Fresh Summer Rolls are colorful, healthy and fun to make using everyday ingredients that are easy to find. Paired with creamy peanut or sweet chili dipping sauce and it’s a delicious, light and healthy lunch or dinner!
Summer, spring or salad rolls, known as Goi Cuon in Vietnamese, are a fresh and healthy versatile finger food made using rice paper, crunchy vegetables, and fresh leafy greens and herbs.
Make them simple with just a few ingredients or add more for a variation and rainbow effect creating a healthy and colorful snack, appetizer or light lunch served with a creamy peanut sauce or sweet chili sauce!
Homemade summer rolls are easy to make, you just need a bit of practice, but after your second one I bet you’ll be a pro! And I’ve included plenty of tips to help you become a master!
I love these homemade rolls, they are simple and fun to make. The recipe today is a very basic, all-around summer roll. Nothing complicated, everything should be readily available and easy to find.
You can find rice paper for summer rolls in the Asian section of your grocery store. There are different shapes and sizes so you may want to experiment with a few to see what works best for you. I recommend starting with round rice paper that’s either 25 or 22cm in diameter. I used 25cm here, which is a perfect size with enough space for all my veggies.
There’s a summer roll dipping sauce for everyone here and both are excellent. I have included two different dipping sauces because some of you may be allergic to nuts. One will be a peanut or almond butter-based dipping sauce and the other will be rice vinegar-based. I love my peanut sauce but was very pleased with the vinegar-based sauce as well.
Herbs & Greens
Summer rolls are commonly filled with a few herbs like mint, cilantro and/or Thai basil. Feel free to use only one, or any combination. The herbs are essential for a really flavorful roll.
- If you can’t find Thai basil, regular basil will be just as good! I especially love the basil with the peanut dipping sauce – the flavors pair so well.
- Next, you can choose from a variety of greens to add to your rolls. I recommend a 50/50 spring mix, pea shoots, leafy oak lettuce, or other fresh leafy greens, using one or any combination you like.
Lastly, choose your veggies and cut them into thin strips by hand or using a julienne tool. I used carrots, cucumber, red bell pepper, and red cabbage. For variation you can try adding avocado, radish, jicama, green onions, bean sprouts, etc.
Many recipes for these rolls also use rice noodles, and you can too, but I prefer a roll full of veggies. I can eat two or three of these and be completely satisfied for a few hours.
Adding in some sliced tofu is an option. I do like to add it to my rolls when not using the peanut sauce as it adds some protein to the meal.
How To Make Summer Rolls
- First things first – Fill a large bowl with warm water and have everything prepped and ready to go at your soon-to-be summer rolling station.
- Dip the rice paper in the warm water for just 2 – 3 seconds, it should be stiff and will soften as you begin to work.
- Layer the ingredients on top of each other at the bottom (end towards you) 1/3 of the moist rice paper (as shown above).
- Next, ‘tuck and roll’ the edge closest to you, by bringing the edge over the fresh mound, and gently but firmly tucking it under and rolling away from you. At the 2/3 mark, fold the ends up, onto the roll, and continue rolling tucking them under until the roll is finished.
- Use a plastic cutting board. Some surfaces, especially wood, are more porous than others, making the rice paper stick while rolling. You may want to use a plastic cutting board for your workstation.
- Don’t over soak the rice paper. Just dip for 2 – 3 seconds at most and use. It will be stiff, but soften as you begin working and rolling. If soaked too long it will soften too much and be hard to work with.
- Double the rice sheets. When making summer rolls for future meals, consider doubling up the rice paper for each roll to strengthen them so they don’t fall apart from softening due to storing.
- Don’t overstuff. The rice papers are pretty pliable, but if you overstuff them you may not have much paper to ensure a good roll.
Adjusting For Dietary Restrictions
- Soy-Free: When making the dressings, use coconut aminos in place of soy sauce or tamari. Don’t use the optional tofu.
- Nut-Free: When making the peanut dressing, use sunflower butter in place of nut butters.
How To Store
Fresh is always best, but if stored properly they do store well as follows:
- Refrigerator: Store summer rolls in the refrigerator for up to 2 – 3 days, and the dressing days for 5 – 6 days, in separate covered containers. To keep the rolls from sticking together, place a piece of parchment paper, saran wrap or wax paper between the rolls. You can also roll them individually. The dipping sauces will last longer, about 5 – 6 days.
- Meal prep: These summer rolls are great for meal prep and can be stored as mentioned above. When making for meal prep, you may consider doubling up the rice paper for each roll to strengthen them so they don’t fall apart from softening due to storing.
- Serve summer rolls chilled or at room temperature.
- Serve with peanut dipping sauce or sweet chili sauce.
- Pair with a small bowl of soup such as Garlic Miso Soup with Greens or Simple Miso Noodle Soup.
More Easy Fresh Recipes!
- Raw Vegan Sushi Rolls
- Black Rice Sushi Bowl + Dynamite Sauce
- Soba Noodle Bowl
- Avocado, Mango & Cucumber Sushi Rolls
- Sesame-Ginger Cucumber Soba Noodle Salad
If you try this summer roll recipe or have a question, please let me know! Leave a comment and rate it below. I love to hear what you think, or any changes you make.Print
SUMMER ROLLS + TWO DIPPING SAUCES
Fresh, healthy, easy and versatile, these summer rolls make a perfect for a snack, appetizer or light lunch. Plus, there’s two delicious dipping sauces for even more versatility!
- Prep Time: 15 min
- Total Time: 15 min
- Yield: Makes 3
- Category: Entree, Snack
- Cuisine: Asian
- Diet: Vegan
- 6 rice papers (preferably the circular sheets)
- 2–3 medium carrots, cut into matchsticks or 1/4 inch sticks
- 1/2 cucumber, cut into matchsticks or 1/4 inch sticks
- 1/2 bell pepper (yellow, red or orange), thinly sliced
- 1/4 red cabbage, thinly sliced
- 1 cup greens (leafy lettuce, pea shoots, spring salad mix or micro greens)
- 8 oz. organic tofu (firm or extra firm), sliced (optional)
- mint, small handful of leaves
- cilantro, small bunch of sprigs
- basil (regular or thai), small handful of leaves
Sweet Chili Sauce (2 servings)
- 1/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
- 1 clove garlic, minced or grated
- 1 inch knob of ginger, minced or grated
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
- juice of 1 lime
Peanut Sauce (2 servings)
- 1/4 cup nut butter (peanut or almond butter)
- 2 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- 2 tablespoon water
- 1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
- 1 inch knob of ginger, minced or grated
- juice of 1 lime
- 1 – 2 tablespoon rice vinegar, optional
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
Dipping sauces: Mix your dipping sauce together first, let set so the flavors can mingle. It will taste much different after a few minutes. Taste for flavor before serving.
Water bowl: Fill a large bowl with warm water. Depending on the size of your sheets you can use a shallow pie dish or large bowl or pot.
Wet rice paper: Dip the rice paper in the warm water for just 2 – 3 seconds, it should be stiff, and will soften as you begin to work.
Assemble: On a non-porous work surface, lay the rice paper sheet and layer the ingredients on the edge closest to you at the 1/3 mark. Start with the leafy greens, carrots, cucumber, tofu, red pepper and herbs (really any way you want to layer is fine).
Tuck & roll: After layering the ingredients, ‘tuck and roll’ the edge closest to you, by bringing the edge up and over the fresh veggie mound. Gently but firmly, tuck it under and roll away from you. At the 2/3 mark, fold the ends up onto the roll, and continue rolling tucking them under until the roll is finished.
Serve with choice of dipping sauce.
Makes 6 summer rolls, 2 rolls per serving.
Store: Leftover summer rolls can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days in a covered container and the dressing will last 5 – 6 days. To keep the rolls from sticking together, place a piece of saran wrap, wax or parchment paper between the rolls.
Don’t over soak the rice paper. The paper only needs to be dipped for 2 – 3 seconds. It will be slightly stiff, but soften as you begin working and rolling. If it’s dipped too long it will become hard to work with.
Double the rice sheets. When making for future meals, consider doubling up the rice paper for each roll to strengthen them so they don’t fall apart from softening due to storing.
Soy-Free: When making the dressings, use coconut aminos in place of soy sauce or tamari. Don’t use the optional tofu.
Nut-Free: When making the peanut dressing, use sunflower butter in place of nut butters.
Nutritional information is calculated with tofu + sweet chili sauce.
Keywords: summer rolls, summer rolls recipe
Updated: Summer Rolls was originally published in July 2013. It has been retested and updated with new photos and helpful tips in March 2020.