6 Tips for Flawless Kale Chips + All-Dressed Kale Chips recipe

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on March 12, 2014

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I’ve suffered through one too many batches of burned or soggy kale chips over the years. It took me a while to master my baked kale chip recipe, but I’ve learned some valuable lessons along the way and I’d like to pass my tips along to you! From the good ‘ol Culinary School of Hard Knocks (aka: my kitchen) to you. Gotta love it.

The first time I made kale chips I remember thinking, “Should they taste burnt like this??” The easy answer is no. I’ve come to find a nice balance between crispiness and chewiness without any burnt edges. Yes, this is very serious business, this kale chip business. When baked properly, they really do make the perfect base for a satisfying chip alternative.

I know some people are eager to claim that kale is “over” due to its popularity in recent years, but seeing as it’s still rated number #1 (along with Mustard/Turnip/Collard Greens) on the Aggregate Nutrient Density Index (ANDI), I don’t think it’s going anywhere anytime soon. At least not in my diet. Kale for life!

With these few simple techniques you’ll be well on your way to kale chip bliss. Or maybe you already are, in which case, feel free to skip ahead to my All-Dressed Baked Kale Chip recipe below and get crunching!

Ok, here are my top 6 tips for baking the perfect kale chips. No dehydrator required.

1. Remove the stems and tear leaves into large pieces

I don’t know about you, but I’m not a fan of chewing through woody baked kale stems. I remove the stems very quickly by grabbing the base of the stem with one hand and pushing outwards along the stem to slide off the leaves. Works like a charm!

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2. Wash and thoroughly dry the leaves before beginning

If the leaves aren’t properly dried, the water can “steam” the kale chips while baking and lead to the dreaded soggy kale chip! Be sure they are nice and dry before you massage in the oil. A salad spinner works great; just be sure not to overload it so the leaves can properly dry.

3. Don’t skip the oil, but don’t drench it in oil either

A little bit of extra virgin olive oil (or coconut oil, if you prefer) goes a long way. I like to use ½ tablespoon of oil per baking sheet of kale chips. “Massage” the oil into the leaves to ensure all the nooks and crannies are coated. Oil also helps the spices stick to the leaves.

4. Spread kale into a single layer on the baking sheet

I used to dump all the kale into a very thick layer on the baking sheet and hope for the best, but doing this tends to lead to soggy, unevenly baked kale chips. I’ve learned to be a bit more patient and spread them out into a thinner layer on each baking sheet. Be sure to rotate the baking sheet half-way through baking. There’s no real need to flip the chips unless you have the patience for it.

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5. It’s all about the low-heat for even baking

As I wrote in my cookbook, I tested all kinds of kale chip recipes at different temperatures from very low to high heats. Surprise, surprise the batches that worked the best were the ones I baked at a very low temperature of 300F. Sure, it takes a bit longer to bake, but I can assure you it’s worth it because you don’t get any burnt pieces. Remember, the goal is to crisp the kale, not scorch it into smithereens! In my oven, I bake at 300F for 10 minutes, then I rotate the pan, and bake for another 15 minutes. So 25 minutes total for kale chip perfection in my oven. This will vary based on your oven, but it’s a good starting off point!

6. Cool for just a few minutes on the baking sheet

I’ve found that waiting just 3 minutes allows the kale chips to crisp up even more once they are out of the oven. Just like baked cookies or roasted chickpeas, kale chips really firm up even more when cooled. Those 3 minutes will feel like hours though. I won’t lie.

Bonus tips: Avoid adding liquids (such as vinegars or hot sauces) pre-baking as liquids can result in soggy chips. It’s best to add a light spritz of liquid seasoning after they’ve been baked, if at all. Also, if your oven has one, feel free to try out the dehydrator or convection setting.

Now, read on for my All-Dressed Kale Chip recipe! I promise this batch will not last long…minutes while standing in front of the oven if you are like me.

4.8 from 206 reviews
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All-Dressed Kale Chips

Vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free

By

Crispy and chewy kale chips baked in the oven and seasoned to perfection. Enjoy these as a healthy alternative to potato chips.

Yield
1-2 servings
Prep time
Cook time

Ingredients:

per baking sheet:
  • approx. 1/2 bunch kale leaves
  • 1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil or melted coconut oil
  • 1.5 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt or pink Himalayan sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 300F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Remove leaves from the stems of the kale and roughly tear it up into large pieces. Compost the stems (or freeze for smoothies). Wash and spin the leaves until thoroughly dry.
  3. Add kale leaves into a large bowl. Massage in the oil until all the nooks and crannies are coated in oil. Now sprinkle on the spices/seasonings and toss to combine.
  4. Spread out the kale onto the prepared baking sheet into a single layer, being sure not to overcrowd the kale.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes, rotate the pan, and bake for another 12-15 minutes more until the kale begins to firm up. The kale will look shrunken, but this is normal. I bake for 25 mins. total in my oven.
  6. Cool the kale on the sheet for 3 minutes before digging in! This really makes all the difference! Enjoy immediately as they lose their crispiness with time.
  7. Repeat this process for the other half of the bunch.

Nutrition Information

Tips:

Feel free to make these in a dehydrator if you have one. You can also experiment with the convection or dehydrator setting on your oven (if applicable).

I can’t end this post today without thanking you for your lovely comments in my recent post. I’m reading through all of them and greatly appreciate the support, advice, and love. Sketchie’s staple removal went fine (it took a few minutes and didn’t seem to even bother him) and he is healing well from surgery.

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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

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Huff Post June 23, 2018 at 12:50 am
Recipe Rating:

Love it! Thanks! Too bad I can’t post pic here…

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Blue Astral June 30, 2018 at 1:52 am
Recipe Rating:

I intend to try this tonight. yummmm “Kale Chips”. Thank you for taking the time to get it just right. love……

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Naomi July 8, 2018 at 1:46 am

You know what works better? Spray them with olive oil, sprinkle on flavour of choice (I just use salt and pepper, maybe some garlic powder) and put them in an air fryer for 10 minutes. Perfect every time with minimal effort.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) July 8, 2018 at 6:40 am

Thanks for the tip Naomi!

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Matt October 28, 2018 at 12:08 pm
Recipe Rating:

To be fair, many more people own / have access to ovens than they do air fryers.

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Julia July 19, 2018 at 11:29 am

Hi, can I skip nutritional yeast? Thanks!

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Mari August 4, 2018 at 1:14 pm

Another person asking….Can I skip the nutritional yeast? Please answer…what the purpose of the Nutritional yeast is? TYSM

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Angela (Oh She Glows) August 5, 2018 at 5:45 pm

hey Mari, Yes for sure you can skip it. The nutritional yeast adds a cheesy/savoury flavour to foods.

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huffing news post August 16, 2018 at 12:29 pm
Recipe Rating:

Love it! Thanks! Too bad I can’t post the pic here…

Reply

Nidhi September 2, 2018 at 10:40 am

Awesome results!! First time ever I could bake absolutely perfect kale chips! My family loved it very much. Thanks a lot!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) September 4, 2018 at 9:32 am

Hey Nidhi, I’m so glad you enjoyed the kale chips! They’re perfect to have on-hand for a healthy snack. Thank you!

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Karissa September 8, 2018 at 4:27 pm

Thanks for this! I used the Lazy Genius’ google search advice: when looking for a new recipe online add “best” to your search. I found you! I actually had nutritional yeast because I’m a Whole30er. 😜 My oven must be way off because I took the first batch out at 16 minutes and they were dark/partly burned. No biggie! My husband, 6 yo and I still liked them! And now we tweak or… buy a new oven. 😂

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Nena October 19, 2018 at 2:40 pm

I has the same result. Now only do the first 10 mins.

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Sanni September 26, 2018 at 12:52 pm
Recipe Rating:

Thank you for the advice. I haven’t made kale chips in a long time, because I’d tried it once and they didn’t turn out well. With your tips they turned out delicious! I didn’t have nutritional yeast at home, but they are great anyways.

Reply

Angela (Oh She Glows) September 26, 2018 at 2:39 pm

I’m so happy to hear that Sanni! Thanks for your review :)

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Lola October 13, 2018 at 4:30 am

For the first time ever, I made the perfect kale chips. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 13, 2018 at 6:54 am

So happy to hear that Lola!

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Tanya Reese October 14, 2018 at 2:24 pm

I made these on the convection setting. It took about half the time and they are perfectly crisp. Wonderful idea, thank you so much

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 15, 2018 at 7:38 am

Hey Tanya, I’m so glad you loved the kale chips! So many great ways to mix up the spices for them too.

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Wendy Adkins October 22, 2018 at 12:22 pm

How do i store these after cooling? Thankyou.

Reply

Angela (Oh She Glows) October 23, 2018 at 12:36 pm

Hey Wendy, to be honest, I don’t think they retain their crispiness no matter how I’ve stored them (glass or otherwise). You might have success reheating your kale chips in the oven the next day (I do this with roasted chickpeas all the time and it works great!). I hope that helps!

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Jill Borden Nissen October 22, 2018 at 1:05 pm
Recipe Rating:

Kale is on sale this week, so I decided to give Kale Chips another try. Having lost my previous recipe (which was no great loss considering it produced burnt, but otherwise flavorless, chips) I googled Kale Chips and chose the first page recipe with the highest rating. I was immediately excited when I saw the recipe called for Nutritional Yeast because I had just purchased my first jar and had no clue what to do with it. Prep time is a little off as it took some time to dry the kale thoroughly without a salad spinner. But the results are Oh. So. Worth. It. I am enjoying my bowl of crispy, flavorful, perfectly done but not overdone, kale chips as I write this review.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 23, 2018 at 1:09 pm

Whohoo! That’s my kind of sale ;) I’m so happy you loved the kale chips, Jill!

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Wheels October 25, 2018 at 4:39 pm

I’m going to try your recipe tonight, minus the hot spices. It sounds great, thanks for the tips. First time making it, I would have made soooooo many mistakes.

Reply

Judy October 28, 2018 at 4:14 pm

Thanks for sharing this! I have some leftover kale that needs to be used up and this will be perfect to go with the not-so-healthy leftover pizza.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 28, 2018 at 4:26 pm

Sounds like a great pairing to me! ;) Hope you enjoy them Judy

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Rob November 30, 2018 at 1:52 pm
Recipe Rating:

Every set of directions for kale chips has failed for me, and this on is no exception. I only had them in the oven for 18 minutes and they came out so crispy that they disintegrated when trying to put one into my mouth. I’ll try again at a lower temperature, maybe 250, or for only 14 to 15 minutes and see what happens.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) December 3, 2018 at 8:08 am

Hey Rob, Kale chips are actually supposed to do just that (get super crispy and disintegrate in your mouth) haha…I know it’s a weird thing, and can take some getting used to :)

Reply

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