Hello, my chickpeas! This time of year I always crave fresh and flavorful veggies. These Vegetable Summer Rolls are perfect for satisfying that craving, so let’s make some before the summer is over!
Making these is basically a matter of chopping up some veggies, rolling them in rice paper, and mixing up a quick Peanut Sauce for serving. They make a great appetizer, snack, or even a light meal. I love eating them as a light lunch!
The Peanut Sauce that we will be using today is a version of the one that can also be found in my FREE ebook, Joyful Creations: Your Plant-Based Guide to a Better Buddha Bowl. If you enjoy delicious sauce recipes, and if throwing yummy things together in Buddha Bowl form sounds fun to you, be sure to sign up for my email list so that you can get a free copy of the ebook yourself!
Inspiration for Vegetable Summer Rolls
Summer rolls have always been one of my go-tos in Vietnamese restaurants. I was inspired by the fresh flavors of this staple and wanted to create my own take on it! When creating this recipe I was going for a version that was vegan/plant based, used simple ingredients, AND included a delicious but lower-sugar dipping sauce than you might find in many restaurants.
Throughout the process of creating this recipe, I did a little research on summer rolls! I learned that there IS quite a big difference between summer rolls and spring rolls: spring rolls typically use a wrapper made of flour and water and are fried, while summer rolls are wrapped with rice paper, are not fried, and are served cold! Therefore, today’s creation is considered a summer roll.
When it comes to wrapping these, I do not in any way claim to be an expert! However, after making many versions of this on my own at home, I have learned what method works best for me. If you know of a different or more authentic way to wrap them, feel free to do it your way! But in this recipe I’ll include the method that works best for me in hopes that it is helpful for others.
Ingredients for Vegetable Summer Rolls
Lots of fresh veggies for this one! Here are our stars:
- Cucumber and carrot: these are fresh, summery, and add some fun crunch to our rolls!
- Avocado: you didn’t seriously think I would make a Vegetable Summer Roll recipe and NOT include avocado did you? (If you did, you must be new here – so welcome!) I think that the soft texture of the avocado mixed with the crunchy carrots and cucumbers are a fun combo, and avocados are also a great way to add in some healthy fats!
- Basil: a little basil goes a long way in this recipe! I LOVE the pop of herby flavor that just a few basil leaves gives us. I tested this once without the basil and it just wasn’t the same – the touch of herb is definitely a must!
- Sprouts and baby arugula: every good vegetable roll needs some extra greens! These also give a bit of bulk to our rolls.
- Peanut butter, maple syrup, tamari, and lime juice: for our dipping sauce! I love making sauces on my own at home because I get to decide how sweet or savory I want them to be.
How to Make Vegetable Summer Rolls
As always, continue scrolling for the full recipe! But here are the basics:
- Blend up the Peanut Sauce
- Wet your first rice paper wrapper with water
- Add your veggies to the rice paper
- Wrap up your roll
- Repeat with the following rolls
- Dip and enjoy!
Tips & Tricks
A few ideas for making this your own:
- After testing many versions of this, this combo of veggies was definitely my favorite. However, you can really take this concept and use whatever veggies make you happy. If you decide to play with this, I recommend having at least one herb, one green, and a couple of crunchy veggies. Some ideas would be using mint in place of basil, or spinach in place of arugula!
- These rolls are entirely made of veggies, because that’s really the vibe I was going for here. However, feel free to bulk this up with other ingredients if you want! You could add in rice vermicelli or even tofu if you want this to be a little more filling.
- The peanut sauce is honestly my favorite thing, but any dipping sauce will do! This is a great recipe to make if you have leftover dipping sauce from something else that you want to use up. Get creative and enjoy!
- This recipe calls for “sprouts or microgreens of your choice” – this is because I’ve learned that every grocery store seems to have a vastly different selection of these items! I tested this with multiple types of sprouts and microgreens and they all worked great (though broccoli sprouts were my personal favorite). Basically just use whatever you find!
- Looking for other light meals? Be sure to also check out my Tex Mex Tofu Scramble, Quinoa Tabbouleh, or Cowboy Caviar!
- Don’t forget to check out my free ebook, Joyful Creations: Your Plant-Based Guide to a Better Buddha Bowl, for more delicious sauces like the Peanut Sauce!
Vegetable Summer RollsCourse: Appetizers, Sides, LunchCuisine: Vietnamese
These Vegetable Summer Rolls are great for when you’re craving something fresh and delicious! Relatively easy to make, super versatile, and of course completely vegan! These make a great appetizer, snack, or a light meal.
*Note that the “From Start to Finish” time estimate assumes about 15 minutes to chop your veggies ahead of time, and then 30 minutes to actually complete the recipe.
1/2 medium cucumber, cut into matchsticks or julienned
1 small/medium carrot, cut into matchsticks or julienned
1 medium/large avocado, sliced
handful of basil
3/4 cup sprouts or microgreens of choice
3/4 cup baby arugula, coarsely chopped
6 rice paper wrappers
- Peanut Sauce
1/4 – 1/3 cup natural peanut butter* (exact amount will depend on the thickness of your peanut butter)
1.5 Tbsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp tamari
1/2 Tbsp lime juice
1/4 cup water
- Make your Peanut Sauce: Add maple syrup, tamari, lime juice, water, and 1/4 cup of peanut butter to a blender. Blend until very smooth. If your dipping sauce seems very thin, go ahead and add more peanut butter, 1 Tbsp at a time, until desired consistency is reached (weather or not you have to do this depends on the thickness of your peanut butter). I usually end up using 1/4 cup plus an extra Tbsp.
- Prepare to assemble your rolls: Fill a shallow dish that is at least as big as your rice paper wrappers with room temp or slightly warm water. You’ll want to build one roll at a time, start to finish, before moving onto the next roll. Make sure you have a flat surface nearby the water to assemble your rolls on (I like to do this on a slightly damp cutting board), and all of your veggies close by to grab.
- Assemble your rolls:
(*You’re only assembling one roll at a time – complete steps 1-3 for the first roll before moving onto the next roll!*)
- Prepare your rice paper: for each roll, take one piece of rice paper and slide it into the water. Make sure all parts of the rice paper get wet, and allow to sit in the water for about 5 seconds. Remove and set on the surface that you will be assembling your roll on. Right now the rice paper should feel moistened but still slightly firm.
- Add in your veggies: add your veggies to the wrapper in a little pile. In order to be able to wrap this in the next step, you want your pile of veggies to be slightly closer to the bottom of the rice paper than the top, and you want room on the right and left sides. I like to make my pile by lying down 2 slices of avocado and setting a small stack of cucumber and carrot right next to that, and then placing a couple leaves of basil on top of the avocado, followed by a small stack of sprouts and baby arugula.
- Wrap your rolls: by now the rice paper should be more pliable. fold the bottom part of your rice paper wrapper up and over the pile of veggies. Give it a roll upwards as you tug the veggies down closer to you (making a tighter roll). After one full roll, fold in the extra wrapper on either side, and continue rolling until you’ve used the whole wrapper.
Continue with steps 1-3 for each roll. You should be able to make around 6.
- Serve with the Peanut Sauce and enjoy!
- *Since we are adding sweetness with the maple syrup, I prefer to use a natural peanut butter without added sugar so that things don’t get too sweet! When looking for a natural peanut butter, I like to look for something that lists “dry roasted peanuts” as the only ingredient. I personally use this Central Market brand, but something like this 365 brand on Amazon should also do the trick!
If you can only find regular peanut butter (with added sugar), I would go ahead and try it anyway! I haven’t tried this myself, but I’d imagine that it would still work. Just note that the flavor could be a little bit different. I would also recommend leaving out the maple syrup if you go this route!
Stay jouyfully balanced!