Southwestern Egg Rolls

Egg rolls with a Southwest twist: Inspired by a favorite appetizer at Chili's -- these are crunchy and cheesy with a creamy avocado dipping sauce.
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr
  • Active: 1 hr
  • Yield: 8 egg rolls
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Ingredients

Avocado Dipping Sauce:

1/3 cup mayonnaise

1/3 cup sour cream

3 tablespoons white distilled vinegar

1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

1 large avocado, halved

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon dried dill

1/4 teaspoon dried parsley

Egg Rolls:

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 pound)

2 tablespoons canola oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Half red bell pepper, finely chopped (about 1 cup)

1/2 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed

1/4 cup packed chopped frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder

1/4 teaspoon cayenne 

6 ounces shredded Monterey Jack cheese

1/4 cup drained pickled jalapenos, finely chopped 

2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped

2 scallions, thinly sliced 

Canola oil, for frying

Eight 8-inch flour tortillas 

Directions

Special equipment:
a deep-fat try thermometer, 24 standard wooden toothpicks
  1. For the sauce: Combine the mayonnaise, sour cream, vinegar, granulated garlic, onion powder, avocado, 2 tablespoons water, a large pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper in a blender. Blend until completely smooth. Transfer to a medium bowl and stir in the dill and parsley. Season with additional salt and pepper if needed. The texture should be similar to ranch salad dressing. (If the sauce is very thick, thin it out with 1 to 2 tablespoons of additional water.) Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  2. For the egg rolls: Preheat a grill pan over medium-high heat for 5 minutes. Rub the chicken breasts with 1 tablespoon oil and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Cook the chicken until deep grill marks appear, about 8 minutes. Flip and continue cooking until deep grill marks appear and the internal temperature on an instant-read thermometer in the thickest part of the breast registers 165 degrees F, about 8 minutes more. Remove to a cutting board, allow to cool slightly and cut into small pieces. 
  3. Heat the remaining tablespoon oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bell pepper, a pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper and cook, stirring, until crisp-tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the beans, corn, spinach, cumin, chipotle powder, cayenne, 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring, until the vegetables and beans are coated in the spices and warmed through, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and fold in the chicken, pickled jalapenos, parsley and scallions. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if needed. Allow the mixture to cool completely.
  4. Stack the tortillas on a large microwave-safe plate and cover with a damp paper towel. Microwave until just warmed though. (This will make the tortillas easier to roll.) Put a warm tortilla on a clean, flat surface (keep the remaining tortillas covered with the damp paper towels) and put 1/2 cup of the filling in the center. Spread the filling out into a 4 1/2-inch long log. Tightly fold the bottom of the tortilla (the part that is closest to you) over the filling, fold both ends over then roll the tortilla so that the filling is completely enclosed. Seal the seam of the tortilla with 3 toothpicks. Transfer to a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining tortillas, filling and toothpicks. 
  5. Meanwhile, attach a deep-fat fry thermometer to the side of a large Dutch oven or pot, fill halfway with oil and heat over medium-high heat to 350 degrees F.
  6. Fry the egg rolls in 2 batches until golden brown all over, about 5 minutes per batch. Remove the toothpicks from the egg rolls, cut on an extreme bias and transfer to a large platter. Serve with the avocado dipping sauce.
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