Recipe: Kale Chips

Like so many people, I love snack foods.  But I’m particular about what I snack on.  Doritos and Cheez Doodles just don’t do it for me.  And, besides a bite of chocolate here and there, I’m not really into sweets either.  

My favorite snacks are ones that are simple and don’t have a lot of seasoning.  Lightly salted popcorn, a bag of Cape Cod Potato Chips, or a soft pretzel.  I can’t get enough of them.
Now, I know these foods aren’t healthy and that they should be consumed in moderation… so I’m always on the look out for a more nutritious alternative.  Edamame is fantastic to snack on and is a lot of fun to eat.  But sometimes you just want something with a crunch… and edamame just doesn’t provide that.  
Which leads me to my new favorite “healthy” snack food: kale chips.  
Kale, a vegetable that is in the same family as cabbage, is full of nutrients, including vitamins A, C, K, and calcium.  It is also rich in antioxidants and is a great source of fiber (WOO HOO!).
I’ve been dying to make kale chips after I saw them at Whole Foods a few years ago.   The recipe seemed pretty straight forward: wash and dry kale, rip into pieces and toss with a little olive oil and salt, lay them out on a pan and bake.
What’s great about these chips is that they are fairly adaptable.  Want them spicy?  Add a dash of powdered red chili pepper.  Want them sweet? A little cinnamon and sugar would be nice.
For this particular recipe, I added a sprinkle of smoked paprika (one of my favorite spices).  I’m thrilled with how they turned out.  My only suggestion is to make them in huge batches because the kale shrinks significantly.
So, the next time you’re looking for something to snack on that won’t leave you feeling guilty when you eat the whole bowl (as I did), give these a try.
Kale Chips
1 bunch of curly kale
1 tbsp olive oil
salt, to taste
smoked paprika, to taste (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Wash kale and pat dry with a paper towel.  Remove the stems and ribs of the kale.  Rip  into 2 inch (or larger if you prefer) chunks and place into a bowl.  Drizzle olive oil on top of the kale and mix, making sure each piece is coated.  Sprinkle with salt and smoked paprika.
Spread the mixture across baking sheets that have been covered with either parchment paper or aluminum foil.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until each piece has dried up.  Let cool before transferring to a bowl.
  • August 16, 2010 - 10:07 am

    Jackie - I've seen a couple of people talk about kale chips recently, but this just looks so ridiculously easy and wonderful. And like you said, adaptable.

    Awesome. I know what I'm going to be doing now!

    Jax xReplyCancel

  • August 16, 2010 - 12:33 pm

    Joanne - I've somehow weaned myself off most snacking (until I find myself hungry at midnight eating chocolate chips…) but I could totally get back into it with a snack as healthy and tasty as these! I've heard mixed reviews of kale chips but I have a feeling they'd be something I'd love.ReplyCancel

  • August 16, 2010 - 12:40 pm

    bunkycooks - These look great and almost too healthy. I still might have to vote for a really good soft pretzel every now and then! 😉ReplyCancel

  • August 16, 2010 - 1:08 pm

    Ken - It's my favorite snack to make. Can never get enough of it.ReplyCancel

  • August 16, 2010 - 1:20 pm

    Fun and Fearless in Beantown - This looks so lovely! I think I'd sprinkle mine with just a bit of garlic powder and cayenne for flavor.ReplyCancel

  • August 16, 2010 - 1:29 pm

    Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic - I've been wanting to bake kale chips for a while now and just haven't gotten around to it yet. Now that the weather is a little colder, I wouldn't mind heating up my apt with my oven, so I'm going to plan to try these soon!ReplyCancel

  • August 16, 2010 - 2:28 pm

    Andrew Frishman - Mmmm! – I LOVES me some kale chips.

    Si usted es de tal palo tal astilla, y usted es un chip de col rizada. . . entonces, ¿qué es el bloque?ReplyCancel

  • August 16, 2010 - 3:21 pm

    May Ling Wu - Made something like this from a Weight Watchers book a while back. Just saw them at Gourmet Garage for 9 per small bag! Thanks for the post!ReplyCancel

  • August 16, 2010 - 3:25 pm

    Asha @ FSK - Interesting idea.. Not sure if I would snack on these as is but I can definitely see how these can a fabulour healthy crunch to a dish + they look so good!!! Love the photosReplyCancel

  • August 16, 2010 - 5:23 pm

    ~Lisa~ - I LOVE kale chips and so does my son. They taste like korean roasted seaweed (= Try the same thing with dinosaur kale is milder in flavor.ReplyCancel

  • August 16, 2010 - 6:36 pm

    emily @ the happy home - do they really get crunchy? my worst fear is to pop one in my mouth and have it be a bit soggy. eek!ReplyCancel

  • August 16, 2010 - 6:37 pm

    Pam at Sticks Forks Fingers - I'm getting up from my desk this very minute, walking to the oven to turn it on, then will step out the back door 25 paces to the kale "hedge" we have growing to harvest enough for a couple of panfuls. Kale chips will be a nice addition to our lunch sandwiches today! Thanks for the inspiration. Looking for my flip-flops right now!!!ReplyCancel

  • August 16, 2010 - 6:38 pm

    A Thought For Food - Emily: They do get crunchy… but if they aren't crispy enough for you, put them back in for another minute or two (make sure to keep your eye on them so they don't burn).ReplyCancel

  • August 16, 2010 - 7:33 pm

    Monet - I need to make some of these…I've been hearing about them for quite some time, but I've never gotten around to it (a shame, I know). But if my trusted and admired friend puts them on his blog than I have no choice but to make them! Thanks Brian! Much love!ReplyCancel

  • August 16, 2010 - 10:25 pm

    jenn from much to my delight - I too have been reading about kale chips for ever and need to make them finally! I like the idea of smoked paprika since I just bought some and would like to find more reasons to use it!ReplyCancel

  • August 16, 2010 - 10:50 pm

    Pam at Sticks Forks Fingers - Final report: Delicious! I left my ginormous kale leaves whole, as I'm all about the dramatic presentation lately, and sprinkled smoked paprika, granulated garlic and finely ground sea salt atop. They are so tasty and pretty and funky and cool that I've lined them up in a long basket for tonight's appetizer for a family gathering.

    Thanks again for getting me off my duff.ReplyCancel

  • August 16, 2010 - 11:08 pm

    A Thought For Food - Pam: I'm so glad you tried it and reported back! The granulated garlic is a nice touch too.ReplyCancel

  • August 17, 2010 - 12:56 am

    Cookin' Canuck - I keep reading about kale chips, but have yet to make them. I have a feeling it would be very difficult to stop eating them.ReplyCancel

  • August 17, 2010 - 1:08 am

    Lauren Zabaneh - Firstly, these are beautiful and secondly, it's such a cool idea. I never know what to do with kale or really any dark green. It's funny because tonight I made some rainbow chard. Never made it in my life, but I saw Jaime Oliver do it so I was inspired. It turned out great. This seems like a natural progression. Besides, crunchy things are so much more fun to eat. Thanks again for your sweet comment:)ReplyCancel

  • August 17, 2010 - 1:15 am

    SMITH BITES - oooooo – smoked paprika is one of my favorite spices! would not have thought to make that leap; and I've seen several recipes but have yet to try – guess I'd better get going, huh?ReplyCancel

  • August 17, 2010 - 1:58 am

    Victoria K. - Talk about a healthy snack :) Very unique idea, I love it! I would have never thought of doing this!ReplyCancel

  • August 17, 2010 - 3:07 am

    Pavithra - Wow I love kale and this is really wonderful idea.. quick and healthy snack yummy!!!ReplyCancel

  • August 17, 2010 - 7:05 am

    penny aka jeroxie - I am sold! Have to find some kale now.ReplyCancel

  • August 17, 2010 - 11:26 am

    Angie's Recipes - Ha! Have you tried the same with celery leaves? They are so crunchy and wonderful to serve with chicken bites!
    I am going to try with the kale next time!

  • August 17, 2010 - 12:30 pm

    mmarois - Oh man, I tried to comment yesterday but alas, it did not work. What I was going to say was, YUM! I had kale chips at a party last year and as soon as I had one, I planted myself right next to the bowl for the rest of the night. I may have eaten more than half of these tasty little treats.

    I need to get my hands on some kale so I can make some for myself (and not feel like a mooch at someone else's party!)…


  • August 17, 2010 - 1:49 pm

    CC Recipe - I just made these the 1st time about a month ago and couldn't believe how good they were…yours look fab!ReplyCancel

  • August 17, 2010 - 1:56 pm

    RJ Flamingo - I really do have to try this – like you, I've seen them all over & have been curious. This is the year!ReplyCancel

  • August 17, 2010 - 2:10 pm

    David - It seems like we share the exact same taste in snacks. Which probably means that I would love these!

    I agree with all the other comments – Kale chips is The snack for 2010, now let us all go home and make it!ReplyCancel

  • August 17, 2010 - 6:09 pm

    Sippity Sup - This is a new concept in my life. I find myself resisting their charms however, could you pass one of those soft pretzels while I think about it? GREGReplyCancel

  • August 17, 2010 - 7:49 pm

    Juliana - Wow, kale chips…would love to try this one, since love crispy stuff…ReplyCancel

  • August 17, 2010 - 9:34 pm

    My Man's Belly - I keep seeing these and haven't made them yet. I have no reason or excuse…I just haven't, but I want to.

    Well, now that I'm seeing kale at the farmer's market again I think these might make the menu this weekend.

    But no way are these going to replace my beloved Cheetoh's.ReplyCancel

  • August 17, 2010 - 9:44 pm

    Lisa Levine - I just made these and they came out great! I added garlic powder and sea salt. And I blogged about it. :) Thank you for the inspiration!

  • August 18, 2010 - 12:56 am

    Lynn - I love kale chips! It never occured to me to make them myself.ReplyCancel

  • August 18, 2010 - 7:43 am

    Sanjeeta kk - First time to this lovely space. Great recipes. Love the crispy snack made with the greens. Good to be here. Best wishes.ReplyCancel

  • August 18, 2010 - 11:22 am

    Squeaky Gourmet - fantastic recipe!!ReplyCancel

  • August 18, 2010 - 3:21 pm

    Lauren at KeepItSweet - I have been addicted to kale chips this summer! I highly recommend sprinkling a little parmesan or pecorino cheese over them before baking.ReplyCancel

  • August 18, 2010 - 4:39 pm

    tryityoumightlikeit - I've got to try these soon. I might make a batch to take on a trip this weekend. I hope they travel well.ReplyCancel

  • August 18, 2010 - 5:01 pm

    Pure Mama - Ooh! Fun idea… I love kale but would have never thought of doing this. Great job, I will definitely give it a try :)ReplyCancel

  • August 19, 2010 - 3:10 am

    lauren e. - Love these! Have made these at home before. Careful not to over salt them with sea salt. I like them with a little garlic powder as well.ReplyCancel

  • August 19, 2010 - 2:05 pm

    Elle - I've been dying to try making kale chips! And I know how simple they are, but I just keep procrastinating. Have to try!ReplyCancel

  • August 21, 2010 - 3:23 am

    Jean - I've been intrigued by kale chips for some time now but have never gotten around to trying them. They seem like such the perfect snack. Another endorsement here gets them closer to being tried in my home. Thanks!ReplyCancel

  • August 24, 2010 - 4:26 pm

    mysimplefood - Looks easy, I need to get some kale!! Thanks for ther recipe!!ReplyCancel

  • August 25, 2010 - 2:40 am

    sheila @ Elements - Thanks so much for posting the recipe! I just tried it and they turned out great!!! Your pictures are fantastic, by the way! :) Cheers! sheilaReplyCancel

  • September 1, 2010 - 6:57 pm

    Dawn - I have seen these a bunch of times and always want to make them but I wonder….are they really that crunchy? I absolutely love kale.ReplyCancel

  • September 22, 2010 - 12:14 am

    Anonymous - I tried these tonight and was so hopeful that my finicky daughter would eat them. She prefers junk to health in her food choices. But she has had kale before and does seem to like it in small bits fresh from the garden. I made it with cider vinegar and oil and salt and the kale we used had a bitter after taste. So she gagged on them and spit them out. :( I'll try one more time with a milder version but for now the left over kale is going to the guinea pigs who can't get enough of it.ReplyCancel

  • October 1, 2010 - 6:52 am

    Ela - i have not tried kale before. i wonder if its available here in the philippines.
    your chips looks yummy!ReplyCancel

  • October 11, 2010 - 2:14 pm

    Nancie McDermott - Never ever once in my life have I kicked off a grocery list with "kale". But never say never, today's the day, thanks to you. Love it, love the variations, love the pix, especially the down-into-the-ricebowl one.ReplyCancel

  • November 8, 2010 - 10:20 pm

    Dawn - I made these with Parmesan and black pepper. I think next time I would go with straight salt, or maybe tamarind.ReplyCancel

  • March 31, 2011 - 1:50 pm

    Michelle O. Fried - I am a public health nutritionist, living, working and cooking in Ecuador. I love the idea of these chips. Since kale is unknown here, I´m going to try them with Swiss chard (“acelga”).
    I trust it will be a fun experiment to make chard crisps!ReplyCancel

  • April 14, 2011 - 10:38 am

    playinginthekitchen - Isn’t it wonderful to have a salty, crunchy treat that’s insanely good AND good for you? I love the idea of smoked paprika–can’t wait to try that. We add our personal obsession: Aleppo pepper.ReplyCancel

  • June 2, 2011 - 1:37 am

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  • July 20, 2011 - 2:29 am

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  • January 11, 2012 - 10:09 am

    {Recipe: Kale Salad with Yogurt-Mint Dressing} » A Thought For Food - […] things I’ve done with it: I’ve added it to my favorite edamame dip, I’ve baked it to make chips, and I’ve even tossed it into smoothies to give it some added […]ReplyCancel

  • January 12, 2012 - 3:45 am

    adidas wiings - I’m happy I found this blog. Thank you for sharing with us.ReplyCancel

  • January 19, 2012 - 6:36 pm

    Local Flavor: Kale Chips « - […] via A Thought for Food […]ReplyCancel

  • March 13, 2012 - 5:54 am

    skin whitening - I’m still learning from you, but I’m trying to achieve my goals. I certainly liked reading everything that is posted on your website.Keep the information coming. I enjoyed it!ReplyCancel

  • July 13, 2012 - 4:50 pm

    sp - I tried another recipe for kale chips and it was okay, but not all were crunchy. I am excited to try this one and get the results that I am looking for regarding the chips. This looks good!ReplyCancel

  • January 14, 2013 - 8:19 am

    12 Easy Ways to Cook Kale - […] SnackNeed something between meals? Try these baked kale chips. It’s hard to eat just one. Baked Kale Chips7. How About a Nice Kale Soup?Nothing like a hot bowl of soup on a cold day. Tuscan Bean Kale Soup8. […]ReplyCancel

  • April 11, 2013 - 8:47 am

    Roma ReDesigns - So easy couldn’t resist making them and midnight then staying up till 2 finishing them off by my self watching a rerun of glee. :) I used parsley/garlic seasoning on them which enhanced the kale taste I love.ReplyCancel

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