Tips and tricks for how to make the most crunchy, oven-baked and perfect kale chips. Gluten-free, grain-free, vegan, low-carb, Paleo, Whole30, keto.
Kale chips and I have had a strained relationship over the years. I’ve made them plenty of times, and have seemed to burn them even more times. Wait, what? Ok, so maybe that’s not true, but I’ve certainly made enough sub-par batches that I swore off making them for awhile.
Lately I’ve been making them again, whenever I have extra kale sitting in the fridge. I’ve learned several tricks to making the perfect kale chips, so they do not turn out either soggy or brown and burnt.
Be sure to dry the kale thoroughly
No one likes soggy kale chips, period. The best way to prevent this is to ensure that they are fully dry before you cook them. I like to cheat a bit here and buy the bagged kale that is already chopped and washed. This way, you don’t have to worry about the soggy factor at all. Simply remove the thick stems and you’re ready to add your seasoning to your perfect kale chips!
Massage the leaves with olive oil
You want to ensure that the leaves are evenly coated in a small amount of olive oil. You don’t need very much, roughly 1/2 a teaspoon is plenty for a batch. When you add the oil to the kale leaves, it may look like it’s not enough.
Keep mixing and soon everything will look nice and shiny. I find that it works best to use my fingers to massage the kale, as you can get into all of the nooks and crannies better than a spoon can. The olive oil is also great for making those delicious seasonings of your choice stick better.
Place in a single layer on a baking sheet
They won’t cook well if they are in a big heap on the baking sheet. Be sure not to overload the sheet with kale because you think you can “make it fit”. It’s best to space it out on two trays if you think you have too much.
Keep the heat low
Kale is very temperamental when heating. It can turn brown and burn very quickly if you turn up the heat too high. You want to keep the temperature low to prevent burning and get that perfect crunch. I set my oven to 300F, which worked great for making the perfect kale chips.
Flip over halfway through baking
You want the air exposed to every bit of the kale chip as it cooks. If not, the portion up against the bottom of the pan will be soggy, but the rest will be extra crispy. In order to get a uniform crunch, you want to turn over the perfect kale chips halfway though baking. Be careful here, since they are fragile. Don’t expect these perfect kale chips to have the same substance that a potato chip has.
I hope you enjoy making these perfect kale chips. Now you can make perfect kale chips every time, including on your first try! Leave a comment below and let me know how they turned out for you, as well as your favorite seasoning mix to add to them.