Kale chips have been a fairly trendy food item over the last few years and for good reason. They are a crispy treat that can be flavored in so many ways and they are a great, healthy alternative to potato chips or corn chips that are fried in oil.

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Why Kale Chips?

You’ve probably heard that kale is good for you. You’ve seen it in the produce section at the store and thought “Hmm, I’m trying to eat healthier, maybe I should get some of that”. But then you skip over it because you don’t know what the heck to do with it and you’re not sure you’ll even like it. Am I right?

It takes kale to make kale chips

Well, here’s one quick and easy way you can prepare kale that will make you feel like it’s a treat rather than a chore!

Unlike potato chips and corn chips, kale chips require very little oil and are not deep-fried. They are also extremely easy to make in an air fryer or an oven. My preferred method is in an air fryer, and ever since I got one, I can’t stop making kale chips!

making kale chips in an air fryer

Even the pickiest eaters will love them!

I have to admit that for a long time I was not a fan of kale. And although I got over it, my family was still not convinced. But when I started making kale chips, I quickly turned my picky eaters into kale fans!

If you have kids , you know that it can sometimes be difficult to get them to eat their veggies. But with kale chips, the flavor and crispiness fools them into thinking that they’re eating something fun and, well, less healthy. But you know that they’re actually eating the healthiest of greens!

Squeezing lemon on kale

It’s easy to customize the flavor

When you make kale chips in an air fryer, they come out so amazingly crispy that they practically melt in your mouth! And you can use whatever kind of spices you like to flavor them, so they are extremely versatile and never boring!

Do your kids like BBQ flavored potato chips? Nacho flavor? Cool Ranch? All of these can be re-created using a spice blend purchased at the store, or create your own. Salt and pepper is about as basic as it gets, but is still awesome on these chips!

kale chips with Greek seasoning

My latest favorite flavor is a Greek Seasoning blend that I make myself. You can also buy a Greek seasoning blend, but if you want my recipe, you can find it in my FREE Easy Vegan Recipes Ebook!

Easy Vegan Recipes E-Book cover
Click on the link above to sign up for your FREE Easy Vegan Recipes Ebook!

Save money by making your own!

Kale chips can also be ridiculously expensive when buying them at the store. But when you make them yourself you can save tons of money! Kale can be very inexpensive. I’ve seen it for as low as $1 for a big bunch at my local grocery store. And, if you grow it yourself (which is very easy to do!), it is virtually free!

Fresh kale
I get fresh kale from my garden all summer long!

Make your own kale chips by following these easy steps:

  • Wash your kale and let it dry thoroughly. I lay mine out on a clean dish towel, but if you are in a hurry, you could use a salad spinner and/or blot them dry with a towel.
  • Remove the stems by tearing the leaf from the stem. You can do this in one easy motion by grabbing the end of the stem between two fingers and pull along the length of the stem.
  • Tear any larger leaves into smaller pieces but not too small! They shrink quite a bit when they cook.
  • In a large bowl, spray the leaves with the tiniest bit of oil, tamari, lemon juice, or vinegar (pickle juice works too!) Just don’t overdo it – too much moisture will inhibit the crispiness!
  • Sprinkle with whatever spices you choose and toss the kale with your hands to distribute the seasonings.
  • Place the kale in your air fryer tray and cook at 350F for 5-6 minutes. You should check them at about 3 minutes to give them a toss and see how they’re doing. Cook until crispy.
  • If you are using a conventional oven, lay them out on a baking sheet and bake at 350F for 15-20 minutes, stirring them at about 10 minutes.
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FAQ about Kale chips

Are kale chips healthy?

Yes! Kale chips are very healthy! They are full of B-vitamins such as B6, B12, and B1. Kale also contains vitamins A, K, C, calcium, potassium, copper, and magnanese.

They are even healthier when you make them oil-free.

Why are my kale chips soggy?

It is very important to start off with clean, dry kale. Otherwise, the moisture will cause them to steam, rather than bake to the desired crispiness. After cleaning with water, put them in a salad spinner or lay them out on a clean dish towel to dry for a few minutes. Then blot any excess moisture with a dry towel.

Kale drying on a dish towel

If you are using lemon juice, vinegar, or tamari instead of oil, use it sparingly. I use a sprayer to get a very light coating – just enough to help the dry seasonings stick.

Another reason may be that the kale is too crowded in the air fryer. Try cooking them in smaller batches so they have more room to breathe.

How long do kale chips last?

It is best if you enjoy your kale chips immediately for maximum crispiness. They will keep up to a week in an airtight container in the fridge (or a couple of days not in the fridge). But they will not retain their crispiness. In fact, they will get quite soft.

You can revive them a bit by putting them back in the air fryer or a toaster oven for about 2 minutes, but they won’t be quite the same.

Kale chips on a plate
These Kale Chips were made without any oil!

How many servings will one bunch of kale make?

One large bunch of kale will make up to 4 servings – depending on how much you and your family love kale chips!

Don’t be fooled by the size of your bunch. The kale shrinks quite a bit when it is cooked. I have made batches for my family of three where we had about one serving left over, but I have also been known to eat an entire batch by myself!

Kale chips made in an air fryer

Some additional Kale Chip seasoning ideas:

More Kale Recipes You’ll Love

Air Fryer Kale Chips

Save money by making your own Kale Chips in an air fryer or oven. Delicious and nutritious alternative to chips fried in oil!

Course Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine gluten free, oil free, vegan
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 35 kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch fresh kale
  • 1 Tbsp seasoning of choice salt, pepper, nutritional yeast, chili powder, etc….
  • A few sprays tamari or lemon juice, pickle juice or olive oil if desired

Instructions

  1. Wash your kale and let it dry thoroughly. I lay mine out on a clean dish towel, but if you are in a hurry, you could use a salad spinner and/or blot them dry with a towel.

  2. Remove the stems by tearing the leaf from the stem. You can do this in one easy motion by grabbing the end of the stem between two fingers and pull along the length of the stem.

  3. Tear any larger leaves into smaller pieces but not too small! They shrink quite a bit when they cook.

  4. In a large bowl, spray the leaves with the tiniest bit of oil, tamari, lemon juice, or vinegar (pickle juice works too!) Just don't overdo it – too much moisture will inhibit the crispiness!

  5. Sprinkle with whatever spices you choose and toss the kale with your hands to distribute the seasonings.

  6. Place the kale in your air fryer tray and cook at 350F for 5-6 minutes. You should check them at about 3 minutes to give them a toss and see how they're doing. Cook until crispy.

  7. If you are using a conventional oven, lay them out on a baking sheet and bake at 350F for 15-20 minutes, stirring them at about 10 minutes.