Garlic Kale Chips

August 14, 2010

These garlic kale chips flavored with a rub of cashew cream cheese are mind-blowingly delicious, and are a healthy alternative to potato chips.

Garlic Kale Chips

These garlic kale chips are the best kale chips I’ve ever had, and everybody I serve them to agrees.

It’s a big call. But, I stand by it. These kale chips rock.

The Litmus Test

My litmus test for any raw recipes is to feed them to my friend Joann, who proudly professes “I don’t eat healthy!” If she sticks her fork in without any complaining, and returns for more, I know I have a winner.

I’m staying with her in Phoenix this week, and I brought some of these kale chips with me as a snack. I woke up this morning to find half the bag empty, and a note that read “I need this recipe!!!!!”

So, I thought I had better share them on the blog stat!

She did insist I attach a disclaimer – “the kale gets stuck in your teeth! You have to floss, but it is so worth it!”

The rest of the bag is long gone, and she’s ordered a dehydrator with much excited anticipation. So, I’d say, it’s a small price to pay.

I served these kale chips to my healthy bedfellows (Lois, Elaine and Sharon) the other night to rave reviews. But only a declaration of joy from a cream dreamer and self professed toxic omnivore would qualify as a satisfactory acid test.

So thank you Joann, for supplying the much needed tick of approval that inspired me to send these raw chips out into the mainstream culinary world with absolute confidence.

Kale Chips Rock!

Kale chips, previously only enjoyed by raw foodists, vegans, health nuts, or “granola hippies” are now widely available on every health food store shelf and most mainstream grocery stores. Thankfully, the word is out: Kale chips rock!

If you want a healthy alternative to potato chips that is just as gorge-worthy, these garlic kale chips tick every box.

They’re super tasty, loaded with nutrients, are always a hit.

I promise you, these kale chips are to die for! Or at least that is what I have been told by the hoards of happy gorgers that have desperately returned for more.

Cashew cheese makes the best coating for kale chips.

The best thing about curly kale is that it picks up and carries any sticky creamy thing you massage into it. A basic cashew cheese is my go-to coating. It serves as the perfect rub in this green merger.

How to make cashew cream cheese:

To make the cashew cream cheese coating, just throw everything into your high-speed blender and then massage the cheese into the kale until evenly coated.

The magic touch.

The secret to finishing these kale chips off with that extra special touch?

Tossing through the granulated garlic at the end. It just gives these kale chips a depth of flavor that is missing if you don’t finish it off this way.

Make these kale chips nut-free.

These chips are gluten free, dairy free, egg free, soy free and sugar free.

If you want to make these kale chips nut-free, or don’t want the expense or added time of using raw cashews, I’ve shared a nut-free alternative blend underneath the main kale chip recipe. The nut-free version is quick and easy, and just as delicious.

Alternatively, you can toss any variety of kale with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and any herbs and spices of your choice to create all kinds of other delectable flavors of kale chips.

Try some chile and salt, or apple cider vinegar and sea salt.

If you don’t have a dehydrator, slow cook these kale chips in your oven on the warm setting until they’re crispy.

Give these kale chips a go for your next snack attack. Toxic treaters far and wide will be green with envy.

Other Dehydrator Recipes

Dehydrated Spicy Tomato Kale Chips
Dehydrated Zucchini Chips
Mexican Raw Dehydrated Crackers
Raw Buckwheat Bread
Maple Cinnamon Dehydrated Almonds

Let me know what you think of this recipe in the comments!

Your feedback is really important to me, and it helps me decide which recipes to post next for you.


Garlic Kale Chips

These garlic kale chips flavored with a rub of cashew cream cheese are mind-blowingly delicious, and are a healthy alternative to potato chips for a snack.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Author Tess Masters


nut-free version:


  1. Rip the kale leaves from their stalks, and discard the stalks. Wash the leaves and place them in a colander to drain thoroughly. Transfer to a large bowl.
  2. Throw the cashews, water, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, fresh garlic, and salt into your high-speed blender, and blast on high for 30 to 60 seconds, until smooth and creamy. Add more water if needed to blend. 

  3. Transfer the cashew paste to the mixing bowl and with your hands, massage it into the kale leaves, until all leaves are evenly coated. Toss through the granulated garlic so that it is evenly distributed.
  4. Place the leaves on mesh screens fitted with non-stick sheets, and place in your dehydrator at 115 degrees for about 8 hours until crisp. 

nut-free version:

  1. Rip the kale leaves from their stalks, and discard the stalks. Wash the leaves and place them in a colander to drain. Transfer to a large bowl.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the olive oil, nutritional yeast, garlic, and salt together until well combined. 
  3. Massage this mixture into the wet kale until the leaves are evenly coated. 
  4. Place the leaves on mesh screens fitted with non-stick sheets, and place in your dehydrator at 115 degrees for 4 to 6 hours until crisp. 

Recipe Notes

Photo by Trent Lanz and styling by Alicia Buszczak


Comments 50

  1. These are incredible! I brought these to a gathering of S.A.D. eaters and they ALL loved it! They were clamoring for the recipe and asked me how I made this. I explained where I got it. I sing your praises for this recipe. I suggest quadrupling the sauce recipe. I used the nut free version of the recipe. I LOVE THESE KALE CHIPS!!! I could have easily sat down and eaten an entire tray of these things. Thanks for sharing your kitchen expertise with us.

  2. LOL! I am so pleased you and your “S.A.D” friends are all enjoying these chips. This is one of my favourite recipes. I LOVE quadrupling the sauce idea…you can’t have enough of that stuff 🙂

  3. I love kale. I love it steamed, I imagine it would be good fried or with ice cream, but in this case, baked with stuff all over it – it is nothing short of brilliant.
    I took a bite, moaning in food ecstasy, and hubby tentatively approaches and pops one in his mouth. “honey, don’t eat any more of those. They’re gross.” He says as he pushes me out of the way to stuff more in his mouth. This one is MADE of WIN!

  4. Hey Victoria! SORRY! I have just revised the instructions and noted down that you set the dehydrator at 115 degrees.

    1. Hey Piggy Carol.
      They are called “savoury yeast flakes” in Australia.
      They are widely available at health food stores and some grocery stores in Australia.
      Nutritional yeast replicates a slight cheesy flavour in vegan foods.
      You can also use yellow mustard powder.

  5. Love, love, love the kale chips! This recipe kickstarted my love affair with kale. Since trying this recipe I’ve tried other versions but this cashew rub version is the best! I spice up my version with a few shakes of chili powder & cayenne and I’m in kale heaven! Thanks for a fantastic recipe!

    1. LOL! My love affair with kale was also fanned with these chips! SO glad you loved them too.
      LOVE the addition of chili powder and cayenne. Piggy Heaven indeed 🙂 Oink Oink!

  6. Hey there

    OMG these are wonderful – first time i have tried making any kind of chip and this is addictive 😉

    Even my sister liked them and asked for the recipe -now that´s first….
    They are almost gone and made them yesterday. Will try the other variations also 😉

    Healthy garlic kale breath from Denmark !!!


    1. LOL! Rikke, that made me laugh so hard!
      That is wonderful! I know! They are hard to keep around in the house for very long. I always make a double batch!
      So glad you are enjoying them 🙂
      Thanks for the lovely comments.

  7. FINALLY! A great kale chip recipe. They are delicious (but I’ll have to tone down the garlic if I want anyone to talk to me today. Ha!)

    1. LOL Stephanie!
      Yes, they are a bit that way aren’t they?!
      Thanks for taking the time to comment.
      I really appreciate all of your comments on FB too.
      Try the sundried tomato kale chips too.
      They are AH-MAZING!

  8. I am so glad these turned you onto the wonders of kale! Try the pistachio kale smoothie now! That will have you grabbing for the kale every day!!! LOL!

  9. I did that before I had a dehydrator too!
    I will take these kale chips any way I can get them….and yes! This tastes amazing as a side salad too. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    1. WOO HOO!!!!
      I am so thrilled for you that you got a dehydrator!!! You are going to LOVE it!
      Can’t wait to hear what you think of these kale chips. I LOVE them 🙂

  10. I made this a couple of weeks ago. so YUMMY!!

    And so nice to NOT pay a small fortune for them. 🙂

    I’m finally amassing all of the kitchen tools I need. I already had a water bath canner, but I didn’t realize how limiting that was, so I got a pressure canner. I also got a dehydrator, a yogurt maker and as I mentioned in a different comment, I’m finally getting my vitamix 🙂

    1. WONDERFUL! So glad you enjoyed these!
      I CANNOT get enough of these kale chips!
      LOVE all of your kitchen gear!
      You are totally stocked up and ready for ANYTHING now!
      Enjoy that Vitamix! WOO HOO!

  11. I introduced my daughter to these this Aug. She could not stop eating them. Then along came 6 yr. old grandson… he gobbled and gobbled them gone and asked for more!!! Neither of them had ever had kale! I convinced her to intoduce it in soups and smoothies. SO, SO, SO…… GOOD!!!!!!! Thanks for the recipes and all the grunts from all. Tracy

    1. I LOVE hearing stories like this Tracy! I am SO pleased this recipe is a hit with everyone. Have you tried the alkaline tomato kale chip recipe without the spice? That one would be GREAT too! Thanks for taking the time to leave such a lovely comment. I really appreciate it.

  12. I think I could LIVE on these. You have inspired me yet again – this time to get a dehydrator so I can make these even more perfect than in my oven at “dehydrator” status. I’m now feeling like Forrest Gump, imagining the ways I can recreate kale chips in a new dehydrator. YES! Thank you Tess!

  13. I have the Nesco dehydrator. Can this be done without the mesh liner or the some of the coating will fall off the kale? I signed up for the excalibur giveaway so I’m crossing my fingers.

  14. Ok it’s seriously time to get on this bandwagon! I see your post is 4 years old but I’ve only just started hearing about these amazing treats in the last couple of months… I’m off to the farmer’s market tomorrow to stock up and then chucking it all in the dehydrator!!!

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