Easy “Cheesy” Kale Chips Recipe

These “Cheesy” Kale Chips are a great, healthy way to satisfy your cravings for something salty and cheesy. Nutritional yeast gives them a nutrient-rich cheesy flavor without any added dairy.

I find it a little funny that I’m writing a post about Kale Chips. Kale chips aren’t a new thing by any means. I’ve successfully ignored and resisted them for a couple of years. If I saw a post talking about how amazing they were or how Kale Chips are a great, healthy alternative when you’re craving chips I couldn’t help but roll my eyes.

I thought, you’ve gotta be kidding me. They’re a vegetable! How could I possibly enjoy kale as a substitute for actual chips of the unhealthy, but totally tasty, variety?! There’s no way that a Kale Chip could satiate my monthly cravings for salty, nacho cheese chips. Complete nonsense.

Well, I’m hear to tell you that I couldn’t have been more wrong. My friend made some kale chips recently and I relented. Begrudgingly, I told her I would try them, all the while having very little confidence that they would do anything to satisfy my monthly cravings for something salty and crunchy.

It turns out I wanted to lick the baking sheet clean. And I told her I would have, it I had been home alone with no one to witness that. Not only would I eat these “Cheesy” Kale Chips if someone else made them, but I would make them on purpose for myself.

What really made these Kale Chips was the nutritional yeast she had sprinkled on them – it gave them a great cheesy flavor without actually having any cheese in the recipe.

A few months ago I hadn’t even heard of nutritional yeast. Now that I’ve tasted it, and read about the nutrients that it contains, I want to put it on everything.

Health Benefits of Nutritional Yeast

Nutritional Yeast adds a savory, nutty, cheesy flavor to foods, but it is more than just a flavor enhancement. It actually contains a lot of nutrients! 

B Vitamins – Nutritional yeast contains Riboflavin (B12), Niacin (B3), Thiamin (B1), B12, Folic Acid (B9), and B6. Depending on the brand you purchase, one serving (about a tablespoon) offers 30% or more of your daily value of each of these vitamins. (source)

Low Sodium – Although nutritional yeast has a natural savory, and somewhat salty, cheesy flavor to it, it actually contains now sodium. That’s great if you’re watching your sodium intake but still looking for something to satisfy your salty cravings.

While some ladies out there have monthly cravings for chocolate, mine tend to be cravings of the salty/savory variety. Satisfying that in a healthy way with lots of greens and no actual sodium (minus the little bit of salt added to the kale chips for seasoning) will put a damper on annoying bloating.

Non-Animal Protein Source – A tablespoon of nutritional yeast only has a few grams of protein, but nutritional yeast is a complete protein – meaning that it contains all of the essential amino acids, include the ones your body can’t produce on its own. Also, its always great to pair snacking with a little bit of protein to give the body fuel for an energy boost.

Minerals – Nutritional yeast also contains minerals like iron, selenium and zinc.

How to Use Nutritional Yeast

Use nutritional yeast like you would any cheese topping. Sprinkle it on top of popcorn, salads, roasted veggies, like Easy Roasted Cauliflower or Roasted Broccoli, and more. It is great stirred into soups, stews and chilis – and great for adding an extra boost of cheesy flavor without adding any dairy (perfect if you’re allergic to dairy, lactose intolerant, or maybe just taking a break from consuming excessive amounts of cheese).

I also plan to try adding some nutritional yeast into recipes like Baked Potato SoupCreamy Butternut Squash SoupRoasted Garlic and Cauliflower Soup, or Broccoli Cheese Loaded Twice Baked Potatoes.

More Healthy, Savory Snack Recipes

What do you like to snack on?

"Cheesy" Kale Chips

Yield: serves 2 - 3

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 - 15 minutes

Total Time: 15 - 20 minutes

These “Cheesy” Kale Chips are a great, healthy way to satisfy your cravings for something salty and cheesy. Nutritional yeast gives them a nutrient-rich cheesy flavor without any added dairy.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch, about 5 ounces, Kale (stems removed)
  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1/3 cup Nutritional Yeast
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Wash and dry the kale. Pat it dry with a paper towel.

In a bowl, add the kale and olive oil. Toss to coat. Sprinkle with the nutritional yeast, salt and pepper and mix with your hands or a wooden spoon to evenly distribute.

Place the kale on a large baking sheet, spreading evenly and making sure not to overcrowd or overlap the pieces.

Bake on the center rack of the oven at 350 degrees F for 10 - 15 minutes.

 

Notes:

Any more than about 5 ounces of kale and you should use 2 baking sheets and rotate them on the oven racks halfway through baking. Overcrowded pans will result in kale that does not become crispy.