Kale chips are a regular occurrence in my house. I started out making them plain but have evolved to making these Spicy Nacho Kale Chips as well as a handful of other variations. Since I love spicy food and have a serious love / hate with all foods cheese related, I started making myself these dairy free nacho kale chips on my “single lady” nights.
You know, the nights where my husband is out or works late and I don’t feel like cooking for myself. On those nights, my dinner usually consists of organic popcorn with pastured butter and nutritional yeast, a batch of these spicy nacho kale chips and a big ol’ glass of wine. True story.
These do have a kick but not so much that you are chugging down water (or wine) after every bite. If you want to experiment and make a more “mild” version, substitute sweet paprika for the smoked paprika.
- I prefer Dinosaur Kale (aka Lacinato or Tuscan Kale) for Kale Chips. I like that the leaves are flat and find the chips more “chip-like” than the curly Kale varieties.
- When I talk about stemming the Kale, I am referring to pulling the leaves off the stems. Here is a quick video showing how to do it. This is the quickest method, don’t waste time using a knife to cut the leaves off or pulling off one by one. You will get so frustrated you will wind up with your head deep into a bag of Kettle chips.
- Making Kale Chips is super easy BUT the first few times are tricky until you get your cooking time right. Every oven is different so you have to play around until you get it just right with your oven.
- To store Kale Chips, place in a glass or plastic container with two Silica-Gel packets. (You can find them in almost everything you buy – just start saving them. I got mine from an empty bottle of Vitamins and a package of Roasted Seaweed. I use 2 packets per head of Kale Chips I am storing)
- ¾ pound kale leaves, cleaned, stemmed and ripped into bite sized pieces (or baby kale leaves with ribs left in tact if very thin)
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 3 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¾ teaspoon sea salt
- ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
- Set oven racks to 2nd and 4th positions and preheat oven to 350F. Grab two baking sheets. I used newer (and very clean) baking sheets so I didn't line them but you may want to line with either parchment paper or tinfoil.
- Clean kale leaves. If using Dinosaur Kale, remove ribs and stems (see NOTES) and tear into bite sized pieces. If using baby kale leaves, trim stems.
- Place kale leaves in a large bowl and toss with olive oil until well coated.
- In a small dish, combine nutritional yeast, smoked paprika, sea salt and garlic powder. Pour over kale leaves and toss until well distributed.
- Arrange coated kale leaves in a single layer (some overlap is OK since they will shrink) on baking sheets.
- Place in oven and bake for approximately (see NOTES on oven times!) for 16 minutes, rotating the baking sheets 1x or until kale leaves are crispy but not burnt. They should not be soggy. If you have kale pieces that range dramatically in size, you may wind up having to remove some of the cooked kale chips and placing the rest back in the oven for a couple minutes.
- TIP: If only cooking one tray at a time, reduce cooking time to approximately 14 minutes. Enjoy!