Southwestern Egg Rolls — Juicy chicken, melted Pepper Jack cheese, black beans, bell peppers, and corn seasoned with southwest-inspired seasonings and fried to crispy PERFECTION! You can fry, air fry, or bake these EASY egg rolls which are a Chili’s Restaurant copycat. The quick creamy mashed avocado ranch dipping sauce is the perfect final touch!
Table of contents
- Easy Southwestern Chicken Egg Rolls with Avocado Ranch
- Ingredients in Southwestern Chicken Egg Rolls
- How to Make Southwest Egg Rolls
- Frying, Air Frying, or Baking Egg Rolls
- How to Wrap Chicken Egg Rolls
- What to Serve with Copycat Chili’s Southwestern Egg Rolls
- Storage Instructions
- Recipe FAQs
- Tips for the Best Chili’s Copycat Southwestern Egg Rolls
- More Easy Appetizer Recipes:
Easy Southwestern Chicken Egg Rolls with Avocado Ranch
My homemade southwest egg rolls are made with juicy seasoned chicken, melted cheese, black beans, bell peppers, corn, and more all wrapped up and fried to crispy perfection!
More details below, but you can “fry” these southwest egg rolls in an air fryer, bake them in the oven, or fry them the good old fashioned way.
I’ve also got an easy creamy avocado ranch dipping sauce that’s with made – you guessed it mashed avocado and ranch dressing – plus sour cream, cilantro, and lime juice.
If you’re thinking that these egg rolls sound familiar or are a restaurant copycat recipe, you’re right. They’re inspired by the Chili’s Restaurant Southwestern Eggrolls. But I always think homemade tastes even better.
Whether you want to serve these chicken and black bean southwestern egg rolls as a favorite appetizer, as a snack at your next game day party of casual get-together, or as an easy and satisfying weeknight dinner recipe, everyone is going to beg you for the great recipe.
Ingredients in Southwestern Chicken Egg Rolls
For the egg rolls, you’ll want to have the following easy-to-find and common fridge and pantry ingredients including the following:
- Shredded or diced cooked chicken breast
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Paprika or smoked paprika
- Chili powder
- Pepper Jack or Monterey Jack shredded cheese
- Fresh spinach
- Black beans
- Red bell peppers
- Lime juice
- Flour tortillas or egg roll wrappers
- Vegetable oil or canola oil, for frying
Avocado Ranch Dip
- Ranch dressing
- Sour cream or Greek yogurt
- Lime juice
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Black pepper
Note: All ingredients amounts are listed in the recipe card section when you keep scrolling down.
How to Make Southwest Egg Rolls
Making these crave-worthy copycat chicken egg rolls is fast and easy. Follow my straightforward instructions for perfect crispy egg rolls every time.
Step 1: In a large bowl, combine the chicken, and all the spices, salt, pepper, and stir to combine.
Step 2: Stir in the shredded cheese, spinach, corn, black beans, red bell peppers, and lime juice.
Step 3: Place about 1/4-cup filling in the center of each tortilla, fold it up, and brush water on the top edge to help seal them up.
(Air Frying and Baking Tips Below)
Step 4: Fry the egg rolls in a pan with oil for about 2 minutes, flipping halfway through, and place on a paper towel lined plate. Cook time will vary so watch your egg rolls for doneness.
Avocado Ranch Dip
Step 5: Combine all ingredients, stir or whisk, taste to check for seasoning balance, and serve with the freshly made southwestern chicken egg rolls.
Frying, Air Frying, or Baking Egg Rolls
There are a few ways to cook these southwestern egg rolls and you can select the option that’s right for you!
- Frying – Traditional frying, with either vegetable or canola oil in a large skillet that’s heated to 375F. It’ll only take a couple minutes to fry the egg rolls. This method produces the crispiest and best tasting egg rolls in my opinion. No, it’s not as healthy but it sure tastes good and the crispy factor is out of this world. You just really want to sink your teeth into these egg rolls.
- Air Frying – This method is a runner up for me. Not quite as crispy, but definitely healthier, and your house won’t smell as profusely of fried food after the fact. Heat an air fryer with an XL basket to 375F, place the egg rolls in the air fryer basket, spray them with nonstick cooking spray, and air fry for 5 minutes. Flip, spray again, and air fry for 5 more minutes, or until golden brown and ready.
- Oven Baking – This method doesn’t produce very crispy egg rolls, however it’s the same “healthiness level” as air frying since you’re only spritzing with cooking spray like in the above method. Preheat your oven to 475F, place the egg rolls on a baking sheet, spray them with nonstick cooking spray, and bake for 10 to 15 minutes. Flip, spray again, and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown and ready.
Best Way to Make Southwestern Eggrolls?
In my opinion, nothing can compete with actual frying in oil. However, if you don’t want to do that for either health reason or house stinking-up reasons, I get it.
In that case, if you have an air fryer, that’s my definite preference if we are comparing air frying with oven baking.
How to Wrap Chicken Egg Rolls
Don’t fear the rolling up process! Very quick prep time and it’s simple as long as you follow this easy technique which applies if you’re using tortillas, egg roll wrappers – circular or square:
- Place the filling in the center.
- Fold the outward sides towards the middle.
- Roll up.
- Brush the top edge with water to help it seal.
- Wait 1 minute before frying, seam side down.
What Kind of Tortilla Should I Use for Homemade Egg Rolls?
For these easy egg rolls that are filled with chicken, black beans, corn, and more, I suggest using flour tortillas.
Make sure to select small, street taco size tortillas, about 4 to 5 inches in diameter.
Do not use bigger burrito-sized tortillas.
I don’t like corn tortillas for the recipe as much – both in terms of flavor and because they’re harder to work with and will be more prone to tearing or ripping as you’re filling and assembling them.
Can I Use Egg Roll Wrappers?
Alternatively, you can use egg roll wrappers rather than flour tortillas.
Do not use rice paper wrappers, which are thin, transparent and what you’d use to make Fresh Spring Rolls but they aren’t suitable for frying.
What’s the Difference?
Egg roll wrappers are a little thinner and more delicate compared to flour tortillas in terms of texture and overall mouthfeel.
The taste is a bit different too since flour tortillas rely largely upon white flour and are a bit sweeter.
Whereas egg roll wrappers have eggs in them (hence the name) along with whole wheat flour.
It’s really up to you which you’d like to select!
What to Serve with Copycat Chili’s Southwestern Egg Rolls
Whether you’re planning on serving the southwestern egg rolls with black beans and chicken as the main dish, or as an appetizer or snack along with other dishes, I have few great sides that will really complement all the rich southwestern flavors.
- Grilled Avocado Corn Salad — An EASY and HEALTHY salad that’s ready in 10 minutes and you won’t be able to stop eating it!! Juicy corn, creamy avocado, cilantro, and fresh lime juice is a FIESTA in your mouth!
- Loaded Chicken Taco Salad — Fast, easy, fresh and healthy!! All your favorite taco flavors in one big kickin’ salad that everyone will love!
- Avocado Black Bean Mexican Salad – EASY, ready in 10 minutes, and there’s so much FLAVOR from the lime-cumin-chili vinaigrette!! Great for lunch or a meatless Monday dinner! Accidentally vegan, gluten-free, HEALTHY, and DELISH!
- Skinny Mexican Bean and Corn Salad – Two kinds of beans, juicy corn, tomatoes, peppers, and more tossed in a light chili-lime-cumin vinaigrette! Healthy, easy, ready in 5 minutes, and loaded with flavor!
- Avocado, Black Bean and Corn Salad with Lime-Cumin Vinaigrette – Everything tastes better with avocado! Easy, healthy and tons of flavor!
- Creamy Mexican Grilled Corn and Zucchini Salad – A healthy easy salad that’s ready in 15 minutes and so flavorful! Corn, zucchini, cilantro, queso fresco and more are tossed in a delish creamy lime sauce!
This easy appetizer recipe is truly best when enjoyed hot and fresh. There’s nothing like the crunch factor of something freshly fried!
However, if you do have leftovers, they’ll keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 4 months.
If you can, I suggest reheating the leftovers (either from your fridge or the freezer) in an air fryer. It gives you closest taste and texture to a freshly made eggroll. You can also bake them to reheat them.
The microwave really isn’t your friend in this simple egg roll recipe because of crispiness issues – but it never really is in any recipe where crispiness is everything! No way to ever get your leftover thin crust pizza to taste the same if you nuke it because the crust just won’t crisp up.
As for the avocado dipping sauce, it’ll keep airtight for 3 to 4 days in the fridge. The avocado may oxidize a bit as time passes so it may darken but the ranch dressing and the sour cream and lime juice will help prevent it.
To save time and make this recipe as easy as possible, store bought rotisserie chicken is a no-brainer.
You can also make my easy Poached Chicken recipe and either shred or cube it.
Another great one is 20-Minute Perfect Oven Baked Chicken or this 20-Minute Baked Lime Cilantro Chicken has a perfect flavor profile for the southwestern-inspired ingredients.
Most any leftover chicken you have on hand will also work. You only need 1 1/2 cups.
You can also use shredded or cubed cooked turkey if you have leftover turkey on hand.
I have a spinach hater in my midst and if he knows that there is spinach in something, he turns up his nose at it. However, if it’s more well-disguised, he doesn’t flinch.
This recipe is one of those that you can sneak in some veggies and greens without noticing much. However, if it’s a big deal, you can omit it. Remember that it looks like a lot but always shrinks and wilts down to next to nothing!
Yes and no. If you’d like to prep the filling mixture, and wrap up the egg rolls, and then pause there, that’s fine. You can refrigerate the assembled egg rolls for up to 24 hours before frying (or baking).
I think they taste best when freshly fried (or baked) so don’t do that until you’re ready to serve them.
You want to heat your oil to 375ºF. The homemade southwest egg rolls will take just a few minutes to fry.
Tips for the Best Chili’s Copycat Southwestern Egg Rolls
These Chili’s restaurant copycat southwestern egg rolls are always a hit with everyone!
A few of my final tips to make sure your turn out perfectly are as follows:
Don’t Guess the Oil Temp – You will want to add enough oil to a large skillet so it’s about 3 inches deep, and heat it to 375F.
You should use a digital clip on thermometer and not guess the temperature.
Don’t Overcrowd the Pan – Place 4 egg rolls into the oil, and fry for about 1 minute, flip, and fry for 1 more minute, or until golden brown.
Repeat the process in two more batches. Don’t overcrowd the pan.
If you add more than about four egg rolls to your frying pan, the overall temperature of the oil will drop, and they won’t fry up as nicely.
Quick Cooking – Plus, they do cook quickly, in just about 2 minutes total and so batch frying isn’t a big deal from a time perspective. I like to fry smaller amounts so I can keep an eye on everything and not accidentally burn any of the chicken and bean egg rolls.
Seasonings – Don’t be afraid to add more (or less) of the various spices used including the cumin, paprika, chili powder, and so forth. As written, the recipe has a ton of flavor but the southwest egg rolls are not spicy.
If you want to kick up the heat, add more chili powder or even a pinch of cayenne pepper to the filling mixture.
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Southwestern Egg Rolls
- 1 ½ cups cooked chicken breast*, shredded or diced
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika or smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 2 cups shredded Pepper Jack cheese, or shredded Monterey Jack
- 1 cup fresh spinach
- ½ cup corn, thaw it if using frozen and drain, drain it if using canned
- ½ cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed (I use no-salt added)
- ⅓ cup red bell peppers, diced small
- 2 teaspoon lime juice
- 12 taco size flour tortillas, about 4 to 5-inches in diameter OR egg roll wrappers
- ½ cup mashed avocado, from about half of a large ripe avocado
- ½ cup ranch salad dressing
- 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, finely minced
- 2 ½ tablespoons sour cream, plain Greek yogurt may be substituted
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
- ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- To a large bowl, add the chicken, all the spices, salt, and stir to combine.
- Add the cheese, spinach, corn, beans, bell peppers, lime juice, and stir to combine.
- Place about 1/4 cup of the filling in the center of the tortilla or egg roll wrapper.
- Fold the outsider sides toward the middle and then roll up. Repeat the process until the filling has been used, or about 12 egg rolls
- Brush the top edge of each with a bit of water to seal.
- After all tortillas are rolled, let them sit for 1 minute before frying to allow the water to stick the edges together. Meanwhile whisk together the dip.
Avocado Ranch Dipping Sauce
- Frying – Traditional frying, with either vegetable or canola oil. This method produces the crispiest and best tasting egg rolls in my opinion. No, it’s not as healthy but they sure taste good and the crispy factor is out of this world. You just really want to sink your teeth into these egg rolls! Add enough oil to a large skillet so it's about 3 deep, and heat it to 375F. You should use a digital clip on thermometer and not guess the temperature. Place 4 egg rolls into the oil, and fry for about 1 minute, flip, and fry for 1 more minute, or until golden brown. Repeat the process in two more batches. Don't overcrowd the pan. Place cooked egg rolls on paper towels.
- Air Frying – This method is a runner up for me. Not quite as crispy, but definitely healthier, and your house won’t smell as profusely of fried food after the fact. Heat an air fryer with an XL basket to 375F, place the egg rolls in the air fryer basket, spray them generously with nonstick cooking spray, and air fry for 5 minutes. Flip them over, spray again, and air fry for about 5 more minutes, or until golden brown and ready.
- Oven Baking – This method doesn’t produce very crispy egg rolls, however it’s the same “healthiness level” as air frying since you’re only spritzing with cooking spray like in the above method. Preheat your oven to 475F, place the egg rolls on a nonstick baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray them. Also spritz the egg rolls with the nonstick spray and bake for 10 to 15 minutes. Flip them over, spray again, and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown and ready.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
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