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When you crave the crunch of potato chips, give air fryer kale chips a try! Making kale chips in the air fryer preserves the vitamins and minerals, making it a healthy snack option (like roasted chickpeas). With so many ways to season them, this recipe comes together even faster than baked kale chips… with no oven needed!
Why You’ll Love This Air Fryer Kale Chips Recipe
- Endless flavor possibilities
- Light, crispy, crunchy
- 3 ingredients
- Faster than the oven
- Naturally paleo, gluten-free, keto, low carb, vegan, and dairy-free
This section explains how to choose the best ingredients for making kale chips in the air fryer, what each one does in the recipe, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.
- Curly Kale – The curly variety gets crispier, but lacinato kale also works.
- Olive Oil – You could also use avocado oil, or any neutral cooking oil you prefer.
- Sea Salt – Adds an instant flavor boost, but you can add other seasonings and spices as well. See more ideas below!
How To Make Kale Chips In The Air Fryer
This section shows how to make air fryer kale chips, with step-by-step photos and details about the technique, to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
- Prep. Wash kale and dry thoroughly. (Leaves will take longer to crisp up if they’re too wet.)
TIP: Use a salad spinner.
For easier kale drying, use a salad spinner to make the process faster.
- Chop. Use a sharp knife to slice around the tough stem of each kale leaf. Discard stem. Roughly chop kale into bite-sized pieces.
- Season. Place kale in a large bowl. Add olive oil and salt. If making flavored kale chips, add other seasonings (see ideas below) at this step as well. Toss, using your hands to gently massage the kale to make sure each leaf is well coated.
- Preheat. Turn on the air fryer and preheat.
- Air fry. Place kale in the air fryer basket. (You can cook in 2 batches if it doesn’t all fit.) Cook until the air fryer kale chips are crispy and dried out.
10 Seasoning Variations
You can add almost any kind of spices you prefer to this air fryer kale chips recipe. Keep in mind that you’ll want to add your preferred spices in addition to the 1 tbsp oil and ½ tsp salt in the basic recipe. Here are 10 different kale chip variations to try:
- Salt And Vinegar – Add 3 tablespoons white vinegar to your basic ingredients to make salt & vinegar chips.
- Lemon Garlic – To make lemon garlic kale chips, use 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 2 teaspoons lemon zest, and 1 tsp garlic powder to the kale.
- Chili Lime – Make chili lime kale chips with 4 teaspoons lime juice, 2 teaspoons chili powder, and 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder in addition to the basic kale chip ingredients.
- Taco – Add 1 tablespoon taco seasoning.
- BBQ – There are two ways to make bbq kale chips. You can simply add 3 tablespoons bbq sauce to your basic ingredients. Or, you can use 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1 pinch of cayenne pepper, and 1/8 teaspoon mustard powder to make a bbq seasoning. I preferred the bbq sauce option, but it did take longer to crisp up.
- Nacho Cheese – Make these kale chips cheesy by adding 3 tablespoons cheddar cheese powder (or nutritional yeast), 1/4 teaspoon cumin, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, and 1/4 teaspoon paprika.
- Sour Cream & Onion – To make sour cream & onion kale chips, add 2 tablespoons buttermilk powder, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, and 2 teaspoons dried parsley to your other ingredients.
- Flamin’ Hot – If you want a little heat, use 2 tablespoons cheddar cheese powder, 2-3 tablespoons hot sauce, and 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder with your basic ingredients.
- Ranch – All you need to make ranch kale chips is 4 teaspoons ranch seasoning mix.
- Cajun – Add 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning.
Tips For The Best Air Fryer Kale Chips
Air frying makes these kale chips crispy and delicious in less time. Follow these tips for the best kale chips every time.
- Wet ingredients take more time. If using a wet coating, they will take an extra 2-5 minutes in the air fryer, depending on how well coated they are. Additionally, if you wash your kale well and don’t dry it, it will take longer (an extra 2 minutes or so) to crisp up in the air fryer.
- Cook in batches. Leaves that are bunched up or folded over won’t crisp evenly. Make sure the kale leaves are spread out. Cook in batches if you need to.
- Use hands to mix. The best way to make sure each kale chip is evenly coated/seasoned is to use your hands when mixing. The seasoning was not as even when I used a spatula to mix.
- Add seasoning before cooking. All seasoning mixes are best when they go on before air frying. I tried adding dry mixes afterwards but they wouldn’t stick. Additionally, when adding afterwards, the kale chips would break up into really small pieces from the mixing.
- Chips should be crispy. If there’s still any chew left to the kale, return to the air fryer for another 1-2 minutes. The finished kale chips should be crisp all the way through.
- Store: To keep chips crispy, it is important to let them cool completely before storing. The best way to store kale chips is in an airtight container. I like to put mine in a Mason jar or a Tupperware container. You can also put them in a zip lock bag if you prefer. Store at room temperature.
- Meal prep: Kale chips in the air fryer are a great make-ahead snack. Simply make them and store in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days.
- Freeze: I wouldn’t recommend storing leftovers in the freezer. The moisture from freezing will turn the chips soggy.
More Healthy Chip Recipes
Skip the snack aisle at the store and try more of my favorite healthy chip recipes:
Air Fryer Kale Chips Recipe
Air Fryer Kale Chips (10 Flavors!)
Air fryer kale chips are easy, healthy, & crispy in just 10 minutes! Use 3 simple ingredients for a basic version or choose from 10 flavors.
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Basic Air Fryer Kale Chips:
Salt And Vinegar:
Sour Cream And Onion:
Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
Wash kale and dry thoroughly. (Kale chips will take longer to crisp up if you don’t dry the kale well).
Use a sharp knife to slice around the tough stem of each kale leaf. Discard stem. Roughly chop kale into bite-sized pieces.
Place kale in a large mixing bowl. Add the olive oil and salt. If making flavored kale chips, add the other ingredients as well, in addition to the basic kale chips ingredients. Toss, using your hands to gently massage the kale to make sure each leaf is well coated.
Preheat air fryer to 325 degrees F (163 degrees C).
Place kale in the air fryer basket. (You can cook in 2 batches if it doesn’t all fit.) Cook for 3 minutes, then shake the basket and cook for another 2-3 minutes, until the air fryer kale chips are crispy and dried out.
For lemon garlic, chili lime, or salt and vinegar, or flamin’ hot kale chips, add an extra 1-2 minutes. For BBQ kale chips, add an extra 3-4 minutes.
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Serving size: 1 cup
Nutrition info does not include optional add-ins.
Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.
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