Fresh and vibrant Vegetarian Rice Paper Rolls made with baked tofu, summer vegetables, and black bean or rice noodles. These hand-held rice paper wraps are great for picnics, packed lunches, road tripping.
In the mood for something fresh, light, and totally fun to make and eat?
Well then I have good news for you, friends, because we're making Vegetarian Rice Paper Rolls today! Bright, beautiful, and packed with veggies and plant-based protein, these are one of my favourite things to make in the warmer months.
Not only are these fresh spring rolls endlessly customizable - YOU get to choose the fillings and pack them full of the veggies and proteins that you love - but they're a perfect vehicle for a spicy, almond-ginger dipping sauce that you're going to want to make a double batch of.
Yep, it really is that good!
I love rice paper rolls because they're fresh, easy to make, and there's no cooking involved. But if you're looking for crispy spring rolls, give these Air Fryer Egg Rolls a try!
And while there's nothing cuter than a salad that you can carry around in your hand, if you're looking for more inspiration be sure to check out our archive of Salad Recipes for more delicious ideas.
Making rice paper rolls is also a great excuse for teamwork. I'm of the opinion that sharing the work of making food makes it taste even better, so why not put out a platter of ingredients for rice paper wraps and let everyone make their own.
It's a guaranteed recipe for a good time.
Ingredients For Rice Paper Rolls:
Don't be intimidated by the long ingredient list - it's mostly different types of vegetables! And remember that you can mix things up and choose the fillings that you love, or that you have on hand.
You'll find specific quantities of ingredients in the printable recipe card at the end of this post. Here's a quick overview:
- Rice paper --> This is kind of essential.
- Noodles --> I used a mixture of rice noodles and purple sweet potato noodles.
- Tofu --> We're going in with sticks of baked tofu today.
- Carrots --> I like to shred these up with a julienne peeler.
- Red bell peppers --> In nice thin strips.
- Green onion --> In long strips.
- Radishes --> Thinly sliced.
- Cucumber --> In thin sticks.
- Romaine lettuce --> Oops, I forgot to include it in the picture.
- Herbs --> I used both mint and cilantro.
How to make rice paper rolls:
If these look like they'd be too much work for you, I suggest you divide and conquer.
I like to get all of the prep work out of the way in advance - even the night before. Shredding and julienning the veg, baking the tofu, and cooking the noodles - so when it comes time to roll it's simply a matter of creating an assembly station and getting started up.
Step 1: Soak your rice paper. You only want to do this for a few seconds, and it should still have some firmness to it when you pull it out of the water as it will continue to soak up liquid as you work.
Step 2: Add shredded veggies, tofu, noodles, and herbs to the center of the rice paper. If you're just starting out, I recommend less filling rather than more to make them easier to roll.
Step 3: Roll 'em up! I usually roll one long side over the filling, tuck the ends in, and then finish rolling the rest of the way.
Step 4: Repeat until you've used up all of your filling ingredients.
That's it! Super easy. Your rice paper rolls are done!
Recipe Substitutions and Variations
The best thing about making homemade vegetarian rice paper rolls is that they're a blank canvas. You can switch up the veggies according to what's in season or what you've got on hand:
- If you want lighter rolls, skip the noodles and pack in extra veg.
- Not a fan of tofu? Try tempeh (give our Air Fryer Tempeh a try!)or edamame instead.
- Got meat-eaters in the bunch? Get prawns or chicken up in there.
- Heck, you can even add fruit if you want. Mango is very delicious in these.
Dipping Sauces for Rice Paper Wraps
Let's not forget the sauce - a zippy almond-ginger-chili concoction that can be dunked in, drizzled on, or just straight up spooned into your mouth. It's pretty similar to the sauce in these Spicy Black Bean Noodle Bowls, so if you're more into the idea of sesame than almond, then give that a go instead.
How to Store Rice Paper Rolls
The rice paper rolls will keep in the fridge up to 3-5 days and the almond sauce will keep up to one week. Keep in mind that the rice paper will continue to absorb moisture, so if you have any really wet ingredients in there, you'll want to eat them fairly quickly.
While they are best served fresh, if you do have leftovers or if you're making these in advance, I recommend storing leftover rice paper rolls in an airtight container. For maximum freshness, I cover the rice paper rolls with a just very barely damp paper towel, to prevent them from drying out.
Unfortunately, fresh rice paper rolls do not freeze well, so I do not recommend storing them in the freezer.
Are Vegetarian Rice Paper Rolls healthy?
Friends, there's so much goodness in here it's hard to know where to start!
Fresh veggies are loaded with flavour, crunch, vitamins, dietary fiber, and antioxidants. The black bean noodles, if you choose, are packed with dietary fiber and protein.
Pro Tips for Rice Paper Wraps
With a few tricks up your sleeve, it's easy to make delicious vegetarian rice paper wraps at home.
Use Fresh Ingredients
Your rice paper rolls are only going to be as good as what you fill them with - so go for fresh, in-season fruits, veggies, and herbs for the best results.
Use Lukewarm Water
You don't want the water to soak your rice paper sheets in to be too warm (will result in mushy rice paper), or too cold (takes longer to absorb). For best results, use lukewarm water.
If necessary, use two rice sheets
If you have a very large amount of filling or if your rice sheet tears, just add another! You'll likely have more than you need in the package, so don't hold back.
Rice paper is a super thin wrapper made from white rice flour, tapioca flour, water, and salt. You may find them in the international aisle of your supermarket, or at an Asian grocery store.
You can make rice paper rolls in advance and store them in the fridge until you are ready to serve. Keep in mind that the rice paper will continue to absorb moisture, so if you are using any really moist ingredients they are best made fresh.
Rice paper is delicate and you need to work quickly. If you find it keeps tearing the issue may be that it is too moist. Try dipping it in the water for only a second, moving to the countertop. It will continue to absorb moisture as it sits, so a second or two is all you need.
Vegetarian Rice Paper Rolls
- 16 ounces firm tofu
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- salt and pepper
- 8 ounces uncooked rice noodles black bean noodles, or a combination.
- 2-3 large carrots shredded or julienned
- 1 large red pepper sliced into thin strips
- ½ long English cucumber sliced into strips
- 6-8 radishes sliced paper thin
- 2 spring onions sliced lengthwise and then into sticks
- 1 head romaine lettuce washed and torn into pieces
- 1 bunch cilantro washed and roughly chopped
- 1 bunch fresh mint leaves torn from the stems
- 12-16 rice paper wrappers
- 3 tablespoon almond butter
- 2 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 3½ tablespoon light soy sauce I use Braggs
- 2 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon finely grated ginger
- 1 medium clove garlic crushed or minced
- sambal oelek chili paste to taste
Prepare the tofu:
- Preheat oven to 400°F / 200°C, and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Drain the tofu and pat dry, then cut into pencil thick slabs and arrange in a single layer on the prepared baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil, toasted sesame oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Turn over to ensure both sides are evenly coated.16 ounces firm tofu, 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil, salt and pepper
- Bake for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven and carefully turn. Bake for another 10-15 minutes, until the tofu is golden and crisp.
- Remove from the oven, and set aside to cool.
- Once cooled, slice into pencil-thick (about 1cm) sticks.
Prepare the vegetables:
- While the tofu is baking, prepare the vegetables. Shred the carrot using a julienne peeler or mandoline, or a very sharp knife. Cut the other vegetables into similar sizes, and as thinly as possible.2-3 large carrots, 1 large red pepper, ½ long English cucumber, 6-8 radishes, 2 spring onions, 1 head romaine lettuce, 1 bunch cilantro, 1 bunch fresh mint
- Prepare the noodles according to package directions. Once softened rinse under cold water and drain well. Add a splash of sesame oil to prevent them from sticking to one another.8 ounces uncooked rice noodles
To make the sauce:
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together sesame oil, almond butter, liquid aminos, rice vinegar, brown sugar, ginger, crushed garlic. Add a bit of sambal oelek or other chili paste if using, to taste.3 tablespoon almond butter, 2 tablespoon toasted sesame oil, 3½ tablespoon light soy sauce, 2 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 1 tablespoon finely grated ginger, 1 medium clove garlic, sambal oelek
Get ready to roll:
- Create and assembly station with a large dish of cold water for soaking the rice papers, something to assemble on (a cutting board does nicely), lettuce, veggies, tofu, and fresh herbs.
- Submerge a rice paper wrapper into the cold water and count to five. Then remove from the water, shake it off a bit, and set on the cutting board. It may seem too stiff, but it will continue to absorb water as you work, and soaking for longer will only mean too delicate a wrapper that will tear easily.
- Place a few pieces of lettuce, followed by tofu, a few pieces of each kind of vegetable, and a small handful of noodles. Top the noodles with some fresh herbs, then get ready to roll.
- Carefully lift one side of the rice paper over the filling, and then use your fingers to pull the filling back towards you a bit. Fold the ends in, and continue to roll until everything is sealed in.
- Repeat until you've run out of filling!
- Serve with almond-ginger sauce.
- Practice makes perfect! Your first roll may not look great, but I bet your last one will. Just keep trying! And remember, that looks aren't important here. As long as they hold together reasonably well, you're in business.
- Salad rolls are best served the same day they're made, but they can be made a day ahead if needed. Line a large container with parchment so they don't stick, and put a very slightly damp paper towel over the top to keep the rice paper from drying out.
- Nutrition Information is an estimate only.
Originally published May 2017. Recipe re-tested, edited, updated with new photos and video, and re-published May 25, 2022.