The secret to great kale chips

January 30, 2013
Fresh out of the oven

Kale’s the latest power vegetable–so very nutritious. But, the truth is, it’s an acquired taste. Rather bitter. Which is why at our house we normally juice it with fruit to disguise the taste.

But, another tasty way to get your ration of kale is baked kale chips, which are both healthy and satisfying.

I’ve had great success with kale chips and also epic fails, and I’m positive I know the secret to great kale chips. Here’s a fail-safe way to end up with crisp, tasty kale chips:

Start with fresh kale. It’s a thing of beauty, really; I got a bunch of the most gorgeous, deep green and perfectly fresh kale in my organic box the other day. I’ve never seen one as beautiful.  Wash your kale, rip the green leaves off the fibrous stem and let it dry thoroughly. Spin, it, dry it with a towel, whatever. Let it sit if you have to.  It should be completely dry before it goes in the oven.

Kale, patted dry, then spread out on paper towel to further air dry.

Once it’s dry, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Otherwise, you’ll be waiting around with a hot oven.

Spray a baking sheet with olive oil spray. I usually line my baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray that.

Be sure the kale leaves are about twice bite-size or so and no fibrous stem remains. Space the kale out on the baking sheet: one layer only. Drizzle olive oil over them. Just a bit.

Spaced out on baking sheet sprayed with Pam

Bake for 10 minutes if all are bite size–but if you like them bigger, 20-22 minutes is my preference. Check halfway just to make sure, and along the way.  Try to make them similar sizes. If not: Remove smaller kale chips if they are done and put the baking sheet back in the oven until the rest finish. They may not totally crisp up until you remove them from the oven.

I sprinkle a little kosher salt over them once they’re out of the oven. Some people add parmesan before baking or after. Others use vinegar. There are all sorts of taste varieties, but we just like a little salt.

The kale chips should be crunchy and barely on the bitter side.  Salty and crunchy like potato chips,  light as a feather and healthy–a great, satisfying, go-to snack. Frankly, that little tinge of bitterness means you’re unlikely to binge on them. 😉

(Start your kids early snacking on this stuff and they’ll never want a potato chip. Well, at least until the fast-food family down the street gives them some, and then, all bets are off.)

So to sum up: common mistakes in making kale chips include not drying the chips completely; piling them atop one another, and not checking the oven along the way. Happy chip-making!


6 comments on “The secret to great kale chips
  1. OKAY! I’m going to try baking them. I absolutely hate kale in any other form so this might be the ticket I need to eat the healthy stuff. Thanks.

  2. When I made these before the mistake I made was overall salting. A little salt goes a long way with Kale.

  3. Ellen Dolgen says:

    I have to try this… It looks both healthy and delish!

  4. Ryder Ziebarth says:

    Or easier still, you can buy BRAD’S NAKED KALE-in a box-2 servings is 132 calories- (that’s a lot of Kale) and they come with a sprinkling of this lemony ground chick pea/rice miso mix, and sea salt. I put some on my soup last night and it was delish. ) 5g. protein,11 g.carbs , 9g. fat (but I think more fat is good for us and less carbs and sugar) 1 g.sugar; Plus way more than daily for vitamin A and C.

    Brad’s Kale also comes in Vampire ( with garlic) and Nacho-which I begged off on sampling. I was a nose-holder spinach eater at the diner table, so I think I am being pretty brave getting this far.

  5. Thanks for the tips. I put kale in miso soup, but I haven’t tried making kale chips yet. (Where have I been?)

  6. Amy Putkonen says:

    Great! Thanks! A great way to get more kale in your diet!

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