Monday, April 18, 2011

Baked kale chips

I have a wee confession to make.

Kale is one of those vegetables that I walk past in the grocery store. No eye contact. No howdy-do. Nuthin'. I head for the broccoli (possibly the broccoli rabe if I'm feeling adventurous), the onions, the asparagus, the spinach (sometimes the bok choy). I'm not even sure that "kale" was in my vegetable lexicon.

But when kale showed up in my CSA box, I was super excited. (Yeah...I know...kale excites me. I must lead a sad sort of life...) I'd wanted to make kale chips ever since a friend posted about them on Facebook. A green leafy vegetable that preschool children devour? That's crispy and light and snack-a-licious? There must be some sort of catch, right?

Let's find out.

(On the plus side, the beautifully ruffled kale that I received proved to be quite photogenic. Intricate and organic.)

I was a bit surprised when I washed the kale. The leaves felt rubbery, not delicate like lettuce. They felt more like cabbage. I was growing ever more dubious about the kale chips.

The verdict? I need not have worried. They were light, crispy, salty perfection. Exactly as advertised. Best of all, Pretzel Boy ate a few kale chips. He then ate a few Cape Cod potato chips and mused, "How can they taste the same? One's a leaf, and one's a potato." If the pickiest of the picky will eat these chips, I'm officially calling this one a winner.

Baked kale chips
Seen on and smitten kitchen

1 bunch kale (approximately 12 leaves)
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 275ºF. Wash and dry kale. Cut away stalk and center rib, and cut into large pieces. Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. (Hint: Use much less salt than you think you need. My first batch was much too salty.)

Place in a single layer on parchment paper-covered baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes or until crispy. Place on rack to cool.

(For a delicious variation, add a pinch of paprika and garlic powder before baking.)


  1. No way!! Kale can taste like potato chips? Potato chips is one of those things I LOVE and know I shouldn't eat. Kale is great for you! I am so excited that I could possibly get the kale nutrition in something anything close to a potato chip. Thanks! I'm in shock. Really...who thought of this?!

    Smitten Kitchen is where my dd found her Pop Tart recipe..I'm going to have to check in there more often!

  2. i have been meaning to try this for ages. just got me some kale.will go for it tomorrow. thanks for the inspiration.

  3. This is on my must try list. My boys like Kale in soup, but it'd be great if they snacked on it too. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Rhome, that's exactly what I thought too! But seriously, my picky kid actually ate some. Not lots, but it's a start. After several handfuls of chips, I started to notice a slightly bitter aftertaste. For my next batch, I'm thinking of trying a bit of sugar or vinegar to combat that.
    Deva, when you try it, I'd love to hear what you thought.
    Lax, I must be doing something wrong with my kids! Your boys like kale in soup?!?

  5. I was dubious, very dubious, but I decided to give this a try and WOW! The kale chips don't just taste like potato chips, they taste like really good potato chips. Thanks so much for sharing the recipe, Lauren

  6. Lauren, I'm so glad you liked them! Nothing better than guilt-free snacking.

  7. Will it work without parchment paper, or would they just get all stuck?

  8. It should be fine without parchment paper. The original Bon Appétit recipe didn't specify parchment paper. I used it for easier cleanup.


Thanks so much for commenting. I love reading your thoughts and responses.