Southwest Egg Rolls (Air Fryer Recipe!)

Southwest Egg Rolls (Air Fryer Recipe!)

These flavor-packed Southwest Egg Rolls are made much healthier than most egg rolls by frying them in an air fryer! No air fryer? No worries, I’ll share some other ideas to still get the goodness that these egg rolls are.

These egg rolls are packed with tasty ingredients — tender rotisserie chicken, savory black beans, crisp corn, and other southwestern-spiced veggies. Plus a recipe for the best creamy cilantro sauce to use as a dip or to drizzle over these egg rolls.

Southwest Egg Rolls

I am so excited to share these Southwest Egg Rolls with you! As much as I enjoy fried food, it doesn’t seem to agree with me all that often. Which is a total bummer when you’ve got an obsession with fried egg rolls 🙂

And that is why I have been hooked on my air fryer. All the delicious crispiness and texture without all the oil and heaviness! Plus it’s so much easier (and cleaner!) to use then a deep fryer or a pot of oil. 

These Southwest egg rolls are a great use of these instant pot or slow cooker black beans. We love making those black beans at the beginning of the week and using leftovers in recipes throughout the week like these egg rolls.

What are southwestern egg rolls?

These aren’t any ordinary egg rolls — they’re loaded with flavors and textures! We start by using egg roll wrappers (which are paper-thin sheets of dough) that will get ultra crispy in the air fryer. Those egg rolls are packed with rotisserie chicken, black beans, corn, jalapeño, onion, bell pepper, and a quick seasoning blend. Beyond that filling we also add in some sour cream for creaminess and a combination of extra sharp cheddar cheese and Monterey jack cheese.

 

While the egg rolls are getting nice and crispy, we whip together a quick cilantro-lime sauce to dip or drizzle the Southwest egg rolls in. Are you completely sold on this recipe?! We can’t get enough of these Southwest egg rolls!

How to roll an egg roll

  • Set out the egg roll wrappers on a clean surface to look like a diamond facing you.
  • Add the Southwest Egg Roll fillings (sour cream, filling, and cheese) to the bottom third of the egg wrapper.
  • Dip your finger into a small bowl of water and then run your finger along the edges of the egg wrapper.
  • Fold the bottom up over the filling
  • Then fold the left and right corners into the center (like an envelope).
  • Tightly, pressing the filling in, roll up the egg roll like a cylinder. (Roll tightly — if any of the filling is exposed, it will leak out in the air fryer).
  • Here’s an overview image collage of rolling an egg roll

Southwest Egg Rolls FAQs

1What is in Chili’s Southwest egg rolls?

These egg rolls are similar to Chili’s, but we like them even better! The Southwestern egg rolls at Chili’s has chicken, black beans, corn, jalapeño Jack cheese, red peppers, and spinach. The egg rolls are served with an avocado-ranch dipping sauce.

If you’d like to make this recipe more like Chili’s, I’d recommend replacing the Monterey Jack cheese with Pepper jack cheese and replacing the green pepper with a red pepper.

2Can you roll egg rolls ahead of time?

Yes! That is one of my favorite things about making egg rolls. They can be prepared and assembled up to a day in advance and then throw in the air-fryer right before you’re ready to eat! Simply prepare the recipe up until air frying the egg rolls and then place the prepared egg rolls on a parchment paper lined plate. Cover the plate tightly and place in the fridge until ready to cook.

3How do you keep egg rolls crispy after frying?

One of the other bonuses of using an air fryer is that the egg rolls stay much crispier for longer (as opposed to deep frying the egg rolls).

That said, here are a couple of tips to keeping them crispy:

  • Right out of the air fryer, use tongs to transfer the fried egg rolls onto a wire cooling rack.
  • Don’t let the egg rolls cool on a plate or paper towel as this will make them less crispy.
  • Only fry up what will be eaten. Once fried, these Southwest egg rolls don’t store well and remain crispy. Store any leftovers un-fried in the fridge and then fry them up when ready to enjoy them again.

4What goes with egg rolls?

Salads, roasted veggies, or even a side of fruit will add some vibrancy (and greens) to these egg rolls. Below are some of our favorite side dishes for these Southwest egg rolls:

5Where can you buy egg roll wrappers?

No need to pay a visit to a speciality store, most grocery stores carry Egg roll wrappers. They are usually found in the cooler section with fresh fruits and vegetables. They can be easy to miss, so use a store-locator app if you have one! These are the egg roll wrappers most accessible to me and what I typically use.

Southwest Egg Rolls Tips

  • Keep the egg wrappers tightly covered right up until using them. They dry out quickly and will crack and crumble if they’re left out of packaging for long.
  • We use light or fat free sour cream. It’s a great way to save some calories and fat while still getting that great flavor and creaminess. Of course, regular sour cream works well too!
  • If you’re in a time crunch, these egg rolls are still delicious without the sauce. Alternatively the sauce can be prepared ahead of time to make dinner prep a bit quicker.
  • Use freshly grated cheese. Pre-grated cheese has a cellulose coating that results in a greasier/clumpier cheese filling that can become slightly grainy.
  • Don’t overcrowd the air-fryer. Place egg rolls in so they have a bit of space in between — don’t overlap or layer in the egg rolls for ultimate crispiness.

Don’t have an air-fryer?

  • Deep fry instead. These can be deep fried instead of air fried. Set a pan to heat with canola or vegetable oil, about an inch high. Heat to 325 degrees F and once it’s heated add 3-4 egg rolls at a time. Rotate to evenly brown (~2 minutes per side) and once they are browned all over, remove them onto a cooling rack (with paper towel placed below). 
  • Bake instead. Spray all sides of the egg rolls with cooking spray. Bake at 425 degrees F for 10-15 minutes, flipping at the halfway point, or until lightly browned. (They don’t get super crispy being baked)
  • Make into a quesadilla or burrito instead. Fill up large tortillas with the fillings and roll up tightly (or form into a quesadilla). Heat a large griddle or nonstick skillet to medium heat for one minute. Once hot, spray all sides of the wraps with cooking spray and place seam side down into the pan or griddle. Cook until golden brown and crisp, about 2-4 minutes. Flip with tongs and cook for another 2-4 minutes or until golden and crisp. The filling should be hot and cheese melted. Serve with the sauce and any other desired toppings.

More black bean recipes

Southwest Egg Rolls

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These flavor-packed Southwest Egg Rolls are made much healthier than most egg rolls by frying them in an air fryer! No air fryer? No worries, I’ll share some other ideas to still get the goodness that these egg rolls are.

Southwest Egg Rolls

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These flavor-packed Southwest Egg Rolls are made much healthier than most egg rolls by frying them in an air fryer! No air fryer? No worries, I’ll share some other ideas to still get the goodness that these egg rolls are.

Ingredients

Egg Rolls

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup (60g) diced green pepper (1/2 pepper)
  • 1/2 cup (65g) diced yellow onion (1/2 onion)
  • 1 tablespoon diced jalapeno (seeds and ribs removed)
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic (1 clove)
  • 1 teaspoon EACH: ground cumin, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground chili powder (we use McCormick which is very mild)
  • Fine sea salt and cracked pepper
  • 1 cup (155g) diced rotisserie chicken
  • 1 cup (180g) black beans, drained and rinsed (See Note 1)
  • 1 cup (160g) frozen corn
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1-1/4 cup (100g) freshly grated extra sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1-1/4 cup (100g) freshly grated Monterey jack cheese (or use more sharp cheddar)
  • 12-14 teaspoons Sour cream (lite or fat-free is great)
  • 12-14 egg roll wrappers and water
  • Olive oil cooking spray

OPTIONAL: Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juiced and 1/4 teaspoon lime zest (~1-2 limes)
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup (7g) loosely packed fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 tablespoon minced jalapeno
  • 1/2 cup (120g) sour cream (lite or fat-free is great)

Instructions

  • PREP: For quicker prep, chop the pepper, onion, jalapeno, and garlic in a food processor until finely chopped. Alternatively finely chop all these ingredients. Dice the chicken, drain and rinse the beans (See Note 1)

  • SAUTE: Add the olive oil to a large cast iron skillet and heat to high. Add in the diced pepper, diced onion, jalapeno, & garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, until tender about 5-7 minutes. Add in all the seasonings: the cumin, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and chili powder. Season to taste with salt and pepper. I add 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Turn heat down to low.

  • FINISH FILLING: Add in the diced rotisserie chicken, black beans, corn, cilantro, and lime juice. Stir to warm through, 1-2 minutes and then remove from heat. Meanwhile, grate the cheeses. Combine the two grated cheeses in a bowl and mix with your hands to get the two cheeses incorporated.

  • FILL UP THE EGG ROLLS: Set out the egg roll wrappers on a clean surface to look like a diamond facing you. Smooth 1 heaping teaspoon sour cream on the bottom third of the wrapper. Top with 3 packed tablespoons of the filling. Add 2 packed tablespoons cheese on top. Dip your finger into a small bowl of water and then run your finger along the edges of the egg wrapper. Fold the bottom up over the filling Then fold the left and right corners into the center (like an envelope). Tightly, pressing the filling in tightly, roll up the egg roll like a cylinder. (If any of the filling is exposed, it will leak out in the air fryer). Repeat with remaining filling and egg wrappers until all are filled. (We typically get 13 total egg rolls using up all the filling and cheese.)

  • AIR FRY: Spray all sides of all the egg rolls with olive oil cooking spray. Rub that spray evenly on all sides of the egg rolls. Layer egg rolls on shelves in the air fryer so none are touching. (If your air fryer doesn’t have shelves, just put as many as you can fit in the basket so none are overlapping) Bake at 370 degrees F for 5 minutes. Flip and bake for another 5 minutes. Flip once more and bake another 2-3 minutes or until egg rolls are crispy and golden brown (air fryers cook differently so just watch closely at the end and remove once the egg rolls are crispy all over). Remove and let slightly cool before digging in!

  • OPTIONAL CILANTRO LIME SAUCE: Add all the sauce ingredients to a food processor. Add salt and pepper to taste (I add 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper) and blend or pulse until smooth. Serve alongside cooked egg rolls and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Note 1: This recipe is part of my series using instant pot/slow cooker black beans and the beans are amazing in these egg rolls!

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