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Kale Chips : The Wimpy Vegetarian
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Spicy Kale Chips


  • 2 bunches curly green kale central stalk removed, torn into bite-size pieces
  • 4 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • ½ - ¾ teaspoon kosher salt to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne powder optional
  • ¼ teaspoon sweet paprika I use Pimenton de la Vera (optional)
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ - 1 teaspoon Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese finely grated


  • Preheat the oven to 275° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (see Cook's Notes).
  • Wash and completely dry the kale. Set aside, sandwiched between paper towels, while you make the dressing.
  • Place the rice vinegar in a small bowl. Add the salt and spices (if using them) and whisk a few times to dissolve the salt. Slowly add the olive oil, while whisking to get a good emulsion. Take a kale leaf and dip it into the dressing and take a bite. Adjust the seasoning to your own taste.
  • Place the dry kale leaves in a large bowl and pour half of the dressing over it. Toss thoroughly with your hands and add more dressing as needed.
  • Lay the dressed kale leaves on the prepped baking sheets in a single layer. The leaves can touch each other, but if the leaves are overlapping too much, they’ll steam and never get crispy.
  • Grate the Parmesan cheese over the leaves.
  • Bake for 40 - 45 minutes or until crispy.


  • These chips are a great entry point to kale for kids and adults alike, but I suggest eliminating the spices for kids.
  • I've made these kale chips successfully with both dino and curly green kale, but prefer the shape of the latter.
  • The center stalk of each leaf should always be removed when cooking kale; it’s very tough and no amount of cooking is going to significantly soften it. Think thick floss.
  • You can cut the kale into bite-sizes pieces if in a hurry, but you’ll get prettier shapes if you tear them; although I should add that kale chips are not the prettiest type of chip you’ll probably ever make.
  • I wash kale by tossing it in a bowl filled with ice water, spinning dry in a salad spinner, and laying out on paper towels. If the kale is a little limp coming out of the refrigerator, soaking it in a bowl of ice water is a great way to perk it up!
  • It's important to line the baking sheet with parchment paper, otherwise the kale leaves will stick to the pan as they bake and crumble when you try to remove them.
  • Eat like a potato chip or crumble over soups, salads, baked apples, pizza or popcorn.