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Dangerously Cheesy Kale Chips

Remember those Cheetos commercials where the cheetah turns the dial from “cheesy” to “very cheesy” to “dangerously cheesy”? Well, we’re about to turn that dial all the way up on these vegan kale chips…

Now I know what you’re thinking: “Does the internet really need another Kale chip recipe?!” Why yes, in fact, it does. You see, I’ve been experimenting with my own secret recipe for a while, and it’s so addictive that I had to share it with you. Not only is the sauce dangerously cheesy 🙂 but I also nailed down the right temperatures and baking time to make these crispy snacks easy to prepare with nothing but a baking sheet and an oven (no $700 dehydrator needed).

KaleChipSide

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons tahini
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • water (as needed)
  • 4-6 large kale leaves

KaleChipSauce

Preheat the oven to a low setting of 225º F.

Step One

In a small mixing bowl prepare the cheesy sauce. Stir together the tahini, nutritional yeast, salt, and lemon juice. The “nooch” (nutritional yeast) will quickly absorb the liquid and you’ll want to add more water until the sauce has a nice flowing consistency, much like a salad dressing.

Note: if you’re unfamiliar with these ingredients, tahini is sesame seed paste (think peanut butter with sesame seeds instead of peanuts), and nutritional yeast is a deactivated yeast that makes a healthy and nutritious cheese substitute. These days, you can likely find both ingredients at any major supermarket.

Step Two

Prepare the kale. For best results, you’ll want the pieces to be about the size of large potato chips. I like to rinse the kale thoroughly then give it a spin in my salad spinner to remove all the moisture (paper towels will work, but not quite as well). Then, tear the leaves off of the stalk into pieces about 3 inches wide. You do not want to include the center stalk of the kale leaf on your chips, it becomes virtually inedible when baked.

Step Three

When you have enough kale pieces (about 25-30), add them to a bowl and pour the sauce over top. Use clean hands to toss until the leaves are evenly coated with the sauce. Then, transfer them to a baking sheet that is either 1) covered with parchment paper, or 2) lightly spread with vegetable oil.

Step Four

Bake at a very low temperature of 225º F for 25-35 minutes. The chips are done when completely dried out and crispy, but before they start to brown around the edges. I like to check on them after 20 minutes, rotate the baking sheets, and possibly remove some of the chips towards the edges which cook faster. When done, store in a zip-top bag for several days (they won’t last that long). 🙂

KaleChipHand

KaleChips

24 Comments

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    • Hey Jacki! It’s funny, I’ve tried making kale chips with exactly the bag you’re talking about, but I have a big problem with it: stems are a kale chip’s worst enemy, and that bag is 50% stems 🙁 It was frustratingly impossible to try removing the tiny kale bits from the giant stems. I actually find it much faster to start with big, whole kale leaves and break each by hand.

      • Agreed! I was so disappointed the first and only time I bought a bag. I have found that ALL bags of kale are like this. If anyone knows of a brand that does not have stems speak up, please!

  1. I love, love, love Kale chip and can’t wait to try this recipe. I’m leaving this comment however to tell you how cool I think your wooden bowl/platter looks.

    • Hi Kristina! I actually have the Whole Foods brand right now, but I don’t think it makes much difference. Any brand that doesn’t have additives or weird ingredients should be fine!

  2. Wow! I really like this new design. Your site looks more like a professional website than a blog, which is a relief. Good job.

    • Yay! Thank you so much Leon! 🙂 You’re the first to comment on the new design. I’m actually finishing up some of the changes right now and I’ll be writing a blog post with more details about the new design later today.

  3. Hi Andrew, can I substitutes the tahini with something else? any suggestion?

    I always love your recipe and the way you tell the story behind it! keep doing what you are doing and inspiring more 🙂

    • Hey Veronica, you can substitute anything you’d like for the tahini, kale chips are very versatile and it’s hard to get them wrong. I haven’t tried any alternatives myself.

  4. I tried to make the kale chips and it was a disaster. After an hour in the oven at 240 degrees, the kale was soggy and the sour lemon flavor overwhelming. I ended up tossing them in the trash. What went wrong?

    • I’m sorry to hear that, Warren. It’s always frustrating with a recipe doesn’t work as planned. The only way I could imagine kale being soggy after cooking for an hour is if it was REALLY wet. If they leaves were totally dry before tossing with the dressing, kale will become crispy in a 240º oven. As far as the lemon flavor, a squeeze of 2 tbsp shouldn’t be enough to overpower the other flavors but that’s something you can easily adjust by tasting it as you go.

  5. These are amazing! I used lacinato kale bc it was on sale, & bc the leaves are much flatter, so I thought it might make thing a bit easier. they turned out great. I did need to adjust the temp slighty to 235…. and I left them in the oven for about 40 min, and then I left them in the oven as it cooled. I think this was needed mostly bc I made such a big batch and I have only small baking sheets, so the chips weren’t exactly lying in a single layer as they baked.

    • Cool!! I love using lacinato or tuscan kale for these as well. Ah yes, one single layer will lead to the most crispy chips, but (as you discovered) they will bake just fine if they’re packed too close together.

  6. I’ve had my eye on this to try for a while, even though I’ve tried kale chips in the past and failed. (It just shows my trust in you that I tried again.) I made them tonight and they were delicious! The low temp made it much easier not to burn them. I was shocked when my two year old stuffed a bunch in his mouth! Talk about success. 🙂 Finally a way to eat kale that I can handle. 🙂

    • Hi Danielle! I’m so happy these worked better than others you had tried! I feel your pain, I had tried a bunch of recipes and had lots of problems as well… And your two year old liked them?! That’s amazing 🙂

    • Nutritional yeast is a “deactivated” yeast (i.e. it won’t make a pizza dough rise). It is very nutritious (hence the name) and has a very cheesy flavor. It’s sold at most grocery stores nowadays, especially more health-conscious places like Whole Foods.

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