These mini spicy sweet potato samosas are made with spring roll sheets and fried until flaky and crisp. They are near copycats of the Trader Joe's spicy pumpkin and paneer samosas but use sweet potato, which is easier to cook than pumpkin!
Trader Joe's spicy pumpkin samosas copy cat recipe
This recipe is heavily inspired by the spicy pumpkin and paneer samosas that Trader Joe's sells during the fall season. I selfishly wanted to develop this recipe so that I could eat these samosas all year long. However, instead of using cut pumpkin - which would also work great as a substitute in this recipe - I opted for sweet potato. The reason is that sweet potatoes are so easy to cook due to their soft skin whereas pumpkin and squash can be intimidating to cut. These cocktail samosas are amazing appetizers to serve at your next Thanksgiving or holiday party. You can check out other Indian-inspired holiday dishes in this blog post.
Best spring roll wrappers to buy
These samosas are often called mini or cocktail samosas! Cocktail samosas use spring roll sheets to help get that crispy exterior.
However, not all spring roll wrappers are made equally. When buying wrappers, I opt for the TYJ brand which yields the flakiest spring rolls whether baked or fried. Try to avoid wrappers that are labeled as egg roll wrappers as they tend to be thicker and don't crisp as well. Lumpia wrappers also work great for these samosas.
Air Frying vs. Convection Oven vs. Oil Frying
This recipe is one that tastes just a bit better when it is fried at 375 Fahrenheit.The outside gets nice and golden and evenly crispy. However, you can also opt to bake them as well! Just remember that the oven using the convection bake setting is just a giant air fryer. So opt to use the convection oven when you are making larger batches of samosas and the air fryer if you are just making a snack for yourself.
As for the Traders Joe’s variety that you get at the store, they are most likely partially fried before frozen. This allows you to pop them into the oven to finish the final crisp. You can also opt to do this trick so you can make the samosas later!
Tips on making ahead
This recipe calls for a large batch of mini samosas. You can of course eat them all in one sitting - no judgement here - but you can also prep them ahead of time for a party or for snacks! Here are some tips for doing just that:
- Make the filling 1-2 days before folding. You can make the filling ahead of time and store it in the fridge. Invite some friends for a folding party a day or two later to help you with the rest of the work.
- Fold and freeze the samosas. If storing for later use, put the samosas on a sheet tray in a single layer and freeze for 30 minutes until frozen solid. Then transfer them to a tightly sealed plastic bag or box and place in the freezer for 1-2 months. Simply put the samosas in their frozen state directly into the air fryer with a light spraying of oil when you are ready for a snack.
- Partially fry and then bake later. Lots of frozen samosas are partially fried, cooled, and then frozen. This allows you to use the fryer once and then rely on the oven/air fryer for crispy and evenly brown samosas later!
- Make a large batch in the oven and keep on the warm setting for a party. Make the samosas 1-2 hours before your party using the convection oven on 400F. Once the samosas are crisp, change the setting to warm (200F) and leave the samosas there until they are ready to be served.
Other recipes you'll love
If butternut squash and paneer in your samosas is not your jam, you can easily try one of these other samosa recipes that is on the blog as well. I have a classic potato and pea samosa that is fried as well as an oven baked samosa pot pie which is a great centerpiece at any holiday gathering.Print
Frequently Asked Questions
You can freeze the folded samosas for 1-2 months ahead of time. For more tips for making this recipe in advance, read the tips outlined here.
Simply omit the paneer in this recipe. Most spring roll wrappers are vegan so this also shouldn't be an issue.
I highly recommend the TYJ brand spring roll wrappers as they yield a crispy samosas. Lumpia wrappers also work great!
No, add the samosas directly from the freezer to the air fryer or convection oven.
These are savory samosas that have a bit of spice but have some natural sweetness from the sweet potatoes.