How to Make Kale Chips

It took me awhile to “get” kale chips. And by awhile, I mean years.

My lack of love for the crispy little snack had to do with two things: 1) Misguided expectations and 2) I wasn’t making them correctly.

How to Make Kale Chips | Kitchen Treaty

But now, that’s all changed. In my quest to get my crispy-food-loving toddler to eat more vegetables, I set out to master kale chips. Even better, my wonderful CSA farmer has been supplying bunches of fresh-picked kale in droves. So my oven has been a kale-chip-makin’ machine, and I’ve learned to absolutely love kale chips in the process. Even better, so does my kid! Victory all around.

First, let’s set some expectations.

What kale chips are not:

  • Crunchy. They are really too thin to have any crunch.
  • Just like potato chips, but, you know, not fattening. The fact is, they are nothing like potato chips – they don’t taste like them, and they don’t have the same texture. But they are addicting.

What kale chips are:

  • Thin, crispy, and light as air. Seriously – they will blow away in a light breeze. I know this to be true by experience.
  • A bit of an acquired taste. They still have a bit of a “green” flavor to them, though mostly they taste salty (especially if you overdo it like I tend to do).
  • Easy. From garden to salty snacking in 15 minutes, if you desire.
  • Really, really addicting. Have I mentioned they’re addicting?

Still with me? Let’s get started!

How to make kale chips

Pick your kale

I generally use two types of kale for my kale chips. Lacinato kale (also known as Tuscan kale or dino kale) is blue-green, fairly flat, and looks almost leathery – kind of like what you’d expect to see if you were to pet a Brontosaurus (and how cool would that be?).

Curly kale is pretty self-explanatory, with tight, ruffled leaves and a slightly more bitter flavor (though I think they taste the same once they’re chippified – that being an official term).

How to Make Kale Chips | Kitchen Treaty

Lacinato (or dino) kale and curly kale

Wash and dry, dry, dry

Give the kale leaves a good rinse and lay them in a single layer on dish towels or paper towels. Roll them up and gently pat them until they’re as dry as you can get them.

Cut ‘em up

Using a paring knife or, my favorite, kitchen scissors, cut the ribs out of the kale leaves and discard them (the ribs are very bitter). Then trim each leave into approximately 2-inch sections (some will be smaller – no worries!).

How to Make Kale Chips | Kitchen Treaty

How to Make Kale Chips | Kitchen Treaty

How to Make Kale Chips | Kitchen Treaty

Toss with olive oil

Place the kale into a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil – I use about a tablespoon per medium bunch. And toss gently, but thoroughly. You don’t want to bruise the kale, but you want to make sure every single bit of every leaf gets coated. Curly kale, with all its ridges and valleys, might take a little extra effort.

How to Make Kale Chips | Kitchen Treaty

Lay in a single layer on a baking sheet

Line a baking sheet/cookie sheet with parchment paper or a SILPAT mat and lay kale in a single layer on the mat. Sprinkle with a bit of coarse salt (I use kosher salt) as desired.

How to Make Kale Chips | Kitchen Treaty

Bake until crisp

Place the kale in a 300 degree Fahrenheit oven and cook for 8 – 12 minutes, depending on your variety of kale. I find that Lacinato kale gets crisp in about 8 minutes, while curly kale takes more like 11 minutes. But no matter your variety, check it early! As soon as the kale is rigid and crisp, remove it from the oven. It’ll burn quickly.

How to Make Kale Chips | Kitchen Treaty

Eat!

Let cool for about 30 seconds or so, then you can start snacking! But be warned – once you start, it’s kind of tough to stop. But, hey – there are worse foods to be addicted to, no?

How to Make Kale Chips | Kitchen Treaty

Here are instructions in recipe form (with a print button). And below that, I’ve provided a handy-dandy Pinterest graphic if you’re into the pinning thing.

Print Recipe

How to Make Kale Chips

Salty, crispy, addicting, and from garden to oven in 15 minutes ... making your own kale chips couldn't be easier.

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium bunch kale
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, more or less to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Wash kale leaves and dry very well.
  3. Using a paring knife or kitchen scissors, trim out the ribs and discard. Cut the remaining kale into approximately two-inch pieces.
  4. Place kale in a large bowl and toss gently but thoroughly, making sure that every last bit of kale leave is coated with olive oil.
  5. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Lay kale in a single layer on the baking sheet and sprinkle with salt. (If you have more kale than baking sheet, you may need to cook them in batches).
  6. Bake for 8 - 12 minutes, just until crisp. Start checking at 8 minutes - don't overcook or they'll burn! I find that Lacinato kale cooks faster than curly kale.
  7. Remove from oven and let cool for a minute or two, then serve.

Now go get (healthy) snacking!

 

How to Make Kale Chips: Wash and dry, dry, dry. Trim out the ribs and cut the kale into two-inch pieces. Toss well with olive oil. Lay in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet and sprinkle with salt. Bake at 300 degrees for 8 - 12 minutes just until crisp. | Kitchen Treaty

 

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106 Responses to “How to Make Kale Chips”

  1. Janella posted on March 27, 2014 at 6:47 pm

    Awesome! No other words needed. But I’ll say some anyway….I want to begin eating healthier. I saw a friend post a pic of her homemade kale chips and thought I’d give it a try. Saw your recipe, tried it and LOVE them. You were so right about them being addictive! I’m so excited about my new found healthy snack & I will definitely be trying other flavors. Thanks!

    • Karen Troughton replied on April 3rd, 2014 on 9:27 am

      I am so glad you like them! Isn’t it nice to happen across a snack that *seems* like it should be bad for you but is actually *great* for you?! Like winning the lottery. Well, almost. ;)

  2. Joanne posted on March 29, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    I tried this easy recipe but I feel horrible for I didn’t love it and all the world is raving about it… :( They are crisp and they are healthy and i am all about health in my cooking and eating. I just don’t like the taste and the after taste at all, not addicting as everybody says… I feel bad because i know i should love them for their benefits… it’s just making me want to gag… what is wrong with my kale!!! and the most important what is wrong with me?

    • Karen Troughton replied on April 3rd, 2014 on 9:26 am

      Don’t feel horrible! My husband, who gamely tries anything, can’t do kale chips. He’s tried a few times, but now he just puts his hand up and scrunches up his nose. They’re not for everyone – and that’s okay! :)

      • Sarah replied on April 12th, 2014 on 11:44 am

        Try the teriyaki sauce/marinade maybe they will like the kale chips then.

  3. Jom posted on March 29, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    Great recipe! And you were right, can’t stop munching!

    • Karen Troughton replied on April 3rd, 2014 on 9:23 am

      So glad you liked them! Totally addicting, right?!

  4. Jen posted on March 30, 2014 at 3:37 pm

    These are fantastic! I just made a batch with cajun seasoning and it tastes incredible. As an eye doctor I’m always telling patient’s the importance of eating leafy greens like kale and I think this recipe is a great way to get people to start eating more kale!

    • Karen Troughton replied on April 3rd, 2014 on 9:26 am

      Cajun kale chips need to get into my life immediately! LOVE that idea. Thanks, Jen!

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  6. Tazmin posted on April 1, 2014 at 6:04 pm

    Perfect instructions. I made my first batch a few minutes ago and I’m in love! I used coconut oil instead of olive oil. They’re great. I want to make some with some whole fruit powders and see if I can get my niece and nephew to eat some. :-)

    • Karen Troughton replied on April 3rd, 2014 on 9:03 am

      Thanks so much, Tazmin! I love the idea of using coconut oil – and whole fruit powders?! Genius!

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  8. Comfy posted on April 5, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    What about adding onion powder would be ok

    • Karen Troughton replied on April 7th, 2014 on 2:49 pm

      I think that would be delicious, actually! Try whatever you think; make ‘em your own! :)

  9. Sarah posted on April 12, 2014 at 11:41 am

    For lunch we just made ours for the first time with Teriyaki marinade to mask the bitter flavor of the red kale. Tonight are going to try the lower temp you make yours (he did 5 min. at 400 degrees) -

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  12. Mrsbabe1 posted on May 13, 2014 at 3:55 pm

    I sprinkle mine w/ pepper flakes because here in New Mexico, we like a kick!  I have made them w/ sesame oil & sprinkled them w/ sesame seeds.

  13. Kim posted on May 18, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    I have never had kale chips of any kind but heard that this superfood made a fabulous chip. I found your recipe and decided to give it a try. My husband was quite skeptical but I just pulled the first batch out of the oven and he’s hooked!  They’re light and crispy – almost melting in your mouth…delicious! Thank you for giving my family a healthy alternative to the unhealthy store bought potato chips. 

  14. sandy posted on May 20, 2014 at 1:13 am

    Your “many attempts” wound up sparing me the same…thank you…they are simply delicious. I am already thinking of all the variations.

  15. Lisa posted on June 2, 2014 at 9:51 am

    Hubby just tried our first batch. Of course, he always does things his own way. These were a bit salty, a bit greasy, and he placed them too close together to be consistently crisp but still I found myself reaching for another. Not bad at all! Thanks for a great recipe. He sprinkled the second batch with Tony Chachere Cajun seasoning. Will try Swiss Chard next.  

  16. Adrian de Jong posted on July 25, 2014 at 10:28 pm

    Thank you for your instructions and care in the detail. I only made one change, I did not directly add oil to the kale in the bowl.

    Using a small side dish I put three table spoons of olive oil in it, I dipped the tip of my finger so as to get about a drop on the end, than rubbed finger and thumb to get some of the oil from the finger onto the thumb, I had more than a table spoon left after making 12 trays of chips. Using a convection oven, the time for baking was 20 minutes total. The spices in recipe created a fantastic flavor.

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