How to Make Crispy, Delicious Kale Chips

How to make crispy, delicious kale chips @

Luke and Sofia picking kale at our family farm in Ohio

When we first discovered kale chips, it was 2009 and we were living in New York City. We picked up a bunch of kale with our weekly farm share of potatoes, sage, eggplants, and beets. (As part of a Community-Supported Agriculture (or CSA) program, we paid for our share of the farm’s harvest at the beginning of the growing season, and picked up our weekly portion near our apartment in Manhattan.)

Kale is a “super food,” packed with fiber, calcium, vitamins A, C, E, and other nutrients. But the only way I knew how to cook this tough, bitter leaf was to boil it then squeeze out the water and sauté it with bacon, like my mom used to do. This recipe was good, but a little labor-intensive, so I was glad when our CSA coordinator passed out a recipe for kale chips.

How to make crunch, delicious kale chips

One of our first batches of kale chips when this post was first published in 2009

This was at the beginning of the kale popularity wave. Sofia and Virginia were seven and five years old, and they loved the kale chips so much that previously unheard sentences began coming out of their mouths like, “Mama, can you please buy some more kale?”

Ever since I originally published the kale chips recipe here, it’s been a favorite in our family. My mom grows it on our family farm in Ohio, and when we made a huge batch yesterday for lunch with our Mennonite friends, I decided to update this post with new photos.

Over the years I’ve had my share of kale chip flops (soggy or burnt leaves), so I’ve also added tips on cooking kale chips to crunchy perfection.

Baked Kale Chips

Kale chips recipe

We season our kale chips with salt and a touch of black pepper, but you might want to flavor them with spices such as cumin and cayenne pepper or fresh herbs like rosemary and thyme.

We have found that curly kale comes out crispier than Tuscan kale, although this recipe works with almost all assertive greens.

Makes about 6 servings

  • 1 bunch of kale (about 8-10 stalks)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ tablespoon vinegar (apple cider or other)
  • generous pinch of salt

1.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

2.  Debone the kale by removing the main stalk.

When making kale chips, make sure to debone the kale by cutting out the woody stem

Do this with two long knife strokes, or by grabbing the base of the stalk and stripping off the leaves with your hands. (The stem, which is tough and full of liquid, tends to make chips tough and wet.)

3.  Chop or tear the leaves into 2-inch pieces.

When making kale chips, remove the stalk and then cut into 2-inch pieces

4.  Wash the leaves in a large bowl or salad spinner.  Spin dry or pat dry with towels. (Thoroughly drying the leaves will make them crisp, instead of steam, in the oven. Drying will also help the oil and vinegar cling to the leaves.)

5.  In a large bowl combine the kale with the oil, vinegar, and salt and use your hands to massage the seasoning into the leaves.

When making kale chips, spread the seasoned leaves in a single layer on a baking sheet to prevent sogginess

6.  Spread the kale out onto two rimmed baking sheets (mine are about 11 x 17″). Aim for a single layer and minimize overlapping.

7.  Place on the center rack in a preheated oven. After about 10 minutes, check the kale. If the chips on the borders are brown and the ones in the center are green, you’ll need to flip and rearrange the leaves for even baking. Return to the oven and remove when chips are crunchy and slightly browned, about 5 minutes more, depending on your oven.

8.  Serve immediately, avoiding contact with moist or wet foods.  Kale chips can un-crisp very easily if not kept dry.

How to make crispy delicious kale chips @

We garnished our platter of kale chips with edible nasturtium flowers.

Kale chips are a delicious, healthy potato chip alternative. If only you could buy them by the bagful at the corner store!

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  • Jen February 15, 2016, 9:23 pm

    So yummy. I wish they kept longer but at least it’s almost guilt-free eating and great for sharing.

    • Amy February 16, 2016, 10:14 am

      Hi Jen,

      I agree — they have a very short “crisp” life, but as long as everyone loves them, they usually get gobbled up, right?


  • Alisa Brown August 16, 2015, 2:45 am

    I can’t wait to get some kale and try this!

    • Amy August 16, 2015, 7:19 am

      Great, Al! Let me know how it goes!


  • Deanne May 29, 2013, 11:59 pm

    Thank you so much for this recipe, I have some Tuscan Kale that is almost fully grown in my garden, I can’t wait to try this!

    As for hidden vegetables, I am currently eating a big bowful of cauliflower mac & cheese. I don’t have kids, but one of my best mates reckons this is the only way she can get hers to eat cauliflower, so I thought I’d better share this with you!

    Thanks for the blog!

    • Amy May 30, 2013, 8:24 am

      Hi Deanne,

      Thank you for sharing your cauliflower with mac & cheese recipe! It sounds like a real crowd-pleaser. We also make cauliflower with pasta — and my kids love it, actually!

      Thank you for writing in, Deanne,

  • michele schiavone December 14, 2010, 3:17 pm

    what kind of vinegar do you use for the kale chips? going to try this recipe soon!

    • Amy December 14, 2010, 3:48 pm

      Hi Michele,

      I’m glad you’re going to try it! The original recipe called for apple cider vinegar, but I use what ever I have on hand — usually wine vinegar. There’s so little called for, that I don’t think it really matters.

      Let me know how they come out!


  • Amy December 10, 2010, 9:51 pm

    I kind-of can’t believe it, but my kids still LOVE these. To the point where both girls have now requested they be served at their BIRTHDAY PARTIES. Amen.

  • Ghi December 10, 2009, 5:22 pm

    So I tried the recipe today for my sons play-date and the other kids and I LOVED them, but disappointingly my kids didn’t… =(

    As per types of veggies I put in Risotto ~ Mushrooms, Asparagus, Squash. =)

  • Amy Reads Good Books November 24, 2009, 9:37 am

    I love kale chips! When I first heard about them, I could only think. . .”eww!” But they really are amazing and delicious, and you’re right. . very frugal!
    .-= Amy Reads Good Books´s last blog ..Teaser Tuesday =-.

    • Amy November 24, 2009, 8:23 pm

      Amy, Kristine: I’m glad to hear you like kale chips as well as we do! We need to find a way to market these things.

      Ghi: I like your idea about pureed soups and risotto. We love risotto too, but I usually don’t venture beyond mushrooms. What other vegetables do you add?

  • KKD November 24, 2009, 8:00 am

    My six year old daughter, who is not the biggest fan of veggies, loved your recipe for Kale Chips. They are crispy, crunchy and quite tasty.

  • Ghi November 23, 2009, 2:28 pm

    I’m going to try this! As far as hiding veggies? I chop put a bit of spinach in meatballs when I make them, puree veggie soups (so they don’t know what’s in it!), and they will eat any vegetable that is in Risotto. ;-)