Short on time? If you have an air fryer, be sure to also try our Air Fryer Kale Chips recipe, which takes less than 5 minutes to make from start to finish.
These homemade kale chips are my favorite way to curb an afternoon salt craving, and they couldn’t be easier to throw together. If you find yourself grabbing for the crunchy, salty, savory snacks throughout the day, you’ll be amazed at how these vegan cheesy kale chips are a great way to replace a bag of chips or pretzels.
Not to mention, having your choice of seasoning for kale chips (more on that below) gives you unlimited options of flavors each time you make them. So, go ahead, make your own kale chips, and enjoy a great snack that happens to be good for you.
This quick and easy recipe for kale chips with nutritional yeast requires only a few ingredients.
- Kale: Curly kale or lacinato kale (aka dinosaur kale) would both work in this recipe. If you are new to buying kale, be sure to check out our guide on the different varieties of kale.
- Oil: I recommend using avocado oil, olive oil, or coconut oil. You can even use tahini (sesame paste), which will pair beautifully with the nutritional yeast. Though it is important to thoroughly whisk your tahini before massaging it into the kale.
- Nutritional yeast: Nutritional yeast is the ingredient that gives these vegan kale chips their great cheesy flavor. The cheesy-tasting cousin to baker’s yeast, nutritional yeast is rich in nutrients. It is mostly used in place of cheese in vegan recipes (such as this vegan nacho cheese sauce) mainly because it tastes very similar to parmesan cheese. In this cheesy kale chips recipe, it is the savory element that makes them extra delicious. You can often find it in the healthy section of the store or order it online (affiliate link.)
How to make kale with nutritional yeast?
The steps of this vegan cheese kale chips recipe are simple and only take a few minutes.
- Prepare the kale: Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F before you begin prepping the ingredients. Rinse a fresh bunch of kale and tear it into small pieces. Dry them in a salad spinner as much as you can. Alternatively, you can spread them on a sheet pan lined with a kitchen towel and gently pat them dry with a sheet of paper towel.
- Mix: Lightly massage kale with oil, nutritional yeast, and any of the kale chip seasonings of your choice in a large bowl.
- Prep for baking: Spread the kale on a large sheet pan in a single layer. This is an important step for achieving crispy kale chips, so if needed, feel free to use two separate baking sheets.
- Bake: Bake in the preheated oven for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven, gently flip the kale leaves and bake for another 5-7 minutes keeping a close eye on it. If you are baking two sheets at the same time, be sure to rotate them as well.
How to make ahead and store leftovers?
- Make Ahead: Most of the prep time involved in this recipe is the cleaning and preparing of the kale to make the chips. The good thing is that you can easily wash, cut, and store kale in the refrigerator, so it takes just a few minutes to put it all together. If you are new to prepping kale, be sure to check out our guide on storing kale.
- Store: I’d be surprised if you have leftover kale chips. Truthfully, these crunchy kale chips are best on the day they are made. However, if you do wish to store them, wait until they cool fully, then keep them in an airtight container or a paper bag large enough that they won’t break. They should be good for up to 2 days.
Surprisingly, when baking kale, very minimal nutrients are cooked off, making it a more nutritious alternative to other salty snacks such as potato chips, pretzels or tortilla chips.
The secret to keeping kale chips crispy is to let them cool completely before storing them. We also recommend storing them in a large enough container so they won’t break.
Other Kale Recipes You Might Enjoy
If you love kale or are using kale to add more leafy greens to your diet, here are a few more must-try kale recipes:
If you try this Homemade Kale Chips recipe or any other recipe on Foolproof Living, please take a minute to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. It is a great help to 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.
Kale Chips with Nutritional Yeast Recipe
- 1 bunch fresh kale (curly kale) (8 oz. with stems), about 4-5 cups
- 2 teaspoons olive oil or avocado oil or coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast plus more for sprinkling
- ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Rinse kale under cold water, remove stems, and tear each leaf into bite-size pieces. It is best if they are (roughly) equal in size to help with even roasting in the oven.
- Using a salad spinner, dry the leaves as much as possible. Alternatively, you can spread them on a sheet pan lined with a kitchen towel and gently pat them dry. Transfer the kale leaves to a large mixing bowl.
- Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with nutritional yeast and salt. Lightly massage to ensure each leaf is coated with the oil and nutritional yeast.
- Transfer kale to the parchment-lined baking sheet. Spread them on an even layer making sure that they are not overlapping. You can grab a second baking sheet or bake it in two batches if needed.
- Bake in the oven for 7 minutes. Remove from the oven, gently flip each piece of kale, and bake for another 5-7 minutes. Towards the end, they should be crisp but not browned.
- Remove from the oven and let it cool for 1-2 minutes. Serve with an additional sprinkling of nutritional yeast on top.
- Dry kale thoroughly. Take the time to dry the kale thoroughly. While it may sound like an unnecessary step, removing the excess moisture is important for getting that addictive crispy texture. Plus, doing so ensures that the nutritional yeast mixture will stick to each piece of kale.
- Tear kale into equally-sized pieces. Make sure to tear or cut the kale leaves roughly equal in size. This will help them bake evenly and prevent browning.
- Watch it closely. We highly recommend keeping a close eye on the kale chips after the 10-minute mark. Since all ovens behave differently, you may have to rely on visual cues to decide whether or not you need the extra few minutes. If it is nice and crisp, it is time to pull it out. If the leaves are still on the softer side, give a minute or two for them to get crisp. Though please be aware that if you leave them in the oven for too long, they will turn brown and burn.
- Storage: While we think that these kale chips are best on the day they are made, you can store them to enjoy later. To do so, bring them to room temperature and store them in an airtight container or a paper bag large enough that they won’t break. They should be good for up to 2 days.