Making kale chips in your air fryer is one of the best ways to create a healthy snack that has all the crunch and flavor you crave, without all the other stuff you don't need. It's a WHOLE LOTTA YUM!
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With this recipe, we are going to show you how to make kale chips in the air fryer and let you know all the tips, tricks, and steps to ensure they come out crispy, crunchy, and perfect every time! And, we are showing you how to make your air fried kale chips in both the oven style air fryer as well as the basket style.
Air fryer kale chips are a great snack for anyone who is looking for a little crunch without a lot of carbs. These chips are gluten-free, vegan, Whole30, low-carb, and keto-friendly.
If you're wondering what other ways to use kale, then you'll want to try our Olive Garden copycat Zuppa Toscana soup, for sure! It's seriously our favorite soup recipe on our site.
Air Fried Kale Chips
The first time I tried making oven kale chips, it seriously took 5 batches to get it right. Kale chips are easy to make yet also easy to burn OR have them turn out soggy. After many many batches of both oven and air fryer kale chips (in 2 different types of air fryers no less!), we feel we've mastered the tips and tricks to get perfect kale chips in an air fryer, each and every time.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Quick and easy, you will have a super healthy and flavorful snack ready to go in just a few minutes.
- Super customizable, you can take this basic recipe and add a burst of flavor to fit your mood! (See below for some great ideas!)
- Reduce food waste: Kale chips in air fryer is a great way to utilize that leftover bag of kale sitting in your fridge. 😉
Fresh is best, and with your air fried kale chips, this rings true as well! With just a few minutes of prep work, your kale chips will be ready for your air fryer and you will love the results.
- Half a bunch of kale (4 oz)- This is this weight before you trim the stem from the leaves. If you buy pretrimmed bagged kale, you'll need about 2-2.5 oz per batch since the center stem section is already removed.
- 2 teaspoon olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- Optional seasonings - everything but the bagel seasoning, elotes seasoning, popcorn seasoning, cheese powder, garlic salt, the sky is the limit!
✅ Be sure to download our air fryer cooking times chart for 50 of the most popular air fryer foods!
How to Make Air Fryer Kale Chips
***Note: I had 1 ½ lb of kale leaves to turn into something. The photos of the kale getting trimmed are from one bunch of kale, not a ½ bunch like the recipe ingredients show. Feel free to double the seasoning and oil if you want to turn your entire batch of kale chips in an air fryer.
Wash and dry the kale. This is important, as wet kale turns into soggy kale chips since it won't crisp properly. Dry with paper towels. (if using garden kale, discard the leaves with small holes since there's a good chance it still has tiny bugs or worms.)
Cut the kale from the stems, and then dry. Feel free to save any of the tiny kale leaves that are too small to turn into chips and add them to your next salad. The easiest way to cut the stems is to stack the kale pieces like a book and cut them all at once along the stem (like we did with the instant pot collard greens).
After you trim the kale, tear them into large bite-sized pieces.
Season The Kale
In a medium-sized bowl, mix the kale prepped pieces, olive oil, sea salt, and pepper. Massage the leaves with your hands to help get the oil as evenly distributed as possible. Sprinkle on any optional seasoning you are adding after massaging.
How Long to Air Fryer Kale Chips?
Preheat air fryer at 300F for 3-5 minutes.
Air fry on 300F for 3-5 minutes depending on the style of air fryer you are using.
If you are using an oven-style fryer, you won't need to flip the kale chips. Simply make sure you are not overloading the tray so the warm air can move around. In the Omni fryer, we found that the chips did not fly around at all. Cook for 4-5 minutes.
If you are using a basket-syle fryer, check on your kale chips after 3-minutes. Your kale pieces will fly around more in the basket so you may need to rearrange pieces in the basket. Cook for an additional 1-2 minutes. Be sure to watch for chip flying up into your burner.
- Be sure you dry your kale completely. If you attempt to make kale chips with soggy kale, you will get soggy kale chips.
- If you have less kale than we used here, decrease the oil as well. Too much oil will result in soggy kale chips.
- Air fry at 300F to prevent your kale chips from burning in the fryer.
- Experiment with different seasonings such as garlic, red pepper, or parmesan cheese to add some extra flavor to your chips.
- Toaster oven style air fryer - We use the Onmi and found we didn't need to flip the kale chips since it does a good job circulating on both sides. Air fry for 4-5 minutes depending on how crispy you want your chips. If you are using a toaster-oven style fryer you can slightly overlap the kale as they will shrink during cooking.
- Smaller basket style air fryer - Our basket style fryer is a 3.2L Farberware and we couldn't cook as many kale chips at one time, but they do cook up quickly! Layering and stacking the kale chips does work fine, but be sure to check on them after 3-minutes.
- If the kale leaves are blowing around in your air fryer, add a rack on top to prevent that. The air fryer fan is what circulates the air and helps to get the food really crisp in an air fryer. That same fan will blow lightweight food around inside too, as we discovered with our air fryer smores experiments!
Making kale chips in air fryer with just olive oil and salt is SERIOUSLY the best! But here are some options you can try if you're looking for variety.
- Add your favorite seasoning like Everything but the Bagel seasoning or Elotes seasoning.
- Make Ranch chips by adding a sprinkle of dried Ranch dressing mix.
- Use popcorn seasoning.
- Make sweet and salty chips by adding a little sweetener when you add the salt.
- Add a dash of vinegar for salt and vinegar chips.
- Skip the oil entirely.
- Give the kale chips a cheesy flavor with grated parmesan, cheese powder or nutritional yeast for vegan kale chips.
How Long do Kale Chips Keep?
Stored in a sealed container, your kale chips should keep for a few days at room temperature. However, if you add cheese or any perishable ingredients, you'll want to eat the batch within a couple of hours.
Are Kale Chips Keto?
These are definitely air fryer keto kale chips as long as you don't add seasoning ingredients that aren't keto, like packaged ranch powder for Ranch kale chips or adding something like sugar for sweet and salty kale chips.
Are Kale Chips Healthy?
They are lower in fat and calories and are a fantastic healthy alternative to store-bought chips. Here are a few things to keep in mind depending on any diet or health restrictions you might have.
Vegan air fryer kale chips - The recipe is already vegan, but you can also add a sprinkle of nutritional cheese to the kale before baking to add a cheesy flavor.
Keto kale chips - Kale is a low carb vegetable so the chips are a great addition to a keto diet. The added oil gives you an extra boost of healthy fat and you can add a sprinkle of parmesan cheese to the chips for variety.
Whole30- You can swap coconut oil for olive oil if preferred.
Fat-Free chips- Skip the oil but note that the seasoning won't stick without the addition of oil. You could try a little vinegar instead of oil or eat them plain.
More Healthy Snack Recipes
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