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if everyone jumped off a cliff…

Recipe: baked kale chips

I took a break from Crazytown (in my head) and descended upon Boulder the other day for a much-needed, long-overdue lunch with some of my girlfriends. We waited nearly an hour to get a table at The Kitchen (Friday noon, Pearl Street, gorgeously sunny day in Boulder – what do you expect?). Time flew past, though. We were all doting on Mr. Felix-Cutie-Pie. That’s right. Even the non-baby person (that would be me) couldn’t resist. That kid is snugglicious.

it’s amazing that manisha ever agrees to hand him back to his momma

the fruity cocktail that kitt ordered

Grand plans for getting things done this weekend were only half-realized because the other half was spent with my better half. The good news is that I returned to the kitchen to cook again. And that felt great! I feel better when I eat the food that I make because I know what went into it. I know it’s good and wholesome stuff. One of the recipes I tried this weekend was all Diane’s fault.

the guilty party is on the left

Remember how a bunch of us met for ramen in Los Angeles and then went walking around the Marukai Pacific Market to theoretically walk off lunch (but instead, Diane bought us a dozen giant crispy cream puffs)? As I hugged Allison and Son good-bye in the produce section, Diane came up to me with a bunch of kale and said (at 100 mph), “Mmmm kale. I make baked kale chips. Have you tried them? I love them. LOVE THEM. I can eat them all in one sitting. Just me, by myself. Todd doesn’t get any. They’re so good! You need to make them. So good. Good for you. But not as good as Tim’s Cascade jalapeño potato chips. But almost!” That’s high praise coming from Diane.

exhibit a: kale

Yeah, I had heard about kale chips. First I saw it on Jaden’s blog. Then Shauna raved about them. And you know it’s big when Deb swears by kale chips. Easy, delicious, healthy, crispy (I am, after all, a potato chip fiend) – how could you not want to try them? EVERYBODY is making these chips. And of course, when Todd and Diane posted their kale chips, I knew it was my destiny. That’s because Diane and I have a special bond over salty snacks (specifically, Tim’s Cascade jalapeño potato chips). So I decided to jump off the cliff like everyone else. You should join me.

strip the leaves from the tough stems

pour a little olive oil and toss to coat

I have to admit that I am a kale lover to begin with. A lot of people relegate kale to the garnish that goes under the orange slice on the side of your plate of whatever at your run of the mill family restaurant. Kale is so much more than that. It’s not only good for you, but it’s a nice dark leafy green that doesn’t go all wimpy on you when cooked (ahem… spinach). I like the substantial bite of kale when it’s stir-fried or wilted for a salad. You’d never believe just how delicate these robust leaves become when baked.

i suggest sprinkling the salt before tossing the leaves in the bowl

on parchment, ready to bake

Diane said to be careful of adding too much olive oil, and she’s right. The first batch was a tad on the oily side, but the second batch was much lighter because I added just enough oil. Same goes for the salt. You really don’t need much. When the kale chips are done, you will be amazed at how light, fragile, and brittle they are right off the baking sheet. Pop one into your mouth and let it melt on your tongue.

they will brown more the hotter or longer you bake them

jeremy devoured these in no time

We polished off another batch tonight. The kale chips are popular here at Butter Headquarters. Very popular. But don’t take my word for it – try it yourself (if you haven’t already). And there’s far less guilt than eating potato chips!

eet’s wahhh-ferrr thin!

Baked Kale Chips
[print recipe]
it’s all White On Rice Couple’s fault!

1 lb. fresh kale
1-2 tbsps olive oil (or less)
1/2 – 1 tsp salt (or less)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Trim the kale leaves from the tough stems. Wash the leaves and shake them dry (try to get rid of as much excess water as you can). Rip the leaves into bite-sized pieces. In a large bowl, toss the leaves together with some olive oil and salt until evenly coated. Start with a tablespoon of olive oil and add more as needed. You don’t really need a whole lot, to be honest. Line a baking sheet with parchment and arrange the kale leaves in a single layer. Bake for 15 minutes (you can turn them after 10 minutes, but I don’t bother). Remove from oven and eat!

46 nibbles at “if everyone jumped off a cliff…”

  1. Nico says:

    ahh, I love Kale Chips! So simple, but so addictive. It’s great that you gave them a try.

  2. Allison Day says:

    Okay, okay! Fine. You’ve convinced me. I guess it’s time for me to jump off the cliff and try making kale chips for the first time too… ;)

  3. Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) says:

    I just spend the day making and photographing kale chips!!! I have quite a few recipes and versions but came up with a new one and will have the post up in a few days. Love kale chips and yours look great!

  4. Debbie says:

    I’m going to give these a try. I, too, absolutely love kale!!! My mom used to make one of my favorite childhood dishes of kale mashed together with potatoes. So good!

  5. tami says:

    i’ve been making kale chips for a loooong time and they never lose their appeal….and oh my goodness…the reaction people have to them that haven’t heard of them before – they swoon! i love doing them lengthwise along the rib and baking them crispy…and then serving them standing up in tall cups almost like grissini. it’s great party food and good conversation starter. thanks for reminding me that i’m overdue for a batch. hope you’re well, jen! xo

  6. Phoo-D says:

    Tim’s Cascade jalapeño potato chips- boy does that take me back! Those were my absolute favorite potato chips as a kid in Washington state. I haven’t seen them in years but still can taste the spicy extra crunchy thick chips. Those are the best!

  7. Michelle says:

    Oh snap! Tim’s are the only chip I chomp on. I am going to have to join the ranks and toss the kale i the oven today. They look wonderful and a great snack.

  8. susan says:

    we make these once a week and my kids eat them as they are coming out of the oven. such a brilliant concept – and tasty, too!

  9. cindy says:

    i have yet to try these, but if you say they can run with Tim’s Cascade Jalepeno…I’ll believe you…those are some big promises, I LOVE those chips too!

  10. Janet says:

    I’ll take your word for it. I’ve tried kale chips many times and they always taste like bitter flakes of carbon to me. Yours look like they still have something green left to them, so I’m guessing the others were just overdone. I love kale, but unless I get to try some like yours, I’ll stick to braising it.

  11. Donna says:

    I’ll try it!

  12. Nicole says:

    Oooh! Thanks for the reminder. I am ordering garden seeds today and I need to add some Dinosaur Kale. I almost went broke buying Kale at the Farmer’s Market last fall.

  13. Allie says:

    I have been hearing about these for the past 2 years too and I want to try them!

  14. Twila Moon says:

    I have kale in the fridge – and now its destiny is sealed. I had heard of these, but always assumed is was a big long process with too many confusing steps or too much time – but you’re recipe makes it clear that I was just making stuff up. And it sounds like if you already love kale (me! me!), then these are the obvious snack food. Thank you!

  15. Jonathan says:

    just tried these–didn’t realize they would shrink so much in the oven! and i used too much oil/salt, just like you, but oh well. still good, and i know they’ll be better next time!

  16. Margie says:

    Kale chips are on the agenda. I’ve been warned of how tasty they are, and now I’ve witnessed the beauty, visually. :)

  17. shelley says:

    I bake these at 275 – they take longer, but you don’t have to stir as often and they don’t burn. It’s the mom with three kids version of the recipe. The instant between done and burnt is often spent away from the kitchen, so I lowered the heat and haven’t had anymore smoke. I also just salt at the end otherwise I end up over salting. I love salt and they just look like they always need more salt, so I have to control myself till the very end when they have reduced by 85%. My personal fave is lacinato kale.

  18. Nan says:

    Have Kale in the garden. It made it over the winter. Looks like destiny! Perhaps it was meant to be… I see an oven, olive oil (just a bit from what I read here) and salt in it’s immediate future! And Felix is babylicious!


  19. abby says:

    So maybe if I turn a vegetable into a chip, my husband will finally eat some? I’m skeptical, but it sounds like it might be worth the try!

  20. Kath says:

    Of course, I have been hearing about kale chips for ages. Now I actually want to try them. It’s your photos….

  21. Cathy says:

    So many blogs have been featuring kale chips. But they always looked too labor-intensive for me to want to want to make them. But you always make things look so easy!! ;)

  22. Barb says:

    I love your blog – ‘tho I rarely comment. However, I have been hearing/reading about Kale Chips so much lately and now I find your great post about them. I’m going to ‘jump off the cliff’ and give ’em a try!!

  23. Linda says:

    I’ve been hearing about Kale Chips and am desperately needing something salty/crunchy on my current weight loss/boring diet. Actually, I’m planting kale today. But I’m going to go to market and buy some to make these after my gardening day. Love you clear directions, insights and photos!

  24. salena says:

    I tried this recipe last night. It’s awesome. My husband and I plowed through the entire batch in about 5 minutes. You’re right about the salt–I used a half a teaspoon and will probably use less next time.

  25. magpie says:

    I love these. I usually do them with lanciata kale (the flatter kind) – but no matter, they disappear like you can’t believe.

  26. blogbytina! says:

    what a great idea!
    i have a bunch of Kale I need to use. problem solved

  27. Joy says:

    I have heard of them but never knew how they were made. It looks great.

  28. Mrs Ergül says:

    I am so gonna hunt down some fresh kale in Singapore!! Looks like a good snack!

  29. Memoria says:

    I guess I still need to adjust to the taste of kale because I wasn’t particularly fond of them. I tried them out today and even added Cajun seasoning to make them spicy, but even that couldn’t help them. I have more kale in the fridge; I guess I could try out other recipes with this vegetable or just try out these chips again.

    Lovely photos as usual!

  30. Mike P. says:

    I have some of these in the oven right now. I get tired of mixing kale with garden salads so I hope this works.

  31. Mike P. says:

    I used too much olive oil. They don’t taste much like the packaged ones I tried at Whole Foods.

  32. Cheryl Z. says:

    OMG… Whenever I make these, I absolutely have to make 2 bunches because the first bunch gets eaten right off the hot pan as soon as they come out of the oven! It’s the perfect fix for that salty/crunchy craving. And it’s kale… who knew?! :)

    PS I love your website/blog, etc… and your photography is amazing! Keep up the great work!

  33. jenyu says:

    Allison – I’m amazed at how many people like them! Although there are some who just don’t :)

    tami – nice!! and classy! but I’d never expect anything less from you, hon :) xo

    Phoo-D – I kinda go into spasms when I see them!

    Nicole – that’s awesome that you grow your own.

    Twila Moon – me too, but it really wasn’t that bad.

    shelley – great tips, thanks!

    Cathy – the hardest part is probably washing the kale.

    Barb – yay!

    Mike P – I’ve never tried the packaged ones before.

  34. Krista @ The Beet Reporter says:

    I’ll try them this afternoon! There’s kale on sale like crazy in DC, so I’ve been buying bulk bags. This will be a great way to make em a snack, thanks for the idea!

  35. Turkey Sandwich w/Kale Chips « says:

    […] I made the famous kale chips everyone has been raving about in the blogosphere. After reading Use Real Butter’s (URB) post about them, I finally went out and bought kale to make these chips. Sadly, I’m the first […]

  36. Turkey Burger w/Kale Chips « says:

    […] I made the famous kale chips everyone has been raving about in the blogosphere. After reading Use Real Butter’s (URB) post about them, I finally went out and bought kale to make these chips. Sadly, I’m the first […]

  37. Krista @ The Beet Reporter says:

    It worked out great! I seasoned them with homemade nori salt, so they have a little more flavor:

    Thanks for the idea!

  38. Mollie says:

    My darling! I’ve been neglecting the blogs again. Will make these immediately. We love kale, and i’ve just recently discovered the revelation that is roasted brussles sprouts. And part of my love there is the few outer leaves that get loose and roast up krispy and eat like salty potato chips. I can’t wait.

  39. Roasted Kale Chips Recipe: Healthy, Crunchy Homemade Vegetable Snack — Family Fresh Cooking says:

    […] Baked Kale Chips Use Real Butter […]

  40. Kitt says:

    Just made some from the “garnish” of a fruit bouquet someone brought to work. Three large baking sheets’ worth!

    My co-workers think I’m nuts.

  41. GJohnson39 says:

    Just returned from the Madison WI Farmers Market with 3 bunches bought just for this purpose. We love kale chips so much that I have developed recipes for other flavors – barbeque, curry, and french herb & garlic. The kids inspired these other flavor profiles.

    It’s funny, the kids comment that potato chips are sooo greasy after we’ve had kale chips in the house for a while.

  42. Kale Chips « canuckasaurusrex says:

    […] amount of time. They were the new fad! I… missed out. Until of course I came across this Kale Chip Recipe . Boy, am I ever thankful I did. I have had previous experience with kale. I’ve tried […]

  43. Shelley says:

    These were delicious. You’re right about the salt, you really don’t need much. I think I over did it on this batch and will do less salt next time. Thanks :)

  44. ケールが人気 | Wellness Creation|ウェルネスクリエイション says:

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  45. Maria @ Foodpix photography says:

    I bought kale few days ago and didn’t know what to exactly do with it, this is such a great idea!
    Thanks for sharing

  46. Karen says:

    There was actually competition for the last piece of kale tonight at our house! My 7 and 8 year olds both really, really enjoyed this. Very little oil and salt needed, and we piled too much on the sheet at first, so put the ones that did not get crispy back in the oven for a few more minutes and they came out fine, too. Then we found an errant leaf that fell out of the bag, swished it around in the mixing bowl and over the cookie sheet, and popped that in the oven. That too was devoured. Great recipe!

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