Recipe: Kale Chips

June 26th, 2009 - filed under: The Food » Recipes


Oh holy goodness you guys, these are seriously addictive.

I came across the concept a few months back when I went RAW. Kale chips are sort of ‘trending’ around the RAW food community right now. And although I could buy a local version around town, I was [of course!] determined to make my own. And I did – with my good friend Katie who has an Excalibur dehydrator (*swoon*). Remember this pic?


That’s our first batch of kale chips! They were amazing, gobbled up and gone within days, and bookmarked in the back of my brain for further tinkering. I was waiting to acquire a dehydrator of my own, which . . . sort of hasn’t happened yet.

And then last week, I just couldn’t wait any longer! I mean sure, RAW food is great and all. But these are still so good for you, whether they’re cooked or not! Kale is overflowing with calcium, lutein, iron, and vitamins A, C, and K, plus beneficial phytochemicals and antioxidants. Tahini is rich in calcium, protein, vitamin E and the B vitamins, as well as essential fatty acids. And nutritional yeast is like the vegan dream food – it’s high in protein and has B vitamins including B12, as well as folic acid and zinc. So what was I waiting for?!

***As a note, my friend Katie and I just couldn’t get enough of these. Like, it’s really hard to stop eating them. BUT, my husband can’t stand them, so maybe they’re not for everyone? Just a heads-up.

Smokey BBQ Kale Chips

Adapted from renegadehealth.


2 big bunches of kale

1/2 cup raw tahini

1/4 cup nama shoyu

1/4 cup raw apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

2 cloves garlic

1 teaspoon onion powder

2 teaspoons BBQ spice – your favorite blend

a couple drops of liquid smoke (to taste)

water to thin as needed


Rinse, de-rib, and rough tear the kale into a giant bowl.


Put all of the other ingredients into a food processor or blender and mix until smooth.

Pour the mixture over the kale, and use your hands to toss it all together. Squish Squish! Get it good and covered.


Spread the kale out evenly on lined or oiled cookie sheets, glass platters, or whatever works. I think I did a cookie sheet, 2 casserole dishes, and a glass pie ‘pan’. You only want one layer of kale, so it’s going to cover a lot of space.

Now the ‘cooking’. You want this to be as ‘dehydrated’ as possible, instead of baked. Ideally, you could put your oven on the lowest setting when you’d be home for 6-8 hours or so (please don’t do this overnight, okay guys?). Otherwise, just decrease the cook time as you increase the temperature. I think I did mine at about 250º for 4 hours (ish). Every oven is different so you’ll need keep an eye on it and be your own judge. Just remember that too much heat will change the flavor. Crispy, but not crunchy. Don’t overcook them!

I promise this is easier than it sounds. It’s intuitive, and you’ll know when they’re close by what they look and smell like. Just try not to eat them all in one sitting!



  • sarah

    hahahha… did i mention how you seem to read my mind? i just made these last night, for reals. actually just came from downstairs pulling them out of the oven (put them on cookie racks on cookie sheets on warm when we went to bed last night). only my recipe is a little different… that sounds like it might coat them better?

  • sarah

    oh yeah and in my defense our ovens are freaking old and don’t work so great (uneven) so it takes about, um, 8 hours. i know it’s probably not the best idea… but they are electric, not gas.

  • Sayward

    @ sarah – Wow, we really do seem to be on the same wavelength – that’s crazy! I’ve seen other recipes (there’s quite a few floating around the internet) like the ones you made, that are more ‘lightly’ dressed with variations on oil and vinegar. I haven’t tried them but they’re definitely on my list. What did you think?

    These ones are very different. The tahini is tangy and the nooch is almost cheezy (nutritional yeast is a flavor that can take some getting used to, if you’re not familiar with it). These chips are very strongly flavored, and the ‘sauce’ is certainly thicker.

    If you make them, let me know what you think!

  • Austin

    Thanks for the idea! I’ve got a ton of kale in my balcony garden. If I can borrow/use a friend’s dehydrator I may be in business.

  • Meghan

    I love kale, tahini, and nutritional yeast! I’m excited! Do you know how much kale “two big bunches” is either weight or volume-wise?

  • Sayward

    @ Austin – Ooh I bet it will be so good with homegrown kale!

    @ Meghan – I don’t know . . . I always just buy by the bunch! I can weigh them next time I’m at the store though! Check back okay?

  • Meghan

    Hahahaha. Yeah, that’s what I figured. :-) The stores I shop at have it unbunched… or I get it from my CSA. Maybe I’ll just try it with the amount if kale I got in my share this week and see what happens!

  • Heather

    i made a couple batches of “salt and vinegar” kale chips the other day. i heart kale chips!!
    i guess i’ll have to branch out even further and expand upon the my kale chip experimenting with your recipe! thank you

  • Sayward

    @ Heather – Mmm, salt and vinegar sounds good. I always tweak this recipe every time I make it, so feel free to play around with it. And let me know if you come up with something great!

  • Sandi

    I just made these today and they are fabulous!!! Thank you for the recipe!

  • Sayward

    @ Sandi – You’re welcome! I’m so glad you like them. =)

  • Meghan

    Can I do this in my dehydrator? It’ll probably be dehydrator plus several pans in the oven because I have like… 5 pounds of kale. I’m still not exactly sure how much two bunches is, but I think I had too much sauce and not enough kale last time, so I guess I’ll keep adding kale until it seems right. Not like I’m going to run out!! :-)

  • Meghan

    (I don’t know if it matters, but my dehydrator is super sketchy… I got it at bimart for like… $12)

  • Sayward

    @ Meghan – Yes! Dehydrator will probably be even better. =) Just know it’ll take a long time. I’ve had them both ways and dehydrator is way preferable to oven (though the $12 part worries me a bit, haha)

  • Meghan

    Yeah… it only has one setting (on!) but I’ve successfully made banana chips and macaroons with it! I guess it’s worth a shot. Just the thought of all of the kale in my fridge is totally STRESSING ME OUT. Although it has been a long winter of frozen veggies, so I’m ready for a fridge full of produce, I guess. Maybe I’ll make a batch tonight!

  • Bethreyant

    How long do the kale chips last? Expiration time? I have a TON of kale and just wondering how much I can make and “save”.

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  • Sayward Rebhal

    They last a long time! At least 2 weeks, but really I can never keep them around long enough to know when they’ll get bad. They’re too yummy! =D

  • Jill Hobbs

    I’ve never tried Kale and decided to try your recipe. I was surprised at how tasty the chips are. Thanks for sharing!

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