How to make the best crispy kale chips recipe at home, for an easy, low calorie, and completely addictive healthy snack!
The best crispy kale chips
Looking for a healthy alternative to potato chips?
These crunchy oven baked kale chips are absolutely packed with nutrition, and there’s no need for portion control.
Feel free to eat the entire bowl in one sitting!
Kale chips are so popular for a very good reason. They have no business tasting as good as they do. One bite, and you will fall in love.
Readers also love these Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies
Homemade kale chip flavors
Sea Salt & Vinegar: Before adding the salt, massage three tablespoons of white or apple cider vinegar into the kale. Use flaky sea salt if available.
Garlic Kale Chips: Add two teaspoons of garlic powder to the recipe at the same time as when you add the salt.
Lemon Dill: Add three tablespoons of fresh lemon juice and one teaspoon of dried dill along with the other ingredients before massaging the kale.
Everything Bagel: When you add the salt, also include a tablespoon of Everything Bagel seasoning, such as the one from Trader Joe’s.
Cool Ranch: For healthy chips that taste surprisingly like Doritos, add one teaspoon each of onion powder, garlic powder, and dried dill to the original recipe.
Sesame Ginger: Follow the recipe below, adding one teaspoon of ground ginger or two teaspoons of fresh grated ginger. Also massage in two tablespoons of pure maple syrup or honey and two teaspoons of toasted sesame oil along with the olive oil (or unrefined sesame oil) and salt. Stir in a handful of sesame seeds before baking.
Spicy Kale Chips: Stir in half a teaspoon each of chili powder and ground cumin, and add a fourth teaspoon each of red pepper flakes and smoked paprika when you add the salt and oil to the classic recipe below.
Barbecue Chips: Massage in one to two tablespoons of jarred barbecue seasoning, or make your own spice blend at home. It is usually a mixture of brown sugar, paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, salt, and cayenne pepper.
Chili Lime: Massage in one teaspoon of ground chili powder and three tablespoons of fresh lime juice along with the salt and oil.
More fun flavor ideas: Other ingredients you can try include basil pesto, avocado oil, Indian curry powder, turmeric, Thai red curry paste, or even cinnamon sugar.
Cheesy kale chips
Nacho: Add a half cup of nutritional yeast and half a teaspoon each of ground chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika.
Parmesan Cheese: Massage in three tablespoons of Parmesan cheese or vegan Parmesan for a dairy free option.
Cheddar Flavor: Massage a half cup of nutritional yeast into the kale leaves.
Pizza Chips: Add a third cup of nutritional yeast or Parmesan and one teaspoon each of garlic powder, onion powder, and dried oregano.
Still craving healthy comfort food? Make Vegan Mac and Cheese
Sour cream and onion chips
Soak one cup of raw cashews overnight.
Drain and rinse, then pat dry. Blend with three tablespoons of water, one tablespoon each of apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, and dried onion flakes, and half a teaspoon each of salt and onion powder.
Toss this vegan cashew sour cream dressing with the kale leaves to evenly coat each leaf. (Do not add the additional salt and oil from the original recipe).
Bake twenty five minutes at preheated 300 degrees Fahrenheit, flip the chips, then cook for another ten minutes or until crispy.
Chocolate dessert kale chips
Oh yes, this is a thing. And they are fantastic!
To make superfood chocolate kale chips, follow the recipe in the box below.
Use coconut oil for the oil, do include the salt, and toss the kale leaves with three tablespoons of pure maple syrup and four tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder or raw cacao powder.
Serve the chocolate covered kale crisps for snack or a very healthy dessert.
Kale chip recipe video
Above, watch the step by step easy recipe video
Ingredients for baked kale chips
The recipe calls for raw kale, salt, and oil, or oil spray for a fat free option.
Once you master the original recipe, have fun experimenting with new kale chip flavor ideas, such as any of the flavors above.
For savory kale chips, I like olive oil or avocado oil. Coconut oil and vegetable oil are great options for savory or sweet chips.
And you may absolutely use oil spray to make crispy oil free chips.
Frequently asked questions
What type of kale?
Any and all colors and varieties of kale will work in this recipe, including purple kale, red kale, or green kale.
Just a few of the common offerings you may find in the salad section at the grocery store are Tuscan, baby, dinosaur, and lacinato kale.
All of these may be used, and there is no need to tear baby kale into pieces.
Ornamental kale can technically be used but is not as tasty. So I do not recommend it.
My opinion is that the best type of kale for kale chips is curly kale, because it traps the spices better than flat kale. Try out different types to find your own favorite.
If you prefer to buy a prewashed bag of kale for convenience, this is perfectly fine.
Can I substitute spinach?
You can! Because spinach has a higher water content than kale, the spinach chips will cook much faster. Therefore, they will need much less baking time.
Can I use a dehydrator or air fryer?
If you would prefer to bake kale chips in an air fryer or dehydrator, follow the recipe below up until the baking point.
Air fried kale chips: Preheat the machine to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook in batches so as not to crowd the food. Air fry for three minutes, shake the basket, then fry an additional two minutes or until desired crispiness is reached.
Dehydrator kale chips: Set the dehydrator to 125 degrees Fahrenheit. Dry for three hours or until the veggie chips reach your desired texture.
Are kale chips available to buy?
Brands such as Rhythm and Brad’s sell packaged kale chips at regular grocery stores, health food stores, Costco, Target, and Whole Foods.
Store bought bags of kale chips are tasty but can be expensive. So if you have a few minutes and an oven or air fryer, it is best to make your own at home.
How to make kale chips
Do not be intimidated by this recipe. The preparation takes under five minutes, and then you let the oven do the rest of the work.
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, and set these pans aside.
Wash the kale in a large pot of water, then pat it dry. The drier you get it, the crispier your chips will be in the end. Tear the kale into large pieces.
I recommend making the pieces larger than potato chip size, because they will shrink considerably as they bake.
The stems are more tough and chewy, so it is your choice whether to leave them attached or discard them. I usually opt to keep the kale stems intact.
In a very large mixing bowl, toss the uncooked kale with the oil. Or spray it liberally with oil spray. If you do not have a large enough bowl, just do half the batch at a time.
Sprinkle on the salt, as well as any spices, herbs, or seasonings of choice.
Use your hands to massage the kale for three to four minutes. This step is important, because it softens and evenly coats the leaves in flavor.
Spread the seasoned kale onto the baking pans in a single layer, making sure to not crowd the kale. You may need to do this in batches so the pans are not too crowded. Feel free to store leftover massaged kale in a covered container in the fridge, to cook at a later time or the next day.
Place the pans on the center rack of the oven, and bake for twenty five minutes. Flip the leaves, then continue to bake if necessary, until crispy but not burnt.
Note that the kale continues to crisp up as it cools, and the baking time may vary depending on different climates, ovens, and types of kale. So watch the recipe closely during the final few minutes to ensure it does not burn.
Tips for serving and storing leftovers
Be sure to let the nutritious chips cool completely before storing them in an airtight covered container.
Homemade kale chips will have the best crispy texture right out of the oven.
Leftovers should stay fresh for up to a week in the fridge, although they will not be as crunchy. Instead, the leaves take on a delightfully chewy texture that is great for throwing into a stir fry or salad.
You may also freeze kale chips for up to four months. Place them in a container with a layer of parchment paper in between layers of the vegetable chips.
Serve them as a healthy appetizer for game day, or as a vegetarian side dish with sautéed mushrooms or zucchini and a protein source.
If you would like a smaller batch, feel free to cut the recipe in half.
Health benefits of vegan kale chips
Unlike greasy, fried potato chips, the kale chips are baked in the oven, not fried.
And you may be surprised to learn these kale chips are surprisingly high in protein. Just one bunch of curly kale contains over nine grams of protein!
The kale chip recipe is also very low calorie, with under twenty five calories per serving or less than two hundred for the entire recipe.
Kale is a great source of vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, folate, and manganese. It is also high in thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin E, fiber, water, and minerals including iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium.
This healthy snack recipe can be gluten free, low carb, keto, vegan, and sugar free.
- 1 bunch curly kale
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp olive oil (or oil spray as needed)
- see above for 15 flavor options
- To make the kale chips recipe, preheat your oven to 300 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Wash the kale, then pat dry. Tear kale into large pieces. It will shrink as it cooks. Either leave the stems attached or discard them if you prefer. In a very large bowl, toss the kale with the oil, or spray well with oil spray. Sprinkle on spices of choice. Using your hands, massage the kale for at least three minutes, to evenly coat the leaves. Spread the kale leaves out on the baking sheets, making sure to leave space between each leaf. (For the remaining kale that will not fit on the pans, store in the fridge until ready to bake another batch of crispy kale chips.) Bake for 25 minutes. Flip the leaves, then continue to bake if needed, until crispy. They will crisp up more as they cool. I’ve found that varying climates, ovens, and batches of kale mean the time it takes to cook these chips can vary, so watch closely during the final few minutes to ensure they do not burn. You can store leftovers in the fridge for up to four days, but they will be crispiest the day they are made. Luckily, it’s easy to whip up a second batch!View Nutrition Facts
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