These vegan spring rolls are a light and healthy dish with many flavors, partly thanks to the vegan peanut sauce. This is a vibrant, healthy recipe that you can serve for lunch or snack time.
I love light meals that are healthy but filling with lots of flavors. That’s not an easy combination to deliver on, but these vegan spring rolls hit the mark every time!
Why This Recipe is a Winner
- Combining peanut butter with soy sauce creates a delicious dipping sauce that adds authentic taste to these veggie spring rolls
- Red cabbage is cut into slivers, adding crunch and color throughout
- Adding avocado slivers contributes creamy plant-based fat, creating a perfect texture to every bite
- Cutting veggies in thin strips makes it easy to portion them perfectly across the spring rolls, creating consistency between every bite.
You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.
- Spring roll rice wraps — I buy these in the Asian section of my grocery store, health food store, or online.
- Zucchini — One zucchini cut into long thin strips works best. You can substitute yellow squash or even a cucumber.
- Bell pepper — I prefer red, yellow, or orange bell peppers because they have a milder flavor.
- Cabbage — Purple cabbage is a favorite because, in addition to the texture, it adds color.
- Lettuce — I like using green leafy lettuce, such as watercress, butter lettuce, etc.
- Rice noodles — You can use rice noodles or any of the bean noodles now available, such as black bean noodles, edamame noodles, etc.
- Avocado — You’ll need one full avocado.
- Tofu — I use extra-firm tofu for this recipe. You can use marinated tofu or miso tofu and then cut it into thin strips.
- Garnish — You can serve these as-is or add garnishes of sesame seeds, chopped peanuts, or hemp seeds.
- Peanut Sauce — Use my go-to recipe for peanut sauce for dipping these vegan rice paper rolls.
What are Rice Papers?
Rice papers are thin paper-like sheets made from only a few ingredients, like rice, tapioca, water, and salt. They’re usually dried on bamboo mats, which gives them their trademark woven grid on top. They are very low in calories (usually less than 100 calories per sheet) and moderately low in carbs, making them an excellent option for creating wraps. Once the sheets are dampened, they are ready to roll… quite literally!
How to Make Vegan Spring Rolls
- Prepare fillings by chopping veggies, cooking noodles, and pressing the tofu. Then lay them out in assembly-line order.
- Prepare rice papers by placing them (one at a time) in a round cake pan with warm water.
- Fill rice papers by adding chopped veggies, greens, noodles, avocado, and tofu.
- Wrap rice papers very similar to a burrito by turning up the edges and rolling.
- Prepare the peanut sauce by stirring together ingredients in a small bowl.
- Serve vegan vegetable rolls by cutting them in half and dipping the cut end into the peanut sauce.
Here are more detailed step-by-step instructions.
Step One: Prepare the Filling
Having a variety of fillings, from colorful veggies to noodles, and even tofu, helps make these vegan spring rolls as delicious as they are beautiful.
Prepare each of your filling ingredients and place them in bowls so you have an assembly line of ingredients:
- Chop the veggies into long thin strips or thin slices
- Cooking noodles, if using
- Press the tofu and cut it into strips
- Peel the avocado and cut it into strips.
Step Two: Prepare Rice Papers
Rice papers are firm straight from the packaging. They need to be softened in order to roll them. To do that, place them (one at a time) in a round cake pan with warm water.
When you remove the rice paper from the water, it should collapse a little in the middle. It can be a little firm as long as it’s moist around the edges. The water will transform it into a malleable, albeit sticky material, perfect for rolling.
Step Three: Fill and Wrap Rice Papers
Now it’s time to fill the rice papers. Place the moistened rice paper on a cutting board. Add a few pieces of each of the vegetables in the center of the rice paper. Add some greens, noodles, avocado, and tofu to each.
I love adding a line of sliced radishes so that when I roll the rice papers, the radishes shine through. There are many beautiful veggies you can use for this purpose, including watermelon radishes, cucumbers, thinly sliced carrots, and more.
Here’s how to wrap rice papers:
- Turn the side edges up over the vegetables.
- Use your fingers to hold the rice papers intact as you begin from the bottom to roll.
- Keep tucking in any veggies and the roll along the side as you continue rolling tightly.
- End the roll with the seam-side down.
- Repeat with the remaining papers and filling.
Step Four: Make the Peanut Sauce & Serve
You can serve spring rolls on their own, but they’re even better with dipping sauce. My favorite is this vegan peanut sauce. Prepare it by stirring together the ingredients in a small bowl. Add a tablespoon of water at a time until you achieve a nice (dippable) consistency.
Serve vegetable rolls by cutting them in half and dipping the cut end into the peanut sauce.
Are Spring Rolls Vegan?
Not all spring rolls are vegan as they can include seafood or meat. In addition, some wraps have eggs in them, however, rice papers are usually vegan. It’s easy to make spring rolls vegan by using lots of high-quality veggies, tofu, and avocado.
Working with Rice Paper Wraps
There are a few tricks to working with these vegan spring roll wrappers (the part that’s like the burrito shell). Having fresh rolls is so worth the little bit of work it takes to learn this new skill.
- When you hold a sheet of rice paper out of the bag, it feels like cellophane. But after a short soak in warm water, it softens and transforms into a malleable material.
- Lay the moistened wrap on a working surface, place the ingredients in the middle, then turn the bottom up and the top down, and then roll from one side.
Serve your vegan spring rolls with the peanut dipping sauce in the recipe. Here are
- Dip them in soy sauce (or Tamari for gluten-free) combined with a bit of maple syrup
- Use the sauce from my Sesame Tofu
- Vegan Buffalo Sauce
- The orange sauce from my Orange Tofu recipe is pretty amazing for dipping, too!
Vegan Spring Rolls
- 10 spring roll rice paper wraps
- 1 zucchini peeled and cut into long, thin strips
- 1 red bell pepper thinly sliced
- 1 cup matchstick carrots
- 5 green onions root end trimmed, thinly chopped
- 1 cup shredded red cabbage
- 10 green leaf lettuce leaves
- 1 cup rice noodles cooked according to directions
- 1 avocado peeled and thinly sliced
- extra firm tofu, pressed and sliced (see note)
- garnish: 2 tablespoons peanuts chopped
- ¼ cup peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari for gluten-free
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 teaspoon agave nectar or maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon Sriracha
- ½ teaspoon ground dried ginger
- Lay out your chopped veggies in assembly line order. Place a cutting board in the center.
- Prepare rice papers: Pour 1 cup of warm water in a round cake pan. Place one of the spring roll rice wraps in the warm water, making sure the entire wrap gets wet. When you remove it from the water, it should collapse a little in the middle. It can be a little firm as long as it's moist around the edges.
- Fill rice papers: Place the wet wrap on a cutting board. Place a few pieces of each of the vegetables in the center of the rice paper. Add some greens, noodles, avocado, and tofu to each.
- Wrap rice papers: Turn the bottom and top edges of the rice wrap up over the vegetables. Beginning on the left side, turn the wrap very tightly and roll it (very similar to a burrito). Place the finished vegetable roll in a pan and continue on to your next roll.
- To serve: cut the vegetable rolls and dip the cut end into the peanut sauce.
For the Peanut Sauce
- To make the peanut sauce, combine the ingredients in a small bowl. Stir until a thick paste develops. Stir in 2 to 3 tablespoons of water until it's a spreadable consistency. Here's more on making vegan peanut sauce.
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The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
This post was originally published in 2015 and was updated to include new photos, new text, and an updated recipe in 2021.
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