Thanksgiving egg rolls are a common way to make egg rolls with leftovers, but there are so many other ways to use leftovers to make egg rolls!
One of the best things about big holiday meals is the leftovers! What do you do with them? Reheating only goes so far. And the same thing gets old after a while. My sister came up with something fun and new; Thanksgiving egg rolls!
Egg Rolls Made with Leftovers
The simple answer is just about anything! We made ours with turkey and stuffing, but it could easily be done with ham and scalloped potatoes. The trick is to have your wonton wrappers thawed out and pliable. This will ensure a tight seal. The second trick I have is to not overfill the wrappers. It’s easy enough to do, especially when you have all kinds of fun fillings.
Wrapping Leftover Egg Rolls
Karyn, my sister, is the real artist here, but I can make passable rolls when I really try. You can get wonton wrappers at most any grocery store. We found them in the refrigerated vegetarian section, but you can also find them frozen. As stated above, allow them to come to room temperature. I place a few between damp cloths to help them warm up faster. Don’t allow them to dry out or you’ll have crumbling wrappers.
Depending on how I make my egg rolls, I like dipping sauces with them. Gravy is great with a turkey roll and sweet and sour sauce pairs well with chicken. Use your imagination!
Thanksgiving and Other Leftover Egg Roll Recipes
There are so many ways to make these, but here are some of my favorites:
- Thanksgiving egg rolls: turkey, stuffing, green bean casserole, and cranberries. Gravy for dipping.
- Ham, scalloped potatoes, and steamed beans. Ham glaze for dipping.
- Baked chicken, braised cabbage, and potato wedges. Sweet and sour sauce for dipping.
- Pork chops, sliced thin, fried apples, and peas. Duck sauce for dipping.
- Beef pot roast with vegetables. Gravy for dipping.
- Kielbasa, fried potatoes, and corn. Sweet and sour sauce for dipping.
- Barbecued pork, baked beans (drain most of the liquid), and garlic toast croutons. BBQ sauce for dipping.
- Scrambled eggs, sausage or bacon, cheese, and tater tots. Ketchup for dipping.
- Ground beef, cheese, tomato, and pickle. Ketchup for dipping.
As you can see Thanksgiving egg rolls are only one idea, the possibilities are endless! You can substitute tofu or another vegan protein for the meat if you are vegan or vegetarian. Just be sure all of the different items you use are fully cooked. Then there is no danger of undercooking anything.
Assembling the Egg Rolls
This part is really fun! Take your Thanksgiving egg roll wrapper and place it at a diagonal to you. In the center, toward one corner, place a line of food from one corner to the other, staying well inside the edges. Keep the portion small so that it doesn’t leak out when frying. Use the recipe ideas above or create your own.
When you get your filling in place, tuck the shorter end of the egg roll wrapper near the filling. It should look like a tube. Fold the two longer corners in and roll. You can wet the edges for a more complete seal, but I only do that at the end. When you are nearly done, wet the two inner corners of the wrapper and roll them into place. By wetting them a bit, they will stick to the other side, making a sealed tube. I just use plain water for this.
Gently lower the Thanksgiving leftover egg rolls into the hot oil (or place on the baking sheet). Allow frying on one side before turning over to the other side. They may sink at first but then will float to the top in a few minutes. when they are nice and golden brown, scoop the rolls out and place them on a baking cooling rack. Allow to cool slightly and serve right away. These will also keep well if made ahead and fried later.
Cooking the Egg Rolls
Most people fry them but you can also bake them. Keep reading below for specific recipe ideas.
Frying Egg Rolls
These Thanksgiving egg rolls are best made fried, either in a deep fryer or a skillet. A cast-iron skillet works great since it holds the temperature well. If you fry them either way, the oil needs to be between 350-375°F. Any cooler and your rolls will absorb too much grease. Any hotter and your rolls will brown too quickly on the outside and still be cold in the center. Have a paper plate or napkins handy to drain off any excess oil after they are fried.
Baking Egg Rolls
Yes, you can also bake them. Place on a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Brush with a bit of oil or egg wash. Bake at 350°f for 20 minutes or so. When they are golden brown, they are probably ready. You may want to check the filling with a thermometer. Cooked foods can be warmed to 160°F safely. You can leave them to get a bit warmer, but watch to be sure they don’t burn.
Be Creative and Have Fun
As mentioned above, we are just scratching the surface here. So be creative, have fun, and get started with your own egg roll ideas!
Thanksgiving leftover egg rolls are just one creative idea. What are some other recipes you have tried?