Air fryer southwest egg rolls make a tasty appetizer, for game day or any other occasion. Chicken combines with corn, beans, onions, cheese and spicy Tex Mex seasoning for an easy to make homemade egg roll.
Before I bought an air fryer I had never made a homemade egg roll. Now they are one of my favorite things to make in the air fryer because they are crispy and delicious and much, much healthier than deep fried egg rolls.
Whether it is traditional pork egg rolls or Americanized Chinese appetizers like crab rangoon the air fryer makes these fun to make and delicious to eat. These southwest egg rolls are tasty fusion of Mexican and Chinese foods!
Why You Will Love Air Fryer Southwest Egg Rolls
- These are a copycat recipe based on Chili’s popular egg roll appetizer.
- Even though you make them at home they are restaurant worthy!
- You can make these spicy appetizers in about 30 minutes.
- Southwest egg rolls are perfect for dipping, either in a creamy ranch sauce or in guacamole.
- These egg rolls are colorful and include a lot of vegetables including spinach! I don’t think I’d exactly call them healthy, but they are healthish and better for you than many other fried appetizers.
- Your friends and family will think you some kind of cooking expert because they don’t realize how easy egg rolls are to make.
- Chicken – This recipe starts with cooked chicken. It is a perfect way to use up leftover chicken, either from a rotisserie chicken or grilled chicken or whatever you have. You can also use canned chicken or cook some chicken just to make these egg rolls.
- Corn – Either fresh or frozen corn works in this recipe. If you use frozen corn you don’t need to even defrost it.
- Bell pepper – The egg rolls will look best if you use red or orange peppers. But green peppers work too.
- Green onion – You can substitute red onions if you prefer. Yellow onions will be a little too strong for this recipe.
- Black beans – Drain and rinse the black beans before using them in the recipe.
- Spinach – Fresh spinach adds a nice green pop of color to the finished egg rolls.
- Chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, salt – These spices combine to give the egg rolls a spicy Southwest taste.
- Cheese – You can use Cheddar cheese, Monterey Jack, a Mexican blend or some combination of these cheeses in the recipe.
- Egg roll wrappers – These are available in the produce section of most grocery stores or frozen. If they are frozen thaw them in the refrigerator before using.
Step by Step Instructions
1. Make the Filling
Make sure the cooked chicken is diced or shredded in to small pieces. Then put it in a large mixing bowl along with the corn, black beans, bell pepper, green onions and spinach.
Stir everything together to mix it well. Then add the cheese and all the seasonings. Stir it again and your filling is ready to go.
2. Roll the Egg Rolls
If you haven’t made egg rolls before it can seem intimidating, but it is really easy. Get everything ready before you start and the process will go smoothly.
You need a surface, like a cutting board for rolling the egg rolls. You also need a small bowl of water and a tray or board to put the finished egg rolls on.
About the only mistake you can make when making egg rolls is over or under filling them, so use a 1/3 cup measuring cup to make sure you get the right amount of filling in each egg roll.
To start take an egg roll wrapper off the stack and lay it on the cutting board. Add 1/3 cup of filling to the wrapper, positioning it towards the bottom corner of the wrapper.
Fold the bottom of the wrapper up, over the filling. Then fold the two sides of the wrapper in so that the points almost touch.
Dip your fingers in the water and brush water on the outside edges of the wrapper that are still exposed. This will help seal the egg roll closed. Tightly roll up the egg roll and place it on the tray or cutting board.
Repeat the process with the rest of filling until you have used it all up. As you go along you will find it gets easier and the final egg rolls you make will probably be rolled tighter and look more even. But they will all taste good once they are cooked, so it doesn’t matter. 🙂
3. Air Fry the Egg Rolls
I don’t always bother to preheat my air fryer, but I find that it makes a difference for egg rolls. So preheat your air fryer for about 3 minutes at 400 F.
While it is preheating coat the egg rolls with a little bit of oil. Air frying uses less oil than deep frying, but egg rolls need some oil so that they brown and become crispy.
Either brush olive oil onto the egg rolls with a pastry brush or spray them with olive oil in an oil spritzer. Don’t use a commercial aerosol spray oil, like Pam, since that can damage the finish on the air fryer basket.
Once the air fryer is preheated put the egg rolls in, making sure to leave space between them for the air to circulate. You will probably have to cook the egg rolls in batches.
Cook the egg rolls at 400 F for 4 minutes. Then use kitchen tongs to flip the egg rolls over and spray or brush the other side with oil. Cook them for another 3-4 minutes at 400 F.
Air fryers vary and cook at different rates, so check for doneness and cook them longer if they aren’t brown and crispy. The egg rolls are done when the outside of the egg rolls is golden brown and crispy.
How to Serve
These are best when served with your favorite dipping sauce. They go well with a creamy ranch sauce. But my favorite dipping sauce for them is guacamole.
These make a great snack or appetizer, especially for a Super Bowl party or other sports event watch party.
But you don’t have to serve them as an appetizer! Combine these egg rolls with Mexican rice or Mexican tomato soup for a tasty dinner.
How to Store
If you have extra egg rolls you can store them in the refrigerator for 3 days or freeze them for up to 2 months. To reheat them first thaw them if they are frozen.
Then put them back in the air fryer at 350 F for about 5 minutes to reheat. They will not be as crispy when they are reheated, but they still taste pretty good.
- You can easily make this a vegetarian appetizer by leaving out the chicken.
- It is also easy to modify the spices to be more or less spicy, depending on your tastes.
No Air Fryer?
But what if you don’t have an air fryer? You can still make this recipe without one and I include oven directions in the printable recipe card below. Using an oven just takes a little longer.
And if you are looking for an air fryer here are some that might be a good fit, whether you are looking for budget options or one for a big family.
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken, cooked and diced small or shredded
- 1/3 cup frozen or fresh corn
- 1/3 cup bell pepper, finely diced
- 1/4 cup green onion, finely sliced
- 1 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup fresh spinach, loosely packed and chopped into 1 inch pieces
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 cups grated cheese, Mexican blend, Monterey Jack or Cheddar
- 1 package egg roll wrappers
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the diced chicken, corn, black beans, bell pepper, green onions, and spinach.
- Stir in cheese and then the seasonings. Mix everything together well.
- Get a small bowl filled with water to use in sealing the egg rolls. Lay an egg roll wrapper on a cutting board.
- Scoop 1/3 cup of the chicken filling into the bottom corner of the egg roll wrapper.
- Fold up the bottom of the wrapper then the two sides of the wrapper so the points almost touch. Use your fingers to brush water on the outside edges or the wrapper that are still exposed. Then tightly roll up the egg roll and place it on a sheet pan lined with waxed or parchment paper. Repeat with the remainder of the filling.
- Lightly brush each egg roll with olive oil or use a spray bottle to spritz oil onto the wrappers. Place egg rolls in the air fryer and cook at 380°F for 5 minutes. Make sure there is space between each egg roll - cook in batches if needed.
- Use tongs to flip the egg rolls and brush or spray oil on the top of the egg rolls. Continue cooking for 3-5 more minutes or until the exterior is golden brown and crispy
- Serve with your favorite dipping sauces
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 219Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 57mgSodium: 386mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 2gSugar: 1gProtein: 19g
Nutrition facts are estimates and doesn't include dipping sauce.