Egg rolls are an appetizer commonly available at Chinese buffets and takeout restaurants in the United States.
What makes these deep golden-yellow, crunchy rolls a favorite appetizer among food lovers? Their delicious taste, appealing texture, and comfort-food status contribute to their popularity.
Still, some egg roll fans may wonder whether egg rolls are a health-promoting part of their diet.
This article explores what egg rolls are, their nutritional composition, and some healthier ways to enjoy them.
An egg roll is a cylindrical, savory appetizer that’s usually deep-fried. This cooking method gives it a crunchy exterior and a moist interior.
Egg rolls are primarily made with two components: a wheat flour-based wrapper and a filling with a blend of ingredients. The filling typically includes:
Chinese takeout restaurants and buffets often use roast pork, while packaged, frozen egg rolls found in grocery stores may contain ground or shredded pork.
Egg rolls may also come in different varieties, such as meatless versions centered on vegetables and versions made with poultry or seafood.
Are eggs rolls and spring rolls the same?
Egg rolls may resemble spring rolls, but they are two different foods.
A spring roll is a popular dim sum dish in Cantonese cuisine, which you can find in Chinese dim sum restaurants. An egg roll, on the other hand, is a variation of a spring roll that emerged from American Chinese cuisine.
Spring rolls can be baked, fried, or deep-fried, while egg rolls are generally deep-fried.
Additionally, the fillings differ. A classic Cantonese-style spring roll contains ground pork, bamboo shoots, shiitake mushrooms, cabbage, and carrots. Egg rolls don’t contain the bamboo shoots or shiitake mushrooms and use celery and scallions instead.
The egg roll wrapper, made from wheat flour, water, and egg, is thicker than the rice-based wrapper used in spring rolls.
Including an egg in the wrapper also gives the egg roll its distinctive bumpy appearance when deep-fried.
The fillings for both types of rolls are stir-fried before wrapping.
Finally, both are served with a condiment, but the type of condiment varies. Spring rolls are traditionally served with Worcestershire-based dipping sauce in Cantonese dim sum restaurants, while egg rolls are served with a sweet plum sauce or sweet chili sauce.
The calories and other nutrients in an egg roll can vary, depending on the size and the type of fillings.
Generally speaking, an egg roll (89 grams) offers
- Calories: 222
- Protein: 7.37 grams
- Fat: 10.6 grams
- Carbohydrates: 24.3 grams
- Fiber: 2.3 grams
- Sodium: 417 mg
Some of the nutrients egg rolls provide benefit your health, such as fiber and protein.
Vegetables make them a good source of fiber
Based on a 2,000-calorie diet, an egg roll can be a good source of dietary fiber, providing 8% of the Daily Value (DV) for this nutrient.
Current nutritional guidelines recommend consuming 25–38 grams of dietary fiber daily (
May be a good source of protein
Depending on the size of the egg roll, it may provide you with a good amount of protein. The 89-gram egg roll considered above contributes 14% of the DV.
Protein is an essential nutrient for the growth, maintenance, and repair of cells. It also plays a vital role in building enzymes and hormones (
While egg rolls are delicious and may have some nutritional benefits, they may not be considered particularly nutritious because of their sodium and saturated fat content.
High in sodium
According to the 2020–2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the average sodium intake among Americans is 3,393 mg per day, which exceeds the recommended intake by 1,093 mg (
Because large amounts of sodium are present in many foods, such as egg rolls, it’s easy to eat more of this nutrient than you intend to. Consuming too much sodium may increase your risk of developing high blood pressure (
High in saturated fat and carbs
Another reason egg rolls may not be considered nutrient-dense foods is their fat content. One egg roll (89 grams) contains 9% of the DV for saturated fat.
The 2020–2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that most people consume no more than 10% of their calories per day from saturated fat. It’s easy to exceed this recommendation by eating more than one egg roll (
In fact, 70–75% of adults consume more than the suggested 10% limit. Eating too much saturated fat may be associated with an increased risk of developing coronary heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic health conditions (
Although egg rolls aren’t the most nutrient-dense snacks available, that doesn’t mean you need to cut them out of your diet — especially if they’re a favorite or comfort food for you. You may just want to eat them in moderation.
You can also try making your own egg rolls rather than buying ready-to-eat ones from restaurants or packaged ones from grocery store freezers.
By doing so, you can choose to make the wrapper thicker or thinner according to your liking. You can also customize the type and amounts of ingredients and seasonings you use, such as using lean proteins or seafood.
Consider baking them instead of deep-frying them to reduce the amounts of oil and fat you consume. (Keep in mind that the wrapper’s texture and appearance may be different when baked than when fried.)
Making your own egg rolls means you can also decide whether to serve them with a dipping sauce and what kind to use.
Some sauces can be high in calories, sugar, salt, fat, and artificial additives, but there are alternatives you can purchase or create. Learn more here.
Egg rolls are a delicious Chinese-inspired appetizer popular in the United States. They’re generally served whole or in halves.
Nutritionally speaking, an egg roll could be considered a less healthy option. It is a salty, fried food, with oil absorbed into the wrapper and filling during frying. The oil absorbed can increase the calories and fat consumed.
As tasty as they are, egg rolls are not considered nutrient-dense, and eating them in moderation is recommended.
Just one thing
Try this today: The next time you order egg rolls, consider skipping the dipping sauce to reduce the calories, added sugar, salt, and fat you consume.