Southwest Egg Rolls with Avocado Dipping Sauce

So I have an obsession.  No, it's not Jeremy Renner.  No, it's not chocolate.  When I go to a restaurant, I love to try new foods and then recreate them at home.  So several years ago, before we had kids, The Hubs and I found something that I HAD to figure out how to make - Chili's Southwest Egg Rolls.  We LOVE those things.  So it created an itch that I had to scratch.

I set out on a creative adventure.  Whenever I think of Southwest food, I think of chicken, corn, black beans, and peppers.  Cumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper.  And cheese - who could forget the cheese?  Chili's rolls are made with tortillas.  But I could never get them to roll correctly without all the filling falling out.  And then the thought hit me - uh, dur, egg rolls?  Why not use egg roll wrappers?  I could fry those babies up and they'd be crispy and keep all the filling inside. These are a meal in and of themselves, but you can serve them as an appetizer or side dish to another meal.  But I do need to warn you - they are addictive and delicious.  You probably won't be able to stop at just one.

Now, before we go into the recipe, I should give you a heads up that this is labor intensive.  It takes about 1-2 hours of prep work.  But the cook time is minimal.  I actually prefer to make these and freeze them in 3 batches for my family of 4.  Just wrap each egg roll in wax paper before you freeze them or they will stick together.  So it is a meal that takes some time to prep but produces a large quantity.  And they freeze really well.

Southwest Egg Rolls with Avocado Dipping Sauce  


Egg Rolls:

6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2 Tbs. olive oil
Kosher salt
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 bunch green onions, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (15 oz.) corn, drained
1 can (15 oz.) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (4.5 oz.) diced green chilies
10 oz. frozen spinach, thawed and drained
2 Tbs. fresh parsley, minced
2 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
3 cups Mexican Style cheese, shredded
1 package (20 count) egg roll wrappers

Dipping Sauce:

2 avocados
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
3 Tbs. buttermilk
2 Tbs. white vinegar
1/4 tsp. salt
2 Tbs. fresh parsley
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 dash pepper


1. Pour olive oil into a large skillet and preheat over medium heat.  Add chicken thighs and sprinkle with salt.  Cook for 5 minutes on each side or until cooked through.  Remove from skillet and place in a food processor.  Pulse a few times to chop.

2. Add bell pepper, green onion, and garlic to pan and saute, scraping bottom of pan while cooking.  Cook for 4-5 minutes or until vegetables are tender.  Add chicken and heat through.  

3. Add corn, beans, green chilies, spinach, and parsley to pan.  Cook until warmed through and spinach separates.  Add cumin, chili powder, salt, and cayenne pepper.  Stir to mix.  Remove from heat.

4. Add cheese and mix well until cheese is melted.  Set aside and allow to cool for a few minutes.

5. Line a baking sheet with wax paper.  Place a single egg roll wrapper flat on surface, with a point towards you (it should look like a diamond, not a square).  Place a large spoonful of mixture into the center of the wrapper.  Fold bottom corner over mixture.  Fold side corners in to make an envelope.  Roll wrapper towards top corner, making sure ends are tucked in.  Place wrapped roll on lined baking sheet.  Repeat with other wrappers.

6. Place baking sheet in freezer and allow to freeze for 2-3 hours.  

7. While egg rolls are freezing, make dipping sauce.  Add all ingredients into a blender or food processor and process until smooth.  Refrigerate until serving.

8. Add oil to deep fryer per product instructions.  Preheat to 350 degrees.  If you don't have a deep fryer, see note below.  When oil reaches temperature, add egg rolls and fry until golden brown, approximately 4 minutes.  Remove from oil and place on a plate lined with paper towels to soak up excess oil.  Serve with dipping sauce.

*Note: If you do not have a deep fryer, you can cook the egg rolls in the oven.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.  Place rolls on baking sheet and brush with olive oil.  Bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.

Serves 10