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Spicy Italian Kale Chips

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raw vegan crispy Spicy Italian Kale Chips

~ raw, vegan, gluten-free ~

Ready to take a road trip with me?  If so, have your bags packed when you make this recipe, because you will soon be transported to sunny Italy!

Spices are fundamental to Italian cuisine so using the right combination is crucial.  Therefore I used Homemade Dressings Italian Gardening seasoning mix.  It is a traditional blend of herbs and spices including basil, oregano, and garlic that gives a true Italian flavor.

You will find that I tend to use their spice mixes quite often in my recipes.   They are 100% natural, no sugar added and they are gluten-free.  If you don’t have a premixed Italian seasoning on hand, you can make your own blend.  You will find a recipe down below.

I want to share a few tips for making a successful batch of kale chips.  Start off with fresh kale.  Wilted kale can often taste bitter.  Use curly kale; it holds onto the sauce much better which gives it that great crunch.  Tear the kale into bite-sized pieces.  Kale chips can be very messy to eat when you have to take multiple bites of the chip.

Wash the kale but really pay attention to the drying process.  Wet kale will repel the sauce and make it watery.  I make my sauces nice and thick and use a particular ratio of sauce to kale to ensure a hearty chip!  With these tips, you should end up with a magnificent kale chip.  Enjoy and please keep me posted if you give this recipe a try.  I am pretty confident in saying that you just might end up eating a whole head of kale in one sitting so I think it is my responsibility to remind you to drink plenty of water.  Dehydrated foods can be dehydrating on the body, so drinking more fluids is recommended. :)

an over view of raw vegan crispy Spicy Italian Kale ChipsIngredients:

yields 3 cups sauce


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. After the cashews are done soaking, drain and discard the soak water.
  2. In a high-powered blender combine the; cashews, water, vinegar, lemon juice, sun-dried tomatoes, and seasonings. Blend until the sauce is creamy smooth.
    • If the sun-dried tomatoes are really hard, soak them in enough hot water to cover them.   Drain and add to the sauce when ready.
    • 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 in 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!

How to make your own Italian Seasoning Mix:

Ingredients: yields 5 Tbsp


  1. Mix all ingredients in a spice grinder.
  2. Store in an airtight jar for up to 6 months.

21 thoughts on “Spicy Italian Kale Chips

  1. Bonnie says:

    Hi Amie Sue — I’ve been dying to make these. And yes, Mrs. Green is right, those of us on the Mrs. Green Team LOVE, LOVE, LOVE these chips. Someone told me that kale chips could be made in the oven. For those of us who don’t own a dehydrator, can you offer some feedback about making them in the oven? They are the BEST! Thanks for being a guest blogger at mrsgreensworld.com! — Bonnie

    • amie-sue says:

      Hi Bonnie… thank you. It was quite an honor to be asked to be a guest blogger for you all. Thank you for that. Yes, you can use an oven to make kale chips in. A person will run the risk of over cooking them, thus making them cooked rather than raw, but that may not be as important to some. In using an oven, set the oven on the lowest temp and keep the door cracked. Depending on the heat of the oven, you will need to keep an eye on them so they don’t burn. I personally never bake mine so I don’t have details on the out come.

      Have a blessed weekend Bonnie! amie sue

  2. Juanita says:

    These sounds fantastic! You mention a specific sauce to kale ratio, but I’m not seeing what that is. Could you let me know how much kale that you use for this batch of sauce? Thanks so much!

    • amie-sue says:

      Hi Juanita…. the ingredient list shows it, but basically I use about 1 1/2 -2 cups of sauce per head of kale. Again, I like to coat the kale nice and thick. have a wonderful day, amie sue

  3. Davina says:

    Omg! I made these chips and they are absolutely amazing! Thank you sooooo much for sharing your amazing received.

    I now finally have a substitute for crisps / chips.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you… :)

    • amie-sue says:

      Your welcome Davina… rather addictive for sure! I hope you try some of the other kale chip recipes too. Have a blessed evening, amie sue

      • Davina says:

        Thanks Ami-Sue. Sorry I meant to say “amazing recipe”

        I’ll be trying other recipes of yours and will definitely let you know how I get on.

        I love your site and am always on it…as addictive as your food!

        Thank you for sharing it with us all.

        Davina x

  4. Anna says:

    Amie, I just ordered a dehydrator from your site! I’m so excited! I had one but would like to upgrade my kitchen with the Excalibur 3900B 9 Trays! I will keep you posted how it is! Can’t wait to try it! :)

    • amie-sue says:

      OH Anna!! That is so exciting! You are going to love having a dehydrator. A whole new world of creations will soon be at your fingertips. :) Please do keep me posted. hugs, amie sue

      • Anna says:

        Thank you so much, Amie-Sue! I am so happy with the dehydrator! I tried different recipe and created my own living crackers ;) Really exciting!

        I bought the Paraflex sheets which you recommend. I used them for the crackers but have some problems to clean them. After I washed them with soapy cloth, there are still “oily circles”. (I used 2 tsp. of olive oil for the crackers). Do you have any suggestions how I can get them completely clean?
        Thank you for your advice in advance!
        Best, Anna

        • amie-sue says:

          Hmm, I just use hot soapy water Anna. I am sure you are getting clean, it just might have “stained” it I guess. If it bothers you, I would give Excalibur a call and see what they say. I haven’t ever experienced this. I am happy to hear that you are enjoying your machine! Have a blessed weekend, amie sue

  5. Lyn L. (mom of many) :] says:

    Hi Amie Sue, All of your kale chip recipes look amazing. I know you gave me a wonderful list of all the nuts that I can use for Gene’s allergies. I was wondering if you could let me know which one would mimic the creaminess of the cashews, for all of you kale chip recipes. He can’t do almonds, peanuts, walnuts, brazil nuts, cashews, macadamia nuts, or pistachio. But I can rotate pecans, sesame seeds,sunflower seeds, and filberts. I have 2 heads of kale and am excited to know what you think !! Thank you in advance for your reply. Have a very nice weekend, say hello to Bob !! Lyn :]

    • amie-sue says:

      Good evening Lyn,

      I am so happy to see you really exploring all the recipes. Quite fun to see where you go next. hehe Lets see for a cashew replacement.. he can’t have the ones I would have recommended (almonds or macs) Sesame seed wouldn’t be a good choice unless you wanted that strong tahini flavor. Filberts, would be good but again impart a unique flavor… so I am going to recommend sunflower seeds. It may not get as creamy and it will alter the end flavor a bit but we are doing the best we can with his restrictions. If I come up with other ideas, I will let you know. Have a splendid weekend. amie sue

      • Lyn L. (mom of many) :] says:

        Hi Amie Sue,
        Well Gene and I just took out the kale chips this morning. In the words of Shirley Temple- Oh My Goodness !!! These are so good !!! I better box them up right away for his trip or there seriously won’t be any left!!! :] Thank you so much, Lyn :] :]

        • Lyn L. (mom of many) :] says:

          P.S. I asked Gene- “what other flavors of kale chips do you want me to make” (I want to see what the other flavors taste like too) :] His reply was – “lets just go get more kale and keep on enjoying this flavor”. :] When he finds something he loves , he camps there till he O.D. on it! :] He bought two more big bags of sweet onions, when I first tried you onion crackers!!! :] It’s all good !!! He is so happy to finally eat chips, crackers, breads again – and we have you both to thank for that !!! Thank you, Lyn :]

          • amie-sue says:

            Good afternoon Lyn,

            I can identify with Gene completely! I do the very same thing. But you know, I think that is very easy to do when you have food restrictions. But now, there is a whole new world that has opened up to him and I am betting that over time as his cravings become more satisfied, that he will enjoy the rotation of variety. He is a blessed man to have you to make such wonderful foods for him. As I am sure you are just as blessed in return. :)

            Thank you for sharing, it always means a lot to me. Have terrific day. It is drizzling today and I just love it. Makes me want to be in the kitchen. lol amie sue

        • amie-sue says:

          lol Lyn, that is wonderful. Kale chips are indeed the hardest food to keep on hand, so you better get a lock and key if he wants to take them on the road. hehe Right now my mom is trucking with my dad in the lower 48 which brings me such joy (and them too) it is in the plans to come here for Christmas which excited me beyond belief, anyway… I plan on loading my dad up with raw granolas, bars and whatever else I can create that is “road worthy”. I am very excited to do this.

          I am babbling… hehe Talk to you soon, amie sue :)

  6. mary says:

    Hi, How much kale would you use? I know you say a head or a bunch, but what what would that be in weight.?Thank you.

    • amie-sue says:

      Good morning Mary,

      When I buy greens in the supermarket, the bunches vary wildly in size and weight. I usually just grab a “head” of kale. I would say maybe 8-10 large leaves, not sure about the weight. Each different type of kale will vary in weight too. For these recipes, it isn’t an exact science so just use your best judgement. I will work on weighing out kale when I use it for this vary reason. Have a great day, amie sue

  7. Maureen says:

    Hi Amie Sue! I’m just curious as to why kale chips are dried at 105 degrees instead of 115 degrees? Also, I’m having a “what would Amie Sue do” moment… I’ve been spreading the chips out in a single layer which takes 3 full dehydrator trays for 1 head of kale (I halve the recipe so that, hopefully, it doesn’t take up the entire dehydrator), with each tray using 2-3 rows, depending on the height of the kale. I think I might have to purchase a commercial sized dehydrator if I want to make a full 2 heads of kale chips recipe at the same time. ;o) I wonder if I should be doing something differently… Any thoughts?

    P.S. I have the 9 tray Excalibur

    • amie-sue says:

      Helllo Maureen,

      You can dry them at 115 degrees, when I first started raw I was using 105 as my go-t-temp… but since have changed it to 115 degrees due to new studies that had come out. This is just one of my older recipes, I will update it. :)

      You had me giggling…” “what would Amie Sue do” moment”…. You can always pile them a little if you need to conserve dehydrator space. I have the same unit as you and I end up taking out every other tray to accommodate the lumpy kale as I drop it on the trays. Sometimes, I lay them out nice and flat and in a single layer, but these days, I tend to leave some ruffling to the kale so the chips are thicker and less messier to eat. I hope that makes sense. I hope you are enjoying your weekend, blessings.. amie sue

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