Air Fryer Kale Chips cook up crispy and perfect in under 10 minutes, including the time needed to make delicious from-scratch ranch seasoning (or whatever seasoning you choose!).
Table of Contents
- What is an air fryer?
- How to Make Air Fryer Kale Chips
- Air Fryer Kale Chips -- Variations
- Can I store these for later?
- Air Fryer Kale Chips Recipe
Y'all, I made kale chips in my air fryer. No big deal.
Actually, for me, this is a huge deal. I never make my own kale chips anymore, because for some reason spreading pieces of kale in a single layer on baking sheets feels too inefficient to me.
But I do love to eat kale chips by the handful, and even two baking sheets of chips just feels like so few, considering how long they need to bake. I know, I'm a child.
I've been crazy about my air fryer ever since it landed on our doorstep. These air fryer kale chips are my latest air frying adventure, but be sure to also try my Crispy Air Fried Tofu and Air Fryer Avocado Fries. You won't be sorry!
What is an air fryer?
I get this question a LOT. Think of an air fryer as a super fast convection oven that makes food crispy and delicious faster than you could fry or bake it.
And it cooks even faster than a regular convection oven. A typical convection oven cuts baking time by 25 percent. My air fryer cuts baking time in half, and the results are crispier than you'd get from a proper oven.
Read all about the joys of air frying, and get tons of vegan air fryer recipes, HERE.
How to Make Air Fryer Kale Chips
But maybe you're not here because you're curious about air fryers. Maybe you have one already and just want to make some kale chips already.
Here's what you need to know.
When you're making air fryer kale chips, you don't have to worry about creating a single layer. And making these kale chips won't heat up the house, like baking them in the oven does.
They also only cook for four or five minutes. That means, from start to finish, you're looking at about 10 minutes total standing between you and a big ol' pile of ranch kale chips. That includes the time to make the ranch seasoning from scratch.
To make these, start by stemming your kale. This is not something you can skip.
You can save the stems, and toss them into soups or stews, but don't leave them on the leaves when you're prepping your kale for this recipe.
The woody kale stems take a LOT longer to cook than the leaves, so if you don't stem, you'll end up with chewy stems in the middles of your crispy chips.
Or, if you cook longer so the stems get crispy, you'll end up with burnt leaves. Don't do it. I ruined a good batch of kale chips this way. Lesson learned!
Once you stem the kale, just toss it with olive oil and a few dried herbs and spices. Air fry for four to five minutes, shaking a couple of times, and devour them!
Air Fryer Kale Chips -- Variations
If ranch seasoning isn't your thing, don't fret! You can spice these up however you want. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- 1/2 teaspoon salt for plain, salted kale chips
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast and 1/2 teaspoon of salt for cheesy chips
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1 tablespoon za'atar seasoning
I make the nutritional yeast variation often. They're vaguely cheesy and incredibly satisfying.
Can I store these for later?
Eat these kale chips immediately, if possible. The ones you buy at the store come bagged with a desiccant, which keeps them from absorbing moisture.
Homemade air fryer kale chips do not come with a dessicant, and they will get soft if you leave them out or even in the fridge.
The good news is that the recipe below makes an amount that 1-2 people can easily eat in one sitting.
If you do have leftovers, store in an airtight container in the fridge and know that they will be soft when you eat them. They'll still taste good, but they won't be remotely chip-like in texture.
Air Fryer Kale Chips
- About the ranch seasoning and nutritional yeast: These are just flavoring suggestions. Feel free to check out the flavor variation ideas in the post above or use whatever seasonings strike your fancy!
- About the kale stems: This recipe says to stem your kale, and that is not something you can skip. You can save the stems, and toss them into soups or stews, but don’t leave them on the leaves when you’re prepping your kale for this recipe. The woody kale stems take a LOT longer to fry than the leaves, so if you don’t stem, you’ll end up with chewy stems in the middles of your crispy kale chips. Or, if you cook longer so the stems get crispy, you’ll end up with burnt leaves. Don’t do it. I ruined a good batch of kale chips this way. Lesson learned!