Best Kale Chips and 10 Seasoning Ideas
Foolproof Crispy Kale Chips baked in the oven with olive oil and your favorite seasoning. These healthy vegetable chips are a great snack or side dish.
Move aside, potato chips! Kale Chips are wholesome, crunchy, and packed with flavor. If you’re looking for a crunchy snack that you can munch on for days without any guilt, this is the one.
Serve it on its own as a snack or pair it with your favorite sandwich! Plus they are naturally low in carbohydrates, vegan, paleo, and packed with Vitamin C and calcium.
If there was an award for snacking, I might just win. In fact, my entire family could medal in the snacking Olympics. Whether I’m whipping up my own homemade snacks or munching on some raw veggies from the fridge, you can pretty much guarantee that I’ve had some sort of snack on any given day.
From my Apple Chips, Baked Potato Chips, and Microwave Veggie Chips, I am no stranger to healthy and delicious snack recipes. Coming up with healthy snack ideas that don’t get boring is a hobby of mine and one that I think I’m pretty darn good at!
This brings me to my latest and greatest creation. You may have seen recipes for kale chips before, but not like this. I’m confident that these are the best kale chips out there, which is why I’ve aptly named them The Best Kale Chips.
When you love snacking as much as I do, it’s important to find the right kind of snacks. This means healthy snacks that keep you energized throughout the day, rather than processed snacks that are almost guaranteed to make you tired and groggy.
While chips and pretzels are perfectly fine in moderation, they aren’t the best snacks to indulge in on a daily basis. Enter: these crispy Kale Chips.
Made simply with fresh kale, olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder, this crunchy snack is a delicious treat you can enjoy as often as you like. They’re delightfully crunchy and packed with flavor; is there a better way to enjoy your greens?
In this guide to how to make the best kale chips, I’m explaining exactly what to do and have also included 10 of my favorite ways to season kale chips. Try them out for yourself or customize them with your own flavor combinations. The options are endless, so let’s dive right in!
To make these delicious kale chips, you will need just three basic ingredients:
- Kale: When they tell you to eat your greens, they’re talking about kale! This leafy green is considered to be one of the healthiest vegetables on the planet. It’s packed with nutrients and powerful antioxidants, not to mention it crunches up beautifully when roasted in the oven. You can use lacinato kale (also know as dinosaur kale) or curly kale for this recipe.
- Olive oil: A bit of extra virgin olive oil is essential in ensuring that the kale gets super crispy, but make sure not to add more than the recipe calls for. Nobody wants soggy kale! Coconut oil or avocado oil also work. Cooking spray works as well but I find olive oil works best.
- Spices: My basic go-to spice mix for kale chips consists of sea salt, pepper, and garlic powder. However, there are tons of ways to spice things up (see what I did there?) and I’m going to share some of my favorite ideas with you below.
How to Make the Best Kale Chips
Yes, it’s true. Kale chips are a delicious, healthy substitute for classic potato chips. But did you know that they’re also fairly quick and super easy to make? All you have to do is follow these simple steps:
- Preheat your oven to 300°F, then wash and dry your kale. Make sure there isn’t any moisture left because if they are even the slightest bit wet, they won’t crisp up. A salad spinner is a great tool for making sure the kale leaves are nice and dry.
- Remove the leaves from the stems. You can either tear the thick stems into bite-size pieces and bake them as well, or toss them.
- Drizzle olive oil over the kale and massage it into the leaves using your hands. Make sure all the leaves get a light coating of oil, as this goes a long way in getting them as crispy as possible. Just be careful not to go overboard on the oil.
- Season the kale, then spread it out across 2 baking sheets, making sure the pieces have some room to breathe.
- Bake for 10 minutes and then flip them over. Bake for another 7-15 minutes, or until they look crispy.
- Let the kale chips sit for 5 minutes so that they continue crisping on their own. I know you want to dive right in, but this part is super important in achieving that perfectly crispy bite. After 5 minutes, enjoy!
Because these chips are beyond versatile, it’s easy to customize them to fit your flavor preferences! Need a little inspiration? I’ve got you covered. Here are my top 10 favorite ways to season kale chips:
- Sweet and smoky. For an addictingly delicious combo, try sprinkling the finished Kale Chips with a bit of brown sugar and smoked paprika.
- Herby. For an earthier, herby flavor, use a generous sprinkle of Provence or Italian seasoning.
- Cheesy. For a subtle cheesy flavor that reminds you of your favorite cheese-flavored chips or crackers, sprinkle some garlic powder and nutritional yeast onto your kale chips. This is my favorite option to make kale chips for kids.
- Spicy. For a little kick and a ton of flavor, try tossing your kale chips with fresh lemon juice and red pepper flakes.
- Curry powder. Looking for a globally-inspired variation? You can’t go wrong with the ever-flavorful curry powder!
- Mexican-inspired. Want to pair these bad boys with your favorite tacos? Try tossing them with some chili powder and cumin or taco seasoning.
- Old Bay. A drizzle of fresh lemon juice and a dash of Old Bay seasoning will transport you back to the beach, making them the perfect complement to a modified basket of fish and chips.
- Everything Bagel seasoning. This ultra-popular seasoning has taken the foodie world by storm for a reason! Try using it to season your kale chips.
- Thai ginger flavor. For a spicy Asian-inspired flavor, drizzle the finished chips with some fresh lemon juice and honey. Then, add a little tamari, ground ginger, and a dash of cayenne pepper for that signature Thai kick.
- Sour cream and onion. You can never go wrong with this classic seasoning! You can find sour cream and onion seasoning blends at the grocery store or try your hand at making your own.
Any of these kale chip variations guarantee to please the palate, but feel free to make up your own! If you come up with a new seasoning idea that you fall in love with, let me know in the comments so I can try it out for myself.
What to eat with kale chips?
If you love a good dipping sauce, then don't be shy when it comes to adding one. Grabbing something with fat, protein, or fiber will also make this healthy snack more filling. Here are some favorites:
- Ranch (this one is made with Greek yogurt)
- Healthy Honey Mustard
- Edamame Hummus
- Creamy Chipotle Sauce
- Romesco Sauce
Recipe Tips and Tricks
Here are my top tips and tricks for making crispy kale chips every time:
- Keep the leaves large. The kale leaves will naturally shrink as they bake, so it’s important to start them off as large so you ensure a good bite.
- Don’t be shy with your toppings. Make sure to taste as you go so you don’t over-season, but also don’t be afraid to season your chips well! Add as much (or as little) additional flavor as you like.
- Always bake in a single layer. Using multiple baking sheets is always better than double layering your baked kale chips. In order to obtain maximum crispiness, these chips should be placed individually along a lined baking sheet with plenty of space to do their thing.
- Enjoy immediately. There’s no denying that the best kale chips are eaten hot out of the oven. Wait for them to cool for the necessary 5 minutes, then dig in!
How to Store Kale Chips
Storing homemade kale chips can get pretty tricky, as humidity and moisture can cause them to become soggy and limp. Because they are so easy to make, I always recommend sticking to the amount that you’re planning to eat.
However, if you want to store leftovers, make sure they have cooled off and seal in an airtight storage bag or container, being careful not to squish them. Then, you can store them a few different ways:
- At room temperature for up to 2-3 days in an airtight container.
- Vacuum-sealed. If you want to store your kale chips for longer than a week, you can do so by vacuum-sealing them. When stored like this, kale chips can last at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.
- Whatever you do, don’t refrigerate! Moisture and cold air will zap the crunch right out of your delicious chips, so it is important that you don’t try to refrigerate leftovers. Unfortunately, you would be eating softened kale at this point.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about making kale chips:
Are kale chips healthy?
Yes! Kale is a superfood that is packed with fiber and essential nutrients. It’s also super low in calories and carbs, making it a wonderful healthy alternative to potato chips. Now there are three types of kale chips - baked, dehydrated, and fried. Both homemade and store-bought baked and dehydrated kale chips tend to be the healthiest options. Just check to see what kind of oil and how much was used, depending on your dietary needs. Fried kale chips are less healthy but still offer more nutritional benefits when compared to a fried potato chip.
How to keep kale chips from getting soggy?
For extra crispy chips, try leaving them in the oven with heat off for a few minutes before removing them. If the problem is that your leftover chips are soggy, there’s an easy fix. Preheat your oven to 300°F, then line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread your leftover chips out in a thin layer and bake for 5-10 minutes. As they cool, the chips should begin to crisp back up.
Can I use a dehydrator to make kale chips?
Absolutely! A dehydrator is actually the quickest and easiest way to turn your fresh kale into a delicious batch of chips. To make kale chips in a food dehydrator, prep them as you normally would and line them along the dehydrator rack. Cook on the medium-high setting for a few minutes until they’ve crisped up to your liking.
Best Kale Chips and 10 Seasoning Ideas
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- 1 bunch curly kale (washed and dried well)
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1/8 tsp garlic powder
- Salt and pepper
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* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
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