veggie chips - crispy, healthyI’ve done a lot of experimenting with these veggie chips to achieve a crisp chip-like texture and can assure you that they are delicious! They definitely stand up to any gourmet store-bought variety for a fraction of the cost. And have I mentioned they are also healthy?

I never used to make veggie chips at home. All the peeling, slicing, oiling, baking, and flipping just seemed too intimidating and time-consuming. Why wouldn’t I just go to a store and pick up a bag of veggie chips instead?

Well, that’s exactly what I intended to do for a dinner party my husband and I hosted a couple of weeks ago. Except that as I browsed through the healthy aisle of the grocery store (looking for baked rather than deep-fried veggie chips, ya know), all I could find was a little tiny bag of veggie chips filled with air that cost $6! So I headed back over to the produce section, picked up a few different veggies – beets, sweet potatoes, yams, Brussels sprouts, kale, and collard greens – and made my own veggie chips at home.

The recipe below is very flexible. You can add more salt, use different spices, or dress the chips any way you like. I keep them plain because my 2-year old daughter appreciates the natural sweetness of the veggies. So, a little bit of salt goes a long way. Whether you decide to follow the recipe exactly or change things up, these crispy veggie chips won’t last long! I dare you to eat just one of these homemade chips. It is a downright addictive snack that you can feel good about eating. You don’t even have to be a veggie lover to love these chips.

Tips for Making Veggie Chips

There are two types of veggie chips – chips made from leafy greens and chips made from root vegetables. They differ not only in terms of flavor, but also texture. Veggie chips from leafy greens are thin, crispy, and light as air. They still have a bit of a “green” flavor to them, but mostly they taste salty. Veggie chips from root vegetables are much more substantial, crunchy, and very close to regular potato chips in terms of texture.  A root vegetable chip is subtly sweet, but similar to the leafy greens chips, they do taste salty.

Ingredients for Veggie Chips from Leafy Greens

Just about any leafy green can be turned into chips. Kale, spinach, chard, collard greens, beet greens, dandelion greens, you name it. I decided to go with kale, Brussels sprouts (the outer leaves), and collard greens. If you’ve never made veggie chips at home, I would recommend that you start with leafy greens because they are really easy to make.

I like to also add some olive oil and salt. If you’re not a fan of oil, you can skip it. However, I find that the oil helps the veggie chips cook more evenly in the oven and adds a nice, rich flavor.

homemade vegetable chips - oven-baked, healthy

Technique for Veggie Chips from Leafy Greens

Before Baking

  1. Keep the pieces large – this step obviously applies only to kale and collard greens. The reason you want to tear the kale into large pieces is that it will shrink quite a bit when baking. Also, the smaller the pieces are, the easier they’ll burn.
  2. Wash – the best way to wash leafy greens is to get a bowl of water and let the veggies soak for a few minutes. This will allow for any dirt to sink to the bottom of the bowl.
  3. Dry thoroughly – once washed, place the veggies onto a dry paper towel and pat them dry. Remove as much water as possible. If there’s any excess water, the water will steam the veggies while baking.
  4. Massage – rather than just coating the veggies with some oil, massage the oil into the leaves to ensure that every piece of the vegetable is evenly coated. Just be careful not to bruise the leaves.

Baking

  1. Use a parchment paper or an oven rack – both parchment paper and oven rack work well because they allow water to escape. On the other hand, foils or waxed surfaces (e.g. baking sheets) trap water and the veggies steam instead of crisping up.
  2. Space them out – make sure the veggies aren’t touching. If you crowd them, there will be too much vapor surrounding them and they’ll steam rather than bake into crispy chips.
  3. Use low temperatures – oven temperature is probably the trickiest part. My experience is that the lower the temperature, the better. The chips might take a little longer to bake, but at least you don’t get any burnt pieces. I bake the chips at 200°F (95°C) first and then increase the temperature to about 220°F (110°C)
  4. You can achieve crispy chips with higher temperatures, but it usually means a lot more browning than baking at low temperatures. While some browning is inevitable, browning usually equals carcinogens.
  5. Rotate – whether surface you’re baking the chips on, rotate it half way through baking so the veggies crisp up evenly. There’s no need to flip the chips.

After Baking

  1. Cool for a few minutes – cooling the chips after they’re out of the oven helps them firm up even more. A few minutes is all that’s needed.
  2. Store – store the chips in an air-tight container to prevent the chips from absorbing any moisture from the air. If the chips lose their crispiness over time, you can put them in a warm oven to get the moisture out of them.

baked veggie chips from leafy greens and root vegetables

Ingredients for Veggie Chips from Root Vegetables

Have you ever had Terra chips? If you don’t know what I’m talking about, Terra chips are veggie chips made from root vegetables, including sweet potato, yam, beet, carrot, taro, parsnip, and yucca. Not only do they have a very vibrant flavor, delectable crunch, and a very short list of ingredients, but they are also super expensive.

Terra chips were one of the reasons I started making my own chips at home. Making chips from root vegetables is a bit harder than making chips from leafy greens, but it is possible to make even root vegetable chips perfectly crispy by following the guidelines below.

healthy veggie chips from root and leafy vegetables

Technique for Veggie Chips from Root Vegetables

Before Baking

  1. Slice them thin – the thinner they are, the easier it will be to get them crisp. Water needs to reach the surface in order to evaporate. So the larger the surface (more area for the water to evaporate) and the lower the volume (less water overall), the better.
  2. Soak them in water – this technique works surprisingly well for the sweet potatoes. You simply soak the potatoes for about 10-20 minutes to help release some of the starches into the water. The starch in potatoes hinders moisture from evaporating and prevents the potatoes from getting crispy. Just keep in mind that the longer you soak the potatoes, the more nutrients you lose. So, soak them briefly, swirl them around, and give them a good rinse.
  3. Get as much moisture out as possible – moisture plays a big role in how crispy the veggies get. It’s difficult to get anything crispy if it contains a lot of water. That’s why dehydrators work so well. So, pat the soaked veggies dry with a paper towel.
  4. Sweat – sweating in culinary lingo means to cook something on a very low heat to release the moisture. But according to Sommer from Spicy Perspective, you can use salt to achieve the same result. So toss the sliced veggies with salt and let them sweat to release any excess moisture.

Baking & After Baking

The same steps from leafy greens apply.

veggie crisps - healthy, homemade

If you’re wondering if you can also make homemade chips from fresh corn – yes, you can! And yes, they are as addicting as potato chips.

Tools You’ll Need

kitchen tools for crispy veggie chips

1. Food Processor (Breville Sous Chef) | 2. Mandoline Slicer (Chef’s Inspirations, Stainless Steel) | 3. Knife Set (6 Pieces, Utopia, Stainless Steel) | 4. Cutting Board (24″x 18″, Michigan Maple Block, Maple) | 5. Mixing Bowls (Set of 3, Pyrex, Glass) | 6. Cooling Rack ( Stainless Steel) | 7. Measuring Spoons (Set of 6, 1Easylife, Stainless Steel)

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veggie crisps - healthy, homemade
5 from 4 votes

Veggie Chips - Baked 5 Different Vegetables

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Oven-baked crispy veggie chips that stand up to any gourmet store-bought variety for a fraction of the cost. This is a downright addictive snack that you can feel good about eating.

Ingredients
 

Root Vegetable (Beets, Sweet Potato, Yams) Chips

  • 1 (1) beet, peeled
  • 1 (1) sweet potato, peeled
  • 1 (1) yam, peeled
  • 1-2 Tbsp. (15-30 ml) olive oil
  • sea salt, to taste

Leafy Vegetable (Kale, Brussels Sprouts) Chips

  • 1/2 bunch (1/2 bunch) kale*
  • 10 (10) Brussels sprouts
  • 1-2 Tbsp. (15-30 ml) olive oil
  • sea salt, to taste

Instructions
 

Root Vegetable Chips

  • Preheat oven to 200°F (95°C) and place the oven rack in the center of the oven.
  • Using a food processor or a mandolin, slice the veggies consistently as thinly as possible (1/16 inch/1.6 mm at the most). This will ensure even baking and crispiness. If you have some ninja skills, you can also use a sharp knife.
  • For extra crispiness, soak the potatoes in cold water for 10-20 minutes to help release starch from the potatoes. Once soaked, rinse the potatoes under cold running water.
  • Spread the veggies onto a paper towel and pat them dry. Place them into a large bowl. Add oil and salt. Toss well. The beets will discolor the other vegetables. So, if that's something you want to prevent, use a separate bowl for the beets. Let the veggies sweat for about 15 minutes until they release their natural juices. Then drain off any excess liquid.
  • Place the veggies into a single layer onto parchment paper (or an oven rack). Make sure the veggies aren't touching.
  • Bake for 30 minutes at 200°F (95°C). Then increase the temperature to 220°F (105°C), rotate the parchment paper/oven rack, and bake for additional 30 minutes. Be sure to watch closely past the 45 minute mark as the chips can burn quickly.
  • Allow to cool.

Leafy Vegetable Chips

  • Preheat oven to 200°F (95°C) and place the oven rack in the center of the oven.
  • Tear kale away from the stem and roughly tear it up into large pieces. Remove the leaves of the Brussels sprouts (you may need to keep cutting away the stem as you get deeper into the sprout).
  • Wash and spin the leaves until thoroughly dry. If you don't have a spinner, place the leaves in a large bowl and cover them with water. Let them soak for a few minutes to allow any dirt to sink to the bottom of the bowl. Place the leaves onto a paper towel and pat them dry.
  • Transfer the leaves into a large bowl and massage in the oil and salt. 
  • Place the veggies into a single layer onto parchment paper (or an oven rack). Make sure the veggies aren't touching.
  • Bake for about 45 minutes until the leaves are dry and crispy. Rotate the parchment paper/oven rack half way through baking. Be sure to watch closely past the 30 minute mark as they can burn quickly.
  • Allow to cool.

Notes

*You can use any kale you like but curly kale is best, in my opinion.