Fresh Spring Rolls are packed with veggies and so refreshing – the perfect appetizer or snack for summer! This easy spring roll recipe is light, full of flavor, and served with a mouthwatering peanut dipping sauce, everyone will be clamoring to get their hands on one of these fresh summer rolls! Perfect for a summer picnic, garden party, bridal shower, and so much more.
Our Favorite Spring Roll Recipe
Spring rolls are like little handheld rainbows. Shredded purple cabbage, thin slices of bright orange carrots, refreshing cucumber sticks, and sliced avocado, all wrapped up and ready to dip into a creamy dreamy peanut sauce… What’s not to love about these vibrant rolls?! Vegetarians rejoice, this one’s for you!
The great thing about this spring roll recipe is that they can also be completely customizable. Switch out or add whatever veggies you like. You can even include shrimp or tofu to the mix for some added protein. Plus, these spring rolls aren’t fried, which makes them all the more enticing after a hot summer day.
What Is A Spring Roll?
The first time I was introduced to a spring roll was at a blogger event. There was literally hundreds of ingredients set out and a chef showed us how to soak the rice paper and roll the spring rolls. Then we were given free reign to create whatever kind of roll we wanted.
I went the surf and turf route with shrimp and ribeye strips. It was sensational.
Today I’m sharing a more classic vegetable spring roll recipe made with fresh ingredients that’s light and perfect for spring and summer.
Spring rolls are typically made with rice paper wrappers which while are opaque when dry, turn translucent when soaked. This allows you to see what’s inside the spring roll which is pretty special.
Spring or summer rolls can be baked, fried, or not cooked at all which is how I prefer mine. The ingredients usually include a variety of fresh vegetables which is why they are sometimes referred to as summer rolls, fresh spring rolls, or a garden spring roll. Whatever the name, they’re delicious!
Spring Roll vs Egg Roll
While spring rolls and egg rolls have similar shapes, that’s pretty much where the similarity ends. Egg rolls tend to be deep fried and filled with a combination of veggies and meat, often chicken or pork.
Spring or summer rolls are typically made with just fresh vegetables and while they can be cooked, are often served raw.
Prep your veggies ahead of time to save yourself some work! So easy, even the kids could help out.
What You’ll Need For The Spring Rolls:
- rice paper sheets – These are the transparent wrappers for our rolls.
- butter lettuce – Remove the ribs and just use the tender leaves.
- rice noodles – Just cook them according to the package instructions.
- cucumber – The crispy, yet almost juicy consistency of the cucumber adds so much freshness to the spring roll as a whole.
- carrot – You’ll want to thinly shave the carrot or cut them into matchsticks. To save time during the prep work, you could substitute for pre sliced carrot sticks.
- avocado – Slice it nice and thin. Remember, we have to fit all of this into one rice paper sheet!
- purple cabbage – I love the color this shredded cabbage adds to the spring roll. You can shred the cabbage yourself or buy it pre-shredded and bagged.
- Thai basil leaves – These are optional, but I find the added taste really sells these as authentic.
- sesame seeds – Sprinkle these seeds in for taste and crunch!
What You’ll Need For The Peanut Sauce
- creamy peanut butter – Not chunky! You want the dipping sauce to be creamy, although some like to add peanuts to the rolls themselves.
- soy sauce – I use a reduced sodium soy sauce. Tamari can also be used or even hoisin sauce for a new flavor profile that is slightly sweet.
- rice vinegar – the rice vinegar adds a bit of sweetness as well as subtle flavor.
- grated ginger – just a little bit to give this sauce some life. Can be omitted if you prefer.
- grated garlic – You’ll want to grate and mince the garlic. You don’t want big chunks of it in this dip.
- optional ingredients:
- chili garlic sauce or chili paste – for a spicier peanut sauce, use sparingly and to taste.
- sesame oil – this is one of my all time favorite ingredients. it’s a very strong flavor so only use a 1/2 teaspoon to start and add more as needed.
- honey or maple syrup – I love to make this dipping sauce a little sweet so will frequently add a bit of honey or even maple syrup. Start with a couple teaspoons and add more as needed.
If the peanut sauce is too thick, simply thin with water or even milk.
Let’s Make ‘Em!
The great thing about these spring rolls and peanut sauce is that you can make them the morning of a party and let them rest in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve! Transfer them to a platter and you’re ready to party!
How To Make Spring Rolls
- Soften rice paper. Dip one rice paper sheet into the warm water for about 5 to 10 seconds, or until it begins to soften.
- Fill roll. Carefully transfer the rice paper to a cutting board and fill it with the above fillings (or whatever you’ve chosen). I find that using the lettuce as the first layer allows it to act as a barrier between the rice paper and the other veggies. I do lettuce, rice noodles, and then anything goes.
- Fold roll. Gently fold the sides of the rice paper toward the center, covering the filling. Next, fold or pull the edge closest to you up and over the filling – being careful not to tear the rice paper – and gently roll towards the opposite edge of the rice paper – just like you would roll a burrito.
You want the roll to be rolled tightly but not so tight you tear the rice paper. Practice makes perfect!
How To Make Peanut Sauce For Spring Rolls
- Prepare peanut sauce. Whisk together the sauce ingredients in a small mixing bowl. If needed, add water, one teaspoon at a time, to thin out the sauce until you’ve reached the desired consistency. I typically add in one to two tablespoons of water to get the sauce to the right consistency for dipping.
- Store sauce. Store in the fridge until ready to serve!
How long will the rolls stay fresh?
While these are at their absolute best the day they are prepared, they will keep fresh in the fridge for about 2 to 3 days. Wrap each leftover roll individually in plastic wrap to avoid them sticking to each other. Also, make sure to store them in an airtight container. As for the peanut sauce, it will stay fresh for up to an entire week! Try not to eat it right out of the container, although I won’t judge if you do.
Are these rolls gluten free?
The rolls themselves are gluten free. The peanut dipping sauce can be gluten free as well, if the soy sauce is switched out for a gluten free soy sauce.
Variations to Try
I love how custom you can make your summer rolls. You can really use any kind of combination or make several versions.
Radish, butter lettuce, marinated tofu, mango, shrimp, mint, cilantro, green onions, bell peppers, jalapeno, shredded chicken are all delicious ingredients to try out!
Add protein: Tofu, chicken and shrimp are all delicious, nutritious choices to add to these rolls.
Easy Appetizer Recipes
- Best Ever Charcuterie Board
- Pico de Gallo
- Turkey Cranberry Pinwheels
- Crockpot Cocktail Meatballs
- Watermelon Pizza
- Hummus Stuffed Veggie Tray
How To Make Spring Rolls
For the Spring Rolls
- 8 rice paper sheets
- 2 ounces rice noodles cooked according to the package
- 1 cup butter lettuce ribs removed
- 1 avocado sliced
- 1 cup shredded purple cabbage
- 1 cucumber cut into matchsticks
- 1 carrot thinly shaved or cut into matchsticks
- ½ cup thai basil leaves optional
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
For the Peanut-Soy Dipping Sauce
- ¼ cup creamy peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce Tamari or hoisin sauce can be used instead
- 1 to 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- ½ teaspoon grated ginger
- ½ teaspoon grated garlic
Optional Peanut Sauce Ingredients
- chili garlic sauce or chili paste for a spicier peanut sauce, use sparingly and to taste
- toasted sesame oil this is one of my all time favorite ingredients. it’s a very strong flavor so only use a 1/2 teaspoon to start and add more as needed
- honey or maple syrup for a sweeter sauce, start with a couple teaspoons and add more as needed.
- Fill a large bowl (big enough to fit the rice paper sheets) with warm water. Dip one rice paper sheet into the warm water for about 5 to 10 seconds, or until it begins to soften.
- Carefully transfer the rice paper to a smooth surface and place a small amount of each ingredient in the center of the rice paper. I like to start with the lettuce so it acts as a barrier between the rice paper and the other veggies. I do lettuce, rice noodles, and then anything goes.
- Gently fold the sides of the rice paper toward the center, covering the filling. Next, fold or pull the edge closest to you up and over the filling – being careful not to tear the rice paper – and gently roll towards the opposite edge of the rice paper – just like you would roll a burrito.
- Refrigerate rolls until ready to serve.
Peanut Dipping Sauce
- Whisk together the sauce ingredients in a small mixing bowl. If needed, add water, 1 teaspoon at a time, to thin out the sauce until you’ve reached the desired consistency.
- Store peanut sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to serve.