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All it takes is some simple extra ingredients to make kale chips completely irresistible
These green vegetable leaves are certainly nutritious, but often lacking in overall flavor and appeal.
Kale chips have become a trendy health food that even potato chip-loving carnivores have tried — but they don’t always satisfy. These green vegetable leaves, closely related to wild cabbage, are thin, light, and crisp, but often lacking in overall flavor and appeal. So, how can you make a batch of kale chips as tempting as a bowl of potato chips that you want to devour in one sitting? All it takes is some simple extra ingredients to make kale chips completely irresistible.
Start with one bunch of kale. Choose Tuscan kale, also known as dino kale, which has blue-green, flat leaves. You can also use curly kale, but it might have a more bitter taste. Wash the kale, lay it out flat, and pat dry. Use a sharp knife to remove the rib of each leaf and cut the kale into about 2-inch pieces. Place the kale pieces in a large bowl and drizzle in about 1 teaspoon of olive oil and a dash of red wine vinegar. Sprinkle with sea salt and gently toss to combine. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and lay the kale in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake the kale for about 8-10 minutes, checking frequently to make sure it doesn’t burn. Turn them occasionally to make sure that they are evenly crisp. Top the kale with about ½ cup of parmesan cheese and bake for an additional 3-5 minutes until the cheese is golden brown.
They won’t taste exactly like a potato chip, by something so purely snackable without any of the calories or fat is sure to become addicting.
Emily Jacobs is the Recipe editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @EmilyRecipes.
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.
Baked kale chips are healthy, delicious, gluten-free, Keto and Paleo diet friendly and ready in 20 minutes. The perfect crispy snack to replace chips!
One of the worst parts of eating healthy is saying good bye to some of your favorite foods. But luckily, there are ways you can still eat some of your favorite comfort foods like French Fries, Sweet Potato Fries and, maybe the most shocking of all, Mini Meatloaf Muffins. So the next time you have the urge to snack on potato chips, grab a handful of crunchy baked kale chips instead.
BAKED KALE CHIPS
Crispy kale chips are a perfect low carb, low fat replacement for tortilla and potato chips, and they go well with so many different dips and sauces that you won’t want to go back. They’re got a super short cooking time and all you have to do to store them is put them in a bag and keep them dry.
Kale Chips may not be perfect for dipping in salsa like traditional tortilla chips, make a great healthy snack or party food. If this is your first time baking kale chips, this is an easy recipe to follow, since the cook time is so short and there are only a couple of steps (one of which is eating the chips). They make the perfect appetizers for this year’s summer BBQ, and a large bowl of them is perfect for sharing on movie night.
HOW TO BAKE KALE CHIPS
To follow this kale chip recipe, you’ll need parchment paper, 1 bunch kale and a large baking sheet.
- Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper while you preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Take your bunch of kale and trim away the leaves from the stem with kitchen scissors or a knife.
- Tear the leaves into bite sized, shareable pieces.
- Wash and dry the kale.
- Lay the kale pieces in a single layer on a baking sheet.
- Spray the kale with vegetable oil and season them.
- Bake in the oven until they begin to crisp.
- Spices: the next time you are making kale chips, you can experiment with a bunch of different flavors. Sprinkle a little paprika, cumin, chili powder, Italian seasoning, red or black pepper, or garlic powder onto the kale chips before you put them in oven to infuse them with flavor.
- Cheese: everything is better with a sprinkle of cheese. After the kale chips have baked but while they’re still hot, sprinkle a handful of grated parmesan cheese on top and let it melt. You don’t want to make them overly cheesy, but a little will add a some flavor and texture.
What to serve with Kale Chips?
What are chips without dip? Here are some tasty recipes that you can put together in minutes.
- Easy Hummus: the name says it all. This is such an easy recipe that you can whip it together 5 minutes before your guests arrive and not even break a sweat.
- Baba Ganoush: if you made hummus last time and want to try something new, Baba Ganoush is hummus’ tasty counterpart that is great with all sorts of dishes.
- Pico de Gallo Salad: while this is technically a salad, you can chop the vegetables finer to make a delicious fresh salsa to dip your chips in.
If you’re still wondering what to have as your main course, here are some fun ideas to try out.
- Middle Eastern Chicken Kebabs: a tasty Middle Eastern favorite that goes great with all sorts of fresh recipes.
- Lemon Greek Chicken Skewers:similar to the kebabs, chicken skewers are great party foods and come with their own fun serving accessories.
- Mexican Shrimp Burrito Bowl: try the burrito without the wrapper and you’ll be pleasantly surprised. These bowls are great for parties or when you are fresh out of tortillas.
If you ate way too many kale chips last night and want to try them a different way, here are some fun ideas.
- Healthy nachos: layer the kale chips onto a baking sheet and sprinkle them with cheese of your choice. Add black beans, Pico de Gallo, chopped jalapeños and olives and bake until the cheese melts.
- Salad topping: once the chips start to get stale, chop them up and put them on a salad to replace croutons. The crunch is perfect and the flavor goes with just about any salad dressing.
WHY EAT KALE CHIPS?
Kale is one of the must nutrient-rich foods in the world, and is high in vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, C and K. It’s also high in manganese, calcium, potassium, copper, iron and phosphorus. In other words, eating kale regularly will make you feel amazing and will help your body stay healthier longer. Now, you just have to learn to like kale smoothies…
You should store your chips in a dry place in an airtight container. You should wait for them to cool down to room temperature before you bag them up, but if you end up with some moisture in the bottom of the bag, don’t panic. Pour half a cup of rice into the bag and shake it so that the grains settle at the bottom. The rice will absorb the moisture and prevent more from building up.
If your chips are still a little soggy, you can lay them on a baking pan and put them in the oven for a few minutes to get their crispness back. After about 5 days, though, the chips will either be stale or too soggy to save and you should chuck them and make a new batch.
Are you looking for a healthy snack that’s tasty AND a superfood? Well, you came to the right place. These kale chips are savory and delicious, plus they are incredibly easy to customize to just about any flavor.
Kale promotes a regular digestive tract and is packed with healthy nutrients like vitamins B & C, along with many other health benefits! It’s been a popular choice for adding to green smoothies, and soups like this Zuppa Toscana recipe.
If you have every seen Kale Chips in the store, you will notice that they are always SO expensive! On top of that, you usually don’t get a large amount of them in the packaging. Making them at home is so easy that you will never want to buy them in the store again.
How to Make Kale Chips
In these photos that you see, I used just regular olive oil, Maldon sea salt, and fresh ground pepper, plus to make them extra special, I sprinkled and shredded Italian four-cheese blend. After being coated, they are roasted in the oven for about 20 minutes or more, and what you get are these crisp, flavorful snacks. It’s that easy!
You can swap kale chips instead of potato chips for a more healthy snack. Did you know that per cup, kale has more calcium than milk? Not to mention that this is a great way to get your daily servings of vegetables.
Ingredients you’ll need
- 1 bunch of kale, stems removed, ripped or cut into smaller, bite-size pieces
- 1-2 tablespoons regular olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or amount to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper or pepper medley, or amount to taste
- optional: 1/4 cup grated Italian four-cheese blend for topping – the mixture I use had Asiago, Fontina, Parmesan and Provolone
Helpful Kitchen Tools
- 2 rimmed baking sheets
- 2 silicone baking mats (or you can bake in shifts if you need more than one baking sheet), parchment paper or aluminum foil to line the baking sheet for chopping kale
If you try and like these chips, please give a rating and let us know in the comments below, thank you for reading and following along!
For more healthy snack ideas check out our easy homemade fruit roll-ups, fruit and nut granola, or follow the link so we can show you how to make hummus at home using another superfood, chickpeas!
Best Kale Chip Toppings
- nutritional yeast (aka hippie dust)
- chili powder
- cayenne pepper
- garlic powder
- onion powder
- taco seasoning
- old bay seasoning
When choosing toppings, use the ones you already love but don't be afraid to experiment.
I'm pretty partial nutritional yeast. It's like a feather-light, grated, vegan cheese, loaded with vitamin B, and adds a nutty flavor to everything.
How to Make Kale Chips
Not all chips have to be bad for you. Case in point: Kale chips, the healthy (and uber delicious) munchy alternative No matter how you flavor them, they'll satisfy your snack tooth without filling you out.
How to make them: Preheat oven to 300°F. On a lined baking sheet, space out 1 cup packed, dry kale leaves (stems discarded). Drizzle with oil, sprinkle with seasonings, and massage into leaves. On the top or middle rack, bake for 20 minutes, until crisp, rotating the pan and switching racks (top to middle or vice versa) halfway through baking time. Makes 1 or 2 servings.
1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp (packed) lemon zest
scant 1/8 tsp sea salt
Per batch: 80 cal, 5 g fat (0.5 g sat), 7 g carbs, 230 mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 2 g protein
1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 tsp smoked paprika
scant 1/8 tsp sea salt
pinch chipotle pepper
Per batch: 80 cal, 5 g fat (0.5 g sat), 7 g carbs, 240 mg sodium, 1 g fiber, 2 g protein
1 tsp roasted sesame oil
1 tsp roasted sesame seeds
scant 1/8 tsp sea salt
Per batch: 90 cal, 6 g fat (1 g sat), 7 g carbs, 230 mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 3 g protein
4. Cheesy Black Pepper
1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup (loosely packed) shredded white cheddar cheese
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Per batch: 190 cal, 14 g fat (6 g sat), 8 g carbs, 220 mg sodium, 1 g fiber, 9 g protein
Making Kale Chips at Home
Kale chips are crispy, light and quite addictive. Here’s how to make them:
First, step — remove thick, woody stalks and any thick ribs from the kale. You could save these for stock or something else later, but really don’t want to include them when making the chips. Then tear the kale into smaller pieces — they shrink a little when baked.
Next, rinse the kale really well then dry it. It is really important the kale is as dry as possible, here. If it is still wet when baking, it will steam — which means floppy kale, not crispy. If you have one, use a salad spinner to remove all the water. Or, use a clean kitchen towel/paper towels to pat dry.
Before baking, toss the kale with a little oil and a sprinkle of salt — we like to use olive oil, but use what you love. If you’re planning to add additional seasonings to the chips, we usually do that after baking.
Slide the kale onto a large baking sheet (or two small baking sheets). It’s important the kale is in one layer, otherwise it might steam instead of becoming crispy. Bake kale chips in a 350 degree F oven for 10-12 minutes. When baked, the kale will be crisp and crunchy.
We love the simplicity of olive oil, salt and pepper, but there are lots of other options, though. Here’s a few that sound fun:
- Chili Lime — While the kale bakes, zest one lime and measure out 1/4 teaspoon of chili pepper. Then, sprinkle over baked chips. (My favorite)
- Old Bay Seasoning — Replace salt with Old Bay before baking.
- Curry Powder — Try sprinkling over kale before or after baking.
- Spicy Cayenne Pepper — Add along with the salt before baking
- Sesame Seeds — Add along with the salt before baking.
- Brown Sugar — Add along with the salt before baking.
- Cheesy Popcorn Seasoning — Add after baking.
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: How to make pasta tossed with homemade kale and almond pesto. Jump to the Kale and Almond Pesto Pasta Recipe.
Recipe updated, originally posted January 2012. Since posting this in 2012, we have tweaked the recipe to be more clear. – Adam and Joanne
Kale Chips (a surprisingly easy and delicious veggie!)
Prior to this year I don’t ever recall eating kale before. I even discussed it with a few of my friends, and they also weren’t sure if they had eaten it before either (have you?). I don’t know what it is about the name “kale”, but the sound of it just isn’t appealing for some reason. However, things have changed and since I am trying my best to buy and eat local foods, I decided to go out on a limb and try it!
I first discovered that kale can be substituted for (and even added to) spinach in some recipes like creamed spinach. I of course couldn’t get my daughters to even think about wanting to eat that. But (drum roll, please) when I received this super easy recipe below, courtesy of my husband’s step-mom, not only did my children like it, but they loved it and kept asking for more! I will add that when my daughter first saw this greenish looking dish, just like any 2-yr-old would, she said “I don’t like that” without even trying it. She did follow the rule of trying at least one bite though, and with surprise in her voice she said “I like the kale” and then kept eating it. And I have to agree that I was also surprised how good something with the name “kale” could turn out to be!
Isn’t too much kale bad for us?
As you likely noticed in the media, health debates can be heated. And then we hear silly rumours that too much kale and green smoothies are bad for us.
Here’s the thing: Kale is not what’s building disease in our bodies. The leader in that department is sugar! You can eat all the organic vegetables you want, all the quinoa, pastured meat, home-fermented kimchi and such, but as long as you’re hooked on sweetness, optimal health is likely impossible.
If we can begin to enjoy more savoury meals and snacks, then our taste and desire for sweet treats will naturally diminish. We’ll feel satisfied simply with the naturally occurring sweetness that comes in a whole apple, an orange or a handful of fresh blueberries.
Are you ready for the kale chip adventure that is about to unfold? Put these 8 kale chip recipes on your ‘to-make’ list.
Best Food Dehydrator for Kale Chips
I&rsquove only used the Nesco Dehydrator. I choose it because it&rsquos the cheapest one I could find. I didn&rsquot want to spend much money on a dehydrator since I have a lot of kitchen appliances and wasn&rsquot sure if it was something that I would use.
Turns out I do use this dehydrator a fair amount. I like to dry herbs and make Dill Cucumber Chips so I may upgrade in the future. I&rsquom looking to upgrade to this Corsi model. I like how it&rsquos a rectangle (easier for storage) and the trays are stainless steel and dishwasher safe. It&rsquos also got great reviews.
Begin with a large bunch of curly kale. Remove the leaves from the thick stems and tear them into large pieces. If washing the leaves (I don’t bother unless they look gritty), be sure they are completely dry before proceeding with the recipe moisture will cause the leaves to steam in the oven and they won’t get crispy.
Add a few tablespoons of olive oil.
Then use your hands to rub the oil evenly onto the leaves.
Arrange the leaves in a single layer on two baking sheets.
Then bake in a low oven until crispy but not browned, about 25 minutes. As you can see, the leaves shrink quite a bit.
While they’re still hot, sprinkle them with salt, freshly grated Parmesan and a squeeze of lemon juice.
Eat for your health and enjoy!