These kale chips are lightly tossed with oil and salt and baked until crisp. They’re so simple to make that you’ll banish the thought of ever buying store-bought kale chips again. Here’s how to make them.
You can bling up these kale chips with additional seasonings. Paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, lemon zest, almost anything that tastes good on potato chips will taste swell on kale chips. Add them when you sprinkle the kale with salt. If you really want to convert non-kale-eaters, sprinkle the kale with finely grated Parmesan cheese (use your Microplane) before baking.–Timothy Ferriss
☞ Table of Contents
LC It Isn’t Just A Cookbook Note
Tim Ferriss fans can attest to the fact that the man seems to get more outta life than many of us. And yet we all have just 24 hours in a day. To that end, the book from which this recipe comes isn’t just a cookbook. It’s a manual on life. Witness just a glimpse of what we’re talking about.
- 1 bunch kale (regular or lacinato)
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Sea salt to taste
- Tear the kale into bite-size pieces, leaving them on the largeish side as they'll shrink during roasting. Remove the thick fibrous stems from the leaves and discard or save them for juicing or smoothie-ing.
- Rinse the kale pieces under cool running water and pat them completely dry. Let them rest at room temperature on a baking sheet or a kitchen towel for at least an hour or perhaps a few hours, as the kale needs to be absolutely, completely, undeniably dry or it won’t crisp properly during roasting.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat.
- Spread the kale on the baking sheets or dump it in a large bowl. Dribble a very small amount of oil over the kale, partly covering the opening of the oil bottle with your thumb to control the rate of release. Toss the leaves with your hands, rubbing the oil into each and every leaf to ensure the kale is completely coated with oil.
- Spread the kale in a single layer on the baking sheets. You need to make certain that no leaves overlap, as this will lead to soggy, gross edges, crying children, and whimpering puppies.
- Sprinkle the kale with salt.
- Bake until the edges are lightly browned but not so browned as burnt toast. Take a nibble at about 15 minutes, and if it seems like it’s good, you’re done. Otherwise, if it still needs more crisping, check again in a few minutes. Bake for no more than 20 minutes total. Transfer the kale to a sheet of parchment paper to cool to room temperature.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
Let me tell you, I’m the world’s biggest kale chip fan. I love them. I cannot make them because I’ll eat the entire batch in one sitting—which is exactly what happened when I made this recipe.
It’s a great recipe—the tip about letting the kale hang out for an hour is brilliant—but do watch out for a few things. Tear the kale into larger-than-bite-size pieces because they shrink and shrivel in the oven. Use less oil than you think you’ll need, because a little goes a long way when you’re massaging the kale. Maybe my bunch of kale was on the larger size, but I filled 3 baking sheets. It really is imperative that the kale pieces don’t touch one another. One last thing—this is where you can pull out your arsenal of flavored salts and oils. I had the best time mixing and matching flavors. The spicier and garlickier, the better.
Well, the hype is well-earned. Turns out kale chips are such a tasty, addictive snack, I can’t get enough of them.
I experimented with both regular and lacinato kale, and both are delicious. I slightly prefer the lacinato because it creates a long, sturdy chip that holds toppings very well. The recipe’s author isn’t joking about making sure the leaves are completely dry and not overlapping. I accidentally fudged this step a little on my first batch, and the results were oily and weepy rather than featherlight and crisp. On my best batches, I spread my leaves out on separate baking sheets and they were crisp and ready after 8 minutes of baking.
For toppings, I had success with the Parmesan cheese, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, and a cumin and curry powder mix that was delicious! The only sad part about this recipe is that the chips are so light, you can eat an entire bunch of kale and feel like you just inhaled large quantities of tasty, tasty air.
I’ve been making kale chips for years now, and love using all types of thick green leaves, including kale, cabbage, mustard greens, and so on. This recipe is very similar to how I’ve always made the chips, and came out nice, crunchy, and perfect in terms of saltiness. A great snack for kids to enjoy between meals. They’ll disappear quite fast.
Of all the ways I’ve attempted to make kale chips, this was by far the most successful. So simple, and yet in the past I’ve burned or rubberized many, many bunches of kale. My family was skeptical of yet another attempt, but there weren’t any leftovers by the end of the night.
This is a must-try. Be advised that a quick taste of the chips to see if they’re ready to come out of the oven may lead to one more taste, and then one more….
I used a nice organic bunch of kale for this recipe. After rinsing the pieces, I set them on a sheet pan with paper towels underneath and blotted them with paper towels to remove as much of the moisture as possible. Perhaps I was too concerned about getting them dry, but they took about 2 hours at room temperature, including blotting a couple more times to get them completely dry. I seasoned them with sea salt, smoked Spanish paprika, and a little lemon zest. This gave them a nice flavor, which combined well with the nuttiness that the kale develops during roasting. They didn’t last even a day sitting on my kitchen counter. You think you’re going to pick up just a piece as you walk by, but you can’t stop yourself from going back again and again. This is the kind of health food I like!
I must admit, I was a little skeptical when I read this recipe. I thought it was a new fad invented on the West Coast. I was pleasantly surprised at how delicious they were, not to mention addictive. As I pulled these out of the oven, my neighbor stopped by for a visit. She couldn’t stop eating them, either. After tearing the kale into pieces, I dried the leaves on a baking sheet lined with paper towels for a good 2 hours, patting them dry intermittently. I put the oil in a large bowl, added the leaves, and tossed the leaves in oil with my hands, making sure they were coated. Baked them for a scant 20 minutes and sprinkled sea salt on them. I can think of a lot of uses for this chip. Apart from being a staple in my home for nibbling, that is.
Love this. This is the best method and yields fantastic results. Besides being delicious, these chips are beautiful—shiny and bright. Better yet, they taste wonderful and are light and crisp. Follow the directions and make sure they’re completely dry. I washed the kale, put it in my salad spinner, then spread it on a clean kitchen towel for a few hours. I put it in a bowl to drizzle with the oil and worked it with my hands to make sure each piece was completely coated. I spread it on 3 cookie sheets, so that there was no overlapping whatsoever. Go super easy on the salt. I just used a pinch but it still seemed like a little too much. Perhaps it is because the kale chips are so thin and tender, the salt seemed to overpower them. Cooking time was right on.
A dish that is divine, simple, and healthy too! And best yet, devoured by my entire family before I could even snap a picture! I followed the recipe as written and covered an entire jelly roll pan with the prepped kale. I was going to prepare the entire bunch of kale I purchased, but thought if the recipe wasn’t a hit, we’d have kale salad the following even. Was I ever wrong—I could’ve easily made 2 or even 3 jelly roll pans of this delightfully crunchy superfood. It can be served as an appetizer, a nice complement to many main dishes (seafood, poultry, beef, pork), even an awesome final finishing touch to grain or pasta dishes. Prepared in slightly smaller than bite-size pieces, these would be a terrific garnish for a plethora of dishes. Ready to make the next batch this evening! 🙂
These kale chips were a hit! They’re a delicious, easy, and fuss-free snack that’ll be devoured by adults and kids alike. As a parent, I love knowing that my kids are consuming a nutritious green vegetable without even realizing it! While the chips lend themselves to many seasoning variations, a dash of sea salt is really all they need. Just use caution when adding the salt, as the chips have a tendency to come out of the oven a bit salty.
Kale chips are a great excuse to serve healthy greens to my snack-loving family. Kale is loaded with rich nutrients and is cost-effective.
My salad spinner was the best answer to drying the leaves after washing. One bunch of kale loaded up 3 baking sheets. Fifteen minutes was the perfect amount of time in my oven. A spicy salsa made a great dip. Scattering a few garlic cloves on the baking sheet with the kale would also add a nice hint of flavor.
This is an interesting snack. The kale I used was a standard variety of curly kale from the supermarket. I made several batches of these with different seasonings on each.
The timing is crucial. The first batch burned, as I didn’t check them until the timer said 15 minutes. Subsequent batches I watched more carefully and were done at the 10-minute mark. I found that it’s important to use the biggest, thickest kale leaves to ensure good results. A more delicate, tender leaf won’t stand up to baking. These are very delicate but make a healthy alternative to potato chips. I used a spicy chili spice mixture on one, Parm and garlic powder on the second, and just salt on the last. All were delicious. My mom—who doesn’t like kale—really enjoyed the spicy ones. The kids liked them all and even crumbled some over their salad at dinnertime. I will keep trying different seasonings and different varieties of kale. It’s good way to introduce kale to someone.
I’ve been making kale chips whenever I can find kale. They’re delicious, healthy, and simple to make. This recipe is exactly the way I always make them, and no matter how much I make, it’s never enough.
It’s not necessary to use a lot of olive oil as a little goes a long way. And be sure to have the kale pieces thoroughly dry. Just set the chips out on the counter when they’re done (after about 12 minutes in my oven) and they’ll be gone in a flash.
I have one caveat though. Rather than just rinsing the kale, I soak it for a few minutes in heavily salted water and then rinse it thoroughly. I am always amazed at how many teeny little bugs there are in the kale.
Originally published January 18, 2021