The BEST Kale Chips Recipe: Spicy Chipotle Kale Chips (dairy-free, nut-free, vegan)
These are the BEST kale chips ever: dairy-free, nut-free, and vegan Chipotle Kale Chips! These picky eater-approved kale chips are awesome for paleo, Whole30, keto, and real food appetizer, game day or party food, healthy snacking, and as a side of “chips” with your favorite burger!
Once, I told my daughter that she should consider carrying a bouquet of kale at her wedding … in 30 years. 😉
Speaking of my daughter…
Ever seen teenagers scarf down an entire bunch of kale?
It’s a pretty amazing sight!
One minute, the kale’s sitting there, all leafy and dark green; and the next minute, it’s just … gone.
If you want to make THAT kind of kale, here’s the recipe for you!
Why Chipotle Kale Chips Are the BEST Kale Chips Recipe
I love putting kale in cooked things — like my Super Simple 5-Ingredient Paleo Breakfast Hash. Now that’s some kale I can chow down on!
I don’t like raw kale.
There. I said it.
It’s bitter and chewy and just, ew. And, I’m not a fan of forcing yourself to eat foods you don’t like.
So, you won’t find me ordering raw kale Caesar salads or eating raw kale whatever.
These Chipotle Kale Chips are the BEST Kale Chips recipe because they’re like eating the kale version of your favorite nacho-flavored Doritos. F’real. 🙂
The nutritional yeast gives them a cheesy flavor without cheese. (P.S. Most nutritional yeast is fortified with synthetic B vitamins, which are no bueno. This brand is not fortified, so it’s the only kind I buy.)
Then, some of my favorite spices, like garlic and onion powders, paprika, and chipotle powder combine for an out-of-this-world flavor — that totally turns kale-haters into kale-lovers (if they’re willing to take just a bite).
Spicy, smoky, salty, and slightly cheesy, these kale chips will allow you to perform the miracle of picky eaters and even teenagers eating their greens with delight!
I make these kale chips for road trips and snacking around the house. I just love it when my kids smile at me with flecks of green kale all in their teeth — because that’s a Mom Win!
We have a really hard time keeping our hands off these kale chips. They’re just as great as a side to a cheeseburger as they are for a mid-afternoon snack!
Heck, make these for your guy while he’s watching a game and be amazed as he devours his greens!
Why My Chipotle Kale Chips Are Baked
Unlike many kale chips recipes, this one is made in the oven (which everyone has), not a dehydrator* (which few people have).
#1 — Baking kale chips is more convenient.
Another reason I think I don’t like raw kale and why I make these in the oven?
Cooking kale destroys an anti-nutrient called oxalic acid, which is heavily present in raw kale, raw spinach, raw beets, raw rhubarb, and non-soaked/non-sprouted nuts and nut butters.
Cooking, even just lightly steaming, these leafy greens reduces the oxalates by a great deal.
Kale is just one of those foods that our bodies digest and absorb better when cooked, not raw. So, if you don’t like raw kale either, it’s totally OK!
#2 — More nourishing!
There’s a great deal of debate about oxalates in our diets, so here’s my stance: if eating raw kale, beets, or rhubarb isn’t appealing to you, there’s a reason.
And, it might not be because “you’re just picky”.
Our bodies naturally have aversions to certain foods because they intuitively know what is and isn’t good for us.
Some bodies tolerate oxalates better than others, so if you love raw kale, raw beets, and raw rhubarb, then you’re probably an oxalate-tolerator. (I totally just made up that term.)
On the other hand, if you can’t stand the thought of eating those foods raw, but enjoy them cooked, your body probably innately knows that it doesn’t do well with oxalates. (Hint: if you’ve had kidney stones, that’s a good sign your body doesn’t tolerate oxalates.)
How To Make Chipotle Kale Chips
Preheat your oven* to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and line a cookie sheet or two with parchment paper. Remove kale leaves from the thick stems and tear into chip-size pieces. Wash and dry completely. I love to use my salad spinner for this because it’s quick and easy!
Place torn kale into a large, deep bowl, like this one. Pour the oil over it. Use tongs to toss the kale in the oil to coat it evenly.
Next, combine nutritional yeast and all seasonings in a small bowl and stir to mix well. Sprinkle the seasoning mix over the kale and mix with the tongs.
Turn the kale out onto the cookie sheet. Spread the kale out horizontally, but don’t pile it up vertically. If you have too many layers of kale, it won’t dry properly. You’ll probably need 2 baking sheets.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the kale leaves are mostly crisp, but not browning on the edges.
Remove from the oven, and allow the kale to cool completely. It will crisp up even more as it cools.
*These can be made in a dehydrator. Line dehydrator trays with parchment and spread the kale out on the trays. Dehydrate at 90 degrees until completely dry and crisp — 10 to 12 hours. I do not consume raw spinach or kale due to oxalates, but if you prefer to keep your kale raw, feel free to use this method!
Store in an airtight container or bag for up to 2 weeks.
The BEST Ever Chipotle Kale Chips
These are the BEST kale chips ever: dairy-free, nut-free, and vegan Chipotle Kale Chips! These picky eater-approved kale chips are awesome for paleo, Whole30, keto, and real food appetizer, game day or party food, healthy snacking, and as a side of "chips" with your favorite burger!
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and line a couple of baking sheets with parchment paper.
Wash the kale and remove the leaves from the thick stems in chip-size pieces. Place in a large mixing bowl.
Pour the oil over the kale and use tongs to stir and coat the kale in the oil.
Whisk together the seasonings and nutritional yeast, then pour over the kale. Again, use tongs to stir and coat the kale evenly in the seasoning mixture.
Spread in an even layer on the baking sheets.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the kale begins to crisp up but not burn on the edges.
Remove from the oven and cool. The kale gets crispier as it cools.
Store in a zip-top bag.
More Picky Eater-Approved Veggie Recipes You’ll Love…
- Paleo Cauliflower Chocolate Pudding
- Keto Instant Pot Cauli-tatoes
- Potato-Free Instant Pot Clam Chowder (keto, paleo, dairy-free)
- Instant Pot Green Chile Chicken Chowder
- Paleo Butternut Squash Curly Fries
- No Starter Culture Fermented Dill Pickles
- Everything Seasoning Roasted Sweet Potatoes (paleo, Whole30, vegan)
- Best Keto Fudgy Brownies with a Secret
Do you make kale chips? What’s your favorite way to get picky eaters to eat their greens?
Originally published on February 15, 2016. Updated and re-published with new images, text, and improved recipe on June 28, 2019.