For years the only vegetable my husband ate was green beans. Then, one day, one amazing day, he decided to try kale. BUT, there were very clear specifications about how he would try kale…as chips. Needless to say, I set out to make the crunchiest, most flavorful kale chips he could imagine. With a little cooking smarts and intense motivation to wow his palate, I won him over.
Now, many years later, he still asks for them regularly. We have tried making them many different ways, adjusting temperature, seasonings and even using different types of kale.
While I know that kale chips is no new recipe, I have spoken with so many people that tried cooking them only to bring a pan of burnt chips out of the oven. Oh, don’t worry, you are not alone! I have ruined quite a few pans of kale chips myself! But, those cooking blunders kept me experimenting to figure out the perfect time and temperature. Other kale bloopers ended in overly salty chips and underseasoned ones. Determined, I kept testing and tweaking and my husband kept tasting, to my delight.
If you have ever attempted kale chips only to throw them in the trash OR if you curious about the best ways I have found to make them perfectly crisp every time, these are my tips AND my recipe for Perfect Parmesan Kale Chips. (Oh, if you read this post, you know that I am so over perfection, but ‘Excellent Parmesan Kale Chips’ just doesn’t have a nice ring. For today, we are embracing perfection.)
Kale Chip Cooking Tips
- Cook at the proper temperature. We found 325 degrees cooks them perfectly. Whenever we cook any higher, some of the chips brown before the others are crisp.
- Do not crowd the pan. Cook in several batches and spread out the kale on several pans. Each piece of kale should have a little room so that air can circulate around the kale to get it perfectly crisp.
- Set your timer 2 minutes early and watch the kale chips carefully during that time (don’t leave the kitchen!). Every oven is different so make sure you adjust your cooking time to your oven. Kale chips cooked at 325 degrees in our oven take exactly 15 minutes (on the dot).
- Season the chips before you put them in the oven. They are not greasy when they come out of the oven and any seasoning you add will bounce off.
Now that you know my tricks, it is time to get cooking!
Parmesan Kale Chips
10 oz chopped kale pieces (or 1 bunch), washed and spun dry
1 ½ tbsp olive oil
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
¼ tsp kosher salt
⅛ tsp ground black pepper (or more to taste)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a large baking pan with non-stick foil and spray with cooking spray (I use a Misto).
In a large bowl, break up kale into large chip sized pieces and remove all tough stems. Add oil and massage the kale with your hands until all the chips have a glossy coating and are softened. Sprinkle on salt, pepper and parmesan cheese and continue to massage the kale until the seasonings have coated all of the kale pieces.
Place kale on the baking sheet and bake in 2-3 batches for 15 minutes or until kale is crunchy but not burnt. Set your timer for 2-3 minutes early and watch carefully for the last few minutes to make sure the kale does not overcook.
Serve with a sprinkle of shredded parmesan on top, if desired. If they are still warm, the cheese will slightly melt.
Store kale in a plastic container in the refrigerator to maintain crispness for several days.
NUTRITION PER SERVING
Total Fat 7g
Saturated Fat 2g
Dietary Fiber 3g
Hopefully, this recipe will be a winner on your dinner table! If you want to hear more about my story of Living with a Picky Eater, you can check out this series:
Part 2: Sanity Saving Strategies
Part 3: Another Angle
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