Irresistible Air Fryer Kale Chips

These delicious air fryer kale chips come out crispy, light as air, and perfect every time. Simply seasoned with olive oil, salt, garlic, and Parmesan cheese, they’re the tastiest way to eat more of this superfood. 

This post contains affiliate links for products I use and recommend, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.  

Why This Recipe Works

It’s no secret that kale is good for you. It’s packed with fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, many of which can protect you against cancer and heart disease.

The problem is kale is kind of bitter, tough, and not most people’s favorite leafy green vegetable. Unless you eat it as kale chips, that is.  While not exactly a match for potato chips, kale chips are irresistible and kind of addictive.

This air fryer kale chips recipe is a winner because it’s:

  • Fast and easy.  It takes less than 10 minutes to cook a batch, so you can whip it up any time you need a healthy snack.
  • Perfectly cooked and never burnt. You can make kale chips in the oven, but if you’ve ever tried it, you know how quickly they go from too soggy to burned. Plus, it takes at least 10 minutes just to heat up your oven.
  • The best way to use those giant bags of cleaned and cut kale from Costco or Trader Joe's.

Recipe Ingredients

You’ll only need a few ingredients to make my air fryer kale chips. I’ve listed seasoning variations in the section below.

Be sure to check out the recipe card below for the complete list of ingredients with measurements.

Kale. I recommend cut, prewashed, curly kale that comes in a bag. It saves you time cleaning, drying, and trimming whole kale leaves.  It's already cut into a perfect size, and it's nice and dry so you won't have soggy kale chips.

Olive oil. While you can air fry food without oil, it helps the seasoning stick to the kale, so don’t skip it.

Garlic powder. This will dust your kale leaves lightly and not burn like real minced garlic.

Grated Parmesan. Use finely grated Parmesan, not shredded. It will dust your kale chips and lots of flavor.

Substitutions and Variations

If you don’t have precut kale, use whole-leaf curly kale or Lacinato (Tuscan or dinosaur) kale. Wash and dry the leaves well and remove the tough stems before cutting them.

For other seasoning variations, try:

  • Plain salt and pepper
  • Cumin, chipotle chili powder, and onion powder
  • Curry powder
  • Italian seasoning herb mix
  • Za’atar
  • Everything But the Bagel seasoning
  • Salt, garlic powder, and nutritional yeast for a vegan cheesy version

Step-By-Step Instructions

First, measure and prepare your kale. If using whole leaves, wash, dry them completely, remove any tough stems, and then cut the leaves into roughly 2-inch by 2-inch pieces. If using precut kale, check for any large, tough stems and remove them. You’ll need about 8 cups of lightly packed kale per batch.

Steps 1 and 2 to make air fryer kale chips. How to prepare the kale.

Second, season your kale. Drizzle the olive oil over the leaves, and using clean hands, massage it into the leaves. Hands work better than a spatula or tongs but those are options too. Massaging helps to tenderize the leaves, and you might spot a few more tough stems to remove. Sprinkle the salt and garlic powder over the kale and massage again to distribute the seasoning evenly.

Third, place your kale leaves in the air fryer basket. Only fill it about two-thirds; don’t overfill the basket. Set your air fryer to 300ºF and the timer to 8 minutes. 

Steps 3 and 4 to make air fryer kale chips.

Fourth, check the kale after 5 minutes, and using tongs, toss it so it cooks evenly. If it’s not completely crisp, return it to the air fryer and cook it for another 2-3 minutes. I use this GoWise air fryer, and it takes exactly 8 minutes.

Fifth, add the Parmesan cheese. Transfer the kale chips to a large bowl and sprinkle with grated Parmesan (or other seasonings). Serve immediately.

A white bowl full of air fryer kale chips. Parmesan cheese, a cheese grater, and a plate of kale chips are in the background.

Expert Tips

  • To avoid soggy kale chips, ensure your kale is completely dry before cooking. Don't add any liquid like lemon juice, vinegar, or wet seasonings.
  • All air fryers are different; some might run slightly hotter or cooler. Check your kale chips once or twice while cooking, especially when it looks like they are getting close to done. If they seem to cook too quickly, reduce the heat to 275ºF. If they're not quite as crisp as you'd like after eight minutes, cook them for another minute.
  • Don’t add any cheese to your kale chips until they’re finished air frying. If you add the cheese to the air fryer, it will burn.

What to Eat With Air Fryer Kale Chips

These air fryer kale chips are great on their own as a snack, but I also love them:

Can You Eat Kale Chips If You Take Blood Thinners?

It’s surprisingly easy to eat a lot of kale in the form of air fryer kale chips. Eight cups of raw kale turn into just three cups of air fryer kale chips. And they taste good, so it’s easy to keep snacking on them. 

But here’s why you shouldn’t go overboard with kale chips if you take blood thinners. 

Kale and other leafy green vegetables are rich in vitamin K, which helps your blood clot. However, too much vitamin K can interfere with blood thinners or anticoagulant medications. 

You can eat kale chips as long as your leafy green vegetable intake stays fairly consistent throughout each week. So if you eat one cup of raw or cooked kale or other greens most days, you can eat the same in kale chips. Keep in mind that one cup of raw kale cooks down to a little less than one-half cup of air fryer kale chips.

Recipe FAQs

How long can you store air fryer kale chips?

These are best eaten within a few hours after cooking. They’ll stay crisp as long as you leave them uncovered at room temperature. You can store leftovers in a covered container, but they won’t be crispy the next day. To re-crisp them, bake them in your air fryer for 1-2 minutes at 275ºF.

Does air frying reduce nutrients in kale?

Research on various cooking methods shows that any form of cooking causes some (but not all) nutrient loss in kale. Vitamin C is one that is reduced. However, there will still be plenty of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants left even if kale is cooked. On the plus side, cooking destroys the enzyme in kale that can interfere with iodine absorption into your thyroid gland.

Related Vegetable Snacks

If you're trying to add more vegetables to your diet, snacks are a great way to do it! Try these tasty vegetable snack recipes.

Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-star rating on the recipe card below & a review in the comments section further down the page.

Recipe

A person's hand reaching into a white bowl of air fryer kale chips. A small serving plate with kale chips and a piece of Parmesan cheese next to a cheese grater are in the background.

Air Fryer Kale Chips

A fast and easy no-fail recipe for Air Fryer Kale Chips with Garlic & Parmesan
5 from 5 votes
Print Pin
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Diet: Lower Carb, Heart Healthy, Vegetarian
Prep Time: 4 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 12 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 84kcal

Ingredients

  • 8 cups raw kale Use bagged, chopped kale
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese or more to taste

Instructions

  • If you're using whole kale leaves, chop or slice the kale into about 2-inch pieces. Make sure your kale is completely dry.
  • Place the kale in a mixing bowl. Pour the olive oil over, and gently massage it into the kale with your hands. Sprinkle with salt and garlic powder and massage again to distribute the seasoning evenly..
  • Place the kale into the air fryer basket. Don't fill more than ⅔ of the basket. Set the temperature to 300 °F and the timer for 8 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.

Notes

This will cook down to about 3 cups.
I recommend precut kale in the bag to save time. If you use whole kale leaves, rinse and dry them completely before cutting and cooking.

Nutrition

Calories: 84kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 238mg | Potassium: 471mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 13397IU | Vitamin C: 125mg | Calcium: 352mg | Iron: 2mg
Did you make this recipe?Tag me @CravingSomethingHealthy!

5 from 5 votes (5 ratings without comment)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.