How to make kale chips in a dehydrator?

How to make kale chips in a dehydrator? One of my favorite garden snacks is homemade kale chips. They are not only delicious but also healthy and simple to prepare. Although I enjoy cooking and eating fresh kale in other ways, making kale chips is an excellent option when we have more kale than we can handle. 

It is also a perfect way to use up that end-of-season kale that has become hard. Even if you do not grow your kale, preparing fresh homemade kale chips is a fantastic way to add more greens to your diet and a sneaky way to get your kids to eat more greens too!

If you’re looking for “how to make kale chips in a dehydrator” that’s easy to prepare and bursting with flavor, you’re in the right place. Let’s dive in and discover the secrets of making irresistible kale chips using a dehydrator!

Ingredients for dehydrator recipes kale chips

To make kale chips, you will need the following supplies and ingredients:

  • One large bunch of kale, or around a dozen leaves. I used the equivalent of two large bunches of kale from my garden for the doubled recipe in the photos.
  • You will also need extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling, with approximately 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of oil per bunch of kale. The quality of the olive oil is essential since it affects the taste of the kale chips.
  • Sea salt is the minimum recommended seasoning, but you can also use seasoned salt, such as garlic.
  • Additionally, you can use other seasonings of your choice, such as garlic powder, onion powder, curry or turmeric powder, black pepper, cumin, or lemon powder.
  • You will need a strainer and mixing bowl or a salad spinner to make kale chips.
  • A food dehydrator or oven and baking sheet(s).

Both options are suitable for making kale chips, but we prefer using our food dehydrator as it produces slightly drier and crispier kale chips that remain crunchy for longer when stored. It is also recommended to have tongs for tossing the kale.

How to make kale chips in the dehydrator?

Step 1: Prepare the kale

You must wash and dry the kale, remove the stems, and break the leaves into chip-sized pieces. You can choose the order in which you complete these tasks.

Here is how I find it easiest to prepare the kale for making kale chips:

  • First, I remove the stems from the unwashed kale and tear the leaves into pieces, aiming for approximately 2 inches in size, knowing that they will shrink as they dry.
  • Then, I place the kale pieces into a salad spinner, using the basket portion as a filter to rinse the kale in the sink. After that, I spin the rinsed pieces once, discard the collected water, toss the kale, and spin it again to ensure they are extra dry.
How to make kale chips in a dehydrator

Prepare the kale

Step 2: Add Oil & Seasoning

The next step is to drizzle the kale with extra-virgin olive oil lightly. The amount of oil needed will depend on the size of the kale bunch, but as a general guideline, 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of oil is sufficient for an average-sized bunch.

For a large double batch, we used approximately two tablespoons of olive oil. It’s better to start with a smaller amount of oil and add more if needed to ensure that each piece is evenly coated with a small amount of oil.

Use tongs to toss the kale pieces until they are all lightly coated with oil, ensuring no excess oil dripping off or pools in the bowl.

After tossing the kale with olive oil, it’s time to add your desired seasonings. I recommend adding the seasonings in two or three rounds, tossing the kale between each round to ensure an even distribution of the seasonings.

The amount of seasoning you add is up to you. At a minimum, sprinkle some sea salt to taste. For stronger seasonings like turmeric and lemon powder, use a light dusting.

I added approximately one tablespoon of nutritional yeast to this sizeable double batch. Feel free to experiment with different combinations of seasonings.

How to make kale chips in a dehydrator

Dehydrator kale chip recipe

Step 3: Dry the Kale Chips

After seasoning the kale chips with oil and seasonings, transfer them to their final drying destination. Lay out the kale pieces on the dehydrator trays for food dehydrator drying.

When using the oven to dry the kale chips, place them on a baking sheet, preferably lined with parchment paper, to prevent sticking. Ensure that the kale chips are arranged next to each other but not overlapping to allow proper airflow and space for drying.

Dehydrator kale chip recipe: Time and temperature

To dry your homemade kale chips, set your food dehydrator to 125°F and leave them to dry for around 2 hours or until they are completely crispy.

Choose the “vegetable” or other medium-low heat option if your food dehydrator has no precise temperature setting.

The finished kale chips should be crunchy, crumbly, and no longer bend, indicating they are done.

Step 4: Enjoy or Store

Your homemade crispy kale chips are ready to eat! Keep any leftovers in an air-tight container, such as a glass food storage container with a snap-on sealing lid.

To maintain maximum crunch, consume them within 4 or 5 days. Depending on the batch size, you may eat all of the kale chips in one sitting – and that’s perfectly fine!

How to make kale chips in the oven?

If a dehydrator is unavailable, you can still enjoy homemade kale chips using your oven instead. Here’s a simple method to dehydrate kale chips in the oven:

  • Preheat your oven to 200ºF (or the lowest temperature setting available, such as 170ºF).
  • Line a baking tray with parchment paper and arrange the coated kale leaves in a single layer on the tray.
  • Bake the kale chips for approximately one hour, but remember to check them around the 45-minute mark, as oven temperatures can vary.
  • It’s crucial to ensure that the kale chips are sufficiently dry, especially if you plan to store them. Any remaining moisture could lead to mold formation.
  • If your oven can be set below 200ºF, you may opt for the lowest possible temperature. However, remember that drying time may need to be extended slightly. Check the kale chips every 15 minutes beyond the one-hour mark to gauge their dryness.
How to make kale chips in a dehydrator

you can still enjoy homemade kale chips using your oven

Following these instructions, you can still achieve crispy and flavorful kale chips using your oven, even without a dehydrator. Enjoy this nutritious snack option in the comfort of your own home! How to make kale chips in the oven?

FAQs – Kale chips recipe dehydrator

When making kale chips, curly kale is the best type to use. This variety of kale has a sturdy texture that holds up well during the dehydrating process and produces crispy chips.

Other types of kale, such as lacinato or dinosaur kale, can also be used but may result in a softer texture. It’s important to thoroughly wash and dry the kale before dehydrating to ensure the best results.

While the oven is faster, the chips made in the dehydrator have a better texture and flavor.

Additionally, it is easy to burn the tips of the kale chips in the oven but difficult to overcook them in a dehydrator.

Specific methods of preparing kale chips can lead to the loss of nutrients. For instance, high heat exposure during baking can cause rapid water loss and nutrient destruction.

On the other hand, dehydrating kale chips at a low temperature is a better option for preserving nutrients, as more of the fiber and flavor of the kale are retained.

To prevent kale chips from turning out too bitter, you can try the following tips:

  • Remove the stems: The stems of kale can be challenging and bitter, so it’s best to remove them before making kale chips.
  • Massage the kale: Massaging the kale with olive oil can help break down the tough fibers and make it less bitter.
  • Season well: Adding flavorful seasonings like salt, garlic powder, or nutritional yeast can help balance the bitterness.
  • Don’t overcrowd the dehydrator: Leave enough space between the kale leaves in the dehydrator to allow for proper air circulation. Overcrowding can cause the chips to cook unevenly and become bitter.


In conclusion, incorporating kale chips into your healthy snack repertoire is a delicious and nutritious choice, and using a dehydrator to make them is a fantastic method that preserves their flavor and nutritional value.

Following the simple steps outlined in this blog, How to make kale chips in a Dehydrator, you can easily create crispy and flavorful kale chips in the comfort of your home.

Start exploring the endless possibilities of kale chips in your dehydrator today and experience a wholesome and flavorful snack that your taste buds and body will thank you for.

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