Think kale can only be a yucky “health food?” Think again! These perfectly crispy kale chips use a few simple steps to take your kale from ‘yuck’ to ‘yum!’ Below, you’ll find more information on what makes kale so nutritious, how to prepare it like a pro, and a recipe for your new favorite savory snack – oven-baked crispy kale chips!
Why I Love This Kale Chip Recipe
When prepared the right way, kale chips can provide all of the crunch and savory flavor you’d expect from a traditional snack food like potato chips. It helps that they just happen to be nutrient-dense! This makes it one of my favorite ways to make eating veggies more fun.
This is also a great way to use up leftover kale before it goes bad in your fridge!
Kale seems to have earned a reputation as a superfood nowadays, but why is that? Kale is rich in vitamins like K (helps with blood clotting), and C (helps with immunity and skin health). It also contains powerful antioxidants, a cancer-fighting compound called sulforaphane, as well as a bit of fiber and protein.
In fact, 1 cup of raw kale (the serving size in this recipe) will provide you with over 200% of the daily value for vitamin A, over 100% of the daily value for vitamin C, and almost 700% of the daily value for vitamin K! (1)
I’ll be honest. I used to hate kale until I learned how to prepare it properly. With a few tips, this nutritious veggie can go from ‘yuck’ to ‘YUM.’
Massage your kale!
Yep, you read that right. Kale is way tastier and less bitter after it’s been given a little love. (You don’t have to put together a massage table and play relaxing music, I promise.) After tearing kale into bite-sized pieces and washing it (and your hands) thoroughly, rough up the kale and give it some firm squeezes. To take it a step further, put your kale pieces in a freezer bag with a drizzle of oil and a generous shake of salt and pepper. Close the bag and make sure all of the air is squeezed out – we don’t want an explosion of oily kale confetti all over the kitchen. Massage the bag until the oil evenly coats the kale.
Remove the ribs
When tearing your kale, make sure to separate it from the tough center rib. If you’re using a bag of pre-washed/torn kale, sort through it and remove any little rib pieces.
Get ’em crispy
When making kale chips, the crispier the better (in my humble opinion). For perfect oven-baked crispy kale chips, make sure to dry the kale thoroughly before baking. It also helps to spread out your kale and leave space around the leaves so they crisp up instead of steaming. I also recommend giving the kale a good toss and flip halfway through to ensure even baking.
- Make it low-sodium – use a salt-free seasoning like Mrs. Dash
- Make it zesty – add a squirt of lemon juice before baking and a bit of lemon zest after baking
- Make it spicy – add a bit of cayenne pepper or your favorite spicy seasoning mix (Chris’ favorite is Cajun)
- Make it even more flavorful – add a seasoning packet (my favorite is ranch seasoning!)
Oven-Baked Crispy Kale Chips
- 4 cups curly kale (or 1 large head kale), torn into bite-sized pieces
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp lemon-pepper seasoning
- Preheat oven to 350F. Cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Wash and dry kale thoroughly. Spread on the prepared baking sheet.
- Drizzle with olive oil. Mix until the kale is lightly coated.
- Bake for 13 minutes (or until desired crispness), toss halfway through.
- Season with lemon pepper and serve!