It’s no secret that we love kale here at Foolproof Living. Made from my favorite superfood, kale chips in the air fryer are one of my go-to snacks. That’s why I have countless other tasty kale recipes in my recipe book!
For a light lunch or nutritious side, Avocado Kale Salad and Kale Quinoa Salad are the perfect recipes for busy weekdays. Or, if you want your kale on the go, my Pineapple Kale Smoothie uses only five ingredients to start your morning with a sweet energy boost.
Ingredients You’ll Need
To make kale in the air fryer, you only need three simple ingredients:
- Kale: When selecting among types of kale for this recipe, I recommend choosing either curly kale or lacinato kale. Curly kale is available in most grocery stores, making it a go-to for crispy kale chips. Lacinato kale—also known as dinosaur kale—is more delicate, so it will cook more quickly.
- Oil: Olive oil, coconut oil, or avocado oil will work in this air fryer kale chips recipe. If you want less oil, you can spray the leaves lightly with oil spray. You may also use well-stirred tahini to give your healthy kale chips an earthy, savory flavor.
- Salt: To bring out the snackable flavor of your air fry kale chips, I recommend using sea salt, kosher salt, or garlic salt.
How to Prepare Kale for Chips?
- Wash and dry kale: Wash your raw kale leaves under cold water. To dry, line a baking sheet with paper towels, place the wet leaves on top, and pat them dry with more paper towels. You can also use a salad spinner to dry your kale if you want to avoid using extra towels.
- Remove stems: Using a cutting board and a sharp paring knife, remove the stems of your kale. Fold the kale leaves in half, so the stem lies at one end, and then slice along the stem to separate the leaves. Or, pull the stem through one closed fist to detach the leaves without using a knife.
- Tear the kale: Once de-stemmed, tear your leaves into bite-sized pieces. Try to keep your pieces of kale as equal as possible to ensure even cooking.
How to Make Kale Chips in Air Fryer?
If you like healthy eating and have an air fryer, this easy kale recipe is just what you need. Follow these hassle-free steps, and you can prepare kale in the air fryer in just ten minutes.
- Prepare the air fryer: Preheat your air fryer to 375 degrees F.
- Mix the ingredients: Add the fresh kale leaves, olive oil, and salt to a large mixing bowl.
- Massage the kale: Using your hands, lightly massage the kale such that you evenly coat each leaf with olive oil. For more detailed instructions on this step, check out my guide on how to massage kale.
- Arrange in the air fryer basket: Transfer the massaged kale pieces to the air fryer basket. Spread the leaves in a single layer, being sure not to overcrowd them. I recommend frying your kale leaves in batches to make crispy kale in the air fryer.
- Air fry the kale: Air fry the arranged kale leaves for 3-5 minutes, flipping them halfway during the process.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a master chef or new to the air fryer game. This air fryer kale recipe will come out perfectly crisp every time with these foolproof suggestions.
- Dry kale leaves thoroughly: Drying your kale leaves is the key to getting crispy air fryer chips. I recommend using a salad spinner or laying your washed kale on a paper towel-lined sheet pan for complete dryness. Just don’t let your kale sit out for too long, as the leaves will lose their firmness.
- Lightly massage kale to coat them with oil: A light, even oil coating is necessary to give your kale chips sufficient crunch. For this reason, it’s essential that you gently massage your leaves in the oil for 30-40 seconds before adding them to the air fryer.
- Arrange leaves in a single layer: For proper cooking, it’s crucial to arrange your kale leaves in a single layer in your air fryer basket. Overcrowding will prevent the chips from crisping up evenly. Remember that you’ll likely have to cook your kale in batches to avoid overcrowding.
- Cover chips with another rack while cooking: Due to hot air circulation, kale tends to fly around in the air fryer during the cooking process. Covering each batch with an air fryer rack or another basket will keep your kale chips in place.
- Check after three minutes: It doesn’t take long to air fry kale, so you must keep a close eye on it to avoid overcooked chips. After three minutes of cook time, checking each batch will help keep your kale from burning.
- Play with seasoning ideas: One of the best parts about these easy air fryer kale chips is how simple it is to try different flavor combinations. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for a savory, herby, or cheesy flavor. Experimenting with kale chip seasonings is a great way to add creativity to your kitchen.
There’s no need to stress out about air frying kale. Whether you want to know about air fryer kale chips’ nutrition information or how to make crispy kale in the air fryer, this FAQ has all you need.
Definitely! Making kale chips in an air fryer is one of the easiest snacks in my recipe book. Good for weight loss, dietary restrictions, and cost-effectiveness, air-fried kale chips come together in less than ten minutes using any air fryer brand. (We tested this recipe in a Ninja Air Fryer and Instant Vortex Air Fryer, but any kind should work!)
Kale chips are a delicious snack whether you make them in an oven or an air fryer. The only difference is that cooking them in the air fryer is quicker, though you’ll have to cook them in several batches. By contrast, the oven will require a longer cook time, but you can make your kale chips in a single batch.
To get your air fryer kale chips as crunchy as possible, dry them thoroughly before massaging them with oil. Then, keep a close eye on them during the air frying process to ensure they crisp up without burning.
Yes! Kale chips are one of my favorite healthy snack recipes because they contain a fraction of the fat of regular potato chips and retain their nutritional value during the air frying process. Kale is high in vitamins A, B, and C and has tons of fiber and antioxidants. As an added bonus, these air fryer kale chips are keto, vegan, gluten-free, Whole30, low-carb, and low-calorie!
Yes, you can air fry frozen kale by frying the frozen pieces for 7-8 minutes at 375 degrees F. When using this method, I recommend placing smaller pieces of kale in your basket to avoid overcrowding, as frozen kale will expand in the hot air. Also, remember that fresh kale tends to result in crunchier chips.
Other Air Fryer Vegetable Recipes You Might Like
Kale chips from the air fryer are a healthy, crunchy snack that’s as satisfying as it is tasty. After trying out these other delicious recipes, your air fryer will be your new favorite appliance.
If you try this Air Fryer Kale Chips recipe or any other recipe on Foolproof Living, please take a minute to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. It helps others who are thinking of making the recipe. And if you took some pictures, be sure to share them on Instagram using #foolproofeats so I can share them on my stories.
Air Fryer Kale Chips Recipe
- 5 cups kale (1 bunch of kale) rinsed, spin-dried, torn into smaller pieces
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- Preheat the air fryer: Preheat air fryer to 375 degrees F.
- Add the ingredients to a bowl: Place kale leaves, olive oil, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
- Massage the kale: Lightly massage the kale, ensuring all leaves are coated with the oil.
- Place in the air fryer: Transfer the kale to the air fryer basket and spread them in a single layer, making sure not to overcrowd them. It is best to air-fry kale leaves in batches for optimum crispiness.
- Air fry the kale: Air fry for 3-4 minutes, turning them halfway through the air frying process. Keep a close eye on them around the 3-minute mark to prevent over cooking.
- Can I air fry frozen kale? Yes, you can. Frozen kale takes about 7-8 minutes. Keep in mind, though, that kale expands as it air fries, so it’s important not to overcrowd the air fryer basket. Additionally, during our recipe testing, we found that kale chips made with fresh kale were crispier than its version made with frozen kale.
- You may need to cover kale with another rack while cooking: Due to hot air circulation, the fragile and light kale leaves tend to fly around in the air fryer during the cooking process. Covering each batch with an air fryer rack or another heat-proof basket will keep your kale chips in place.
- Seasoning ideas: Seasoning is the fun part of making kale chips at home! While you can sprinkle them with parmesan cheese (or nutritional yeast for a vegan option), you can also season them with ranch seasoning, bbq seasoning, or even everything but the bagel seasoning.
- Make ahead: The part that takes the most time in this recipe is preparing the kale chips (rinse, dry, and cut the leaves into small pieces) for frying. The good news is that you can prepare kale and store it in the fridge a few days in advance.
- Storage: For maximum crunchiness, we recommend air frying kale chips on the day you plan to consume them. However, if you have some leftovers, you can store them in a paper bag or a paper towel-lined airtight container large enough so that the crispy leaves will not break. Make sure that they are at room temperature before you store them. Your chips will stay fresh for up to two days.