These seasoned baked kale chips are the perfect snack when on a low-carb diet. They’ll satisfy your craving for salty chips and are packed with good nutrients, making them a healthy and tasty snack.
If you’re looking for a healthy and satisfying alternative to potato chips, which are one of the snacks we all love to nosh on but know we shouldn’t be eating, you will be glad you came upon this recipe. Kale chips actually helped me overcome my junk food cravings.
When only a crunchy, salty snack will do, you can reach for these instead of a bag of chips. I love how crispy they get and they actually stay that way so an hour later they’re just as crispy as when you first made them.
What You’ll Need
The only ingredients needed for this recipe is kale, olive oil, and seasonings. Super simple.
For the kale, you’ll want to try to get kale that is fresh and vibrant green. There are actually many different types of kale. The most common is deep green, but other kales (see the picture below for reference) are yellow-green, white, red, or purple, with either flat or ruffled leaves, according to Berkeley Wellness at University of California, Berkeley’s School of Public Health.
Curly kale is what you most often find in the store. It has firm, ruffled leaves and a thick stem. Any of the types of kale that look sturdy can be used for this recipe. Avoid using baby kale, as it’s too thin to stand up to the heat.
How to Make Baked Kale Chips
Crispy kale chips are super easy to make. Here are the steps to follow.
1. Preheat the Oven
Preheat oven to 325°F and line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat. Set aside.
2. Completely Dry the Kale Leaves
First and foremost, the kale needs to be completely dry before popping it in the oven. Any moisture on the leaves will create steam, which leads to soggy chips.
For this same reason, don’t overdo it on the olive oil. Add only a small amount and massage it into the leaves, until each leaf is very lightly coated. If you need more oil, add it in very small increments.
2. Remove the Stems
An important step you cannot neglect is to remove the stems from the kale leaves. The leaves are the only part you’ll want to eat. The stems are very tough and fibrous.
Removing the stems is quick and easy if you buy large leafs of kale, instead of a bag of kale pieces. I’ve bought kale pieces before, thinking it would save time but it ended up taking WAY more time because I then had to cut the stem off all the little pieces.
When you buy full leaves, it’s easy. Just fold the kale leave in half and slice the spine off in once piece. You can then quickly cut the leaves into smaller pieces.
3. Choose Your Seasonings
Adding the kale leaves to a large mixing bowl. Drizzle with the olive oil and toss to combine, then rub each leaf with your fingers to make sure it is evenly coated in oil.
Sprinkle on the smoked paprika, garlic powder, and cumin on top of kale and season with sea salt, to taste. Toss until evenly combined.
You can experiment with any combination of seasonings you desire. I think basic sea salt is perfect on its own, but the addition of smoked paprika, garlic powder, and ground cumin adds a more depth to the flavor. It’s entirely up to you. Try a few different combinations until you find the one you like most.
4. Baking the Kale
Arrange seasoned kale leaves on prepared baking sheet in a single layer, being careful to not overcrowd them. Work in batches, if necessary.
When cooking, the main concern is finding the right combination of oven temperature and cooking time. These chips can burn very quickly, so you need to keep a close eye on them, especially the first time you make them.
Place baking sheet in pre-heated oven and bake for 5-6 minutes before rotating the pan. Bake for another 1-2 minutes. Do not overcook. Remove chips from oven when they are still mostly green, with only a tiny bit of brown developing.
Typically, if you bake them at 325 degrees F for 6-7 minutes, you’ll get perfectly crispy chips that aren’t soggy or overly browned. However, you’ll need to test this closely in your own oven to find the right balance. It can be very finicky.
While they’re cooking, keep an eye on them. When the edges of the leaves become brown, it’s just a few moments before the whole chip is burned, so take them out as soon as the edges turn brown.
These kale chips are a great alternative to carb-heavy french fries. Also try these great french-fry alternatives.
Questions About Baked Kale
Are baked kale chips healthy?
Baked kale chips are a great healthy snack. Kale contains fiber, antioxidants, calcium, vitamins C and K, iron, and a wide range of other nutrients. It’s also a great substitute for potato chips with less calories, less carbs and less fat.
Why are my kale chips not crispy?
If you haven’t properly dried the leaves after washing them, the water on the leaves can steam the kale chips instead of baking them and they just won’t get crispy. The answer to this is to thoroughly dry the leaves. After you’ve washed them, you can dry them with a paper towel then allow them to air dry for 5-10 minutes.
Can I make kale chips in the air fryer?
You can absolutely use the air fryer to make crispy baked kale chips. The only issue I’ve come across in the air fryer is that if you don’t coat the leaves with olive oil they can be very light and fly up into the heating element. So do keep a close eye on it while cooking. It also takes less time – just 2-3 minutes.
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Baked Kale Chips
- 1 large bunches kale
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 325°F and line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat. Set aside.
- Wash kale leaves and dry completely. Fold the leaves in half and cut the stem off. Chop kale into 3" pieces.
- Add the kale to a large mixing bowl. Drizzle with a little olive oil and toss to combine. Rub each leaf with your fingers to make sure it is evenly coated in oil.
- Sprinkle garlic salt and black pepper over kale. Toss to coat evenly.
- Arrange seasoned kale leaves on prepared baking sheet in a single layer, being careful to not overcrowd. Work in batches, if necessary.
- Place baking sheet in pre-heated oven and bake for 5-6 minutes before rotating the pan. Bake for another 1-2 minutes. Do not overcook. Remove kale from oven when they are still mostly green, with only a tiny bit of brown developing.
- Let chips sit for 2-3 minutes to crisp up before serving.
- You can change up the flavor of these chips by choosing a different seasoning. Try seasoned salt, smoked paprika, or cumin.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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Laura is an avid home cook and recipe creator. She shares her favorite low-carb recipes here that are both easy to make and full of flavor, so you don’t even miss the carbs.