with dipping sauce.
- To Air Fry: Spray the basket of the air fryer with oil cooking spray. Place a few egg rolls seam side down, in a single layer in the basket and spray the tops with more olive oil spray. Air fry at 400 degrees for 6 minutes. Flip and cook for an additional 5-6 minutes until golden and crispy. Serve warm, with dipping sauce.
- To Deep Fry: In a deep stock pot, heat about 1 quart of vegetable oil to 350 degrees F (medium high heat). Cook egg rolls, turning in the oil to cook evenly, for about 90 seconds, or until golden brown. Remove to a paper towel lined plate. Serve warm, with dipping sauce.
- To Bake: Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line egg rolls, seam side down, on baking sheet, at least 1 inch apart. Spray them with oil cooking spray, or brush the tops lightly with oil. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden, rotating half way through cooking. Serve warm, with dipping sauce.
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I originally shared this recipe January 2018. Updated July 2023.
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