Crispy Kale

Crispy kale chips seem to be spreading like a house-o-fire over the last year as a healthy tasty snack alternative.  At the grocery store a small bag goes for about $3!  As some of you have discovered it’s pretty durn easy to make and a heck of a lot cheaper than buying it at the store.

No matter the year we seem to have an over abundance of dark greens.  Mike can’t just plant one he plants many.  We end up eating mountains of the stuff, blanching more, and taking the extras to the food bank so it turns out to be a win-win.  This year is no different….

I head out to pick some kale.  Now this year I have two big change-up’s  for my crispy kale chips.  The first is to use ‘Dinosaur Kale’.

Dinosaur Kale from last years garden

Dinosaur kale from last year’s garden

It’s got more meat to it.  The problem when you bake kale is you need to watch that it doesn’t get over cooked.  When it does it gets a bitter taste.  Typical kale with the curled edges tends to burn because the edges are thin.  Meaty dinosaur kale doesn’t have curled thin edges.

So out I went out back to do a little harvesting….

Buggy-bug eaten kale

Buggy-bug eaten kale

 Drat! It seems as though every type of pestilent bug and insect has found our garden.

One of many bugs that has gotten full on our kale

One type of bug that has gotten full on our kale

After a little more searching I found a fairly untouched kale plant.

Dinosaur kale fresh from the garden!

Dinosaur kale fresh from the garden!

I picked a handful of leaves and headed inside.


Dinosaur kale (AKA- Tuscan kale, Lacinato kale, Black kale, or Cavolo Nero)

Olive oil

Soy sauce

OK!  The soy sauce was my second change up!!  The problem I’ve had with crispy kale in the past is I like a little salt on it.   Chunky sea salt looks great in those food blog photos but in reality the salt tends to fall right off after the kale is cooked.  Replacing it with soy sauce gives you that salty goodness built right into the chip!  I KNOW! The best idea EVER!!

How much of these ingredients?  Well as particular as my recipes get when I’m baking this one is a bit of ‘toss some in here’ and ‘add a pinch over there’.  I’ll explain more  in the instructions.


Preheat the oven to 300 degrees

  1. Clean the kale and shake the excess water off.
  2. On your cutting board slice the center vein out and give them to your chickens. No chickens? Go get some….
  3. Cut ‘chip’ size pieces from the kale
  4. In a medium size bowl add a few tablespoons of olive oil and a few shakes of soy sauce.  If you want them really salty add more soy sauce.
  5. Toss the kale into the bowl and massage the oil/soy sauce mixture into each piece.  Your don’t need it thick on the kale but you want each piece to be completely covered.  You may need to add in more oil and/or soy sauce as you go (trust your inner Martha).
  6. Place the kale on a cookie sheet.  The pieces should not be touching.
  7. Put in the oven for a total of 15 minutes taking them out and flipping them at about 8 minutes time.

What you don’t want is for it to turn black.  This is when it gets over cooked and a bitter taste.  If they are cooking too fast lower the temperature (I live at high altitude your results may vary) and adjust the overall time.

Crisp Kale Dino Style!

Crisp Kale Dino Style!


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You can also see my improved crispy kale recipe here:




  1. Posted July 10, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    LOL That was what my black kale looked like! And I found the SAME creature crawling on my okra this summer!! My okra looked like your kale, too! Then we finally got the organic pesticide. That slowed down the bugs a bit… Now I’m thinking about getting ladybugs for other little creatures.  Oh, what I wanted to say was my black kale couldn’t make it to chips… 🙁 Maybe next year. Oh wait. I can get a big bunch from farmers market! Woo hoo!

    • Posted July 10, 2012 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

      We did the organic pesticide and it helped some but not fast enough!  The pill bugs are taking out all of our tender starts 🙁

    • Kim
      Posted June 8, 2013 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

      Your swallowtail butterfly caterpillar probably came from the dill plants next to the kale

  2. Posted July 10, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    I love crispy kale!

    Those unwanted stems also are a favorite snack of rabbits and gerbils.  Don’t give them too many, though, or they get upset stomachs.  1-2 stems per gerbil per day.   A rabbit can have more, being larger.

    • Posted July 10, 2012 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

      Good point.  I just like to be bossy and point people towards chicken ownership!

  3. Grumpyrumblings
    Posted July 10, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    Kale chips are super nummy.  The recipe we use has balsamic vinegar.  delish!

    • Posted July 10, 2012 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

      Next batch I’m trying the balsamic vinegar!

  4. Pamela
    Posted July 10, 2012 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

    LOVE you guys! This recipe looks awesome, and although most of my kale was hole-y this season too, I still have some I could, and need to, use. 

    How’s the green house coming along? I really enjoyed making learning about papercrete. 

    I need to learn how to home can pretty quick. My garden at Milagro is doing very well!

    Hope to see you guys again!


    • Posted July 11, 2012 at 8:01 am | Permalink

      Greenhouse is coming slowly.  Mike is trying to finish up the yurt roof by the end of July.  I’m currently not allowed to do any activity (including bending over to weed!) because of a back problem so he’s on his own!
      We just tried the row cover and had some success.  Can’t wait to use it earlier in the season next year!

  5. Eileen
    Posted July 11, 2012 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    Guys, I’ve never been a fan of kale.  Are you telling me that I might actually like these chips?

    • Posted July 11, 2012 at 7:28 am | Permalink

      Like them? You’ll LOVE them.  Seriously.  They are way more on the chip side than the kale side of things. 

  6. Posted July 16, 2012 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    I keep meaning to try kale chips – I love how you have used the soy sauce. I bet it gives a lovely flavour. (We’ve had a lot of bugs here this year as well – all my pea plants got eaten!)

  7. Posted July 23, 2012 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

    I love crispy kale! Your recipe looks delicious. 🙂

  8. Jimmy
    Posted March 15, 2013 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    I’m having a problem with my Kale plants getting eaten like that too. Have you had any luck protecting them from the bugs?

  9. Posted March 18, 2013 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    Spraying soapy water on the leaves, planting companion plants like onions and luck seem to help!

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