How to Make Kale Chips
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I am always amazed by how much I love homemade kale chips. I have to negotiate with myself (“just two more…okay three”) to keep myself from eating the whole sheet pan’s worth of flavorful, crispy chips. If you’d like to make kale chips at home—and I promise they are 100% better than store-bought kale chips—follow the method below.
And, while I can’t promise that your toddler or kid will eat these up, they are a great option if you’re trying to diversify how you serve leafy greens. Some kids who won’t touch cooked kale or a kale salad are all in on crunchy kale chips, especially if you use one of the flavoring options I suggest.
The most time-consuming part of making homemade kale chips is washing and drying the kale, so I’ve included that in the recipe below. If you happen to have clean kale in your fridge, you’re well on your way to delicious kale chips.
BASIC KALE CHIPS
- Start with one bunch of curly kale. Rip the leaves from the stems and place them in a salad spinner or large bowl. Discard the stems and wash and dry the kale leaves. Really dry kale will crisp up more easily, so take an extra minute to pat them dry well.
- Preheat the oven to 375F. Rip the leaves into bite-sized pieces and place them in a single-ish layer on a large rimmed sheet pan. About 10 cups (3.5 oz.) will fit on one half-sheet pan. Save any extra for a second batch, or refrigerate them for a future salad or kale chips.
- Drizzle the leaves with 2 Tbsp. olive oil and sprinkle with a scant 1/4 tsp. kosher salt. Using your hands, squeeze and massage the kale to make sure each leaf is coated with oil. You can start baking right here. Or, for extra flavor, sprinkle the kale with 1 tablespoon of Everything Bagel seasoning, furikake, or nutritional yeast.
- Bake for 15-17 minutes or until the leaves are crisp and lightly browned. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before eating; the chips will continue to crisp as they cool.
My current flavor fave is Everything Bagel seasoning. It adds a salty, savory quality that makes these chips irresistible!
While these chips aren’t a choking hazard, I don’t recommend them for babies since they can be a frustrating texture to eat and cause extra gagging. But, they’re fair game as soon as you feel like your toddler can handle the texture.
Serve these chips as a snack, in a lunchbox, or even as a garnish for soups. Personally, I just eat them straight off the pan. If you have more restraint than me, they’ll keep in an airtight container at room temperature for three or four days.
And I have to give a shout-out to Heidi Swanson of 101 Cookbooks. Her love of kale chips inspired mine.
If you’re looking for more easy kid snacks, my cookbook Real Baby Food has a whole chapter of them! For more easy, healthy sides, check out my cookbook Bare Minimum Dinners.