Parmesan Baked Kale
Do you say “nope!” the minute you see the word kale? Before you keep scrolling, give me a chance to change your mind about this green. Why? Because I almost ate the entire sheet pan the first time I made this recipe for Parmesan Baked Kale.
Kale gets such a bad rap, and let’s be honest, justifiably so. Comedian, Jim Gaffigan often jokes that it tastes like bug spray. He’s not entirely wrong; it just depends on how you prepare it.
I first got into kale when I learned about how healthy and nutritious it is. Kale is a great source of fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K and boasts a number of other nutritional benefits. However, it’s not the most delicious of the leafy greens.
Maybe you think it tastes great, and that’s fantastic! I find the flavor to be slightly bitter and the leaves to be quite tough to chew and digest. Don’t even get me started on the stems.
I’ve had it raw, sautéed it, added it to soups, and I think I’ve even tried to add it to a smoothie (bad call), but by far my favorite way to prepare it is baked to crisp perfection in the oven.
I’m sure you’ve seen packaged kale chips popping up more and more in grocery stores as people have been searching for healthier alternatives to potato chips.
But guess what? You can totally make it for yourself at home and it makes a wonderful snack or side dish.
The best part about making crispy kale at home (making all your food at home, really) is having total control over the ingredients you add to your dishes. You can control the amount of salt, oil, the flavor…everything! It’s totally customized food. 😉
Here are a few of my tips for making this dish:
- I like to buy the big bags of pre-chopped & washed kale to save time, but you can buy a regular bunch of kale and chop it down.
- Kale stems are way too tough for me to eat. I remove as many as I can before I add my seasoning.
- Make sure that you dry your kale completely with a paper towel or two before you start adding your other ingredients. We want to make sure it gets nice and crispy and not steam in the oven.
- I lay all my kale out on the pan and sprinkle or drizzle all of the ingredients on top. Then, I mix it together with my hands, giving the kale a light massage as I coat all the leaves with the oil, salt, garlic and cheese. (Never heard about massaging kale? It’s a thing! Here’s a great article explaining what it is and why it might be a helpful thing to do if you want to eat more kale, especially raw kale!)
- I typically bake my kale for about 11-13 minutes at 400 F. Give it a check around 11 minutes and see how crispy it is. Every oven is a little bit different!
So many times when we think we really don’t like how an ingredient tastes, we may just not like how it was prepared. It’s always good to keep trying it in new ways to really know for sure.
If you’re up for giving kale another chance, try it roasted with a little Parmesan cheese and garlic for flavor. Like I said, I had to restrain myself from eating about half the bag, it’s that good.
Parmesan Baked Kale
Become a kale fan with this easy recipe! Kale gets seasoned with Parmesan cheese and baked to crispy perfection in the oven. This makes a wonderful side dish or snack.
- 8 oz. (About 1/2 of a 1 lb. bag) Kale Cut, washed, and dried
- 2-3 TBS Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
- 3 TBS Parmesan Chese (Reserve 1 TBS)
- 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
- 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with foil, parchment, or a silicone baking sheet.
2. Spread the kale onto the baking sheet. Drizzle the olive oil over the top. Next, sprinkle the garlic powder, salt, pepper, and 2 TBS of Parmesan Cheese over the kale.
3. Mix and lightly "massage" the kale to coat it evenly with the oil and seasonings.
4. Before putting it in the oven, sprinkle the remaining TBS of Parmesan Cheese over the top of the kale and bake for 11-13 minutes. Check the crispiness after 11 minutes and cook for a minute or two longer if needed.