Oven-baked kale chips were a hot trend some years ago; now they’ve become a classic, good-for-you snack. Do a search on kale chips recipe (without quotes) and you’ll get millions of results! So who needs another recipe? But there’s a lot of variation in how to make them; and besides, I wanted to share my favorite method plus some tips.
This is an easy recipe to make, but there are a few tips to the procedure to ensure that these come out crisp and even. A bit of trial and error taught me that, and you’ll likely find the same.
Find your ideal oven temperature: Online recipes for kale chips are all over the place as far as oven temperature. Some are as low as 250º F., while others go for the quick-bake, practically roasting temperature of 400º F. Most fall in the middle, between 300º F. and 350º F.
I experimented with this quite a bit and found the midrange to work best. Because ovens are often somewhat inaccurate, you might need to experiment to see what works best for you. I happen to like 325º F.
Here are the basic steps. For this recipe, you’ll use an entire bunch of kale, which can range from 8 to 12 ounces.
Curly green kale works best: As for what to use, curly green kale works best. There’s no harm in trying lacinato kale, which works fairly well, but curly kale has the best crispy-crunchy mouth feel.
Remove kale leaves from the stems and tear into bite-sized pieces—kind of like large potato chips.
Rinse the kale and let it dry. This is extremely important—let it dry completely. Damp kale will make for soggy chips that don’t bake evenly (I learned this the hard way). Use a salad spinner, or spread on kitchen towels and let the kale dry as long as need be.
Preheat the oven (once the kale is dry) to the desired temperature. As mentioned, 325º F. works best for me. Start there and next time you make kale chips adjust the oven temp upwards or downwards as needed.
Transfer kale to a bowl and drizzle in a little olive oil. Massage it gently and evenly into the leaves with your hands. You don’t want to massage too vigorously as you would to use kale for using raw in salads; just enough to spread the oil.
Add optional seasonings. If you’d like, you can add a tiny bit of red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar (maybe a teaspoon) and seasonings. Seasonings are entirely optional!
Some to consider using are: Chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, cajun seasoning, barbecue seasoning, jerk seasoning, all-purpose seasoning blend, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper. Whatever seasoning you use, sprinkle it in slowly so that it’s distributed evenly on the kale.
Don’t salt yet: Don’t use salt at this point, as doing so can make the chips soggy.
Spread on baking sheets. Spread the kale on one or two parchment-lined baking pans, in more or less a single layer. Don’t crowd.
Bake for 12 to 20 minutes, depending on your oven’s true temperature. Check them from time to time and flip carefully about halfway through. The chips should be evenly dry and crisp and just beginning to brown.
Remove from the oven and let cool until the chips can be handled. At this point you can sprinkle on a little salt (and freshly ground pepper if you’d like). A delicious flavoring is nutritional yeast which is so compatible with these chips (and makes them a great source of calcium as well as vitamin B-12, so valuable to vegans!).
Transfer to a serving bowl and enjoy!
Here are a few more creative kale chips recipes:
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