How to Make Kale Chips
Updated Apr 28, 2023
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Kale chips are the perfect healthy snack and easily satisfy any salty or savory craving. They’re light, crispy, nutrient-dense and very easy to make. If you’ve never made them at home, give them a try!
When it comes to snacks and munchies some are definitely healthier than others. But the top of the list in terms of a nutrient-dense, healthy snack are these kale chips.
Kale chips are very thin, delicate, crispy chips. If you’ve ever had seaweed chips, they’re sort of the same in density, with the feeling that you’re chomping on salty air. There’s not much too them. But the good news is that they’re nutrient-dense and satisfy all your salty and savoring cravings with very little calories.
Kale is a member of the cabbage family and it’s a cruciferous vegetable, just like broccoli or cauliflower. It comes in several varieties including curly kale and lacinato kale (also known as Tuscan kale), which are the ones you’ll find most often at the market.
Kale is loaded with antioxidants as a leafy green and contains nearly 5 times as much vitamin C as spinach. It’s also one of the best sources of vitamin K1. Needless to say, it’s a nutrient and vitamin powerhouse. Now you see why it’s tops on my healthy snack list!
How to Make Kale Chips
Kale chips are really easy to make, but there are some important tips that I’ll share with you below. Here are the basic steps:
- Wash the kale and thoroughly dry it
- Remove the kale leaves from the stem.
- Tear the kale into larger bite-sized pieces.
- Massage the kale with the olive oil until well coated.
- Lay the kale flat on a baking sheet and bake at 300F for 8-15 minutes.
Tips for the Best Kale Chips
Don’t Burn Them
The key to kale chips is not burning them. Because burned kale chips (even slightly burned) taste, well, horrible. I prefer to cook them at a lower temperature, even if it takes a few minutes more.
So I cook them at 300 degrees fahrenheit rather than 350 degrees. In my current oven that takes about 8-10 minutes, but it may take a few minutes more in your oven (as it used to take 15 minutes in my previous oven). The key is just keeping an eye on them and rotating the pan halfway through.
The cooking times may also vary if you’re using lacinato kale rather than curly kale – though either works just fine. So I’d say check them at 8 minutes and maybe every minute or two thereafter until they’re done.
Don’t Make Them Soggy
Soggy or limp kale chips aren’t very fab either. So let’s talk about how to not make them soggy or limp, which all has to do with moisture.
First, after you wash the kale make sure that it’s 100% dry. You can use a salad spinner if your kale is already chopped, or you could blot the kale dry with a paper towel if it’s still full stems.
Second, use a minimal amount of oil. You really only need about 1-2 teaspoons (not tablespoons) of olive oil per bunch of kale chips. If you drench the kale in too much olive oil, it won’t crisp up.
Kale Chips Seasonings and Flavors
Kale chips can be made plain or tossed and topped with a variety of seasonings. For all dry seasonings, you can add any that you choose before cooking the kale chips. For liquid seasonings, I recommend a light spritzing after they’ve baked (keeping in mind that they’re quite fragile).
- Dry seasonings: sea salt, truffle salt, garlic powder, paprika, chili powder, parmesan, nutritional yeast (for a dairy-free cheesy flavor), onion powder and ground mustard.
- Liquid seasonings: vinegar, truffle oil and tamari (or coconut aminos).
For More Healthy Snacks
- Curly Sweet Potato Fries
- Baked Plantain Chips
- Apple Chips
- Zucchini Chips
- Baked Yuca Fries
- Flax Seed Crackers
- Baked Zucchini Fries
And if you’ve got leftover kale, you can easily whip up a Massaged Kale Salad. It’s delicious!
Crispy Kale Chips Recipe
- 4 kale, stalks
- 1-2 tsp olive oil
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees fahrenheit.
- Wash and thoroughly dry the kale. Remove the kale leaves from the stems and then tear into pieces. Place the torn kale into a mixing bowl.
- Add the olive oil and sea salt to the mixing bowl and gently massage the kale until all pieces are lightly coated in oil.
- Lay the kale in one single layer on a sheet pan and cook for 8 minutes, then rotate the pan. Cook for an additional 2-6 minutes, checking every minute or two to ensure it’s not burning.
- Remove the baking sheet from the oven, let cool for 3-5 minutes, then enjoy.
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Recipe originally posted November 2016, but updated to include new information.