It's mind-blowing, how roasting in olive oil with some salt and garlic powder turns kale leaves into amazingly crispy and flavorful chips!
I make this recipe often, because it's pretty much the only way The Picky Eater will agree to eat kale, and I don't blame her. Kale, in its natural form, is coarse and bitter and is certainly an acquired taste.
These chips are great because they make kale way more palatable. They are the best way I have found to enjoy this leafy green vegetable that everyone says you should eat but that is just not that tasty in its raw state (in my opinion).
You'll only need four ingredients to make this tasty snack. The exact measurements are in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
Curly kale: You will need to wash it well, then dry it REALLY well. If it's not truly dry, the kale won't crisp up as it bakes.
Olive oil spray: I love cooking with this delicious oil. Its smoke point is relatively low, but we're baking the chips at low heat here, so it shouldn't be an issue.
Kosher salt: If using fine salt, you should reduce the amount you use, or the chips could end up too salty.
Garlic powder: I prefer it in this recipe to minced fresh garlic - it coats the kale more evenly.
How to make kale chips? It's SO easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for the detailed instructions. The basic steps:
First, you tear cleaned and dried kale leaves into bite-size pieces.
Next, you coat the pieces with olive oil and sprinkle them with spices.
The last step is to spread them on parchment-lined baking sheets and roast them in a 325°F oven until crispy, 20-30 minutes.
Variations and substitutions
I love this recipe as is and almost always make it as written. But in case you'd like to vary the basic recipe, here are a few ideas for you:
- Instead of olive oil, you can use any other oil that you like. Some people like to use a coconut oil cooking spray. I do love the flavor of olive oil in these chips.
- Other than garlic powder, you can use seasonings such as onion powder and smoked paprika.
Frequently asked questions
It's tempting to speed things up by roasting the kale at a high temperature. But kale leaves burn easily. To achieve a uniform crispness, I find that it's best to bake them at a low temperature for slightly longer.
So instead of baking them for 20 minutes in a 350°F oven, I prefer to bake them in a 325°F oven for about 25 minutes. It takes a while for the kale leaves to become crispy, so you need to be patient. At first, they just wilt. But slowly and gradually, they will crisp up.
Some of them will get crispy faster. So you can start checking on them after 20 minutes and remove the ones that are done to a plate. The very stubborn ones might take as long as 30 minutes to become truly crispy.
That's the beauty of this recipe! Low and slow baking with lots of olive oil, salt, and garlic powder works amazingly well to remove the typical bitterness of the kale.
If you simply baked them in the oven without any seasonings, they would simply taste like kale, only drier. But once generously sprayed with olive oil and well-seasoned, they take on the quality of true chips - crispy, salty, almost addictive (but in a good way).
These chips are delicious all on their own, and that's how I usually serve them. You can also try dipping them into various dips, including ranch dip, Greek yogurt dip, and tahini. But it's not really needed, and they're a bit too flimsy to be used to scoop out a thick dip.
Like many homemade snacks that lack preservatives, these chips' crispness is relatively short-lived. So I recommend you only make as many as you are going to eat that same day.
If you must store them, place them once completely cooled in an airtight container or in a tightly sealed resealable bag and keep them on the counter for 1-2 days.
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Baked Kale Chips with Olive Oil and Garlic
- 1 bunch curly kale (10 oz)
- Olive oil spray
- 1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Line two large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Wash the kale. Dry thoroughly, using a salad spinner, clean kitchen towels, or paper towels. Cut off the stalks.
- Tear the kale leaves into bite-size pieces. After cleaning, you should end up with about 5 oz kale leaves.
- Spread the leaves in a single layer on the prepared baking sheets. Generously spray them with olive oil and sprinkle them with kosher salt and garlic powder.
- Roast the kale leaves until dry and crispy, 20-30 minutes. In my oven, it takes 22 minutes.