Kale Chips

There are just a couple details to get right for the perfect kale chips. This is how I make crispy pom-poms of kale everyone loves to snack on.

Kale Chips

This is my love letter to kale chips, a constant in my kitchen throughout the year. We bake them 3 or 4 times a week, even if we’re out in the trailer with a tiny oven. Even when it's too hot for a reasonable person to turn on the oven. This is because kale chips are simple to make, and also because they’re *SO* good. Everyone loves snacking on them - even raw kale haters. They’re also an easy way to add a fantastic nutritional boost to all sorts of soups, salads, pizzas, and stir-fries by throwing a handful on (or in) whatever you’re eating. I’ve tweaked my technique little by little over the years to get the best results, outlined below! First thing to know - there are some details to get right.

Crispy baked kale chips in a bowl

How To Make Great Kale Chips

To make the best kale chips, a specific type of kale (curly!) is massaged with a delicious slurry of olive oil, nutritional yeast, and a bit of salt. Don’t skimp on the nutritional yeast, you’ll want to load up to get the perfect crispy crust on your chips. Bake until crisp and enjoy. The recipe is fantastically straight-forward, but the details matter. Here are the key pointers.

  • The type of kale matters. Purchase curly kale, premier kale, or curly purple kale. These types of kale have much more volume than kale varietals with flat leaves (for example, lacinato kale). The increased volume will result in crisped pom-poms of kale - exactly the best kind of kale chips.
    bunch of curly kale on a marble kitchen counter
  • Use dry kale. Make sure your kale is as dry as possible before starting. This will promote crisping and minimize steaming as the chips bake. You only want olive oil, nutritional yeast and a bit of salt to coat the leaves (below), no water drops.
    ingredients for kale chips in a mixing bowl
  • Avoid over-baking. Kale chips go from crisp to brown and sad in a flash.They’re like pine nuts in that regard. The pro-tip here is: set a timer.

How Do You Keep Kale Chips Crispy?

Allow them to cool completely. Store in and airtight container or jar.

Variations

You can make variations on kale chips by adding dry seasonings and spice blends. I like to add most seasonings after they bake. This way your spices don’t burn. I use this approach for curry powder and za’atar - two favorites. You can also look on this page of spice blends for other homemade blends I like to make and keep on hand.

baked kale chips on a baking sheet after baking

What Can you Crumble Kale Chips Over?

I like to crush kale chips over a wide range of soups, pizzas, tacos, and the like. The joke around here is, if it’s savory, I’ll crumble kale chips on it. Here are a few links to ideas and inspiration.

More Recipes with Kale




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Kale Chips

5 from 1 vote

As I mention up above, the key to the best kale chips is using curly kale that is washed and then dried as much as possible. This way your kale chips crisp instead of steam. You might feel like this is too make kale to use, but it really collapses down while baking.

Ingredients
  • 8 ounces / 1/2 pound curly kale
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • scant 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F with a racks in the top and bottom third.
  2. Strip the kale from stalks and tear into bite-sized pieces. You should end up with about 5-6 ounces of kale. That said, this recipe is super casual, so if you have a bit more or less, it’s not a big deal.

  3. Combine the kale with the olive oil and salt in a medium bowl. Use your hand to toss and squeeze the kale until it is coated evenly with the olive oil. Add the nutritional yeast, and continue to mix and massage the kale until it the nutritional yeast is equally distributed across the kale and there are no dry spots left.

  4. Arrange across two baking sheets in a single layer, and bake for 15-20 minutes. Use a spatula to toss the kale chips a little more than halfway through baking, when you start to see some of the kale browning at the edges of the pan. Bake until the kale is crisp, and there are no soggy leaves.
Notes

Makes about 3 - 4 cups of kale chips.

Serves
6
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
20 mins
 
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