These Southwest egg rolls are loaded with a spiced chicken, bean and cheese filling then pan fried, placed in air fryer or baked in the oven until crispy. Served with a creamy dipping sauce, they are a favorite appetizer!
Table of Contents
- Appetizer, Snack, or Dinner!
- Why This Recipe Works
- Recipe Ingredients
- Substitutions and Variations
- How to Make Southwest Egg Rolls
- Baked or Air Fryer Southwest Egg Rolls
- Tips for the Best Southwest Chicken Egg Rolls
- Recipe FAQs
- Serving Suggestions
- Make-Ahead, Storing and Freezing
- More Easy Appetizer Recipes
- Southwest Egg Rolls Printable Recipe
Appetizer, Snack, or Dinner!
Southwest chicken egg rolls are one of the most fun hand held party appetizers to make!
They are a crispy fried egg roll shell stuffed with a colorful Tex Mex filling of shredded chicken, corn, black beans, taco seasoning, jalapeño for heat, and melty Monterey Jack cheese!
This Mexican version of Chinese egg rolls may have been popularized by Chili’s southwest egg rolls but made at home, they’re even better! The spicy, cheesy filling pairs perfectly with salsa ranch dressing for a party snack at any Super Bowl party or gathering.
Why This Recipe Works
- Delicious! Each egg roll has so much flavor in each bite. Adjust the spice level or omit the jalapenos for the kids, but either way, they’ll be a hit with everyone.
- Easier than you think. Rolling the eggroll shells might be intimidating and look intricate, but it’s not, plus using a shallow pan-fry method skips messy deep frying.
- Simple ingredients. Using leftover rotisserie chicken and veggies makes the filling hearty and flavorful. Serve as an appetizer or with rice for an easy 30-minute meal.
- Freezer friendly. Make a double batch and always have some on hand for a side, party snack or appetizer.
Find the full printable recipe with specific measurements below.
- Cooked chicken: I use a store-bought rotisserie to make life a little easier, but you can use whatever shredded chicken you’ve got on hand.
- Cheese: Monterey Jack is a flavorful cheese that pairs nicely with the Tex Mex ingredients.
- Veggies: Canned corn, finely diced red bell pepper, green onions, black beans, and chopped jalapeno.
- Seasoning: I usually have my homemade taco seasoning on hand, so I’ll use that with a bit of extra garlic powder and salt.
- Egg roll wrappers: These are a thicker, larger version of a spring roll wrapper. Sort of. Once fried, they form these pockets of air and are crispy yet chewy in texture.
Substitutions and Variations
- Make it vegetarian by omitting the chicken and bulking up the filling with more beans and veggies.
- Use ground beef or pork instead of chicken for a different protein.
- If you don’t have a taco seasoning blend, use chili powder, cumin, onion powder, or any combination of the individual spices.
- Swap the Monterey Jack for cheddar cheese if preferred.
- For a low carb alternative, instead of using the wrappers, make lettuce wraps instead!
How to Make Southwest Egg Rolls
- Make the filling mixture. The first step is to combine the filling in a bowl and set it aside. The chicken, cheese, beans, corn, bell pepper, jalapeno, green onions, and seasonings.
- Add filling. Working with 1 egg roll wrapper at a time, lay it flat on a clean flat surface. Have one of the points facing up and one facing towards you. Fill the corner closest to you (the bottom corner) with 1/3 cup of filling.
- Roll it up. Start by folding the bottom corner up and over the filling. Then take the two sides and fold them toward the center, like an open envelope. Brush the edges of the top corner with whisked egg, then roll it up tightly like a burrito and seal it with the egg-washed corner. Use these rolling tip for remaining wrappers.
- Pan-fry. Add 1 inch of vegetable oil to a large skillet and heat to 350°F. Once hot, carefully add 4-5 rolls at a time. Cook in batches if needed, so that they’re not overcrowded. Cook until golden brown and flip occasionally.
- Let rest and slice. Transfer the fried southwest egg rolls to a paper towel-lined plate. Once they’re all finished and slightly cooled, use a sharp knife to cut them into a diagonal for presentation.
- Serve warm with salsa ranch dressing for dipping.
Baked or Air Fryer Southwest Egg Rolls
Air fryer: If you want to use less oil but still have a crispy shell, the air fryer is the way to go.Preheat the air fryer to 375°F. Lightly spray the rolls or brush them lightly with oil. Cook for 5 minutes or until crisp. Work in batches to not overcrowd the basket.
Baked: While these are less crispy, they will still be delicious. Place egg rolls seam side down on a baking sheet. Lightly brush with oil or spray with cooking spray. Bake at 425°F for 12-15 minutes, flipping halfway through baking time until golden.
Tips for the Best Southwest Chicken Egg Rolls
- Cover the wrappers with a damp paper towel. Egg roll wrappers can dry out quickly, so I like to cover the stack with a damp paper towel so they don’t dry out.
- Avoid soggy rolls. Make sure the oil is hot before adding your southwest egg rolls to the skillet. Otherwise, they’ll absorb too much oil waiting for the heat to rise for them to turn golden.
- Use a thermometer if you can. You want to always make sure you’re maintaining an oil temperature of 350°F. Turn down the heat if you see them browning too quickly.
- Keep warm. While you pan-fry the remaining egg rolls, keep the ones that are done in a warm 250°F oven.
Egg rolls are larger and made with a thicker, chewier dough wrapper. Once fried, spring roll wrappers are crispy, crunchy, and flaky. They’re also much thinner.
Yes, use either corn tortillas or gluten free tortillas, although I think gluten free tortillas or easier to roll over the egg roll filling.
You can certainly combine the filling and make the dipping sauce ahead of time. Keep them both in the fridge for a couple of days and assemble the entire batch when you’re ready.
As you may have guessed salsa ranch dressing is our family’s favorite dipping sauce, but there are a few others that are delicious too! Like these:
Make-Ahead, Storing and Freezing
- To store: Allow them to cool completely. This will help avoid extra sogginess (although, they’ll lose crispness no matter what). Keep them stored in an airtight for up to 4 days.
- To freeze: I recommend freezing them even before cooking, if possible. Flash freeze them for an hour until solid, then transfer them to a freezer bag or airtight container and keep them frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight and continue cooking as directed.
- Reheat: Use the oven or air fryer at 300°F until warmed through.
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Southwest Egg Rolls
- 1 ½ cups cooked shredded chicken , I used a rotisserie
- 1 ½ – 2 cups shredded Monterey jack cheese , more as desired
- 1 cup black beans
- ½ cup corn
- ½ red bell pepper , finely chopped
- 3-4 green onions , sliced
- 1 jalapeño , seeds removed and finely diced
- 1-2 teaspoons taco seasoning
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- 12 egg roll wrappers
- 1 large egg , beaten
- Oil , for frying
- Salsa ranch dressing , for serving
- In a large bowl, combine the chicken, cheese, beans, corn, bell pepper, jalapeño, green onions, taco seasoning, garlic powder, and salt.
- Lay an egg roll wrapper flat on a work surface. Spoon about 1/3 cup filling onto the bottom corner.
- Fold in the 2 side corners and roll like a burrito, until it looks like an envelope. Brush the top corner triangle with the egg. Continue rolling and seal. Repeat with remaining filling and wrappers. I like to keep a damp paper towel over the top of the wrappers while rolling, so they don't dry out.
- Place 1 inch oil in a skillet and heat to 350°F. (*see notes for using an air fryer.) Carefully add 4 to 5 egg rolls in the oil at a time. Cook until browned, flipping occasionally. Turn down the heat if they are browning too fast.
- Transfer egg rolls to a paper towel-lined plate. Let cool slightly. Repeat with remaining egg rolls.
- Serve while warm with a salsa ranch dressing for dipping.
- You can omit the chicken and add more beans and vegetables to make vegetarian.
- Swap the chicken for cooked ground beef or pork.
- Instead of the salsa ranch, try this cilantro lime dressing, cilantro lime crema, homemade salsa or avocado lime dressing.
Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.
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