Showing you my foolproof method for how to make the CRISPIEST baked kale chips, and four delicious ways to season them. Never bitter or chewy!
Warning: many kale plants were harmed in the making of this post. Countless batches, in fact, until I got the absolute most perfect baked kale chips. Because you deserve only the best!
My ideal baked kale chips are perfectly crispy and bright green throughout. No burnt edges (makes them bitter). The right amount of salt and oil (so they don’t end up bland or chewy).
And after a lot of batches, I finally got them just right!
Don’t forget to pin this post to save it for later!
These baked kale chips
- are vegan, gluten-free, low carb
- are perfectly crispy (never chewy) and never bitter thanks to baking them at a low temperature for longer
- have four flavors so you’ll never get bored!
How to make them
The details are what will make or break this recipe. Here is my foolproof method:
- get the kale dry– shred and wash the kale. Spin dry in a salad spinner, and then take it a step farther by spreading the kale leaves on a clean tea towel and blotting with a second tea towel. If you want crispy kale chips, moisture is the enemy.
- toss in olive oil and salt– you want just enough olive oil to lightly coat the leaves. You do not want fully coated, greasy kale leaves. See the video for a good visual!
- don’t overcrowd the pan– spread out the kale chips on a baking sheet, and make sure it’s in a single layer. Leaves touching is OK but not overlapping.
- bake low and slow– I tested three different temperatures: 250°F, 300°F and 350°F. 250°F was by far the best temperature: the kale chips ended up nice and crispy, whereas at higher temperatures, the edges of the leaves would char, giving them a bitter taste.
How can I tell if my kale chips are done?
Pick the biggest chip and give it a little poke in the middle. If the middle is flexible and bendy, it is not ready to come out. If it’s rigid and firm, your chips are ready to come out of the oven.
Can I make them in the air fryer?
No. It might depend on your air fryer model, but mine sucked the kale into the motor and burned them. Sad sad day indeed.
How long are they good for?
Kale chips are best stored in a container with the lid off. They keep nice and crispy this way for up to 1 week.
These chips are the perfect blank canvas for your favorite flavoring ideas. Here are some of my faves:
- cheezy– toss in olive oil & salt, spread out on baking sheet, and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast/ 4 cups kale
- sesame– swap olive oil for sesame; toss with oil & salt, spread out on baking sheet and sprinkle with sesame seeds
- ranch– toss in olive oil (no salt); spread out on baking sheet and sprinkle with 2 teaspoons homemade ranch seasoning per 4 cups kale
- fajita– toss in olive oil (no salt); spread on baking sheet and sprinkle with 2 teaspoons homemade fajita seasoning per 4 cups kale
Tips & equipment
Foolproof Crispy Baked Kale Chips
- 1 bunch kale (any variety will work, see *)
- 2 teaspoons olive oil (see **)
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Heat oven to 250°F and get to work preparing the kale.
- Remove kale leaves from stems and tear into bite-sized pieces (around 2-3 inches across).
- Wash kale thoroughly. Dry in a salad spinner. Spread kale out on a clean towel and blot with a second towel to remove all moisture.
- Toss kale leaves with olive oil until very lightly coated. You do not want it to be slick. See the accompanying video for a good visual.
- Toss kale in salt, then spread out on 1-2 baking sheets so that leaves are not overlapping.
- Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes (use convection if you have that setting). Different varieties or sizes of kale chips may require different cook times.
- Kale chips are ready to come out of the oven when the middles are rigid and firm.
- Store in an open container for up to 1 week.