Kale Chips

January 13, 2012 in Categories: , , by

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Kale Chips-016There are lots of recipes for kale chips out there.  I got my initial recipe from a wonderful twitter follower @paleoeater (who has a great blog full of delicious recipes).  I have spent the last couple of weeks experimenting with kale chips, and always with good results.  I think it reflects the versatility of kale that it can be cooked at so many different temperatures with different oils and still turn into the most delightful little crisp mouthful of wonderful (packed with nutrients too!) ever.  But I did learn a few important things about kale chips:

First, the oil is pretty versatile.  I have cooked these with olive oil (only at lower temperature), avocado oil, coconut oil, and even grass-fed tallow and lard (ohmygosh those were yummy!).  They all work fairly well.  I use coconut oil most frequently because it’s easy.

Second, the cooking temperature is pretty versatile.  Low and slow seems to yield the greenest, tastiest chips.  When I can plan it advance, I think cooking these for 45-60 minutes at 275F really is my favorite.  But, I’m not always that patient.  Especially because one panful of kale chips lasts about 7 minutes in my house.  My recipe reflects a happy medium:  low enough to stay green but still be fast to make.

Third, the variety of kale does matter.  Have you noticed that there are several different varieties of kale readily available at the grocery store?  They all work, but the really curly leaves seem to work the best (I think because the air gets underneath them while they cook).  The really flat leaves are the most challenging (they stick to the pan and seems to take longer to cook and not be soggy).  If you buy your kale already torn up in a bag, you’ll have to sift through it to remove the pieces with stem attached (which don’t crisp up well).  It’s also really important to make sure that your kale is completely dry before putting oil on it, otherwise the kale chips will stay soggy.  And it’s important not to overcrowd your baking sheet.  When in doubt, use two sheets.

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20-22 minutes

Serves: 2-4


  • 8 loosely packed cups kale, torn into 1-1½“ pieces, tough stems removed
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin coconut oil, melted and still warm
  • ¼ tsp salt, to taste

1.    Preheat oven to 325F.
2.    Wash and dry kale.  Place in a plastic container or large bowl.
3.    Poor warm oil over kale, close container lid, and shake to coat (alternatively, stir to coat in a bowl or give them a good massage with your hands directly on the baking sheet).
4.    Spread out onto a large baking sheet.  Sprinkle with salt (careful, it doesn’t take much).
5.    Bake for 20-22 minutes, until crispy.  Enjoy!


i love to toss crushed garlic, a touch of cayenne and a little lemon juice in with my kale chips. if i’m short on time, i use my penzey’s garlic powder (LOVE!)and my girls like that ALMOST as much! 😉

i’m making your granola bars tonight! 🙂 i think i might add either guar gum (not sure about the paleo-ness of this) or egg white to it. i am leaning towards the egg white. i love the crunch!

thanks for a great blog!

Do you have a secret for removing the aphids off of organic kale? What a pain that was! The results were yummy though. Even my toddler loved the kale chips.

Yes! Fill a clean sink with cold water and a couple of tablespoons of salt (swish it around to dissolve). Soak the kale for 15 minutes or so, give a good swish in the water, then rinse. 🙂

Aphids are a tiny little harmless insect that eats a variety of plants. They are hard to wash off the frilly kale leaves which is why you sometimes see them with organic kale (and other organic leafy vegetables). I think I maybe see aphids one in every twenty times I buy organic kale, so chances are good you won’t see any. But if you do, it’s nothing to worry about, just wash them off. 🙂

Do you think butter will work as well.(if not, olive?) I think my daughter has a reaction to cocunut oil, unfortunate, because she would eat it by the spoonful!

Hi Sarah!

I have been making kale chips in my dehydrator at around 115 degrees F. One thing I noticed is that when I eat raw kale, I get a burning taste in my mouth if I drink water afterwards (the same thing happens when I eat raw brussel sprouts). I think this is from the sulfur content of the kale/ brussel sprouts. However, when I dehydrate them, this doesn’t happen at all. Is it possible that dehydrating them is changing the nutrient content and destroying the sulfur or something else that before was causing the burning sensation in my mouth?

These are absolutely wonderful!! I made them with coconut oil and LOVE them. OK, maybe not love, but really, really like them. I’ll have to eventually get some tallow and try them made with that. Too bad here in SW Kansas we don’t have a great supply of kale and it’s pretty expensive. Fortunately what I did find was the really curly variety 🙂 I may have to experiment with growing my own!

May try growing some on your own in window planter pots. One large one could hold 3 kale plants. They love ar spring and will usually last till about June without bolting. I would then start some fresh seed in June so you could have a nice fall harvest. As long as you keep soil moist and soft they will thrive. One of the easiest greens I’ve planted!

The lower the temp. of the oven, the slower the crisp of the chips AND you lock in all the important nutrients and enzymes instead of deactivating them with high heat…my oven’s lowest temperature is 200 and I use that, but if it went lower, I would go even lower. Yum! :o)

I have recently learned how to keep kale chips crispy? Keep them in an airtight container in the refrigerator , i use large mason jars and they stay crispy forever 🙂

Mine taste pretty good, but they aren’t vibrantly green like yours….they are more of a brown/green. And they shrunk quite a bit in the oven. Is that normal? I followed your instructions, but they just don’t look quite the same. Any suggestions?

That’s normal. There’s a very fine window between crunchy and green and when they turn a little brown. Most of the time, mine are a bit brown too (unless I am standing at the oven door watching them).

I use my dehydrator to make these… far easier than in the oven because they don’t brown or overcook. And because the temperature is lower all the nutrients in the kale stay intact (and it also means you can use olive oil….)

i’ve been making them at a higher temp and watching them like a hawk. I flip them after 5-10 minutes and pull off the cooked ones. They get kind of burnt. We like the flavor but the burnt food isn’t healthy. I’ll try the 325F approach. Do they have to be flipped?

I have a recipe for dehydrated kale chips, but it says to add the oil and seasonings after. Would it work to mix it in before? I’m also thinking about trying a recipe from 21DSD for nuts that has lime juice and her smoky blend. I think it would be soooo good with kale, but I wonder if the lime juice would mess everything up, or if the kale would soak in too much of the lime juice. Maybe lime zest?

I usually mix oil with kale before dehydrating. I don’t know about the lime juice, but I think the liquid would evaporate in the dehydrator and leave you with just the flavor.

I like to put a wire rack on top of the cookie sheet and bake the kale on the rack it eliminates the sticking to the pan and I can cook at a higher temp for less time and stay green

😀 I love kale chips, currently trying to improve my success ratio cos they get overdone more often than not. Handy hint, if your kid loves kale chips (mine does) they are perfect helpers for squishing the oil and salt into them before they go in the oven. In fact mine (now 8) can even do the tearing up bit too – she pretty much makes them for us. I also add nutritional yeast once cooled cos it gives them a lovely dairy free cheesy flavour. But I read something recently about the B12 in yeasts being a form that inhibits cobalamin (the form we need) – you did a blog on yeasts and this one you said you thought was harmless for most people (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) but have you seen any research on the B12 question?

I do not recommend heating olive oil. You can use any kind of fat that is solid at room temperature (butter, lard, palm shortening, coconut oil, bacon grease, etc.) for cooking. – Christina, Sarah’s assistant

We make BBQ Kale chips in the dehydrator – 115*F – using a mix of spices: Smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, dry mustard, salt & pepper. Add a kick with cayenne, chile, or jalapeno powder, even a little red pepper flake. Really tasty!

Strange things are happening in our house. I have a Kale Chip aficionado – as in all of a sudden. 10 year old, who was kvetching every night about “what’s the vegetable” and wouldn’t touch the stuff. Then I made the chips the other night for me … not expecting anyone else to eat them. I hope to share more (we are planning to see you in Philly). Just had to share.

No matter what I do, I always end up with burnt chips. Low and slow, high and fast, olive oil, coconut oil, salt, no salt…what am I doing wrong? Could it be my gas oven temp is off? Am I coating the kale too heavily with oil? Not enough? Help!!!

I tear them up right onto a cookie sheet, make a little pile of them, drizzle with oil and use my hands to distribute the oil. And I find its important to spread them out well so they’re not overlapping – overlapping ones have a hard time crisping up.

FYI: Although coconut oil may have more polyunsaturated fat than olive oil, the amount of saturated fats in coconut oil is through the roof. And the evidence for coconut oil as a health benefit is very limited.

I used your “plan in advance” recipe of baking them at 275 degrees for 45 minutes using Extra Virgin olive oil instead of coconut oil and they were fantastic! I made sure to rub the oil over all of the leaves. They are very crispy and delicious! They shrunk a lot, so I was sad that it didn’t make more. Very oily, but I didn’t care!

I like to cook them on a low temp as well.One thing I discovered to help them cook faster is to use a pizza pan with holes like this one.


I can usually cook them at 275 on this pan for 25 to 30 minutes where a pan with no holes takes more like 40. And they don’t even last 7 minutes in my house 🙂

[…] Kale Chips » The Paleo Mom – There are lots of recipes for kale chips out there. … They are hard to wash off the frilly kale leaves which is why you sometimes see them with organic kale … This companion cookbook to The Paleo Approach includes: *Over 200 recipes *Hundreds of recipe variations *Over 100 pages of … […]

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