Healthier air fryer egg rolls, with a minimal amount of oil and lots of vegetables, are a delicious alternative to deep fried egg rolls.

Egg rolls in a metal basket with dipping sauce.

Flavorful crisp egg rolls, stuffed with lean ground chicken, cabbage, carrots, and sprouts, are fried in your air fryer for a guilt-free entrée, appetizer, or snack. At only 212 calories per egg roll, you can feel good about munching on these little goodies.

One of the things I love best about my favorite Chinese restaurant is their egg rolls. Hot out of the fryer, so greasy and yes, so good, and filled with savory little bits of shrimp, pork, and cabbage. They probably have a gazillion calories. But dang, they’re good! The waiter, who knows our weaknesses well, always brings out lots of the crab cheese, too, which are totally irresistible.

And let’s not forget that bright pink sauce, sweet and tangy. I like to swirl just a bit of the hot mustard sauce in it for a little added zing. They have the best egg drop soup, too, with house made broth, and unlimited jasmine tea. 

I hope this recipe will inspire you to make your own healthier version of egg rolls right at home. Admittedly, they aren’t the same as their deep-fried cousins but with a crispy/chewy exterior, a fantastic filling, and lots of sweet chili sauce for dipping, homemade egg rolls are a pretty great substitute. 

Cut air fried egg roll on a black surface.

About this recipe

The filling is made in a skillet on the stove. Fry up either ground chicken or ground pork, whichever you like best. Use a bit of sesame oil to fry it in. Toasted sesame oil adds lots of flavor. 

Mix in a couple of cups of coleslaw mix, comprised of shredded cabbage and carrots. You can shred your own if you want but I love the convenience of pre-made. To the mixture, add green onions, bean sprouts, garlic, and ginger and stir fry briefly.

There’s plenty of flavor in the filling already but you’re going to amp it up with soy sauce (salty), sriracha (spicy), and rice vinegar (tangy). The filling is so good! It would be great in a lettuce wrap, too, especially with a drizzle of the sweet chili sauce. 

But you’re going to wrap the filling in an egg roll wrapper. Buy a package of pre-made wrappers. They are so convenient and easy to use. Simply spoon a bit of the filling on one end of the wrapper, fold the sides in, and roll it up into a neat little package. Pleat the sides as you roll so you have a nice tight egg roll. Once you get the hang of it, it’s super easy.

Brush a little egg wash (one egg beaten with a tablespoon of water) along the edge to seal the roll, and it’s ready to fry. Air fry, that is! 

You’ll probably have fry them in batches, unless you have a really big air fryer. This recipe makes 14-15 egg rolls, depending on how big you make them, i.e. how much filling you can stuff in each one. They take about eighteen minutes to get browned and crisp. 

Overhead view of a air fryer basket with egg rolls in it.

Serve them with sweet chili sauce for dipping. Don’t skip the sauce! That would be like cake with no frosting or eating a plain hotdog on a bun, with no ketchup or mustard.

Enjoy! Egg rolls are a popular appetizer and a great side dish. Serve air fryer egg rolls with Sweet Chili Chicken Stir Fry or Sweet and Sour Chicken Stir Fry.

Or how about egg rolls as an easy main dish? Why not? There’s meat and vegetables rolled in a starchy wrapper. Kind of like a taco or burrito, right?

What’s in an egg roll?

  • Ground Chicken or Pork – You could also use ground turkey, if you prefer.
  • Coleslaw mix – Coleslaw mix contains shredded cabbage and carrots, cutting down on prep time.
  • Green Onions – Otherwise known as scallions, they lend a subtle onion flavor to the egg rolls.
  • Bean Sprouts – Fresh or canned will work. If you use canned, make sure to drain, rinse, and pat them dry.
  • Flavor! Lots of flavor in these egg rolls from garlic, fresh grated ginger root, soy sauce, sriracha, rice vinegar, and toasted sesame oil.
  • Egg Roll Wrappers – You’ll also need one beaten egg to seal the wrappers closed.
  • Sweet Chili Sauce – You could also use additional soy sauce but we love, love, love sweet chili sauce!
Egg roll cut in half on a black slate surface.

FAQ


What’s the difference between an egg roll and a spring roll?

A big difference is the wrappers. Spring roll wrappers are made of wheat or rice flour and water and have a smooth exterior which crackles into delicate flakes when fried. They may be steamed or eaten fresh. Egg roll wrappers are made of egg, flour, and water, and when deep-fried, have a bubbly rough exterior which is sturdier and chewier. 

It’s believed that the origin of spring rolls dates back long ago to ancient China. Egg rolls are thought to be invented by a chef in New York City in the early 1900s. Yep, not really from China at all. 

Filling can vary drastically in both spring rolls and egg rolls, depending on the chef’s imagination and creativity.

Can you bake these egg rolls?

Sure! They may not get quite as crispy but they’ll still be delicious. Put them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, brush them or spray them with a little oil, and bake at 425°F for 15-20 minutes.

Can you deep fry these egg rolls?

Definitely! Deep fried egg rolls will be greasier, but crispier, too. Heat about two inches of peanut oil in a large skillet, wok, or deep fryer to 350-375°F. Fry the egg rolls a few at a time, 2 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.

How to make these egg rolls your own:

Speaking of creativity, maybe you want to change things up and make the egg rolls your own special concoction. There are a lot of things you can substitute or add. Here’s a few ideas to get you started:

  • Add tiny canned shrimp to the filling. 
  • Make the filling vegetarian. Substitute chopped mushrooms for the ground meat and if you’re vegan, brush the edges of the wrapper with water to seal the egg roll.
  • Add more veggies. Finely chopped bell peppers, celery, or whatever sounds good to you.
  • Try a different dipping sauce. Eazy Peazy Mealz has five great Asian style sauce recipes.
Close up overhead view of golden brown egg rolls.

Storage and Reheating Tips

Cooled completely and wrapped well, egg rolls will last three to four days in the refrigerator. To reheat, place them in a dry skillet and warm them up. You also could put them on a baking sheet in a medium low oven to reheat.

To make ahead

Egg rolls are best if you fry them immediately, and then refrigerate until you’re ready to reheat and serve them.

More Air Fryer Goodies

Still looking for more ways to use your air fryer? Try:

Cut open egg roll on black surface, dipping sauce in background.

Air Fryer Egg Rolls

Yield: 15 egg rolls
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 28 minutes
Total Time: 58 minutes

Healthier air fryer egg rolls, with a minimal amount of oil and lots of vegetables, are a delicious alternative to deep fried egg rolls.

Ingredients

Filling

  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 pound ground chicken or pork
  • 2 cups coleslaw mix (shredded cabbage + carrots)
  • 3 green onions, minced, about ¼ cup
  • 1 cup bean sprouts (if using canned, rinse well, drain, and pat dry)
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced (or grated)
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely minced (or grated) fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar

Egg rolls

  • 15 egg roll wrappers
  • 1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water
  • Additional oil or oil spray for frying
  • Sweet chili sauce, for dipping, optional

Instructions

  1. In large skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Brown ground chicken, breaking up any large chunks, about 5 minutes. Add coleslaw mix, green onions, beans sprouts, garlic and ginger. Stir and cook for about 2 minutes, or until cabbage softens. Add soy sauce, sriracha, and rice vinegar; stir and cook 1 minute.
  2. To fill wrappers: Spoon about 2 tablespoons of filling mixture onto one third of a wrapper, leaving a small border around the edges. 
  3. Roll up, folding in sides, and brush a little of the egg wash on the inside edge of the wrapper to seal.
  4. Spray or brush with oil, 400ºF for 18 minutes, or until crisp and golden brown.
  5. Serve immediately with sweet chili sauce for dipping.

Notes

  • Make the filling vegetarian. Substitute chopped mushrooms for the ground meat and if you're vegan, brush the edges of the wrapper with water to seal the egg roll.
  • Baking Instructions: Place egg rolls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, brush them or spray them with a little oil, and bake at 425°F for 15-20 minutes.
  • Frying Instructions: Heat about two inches of peanut oil in a large skillet, wok, or deep fryer to 350-375°F. Fry the egg rolls a few at a time, 2 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 15 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 212Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 39mgSodium: 331mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 1gSugar: 4gProtein: 9g

RachelCooks.com sometimes provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as they are not calculated by a registered dietitian. Please consult a medical professional for any specific nutrition, diet, or allergy advice.

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