Thanksgiving leftovers are a beloved part of the holiday, but after a few days of reheating the same old dishes, it can get a bit repetitive. That's where the air fryer comes in! By transforming your leftover turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce into crispy egg rolls, you can enjoy a new tasty treat that's both satisfying and easy to make. In this article, we'll guide you through the process of making Thanksgiving leftover egg rolls in an air fryer, from selecting the right ingredients to rolling and cooking them perfectly.
Why Use an Air Fryer to Make Thanksgiving Leftover Egg Rolls?
Not only is an air fryer a healthier alternative to traditional frying, but it also gives your egg rolls the crispy texture you crave without the extra oil. Plus, air frying your egg rolls means that you don't have to worry about them getting soggy like they might in the microwave or oven. The air fryer is a convenient and efficient appliance that makes cooking and cleanup a breeze, which is particularly helpful during the busy holiday season.
Another benefit of using an air fryer to make Thanksgiving leftover egg rolls is that it allows you to experiment with different flavors and ingredients. You can add in leftover turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and even mashed potatoes to create a unique and delicious egg roll. The air fryer also cooks the egg rolls evenly, ensuring that each bite is perfectly crispy and flavorful. So, next time you have Thanksgiving leftovers, consider using your air fryer to create a tasty and healthy snack or meal.
What Ingredients Do You Need for Thanksgiving Leftover Egg Rolls in an Air Fryer?
To make Thanksgiving leftover egg rolls in an air fryer, you'll need the following ingredients:
- Egg roll wrappers
- Leftover turkey, chopped into small pieces
- Leftover stuffing
- Cranberry sauce
- Celery, chopped into thin pieces
- Carrots, chopped into thin pieces
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Optional: gravy for dipping
Note that you can add or substitute any leftover ingredients you have on hand, such as mashed potatoes or green beans, to make your egg rolls even more exciting.
When preparing the egg rolls, it's important to make sure the filling is tightly wrapped in the egg roll wrapper to prevent any air pockets. This will ensure that the egg rolls cook evenly in the air fryer and have a crispy texture. Additionally, you can brush the egg rolls with olive oil before air frying to give them an extra crunch.
How to Make the Perfect Egg Roll Wrapper for Thanksgiving Leftovers
The key to great egg rolls is a well-rolled wrapper that holds everything together and crisps up nicely in the air fryer. Start by laying an egg roll wrapper on a clean surface and brushing a light coat of olive oil over it. Next, place a small spoonful of leftover stuffing in the center of the wrapper, followed by a few pieces of chopped turkey and a spoonful of cranberry sauce. Top with some chopped celery and carrots, then season with salt and pepper. Fold the sides of the wrapper inward, then roll the bottom of the wrapper over the filling and continue rolling until the top of the wrapper is sealed. Repeat until all of your egg rolls are ready.
But what if you don't have any leftover stuffing or turkey? No problem! You can still make delicious egg rolls with other Thanksgiving leftovers. Try using mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, or even sweet potato casserole as your filling. Just make sure to chop any larger pieces into smaller, bite-sized pieces before adding them to the wrapper.
Another tip for perfect egg rolls is to make sure your air fryer is preheated before cooking. This will ensure that the wrapper gets crispy and golden brown without overcooking the filling. And don't be afraid to experiment with different dipping sauces, like sweet and sour or spicy mustard, to add even more flavor to your Thanksgiving egg rolls.
Tips for Rolling and Filling Your Thanksgiving Leftover Egg Rolls
Don't overstuff your egg rolls, or they won't cook evenly in the air fryer. A spoonful or two of each ingredient is sufficient. Keep a bowl of water nearby to moisten the edges of the wrapper and help it stick together. It's important to roll your egg rolls tightly for a crispy texture, so use some pressure when rolling and tucking in the sides. To prevent your egg rolls from sticking together in the air fryer, place them in a single layer and avoid touching.
When it comes to choosing the ingredients for your Thanksgiving leftover egg rolls, get creative! Leftover turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce are obvious choices, but consider adding some unexpected flavors like sweet potato, green beans, or even mashed potatoes. Don't be afraid to experiment with different combinations to find your perfect egg roll filling.
How Long Should You Cook Thanksgiving Leftover Egg Rolls in Your Air Fryer?
The cooking time for Thanksgiving leftover egg rolls in an air fryer varies depending on the size and thickness of your egg rolls, but generally, it should take about 10-12 minutes at 375°F. To get a crispy exterior, shake your air fryer basket halfway through cooking to ensure your egg rolls are evenly browned on all sides.
It's important to note that the filling of your egg rolls can also affect the cooking time. If your egg rolls are filled with dense ingredients, such as mashed potatoes or stuffing, they may take longer to cook through. On the other hand, if your egg rolls are filled with lighter ingredients, such as turkey and vegetables, they may cook faster. To ensure that your egg rolls are cooked to a safe temperature, use a meat thermometer to check that the internal temperature has reached 165°F before serving.
How to Store and Reheat Your Thanksgiving Leftover Egg Rolls
If you have any egg rolls leftover (which is unlikely!), store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. To reheat, simply place them in the air fryer for a few minutes until they're heated through and crispy again.
However, if you don't have an air fryer, you can also reheat your egg rolls in the oven. Preheat your oven to 350°F and place the egg rolls on a baking sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until they're heated through and crispy again.
It's important to note that if your egg rolls have any dipping sauce, it's best to store them separately from the egg rolls. This will prevent the egg rolls from becoming soggy. You can store the dipping sauce in a separate container in the fridge for up to three days as well.
10 Delicious Dipping Sauces for Your Thanksgiving Leftover Egg Rolls
Variety is the spice of life, and dipping sauces are the perfect way to switch up your Thanksgiving leftover egg rolls. Here are ten tasty options to try:
- Cranberry dipping sauce
- Sriracha mayo
- Buffalo sauce
- Honey mustard
- Teriyaki sauce
- Barbecue sauce
- Blue cheese dressing
- Ranch dressing
If you're feeling adventurous, try making your own dipping sauces from scratch. A homemade sweet and sour sauce made with pineapple juice, vinegar, and brown sugar is a great option. Or, mix together some soy sauce, honey, and ginger for a delicious Asian-inspired dipping sauce.
Don't limit yourself to just one dipping sauce. Mix and match different sauces to create unique flavor combinations. For example, try dipping your egg rolls in a mixture of ranch dressing and buffalo sauce for a tangy and spicy kick.
Creative Variations on Traditional Thanksgiving Leftover Egg Roll Fillings
The beauty of egg rolls is that you can customize them to your liking. Here are some fun twists on traditional Thanksgiving leftover egg roll fillings:
- Thanksgiving pizza egg rolls (stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, and cheese)
- Thanksgiving breakfast egg rolls (leftover omelet ingredients like cheese, ham, and veggies)
- Thanksgiving burrito egg rolls (turkey, green beans, mashed potatoes, and salsa)
If you're feeling adventurous, try experimenting with different dipping sauces to complement your egg rolls. Some popular options include cranberry sauce, gravy, or even a spicy mayo. Don't be afraid to get creative and mix and match flavors to find your perfect combination!
How to Turn Your Thanksgiving Leftover Egg Rolls into a Crowd-Pleasing Appetizer or Main Dish
Egg rolls are delicious on their own, but you can also easily turn them into a more substantial meal or appetizer by serving them with other dishes. Here are some ideas:
- Pair your egg rolls with a side salad for a light lunch or dinner.
- Make a Thanksgiving leftover egg roll platter with a variety of dipping sauces for a fun party appetizer.
- Serve your egg rolls alongside a bowl of soup for a cozy winter meal.
We hope this guide has inspired you to try something new with your Thanksgiving leftovers this year. With an air fryer and some creativity, you can transform your leftovers into a crispy, flavorful treat that everyone will enjoy. Happy cooking!
Another great way to enjoy your Thanksgiving leftover egg rolls is to serve them as a main dish. Simply pair them with some steamed rice and your favorite stir-fry vegetables for a complete and satisfying meal. You can also experiment with different dipping sauces to add even more flavor to your dish. Don't be afraid to get creative and try new combinations!