Best Ever Kale Chips Recipe - Vegan

My obsession with kale chips is serious. When I travelled to the United States last December, I went to every health food shop in town, just to buy and taste-test kale chips. I would read the ingredients and then try to recreate the flavours at home. After a good 6 months of tinkering… I finally have the recipe down. So, today I’m going to show you how to bake Cheesy Kale Chips, using my favourite vegetarian and vegan-friendly Go Nuts “Cheese” Sauce – great in pasta, over veggies and as a dip!

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Now, it’s not that I don’t eat real cheese. I do, I love it. I just try not to eat a lot of it, so I like exploring alternatives. Plus, when baked over kale, this nut sauce has a great crunchy texture and flavour that is so delicious!

Best Ever Kale Chips Recipe - Vegan

The “cheesy” flavour in the sauce comes from nutritional yeast – a cultured strain of yeast that is grown, then de-activated (killed) with heat. It has protein and vitamins and a unique flavour that works well re-creating cheesy dishes. Sounds like space food, I know, but it’s very similar to brewer’s yeast, which is often used for making bread, and all totally normal!

Cashew nut sauce ingredients for cheesy kale chips - Vegan

I use my new dehydrator to get perfectly cooked, crunchy kale chips. It’s a recent purchase and I love it. In the past, I used the oven with good results – it’s not as consistent as a dehydrator, and I burned a few batches – but with a careful eye the oven works fine.

Cheesy kale chips in the dehydrator - Vegan


Cheesy Kale Chips Recipe

Go Nuts “Cheese” Sauce

NOTE: the seasonings below are to taste – use these to start, then keep playing with it until it tastes good to you. To be honest, I’ve never really measured it out!

  • 1 cup cashew nuts
  • 1 cup red bell pepper
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • squeeze lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme (if you have it on hand – adds a nice flavour, but not necessary)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup water to get the right consistency (- thick but creamy)


  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  1. Toss all the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth and creamy.

  2. Add water until you get the consistency of a cheese sauce. 

  3. If you want to use this for kale chips, amp up the seasonings to really flavour the kale, more so than if you were to eat it on its own. Does that make sense? The flavour will get diluted over the kale, so don’t be scared to get generous with the seasoning.

Vegan "Cheesy" Kale Chips

  • Go Nuts “Cheese” Sauce
  • Kale
  1. tear the leaves off of the stems, make sure not to include the spine!
  2. wash the kale and dry thoroughly
  3. pour the Go Nuts “Cheese” Sauce over the kale until fully coated
  4. OVEN: place on a baking tray and bake at 135° C (275° F) for about 25 minutes – flipping over half way through.
  5. DEHYDRATOR: place on the rack and set to dry at 50° C (130° F) for about 10-12 hours or overnight.

If you liked this recipe, get 5 more kale chip recipes plus my tips to make perfect kale chips every time…
Click here to grab the download!

My Tools Of Choice

L’EQUIP Food Dehydrator LD 918H - Vegan L’EQUIP Food Dehydrator LD 918H: Yes, the dehydrator takes a million years compared to a hot oven, but it produces a really good even crisp! I saw inconsistent results with the oven, so I’m loving the dehydrator for things like drying herbs, fruit and making sweet potato and kale chips. If you are considering buying one, here’s the one that I’m using, which is much more affordable than the Exalibur and works really well for me. If you are interested in knowing what else I use my dehydrator for, let me know and I’ll share more on that!

What I love too is that it has a filter and a fan, which is important for circulating clean air around the food. Plus, it has a timer so that you can set it to turn off automatically when it’s done. Most things take about 10 hours to fully dehydrate, so it’s perfect for setting before you go to bed.

Check it out: L’EQUIP Food Dehydrator LD 918H

Vitamix Blender - Vegan Vitamix Blender: 
It costs a bomb and this machine is only for people who are serious about their tools and like to go for investment pieces. It’s for people who want the smoothest green shakes, the creamiest sauces and soups. I love this blender, I feel like a pro every time I use it. You can turn grains into flour, turn nuts into creamy nut butter and anything into a smoothie or soup! Again, it’s only for people who really love their high-quality kitchen appliances.

Check it out: Vitamix Blender


Nutritional yeast - Vegan I buy my nutritional yeast from iHerb, which if you live in Singapore, I find to be a much more affordable price (including shipping)!

p.s. nutritional yeast is also amazing sprinkled over popcorn and avocado on toast! And if you are at all worried about candida (yeast) this product is inactive (dead), so there is no issue there. I know it sounds so strange – but I promise it’s totally normal food-stuff and very yummy! Click here to use my affiliate link to get $10 off!


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50 responses to “Finally, the Best Ever Kale Chips Recipe – Vegan “Cheesy” Kale Chips”

  1. Hello militiza! You make it real tempting to get a dehydrator. Just wondering if you know the difference between your model and the 528 eco? That one is a little cheaper so I am thinking of getting that. And did you get from amazon? Thanks so much for sharing!

    • Hi Serene! I haven’t come across the 528 eco. The benefits of the model I got (so that you can compare) are:

      – it has a filter to keep clean air circulating throughout
      – you can buy and add more trays
      – I can adjust it to the exact temperature I want
      – it’s almost silent
      – it has a timer to shut off automatically.

      I like that it has those features, so comparing that with the 528 eco may tell you which is best for you. Hope that helps!

  2. these look amazing! i just made my own kale chips, which were delicious, but I was wanted the cheesy ones like the store bought, without the crazy price tag. these look so good and i love that its vegan, since im trying not to eat so much cheese. thank you for posting this!!!

    • Hi Madi! Awesome, thanks for reaching out!! The cheesy ones are so good – I have to stop myself from not going crazy making them all the time. Please do let me know how you get on with the recipe 🙂

  3. Thanks for your quick answer! Seems like they don’t have your model anymore. Gotta research what’s e diff then.

  4. Hi,

    These look great, I was just wondering how much kale you would use for that amount of sauce? Just one bunch or more? Thank you.

  5. Hi there! Just made this last night, and all I can say is WOW!! I’m just blown away by this cheese sauce! I have never made a vegan cheese sauce before, and this was good enough to be scarfed down with tortilla chips by all of us “real” cheese eaters! I also made the kale chips they are fabulous! By far my favorite ones so far. Thank you so much for sharing!

  6. I made too much of the cheese sauce and wanted to know if I can refrigerate it to use with my next batch? I made the first batch spicy and gave to a friend. Now they want me to make more! I love the sauce, but I leave the cayenne pepper off. I just need a larger dehydrator I guess! Thank you for getting back with me.

    • Hi Corinne,

      I’ve been playing with making a nut less version – I haven’t nailed it yet – but you might be able to try avocado… You need something that will give it body and creaminess, the nuts do a great job of it, but I’m sure there has to be another way! Let’s keep playing and figure it out 🙂

  7. Hi Militza – thanks so much for this recipe! Made it yesterday for a potluck (with lacinato and red russian) and it was SO GOOD. Big bowl, all gone in literally minutes. Should have saved some!!
    It seemed like the oven temp above (130F) might be off — I used 375F but anyway was having a hard time getting the texture right. Toeing the fine line between soggy and burnt. I don’t think my sauce was too watery, but could have been. Any advice? Or do I just need a dehydrator to get it perfect? Thanks!

    • Hi Jeff! That’s great – I’m so happy you liked it!! Yes, it seems that a few people have found the temp to be low – I’m not sure if it’s my oven? But really, I always use my dehydrator now because I get more consistent results – so soggy bits and burt bits like you get in the oven 🙂 Or in the oven, you can do low temp for a longer time to avoid it getting burnt…

      • OK, thanks for the reply! I wonder at such a low temp if that would take as long as a dehydrator — because that’s a long time to be monitoring an oven. Well, I guess when I finally break down and actually get a dehydrator I’ll make sure this recipe is among the first I try 🙂

  8. Have you ever tried making these in the oven? I don’t have a dehydrator and wondered if anyone had any luck with an oven. These sound amazing!

    • Hi Emily! If you have a dehydrator – I think stick with it 🙂 It produces more consistent results. You don’t get the soggy ones in the middle of the tray and burt ones along the edges that happens in the oven 🙂

    • Hi Patricia! Thanks for the tip – I will update the blog to pass this tip along 🙂 It could be my oven… these days I always use my dehydrator to make kale chips – I get more consistent results! Thanks for sharing!

  9. Hi Militza – Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! I made a modified version of this recipe last night and they were amazing! In our house we currently are on the autoimmune diet because my husband has psoriatic arthritis. In trying to stay as close to the Autoimmune Diet Protocol as possible, I needed to adapt the recipe to omit the nightshades (red pepper and cayenne pepper). I also replaced these ingredients with butternut squash and horseradish root for a little heat that was lost from the omission of the cayenne pepper. I left in the cashews because these can be reintroduced in week three of the AIP protocol. Here is a link to my blog where I posted the modified recipe:
    Again thanks for the inspiration!

  10. Wow! I just made these and the sauce is good enough to eat with nachos or drizzled on vegies. The chips are in my dehydrator right now, and just did a taste test. So good! I have tried a number of internet cheesy kale recipes, but this is my new favorite. Thanks so much for posting! I didn’t have fresh Thyme, so I used a tsp of dried and it is very flavorful. I have also tried making kale chips from other recipes using pampered chef potato microwave chip trays, they work OK too, better tasting than the oven and faster, but definitely a dehydrator makes the best chips.

  11. I bought my bf that same dehydrator last year for Christmas,now I’m the one who uses it. I absolutely love your kale chip recipe. It’s the best I’ve tried!

  12. Thank you for this writeup, its very informative.

    I bought mine from since i couldn’t wait 2 week for amazon delivery

  13. Just wondering if the instructions say to use both the oven and then the dehydrator? or can you use or the other? I only have the oven. Thanks

    • Hi! You can use just the oven. Lay the leaves on parchment paper so it doesn’t stick and keep you eye on them, flipping occasionally. They’ll come out great!

  14. I’m cooking mine in my dehydrator. I see that you put yours on the open mesh trays. Do you rub it in? Should the sauce cover both sides? Won’t it drip?

    • Hi Frederique – glad that you’re trying it out! The short answer is no, you don’t need to worry about the sauce. It’s thick, and sticks onto the kale – so do coat both sides.

      Back then, my old round dehydrator didn’t have a silicon sheet, so I did it on the mesh tray. Now, I have an excalibur and I use the silicon sheets. Plus it is a powerful machine – so the kale comes out within a couple hours if you have it on a high setting (as supposed to 10 hours)

      You can also do them in the oven, just lay them down on baking paper so it won’t stick.


  15. Have used it for years….never had a problem…no melting trays…just great results…also have a borrowed horizontal fan forced type…hate it… thermostat just doesn’t keep it hot enough…takes days for it to dehydrate.

  16. The kale chips were amazing! I have a Vitamix and the Excalibur dehydrator. Using the dehydrator was key to having the kale evenly heated through and Vitamix blended the ingredients into a smooth consistency. The finished chips were way better than a certain brand of kale chip I’ve bought before. My husband LOVES the vegan cheese sauce and wants to experiment using it for other dishes. Thanks for sharing!

    • Hi Joanna! Woot – I’m so glad to hear it!! Those bags of kale chips are pricey!! I’m so glad you found a really good homemade version. thanks for writing in to let us know!!

      • I also forgot to mention that I used raw, unsoaked cashews and it worked well when I Vitamixed everything. I also love the flavor of the fresh thyme. This recipe is such a keeper! No need for me to buy expensive kale chips anymore when these are so delicious and so cost effective to make. I wish I found your website a long time ago, but better now than never. 🙂

  17. This “cheese” sauce is now an obsession. So incredible I am actually licking it off my fingers, which I never do. I can imagine it on so many things– as a dip, on broccoli, over steamed asparagus–the possibilities are endless. Thank you!

  18. I need to know whats the quantity of the kale for one receipe and how many portion does it give? Thanks

  19. This does not work well in the oven at the directed time or temp. I have had them in there for over half an hour and the majority are still wet and soft. The very few who were done, were delicious. Oh, how I wish I had a dehydrator! I’ve made them many times in a dehydrator but, unfortunately, when my roommate moved out, her dehydrator did, too. Delicious sauce, though.

    • Hi Liz! Oh man, I’m sorry it didn’t work out this time. I’ve had a few oven disasters myself – try again!! It will work, promise! Low and slow, or set it higher but keep your eye on it. Parchment paper is really key to keep it from sticking too! 🙂

    • Hi. Because they are dehydrated – they’ll keep for a long time – if kept dry in a good air-tight container. Humidity will make them soft. I usually eat them within a couple of days…

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