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Baked Kale Chips with Cheesy Cashew Dipping Sauce

kale chips with cashew cream sauce

Are you looking for a healthier alternative to potato chips and French onion dip? While it is hard to compete with the classic dip and chip combo, I believe I can give it a run for it’s money with this recipe for baked kale chips with a cheesy cashew dipping sauce. Get the recipe for this flavorful and satisfying snack (or appetizer) to have around when the munchies hit!

kale chips with cashew cream sauce

During my recent girls’ weekend in LA, the goal was to stay active and eat healthy which meant hitting up a vegan restaurant or two each day we were there. One of my favorite stops, Café Gratitude, had kale chips with nacho cheese sauce on the menu. I knew we had to get some to share among a few other things, such as coconut bacon (I’m still not sure if I’m sold on this vegan-alternative to a meat lover’s favorite).

The crunchy depth of flavor from the kale chips and the creamy, cheesy sauce was a genius combination that I knew I had to recreate in my kitchen at home! Even if you aren’t looking for a vegan, dairy-free, or gluten-free (yes, it’s all of these things!) alternative to chips and dip, it’s a must try and might even become a staple in your kitchen.

[Tweet “Need a healthier alternative to potato chips and dip? Try these kale chips with a cheesy cashew dipping sauce! #vegan”]

Side note: The cashew sauce is so incredibly versatile in vegan recipes and I can’t wait to experiment with it more! While I’m not vegan, I do try to get about 80% plant-based meals in my diet and I love experimenting with different techniques and foods in the kitchen.

Below, I’ll walk you through each step of this baked kale chips and cheesy cashew dipping sauce recipe to ensure you get crispy chips and a creamy sauce every time!

The Kale Chips (warning: highly addictive!)

Did you know that kale is considered a nutrient powerhouse in the leafy green aisle? Kale is a great source of Vitamin K, A and C, as well as minerals such as copper, potassium, iron, manganese and phosphorus. One cup of kale packs in about 3 grams of protein and a healthy dose of fiber. In other words, if aren’t eating kale “on the reg”, I highly suggest you incorporate more of this leafy green into your diet.

On to the kale chips. First, rinse and thoroughly dry the kale leaves. If you don’t dry the leaves completely, the excess water can create a steaming effect while baking which can cause limp chips. We are aiming for crispy here, so pat those babies dry!

Remove the kale leaves from the stems and tear into large bite-sized pieces. Gently massage ½ Tablespoon of olive oil into the kale leaves, making sure every nook and cranny is covered. This will also help the seasoning stick to the leaves!

how to make kale chips

Sprinkle the kale leaves ½ teaspoon garlic powder and smoked paprika; sprinkle with salt (I used pink Himalayan salt) and toss to make sure the leaves are evenly coated. Spread the kale leaves into a single layer on a baking sheet. You may need two sheets depending on how big they are to prevent overcrowding.

Bake the kale leaves at 300 degrees for about 30 minutes, rotating the baking sheet(s) halfway through to allow for even exposure to the heat and prevent burning. Once crisped, remove the kale chips from the oven and let cool for at least 5 minutes to let them crisp up even more.

The Cheesy Cashew Dipping Sauce

Although cashews are one of the lowest-fiber nuts, they also contains a lower fat content than most nut varieties. What cashews lack in fiber, they make up for in antioxidant properties through a high amount of copper, a star player in the elimination of free radicals, among other benefits.

Nutritional benefits aside, cashews make for a delicious and creamy dipping sauce that can be made while the kale chips are baking.

cheesy cashew cream sauce

When making cashew cream, it is recommended to soak the cashews in water for a few hours, first. But let’s be honest, sometimes, there’s just no time for that!

Add the following ingredients to a high-speed blender or food processor: 1 cup raw cashews, 1 cup filtered water, ¼ cup nutritional yeast (necessary to get that cheesy flavor), 1 clove garlic, juice of ½ lemon, 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar, ½ Tablespoon Dijon mustard, 1 tsp. smoked paprika, ¼ tsp. chili powder, ¼ tsp. red cayenne pepper, and a dash of salt. Blend until creamy, adding more water if needed for thinning.

Now all that’s left to do is grab a handful of kale chips and dip away in the creamy, cheesy cashew sauce! Just try not to devour it all in one sitting – I dare you!

kale chips with cashew cream dipping sauce
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kale chips with cashew cream sauce

Baked Kale Chips with Cheesy Cashew Dipping Sauce

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Snack; Appetizer

Scale

Ingredients

  • Kale Chips
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1/2 Tablespoon oil
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • salt (I used pink Himalayan salt)
  • *store in airtight container for up to 2 days
  • Cheesy Cashew Dipping Sauce
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1/4 cup filtered water
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 T. apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 T. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp. red cayenne pepper
  • salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Rinse and thoroughly dry the kale leaves. If you don’t dry the leaves completely, the remaining water can result in a steaming effect, which can cause limp chips.
  3. Remove the leaves from the kale stems and tear into large pieces.
  4. Massage the olive oil into the kale leaves to make sure every nook and cranny is covered.
  5. Sprinkle with garlic powder, smoked paprika and salt, mixing with your hands until well coated.
  6. Spread the kale leaves into a single layer on a baking sheet.
  7. Bake the kale chips for about 25-30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through.
  8. Once crisped, remove the chips from the oven and let cool for about 5 minutes to let them crisp up even more.
  9. While the kale chips are baking, whip up the cheesy cashew dipping sauce.
  10. Add all of the ingredients (11 total) to a high-speed blender or food processor and blend until creamy. Add more water if needed for thinning.
  11. Enjoy!

What is your go to healthy snack? Share with me in the comment section below!

-Carly Paige

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Simply Swapped Everyday is your guide to elevating the everyday through mindful methods, ingredient swaps and over 75 plant-powered recipes. Cooking healthy foods at home has never been easier or more delicious!

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49 Responses

    1. Hi Chelsea! If you make sure the chips are dry before baking, they are pretty much foolproof! Just keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t burn 🙂

    1. Yes! They are super simple to make and great to have on hand! I’ve been munching on them for the past few days 🙂 Hope you find this recipe and tutorial a good one!

  1. I have been making my own kale chips for a while now because they’re so much cheaper than store bought, but never have I made a dipping sauce! this one looks so good! I’m definitely making this soon! thanks for sharing this carly! xx

    1. Yes! They are so easy to make at home, too. A dipping sauce is a game changer and makes them even more addicting 🙂 Enjoy, Kristen! xo

  2. Ok, saving this recipe! I swear every time I go to make kale chips they’re only half way crunchy and would never hold some dip on the end of it.. Maybe I’m putting too much olive oil or need to cook them at a lower temp. for longer…
    I’ll keep you posted on if this process helps!

    xo,
    Stephanie – The Tangerine Desert

    1. Are you making sure they are completely dry? Also, letting them cool after they are done in the oven helps them crisp up even more. Hopefully my tutorial leads to greater success next time!

  3. I had kale chips once and didn’t like them, but with a cheese sauce like this I think my mind would change pretty quickly haha! I should try them again, they’re so good for you! GREAT recipe and I cannot wait to try!!
    xo Adriana – Daily Dose of Design

    1. Thanks, Adriana! If it helps sway you, my husband was PLEASANTLY surprised at how good they tasted. I think the sauce helps cut through some of the bitter taste people get when eating kale chips 🙂

  4. These Kale chips with cashew dipping sauce look so tempting. I will def go for these instead of regular chips with dipping sauce. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Lately I have been all about broccoli and hummus. So simple and so good! Plus, there are so many great hummus flavors these days. This recipe looks DELISH! Thanks for sharing!

  6. This sounds and looks amazing! Kale chips at the store are usually pricey so I have been wanting to try and make some myself. The cheese dipping sauce sounds so great too!!

    Ashley

    1. Hi Ashley! Kale chips are super easy to make at home and is worth the money saved! Plus you can add any kind of spices you like 🙂 Enjoy!

  7. I need to try this! everyone keeps telling me that it taste so good…maybe I am just too lazy to make it myself…idk…I just need to bit the bullet and make it!

    1. It took me 30 minutes… that’s it! And most of it was just waiting around for the kale chips to crisp up. It’s well worth it!

  8. Oh lordy, this looks wicked delicious! I like making kale chips in my dehydrator because I can’t be trusted not to burn them in an oven, haha. But this faux cheese sounds incredible. I’ve gotta try this stat!

    1. Haha! I love it, Brittany. I don’t have a dehydrator, so the oven is my only option 😉 The sauce is so good… I could eat it by the spoonful.

    1. Yum!! You know I’m a fan of Siggi’s :-). The sauce is delicious. I can’t wait to play around with it more!

  9. Carly YUMMMM! I try to make kale chips a few times a month because I’m obsessed with the crunchy goodness. I usually put nutritional yeast on the chips but, BUT after seeing this amazing, creamy cashew sauce, I think I’ll save the nutritional yeast for the dip. In fact, I’ll double it and smear this goodness all over grilled chicken too. NOM!

Hi! I’m Carly Paige, a culinary nutrition expert and chef who believes that healthy doesn’t have to be frustrating, boring or restrictive. I’m here to show you how through my Simply Swapped Method so that you can feel more energized and confident from within. You’ll find tips for focusing on nutrition in the kitchen, along with plant-powered, gluten-free recipes that proves healthy can be delicious.

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