These vegan rice paper rolls with peanut sauce make the perfect vegan summer recipe (or spring recipe as the name reveals). They are Thai-inspired rice paper rolls that are completely vegan and gluten free. The peanut butter dressing is made with simple pantry items and turns this dish into a highlight.
Vegan rice paper rolls
These vegan spring rolls, also known as vegan summer rolls, Vietnamese spring rolls or Thai spring rolls make the most refreshing meal in spring and summer. This dish requires very little preparation (especially if you buy pre-shredded veggies) and comes together in minutes. It's the perfect last-minute dinner (trust rely on this recipe every single time). I just said dinner, but they make a great lunch as well, especially if you work from home. For my storage recommendation in the "can I make spring rolls ahead of time?" section below.
What I love most about these rice paper rolls is how versatile they are. You'll find more ideas in the "substitutions and add-ons" section.
Zoom on the ingredients
As you can see by the ingredients list, these rice paper spring rolls are a very healthy and clean eating recipe.
- Rice paper wrappers: these are thin, gluten free wraps made from rice and water. They will soften once dipped in hot water.
- Rice vermicelli: these are very thin rice noodles that look like angel hair pasta. I like to add them to spring rolls to make them a little more filling.
- Shredded carrots: you can buy shredded carrots to save some time or grate them yourself.
- Shredded cabbage: same as for the carrots, but the cabbage pre-shredded to reduce the preparation time.
- Cucumber sticks: simply cut the cucumber into thin sticks before adding them to the spring rolls. They will add some crunch and make the rolls very refreshing.
- Soybean sprouts: I love soy sprouts in my spring rolls, but they are totally optional.
- Fresh mint: this is a must. Adding mint makes all the difference by adding a ton of flavor. Mint also goes really well with the peanut butter sauce for spring rolls.
Substitutions and add-ons
- Use cilantro or Thai basil instead of mint.
- Replace red cabbage with any type of cabbage (e.g., white cabbage, Chinese cabbage, pointed cabbage).
- Leave out the soybean sprouts if you're not a fan.
- Switch up the veggies, with anything that is seasonal or regional.
- Add a leaf of butter lettuce to the rolls before topping it with the other ingredients.
- You can also add some pickled ginger (commonly served with sushi) for a little spice kick.
- Add some (marinated) fried tofu to add protein and make it even more filling.
Let's talk allergens for a second. These vegan spring rolls are naturally gluten free and dairy free. To make them soy free, you can simply leave out the soybean sprouts. If you need them to be nut free as well, try another spring roll dipping sauce or try replacing the peanut butter with sunflower seed butter (I have not this yet).
Step By Step With Pictures
Prepare the veggies and cook the rice vermicelli. Wash the veggies and peel, grate and slice those that need it. Cook the rice vermicelli according to the instructions provided on the package (usually several minutes in boiling water).
Wrap the rolls. Roll the edge above the ingredients while tucking the ingredients tightly against it with your fingers. Fold the edges and continue rolling. For the full, detailed step-by-step instructions, check the paragraph below.
Make the peanut dipping sauce. Combine all the ingredients in a small mixing bowl with a fork or a small whisk until creamy. Then, add a splash of water to thin it out and give it perfect dipping consistency that is neither too thin, nor too thick.
How to roll spring rolls
Follow this easy step by step tutorial to learn how to roll spring rolls like a pro!
First, dip the rice sheet into a large bowl filled with hot water. It should be hot enough to soften the rice sheets but you should not burn yourself. Simple use hot tap water. Once you dipped the whole rice paper sheet in water, take it out and place it on a plate. No need to wait for the sheet to soften in the water. You can totally take it out while it's still a little stiff (see picture) as it will naturally soften on the plate while you add the fillings.
Next, add your fillings. Place all your ingredients close to the end of the sheet. Make sure to not overfill the rice paper to be able to easily roll into a spring roll. Add some mint leaves at the end of the sheet for decor (this is the part that will be visible after rolling.
Start rolling. Start by pulling the bottom of the wrapper that is closest to the ingredients over them. Roll and tuck the sheet under the ingredients with two of your finger. It should be tight but not too tight to avoid the rice sheet from tearing.
Fold the edges over the middle of the roll as shown in the pictures. The fold should be right where the ingredients stop.
Roll it up.The rice sheet will stick on its own.
Vegan peanut sauce
This vegan peanut sauce is honestly the best spring roll dipping sauce ever. What I like the most is that it doesn't require any fresh ingredients, only pantry items (I love short shopping lists). For the full step-by-step instructions with pictures on how to make this peanut butter sauce, have a look at this post. One last thing, it's seriously addicting (I warned you)!
- Peanut butter is the base for this Thai dipping sauce. It will add flavor and make it creamy.
- Tamari is basically a gluten free soy sauce. No need to add salt to the peanut sauce since tamari is already relatively salty.
- Lime juice makes all the difference! I tried this sauce without lime juice and it was simply not the same.
- Maple syrup balances out the acidity of the lime juice and adds just the right amount of sweetness.
- Ground ginger, garlic powder and cayenne pepper: you could use fresh grated ginger and garlic, but I like this easy, pantry-style alternative. I always have these ingredients on hand and can make this sauce at any time.
Note that it's also great as a peanut salad dressing. If you have some leftover cabbage you can try this cabbage salad, which uses the same peanut sauce. However, I wouldn't use it as a peanut butter sauce for noodles.
How to serve spring rolls
Platter to share and make rolls individually: what I mean by that is to dress a platter with all the ingredients and allow everyone to make their own rolls while at the table. It's a great way to enjoy some time together and will save you a ton of time. Simply wash and cut up all the veggies beforehand and arrange them on a large platter. Cook the rice vermicelli and keep them in a separate bowl. Place 1 or 2 bowls with hot water on the table. I also like to give everyone a little dipping bowl with some of the vegan peanut butter sauce.
Pre-made spring rolls: the other alternative is to make the spring rolls shortly before serving (read the section above). I recommend placing them next to each other on 1 or 2 plates and leaving a little space between them to avoid them from sticking to each other.
Frequently Asked Questions
Rice paper spring rolls taste best right after rolling. You can make them up to 1 day ahead of time and cover them with a damp cloth and roll them in plastic film (or sustainable alternative) to prevent them from drying. Alternatively, you can wash and cut up all the veggies beforehand and store them in an air-tight container for about 2 days. Same goes for the peanut sauce.
Vegan rice paper rolls are packed with vegetables and extremely healthy and nutritious. They make a great lunch or snack. The Thaï peanut butter dipping sauce can however be higher in fat (from the peanut butter), salt (from the soy sauce) and sugar.
Rice paper sheets are solely made from rice flour and water (no other starches), which makes them gluten-free. They can safely be consumed by people on gluten-free diets. However, be careful with fried spring rolls, where the wrappers are usually made from wheat flour.
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Vegan Rice Paper Rolls With Peanut Sauce (Gluten Free)
For the spring rolls
- 12 rice paper wrappers
- 1 cup shredded carrots or grate 2 carrots
- 1 cup sliced cabbage or thinly slice ¼ head of cabbage
- 2 cucumbers
- 1 cup soybean sprouts
- 1 bunch of fresh mint
- 2 ounces rice vermicelli
Prepare the ingredients
- Wash all the vegetables. Cut the cucumber into thin sticks and remove the mint leaves from the stems.
- If you didn't buy pre-shredded carrots and cabbage, peel the carrots and grate them. Cut the cabbage in half, remove the triangular core and slice it very thinly with a large knife*.
- Cook the rice vermicelly according to the instructions on the package.
- You can either arrange all the ingredients on a platter and allow everyone to make their own rolls while at the table or make the rolls shortly before serving**.
How to roll the spring rolls
- Shortly dip the rice wrappers in a large bowl filled with hot tap water (it should be hot enough to soften the rice sheets but you should not burn yourself) and place it on a plate. No need to wait for the sheet to soften in the water as it will naturally soften on the plate while you add the fillings (see post above for step-by-step pictures).
- Place all your ingredients close to the end of the sheet. Make sure to not overfill the rice wrapper to be able to easily shape it into a roll. Add some mint leaves at the end of the sheet for decor (this is the part that will be visible after rolling).
- Pull the bottom of the wrapper that is closest to the ingredients over them. Roll and tuck the rice sheet under the ingredients with two of your finger. It should be tight but not too tight to avoid the rice sheet from tearing. Then, fold the edges over and continue rolling. The rice sheet will stick on its own.
Make the peanut sauce
- Combine all the ingredients in a small mixing bowl with a fork or small whisk. Add then water at the end to thin out the sauce and give it that perfect dipping consistency.
- Refer to this post for step-by-step instructions (with pictures) on how to thinly cut cabbage.
- Rice paper spring rolls taste best right after rolling.
- You can make them up to 1 day ahead of time and cover them with a damp cloth and roll them in plastic film (or sustainable alternative) to prevent them from drying. Alternatively, you can wash and cut up all the veggies beforehand and store them in an air-tight container for about 2 days. Same goes for the peanut sauce.
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