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My healthy spin on the popular Southwest egg rolls recipe from Chili’s restaurant. Beans, cheese, peppers, onions, spinach, and ground chicken come together in an egg roll wrapper (baked, not fried!) in this delicious appetizer recipe.
My family LOVED going to Chili’s when I was a kid, or maybe I loved it so much that they all obliged everytime I wanted to eat there. My love for Chili’s extended all the way through to college where I would go to the one on Allen Street in State College, PA. A running joke my college girlfriends always say is, “Christine’s happiest when she’s sliding into a booth at Chili’s. It’s true, I am obsessed with their Southwest egg rolls. It’s an appetizer on the menu, but I always ordered it as my entree and did not share! The crispiness of the egg roll shell combined with the bursting Mexican flavors of the filling is literally a dream food combination. And they even top it off with an amazing avocado ranch dipping sauce. Is anyone else drooling right now?
So because I loved these egg rolls so much as a kid, my mom took it upon herself to try and recreate them for me. Whenever the egg rolls were on our dinner menu for the week, it was a BIG DEAL and quite the family affair. I have the best memories of making Southwest egg rolls with my family. My brother was in charge of chopping the veggies, my dad and I filled and wrapped the egg rolls, and my mom was at the stove frying them up. Southwest egg rolls have a special place in my heart…and my belly and I am so excited to share my take on the recipe with you all.
In this recipe, we will use egg roll wrappers usually found in the refrigerated section of the supermarket, frozen corn, black beans, frozen spinach, ground chicken, peppers, onions, cheese, and a variety of spices. This recipe is for baked egg rolls rather than fried. If healthy dinners are your goal, give these baked egg rolls a try! They still get the same satisfactory crunch as a fried egg roll, just without all that oil!
I will say this isn’t a quick recipe but it is a simple one. It’s one of my more timing-consuming recipes, but that’s only if you’re doing it 100% solo. I recommend grabbing a buddy to help prep, fill, and roll with you!
I go further into detail about the recipe below. If you make these, please be sure to leave me a comment and let me know how you liked them!
Ingredients in Southwest Egg Rolls with Avocado Ranch Dipping Sauce
Egg Roll Wrappers: Typically found in the refrigerated section of the grocery store near the tofu. Make sure you buy the square sized ones. There are usually square and rectangular ones available.
Vegetables: Frozen corn, frozen spinach, red bell peppers, and onions make up the veggie portion of the filling.
Black Beans: 1 cup of beans will be added to the filling.
Monterey Jack Cheese: I love monterey jack for this recipe as it gets nice and melty and helps hold the filling together.
Ground Chicken: ½ lb of ground chicken.
Spices: You will need a blend of garlic powder, cumin, coriander, and chili powder.
Avocado: Half an avocado for the dip.
Ranch Dressing: Any brand of ranch dressing you prefer. I used a lite ranch for a little less fat since the avocado already provides a decent amount of healthy fats.
Cilantro: Not just a garnish! You will need about 1 heaping tablespoon for the dipping sauce.
Kitchen Tools Needed for this Recipe
- Large skillet, to cook the filling in
- Mixing bowl and spoons
- Baking tray lined with parchment paper
- Cutting board & knife
- Variety of measuring cups
How to Make the Southwest Egg Rolls & Avocado Ranch Dipping Sauce
Step One: Heat your skillet on medium with 1 tbsp of olive oil. Add in your ½ lb of ground chicken and cook until meat has browned and cooked through. Remove chicken from the skillet and set aside.
Step Two: While the chicken is cooking, dice ¼ a yellow onion and 1 medium red bell pepper. Add to the skillet once the chicken is removed. Cook the veggies until just tender.
Step Three: Defrost the chopped frozen spinach and remove any excess water. Add 1 cup black beans, 1 cup of corn, and ½ cup of spinach to the skillet to warm, about 3 minutes. Add your chicken back to the skillet and stir until combined.
Step Four: Add the spices to the skillet mixture. 1 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp garlic powder, ½ tsp cumin, and ½ teaspoon coriander. Plus a dash of salt and pepper to taste. Stir until combined and remove the skillet from the heat.
Step Five: Place skillet mixture in a large mixing bowl and add your 2 cups of cheese and ½ of a small jalapeno. Stir to combine.
Step Six: Fill your egg roll wrappers with 2 heaping tbsp of the mixture. You can follow the instructions on the back of the wrapper package. But here’s my tips. Grab a small cereal bowl and fill it with water. Dip your index finger in water and rub it along the edges of the wrapper. Fill the egg roll and fold the bottom corner up over the mixture diagonally. Fold the 2 sides in and then fold the top over. The water helps keep the egg roll stuck together.
Step Seven: Once all your wrappers are filled, line a baking tray with parchment paper and grease with a tiny bit of olive oil. Place the egg rolls on the tray and lightly spray them with a cooking spray.
Step Eight: Place in the oven for 25-30 minutes. Flipping halfway through. They should be a nice golden brown color when finished!
Step Nine: Prepare the dipping sauce while the egg rolls are baking. In a medium bowl, combine ½ a mashed avocado, 1 heaping tablespoon of very finely chopped cilantro, ½ tbsp lime juice, and ¼ cup ranch dressing. Stir until everything is well combined.
Serve egg rolls with avocado dipping sauce and enjoy!