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Eat the rainbow with these Summer Rolls! They’re filled with fresh, crunchy vegetables, creamy avocado, and an abundance of fresh herbs. Dip them in a homemade almond dipping sauce (no fish sauce!) for an appetizer to remember.

several completed Fresh Rainbow Rolls with Almond Shallot Sauce in a bowl
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A Restaurant Favorite Made at Home!

If you’ve been to Thai or Vietnamese restaurants, you’ve likely had a variation of these delicious summer rolls (spring rolls) and loved how healthy and refreshing they are! Thankfully for us, it’s not difficult to make your own rolls at home and are almost always more budget-friendly.

You can fill them with virtually any crunchy vegetables you’d like and are also wonderful made with additions like smoked tofu or rice vermicelli noodles. 

They’re amazingly versatile, as colorful as the rainbow, and as nutritious as it gets! Once you give them a try, these summer rolls will become a staple in your weekly meal plans. They’re that good!

The Ingredients

ingredients for Fresh Rainbow Rolls with Almond Shallot Sauce measured out against a white surface

Summer Rolls

  • Fresh vegetables: I used cucumbers, carrots, avocado, and red cabbage, but you can use any vegetables of choice. Other popular additions include sliced bell pepper, radishes, bean sprouts, and rice vermicelli noodles. 
  • Herbs: A combination of fresh mint, cilantro, and basil leaves are essential in these summer rolls! They really make the flavor and are so fresh and delicious.   
  • 8-9″ spring roll wrappers: Also known as rice paper wrappers or rice paper, these wrappers are sold while stiff and dry and need to be soaked in water to soften and become pliable. These wrappers are found in most mainstream stores, but if needed, check your local international grocery stores to find them in stores near you. 

​Almond Dipping Sauce

  • Almond butter: Use a creamy, natural almond butter for the best flavor.   
  • Sugar: Any sugar of choice will work. I’ve used granulated sugar and agave syrup, but if you prefer a bolder flavor, use maple syrup, brown sugar, or coconut sugar.  
  • Shallot: Adds a mild onion-like flavor. If preferred, use a small amount of white, yellow, or sweet onion.  
  • Thai chili: Optional, but adds a nice fiery kick to the sauce. Adjust to your personal taste buds.  
  • Vinegar: Rice vinegar or white vinegar work best. Lime juice may also work.   
  • Soy sauce: I used full-sodium soy sauce. If you are gluten-free, use tamari or coconut aminos. 

Add-ins and Substitutions

  • Add protein: To make these summer rolls vegan, add thin strips of raw or baked tofu
  • Almond butter substitution: Use peanut butter, cashew butter, or tahini as a substitute if you’d like. If you are nut-free, replace the almond butter with sunflower seed butter. 

How to Make Vietnamese Summer Rolls

  • 1) Start by prepping the veggies. Thinly slice the cucumbers, carrots, avocado, and red cabbage into strips and thin matchsticks. Place them in separate clusters on a large plate or work surface, then prepare the herbs by removing the stems. 
ingredients for Fresh Rainbow Rolls with Almond Shallot Sauce measured out against a white surface
  • 2) Next, boil water and fill a wide, shallow bowl or pie plate about halfway full. Allow the hot water to cool slightly, or until it’s cool enough to dip your fingers into. Then, with two wrappers at a time, dip the wrappers into the warm water to soften, using your fingers to move them around. Depending on the thickness of rice wrappers, it will take between 2-10 seconds for them to soften (check the package instructions for precise timing). 
  • 3) Layer the two softened rice paper sheets on top of one another on a wet cutting board (wood works well here!). Fill the bottom third of the wrapper with a bit of each of the fresh veggies and herbs. Roll like you would a mini burrito, tucking in the left and right sides of the rice paper wrapper as you go and wrapping tightly into a small log shape. Cut the summer roll in half and place them seam side down on the serving plate. 
  • 4) Repeat this process until all of the veggies are used. I am usually able to make about 12 summer rolls.
  • 5) Lastly, prepare the almond dipping sauce. Place all of the ingredients into a high-speed blender and process until smooth and creamy. 
  • 6) Transfer the dipping sauce to a small bowl, top with scallions and additional chili pepper, if desired, and enjoy the summer rolls immediately while fresh!

Recipe FAQs

Are wonton wrappers the same as spring roll wrappers?

While these wrappers serve a similar purpose, they are not the same. Wonton wrappers are typically used in Chinese cuisine, whereas spring roll wrappers are common in Thai and Vietnamese cuisine. Wonton wrappers are also made from wheat and are more similar to a thin dough. 
Spring roll wrappers are made from rice flour and are usually clear or translucent once warmed. For this recipe, it is important to use spring roll wrappers – wonton wrappers need to be cooked (typically fried), and this is a no-cook, fresh recipe. 

What is the difference between Thai and Vietnamese spring rolls?

Thai spring rolls are typically deep-fried and served hot and fresh Vietnamese spring rolls (summer rolls) are served cold and raw. 

What should I serve with summer rolls?

Aside from the Vietnamese dipping sauce, these summer rolls can also be dipped in alternative dipping sauces like soy sauce, sweet chili sauce, or sesame ginger sauce. Summer rolls are often served as a Vietnamese appetizer and are often followed by a main course such as Pho, Rice Vermicelli Noodles with Tofu, or a fresh protein-rich salad. 

Top Recipe Tips 

  • Use the freshest ingredients possible. Unlike my Pureed Vegetable Soup where wilted veggies will work well, you want the filling ingredients in your fresh spring rolls to be as crisp and fresh as possible. 
  • Don’t overstuff the wrappers. ​When it comes to making summer rolls, less is more. If the rolls are too full, the rice paper wrappers will rip and be difficult to handle. For best results, keep the fillings minimal!
  • Pull the wrappers from the water when pliable. ​The right consistency is similar to al dente pasta. It should be pliable, but not mushy and falling apart. 
  • Practice makes perfect! Learning how to wrap summer rolls has a bit of a learning curve (similar to making Tofu Sushi!). Try not to worry about making them perfect and enjoy the process. 
  • Cover the summer rolls with a damp towel. As you roll the summer rolls, it can be helpful to cover the rolls with a damp paper towel or tea towel to prevent them from drying out as you work. 
several completed Fresh Rainbow Rolls with Almond Shallot Sauce in a bowl

How Long Do Summer Rolls Last in the Fridge?

These summer rolls are best enjoyed fresh as the rice wrappers become chewy and tough as they sit. However, leftover summer rolls can be refrigerated in an airtight container for 1-2 days. To keep the rice paper rolls from sticking to one another and ripping the wrappers, place them in a large container so you can leave space between each roll. 

Leftover almond dipping sauce will keep in the fridge for up to 1 week. 

More Takeout-Inspired Recipes 

Photos by Alfonso Revilla

several completed Fresh Rainbow Rolls with Almond Shallot Sauce in a bowl with a close up

Fresh Rainbow Rolls with Almond Shallot Sauce

5 from 28 votes
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 0 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 12 rolls
Eat the rainbow with these Vietnamese Summer Rolls! They're filled with fresh, crunchy vegetables, creamy avocado, and an abundance of fresh herbs. Dip them in a homemade almond dipping sauce (no fish sauce!) for an appetizer to remember.

Ingredients 

  • 1-2 cucumber or carrots, julienned
  • 1 sliced avocado
  • 1 cup of thinly sliced red (or green) cabbage
  • 1 cup of fresh mint leaves
  • 1 cup of fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 cup of fresh basil leaves
  • 1 package of 'spring roll skin wrappers'

Almond Dipping Sauce

  • ½ cup of almond butter (or roasted almonds)
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar or agave syrup
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh chopped shallot or onion
  • ½ teaspoon of salt, or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon (or more) of fresh thai chili (optional)
  • ¾ cup of warm water
  • 1 tablespoon of rice or white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut aminos, tamari, or soy sauce

Instructions 

  • Thinly slice all veggies into strips and place them in separate clusters on a large plate. Remove herbs from stems and add whole leaves to the plate as well.
  • Boil water and fill a very wide bowl or pie plate about halfway full, let sit for a few minutes to cool ever so slightly. Two at a time, soften spring roll sheets by dipping them into the hot water and using your fingers to move them around. Depending on the hotness of the water, it will take about 2-10 seconds for them to soften. They should be pliable but not mushy and falling apart, think al dente pasta, as they will continue to soften even out of the water. Layer two softened spring roll sheets on top of one another on a cutting board (wood works well here) and fill the bottom third with a bit of each veggie and herb, do not overstuff! Less is more here. Roll up like you would a mini burrito, tucking in sides and rolling up tightly. It will conveniently stick to itself, making this very easy. Cut in half and place on serving plate.
  • In a blender combine all ingredients for almond dipping sauce and process for 10-20 seconds until very creamy. Transfer to a small bowl and top with chopped scallions or additional chopped chili pepper, if desired.

Notes

  • Use the freshest ingredients possible. Unlike my Pureed Vegetable Soup where wilted veggies will work well, you want the filling ingredients in your fresh spring rolls to be as crisp and fresh as possible. 
  • Don’t overstuff the wrappers. ​When it comes to making summer rolls, less is more. If the rolls are too full, the rice paper wrappers will rip and be difficult to handle. For best results, keep the fillings minimal!
  • Pull the wrappers from the water when pliable. ​The right consistency is similar to al dente pasta. It should be pliable, but not mushy and falling apart. 

Nutrition

Calories: 213kcalCarbohydrates: 28gProtein: 7gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 3mgSodium: 317mgPotassium: 260mgFiber: 4gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 405IUVitamin C: 7mgCalcium: 75mgIron: 2mg

Disclaimer: Although plantbasedonabudget.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, kindly note that these are only estimates. Nutritional information may be affected based on the product type, the brand that was purchased, and in other unforeseeable ways. Plantbasedonabudget.com will not be held liable for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information. If you need to follow a specific caloric regimen, please consult your doctor first.

Additional Info

Author: Renee Press
Course: Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: Thai, Vietnamese
Method: Stovetop
Diet: Vegan
Tried this recipe?Please tag us at @PlantBasedOnABudget! 🙂

 

About

Renee Press

Renee Press is the founder of Fire and Earth Kitchen in Seattle WA. which offers cooking classes, food coaching, and chef services. She’s on a mission to make vegan, gluten-free cooking easy, accessible, and delicious for everyone. fireandearthkitchen.com

More about Renee Press
5 from 28 votes (27 ratings without comment)

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