Zesty Cheddar Kale Chips

I could faceplant into this bowl:) While I was making the taco layer for my Seven Layered Dip, I thought how have I not rubbed this stuff ALL over kale?! I’ve made kale chips many times, but not once did I think to use my taco sauce recipe. SO, the result…simply the BEST. Once dried, the sauce tastes like a sharp zesty cheddar. Yum. After you’ve had the first few chips the flavour REALLY hits – and before you know it, the bowl is empty. One serving of veg down, 2+ to go!

What I love about snacks like this – guilt free. I would consider these Zesty Cheddar Kale Chips a healthy (and super tasty) snack. They definitely satisfy those savoury cheesy cravings without the laundry list of artificial ingredients that are found in some store-bought chips. Gotta love that they can be whipped up with minimal effort and cleanup too. A perfect all-around munchie to have on hand.

For this recipe, I added 2tbsp of grapeseed oil as the sauce is heated for an extended period of time. The oil helps with ‘cooking’ the kale evenly, and prevents the sauce from drying out & the chips from sticking to the baking sheet. Although, I do still recommend flipping the chips halfway through as they may stick once baked and/or use a piece of parchment paper to cover the baking sheet (see recipe below). My baking sheet is WELL seasoned, so I don’t always use parchment paper.

Zesty Cheddar Kale Chips
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
40 mins
Total Time
1 hr 10 mins

Who’s in for a healthy cheesy crisp snack!! Right, not even a question – we ALL are. Not a fan of kale? These chips might change your mind, BUT you’ll need to try more than just one. Three chips in and I’m hooked.

Course: appetizer, side, snack
Cuisine: *plant based + gluten free
Keyword: zesty, cheddar, kale, chips
Servings: 6 cups
Author: thecrimsonsink
  • 2 small healthy bunches of kale
  • 1 cup raw cashews – soaked for 20mins in hot water
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp grapeseed oil
  • 1&1/2 tsp tomato paste
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne
  • 1/8 tsp oregano
  1. *I prep the Zesty Cheddar sauce first and place it in the refrigerator while I clean the kale – allows some time for the flavours to set.
  2. Drain the cashews.
  3. Add all of the ingredients (except the kale) to a high speed blender. Blend on high until smooth. If you need to add more water, do it 1tsp at a time – want thick, not runny. Cover and place in the fridge.

  4. Preheat the oven to 275*F. Prepare the baking sheet(s) by lining with parchment paper, a nonstick mat, or spray with oil.

  5. Clean and dry the kale. When it comes to cleaning kale, I have a whole system in place due to a variety of unfortunate experiences – bugs, rocks, rot. First, wash the kale as whole leaves running them under lukewarm water while using your fingers to rub between all of the crevices. Next, pull off chip-sized pieces of the kale leaf from the rib (stem). Discard the ribs/stems, or feed them to the dog(s) – mine LOVE them. Place the kale pieces into a salad spinner, fill the spinner with cold water, place a large plate over the kale pushing it under the water, and let it sit for 10mins. Remove the plate, use your hand to stir around the kale, lift & drain. Finally, spin the kale until dry.

  6. Place half of the dry clean kale pieces into a large bowl, pour over half of the Zesty Cheddar sauce, then toss and rub the sauce into the kale pieces – again, getting into those crevices.
  7. Once the kale pieces are coated with the sauce, dump them onto the prepared baking sheet(s), spreading out evenly (no overlapping). Use your fingers to separate any pieces stuck together.

  8. Repeat with second batch, preparing any additional baking sheets as necessary.
  9. Bake for 30-40mins, or until the kale appears dry and crisp. *Flip the kale pieces halfway through baking – this helps evenly cook things as well as prevents sticking. If chips do stick to the sheet, run a metal spatula or fork under them to remove.

  10. Remove from the oven and allow to completely cool.
  11. For storing, choose a method that you feel works best for your environment. Where I live the air is extremely dry, which is great for simply storing foods like chips on the counter with a towel draped overtop (remain super crisp). If I lived somewhere with a lot of moisture in the air, like on the coast, I would store the chips in an airtight container.

  12. If dry, the chips should keep for 3-5days. They don’t last more than 2days at my house.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating