Spicy Kale Chips

I don’t understand people who say they don’t snack between meals. Snacking is one of life’s greatest pleasures. What do you do when you’re reading a book or watching a movie? What do you nibble on when you’re having a glass of wine or an ice tea on the patio? What do you reach for as you pass through the kitchen? Without a little snack, those moments are just … sad.

These kale chips are the perfect alternative to the kind of ever-present snack I grew up with: Ruffles Potato Chips, Nacho Cheese Doritos, Fritos. I like these kale chips because they’re salty and a little spicy, and they have a buttery goodness from the coconut oil and nutritional yeast. You can eliminate the spice if that’s not your thing (just delete the cayenne pepper) and they’re still just as tasty.

Keep them in an airtight container and dig in whenever you need something to do while you’re doing something else. In other words, snack time.



Total Time: 

50 minutes


  • 2 large heads of fresh, curly, green kale
  • ½ cup of coconut oil (from a jar)
  • 6 tablespoons nutritional yeast (Try to buy this in bulk at Whole Foods. It tastes better.)
  • 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
  • 1 tablespoon granulated onion
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne (optional)


(Preheat the oven to 350)

  • Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. (Parchment paper is a necessity for this recipe, and for many recipes. If you don’t use it for this, you’ll be scraping brittle little kale chips off your cookie sheet and they will crumble into dust and you’ll be bummed.)
  • Make sure your coconut oil is soft (left out on the counter) and not hard as a rock in the fridge and impossible to work with.
  • In a small bowl, combine the garlic, onion, salt and cayenne. Mix and set aside.
  • Clean and dry the kale and remove the big stems. Cut into large bite-sized pieces (three to four inches long). They can be all different shapes. (Two heads of curly kale will result in about 10 tightly packed cups of kale. Working in batches: put 5 packed cups of kale in a large mixing bowl.)
  • Using your bare clean hands, massage 1⁄4 cup (half the total) of the coconut oil into the kale leaves.
  • Sprinkle in one heaping tablespoon of the spice mixture. Massage to coat all the leaves. Then sprinkle in three tablespoons of nutritional yeast. Massage to coat.
  • Dump the leaves onto the parchment-lined cookie sheets. Spread so they are evenly distributed.
  • Bake for about 30 minutes, checking at the 25-minute mark to make sure they aren’t getting burnt. (They will be turning brown and dark, that’s normal.)

Pillar Tips

  • If you like more salt, use more salt in the spice mixture, or sprinkle on at the end.
  • Do not refrigerate. The coconut oil will re-solidify and the texture is not great.
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