Simple, 5-ingredient Cheesy Oil-Free Kale Chips are seasoned with a blend of tahini, lemon, nutritional yeast, and mustard. And they’re made in the oven in 20 minutes at low temperature. No dehydrator needed!
Kale chips have been around for years now, but I honestly don’t eat them very often. In stores they’re so expensive, and making them at home isn’t exactly a quick affair! But I wanted to give it another shot to see how much I could simplify the process. And after a little experimentation I am feeling more inclined to make kale chips on the regular. Hopefully, you’ll feel the same way after giving these a try!
How to Make Easy Oil-Free Kale Chips in the Oven
Pretty much the only challenging thing about making kale chips is that there’s a bit of labor involved. Cutting or tearing the kale into pieces and then massaging the tasty, cheesy, vegan sauce onto each piece takes some time. But nothing about it is difficult, so that’s good! However, if you’re in the mood for a shortcut, another option is to leave the kale leaves whole (well, not exactly whole; you do still have to remove the stem). See below….
Leaving the leaves whole means the kale will need a few more minutes in the oven to get fully dry and crisp. But it still saves time overall.
Best way to remove kale stems
My favorite way to remove kale stems is the method of holding the thick end of the stem with your dominant hand while making a sort of tight “okay” symbol with the other hand wrapped around the bottom of the leaf. Then you slide the “okay hand” away from your dominant hand, all the way up the leaf. You’re left with the stem in your dominant hand and leaf in the other. It’s so quick! I haven’t taken any instructional photos for this, but thankfully Your Produce Guy has created a short video showing you how to do it.
TIP: I don’t even do the “pinch part” that he recommends. I just grab and strip, and the leaves separate every time! Take a look at the video on YouTube —> Removing Kale Stems In Record Time
After you wash, dry, and stem the kale, then simply rub-a-dub-dub that yummy vegan cheesy mixture into the leaves. Whether whole or cut into pieces, place the kale in a single layer on the baking sheets, and into the oven they go!
Some recipes for kale chips call for a higher oven temperature, but I find that 250 degrees Fahrenheit (120 Celsius) allows them to dry more evenly, without the risk of burning. Twenty minutes later you have a healthy, nutrient-packed snack!
I hope you enjoy these Cheesy Oil-Free Kale Chips. If you try them I would love to hear from you! Comment below and rate the recipe to share your feedback.
About the cost…. lately I’ve been buying locally grown lacinato kale at Whole Foods for $1.99 (their “new low price”), which makes these WAY more affordable than the store-bought versions. 😀 Hooray for saving money!
You might also like Easy Oil-Free Vegan Queso.
Cheesy Oil-Free Kale Chips (oven; low temp)
- 1 bunch lacinato or curly kale
- 1 1/2 Tbsp tahini
- 1 Tbsp stone ground mustard
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees F (120 C), and line two large baking sheets with parchment.
- In a small bowl combine the 1 1/2 tablespoons tahini, 1 tablespoon mustard, 2 teaspoons vinegar, 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast, and pinch of salt. Whisk together with a fork. The consistency will be thick and paste-like.
- Wash and dry the kale. Remove stems and cut into pieces approximately 3 x 3 inches. Irregular shapes are fine, too.*Having smaller, similar-sized pieces helps the kale dry more uniformly. But if you are short on time and don't want to cut/tear into pieces, the leaves can be left whole (after stems are removed; see photo). Increase bake time by 5 to 10 minutes.
- Use your hands to massage the cheesy sauce into the kale. A thin coat is best. Place kale on the prepared baking sheets in a single layer. Pieces that are overlapping won't dry.
- Bake for about 20 minutes or until the kale is dried and crispy. Serve right away, or cool completely before storing in an airtight container.