The Best Kale Chips (With a Secret Ingredient)

My friend Samantha often whips up some kale chips for playdates, and our toddler sons wolf them up. It’s so gratifying to see three-year-olds eat kale! Kale chips are delicious and addictive, so I was excited when Linda of The Tart Tart agreed to share a recipe with a twist…
The Best Kale Chips You’ll Ever Have
By Linda Xiao of The Tart Tart

Growing up in an Asian household, I loved nori snacks, especially the plain sheets that came wrapped in plastic. They were so perfectly seasoned, with just the right degree of crispness. I liken kale chips to this childhood treat, because when baked, kale achieves similar qualities of goodness, yet still delivers its own distinctly earthy taste.

To me, a perfect kale chip is crispy to the point of being melt-in-your-mouth light, but still retains the slightest bit of chew. And it must be covered with sesame seeds. I’ve tried many variations of the recipe over the years, and have finally arrived at the one I like best. It’s Asian- (and nori-) inspired, and takes about 10 minutes to throw together. I hope you give it a try!

You’ll need:
A bunch of kale (either curly or lacinato—they’re both good, but texturally, I prefer curly), center stems removed, washed and dried thoroughly
About 1 tbsp. sesame oil or olive oil
1 to 2 tsp. soy sauce
About 1 tbsp. sesame seeds

What to do:
Preheat your oven to 350F.

Tear the kale into large pieces and place them in a bowl. (NOTE: I have to stress how important it is that your kale is dry. Otherwise, the chips will turn out soggy.) Next, add the oil, soy sauce, and sesame seeds, and toss it all together with your hands. You want each piece to be glistening, but not so much that any of the oil or seasoning pools at the bottom of the bowl. You can also taste a piece at this point. It shouldn’t be too salty, because the taste will condense in the final chip. Feel free to add a little more soy sauce if you’d like, though.

On 1 or 2 baking sheets (with or without parchment paper), lay the pieces out flat.

Bake 6 to 7 minutes. (Note, however, that these aren’t hard figures because I know my oven is hotter than average. I’ve seen times ranging from 6 minutes to 12, so the first time you make these, keep a close eye on the chips. You want to take them out before they’re completely crisped—they’ll still be a little soft in the middle.) You may need to experiment a little with the timing to get it right.

Once out of the oven, they’ll cool very quickly. Enjoy!
Delicious. Thank you, Linda!

P.S. More best recipes, including kale Caesar salad and brussel sprouts.

(Photos and recipe by Linda Xiao of The Tart Tart. Thanks to Shoko for helping with this series.)

  1. Allison says...

    I just tried these with my best friend and they were not what we expected. We were both excited by the ingredients but they were a bit bitter. I usually enjoy the olive oil and salt variety. I guess this flavor profile isn’t for me.

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  4. I love Kale chips and my method is longer, but it retains the nutrients and if you have the time, try slow drying them in a 170-200 degree oven for 2.5 hours (rotating once). Of course, prep your Kale like the article says (wet is bad, get s salad spinner!) It’s good to know you can cook them fast for a quick fix on unexpected guests or cravings or you can get more nutrients by slow drying them! Thanks for the article!

  5. I love Kale chips and my method is longer, but it retains the nutrients and if you have the time, try slow drying them in a 170-200 degree oven for 2.5 hours (rotating once). Of course, prep your Kale like the article says (wet is bad, get s salad spinner!) It’s good to know you can cook them fast for a quick fix on unexpected guests or cravings or you can get more nutrients by slow drying them! Thanks for the article!

  6. Or wolf them down :-)

  7. These are a low calorie nutritious snack. Like potato chips, you cannot stop at just eating one. They are great for parties and a good conversation topic.

  8. D says...

    Christ, my mouth is watering just reading this. I grew up, not in an Asian household, but in Asia. Cannot. Wait. To. Make. This.

  9. Those salty nori sheets are one of my most favorite snacks, so this makes SO much sense to me! Psyched to see a post from you over here, Linda! (: xo

  10. i know what she is talking about re: nori snacks! i will definitely have to use this recipe the next time i make kale chips!

  11. This is wonderful, I thought you needed a dehydrator to make them and now I can’t wait to bake them in the oven!

  12. I am definitely going to try this. My first and only attempt at kale chips was not successful and I came away confused as to why anyone was eating them! Love the Asian flaire though, I’ll have to try again!

  13. I’ve heard so much about these, guess its time to them a try. Thanks

  14. I’ve never tried kale chips, but I’ve heard lots of people love them. I may have to give it a go!

  15. The first time I made kale chips they were not completely dry and I used a *tad* too much olive oil. We can’t all succeed on the first try, right?! Thanks for the great tips!

  16. I deft plan on making these tomorrow for an outdoor movie party !!

  17. Just made them for lunch and they were delicious, the best recipe I have tried so far.

    Thank you for sharing!

  18. We made these for the first time a couple of weeks ago (apparently the recipe is hot at weightwatchers where my friend goes). Great as a chip but also sprinkled over a hot dish. Lovely!

  19. I’ve never tried those, but they look tasty!!

  20. We used to serve our crispy kale with marinated tofu and brown rice. Very jap-feeling meal.

    But I always think that by cooking the kale in the oven for that long, surely most of the nutrients will be killed?

  21. I eat kale chips everyday! I love them with nutritional yeast, it gives them a cheesy flavor… I will most absolutely try them with soy sauce though!! Thanks, lovie.

  22. I’ve never tried kale chips, but this recipe is making it sound very tempting!

  23. I LOVE this recipe series you have been doing! I pin nearly every one!

    I also love kale chips, but usually just make them with olive oil and sea salt. Adding soy sauce and sesame seeds is just genius. Thanks for another great one!

  24. I just want to say that I can’t wait for more pics of new baby Anton – especially with his big brother!

    And I second all the YUMs on kale chips.

  25. jm says...

    I love kale chips, but have only ever made them with olive oil and salt. Sesame seeds and soy sauce sound like inspired additions!

  26. Best kale chips I’ve ever had were with lemon, nutritional yeast, and chili powder! Mmmm

  27. We LOVE KALE in our home, my two year old especially.

  28. Oh my gosh! My husband and I just spent a week in the U.S. and the kale chip was everywhere (they have not yet caught on from what we have seen/found in Edinburgh. We decided we need to try making them ourselves and voila- a recipe. Perfect timing.

  29. Another awesome way to season kale chips: Old Bay seasoning before baking! SO good!

  30. Hm! I’ve never tried making kale chips with curly kale (I’ve only ever made them with lacinato, olive oil, and parm at 250° for about half an hour à la Dan Barber’s recipe). The sesame/soy sauce combo sounds delicious and I like that this prepares a little more quickly. Will have to try it this weekend. :)

  31. I love dried nori as well, so I will definitely have to try this recipe!

  32. I gotta try this out! Thanks for sharing :)

  33. ooOOoo I’ve never tried this with sesame seed oil. I love that stuff, it smells so so good.

  34. yum yum. i do olive oil, salt and grated lemon peel. my toddler mows them down too!

  35. I have never had the chip version but I do love kale.

  36. We are growing kale in our garden at the moment and I’m definitely going to try this when they are ready for eating. How exciting. Thanks for sharing :) xx

  37. Thank you for sharing! We absolutely love kale chips in my house and often eat them baked (with a touch of red pepper salt). I’ll have to try the sesame seeds! <3

  38. I love kale chips, I went through a phase where I ate them every day. I usually use the bagged tougher stuff from the grocery, I find it cooks better. When I tried it with fresh kale that looked great, they just turned into a gloppy mess, like lettuce would. Any solutions?

    Also, if anyone would like to check out my new blog, I would be so grateful!

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