Southwestern Egg Rolls with Avocado Cilantro Sauce
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Easy to make southwestern egg rolls just like Chili’s! These can be baked or fried and they can be made ahead of time and stored in the freezer for later use. I love to dip them in my avocado cilantro dipping sauce. So addicting!
If you’ve been following LSJ for a while, or if you’ve taken a look at least 3 of my posts, you’ve gathered by now that I am an overzealous exclamation point user. But if there is anything in the WORLD that deserves exclamation marks, it’s these cute little chicken, BLACK BEANS, corn, peppers, spinach loaded egg rolls!
I’m dipping them in the most delicious avocado cilantro sauce that I shamelessly want to lick straight from the bowl. Double-dipping these babies is mandatory when you’ve got creamy, cool avocado cilantro sauce on the side.
Sometimes most times, my bite contained more sauce than actual egg roll. This sauce is money, yo!
The hubby and I are already planning quesadillas of all sorts to dip into that sauce. He’s hoping for chicken quesadillas with peppers and onions, and i’m thinking black beans and rice. We’ll have to mesh the two and get on the same wavelength. But the sauce is something we’re definitely agreeing on.
Though these egg rolls are probably more of an appetizer than a proper entree, Anees and I love having a few of these with a big salad on the side. And of course, tons of that avocado cilantro dipping sauce. And sometimes I get extra greedy and instead of dressing, I just dump a couple tablespoons of that sauce on my salad and eat le salad with le avocado cilantro, dressing? Hey, it’s made with greek yogurt and probably contains less calories than the dressing. It’s a good choice 😉
Okay, yes, yes, you caught me! Instead of using tortillas the way Chili’s does for their signature southwestern egg rolls, i’m using egg roll wrappers. I find that they’re much easier to work with and since they’re made for that sort of thing, ya know, why not. And guess what? When you use egg roll wrappers, you can make a double batch of these and freeze these cuties so you can enjoy them for up to 4 months. That’s if they last that long.
Grocery stores in the capital of Tex-Mex food, also known as, Houston, have these half cooked tortillas that you can find in the freshly made bread/cake section of the grocery store. If you can find them where you live, they are ideal to use for making southwestern egg rolls as they’re much thinner and easier to fold than the regular flour tortillas. That’s if you decide to go with the authentic chili’s version. You may need a toothpick to help close them. Actual egg roll wrappers require just a little dot of water at the end to help stick together. I say, either way, you cannot go wrong.
They’re perfect for kids as an after school snack. If you make up a big batch of these and freeze them, you can have these ready in the oven or the fryer in just 15 minutes. Unlike store-bought frozen food, my southwestern egg rolls contain just fresh veggies and chicken — no additives of any kind. They’re the perfect snack or appetizer for all. And they’re great for PARTIES. I mean who doesn’t love an itty bitty egg roll? Do they have to know you made it a week in advance and froze it? Absa-freakin-lutely not.
A quick 15 minute saute for the filling. Let it cool completely.That is totally the trick on making sure these egg rolls don’t burst at the seams. When the filling is cooling I like to put it in a mesh strainer over a bowl if I see any liquid hanging out in there. You can also make the filling the night before, let it hang out till it’s room temp and then pop it in the fridge. The next day, just strain your mixture if you see any liquid in there. Then start that egg roll assembly line!
Southwestern egg rolls are so easy to make, taste like a million bucks, and are perfect for any and every occasion. Give ’em a go why dontcha?
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 14 oz boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into tiny pieces
- 1/4 cup chopped red bell peppers
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup EACH: frozen corn AND black beans
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup packed baby spinach, chopped
- 1/2 jalapeno, seeded and diced (see note)
- 3/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon EACH: chipotle chili powder AND kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons cilantro (use parsley if you don't like cilantro)
- 1/2 cup pepper jack cheese
- Egg roll wrappers (see note)
Avocado cilantro sauce:
- 2 avocados
- 1/2 cup cilantro packed
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup greek yogurt
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
For the egg rolls:
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook until browned, about 4-5 minutes. Add the scallions and bell peppers and continue to cook for an additional 1-2 minutes, or until the veggies start to soften. Add the remaining ingredients (corn, black beans, garlic, spinach, jalapeños, cumin, chili powder, cilantro, and salt). Let everything heat through and cook up for just 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat let cool completely. When the mixture reaches room temperature, stir in the pepper jack cheese. You can make the egg rolls immediately or let the mixture cool in the refrigerator overnight if you want to make the egg rolls the following day (see note).
- Place an egg roll wrapper in front of you with a point towards you. Spoon the mixture (about 1 - 11/2 tablespoons) into the center of each egg roll wrapper. Fold in the the end closest to you, then the two on the sides, rolling tightly, yet gently, towards the end farthest from you. I place a dot of water on the end to help seal the egg rolls. Place egg rolls on a baking sheet. Let refrigerate for several hours before frying (see note about freezing).
- To fry: Heat 1 inch of oil in a skillet, when oil reaches about 350ºF, fry the egg rolls in batches, about 3-4 at a time. Do not over crowd the skillet. Turn egg rolls every 1-2 minutes for even browning. When browned, remove to a paper towel lined plate. Serve warm.
- To bake: Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Place a wire rack on top of a baking sheet. Spray the egg rolls with cooking spray on all sides evenly (or you can brush them with oil) and bake for 15-20 minutes or until they start to brown.
For the avocado cilantro sauce:
- Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend. Adjust seasonings to taste.
- Feel free to omit the jalapenos, chili powder, or use monterey jack cheese if you do not like a lot of spice.
- If at any point, you feel that the prepared mixture is starting to let out water, simply place the filling in a mesh strainer over a bowl and continue filling the egg rolls.
- I used egg roll wrappers and had a total of 22 egg rolls. The number you have will depend on how much you stuff them. These egg rolls are more snack sized. If you'd like to make them the way chili's does, use tortillas instead of egg roll wrappers. You will end up with less rolls as the tortillas are larger in size and require more filling. See post for what type of tortillas are recommended.
- If you'd like to freeze egg rolls for later use: place the baking sheet in the freezer for 3-4 hours, when frozen, remove egg rolls and place in a zip-top bag and freeze for later use. Egg rolls can be frozen for up to 4 months.
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