These chicken egg rolls with spinach are a fun and tasty finger food with a bit of a flavorful twist. Not your traditional egg rolls, these are rolled up with a slightly more savory filling of garlic chicken, spinach and gouda cheese before being quickly fried to crispy perfection, and come with a zesty red pepper salsa for dipping!
Chicken Egg Rolls with a Twist
When I set out to come up with some fresh ideas for developing my recipes, I always like to think slightly out of the box when it comes to presentation and/or flavors.
I love recipes that are familiar yet have a bit of a surprise twist, perhaps using ingredients that are a little unconventional to create a fresh, new flavor profile that is unexpected.
My chicken egg rolls with spinach are just such a fun little finger food, one that gets its inspiration from classic fried egg rolls, only filled with ingredients that go more in the direction of zesty rather than Asian.
I love the red and green colors in these crispy egg rolls, as well as the slightly smoky red pepper salsa that I whip up to go on the side of them for dipping.
Filled with finely minced garlicky chicken, spinach, parsley, a sprinkle of parmesan and a touch of grated gouda cheese, these mouthwatering, homemade chicken egg rolls are just the treat to whip up when you're craving something incredibly flavorful and crispy.
How to Make Egg Rolls Filled with Chicken, Spinach and Cheese
Preparing homemade egg rolls is a fun thing to do, from getting the filling ingredients ready, to gently rolling them into their traditional shape, and on to quickly frying until they're deliciously golden and enticing.
To make my egg rolls, I very finely mince up some chicken breasts, and cook that with some garlic for lots of tasty flavory. Then, I add in some more scrumptious ingredients such as the spinach and seasoning to create a savory filling.
I like to use the roughly 8 x 8 inch egg roll skins cut in half to create a triangle shape for a small amount of my filling in the center, followed by a fold over and roll until closed.
Typically, you can find the skins in an Asian market, or even at your local market where they keep the cold noodles and tofu.
And because chicken egg rolls need a tasty dipping sauce, of course, I whirl up a very simple red pepper salsa in my food processor, and serve that on the side for some added zip!
Here's a sneak peek at my egg roll recipe with Chicken, Spinach and Cheese: (or just jump to the full recipe...)
- To get started, I prepare my red pepper salsa for dipping by adding all of the simple ingredients to my food processor, and processing until smooth; I set the salsa aside in the fridge to have ready.
- For the filling, I cook my finely minced chicken breasts (about 1 pound) flavored with garlic in a hot skillet, until cooked through.
- Next, I add the cooked chicken to a large bowl for easier mixing, and add in some chopped baby spinach, parsley, cilantro, grated parmesan and pinch of red pepper flakes, and check the flavor to see if any additional seasoning is needed.
- When the filling is ready I fill, roll and seal the egg rolls, then place them onto a baking sheet to hold.
- To fry the egg rolls, I heat up about 3 cups of oil and fry a few egg rolls at a time until golden and crispy, then drain them on a wire rack.
- I serve the hot, chicken egg rolls with the red pepper salsa on the side for dipping.
Chicken Egg Rolls with Spinach
by Ingrid Beer
Cuisine: American Chinese
Yield: 20 chicken egg rolls
Nutrition Info: 380 (per 3 egg rolls with 1/4 cup salsa)
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Total time: 1 hour
Chicken Egg Roll Ingredients:
- 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, minced very finely
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press
- Black pepper
- Peanut or avocado oil, plus more for frying
- 2 cups fresh, baby spinach leaves, chopped
- 1 tablespoons chopped, flat-leaf parsley
- 1 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- Pinch red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 3 tablespoons water
- 10 egg roll skins (8 x 8 inch size), cut in half on the bias to create 20 triangles
- 1 1/4 cup grated gouda cheese
Red Pepper Salsa Ingredients:
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can organic diced and fire-roasted tomatoes
- 1/4 cup roughly chopped roasted red peppers (good quality, from a jar)
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tablespoon parsley
- 1 tablespoon cilantro
- Salt (to season the salsa)
- To begin, prepare the red pepper salsa: place all ingredients up to and including the cilantro into the bowl of a food processor, add in a couple of good pinches of salt, process until smooth, then check to see if any additional salt is needed. Keep cold, or serve at room temp.
- To prepare your filling, add your minced chicken to a medium-size bowl, and to it add the 2 garlic cloves and a couple of good pinches of salt and black pepper, then toss these ingredients together until well coated.
- Place a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, and drizzle in a little of the oil; once the pan is hot, add in the chicken and saute until cooked through, about 2-3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, scoop the chicken out of the pan, leaving the juices behind, and spoon into a paper towel-lined plate or bowl to cool completely.
- Once the minced chicken has completely cooled, add it to a large bowl; then, add in the chopped spinach, parsley, cilantro, parmesan and the pinch of red pepper flakes, plus a tiny drizzle of oil, and mix to combine well. Taste to check if any additional salt or pepper is needed.
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, and set it nearby.
- Whisk together the cornstarch and the water to create a slurry, as you will use this to seal your egg rolls closed, and set this aside.
- To roll your egg rolls, take a triangle (half of an egg roll skin) and place it in front of you with the point facing upward; add 2 tablespoons of your chicken filling into the center along the bottom part of your triangle, and shape it into a log shape. Sprinkle about a teaspoon or so of the gouda cheese over that.
- Next, fold the bottom left corner toward the center, then the right corner, making what looks like a little envelope; next, roll upwards as tightly as you can, and tuck as you go (try not to leave any air gaps or bubbles,); then, dab the top corner with a little cornstarch slurry and seal.
- Place the egg rolls on the parchment-lined baking sheet, keeping them covered with a piece of plastic wrap so they don't dry out, and repeat until all are rolled.
- Heat about 3 cups of the oil in a small pot or sauce pan, and bring up to 360°; then, carefully add about 3 egg rolls at a time to the hot oil, and fry for about 4 minutes. Drain on a wire rack to maintain crispness.
- Serve the chicken egg rolls nice and hot, with the red pepper salsa on the side for dipping.
Tips & Tidbits for my Chicken Egg Rolls with Spinach:
- Chicken breast, chicken tenders, or ground chicken: You can use about one pound of either chicken breast or chicken breast tenderloins for this recipe. Just mince the chicken up very finely, to keep the filling delicate. If you prefer, you could also use ground chicken, and that way, it's already minced and fine.
- Cheese, for a bit of savory flavor: Gouda is a delicate and delicious cheese which melts really well, and pairs nicely with the garlicky chicken in the recipe. You could substitute mozzarella or white cheddar, even Jack cheese, if you prefer.
- Egg roll wrappers: Typically, you can find the egg roll wrapper in the refrigerated section of the market where the tofu and other chilled Asian noodles and soups are kept. Opt for the 8 x 8 inch size, as these will be cut in half to create a triangle shape for easier filling and rolling.
- Make the chicken egg rolls ahead: To make this recipe ahead for easier preparation the day you'd like to serve them, simply prepare the red pepper salsa for dipping, and keep that in the fridge. Also, make the filling, fill and roll all the egg rolls, and keep them on a large baking sheet covered with plastic wrap in the fridge until ready to fry. Just take them out of the fridge about an hour before frying.
Cook's Note: This recipe was originally published in 2014, and has been updated with even more love!