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Mexican Cheese Kale Chips

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Mexican Cheese Kale Chips

Mexican Cheese Kale Chips (raw, vegan, gluten-free, nut-free)

~ raw, vegan, gluten-free, nut-free ~

After reading through the ingredient list here, you might think that I might have fallen off my rocker.  Five lines down in the list you will find quinoa!

Yep, it’s true; I used quinoa as my base to create this kale chip.  My goal was to find a way to make a cheesy sauce that didn’t involve nuts.

I just so happened to have some cooked quinoa in the fridge, so I pulled it out and used it up.  The end result… it’s a WIN!  No one would ever guess.

Quinoa is a great superfood that provides great nutrients in the cooked or sprouted form. However, I have only tried this recipe with the cooked grain.  If you try the sprouted version in your recipe, please post your results. :)


  • 2 cups red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup quinoa (this is a cooked measurement)
  • 1/3 cup raw tahini
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp Mexican Seasoning
  • 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp Himalayan pink salt
  • 2 bunches curly kale


Kale Prep:

  1. Selecting Kale:
    • Don’t use wilted / old kale; it can have a bitter undertone.
    • I prefer Curly Kale because all of the folds really hold onto the sauce.
  2. Wash and de-stem your kale.
    • Start by washing the kale and blotting it dry.  You can also use a salad spinner if you own one.
    • Make sure you get as much excess water off of the kale as possible.  If you don’t, it will make your sauce “soupy.”  Set aside.
    • Starting at the bottom strip away the leaf leaving behind only the stem.
    • Tear the remaining leaves into pieces that are a tad larger than bite-size since they tend to shrink.

Sauce Prep:

  1. In a high-powered blender combine the; bell peppers, quinoa, tahini, water, lemon juice, and spices. Blend until the sauce is creamy smooth.
    • Due to the volume and the creamy texture that we are going after, it is important to use a high-powered blender.  It could be too taxing on a lower-end model.
    • Create a vortex in the blender; this will help ensure that the sauce is getting fully blended into a creamy texture.
    • What is a vortex?  Look into the container from the top and slowly increase the speed from low to high,  the batter will form a small vortex (or hole) in the center.  High-powered machines have containers that are designed to create a controlled vortex, systematically folding ingredients back to the blades for smoother blends and faster processing… instead of just spinning ingredients around, hoping they find their way to the blades.
    • If your machine isn’t powerful enough or built to do this, you may need to stop the unit often to scrape down the sides.
    • This process can take 1-3 minutes, depending on the strength of the blender.  Keep your hand cupped around the base of the blender carafe to feel for warmth.  If the batter is getting too warm., stop the machine and let it cool, then proceed once cooled.


  1. Place the torn kale into a very large bowl.
  2. Pour tin the sauce and with your hands gently and evenly coat each piece of kale.
    • This is a “hands-on” job.  Stirring with a spoon just doesn’t do the trick.
    • I would suggest removing any jewelry from your fingers.  I have temporarily lost a ring here and there.

Dehydrator Method:

  1. Have the dehydrator trays ready by lining them with non-stick teflex or parchment paper.
    • Don’t use wax paper because food tends to stick to it.
    • Spread all the trays out in advance because soon your hands will be covered in sauce and you don’t want to get it all over.
  2. Place the kale on the non-stick sheets.  You can do this 1 of 2 ways:
    • Lay each piece out semi-flat if you want to create individual pieces.  More time-consuming and chips tend to a be a little bit more fragile.
    • Or, drop clumps of coated kale on the sheets.  This will create hardy clusters that are loaded with sauce and flavor.  This is my preference.
  3. Dehydrate at 115 degrees (F) for about 6-8 hrs or until dry.
    • I tend to pull mine out before it gets 100% dry because I like it a little chewy.
    • The dry time is just an estimate.  The climate, humidity, dehydrator and how full the machine is can all affect how long it will take to dry.
  4. Store in an airtight glass container and be ready to nibble non-stop till the last crumb is gone!
  5. If the kale chips start taking on some humidity from the house, you can place them back into the dehydrator for a few hours at 115 degrees (F).

Oven Method:

  1. Please use as a guide and closely monitor the kale chips as they cook.
  2. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees (F), anything higher and risk burning the chips.
  3. Line the baking sheet with parchment paper and place the kale chips on the baking sheet in a single layer.
  4. Bake for 10 minutes, rotate the pan and bake for another 15 minutes.
    • The bake times will vary based on your oven, but it’s a good starting off point!
  5. Once you pull the tray from the oven, allow the chips to cool on the baking sheet.
  6. Store in an airtight glass container and be ready to nibble non-stop till the last crumb is gone!

30 thoughts on “Mexican Cheese Kale Chips

  1. I’m so excited to try this! What a great idea to use quinoa. I always shy away from the nut sauces because of the high fat content.

    • amie-sue says:

      Me too Seemichellecook,

      My husband looked at me a bit cross eyed when I told him that I was going to try the quninoa….but taking those chances lead to a wonderful alternative. :) Let me know if you try it!

  2. Pia says:

    That looks so yummy. It is on my list to try on the weekend. I’m still a bit new to the raw food idea and are just getting my head around it. A lot is still discovered with a big Ohhhh… I love your page and like to thank you for sharing your recipes with us. You may like to know that you have a new follower from New Zealand. Thanks Amie-Sue

    • amie-sue says:

      Wow Pia…New Zealand. I love it! I read this to my husband and he wants to know when we can come visit. haha I haven’t been there but he loves it there! If you have any questions, thoughts, suggestions that you want to run past me, please feel free to. I know what it like starting off on a new adventure. I am passionate about raw and healthy foods so I would love to help in any way possible! Many blessings, amie sue

  3. I made this today and loved it! I used 1/2 of the sauce for the kale (yum) and saved the other 1/2 to pour over roasted brussel sprouts and grilled tofu. I’ve never thought of using grains to thicken a vegetable sauce but you’ve now given me so many ideas and I can’t wait to start experimenting.

    • amie-sue says:

      I am always looking for ways to replace nuts so this was a goldmine to create! And using it as a sauce over other foods is great. I can just taste it now poured over zucchini noodles as well. :) Have a blessed day, amie sue

  4. WOW WOW WOW — all I can say is that I am on my third batch of these. I keep wanting to take them for lunch, but am eating them way too fast. Amie Sue, incredible recipe!!!!

  5. Natalyn :) says:

    Oh. My. Gosh. SOOOOOOOOO delicious.

    I used the leftover cheeze sauce as hummus (it tastes just like roasted red pepper hummus to me!). I dipped bread in it, and I even dipped the kale chips in it – it was like nachos!!!

    You have a new fan. :) Thanks for sharing.

    • amie-sue says:

      That is so wonderful Natalyn!! I think I would eat a dish towel dipped in it! lol Ok, maybe not but close. :) I appreciate you taking the time to give me feed-back. BE blessed and keep in touch, amie sue

  6. Dee says:

    Amie Sue you are a genius! I have been craving kale chips but I am on a candida cleanse so staying away from heavy nuts and oils right now..This is perfect. I am going to try this now and let you know how it comes out..Also, how do you think zucchini would work as a cashew replacement when making cheese sauces?

    • amie-sue says:

      Good afternoon Dee. Thank you :)

      Good luck on your candida cleanse! If I can support you through your cleanse, please let me know. I have used zucchini in raw cheese sauces which are perfect for spiralized noodles, dipping sauce but I wouldn’t dehydrate with it. Zucchini is high in water content and I don’t think it would fair well as a “coating” BUT if you test it out, please let me know. This recipe uses quinoa which works great, but a person could try spouted and dehydrated buckwheat groats (ground to a powder) sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, hmmm I will keep thinking. Have a blessed day Dee and keep in touch. amie sue

  7. Cocoholic says:

    You don’t have to cook the quinoa. It’s better to use it raw. It will sprout easily after 24 hours and you can make a savoury joghurt base after blending it with water and some probiotic. I think this quinoa yoghurt (or just the blended cream without fermenting) would work in your recipe as well…

    • amie-sue says:

      Thank you Cocoholic. I find that I digest it better cooked, right now that is. There are always options since our bodies respond so differently. Have a wonderful weekend and I appreciate your input. amie sue

  8. Hmm is anyone else experiencing problems with the pictures on this blog loading?
    I’m trying to figure out if its a problem on my end or if it’s the
    blog. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

  9. Robin says:

    Hi Amiesue ….the mexican spice where do you get it or what ingredients go in it…I love your site and use it often ..Thanks !!

  10. Annie says:

    Hi Amie Sue, you are such a blessing! Thank you for sharing your joy of discoveries in rawfood creations. I am an avid fan of yours. One question for me, the red pepper, is it bell pepper? I can’t wait to try it hoping it’s not spicy, my stomach cannot handle anything with spice or heat at all. God bless you in all you do. Annie

    • amie-sue says:

      Good morning Annie,

      Thank you so much for your sweet words. A great way to start my day. :) Yes it is red BELL pepper, hehe Shew. That would be a hot chip if not. I added the word “bell” just in case anyone else questions that. Thank you for pointing that out. Have a wonderful and blessed day. amie sue

  11. Emmanuelle says:

    great recipes… if you had to substitute the bell peppers with another vegetable…wich one would you choose?


    • amie-sue says:

      Good day Emmanuelle,

      I might use tomatoes that have been seeded, removing the moistness from the center of them so they don’t water down my sauce. Have a great weekend, amie sue

  12. Holly says:

    Awesome recipe! However, it is not seed-free. Tahini is made from ground sesame seeds. As such this recipe would be nut-free but not seed-free.

    Just thought you’d want to know.

    Can’t wait to try it, regardless!

    • amie-sue says:

      The recipe reads “nut-free”. :) I am confused. Have a wonderful evening Holly. amie sue

      • Holly says:

        Sorry, I could’ve sworn the line that says “My goal was to find a way to make a cheesy sauce that didn’t involve nuts.” had read “My goal was to find a way to make a cheesy sauce that didn’t involve nuts or seeds.”

        I must have had two recipes open at once and gotten confused.

        My apologies.

        • amie-sue says:

          Morning Holly… When I first read your comment, I thought you were referring to the title, so I responded to that. A bit later, right before I was ready to close down the computer for the evening, I spotted that sentence within the write up ““My goal was to find a way to make a cheesy sauce that didn’t involve nuts or seeds.” It was then, I realized what you were most likely referring to, so I quickly fixed it and then had to shut down to leave. Confusion upon confusion. lol Glad that we got that figured out. Have a great day, amie sue

  13. Sarah says:

    I’m making the kale chips and I made the sauce. I tasted the sauce it kinda seemed blan. I added some saracha will that affect the kale chips in turning out right. Sincerely,


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