You’ve probably been bombarded with information about how good kale is for you. But you’ve also probably gotten a lot less advice on how to make it, you know… taste good. Kale isn’t up everyone’s sleeve, as raw kale leaves can have a somewhat bitter taste. Never fear: salt, pepper, oil and heat are here!
If you don’t like consuming a big, leafy bowl of kale greens, this recipe for crispy kale chips might be right up your alley. If it seems a little odd to put a bunch of kale leaves in the oven, just remember that it’s not much different from roasting broccoli or Brussels sprouts. All of those veggies are in the same family – brassica oleracea. This group of cruciferous vegetables is packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber, so their nutritional information is off the charts! And because these veggies are all so sturdy, that’s what makes kale hold up so well in the oven.
We’re going to put this out there right now—anyone who says kale chips taste “exactly” like potato chips is lying to you. But when done right, kale chips can be a super tasty, super healthy way to satisfy that craving for something crunchy and salty.
If you’ve ever had kale chips that were too chewy or too burnt or too absolutely, totally flavorless, don’t let that scare you away! Homemade kale chips can be hard to master, but we promise our recipe is easy and foolproof. We have five great tips on how to make the best kale chips ever. And even if this recipe doesn’t turn out perfectly, there’s always next time!
Tip 1: Wash and dry the kale.
It’s super important to wash kale before cooking with it. Actually, it’s super important to wash all of your produce before cooking with it, so you can get rid of any dirt and germs that may have traveled with it! We recommend washing by hand, then drying with a salad spinner and paper towels. Great tip: it’s easiest to wash and dry kale when it’s at room temperature, because that makes it more flexible. If you don’t have a salad spinner, we’d highly recommend investing in one! Salad spinners are fantastic for drying salad greens. Once you’ve spun most of the water off the kale, remove from the spinner and finish drying with paper towels. It’s important to use 100% dry kale for this recipe, so that you can coat it with oil and spices and get the best flavor possible!
Tip 2: Get rid of the stems.
No one wants to chew through woody kale stems. That would be like finding a baked potato in a bag of chips! Go ahead and tear the kale leaves off of the stems. This is also called stripping the kale. You can also use a pair of scissors to trim the kale from the stems, but we think it’s more satisfying to strip the kale with our hands. Once you have the leaves, tear them into chip-sized pieces. You’ll want to go a little bigger than bite-sized pieces, so that the kale chips cook well. However, whether you’re going with large pieces or smaller pieces, make sure the sizing is consistent.
When you’re done, gather the leaf pieces up, and toss the kale stems in the compost.
Tip 3: Time to season!
Kale is pretty flavorless when it’s cooked, so it’s crucial that you add some serious flavor to the scene. We listed our favorite seasoning mix down below. You can start with our recipe and then experiment with your own favorite flavors next time! Just be cautious about how much oil you’re using – if they’re drowning in oil, you won’t get the crispy kale chips you’re looking for, but if there isn’t enough oil to coat the kale, you might end up with some burnt spots. Thankfully, with the right amount of oil, this easy and great recipe is friendly to just about any spice you like. For example, kale chips and parmesan cheese are a really tasty combination!
Tip 4: Don’t crowd that pan.
Your kale needs lots of room to breathe in the oven—that’s what makes all the pieces crisp up. Find the largest baking sheet that you’ve got and spread the large pieces out into a single layer. A few spots touching are OK, but make sure you don’t crowd them! You can always use a second baking sheet, or cook in batches, if you really can’t stand doing dishes.
Tip 5: Low and slow is the way to go.
Normally when you’re roasting veggies, you want a nice and hot oven to get good caramelization—but that’s not true for kale chip-making. A lower temperature of around 300°F allows all parts of the kale chip to get nice and crisp without burning the edges. It takes a little bit longer to get the chips finished at a lower temperature, but trust us, the wait for these homemade kale chips is worth it. Of course, if you come home and you’re starving, you might want to whip up a kale salad instead!
Follow these five tips, and you’re well on your way to making an awesome, crispy, crunchy, healthy side dish or snack that pairs up perfectly with sandwiches and burgers! Enjoy.
Perfect Kale Chips Recipe
Next time you visit the grocery store, add some kale to your cart and pair this foolproof recipe with our five great tips.
Makes 4 servings (about 1 heaping cup of chips)
- Cooking spray
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (plus more, to taste)
- Pepper to taste (this is optional since you’ll get great flavor and heat from the spices above)
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast, optional (This adds a cheesy flavor, but you can also use powdered parmesan or top with parmesan cheese right when they come out of the oven!)
- 1 large bunch of kale, stems removed and leaves torn into chip-size pieces (about 8 packed cups worth) You can use any type of kale you find at the grocery store, such as lacinato, dinosaur, or curly kale.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or avocado oil
- Preheat your oven to 300°. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and set aside.
- In a small bowl, stir together the garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, paprika, salt, and nutritional yeast, if using. Set aside.
- Place the kale pieces in a large bowl and drizzle the olive oil over all. Use your hands to massage the oil into the leaves of the kale; you really want all pieces of the kale coated.
- Sprinkle the spice mixture over the oiled kale and toss to coat.
- Spread onto the prepared baking sheet into one layer (use a second sheet if you need to spread out). Bake in a preheated oven for 20-25 mins, or until the kale is crispy and slightly brown. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet before serving. Sprinkle on more salt before serving, if desired. Enjoy as a snack, side dish, or garnish!
- Kale chips usually don’t last long because they’re so delicious, but if you have leftovers, you can store them in an airtight container. We recommend enjoying them right away, or over the next few days, but they’ll keep in an airtight container for up to a week.
Nutritional information per serving: 69 calories, 3.6g fat, 8.3g carbs, 2.3g protein