Air Fryer Egg Rolls offer a lighter version of this beloved Chinese food, allowing you to enjoy homemade, crispy delights with less oil since there’s no deep frying involved. Easy to make and better than takeout, these crunchy egg rolls are filled with seasoned meat and veggies and cook perfectly in 10 minutes.
Calling all egg roll lovers! This air fryer egg roll recipe is a game changer for anyone who loves traditional egg rolls’ crispy, savory goodness but wants a healthier option that doesn’t involve deep frying. You can still achieve that delicious crunch without the extra oil with an air fryer.
Using an air fryer ensures a healthier cooking method and a convenient and easy way to prepare your egg rolls. With simple ingredients and minimal preparation time, you’ll be on your way to enjoying warm, savory air-fried egg rolls that will impress your friends and family.
Air frying provides a healthier alternative, and you can also make these egg rolls ahead of time. Once assembled, simply freeze your uncooked egg rolls, and when you’re ready to enjoy them, cook them directly from frozen with just a few extra minutes added to the cooking time. This easy egg roll recipe lets you have a tasty appetizer or meal at your fingertips whenever possible.
Why You’ll Love Homemade Air Fryer Egg Rolls
- Healthier option: Since they are cooked in the air fryer, you only need a fraction of the oil compared to deep-frying. This means less greasy food and fewer calories.
- Crispy and tasty: Air frying allows the egg rolls to become perfectly crispy on the outside while maintaining a delicious and flavorful filling. You won’t miss the deep-fryer at all!
- Quick and easy: Preparing egg rolls in an air fryer is a breeze. It usually takes about 10 minutes at 400°F, depending on the size of your egg rolls and air fryer.
- Customizable fillings: The beauty of making your egg rolls is that you can tailor the filling to suit your preferences. Want more veggies? Go for it. Want to make them spicy? Add some extra spices. The possibilities are endless.
- Great for parties and gatherings: Air fryer egg rolls are an excellent finger food option, and since they are so easy to make, you can whip up a batch in no time for your friends and family to enjoy.
- Egg roll wrappers: These serve as the base for your air fryer egg rolls, and you’ll use these to wrap around your filling. These are available at most grocery stores and Asian markets.
- Ground chicken: This will provide the main protein in your egg rolls, offering a tender and flavorful filling. I used 98% lean ground chicken in this recipe, but any ground meat will work. If you are using meat with high fat content, reduce the amount of avocado oil you use.
- Salt and pepper: These help to season your chicken and enhance the dish’s overall flavor. White pepper can be substituted for black pepper if you prefer.
- Avocado oil: A healthier alternative to other types of oils, you’ll use this to sauté your chicken, garlic, and ginger. Use any neutral flavored oil in this recipe at a 1:1 ratio.
- Garlic: Adds a warm, aromatic flavor to your egg roll filling.
- Fresh ginger: Lends a zesty, slightly sweet taste to your egg rolls.
- Coleslaw mix: A store-bought coleslaw mix adds a crunch to your egg rolls and saves time. I used a tri-color coleslaw mix that contains carrots and purple cabbage. You can substitute green cabbage if you like.
- Hoisin sauce: This sweet and savory sauce provides a depth of flavor to your filling.
- Soy sauce: Enhances the overall taste of your filling with a salty and slightly sweet umami note.
- Sesame oil: This aromatic oil adds a nutty and rich flavor.
- Rice vinegar: Balances out the flavors in your filling with its mild acidity.
- Green onions: Adds a crisp and mild onion flavor to your egg rolls.
How to Make Air Fry Egg Rolls
- Step One: In a pan, add the avocado oil and the ground chicken to a skillet over medium heat. Cook until the chicken is cooked through, stirring frequently. Season with salt and pepper.
- Step Two: Add the garlic and ginger. Stir to combine and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the garlic and ginger become fragrant.
- Step Three: In a small bowl, add the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, and rice vinegar. Stir to combine and set aside.
- Step Four: Add the coleslaw mix and stir to combine. Cook for about 3 minutes or until the cabbage is wilted.
- Step Five: Add the sauce mixture to the pan. Stir to combine it well so everything is incorporated.
- Step Six: Stir in the green onions and remove the mixture from the heat.
- Step Seven: Set up your assembly station by adding water to a small bowl and placing it next to your egg roll wrappers and the meat mixture.
- Step Eight: Spoon 2 tbsp of the chicken mixture onto the middle of the egg roll wrapper.
- Step Nine: Dip your finger or a pastry brush in the water and brush each of the corners of the egg roll wrapper with water.
- Step Ten: Fold the bottom over the mixture and the right and left sides. Roll the egg roll up, making sure it’s sealed. Set aside on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Step Eleven: Repeat this process until you’ve assembled the 12 egg rolls. You can also work in batches. When you’ve assembled 6, start cooking those and assemble the rest while they are cooking.
- Step Twelve: Preheat your air fryer to 400℉ (if your model calls for preheating).
- Step Thirteen: Place egg rolls in the basket of the air fryer, making sure they are about 1″ of room on each side of each egg roll. This will help your egg rolls become crispier.
- Step Fourteen: Spray the top with a small amount of spray oil.
- Step Fifteen: Air fry for 6 minutes. After 6 minutes, use tongs to flip them over and cook for four more minutes. Serve immediately.
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- Air Fryer: The most crucial piece of equipment is, of course, an air fryer. Choose one that suits your needs in size, price, and features.
- Tongs or Spatula: These tools will be helpful when placing the egg rolls in the air fryer basket and flipping them over during cooking.
- Parchment Paper or Air Fryer Liners: Lining your air fryer basket with parchment paper or using air fryer liners can make cleanup a breeze and prevent egg rolls from sticking.
- Pastry Brush: A small pastry brush will be useful for sealing the edges of the wrappers and brushing oil onto the egg rolls before air frying.
- Oil Sprayer: Never use cooking spray in an air fryer. I use an oil sprayer that I fill with olive or grapeseed oil.
- Large Skillet: You’ll need a skillet to cook the cabbage filling.
What to Serve with Air Fryer Egg Rolls
- Asian-Inspired Salad: A fresh and colorful Asian-inspired salad can complement the flavors in your air fryer egg rolls. Include ingredients like assorted greens, shredded carrots, cucumbers, and bell peppers. Top off with a tangy soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sesame oil dressing.
- Steamed Rice: Steamed white or brown rice is a simple and classic side dish that pairs well with air fryer egg rolls. This plain side dish will balance the strong flavors of your egg rolls and make for an enjoyable meal. Chicken Fried Rice is always a hit served with a traditional egg roll.
- Stir-Fried Vegetables: Another great dish to serve with air fryer egg rolls is a mix of stir-fried vegetables. The veggies can be cooked quickly in oil to retain fresh flavor and bright colors. You could use a variety of vegetables like snow peas, baby corn, and bok choy. We love this Teriyaki Shrimp Stir Fry.
- Protein: Instead of using the traditional sausage, use your favorite cooked meat like ground pork, shrimp, or even tofu. Vegetarians can opt for plant-based proteins like tempeh or seitan or simply leave out the meat to make vegetable egg rolls.
- Veggies: You can also use fresh shredded cabbage, chopped celery, and onions, julienned bell peppers, or grated zucchini for extra crunch. Keep in mind that if you increase the volume of the mixture, you may end up with more egg rolls.
- Wrappers: If you want a gluten-free option, purchase gluten-free egg roll wrappers online or make your own. Simply swap the soy sauce for tamari in the recipe.
- Make it Spicy: Add a teaspoon of chili garlic sauce for a spicier version.
Variations of Air Fryer Egg Rolls
- Vegetarian Air Fryer Egg Rolls: For a meat-free version, you can replace the ground meat with delicious and nutritious options like tofu, tempeh, or mushrooms. Just add some extra flavor with ingredients like soy sauce or ginger.
- Seafood Air Fryer Egg Rolls: If you’re a seafood lover, try replacing the traditional meat filling with shrimp or crabmeat.
- Fusion Air Fryer Egg Rolls: Get creative and mix cuisines with your air fryer egg rolls by swapping out the usual Chinese-inspired fillings for flavorful alternatives. You could try a Mexican-inspired version with ground beef, black beans, cheese, or a Mediterranean twist with feta, spinach, and olives.
To refrigerate your air fryer egg rolls, simply place them in an airtight container and keep them in the fridge for up to 3 days. Make sure they have cooled down before sealing the container to prevent excess moisture from building up.
For refrigerated egg rolls, you can reheat them in the air fryer at the same temperature for a slightly shorter time. Enjoy your tasty egg rolls as they regain their crispy texture!
Can I Freeze?
You can freeze egg rolls, whether cooked or uncooked, perfect for meal prep or making a big batch for a party.
To freeze uncooked egg rolls, assemble them according to your recipe and place them on a parchment-lined sheet pan. Make sure the egg rolls are not touching each other to prevent them from sticking together. Then, put the baking sheet in the freezer for about an hour to flash-freeze the egg rolls. Once frozen, transfer them to a zip-top freezer bag or an airtight container and label them with the date. They can be stored in the freezer for up to three months.
Ensure cooked egg rolls are completely cooled down before freezing to maintain their crispy texture. Like uncooked egg rolls, arrange them on a parchment-lined baking sheet without touching each other and flash freeze for about one hour. Once frozen, transfer them to a zip-top freezer bag or airtight container, label them with the date, and store them in the freezer for up to three months.
To cook your frozen, uncooked egg rolls, there’s no need to thaw them first. Cook them in the air fryer according to the recipe directions, but add 2 to 3 minutes for cooking time.
When it’s time to reheat your cooked frozen egg rolls, warm them in the air fryer at 350°F for 5 minutes or until warmed through
Remember, consuming your frozen egg rolls within three months is best for the best quality and flavor.
Can I Make Ahead?
Yes, you can make air fryer egg rolls ahead of time, which makes them perfect for quick meals, parties, or meal prep. To make them ahead, simply follow the steps to assemble the egg rolls, but hold off on cooking them in the air fryer just yet.
After assembling the egg rolls, place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze them until solid. Freezing the egg rolls before storing them will prevent them from sticking together in the storage container. Once frozen, transfer your egg rolls to a zip-top bag or an airtight container and store them in the freezer for up to 3 months.
When you’re ready to cook your make-ahead egg rolls, you don’t need to thaw them. Instead, slightly adjust the cooking time in the air fryer. Add 2 to 3 minutes to the recommended cooking duration to ensure your egg rolls are crispy and golden brown.
- Hoisin Sauce is a popular choice for its sweet and tangy flavor. You can find it in most grocery stores or make it at home by combining soy sauce, peanut butter, honey, vinegar, and a few spices. You can add a pinch of chili flakes for a more personalized touch to spice it up.
- Peanut Sauce adds a creamy and nutty flavor to your egg rolls. Mix peanut butter, soy sauce, lime juice, and a dash of sugar to make this sauce. Add a small amount of minced ginger and garlic for a more aromatic option. You can adjust the consistency of the sauce by adding water or coconut milk.
- Sweet and Sour Sauce is a classic choice with almost any type of egg roll. You can easily make this sauce by combining equal parts of ketchup, sugar, vinegar, and water, then adding a pinch of salt and a dash of soy sauce. Simmer the mixture until it reaches your desired consistency.
- Plum Sauce is a keeper and pairs perfectly with these tasty air fryer egg rolls. It’s also known as duck sauce.
- Spicy Mayo is easy to whip up. Mix mayonnaise with some Sriracha sauce for a creamy and spicy kick.
- Soy Ginger Sauce tastes delicious. Combine soy sauce, grated ginger, and a touch of rice vinegar for a flavorful dip.
- Fish Sauce has a strong aroma and salty flavor with umami undertones. It adds depth and richness.
- Sweet Chili Sauce is known for its vibrant red color and a combination of sweetness, tanginess, and mild heat.
Tips and Tricks for the Best Air Fryer Egg Rolls
- Wrap them tightly: When wrapping your egg rolls, place the filling right in the center of the wrapper. Fold the point closest to you over the filling, and then bring the side points into the middle. Continue rolling away from you, ensuring a tight seal around the filling to prevent any leakage during cooking.
- Preheat your air fryer: Don’t forget to preheat it if your model allows it! This step ensures your egg rolls develop a crispy, golden brown exterior.
- Use an oil spray: Lightly coat your egg rolls with an oil spray before putting them in the air fryer. This will help them get an even crispiness without adding too much extra oil or fat. Do not use an aerosol cooking spray, though.
- Arrange them properly: Do not overcrowd the air fryer basket. You want to ensure that the hot air can circulate around the egg rolls for even cooking. Place them in a single layer with some space between each roll.
- Cook for the right duration: Cook the egg rolls for 10 minutes, flipping them about 6 minutes into the cooking process. That ensures even browning on both sides.
- You don’t need to thaw: Remember, if you use frozen egg rolls, you don’t need to thaw them before cooking. Just add 2 to 3 minutes to the cooking time.
Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
- Overcrowding the air fryer: Placing too many egg rolls in the air fryer at once can lead to undercooked or unevenly cooked rolls. When air frying, leaving enough space between each roll is important to avoid steam from the released moisture. Try placing them in a single layer with the sides not touching so they cook evenly.
- Not preheating the air fryer: If you forget to preheat your air fryer, your egg rolls might end up undercooked or overcooked. To avoid this, preheat the air fryer to the recommended temperature before placing your egg rolls inside. Note: This only applies to air fryer models that allow for preheating.
- Incorrect filling consistency: Ensuring your filling has the right consistency is crucial for tasty egg rolls. If the filling is too wet, it can make the wrapper soggy and difficult to roll, while too dry filling can result in a bland taste. Find a balance by making sure your filling is neither too wet nor too dry.
- Overfilling the egg rolls: Overfilling the egg rolls can cause them to break open during cooking. To avoid this, ensure not to add too much filling inside each wrapper. Practice portion control and ensure you’re using the right amount of filling for each roll.
- Incorrect cooking time or temperature: The size of your egg rolls, the type of air fryer you have, and the number of egg rolls in the basket can all influence cooking time. Air fryer models can slightly vary on cooking time/temperature, so make sure to watch your first batch carefully so you can adjust if needed.
Benefits of Using an Air Fryer
When making egg rolls, using an air fryer is an excellent choice for several reasons. First, air frying reduces the fat content in your food compared to deep frying. Since an air fryer requires less oil to cook, it results in less oil absorption for a healthier yet still tasty option.
Another advantage of using an air fryer is the convenience it offers. You won’t have to deal with greasy splatter or messy hot oil as you would with a deep fryer. Simply place your egg rolls in the air fryer and let the appliance work its magic, creating delicious and crispy egg rolls in no time.
Air fryers are also perfect for those who prefer to make their meals ahead of time, as you can freeze assembled but uncooked egg rolls and cook them directly from the freezer without thawing. Just add an extra 2 to 3 minutes to the cooking time.
In addition to their ease of use, air fryers can create a crispy texture similar to deep-frying, using considerably less oil. You’ll still get that delicious crunch we love in an egg roll but with a lighter and healthier outcome.
FAQs about air fryer egg rolls
Air Fryer Recipes
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Air Fryer Egg Rolls
- In a pan, add the avocado oil and the ground chicken to a skillet over medium heat. Cook until the chicken is cooked through, stirring frequently. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add the garlic and ginger. Stir to combine and cook for about 2 minutes or until the garlic and ginger become fragrant.
- In a small bowl, add the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil and rice vinegar. Stir to combine and set aside.
- Add the coleslaw mix and stir to combine. Cook for about 3 minutes or until the cabbage is wilted.
- Add the sauce mixture to the pan. Stir to combine it well so everything is incorporated.
- Stir in the green onions and remove the mixture from the heat.
- Set up your assembly station by adding water to a small bowl and placing it next to your egg roll wrappers and the meat mixture.
- Spoon about 2 tbsp of the chicken mixture onto the middle of the egg roll wrapper.
- Dip your finger or a pastry brush in the water and brush each of the corners of the egg roll wrapper with water.
- Fold in the bottom up over the mixture and the right and left sides. Roll the egg roll up making sure it's sealed. Set aside on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Repeat this process until you've assembled the 12 egg rolls. You can also work in batches. When you've assembled 6, start cooking those and assemble the rest while they are cooking.
- Preheat your air fryer to 400℉ (if your model calls for preheating).
- Add the egg rolls to the basket of the air fryer making sure they are about 1" of room on each side of each egg roll. This will help your egg rolls become crispier.
- Spray the top with a small amount of spray oil.
- Air fry for 6 minutes. After 6 minutes, flip them over and cook for 4 more minutes. Serve immediately.