Kale Chips: Dehydrate & Make Your Own

Dehydrated Kale Chips

Kale chips (dehydrated), especially when sprinkled with spice during dehydration, are delicious!

Kale, as many of you probably know, is very good for you. It’s a dark green veggie loaded with nutrition. I’ve read that it’s the most nutrient dense food on the planet.

Here’s how to make Kale chips:

The other day Mrs.J went out to the garden and came back with a bunch of Kale. I said to her, “There’s no way we’re going to eat all that tonight…”. She replied, “We’re going to make dehydrated Kale chips”.

I like Kale and this sounded like a great idea. And a chance to use our dehydrator.

Excalibur 9 Tray Deluxe Dehydrator


How To Make Kale Chips

It’s ridiculously easy.

Pick some fresh Kale.

Rinse it under some water.

While wet, sprinkle on your spice of choice and mix it all up in a bowl to adhere all over.

Place on dehydrator trays.

Dehydrate at 125-degrees-F for about 3 hours.

It’s done when the Kale is crispy. If it’s still leathery there’s too much moisture so keep going till crisp.


Adding Spices

By itself, the Kale tastes like Kale. Both Mrs.J and I like to spice things up, especially with a little heat.

So we experimented with a few different spices. Some of the chips we sprinkled with “Southwest Spice”. We also tried something called “Harissa” which she had in the spice drawer.

McCormick Gourmet Southwest Southwest Seasoning

Frontier Organic Seasoning, Harissa

Both tasted good to me!

Obviously any spice will work. Just sprinkle on the wet Kale. Whatever floats your boat.


Why is Kale healthy?

It’s a “leafy green” and loaded with powerful Antioxidants including the flavonoids Quercetin and Kaempferol.

Kale is very high in Vitamin C and is apparently one of the best sources of Vitamin K.

Beta-Carotene is an Antioxidant that the body turns into Vitamin A, and Kale has plenty.

It is also a good source of calcium, magnesium, and potassium.

High in Lutein and Zeaxanthin (good for the eyes).


Why am I talking about this on a preparedness blog?

Two reasons.

One, it is an example how we can preserve some of our garden bounty and hopefully encourage even more gardening. Dehydrating something like Kale which would otherwise spoil fairly quickly is an excellent way to extend the benefits of fresh homegrown veggies.

The other is your health. Kale happens to be one of those leafy vegetables that is extra good for you…

Kale is a very healthy food. By making your own Kale Chips you might actually enjoy the tasty snack and eat more of it. Back during 2016 I ran a Poll to discover which vegetables you plant in your gardens. Kale came up #21. Maybe next year you might add this healthy vegetable to your own garden.

You can see some of the spice dotted on the Kale leaves in the following picture:

How To Make Kale Chips


  1. We used a little garlic and onion powder on ours. They don’t last here, they get eaten way too fast.

  2. I have an awful lot of mint in my backyard & don’t know how to do anything with it.
    Also a huge rosemary plant that I don’t know how to preserve it either.

    Does anybody know how???

    1. I have found that the easiest way to preserve herbs is too put the herb in a big brown paper bag and just set it somewhere dry. Depending on your humidity in your area the herbs should be dry in about a month. Sometimes it takes longer. Then package as you normally would with spices.

    2. @Sandismom and @Just Sayin’
      I use the hang in a well ventilated area method with all my herbs. Works great. Something I saw my grandmothers doing when I was a youngster. If you’re worried about them getting dusty, just poke the string/yarn through the bottom of a paper bag. It’ll still allow air circulation while keeping any dust off the herbs.


      1. Thank you so much for the help.
        I knew about how to dry the Kale
        from watching the Rachael Ray show.

    3. I just hang my mint the old way…in buches with rubber band at top and it’s dry in just a few days. Remove the leaves and place in mason jars and seal.
      I don’t like spearmint/peppermint tea much but would be great for those that do.
      I also save it for mint tea when congested with sinus during winter months adding a little honey.
      I have a dehydrator, but I find it easier to just hang dry.

  3. Sounds good, I’m one of those folks that hasn’t planted kale yet (maybe next year). This gives me an idea of what to do with it.
    Is your photo above a “before” or “after” the dehydrating process?
    This year I have an abundance of yellow squash and was considering dehydrating it since I’ve already overwhelmed my neighbors. Wonder if I sliced it thin and seasoned if it would come out somewhat similarly? Will give it a try.

    1. FinallyOuttaCA
      One of the readers/posters on this site does slice them thin and dehydrates them for chips. Believe they do all their left over squash this way, but they do season it with sea salt, possible other spices. Just make sure they are totally crispy, way to check is place them in a glass canning jar after processing. If you find moister after a few hours, put them back in the dehydrator for additional drying time.

    2. The picture is “after”. In fact I’m snacking on some right now… Problem is that I’ll eat them before they have a chance to go into the deep pantry ;)

      -which means that I need to grow more next year

      1. How do your store these for a deep pantry? How long could you store them for? Never tried the but now I’m curious. Something new to learn. Thank you

        1. I generally like to keep dehydrated goods in glass canning jars. Quart jars. You can save your old canning lids for this.

    3. You can still plant kale for this fall. Seems like all the greens grow good in the fall.

  4. I’ve tried this before and when done put them in a plastic bag. They didn’t stay crispy more than a day. Any ideas? Also you pay $5 -$7 for seasoned kale chips at the store which is why I tried it.

    1. That means that they were not dry enough prior to packaging them. We’re keeping the Kale that we just dehydrated the other day in a big Rubbermaid container with the lid snapped on. They are staying nice and crispy.

      If they’re leathery, it means they’re not dry enough yet so put them back in for anther hour and check…

    2. I use a ceramic bowl–drop them in the bowl and hear that ping-like noise and they will act like potato chips when dropped.
      That’s my test.

  5. 2 cups cashews
    3 cups dietary yeast
    1 large bellpepper
    Hot chilis if you like spice
    Put it in food processor with blade and run it, slowly add lemon juice till it is a creamy consistancy
    Clean and tear kale, dry well
    5# or so,
    Rub mixture into and onto kale well
    Lay out on dehydrator rack
    Run till dry, ( usually a long time)

  6. Make kale like coleslaw
    Blanch leaves
    Cut off of stem
    Cut into slaw
    Add apples?
    Use an old fashioned coleslaw dressing
    2 cups mayo
    3/4 cup apple cyder vinegar( or more)
    Celery seed
    Combine as desired with kale and stuff

  7. Now that I know what to do with I’ll put Kale on the list. I never knew Kale chip existed.

  8. First of all let’s be perfectly clear I HATE Kale, I’d rather stick a Porcupine in my mouth than a Cooked OR Raw hunk of Kale. I mean this stuff is bitter, tough, woody and just all out NASTY

    BUT!!!!! And there is always a “but”. I absolutely LOVE Kale Chips, I have been making them for years. I like Tony Chachere’s Special Herbal Seasoning

    Tony Chachere’s Special Herbal Blend Spice N’ Herb Seasoning – 5 oz

    I do as Ken has suggested, except I make darn sure I get all of the ‘stem’ and heavy woody parts of the leaves removed.

    Simply trim up, wash about 50 times, cut to about 2.5” chunks, moisten with clean water only, some people use Olive Oil, but I don’t, put in a HUGE bowl, sprinkle the spices on as I mix, Note: don’t use to much spice, ya still want to taste the Kale “some”. And Dehydrate till crispy or till their gone because of “sampling”.

    The biggest problem I have found, is when I make them, they never get to the Deep Pantry, no matter how much I make, even did 8 pounds of Kale once….. I Swear it’s the Gremlins, those little suckers sneak in the house at 2-3AM and eat every last crumb. Darn them anyways :-) :-)

    1. We are not crazy about kale either. One summer a friend gave us a bag with about 5 pounds of it. I tried cooking it every which way, just didn’t like it until we came upon a recipe for kale chips. Now its the only way I will make it.

    2. Oh yeah NRP with you on cooking Kale. Boiled the heck out of some one time and it was not edible. But chips, now I could go for that. Down south here we have lots of Turnip Greens, YUK, wonder if anyone has made Turnip Green chips? I just might try it. Don’t get me wrong I like greens longs as they don’t bite me back!

  9. Thanks for the recipe Ken.

    If you find some folks of Portuguese heritage in your region, there is a soup they make using kale with spicy sausage white beans, carrots, white onion and chicken broth. I like kale in soups.
    According to A. Bourdain, this is a popular regional dish made by people from the Azores. There is also a good recipe to be found within The Joy of Cooking.

    Dehydrated Kale will reconstitute in soups. I am not a huge fan of eating it solo either. ( just like NRP.). Kale is one of the few plants that will grow under very cold conditions so it is a winter vegetable at my latitude.

  10. Sorry, that was me talking about Kale Soup. I prefer Swiss chard or other greens but what ever makes you happy, grow that in your garden.

    1. CaliRefugee
      Agreed 100% on the Swish Chard, which BTW makes great chips also, just a lot thinner….

    2. As far as the soup goes. Olive Garden makes a killer soup called Zoupa Toscana (I think that’s the way it’s spelled). Has sausage in it like soup mentioned by CaliRefugee. It has kale and I could eat my weight in it, NO MEAN FEAT I’M HERE TO DECLARE. What could be wrong with soup that’s got sausage, potatoes and cream. You don’t even notice the green stuff floating around in it, must be the kale.

  11. Kind of a related subject, putting up raw vegetables by dehydrating like the kale, is bacteria a concern? I just watched a show on a company making potato salad where the celery was going in raw. They washed raw vegetables in a peroxide solution before adding them to the other ingredients. If not cooking the vegetables for storage, is this a healthy solution (pun intended) or is it another chemical added to our bodies ?

    1. hermit us
      My 2¢, I eat raw Veg’s all the time with a simple rinse and munch munch munch, and so far (knock on wood) have not died. I guess it’s a toss up, some people wash with Bleach, or a Vegetable Wash maybe a good solution (pun also intended) would be the HP.

      Also a factor, where did the Veg’s come from?

      Something to remember is the Mayo in Potato Salad may be more welcome to the Bugs, and multiply more/faster?????

      I will admit though I do use a Blood System Cleanser to remove the “Bugs” I may pick up on occasion ……. Gin :-)

      1. Thanks Ken, but I never heard of a peroxide solution – is there one available to the public and is it worth considering versus bleach or vinegar? I only wash my leafy greens with water because I know where they came from, however, in winter I am not so confident about store greens.

        1. I wash my veggies and fruits in non petroleum dish washing liquid. You know the more natural type sold at the groceries. Just a light squeeze in a big bowl. Swish, brush and rinse. Mr. and I do not have a garden anymore and I know the immigrants are doing the picking. With TB and Whooping Cough etc. on the rise again just has to be washed with soap or above mentioned.

  12. My kale died, but I have a collard plant that has now survived nearly two years. Two scorching summers, one winter. I’ve never watered it but it just keeps on chugging along. Can this be used for chips? Has anyone ever tried it?

  13. NRP
    Try picking the kale right after the first frost.
    Not near as bitter.

  14. Ken, can you possibly move where you enter your name first? Several times I almost forgot to put my name as I am not accustomed to typing my reply before I put my name. As evidenced by several other readers this seems to be a common issue with everyone else as well.

  15. I dehydrate my Kale after rinsing and removing stems. Making sure they are crispy, I then pack into mason jars and vacuum seal. When I make soups and stews I grab a handful to add and then vacumn seal the jar again. Just adds a little more nutrition to lots of dishes.

  16. I soaked my kale in a salt brine for an hour, drained, and laid out on freezer paper on top of tin foil in an old drawer with an old storm window on top of 1/2″ spacers for ventilation. Although the salt brine gave it plenty of saltiness, I sprinkled some fine popcorn salt to it. It will sit in the sun all day.

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