A Step-by-Step Guide to Perfect Kale Chips

January 28, 2015 | Posted by Charlotte March

Okay, I admit kale chips seem like a somewhat dated concept. I’d say they “jumped the shark” right about the time Cheezy Chipotle Kale Chips landed on the shelves at Whole Foods at a whopping five bucks a bag. That being said, if you just take a step back, turn your oven to 275º, and give yourself a half hour, you’ll remember why these healthy and delicious snacks became a craze in the first place.

I have attempted to make kale chips a handful of times and learned from my leathery, burnt mistakes that there is indeed a simple, flawless technique with perfect results each time.

First step: Save the lacinato variety for another use, and use curly leaf kale.

To de-stem, take a stalk of kale, hold it by the stem with one hand, and place the pointer or middle finger and thumb of your other hand around the stem just above the leaves. Pull your fingers along the stem, tearing off the leaves.

Next, wash the leaves and dry them very thoroughly. If they're damp, your chips will never get crispy. I suggest using a salad spinner, but if you don’t have one, lay the leaves out on a kitchen towel and dry with another towel. You should have about about 8-10 cups of leaves, depending upon the size of your bunch.

Toss leaves in a large bowl with 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil, using your hands to make sure that the leaves are evenly and thoroughly coated. This will also help the seasoning adhere evenly to the chips.

Speaking of which, season however you’d like. My current favorite is a combination of ½ teaspoon Togorashi (a Japanese chili powder), 1 teaspoon sea salt, 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, and a dash of sesame oil.

Arrange the leaves on two rimmed baking sheets and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through. Turn the oven off and leave the chips in for an additional 10 minutes. They will be light, crispy, and -- dare I say -- perfect.