After trying these air fryer kale chips, you’ll never want to make kale chips the traditional way again. In just 5 minutes, you could be digging into a crispy, perfectly seasoned snack!
We all know that kale is a superfood packed with vitamins and minerals, but raw kale isn’t for everyone. Personally, I love kale in Kale Caesar Salad with Crispy Chickpea Croutons and Asian Kale Quinoa Salad, but my absolute favorite way to enjoy this leafy veggie is in chip form. And kale chips in the air fryer are the easiest, quickest, and all-around best!
Air fryers circulate hot air to cook food, giving you the crispy texture you want in Air Fryer Grilled Cheese, Air Fryer Popcorn Chicken, and kale chips, without all the added oil and grease you need for deep frying and without the time needed for cooking in a regular oven.
All you need to do is chop up some kale leaves, season them with your favorite herbs and spices—or use the smoky, cheesy seasoning blend I share below—and pop them in the air fryer for as little as 3 minutes. That's it!
Why You'll Love This Air Fryer Kale Chips Recipe
Here's what makes this recipe a favorite:
- Quick and easy. The hardest part is washing the kale leaves! Sometimes healthy snacks can be a pain to prepare, leaving you grabbing the nearest store-bought granola bar instead, but air fryer kale chips are ready lickety-split.
- Feel-good snack. Let’s be real: potato chips taste good, but after enjoying a few handfuls (or a bagful), you don’t feel so great. You can eat a whole batch of air fryer kale chips without feeling weighed down.
- Versatile. Experiment with different seasonings to find your favorite flavor combination. This is a great opportunity to raid your spice cabinet and find the seasoning blends that have been sitting in there for way too long!
- Kid-friendly. Picky eaters may just convert to kale lovers after trying these chips. The raw kale flavor and texture that turns off so many people completely disappears in the air fryer.
What You’ll Need
Here are all of the ingredients you’ll need when making these air fryer kale chips. Make sure to check out the recipe card at the bottom of the page to see the exact quantities for each ingredient.
- Curly kale – While you can use another variety, I prefer curly kale because it has the perfect texture for making into chips.
- Olive oil
- Nutritional yeast – The secret ingredient that adds a cheesy flavor to these kale chips, without cheese!
- Garlic powder – For lots of savory flavor.
- Smoked paprika – This gives the air fryer kale chips a deeply smoky flavor, almost reminiscent of bacon.
How to Make Air Fryer Kale Chips
This is how easy it is to make kale chips in the air fryer.
- Prepare. Dry the kale and strip the leaves from the stem. Tear the leaves into bite-sized pieces.
- Season. Toss the kale in oil in a large bowl. Stir in the seasonings.
- Place the kale in the air fryer. Arrange the kale in a single layer in the air fryer basket.
- Cook. Air fry the kale for 3 to 5 minutes at 375°F, until the kale chips are crispy.
Tips for Success
Follow these tips for perfect air fryer kale chips:
- Wash the kale well. Dirt and grit hides well in those curly leaves, so you want to wash them one-by-one and examine each leaf carefully.
- Make sure the kale is super dry. Any moisture clinging to the leaves will prevent the chips from getting crispy.
- Don't overcrowd the air fryer basket. The kale needs room to cook and get crispy, so avoid piling the leaves on top of each other. If needed, make the kale chips in batches.
- Keep an eye on them. Depending on your air fryer, the chips may cook faster or slower than others. Check them after 3 minutes to see how they’re doing.
You can really use any seasonings you like for these kale chips, so feel free to experiment. Everything bagel seasoning and za’atar are excellent, as is ranch seasoning. Add some cayenne pepper for heat, or swap the nutritional yeast for Parmesan.
Air fryer kale chips are made for snacking, but I also love using them as a topping for soup, like a lower-carb alternative to croutons. Try them with Vegan Cream of Broccoli Soup or Roasted Red Pepper Soup With Tomato and Quinoa. You can also add these crispy kale chips to salads or as a topping for pasta dishes like Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Pasta.
How to Store
You can store any leftover kale chips in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days. If they soften a bit, simply pop them back in the air fryer for a minute or two until they are crispy again.
Can I Freeze This Recipe?
I don’t recommend freezing air fryer kale chips; while I haven’t tried it, I don’t think they'd fare well with freezing and thawing. They’re so easy to make, you can whip them up whenever you’d like!
More Kale Recipes
- Tuscan Kale White Bean Soup
- Best Ever Massaged Kale Salad
- Kale Quinoa Salad with Pomegranate
- Kale + Shredded Brussels Sprout Quinoa Salad
- Quinoa Breakfast Tacos with Kale + Butternut Squash
Air Fryer Kale Chips
- Make sure the kale is as dry as possible, then remove the leaves from the stem. Tear into bite-sized pieces and add to a bowl. Top with oil and toss until the kale is fully coated. Stir in seasonings.
- Arrange the kale in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Try to keep the leaves from touching if possible. You might have to do this in batches depending on how many "chips" you have. Air fry for 3 to 5 minutes at 375°F until the kale chips are crispy. They can cook quickly, so start checking after 3 minutes and remove when they're crisp.