Learn how to make homemade kale chips in the oven and in the microwave and find out which option is best.
Kale chips have secured a place in the hearts of anyone who’s a fan of salty, crunchy, and healthy snacks. They’re insanely easy to make in the oven, as you’ll see below. But we wondered if there was an even easier (and faster) way to turn fresh kale into a snack. We put the microwave to the test to see how it would meet our needs when a kale craving strikes.
How To Prep Fresh Kale For Chips
For both methods, start by washing and thoroughly drying one bunch of kale. (We used curly kale, but Lacinato works, too.)
Cut out the thick stems, and slice (or tear) the leaves into roughly 1½-inch pieces and place into a large bowl. Drizzle in 4 teaspoons of olive oil and toss the kale pieces to coat them evenly.
How To Make Oven-Baked Kale Chips
Set your oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat the oven to 300°F. Divide the kale between two ungreased baking sheets, spreading the pieces out into a single layer on each sheet.
Sprinkle kosher salt over the kale. Bake for 15 minutes, then rotate the pans from top to bottom and front to back. Bake for another 10-15 minutes, until the chips are crispy. Allow to cool for 1-2 minutes.
How To Make Kale Chips in the Microwave
Spread kale pieces in a single even layer on a microwave-safe dish. Sprinkle with kosher salt. Microwave for 3 minutes, then check the texture. If they are too limp, continue to microwave in 30-second intervals until they are crispy. Let cool for 1-2 minutes. Repeat with the remaining kale.
Oven-Baked Vs. Microwaved Kale Chips
Both kale chips tasted pretty much identical, and we didn’t have problems with the texture of either (both were super crispy!). Neither the microwave nor the oven gave us burnt kale chips, either.
So it really comes down to two factors: time and quantity. In the oven, we were able to bake an entire bunch of kale in 25 minutes (although we did have to allow about 10 minutes for the oven to preheat). The microwave made such small batches (about 10-15 chips per plate) that it would take us at least 30 minutes to cook a full bunch of kale. And it’s a lot more work to have to be standing around the microwave to add the kale in shifts!
So the microwave only saves time if you want a very small amount of kale chips. That might be perfect for a late night craving, but if you need a whole bowl of kale chips? Go for the oven.
Here’s a printable version of the oven recipe for you. Enjoy!Print
- 1 bunch of kale
- 4 tsp. olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Preheat oven to 300°F. Wash and dry kale. Cut out the thick stems, and slice (or tear) the leaves into roughly 1½-inch pieces and place into a large bowl. Drizzle in olive oil and toss the kale pieces to coat them evenly.
- Divide the kale between two ungreased baking sheets, spreading the pieces out into a single layer on each sheet. Sprinkle kosher salt over the kale.
- Bake for 15 minutes, then rotate the pans from top to bottom and front to back. Bake for another 10-15 minutes, until the chips are crispy.
- Allow to cool for 1-2 minutes.
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This post originally appeared in November 2016 and was revised and republished in January 2023.