Kale Chips

Are kale chips so 2009?  I used to be in the kale chip vanguard, an evangelist for their crispy crunch and umami allure.  I sang their praises, shared the recipe (such as it is) with anyone who’d listen, made batch after batch.  But suddenly I keep hearing that kale chips have become as passé as the combination of sun-dried tomatoes and asparagus.  It is with great regret that I will have to give them up to keep abreast of current food trends….

Not really.  I don’t even really know what the current food trends are.  So, friends, two questions.  One, what are the current food trends?   And two, what do you put on your kale chips?

I have heard of all kinds of fabulous-sounding additions that could take your kale chip experience in many possible directions: sesame seeds, Parmesan, smoked paprika, cayenne, garlic powder, you get the idea.  But I usually just go with olive oil and salt.  I hesitate to call this a recipe because you can really do anything you want here as long as you dry out some kale in the oven until it’s crisp without burning it.  Any kind of kale.  I’ve made these chips with lacinato kale (pictured), green and purple curly kale, Red Russian–all great.  Wash and dry a bunch of kale and tear it into small or large pieces.  Rub with a little olive oil and salt and additional seasonings if desired.  Spread leaves in a single layer on two cookie sheets.  A relatively foolproof method is to bake the chips at 250 for 30-35 minutes, switching the top and bottom pans halfway through and watching closely near the end of the cooking time.  (Thanks, Bon Appetit in 2009!) Remove chips as they crisp and return the rest to the oven to finish cooking.

But IF you can’t wait half an hour for this magic, and IF you’re feeling daring and eagle-eyed, you can roast these chips at a much higher temperature (say, 450).  It goes without saying that they will cook, and burn, more quickly at a higher temperature.  On the other hand, they’ll be ready more quickly for you to gobble up like they’re going out of style.


18 thoughts on “Kale Chips

  1. luminousvegans

    Kale chips will never go out of style. I recently made some with nutritional yeast and its on my blog. I loooove Kale! I love it so much that I capitalized it. I don’t follow food trends either b/c I am not a foodie (in the sense that I don’t go searching for trendy foods).I tend to just eat what I want/like whether its old news or not.

  2. Shira

    I have been hearing about the chips for ages….they are delicious though I don’t make them – I prefer my kale steam or raw….but I should! They are delicious and kids love them too. You are so NOT behind Emmy – in fact, I think you are right on track :)

  3. Eileen

    You know, I never got into kale chips–every batch I made tried to stab me in the roof of the mouth repeatedly. I just like my kale wilted with garlic or chopped & stuffed into a mac & cheese bake. So I should probably try the dinosaur kale with no ruffly edges, huh? :)

  4. Time To Be Inspired

    I love kale chips. Thanks for the reminder – I’ll pick up some kale next time I’m at the grocery. It is easier to rub the leaves with oil before you tear them into pieces, and I’m all about finding the easy way! Terri

    1. emmycooks Post author

      Smart! Thanks for the tip! I usually just toss the leaves in a bowl and smoosh it all together, it would certainly be easy to do that and then tear them.

  5. Laura

    I’ve been meaning to try kale chips for over a year now (really) but I still haven’t gotten around to making them. Tonight, though, I did something vaguely similar — you know how there are always a few loose leaves when you roast Brussels sprouts? I pulled those out as they got crisp but not burned, and they tasted just like I imagine kale chips taste.

    1. emmycooks Post author

      Yep, those are close to kale chips, although kale chips have a less sturdy crunch (it’s more like they shatter). BUT I LOVE THOSE LOOSE BRUSSELS SPROUTS LEAVES. I saw a recipe recently where you were supposed to separate and individually deep-fry Brussels sprouts leaves. I would never do that (too much work, frying scares me) but I think that might be one of my favorite yet-untasted foods.

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  7. Northwest Herbivore

    I do mine with olive oil, tamari, cider vinegar and a bunch of nutritional yeast, and I dehydrate rather than bake them (my oven doesn’t believe in low temperatures, and I’m too distractable to try them at high ones!). The chips are super addictive.

    1. emmycooks Post author

      I grew up eating nutritional yeast but haven’t used it in my own kitchen. I keep hearing rave reviews, though–I think it’s time. Do you get the larger flakes or the powder?

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  9. biggsis

    I like putting Old Bay seasoning on my Kale chips. I am going to try your temp suggestion this time as at a higher temp it seems a little more hit or miss and some are done when others aren’t.
    Thanks for the post!

    1. emmycooks Post author

      Old Bay! I am going to try that, Old Bay is VERY popular with one of my favorite family members. :) And I do think baking them at the lower temp is much easier. They crisp up while staying green whether than browning, which I prefer.


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