I know kale chips are so 2010. But I got an air fryer for my birthday and guess what I made? The best and easiest Air Fryer Garlic Parmesan Kale Chips! I make them in the oven sometimes, with so-so results. But with an air fryer, they couldn’t be easier or better!
It’s no secret that I have more kitchen gadgets than I have space for. So, when my son asked what I wanted for my birthday recently, the last thing on my mind was another kitchen gadget (although I do love them). He was persistent, though, and insisted I would love an air fryer.
He even said I would want to make a spot on my counter so I could keep it out constantly. If there’s one thing that drives my family crazy, it’s that I HATE appliances sitting out on my counter. Except for the coffee maker. That gets far too much use to have to set up every day.
Supposedly vegetables taste so much better when they’re cooked in an air fryer. So yes, I’ve been intrigued by the idea of an air fryer..
And he kept going on and on about how much he loves the one he and my (brand new!) daughter-in-law got for a wedding gift. So I said yes.
So for my birthday a few weeks ago, I received this GoWISE USA air fryer*. I just read that America’s Test kitchen gave it a Best Buy rating for its great price and performance.
And now that I’ve had a chance to play with it for a while, all I can say is Game. Changer.
One of the first things I tried was air fryer kale chips. I often make them in the oven, but they’re hit or miss with the timing and crispiness. I check them when I think they’re ready, but they look like they can use another minute. Then, in the next minute, at least part of them are starting to burn. No matter what I do, I get about half a pan of good kale chips, with a quarter overdone, and another quarter underdone.
No more of that my friends! It’s like the air fryer was made for kale chips. And shoestring sweet potato fries. And super tender buttermilk fried chicken fingers… Stay tuned!
Why I Love My Air Fryer
No more preheating the oven. That in itself is a game-changer for me. I live in Scottsdale, so I don’t even turn on my oven from mid-May through October – too hot!. Now, I can eat kale chips in the summer.
No more lining the sheet pan and spreading everything out in a nice single layer. No more turning each individual kale leaf to get even crispiness.
You literally pile everything in the basket, turn it on, and let it cook for a few minutes. Air fryers heat up instantly, I learned.
FYI, in case you’re wondering, air fryers don’t really fry. In fact, you don’t have to use oil (but I do use a drizzle or spray). Instead, they’re like mini convection ovens that circulate hot air around the food. Whatever you’re cooking cooks faster, browns better, and gets crispy faster.
What was I waiting for??
I truly do think vegetables taste better when they’re air fried. How could they not?! Kale especially turns from bitter and tough to crispy, light as air, melt-in-your-mouth bites of salty deliciousness.
I’ve seriously eaten half of one of those large bags of chopped kale from Trader Joe’s in one sitting. It cooks down to about 2 cups in the air fryer, so yeah, it’s very do-able. No way I could EVER eat a half bag of raw or sauteed kale.
And don’t even get me started on the air fryer sweet potatoes.
If you want to learn to love vegetables, get yourself an airfryer today!
FAQs about Air Fryer kale chips
You might notice your poop looks greenish in the next day or two. Also, you’ll get about 8 grams of fiber (in about 8 cups of kale), and 800% of the Daily Value (DV) for vitamin K.
You probably shouldn’t eat large amounts of any food every single day. It tends to cause an unbalance in other nutrients. In the case of kale, it’s high in vitamin K. Even though this vitamin is stored in your body, the National Institutes of Health’s Office of Dietary Supplements website says it’s unlikely to cause problems in healthy people.
Still, if you’re on blood thinner medicine, too much vitamin K will interfere with how your meds work. And if you have thyroid disease, be aware that kale is a cruciferous vegetable, so it might possibly interfere with thyroid health, or meds if you eat lots of it every day.
You can use curly or Lacinato (Dinosaur) kale for kale chips. The Lacinato kale comes out more like a chip, while the curly kale is more like little puffs. If I have time, I’ll buy the Lacniato, wash, dry, and remove the stems. Most of the time, I get the large bags of cut and washed curly kale and just remove most of the tough stems (although they’re completely fine to eat)
Give them a minute to cool – they often crisp up as they cool. If they’re not quite crispy enough, just pop them back into the air fryer basket and cook them for another minute or two. Check them frequently though so they don’t burn.
Any dry spice! Try a sprinkle of chili powder and cumin, or curry powder, or za’atar, or TJ’s Everything But the Bagel seasoning mix.
Yes! I find that these stay crispy if you keep them in an airtight container or storage bag on the counter. They tend to get soggy in the refrigerator. They won’t keep for long, but they’re definitely fine the next day.
Garlic Parmesan Kale Chips
- 5 ounces raw kale, washed and dried (about 6 cups) tough stems removed, if desired. Use bagged, chopped kale if desired.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese or more to taste
- If you're using whole kale leaves, chop or slice the kale into about 2-inch pieces.
- Place the kale in a mixing bowl. Pour the olive oil over, and sprinkle with salt and garlic powder.
- Gently toss the kale and massage the salt and garlic powder into the kale. Make sure everything is coated with the oil.
- Place the kale into the air fryer basket. Set the temperature to 300 °F, and the timer for 9 minutes.
- Open the air fryer and toss the kale with tongs after about 5 minutes. Check it as it gets close to the finishing point, to make sure it's not overcooked.
- Empty the cooked kale chips into the mixing bowl, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, and let cool for about 2 minutes.
Do you have an air fryer? What do you make in it?
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